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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Within the city I don't use earplugs, but when I'm riding out of the city I MUST wear ear plugs. I've noticed that without them I get "tired" earlier, I'm also less focused and ride slower. Obviously I also use them on track days.

But there are people that ride with earbuds all the time. I've tried it but it never worked for me, I want to reduce the noise, but for the music to overpower the wind noise the volume must be almost maxed out! That kind of defeats the purpose, its noise over noise, so you don't only get ear damage from the wind noise, but also from the loud music.

Is there something I'm missing?
 

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not missing anything. people who use music to drown out the roadnoise are only doing one thing: removing the tiring effect of a single continuous droning noise. they aren't helping their hearing.

consistent noise tires a person, tis fact. There is good reason why vehicles are getting more and more quiet. it reduces driver fatigue.

I wear earplugs just about everywhere now. sometimes I skip em in town. Not often.

For plugs, I wear Stanley earplugs, I buy them by the plastic bin. something like 100 pairs for 20 bucks at Canadian Tire. rated as NRR32
 
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I agree that earplugs help a lot on the highway, and I always use them unless I first to bring them. When I'm driving on back roads though, which is 90 percent of my riding, I don't use anything.

On long day trips, or multi day trips, I'll use music ear buds. It's not just drowning out noise with noise if you have good ear buds. A good ear bud will block outside noise even with the music off, that way you don't have to crank to the music. So it's like having ear plugs that play music. The ear buds I bought came with multiple sizes of plugs so you can fit them in your ear perfectly to block out noise.

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Pit Bike Legend
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I got custom molded ear buds. They block out just as much noise as a good set of ear plugs, but also play music. And because they block out the noise you can play the music at a very low level and not kill your ears by trying to overpower the road noise. They are also super comfortable for long rides and dont ever fall out like all the others I had before.
 

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I wear earplugs and use my Sena speakers to listen to music. The earplugs eliminate wind noise, and I can still hear the music (and other things going on around me, like sirens, etc) through them.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree that earplugs help a lot on the highway, and I always use them unless I first to bring them. When I'm driving on back roads though, which is 90 percent of my riding, I don't use anything.

On long day trips, or multi day trips, I'll use music ear buds. It's not just drowning out noise with noise if you have good ear buds. A good ear bud will block outside noise even with the music off, that way you don't have to crank to the music. So it's like having ear plugs that play music. The ear buds I bought came with multiple sizes of plugs so you can fit them in your ear perfectly to block out noise.

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I've tried 5 earbud sets as of now, Sony, Philips, Samsung (came with SIII), some others from cyclegear, another cheap ones from Autozone, I gave the last two away. I got the cyclegear ones because I wanted to use the navigation on the phone, and as I didn't had a phone mount, I thought it would be easier to just listen to the directions... Nope. At highway speeds I couldn't understand what it was saying. The others were about the same, too loud at low speeds but not loud enough to drown the road noise.

I wear earplugs and use my Sena speakers to listen to music. The earplugs eliminate wind noise, and I can still hear the music (and other things going on around me, like sirens, etc) through them.
I'll look into that, my helmet has a bluetooth option, so probably earplugs plus the bluetooth thingy might work!
 

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Music when riding, earplugs when racing. Always.

And FWIW, there's actually a thread somewhere here on the site that goes into depth about the dangers of hearing loss if you don't use your plugs. Wind noise has some crazy high decibel level and it's dangerous to us.
 

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Hardass!
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I use the earbud headphones. I have to admit it drowns out alot of noise (depending on the helmet I wear)
Some helmets offer "ear space" while others don't (Shoei vs Arai) The tighter eared helmets offer concert like sound while the looser offer good sound but leakage.
Both are size medium helmets.

I am already extra aware of my surroundings but I would be screwed if I didnt hear a siren or similar (which I dont) oh well..
 

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A good pair of noise cancelling earbuds will out perform your 25 cent earplugs. Of course, they also cost more than a fair penny.

Either way, absolutely have something in those ears to block the sound.
 

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I recently picked these up. Figured i give em a shot for only 20 bucks. They fit deep in your ear like ear plugs and block out a good amount of noise. Ive been using them for lifting and at 1/4 volume on my old school ipod and i cant hear people talking next to me at all. I havent tried them against wind noise on the road but i have a feeling theyll be pretty solid, fit under my hjc helmet well. ( im in ny so wont ride until spring) Im happy with the sound quality to. ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1393026006.756564.jpg


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I have always used ear protection at above 40 mph or so (my commute is on slower roads). I will soon switch to helmet speakers and my usual ear protection, BUT I will use for earplugs the Hearos meant for rock concerts. They claim the dynamic range is uniform in suppression, so music won't sound muffled.

I might be stymied if the helmet speakers try to compensate for the usual earplug suppression curve. I don't know if the iPhone equalizer can compensate if this is the case.

I'll report back when I have some info on this. But you might try it first...

- John
 

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Snip... I wanted to use the navigation on the phone, and as I didn't had a phone mount, I thought it would be easier to just listen to the directions... Nope. At highway speeds I couldn't understand what it was saying. The others were about the same, too loud at low speeds but not loud enough to drown the road noise.
My molded ear pieces were around $80 at the bike show and since the sound is ported into your ear, rather than being a speaker on the outside of an earplug like some people here are running, the sound is crystal clear. I use the navigation on my phone all the time, and even with the loud ass exhaust on my cafe racer I never have the volume above 30%. Considering how much a normal set of earbuds can cost and how little they actually protect your hearing, getting these made was some of the best money I've spent. I just wish I had done it sooner. I've spent easily double that much trying different brands and models that didn't work or didn't stay in or weren't comfortable.
 

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Within the city I don't use earplugs, but when I'm riding out of the city I MUST wear ear plugs. I've noticed that without them I get "tired" earlier, I'm also less focused and ride slower. Obviously I also use them on track days.

But there are people that ride with earbuds all the time. I've tried it but it never worked for me, I want to reduce the noise, but for the music to overpower the wind noise the volume must be almost maxed out! That kind of defeats the purpose, its noise over noise, so you don't only get ear damage from the wind noise, but also from the loud music.

Is there something I'm missing?
No. 100% same results here.

At first, I always wanted to ride with music - and I always do in a car, but even on very long trips, sometimes I just ditch the music. For commuting/city, I never do anymore.

I ride much better with my 3m ear plugs. I'm much more focused, conscious of conditions, and ready/able. As much as I used to love riding with music, I realized that it does the total opposite, and even makes me speed in cop zones.

I LOVE music, but I gave up on riding and listening. I'd literally rather have a few drinks and feel safer.
 

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I wear earplugs and use my Sena speakers to listen to music. The earplugs eliminate wind noise, and I can still hear the music (and other things going on around me, like sirens, etc) through them.
That's my plan once I buy my next helmet.

I found the best brand is SkullCandy or something like that, sold at 24 Hour Fitness. They cancel a decent amount and dont stick out awkwardly so that a bandana can hold them in place when you put the helmet on.

For earbuds, I found some at a hardware store, 3M, and a big box for $3-5.
 

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EARFUZE is about $30, there maybe cheaper companies now. You choose you own earbuds and the earfuze is like silly putty. It dries in a couple of minutes to a latex type of material. It seals the bud in your ear and blocks out the wind. I've had mine for about 5 years now. They solved a lot of problems, especially the buds popping out of place when I pulled my helmet on.
 

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That's my plan once I buy my next helmet.

I found the best brand is SkullCandy or something like that, sold at 24 Hour Fitness. They cancel a decent amount and dont stick out awkwardly so that a bandana can hold them in place when you put the helmet on.

For earbuds, I found some at a hardware store, 3M, and a big box for $3-5.
I would highly suggest you spend some more money on better Earbuds. For the sub-$20 price, SkullCandy are pretty good, but if you drop $40 or so on some Klipsch, you will get a vastly better set of earbuds.

Plus, better earbuds will seal the ear canal better, and you will have close to the same amount of noise protection as earplugs.
 

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I would highly suggest you spend some more money on better Earbuds. For the sub-$20 price, SkullCandy are pretty good, but if you drop $40 or so on some Klipsch, you will get a vastly better set of earbuds.

Plus, better earbuds will seal the ear canal better, and you will have close to the same amount of noise protection as earplugs.
I hear you but in all honesty, I either wear headphones when I'm just cruising to the gym, cruising somewhere else, or on long trips. And I really REALLY need a new helmet. The last one I bought is a nightmare at 'wind noise' speeds.

And I really try not to listen to music when I'm riding 'sporty'...I'm easily distracted, and my paranoia keeps me safe and a good song can really get me in trouble. I know - I'm an idiot.
 

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Nah, it's good. I had a SENA bluetooth thing on my helmet for a little while, till the unit fell off from me not snapping it in tight. I'd just pause the music when I got to somewhere fun to ride. Hoping to replace it in a couple weeks.
 
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