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Thread: Foam Earplugs Now Different?

  1. #16
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    {snip}...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...{snip}
    +1

    About two years ago, I bought an "assortment pack" of about 20-25 different ear plug brands/models. I diligently tried each pair and made a few notes on the fit, effectiveness (subjective measurement on a cruiser), and durability. After about 6 months, the Pura Fits stood out by far. I then bought a whole carton of them and have been very happy.

    One note, however. Last fall I had a slight ear infection and my ear canal was a bit swollen. Didn't hurt, mind you, but the earplug's expansion created a bit of pressure that could have been bothersome to some folks. So, if you tend to have small ear canals, the Pura Fits may create a bit of pressure.

    Buy an assortment pack and see which ones now fit you the best. THIS is one of several places that sell them.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  2. #17
    ozonewanderer
    Guest
    The September 2010 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News summarized a review of 13 earplugs varying from $200/pair custom fitted musicians' earplugs to
    $.09/pair of foam plugs.

    Highlights of results
    Best Buy: Leight Laser Lite ($.09/pr)
    Recommended: Leight Max Foam ($0.12/pr)
    Recommended: Hearos ($0.50/pr)
    Recommended: Alpine MotoSafe ($25/pr).

  3. #18
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    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.
    I have had the same experience. I think it is the nature of the helmet vibration that it also is shaking the skull, and the heavier custom molded ones then act like a piston creating a pressure wave into the ear canal.

    Ear plug evaluations require a range of rider experiences. What works for someone may not work for another.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  4. #19
    Registered User careycsg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    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.
    100% on the same page with BCKRIDER. Tried many type of foam plugs and went to an audiologist who sold me the layered cone shaped Etymotics, which I thought did a very good job until................I had a custom set made at the recent Redmond rally. Unbelievable the difference and the fit is unreal! The $65 investment was worth every penny to me. I hope everyone will realize how important it is to protect your hearing, not only while riding, but doing other nosiy tasks as well. You can still hear everything around you while riding and that I think is the fear of most people might have and an excuse for not wearing them. I try to pass this on to people I meet who do not wear ear protection.

  5. #20
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    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.
    I might be wrong on this, but I think the Howard Leight Maxx and Lite plugs have changed their packaging. The labels on the safety dispensers at work have changed (max version) and the plugs seem to be a different color and shape (orange and round, vs green and winged). In the past, the Lite units (orange and yellow) were softer and better suited to people with smaller frames (i.e., smaller ear channels). The Maxx units were stiffer and could be uncomfortable for smaller frame people. Perhaps, Howard Leight is trying to find a middle ground and reduce their model line-up from 2 to 1.

    In any event, I've used these disposables for years (the Lite version) and can't stand the wind noise, otherwise.

    Good luck
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  6. #21
    MAYLETT
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    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.
    Yup, you've made my post for me.

    I tried every brand I could get my hands on, and finally settled on the Moldex Pura-Fits. My ear canals must be a bit bigger than most, so I actually need to insert them fat end first, but they do work very well. They also last longer than the other disposables I've used. Most other disposables seem to reduce the noise less effectively after wearing them two or three times. With the Pura-Fits I can use them several times until they get dirty.

  7. #22
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Hey Carecsg (and others interested,)

    I bought a 2nd pair of fitted earplugs at the Redmond rally. The guy who sold them to me (think there were at least three earplug vendors) looked at my old ones and told me they were made by a relative, had probably about outlived their life span, and that the $65 ones were good for more years than the original material.

    Could be BS, but I wanted insurance against loss, if not loss of effectiveness. Both pair still work great.

    There certainly seem to be many satisfied customers of Moldex Pura Fit. If you are happy and don't have the problems of long seating times in cold weather or oozing out in hot weather, figure a pair will last a day of in and out, and are worried about loss, sounds to me like you have made a good choice.

    Inserting any earplugs requires some practice, but when you get it down - at least with the fitted ones - it only takes seconds.

    Whatever you chose, don't ride without them. Whenever I do, and that is only doing errands in the little town I live near, I just HATE the noise at 25 mph.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

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