How To Buy Motorcycle Ear Plugs ?

Don’t wash them and they’ll become a sticky, gooey, waxy mess. Don’t wear them and you’ll be cleaning your hearing aid in the retirement home. Ear plugs...

How To Buy Motorcycle Ear Plugs

Noise Reduction

Different ear plugs will be tested to different dB(A) ratings. dB(A) is the smart way of writing decibels. A higher number means a louder sound and as a rule, the noise level doubles every three decibels. Without hearing protection at 100dB(A) your riding time is limited to two hours of daily exposure before this noise level becomes damaging to your long term hearing. At 115dB(A) your allowed exposure is cut down to fifteen minutes.

When buying ear plugs always read the packaging to know exactly what noise reduction you are getting for your money. If you are one of those riders who likes to remove the baffle or battle against the wind on an unfaired bike, a higher dB(A) rating might be a good idea.

What's Your Riding Style ?

We experience different noise levels depending on the type of riding we’re doing. The faster the ride, the more you need to care about protecting your hearing by buying the best ear plugs. To put it into perspective, when travelling at 65mph you will be exposed to around 100 dB(A). If you’re out on your bike for six hours plus per day – without hearing protection – you can imagine the damage. Even riding around town at 30mph can expose you to 90dB(A). Track riders at 100mph are experiencing approximately 110dB(A) inside their helmets, and Kawasaki H2R or MotoGP riders might as well be sitting on the speaker stack at a Motörhead gig.

Commit to Cleaning

It’s never a pleasant sight when you pull out an ear plug and you have half a candle stick on the end of it. One little trick that never goes a miss is to clean your ears more regularly – simple yet highly effective. But most importantly, don’t put dirty ear plugs back in your ears. This can introduce infectious bacteria.

I find moulded and silicone ear plugs tend to be a lot easier to clean and take less ear wax with them when you pull them out compared with cheaper foam products. Flanged ear plugs with the triple cup design act a bit like a cork screw when you pull them out so wax does sometimes get trapped between the layers. The good old fashioned way has always worked best for me: a bowl of warm soapy water. If you’re wondering, Fairy Liquid is what I use. Keep them clean and you’ll be less inclined to show them the confines of your kitchen bin.

Try Them On !

Before committing to pricier ear defenders get your hands on a few sample pairs and wear them for extended periods of time. When trying out your plugs it is vital you move your jaw around by chewing, yawning and talking. Your moving jaw can alter the shape and dimensions of your ear canal, potentially turning comfortable earplugs into painful ones. And if your earplugs are uncomfortable the odds are you’ll be disinclined to wear them. If you also spend time listening to music or radio via headphones seriously consider a pair of combination earplugs and earphones.

Best Ear Plugs

How To Buy Motorcycle Ear Plugs

Oxford Moldex - Price £2.49

These light ear plugs are made from Moldex foam. You’ll get two pairs to a pack, probably in crazy colour schemes whether you like them or not. A tapered shape allows them to slide into your ear canal and the foam seals out an impressive 35dB(A) of noise. Cheap enough to dispose of, or wash and reuse.

Auritech Biker – Price £19.99

These Auritechs cut out a good level of road and bike noise but are attenuated to allow conversation and intercom communication. It’s all done through a patented ceramic filter that sits deep in your ear, surrounded by levels of malleable plastic.

Ultimate Squidgy – Price £65 (Plus postage)

Yes they are at the top end of any ear plug budget, and you have to pay £20 extra (and go to Orpington) to get your ear impressions done. Small and lightweight, the Squidgy reduces noise by 30dB(A). A one year guarantee is included, and they will last a very long time.

Protect Hear Moulded – Price £95

I bought a pair of these custom moulded plugs to protect my ears on the racetrack. I find their medical grade silicone design dealt well with the far higher levels of noise that come with a track-focused machine. With regular use, expect a lifespan of five years.