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Do you use any type of in-ear hearing protection while motorcycling?

  • Yes

    Votes: 60 53.1%
  • No

    Votes: 40 35.4%
  • It depends...

    Votes: 14 12.4%

  • Total voters
    113
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Check your state law it is illegal to were any ear plug if it blocks or reduces sounds that alert the driver of possible danger. This thread appears every time a ad appears. Before someone says how about the rider who can not hear, if an police car or other emergency vehicle is in emergency and the rider or driver can not hear to move over, he will be responsible for the accident if it occurs. These laws have been on the books for years,
Those laws have been changed in every state except Alaska. MD and CA have some restrictions. See my post a few posts back for the details.

I am very sure of this, I did a great deal of research when I worked with the Ohio legislature to get our law changed to allow them.
 

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Pretty compelling article about the benefits of wearing ear protection while motorcycling:

I would say tall windshield is better. It stops a lot of wind noise and you are able to hear vehicle s coming from along side you from behind better .
I would caution you of wearing ear protection as to a accident and the persoal injury attorney faulting your lack of hearing. One more thing for insurance , police or whoever's not see things your way.
 

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Ear protection lowers all sounds equally.
I'm sorry, but that's not correct. No ear protection lowers all sounds equally, they always dampen some frequencies more than others, often simply based on the material from which they are made.
From EU-OSHA: "Most protectors provide more attenuation at high frequencies than at low. This makes sounds muffled and distorted and reduces the clarity of speech."
Here's a graph for 3M ear-pro products demonstrating that attenuation varies by frequency:
369330


Some ear protection is specifically engineered to dampen certain frequencies more than others.
From EU-OHSA: "Flat frequency response protectors using mechanical filters are available as low to moderate attenuation protectors. They are ... useful for anyone who needs to hear with maximum clarity and minimal distortion while using hearing protection."

Here's the attenuation graph for Eargasms (only because that's the brand I use). It's very different, designed to block lower frequencies (like wind) and let midrange sound (like voices, horns, and sirens) through.
369331
 

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I would say tall windshield is better. It stops a lot of wind noise and you are able to hear vehicle s coming from along side you from behind better .
I would caution you of wearing ear protection as to a accident and the persoal injury attorney faulting your lack of hearing. One more thing for insurance , police or whoever's not see things your way.
There are rules and laws protecting hearing of workers and I doubt a jury is going to buy the story that protecting your hearing from damage from wind noise with commonly available hearing protection handed out in the workplace to meet federal guidelines placed a "victim" in jeopardy, especially when your lawyer contrasts how quiet a modern car or truck is and how difficult it is to hear ambient noises in a car with windows rolled up and the A/C on compared to sitting out in the open on a motorcycle.
 

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What I was getting at was that earplugs don't magically reduce the sound of horns and traffic while ignoring the ambient sound....

and I think you know that's what I meant.

Yes, I probably should have left out the word 'equally'.
 

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What I was getting at was that earplugs don't magically reduce the sound of horns and traffic while ignoring the ambient sound....
What I'm trying to get at is that newer technology in earplugs DO allow you to hear more than you can without them, and many of us don't know about them. We are all used to the disposable foamies that kill higher frequencies and you can't hear anything.

The "flat frequency" earplugs, like Eargasm and several others, are designed to block the low frequencies (like wind noise) while not wiping out the higher frequencies that are the normal ambient sounds around us.

Without my "flat frequency" earplugs, at speed all I can hear is wind noise. Absolutely nothing else.
With them, I can actually hear other things, like horns, sirens, etc. They block the low frequency wind noise and actually improve your ability to hear what's around you.
Around town, I can hear everything, it's just like someone turned the volume of the world down 50%. Not like the traditional hearing protection, where you are essentially deaf.
 

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Best ear plugs I've had have been ones that were made from a mould of the ear.

Best set was by a company that came to workplace and made them for everybody.
2nd best was ones made by a business that also made/fitted hearing aids.
Ditto. I used foamies for years util I had a set of molded plugs made at a gun show about ten years back. Comfortable for the long haul.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
What I'm trying to get at is that newer technology in earplugs DO allow you to hear more than you can without them, and many of us don't know about them. We are all used to the disposable foamies that kill higher frequencies and you can't hear anything.
This was the whole point about bringing this topic back (again...)

Improvements in this technology have been massive in just the last decade.

Yes, it does take a bit of trial-and-error to nail down the combination that's the best for you...and that it may not be the best for your riding buddy.
 

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My hearing is already terrible so I know I should use earplugs while riding, but almost never do. I have to remove my hearing aids before going riding, or for sure I will lose them when taking off my helmet. All of my helmets are snug, as I know they should be, and its really a challenge to even put on a helmet without displacing an earplug and then having to remove the helmet, try to re-insert the plug, and then retry to get the helmet on. And taking the helmet off is worse. I have lost many an earplug that gets pulled out of my ear as the helmet comes off, never to be found again. I've tried the cheap foam earplugs, more expensive over the counter plugs, and custom made earplugs. None seem to work for me at all. But reading this thread is a reminder to me that I should be trying to protect what little hearing I have left, so I think I will try again on my next ride. Maybe my real solution is to buy one of those tiny helmets that just sits on the top of the head and doesn't cover the ears at all, but it seems that losing hearing is better than going without any real head protection at all.
 

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There are rules and laws protecting hearing of workers and I doubt a jury is going to buy the story that protecting your hearing from damage from wind noise with commonly available hearing protection handed out in the workplace to meet federal guidelines placed a "victim" in jeopardy, especially when your lawyer contrasts how quiet a modern car or truck is and how difficult it is to hear ambient noises in a car with windows rolled up and the A/C on compared to sitting out in the open on a motorcycle.
The work place is a completely different environment of course.
in the state of florida see below::
Florida Statute 316.304 states that no person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing. ... So, follow the law and don't wear earphones while driving a car or riding a bike.

"or a instrument for improvement of defective human hearing"

not trying to finger wrestling with anyone just inform. Somethings just make sence and why ask for a problem with A claim. :cool: from sunny florida
I may add that constantly putting objects in your ear also can lead to a infection. ride how you like no buds for me.
 

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The work place is a completely different environment of course.
in the state of florida see below::
Florida Statute 316.304 states that no person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing. ... So, follow the law and don't wear earphones while driving a car or riding a bike.

"or a instrument for improvement of defective human hearing"

not trying to finger wrestling with anyone just inform. Somethings just make sence and why ask for a problem with claim. :cool: from sunny florida
You change a word or two and post that on the darkside forum and see what you get back.

Everyone is different and there are folks here that think riding three hours for a burger is a long ride and those that think riding 12 hours a day for three days for a burger is a long ride. Time exposure figured in, three hours behind a tall windshield poking along isn't an issue for wind noise, 12 hours exposure is an issue. Protect yourself as you see fit.
 

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no person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device
Earplugs are completely legal in Florida.
I spent a decade with Tampa PD. That statute does NOT restrict wearing earplugs, it restricts wearing earbuds or headphone (headset, headphone, or other listening device).
Earplugs are not restricted, only devices generating sound.

Neither are helmet mounted speakers.
FSS 316.304(2): This section does not apply to: (c) Any person operating a motorcycle who is using a headset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as to prevent the speakers from making direct contact with the user’s ears so that the user can hear surrounding sounds.
 

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It is true that at any given frequency, hearing protection will attenuate the "desired signal" as well as the "noise". That holds true in the practical sense for up to octave bands as well. Traffic noise and speech are wide band sounds. In a moderate to high intensity wide band noise environment the human subject will discriminate (figure/ground) the desired signal better with the hearing protection in place. Our inner ear and auditory cortex fidelity is limited in a progressive fashion once the stimulus level exceeds moderately high amplitudes. The hearing protection, or even conduction hearing loss, raises that threshold of high level distortion of our biological auditory systems. It may be counter intuitive, but it is very true. People with conduction loss of hearing (eardrum problems, middle ear problems, wax occlusions, hearing protection in place, etc in absence of inner ear or central loss) percieve speech better than normal hearing subjects in loud party noise (paracusis Willisii) because (1.) other people talk louder and (2.) while the loud noise and loud speech overcome the conduction loss, the conduction loss raises the subject's loudness distortion levels. Now, try to convince a coal miner who works ahead of finished roof support as he roof bolts.


Another good thing. You do not have to have super dooper ear plugs to protect against wind baffle or road noise. An NRR of 25dB is plenty. For artillary or firearms practice, use the best you can get which typically is a combination of appropriately sized and inserted foam plugs plus high quality muffs.

prs
 

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Pretty compelling article about the benefits of wearing ear protection while motorcycling:

I did a lot of research on this subject some time ago. All the studies and information I discovered point to the fact that riding a motorcycle, even with a full faced helmet, creates harmful decibel levels. If you ride a lot and want to retain your hearing, the resources I found said to wear ear protection. There are plenty of ear protection products that maintain safe decibel levels and allow safe riding. On a subjective level, I think they also help with fatigue/energy levels on long trips. Constant loud noise over a period of time is certainly not relaxing.
 

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I always wear hearing protection.

On long days I use foam plugs because they’re the most comfortable.

I’m still in search of the perfect plugs. Has anyone tried the Alpine brand?
These are what I have chosen to use. Very comfortable and inexpensive; highest decibel reduction of any ear plug that I have looked at. give it a try Ear Plugs | Earplugs | Mighty Plugs

Al in Kazoo
 

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I have always worn earplugs while riding since anything above 60mph is deafening to me. Wind noise causes your brain to be constantly stimulated which leads to fatigue on long rides. I convinced my practically deaf friend to try plugs when I took him on his first cross country trip and he was amazed how much better he felt at the end of each day. He wears them to this day.
Here is another article worth reading:
 

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Being an old fart I don't have much hearing left and want to keep what I have left. I wear ear plugs almost every time I ride around town. I wear them 100% on my trips. I find wearing them will minimize fatigue and keep me alert on my kind of long travel days or doing an Ironbutt ride.
 

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I took a bit of convincing that this function was legit; you could easily ride longer (not necessarily farther...) and fatigue is reduced to some degree. Some of that relates to the level of volume your ears are subject to when you dial up the knob when you're cruising at 65 or 75 MPH for a couple hours at a stretch. Fatigue is coming from all sound sources, not just wind noise.

It's more challenging when you want to try it, and your passenger doesn't feel the hassle is worth the bother to plug in.
I can't imagine anyone not wearing ear plugs . They not only save your hearing but it cuts out a large percentage of the wind noise so you can hear your radio alot clearer, kind of like turning off the i-com so you don't get the wind noise from the passengers mike.
 

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Being an old fart I don't have much hearing left and want to keep what I have left. I wear ear plugs almost every time I ride around town. I wear them 100% on my trips. I find wearing them will minimize fatigue and keep me alert on my kind of long travel days or doing an Ironbutt ride.
I agree, 100 percent of the time, not sure if it is any safer but it sure reduces fatigue.jmop
 
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