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Thread: Ear wear - plugs, phones, buds, commando

  1. #1
    Registered User BetterLateThanNever's Avatar
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    Question Ear wear - plugs, phones, buds, commando

    Wanted to get some opinions from forum members on ear wear... to plug or not to plug. I personally have rarely worn ear plugs, most of my driving in the past was short urban legs, either for work or errands. Sometimes on longer or freeway rides I would use plugs. Now I'm planning longer rides and trips and I'm rethinking.

    Another connected question has to do with earphones, whether blutooth, noise canceling, intercoms or otherwise. How do you feel about these items? Is it a good idea to be listening to music while riding? Or talking on the phone? Do you carry on conversations over a bike-to-bike system? Much of this technology is new since I learned to ride... I didn't ride for a number of years and I've come back to it with an entirely new generation of equipment, accessories, and options to choose from.

    Any thoughts are welcome, thanks in advance!
    Michael
    2009 G650GS

  2. #2
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Short answer is, I always wear plugs, I listen to music usually on longer trips, I'm on call a lot for my job so I need the phone. This lets me ride more, but I try not to talk much on it while riding and will pull over if I can safely. I have no problem hearing the phone,GPS or music with the ear plugs in, even at highway speeds. The ear plugs are your run of the mill custom fit plugs that you can get at most rallies or from a local ear Dr. Blue tooth is the way to go. No wires to plug in. I run everything through my GPS. Gee I guess my answer was not so short. Welcome back to the wonderful world of motorcycling. l
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    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r11rs94 View Post
    Short answer is, I always wear plugs, I listen to music usually on longer trips, I'm on call a lot for my job so I need the phone. This lets me ride more, but I try not to talk much on it while riding and will pull over if I can safely. I have no problem hearing the phone,GPS or music with the ear plugs in, even at highway speeds. The ear plugs are your run of the mill custom fit plugs that you can get at most rallies or from a local ear Dr. Blue tooth is the way to go. No wires to plug in. I run everything through my GPS. Gee I guess my answer was not so short. Welcome back to the wonderful world of motorcycling. l
    Good summary!

    Do wear ear plugs otherwise you put your hearing at risk

  4. #4
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    I go for the much lowe tech approach. I always wear ear plugs if I am going to be at highways speeds, if just running tot he store, not going over 35mph, I skip the plugs. As for music, I have a pair of cheapo speakers in my helmet I run my ipod through on longer trips. Even with ear plugs in, I can hear the music no issues.

    When I first started to ride, I did not wear ear plugs. That lasted about two long trips. Now I wear them all the time. I find it helps keep you fresh and you mind from going numb due to the noise. I buy the foam type at the local store that have the highest rating I have yet to find. I always carry a couple pairs with me. When they get dirty, I toss them and pull out another pair.
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  5. #5
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    on wearing plugs at highway speeds.
    I have just started to listen to tunes on my Zumo using cheap ear buds.
    Not so hot an idea. Too much road noise intrudes.
    Anybody have a better idea that doesn't cost a bunch?
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  6. #6
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    In California,
    the section below says you can wear ear plugs.
    I have heard of a person getting a ticket for having music going to both ears.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wearing of Headsets or Earplugs
    27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears. This prohibition does not apply to any of the following:
    (a) A person operating authorized emergency vehicles, as defined in Section 165.

    (b) A person engaged in the operation of either special construction equipment or equipment for use in the maintenance of any highway.

    (c) A person engaged in the operation of refuse collection equipment who is wearing a safety headset or safety earplugs.

    (d) A person wearing personal hearing protectors in the form of earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate injurious noise levels. The plugs or molds shall be designed in a manner so as to not inhibit the wearer's ability to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motor vehicle.

    (e) A person using a prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing.

    Amended Sec. 45, Ch. 594, Stats. 2003. Effective January 1, 2004.

  7. #7
    Registered User BetterLateThanNever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widebmw View Post
    In California,
    the section below says you can wear ear plugs.
    I have heard of a person getting a ticket for having music going to both ears.
    Thanks for posting this, it was going to be a follow-up question as far as what the law allows.

    Thanks also for the other responses above. Any particular brands/models of earplugs? I've just used ones from an industrial safety supplier, found them at a job.

    Also curious about other ear-bud/ear-phone options...

    Thanks and keep the comments coming, I really appreciate learning more from folks with experience!
    Michael
    2009 G650GS

  8. #8
    Registered User BetterLateThanNever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r11rs94 View Post
    ... Welcome back to the wonderful world of motorcycling. l
    Thanks, it's a blast to be back!
    Michael
    2009 G650GS

  9. #9
    Braz J Brase's Avatar
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    My setup, for what it is worth, is custom molded, wired earplugs from MOA member Bob Weis. http://www.earplugco.com/

    I run satellite radio, the Garmin voice and the radar detector audio all through a Mix-it 2 from MOA member John Brown. http://www.mixitproducts.com/

    (Notice how I support the good guys?)

    John

  10. #10
    Crow18
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    I've been using a pair of Shure SE-115 sound-isolating earphones. I think mine are an earlier version, but the SE-115 is what's currently sold at the $99 price point. I don't actually listen to music when I ride, but when I was commuting I would put them in before getting on the bike and keep them in all day (I shared a room with four passive-aggressive guys and their speaker phones). Sometimes I even plugged them into my iPod.

    I would say that, as hearing protection, they are about 80% as effective as the Moldex Rocket earplugs I use otherwise. As earphones, they are all I could ask for, and allow me to whittle away my remaining hearing with the noises I choose.

    When I'm travelling, I put them in if I want to sleep on a plane, and they very nicely cut the engine noise and all but the worst squalling baby sounds. I suspect the $450 SE-530 headphones would also stop the kid in the row behind me from kicking the back of my seat, but only if I wrapped the cable around hisÔÇöbut I digress.

  11. #11
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    Molded

    I swear by Bob Weis' earplugs and was really glad to see the link as I had lost it over the years. My latest pair finally bit the dust on the wiring and now are used only for plugs, no music. I miss that. They can be pllugged into any standard jack and require very low volume to enjoy wonderful sound while protecting your ears. No problem hearing sirens, either, so I have never had an issue with John L.(well, not for earplugs...). I just noted that Bob's price has only gone up $10 in the past 12 years. Great deal for a custom setup.
    Last edited by 58058D; 12-27-2009 at 05:30 PM. Reason: new info
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  12. #12
    TDI Guru jasontdi's Avatar
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    http://www.etymotic.com/

    Best plugs I've ever used. Plus they are SMALL and you can get different size tips for them to tailor the comfort. They have just as much attenuation as the custom molded ones I use as well.
    Jason
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  13. #13
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I bought the filtered S plug:

    http://plugup.com/cart/index.php?mai...products_id=37

    I love them. They are easy to wear, let in a conversation while you are stopped, as they are "filtered", eliminate harmful wind noise & allow you to use helmet speakers, like the Scala Rider set I have. Going down the highway, I can have a perfectly normal conversation with my buddy, without shouting, his voice just appears in my helmet. I can hear emergency vehicles & other cars just fine as well.

    I would buy another set of these plugs if I lost these.

  14. #14
    Donster
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    For me, disposable foam ear plugs from Northern Tool and Supply (NRR 29 dB) work as well as anything, and they're cheap. I buy them by the box and keep a handful in my jacket pocket.

    But the thing that cuts down wind noise the most is the 2-in. taller and wider Z-Technik windscreen I recently mounted. At speed, it's nice to hear the engine hum instead of wind noise that drowns out everything.

  15. #15
    criminaldesign
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    i listen to tunes while riding. I do wear only one bud at a time which looks like I'm doing the right thing in California. I don't do that for legal reason though, I like to have a free ear to hear with. Cheapo ear buds here too.

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