Ear plugs

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by Who's Ur Grandaddy ? » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:47 am

There is no joy in owning a Ural if you can't hear all the bedlam ... You know , the clatter, squeal , buzz, thunk , wheeze , knock , clang , chug ,etc. , etc. , of a finely tuned and well sorted out piece of farm machinery .
I choose to ride with nude ears .
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:48 am

I always wear earplugs when I ride on pavement.
They reduce wind, road and engine noise, thereby reducing your fatigue and distraction.
They allow plenty of traffic noise through so they are not a hazard.

I've worked in several jobs were ear protection was mandatory.
They make foam plugs that will fit everyone AND stay in.
The problem is most people select the wrong plugs and then DO NOT insert them correctly.

First you should be using a good quality foam plug, they should almost feel "too soft" for the job.
These are tapered, bullet shaped plugs in a soft foam compound. These are individually molded, can use softer foams and hence more expensive.

Cylindrical foam plugs suck. Never use them. These are punched out of sheets of stiffer foam. The manufacturing process is cheaper to make and requires stiffer denser foam, hence poorer fit.

Next the plug should be rolled very narrow between your fingers.
Do not pinch it, roll it. Like when you would roll modeling clay as a kid to make a worm shape.
You want it as uniformly thin and round as possible.

Next reach behind your head with your right hand and grab the edge of your ear, pulling back and upward slightly.
You can almost hear the change in sound as your ear canal opens up.
Now with your left hand insert the rolled plug as deep as it will go.
It should be like sticking a Q-Tip all the way into the canal.
Now release your ear and keep just the tip of your finger on the end of the ear plug as it expands.

As the plug expands it should seal off the ear canal; you should feel like everything is closing in around you as the sound is cut off.

Repeat the process for the other ear.

I use these, they are the best I've found for comfort, price and fit.
They also have a NRR of 33, which is excellent for plugs of any kind.
It beats out molded ear plugs and other foam plugs which are generally in the NRR 26-30 range.

http://www.esafetysupplies.com/E-A-Rsof ... plugs.html

The reason I don't use molded earplugs, the expensive ones or the cheaper mold-your-own is hygiene.
Who wants to w@$# off ear plugs? They should realistically be cleaned after every use, you don't want to stick used ear plugs back in your sensitive ears.

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by tonered » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:00 am

antimatter wrote:I personally think the helmet intercom industry is ripe for inclusion with noise cancelling technology, where your intercom would use a sensor inside to send a cancelling wave form for the wind noise outside. But, so far no-one seems willing to offer that.
The problem with that is the noise cancelling would have to be pumping out just as loud as the noise. So, the sound pressure would still be there doing damage.

In my experience, helmet headsets would better with earplug in. Actual clarity, bass tones, and quieter.

Have a good one.
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by tonered » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:06 am

BinDerSmokDat wrote:I always wear earplugs when I ride on pavement.
They reduce wind, road and engine noise, thereby reducing your fatigue and distraction.
They allow plenty of traffic noise through so they are not a hazard.

I've worked in several jobs were ear protection was mandatory.
They make foam plugs that will fit everyone AND stay in.
The problem is most people select the wrong plugs and then DO NOT insert them correctly.

First you should be using a good quality foam plug, they should almost feel "too soft" for the job.
These are tapered, bullet shaped plugs in a soft foam compound. These are individually molded, can use softer foams and hence more expensive.

Cylindrical foam plugs suck. Never use them. These are punched out of sheets of stiffer foam. The manufacturing process is cheaper to make and requires stiffer denser foam, hence poorer fit.

Next the plug should be rolled very narrow between your fingers.
Do not pinch it, roll it. Like when you would roll modeling clay as a kid to make a worm shape.
You want it as uniformly thin and round as possible.

Next reach behind your head with your right hand and grab the edge of your ear, pulling back and upward slightly.
You can almost hear the change in sound as your ear canal opens up.
Now with your left hand insert the rolled plug as deep as it will go.
It should be like sticking a Q-Tip all the way into the canal.
Now release your ear and keep just the tip of your finger on the end of the ear plug as it expands.

As the plug expands it should seal off the ear canal; you should feel like everything is closing in around you as the sound is cut off.

Repeat the process for the other ear.

I use these, they are the best I've found for comfort, price and fit.
They also have a NRR of 33, which is excellent for plugs of any kind.
It beats out molded ear plugs and other foam plugs which are generally in the NRR 26-30 range.

http://www.esafetysupplies.com/E-A-Rsof ... plugs.html

The reason I don't use molded earplugs, the expensive ones or the cheaper mold-your-own is hygiene.
Who wants to w@$# off ear plugs? They should realistically be cleaned after every use, you don't want to stick used ear plugs back in your sensitive ears.
I wore earplugs for many years, inserting them wrong and suffering the pain. So when I started riding, I didn't use earplugs. A friend discussed the benefits and how to properly insert them. It was a revelation. Instant stress reduction, even on short rides, and better hearing for important stuff, like cars beside me and sirens.

I agree with most of what you say except that I reuse my foamies for up to about a month. I suppose that is a personal thing?

For me, I like the Mac's brand. They have small buckets of them at Target. 33NRR, I believe.

I really wanted to like the Hearos as they were super soft, but they didn't conform as nicely as the Mac's and did tend to be uncomfortable.

Props to anyone that can stand those ribbed-style earplugs.

Have a good one.
tony b
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by Red Dwarf » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:54 pm

I've used a lot of the hard cylindrical plugs while running chainsaws.
Reused them after soaking overnight in their plastic carrying case.
Cheap, effective and who needs comfort when you're beating your brains out in the woods?
Never found the soft plugs very effective until I tried them while Uraling.
Plenty of noise reduction and comfy. :D
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by whiterabbit » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:55 pm

But they're ribbed for you pleasure! :roll:

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by GillaFunk » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 pm

I use these plugs for motorcycles and for shooting. On my second set. Apply a little slaviva to your fingers, then onto the plugs and slid in. These look like those weird rib style plugs, but are more comfortable and last longer.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_74540-98-90586- ... BeanArray=[com.lowes.commerce.storelocator.beans.LocatorStoreBean%4063b063b0]&storeNumber=1871&kpid=3102561&kpid=3102561&cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-SafetyEquipment-_-3102561%3A3M&CAWELAID=&CAWELAID=1368086844

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by chocolatehauler » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:31 pm

Just got hearing aids. Now I hear more strange noises from the bike. Crickets too! I thought they all had died. :?
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by INSUBORDINATOR » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:10 pm

Why all the ear plugs? You guys running megaphone exhausts? My 02 Ural has punched original mufflers, & my Enfield has a baffled Cocktail Shaker, but neither is uncomfortably loud. I like listening to them, & feel it is important to hear everything going on around you on the road. I do wear Govt. issue airfield ear muffs at the range.
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:42 pm

Soaking, attempting to w@$# or generally reusing disposable foam ear plugs is not a good idea.
The foam is porous plus the warm moist environment of the ear canal and you have a recipe for ear infection.

Also at $30 for 200 pairs, that's $0.15 a pair. Not worth the hassle or the risk of infection. Cheap bastards. :lol:

And ear protection is effective at reducing low frequency noises like droning of tires on pavement, exhaust and engine sounds and wind noise. You can still hear traffic, even the sound of cars traveling alongside you. Blocking out the bulk of the droning noises actually improves alertness and reduces rider fatigue, making riding much safer.

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by tonered » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:20 pm

BinDerSmokDat wrote:Soaking, attempting to w@$# or generally reusing disposable foam ear plugs is not a good idea.
The foam is porous plus the warm moist environment of the ear canal and you have a recipe for ear infection.

Also at $30 for 200 pairs, that's $0.15 a pair. Not worth the hassle or the risk of infection. Cheap bastards. :lol:

And ear protection is effective at reducing low frequency noises like droning of tires on pavement, exhaust and engine sounds and wind noise. You can still hear traffic, even the sound of cars traveling alongside you. Blocking out the bulk of the droning noises actually improves alertness and reduces rider fatigue, making riding much safer.
No w@$#ing, but the Macs box does say that they are reuseable. I use them until the look dirty.

Yep, the Ural uses $0.11/mi of fuel, but I reused $0.15 ear plugs. Haha!

It really isn't about the cost. They just arearen'tready for the trash.

Have a good one.
tony b
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by Peter Pan » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:26 pm

Best use for ear plugs is on concerts...
What a relieve at a Pink Floyd concert in Hamburg 1984 when my long lost demolition and shooting ear plugs appeared in my Bellstaff jacket. The shooting plugs for the girl friend and the pine trees for me...
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by janialambar » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:34 am

I'm afraid of tinnitus, which is not curable. One of my best friend who rides a motorcycle for three years and now he doesn't hear me correctly. He tells me about it and gives me a suggestion to use a custom motorcycle riding earplug. I am googling and visit many websites and purchase a pair from here https://www.bigearinc.com. I also visit the sites which is pasted here already also love the products so much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo9_rpKSuHI
Last edited by janialambar on Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ear plugs

Post by BillyG » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:22 am

Back story. I have bad tinnitus. In a quiet room the sound in my head is somewhere between a jet engine and the sound of water coming out of a fire hose. Life time of standing too close to things that go "boom", motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters, tools, blah, blah, blah. Wearing ear protection was unheard of in my youth...and when it became main stream you were a pu$$y for doing it...if the clock could be turned back. Can't stand going to bed at night unless at least 3 fans are going as that frequency seems to counter the whine in my ears. During the day...I listen to music at loud levels to drown out the whine...yeah...I know...it's counter intuitive and doing more damage...but the whine...oh the whine.

I've spent a lot...and I mean a lot of time researching hearing protection. So I'm going to attempt to pass along some info on a very complex subject. I will make a bunch of generalizations which is dangerous. Don't nit pick. Here we go....

No muff, active or passive...no $$$ custom molded ear plug (no matter what your audiologist tells you) surpasses the lowly, cheap polyurethane foam ear plug WHEN PROPERLY INSERTED. Short of encasing your gourd in cement (not cement, but this has been done) you cannot get more than 33 dB reduction in noise and that is with foam plugs. Any other device whether passive or active (electronic sound suppression) does not make the 33 dB bar.

The main reason is bone conduction of sound. Sound energy travels through the bones in your head, neck and chest and still trickles up to your ears. Experiments in which the test subjects head was encased in various substances/devices resulted in a reduction of only 40 dB due to the above.

For those of you who use muffs or custom molded plugs...if they are more than 3 years old...they are toast. Seals degrade (no matter how they "look" and your ear canal grows throughout your life so after 3-5 years the custom plugs are not sealing properly and noise is leaking in. It's a fact. Don't argue. Foam plugs when INSERTED PROPERLY and only used once or twice (even foam plugs don't last forever skin flints) excel at noise reduction. For those who say they are too big and hurt...many companies like Howard Leight make "Small" for you guys with sissy size ears.

Let's move on to the good stuff. Any exposure at or above 85 dB causes damage to hearing. You can be exposed to 85 dB for 8 hours without hearing damage. 140 dB's and above causes instant, irreversible damage to your hearing. As the dB's go up the exposure time drops dramatically. Now this is important, EVERY 3 dB INCREASE IN NOISE DOUBLES THE SOUND ENERGY TO THE EAR. Stop. Think about that. Every 3dB reduction in noise IS A BIG, BIG DEAL. Every 3 dB INCREASE in noise to the ear cuts the exposure time IN HALF. That means if you are wearing hearing protection rated at 30 dB and I am wearing protection rated at 33 dB, I would be getting 1/2 the noise energy pounding my ears as you would be. Some will say that doesn't sound so bad. dB energy is exponential. Going from 0 dB (a whisper) to 10 db (a pin dropping on a floor) is 10X the noise energy. Going from 10 db to 20 db is 100X the noise energy. From 20 dB to 30 dB is 1000X the energy...you can keep doing the math...but I think you may get the idea. Another way to look at it is exposure to 140 dB (jet taking off) causes instant hearing damage. Exposure to 190 dB and above causes death (sound energy turns to shock waves). That's only a 50 dB increase kiddies.

There are no half measures in hearing protection. Use the highest dB reducing (33 dB) foam plugs to protect what hearing you have left. Even with 33 dB if you are into loud hobbies like the shooting sports (impulse noise vs. continuous), you are just damaging your hearing by nibbles instead of big chomps.

Attached are two charts; one showing noise dB's by activity...the other showing exposure time by increasing dB's. Note how that exposure time cuts in half with each 3 dB. I'll say it again. EVERY 3 dB REDUCTION IS A BIG, BIG DEAL.

To wrap this back into motorcycles...note on the noise activity chart that riding a motorcycle is 100 dB's. Looking at the exposure chart you will see that exposure to more than 15 minutes at 100 dB causes hearing damage. Assuming you are wearing properly fitted 33 dB plugs you would now be at 67 dB (perfect world) which is below the 85 dB threshold and you could now ride 8 hours plus with no hearing damage. Technically, you could wear hearing protection that gives 15 dB or better of reduction (100 dB - 85dB = 15 db) and be "safe". But every 3 dB reduction counts! The more sound energy you can keep from bouncing off yours ears the better.
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Re: Ear plugs

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 am

Cotton fluff works great too, but I love my ear plugs. Riding a Ural is like riding a metal grinder.
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