Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: Foam Earplugs Now Different?

  1. #1
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    1,746

    Foam Earplugs Now Different?

    I've worn Howard Leight "Max" foam earplugs forever. In the past, they've done a good job for me, comfy and effective.

    I recently bought a new box of 200 pairs, and these plugs seem different. They look the same as before, but they feel less substantial, as though the foam is now less dense. It's harder to get a good seal in my ear than it used to be. No harder to insert, but the poor seal -> noisier.

    Anyone else notice this? The reason I'm not sure is I had tonsil cancer in 2007, and my head and neck (and, perhaps, my ear canals) are different than they were before. I suppose that might affect how well the plugs work.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  2. #2
    glennhendricks
    Guest

    Hi

    Dave

    First congrats on fighting the big C. Way to go.

    Leight makes many different kinds of foam earplugs, some very similar to each other. The 'light' ones are usually a little softer and can be different to wear.

    One issue we see in industry a lot is people don't insert the plugs properly. This site shows how it is done.

    http://lifehacker.com/5275516/proper...ter-protection

  3. #3
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Posts
    3,008
    glenn, that's a great video, it should be elevated to "sticky" status. In fact, a "Safety Sticky" on this site would be a good thing.

    I'm an equipment operating engineer at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and we've been drilled on this exact procedure for years.

    I still get the strangest looks when people (outside the immediate plant safety culture) see me put my hearing PPE in. I usually take the opportunity to train them as well.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  4. #4
    warredon
    Guest
    Over twenty years ago I was trained at work the proper way to use them, I absolutely hated them. It didn't take long for me to understand and appreciate their benefits and now I find I can't live without them.

  5. #5
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    1,746
    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the good wishes.

    And thanks for the video. I've been using these things since 1980 or so, and doing pretty well...but I never did the ear pull part. I just went out to the garage, and inserted them as CU recommends. They're in just a bit farther than usual, and I think the seal is significantly better. I look forward to tomorrow's ride to work.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  6. #6
    glennhendricks
    Guest

    Great

    Enjoy the ride and let us know if that helped.

  7. #7
    Registered User sit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    292
    Just the way the Army taught me many years ago to put in their lovely orange plastic ones. I use foam ones now when I ride and when I roll them up I like to also stretch them just a bit length wise, then pull the ear, and put them in. With the bit of a stretch it seems like as they expand they suck down into the ear just a bit further for an even better seal.
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
    2013 Ural Patrol - White
    2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
    2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold

  8. #8
    DonaldMac dfmcintyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Port Huron, MI - 60mi north of Detroit
    Posts
    45

    Fitting plugs and a bit off topic

    Dave -

    Interesting thought regarding the post treatment affects. Likewise I was diag'ed and treated (no surgery, just rad and chemo) early last year. And it seems like my right ear (ca found underneath scar tissue on left side tonsil) is....odd, which is the best way to describe it. The right ear is now more susceptible to minor ear infections, ear aches, etc.

    I don't normally use plugs when riding the RT, minimal wind noise with the way I adjust the windscreen.

    As an aside, when I've taught basic firearms classes for my department, we've run the following experiment:

    Shoot with either earmuffs or plugs for a while, then "double muff", i.e. use plugs and the muffs. Most fresh recruits will experience a tightening of their shot grouping.

    Regards - Don

  9. #9
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,586
    Hey Dave - I still have a few pairs (unopened ) of Laser-Lites from my original 200-count box circa 1997, if you'd like a pair to compare shoot me an address.

    Ted
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  10. #10
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Posts
    550
    I've tried several brands of foam earplugs and in my view the dB rating is barely a rough indicator of sound protection. I have used 32dB plugs and they did nothing. In fact, I stopped my bike to check if they were still in my ears.

    I'm currently using 3M 1100 ear plugs and they are the best I've used to date. The dB reduction is rated at 29dB but they give better sound reduction than the 32dB ones I had. I like the 3M 1100 foam ear plugs so much I bought a box of 200 pair.

  11. #11
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    1,746
    Glenn,

    Much better this morning. Inserting on the left side was problematic, but it may just be that I'm not used to doing it.

    Ted,

    Thanks for the offer. I would like to compare. I'll send a pm.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  12. #12
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    1,746
    Quote Originally Posted by dfmcintyre View Post
    Interesting thought regarding the post treatment affects. Likewise I was diag'ed and treated (no surgery, just rad and chemo) early last year. And it seems like my right ear (ca found underneath scar tissue on left side tonsil) is....odd, which is the best way to describe it. The right ear is now more susceptible to minor ear infections, ear aches, etc.
    Thanks Don. Interesting that it's the opposite side for you. For me, the cancer was on the right side of my neck, and surgery resulted in some tissue loss and scarring. The earplug troubles are also on the right. I wonder if that ear canal is now larger or different.

    Inserting with the ear pull definitely improves the seal.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  13. #13
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Johnstown Pa.
    Posts
    868
    after using foam plugs for years I broke down last year and went to the local Ear Nose Throat specialist and had custom plugs made.

    They are small, not big like the one made at rallies; and fit perfectly. They are ten times more comfortable that foam plugs.

    I paid less than a $100 for them. Money well spent.

    jason
    Jason Kaplitz
    Johnstown, Pa
    Laurel Highlands BMW Riders #294

  14. #14
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    751
    I had custom earplugs made at a rally maybe three years ago after years of using the disposable kind. They are at least as comfortable as the disposables, every bit as good at reducing noise levels (riding, chainsaws, shooting a shotgun, lawn mowing) and, most important, they ALWAYS stay in place.

    All the advice about rolling the disposables into the tightest possible cylinder, lifting the earlobe with the opposite hand, is spot on and I did that. What they forgot to mention is that in cold weather you have to keep your finger pressed on the end of the earplug for quite some time, maybe over 30 seconds, until it has fully expanded.

    Hot conditions are even worse with the disposables; they start expanding before you can get them fully inserted, but you think they are inserted. You pull on your helmet (which may sometimes be enough in its contact with your ear to dislodge the earplug) then you put on your glasses, pull on your gloves, get on the highway, and discover your earplugs are not working. Pissoff, for sure.

    Whether you go for custom plugs or disposables, I recommend you spend a few seconds tromping around before you don your helmet. If something in your head sounds like a low drum beat, the earplugs are doing their job. If not, they aren't.

    Earplugs, properly inserted, do a lot more than preserve your hearing. They remove all the low level noises your bike makes to a level that you are not aware of them, while still letting you hear screaching tires, sirens, etc. In short, they let you focus on what is important (which mostly comes through your eyes) without the fatigue of noise.

    If there were not good earplugs, I woudn't ride a motorcycle.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  15. #15
    I had the opposite experience with the custom made ones. I spent a fair amount on them and find them much less effective and comfortable than Moldex Pura Fit foam ones. I tried 15-20 different things, from all brands of foam, slicone, plastic baffled to the customs. The Pura Fits are by far the best. And since I buy them by the case, they're cheap enough to use once and throw away.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •