I think pretty much every motorcyclist now accepts that hearing protection is an essential piece of kit.
For years it was a very neglected part of motorcycle safety, however now we are well aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to loud noises. In fact some reports state that a mere 30 minutes of exposure to motorcycle engine noise is dangerous enough to potentially cause long term damage to a person’s ears.
Being honest though I came a little late to the hearing protection idea.
However since starting using hearing protection I have been using or rather trying out a lot of different options, from disposables to a pretty expensive custom fitted set of ear plugs and struggled to find my ideal set. I found the disposables pretty good – however they tended to work their way out of my ear over a pretty short period of time. Comfort wise I found them spot on, but there isn’t much point in wearing something that doesn’t stay in your ear.
Then take the custom made ear plugs. I got these in work so didn’t personally fork out for them – thankfully. I have no doubt they offer top class protection however they are so uncomfortable that they actually verge on painful – and that pain comes quickly, maybe after an hour or two my ears and head are thumping.
Then I have tried numerous reusable options -which all have a similar look to this reviewed product :
These plugs are put into your ear – they also offer a filtered noise protection so the harmful noises are filtered out but you can still hear your engine, your sat nag, your Comms kit etc.
The first set I tried of these I think deserve a mention because they are pretty good, I picked them on Amazon for £20 approx.
However I had used them to their death – and right on time I noted these Alpine Ear Plugs mentioned on the BMW Club newsletter and thought they would be worth a try. I ordered them from their European website and they arrived quickly – about 5 days later. I was pleasantly surprised by the price as well – I ordered this Motorcycle set (which came with 2 different pairs) and a separate sleeping set for just under £30.
So the crux behind the two sets are that the black set are for normal road use and the red set are for track use. It all comes down to what I had mentioned before and filtering noise. The red ones filter more noise so offer greater protection from the loud noises you would experience on the track – the black ones well they filter a little less so are good for everyday, normal road use…
If you are considering buying these, shop carefully as this two pack offers great value – only a couple of pounds more expensive that the individual sets so keep a look out for this double pack.
In the pack you will also get a cleaning solution, a fitting device and a nice zip pouch to keep them in. The pouch is marked on the inside so you remember which set is for which use – keeps getting handier.
The fitting of these ear plugs is where they truly shine for me – you pop the coloured end in the fitting device lift your ear up and pop the ear plug in, this fitting device makes getting the ear plug in deeply and snugly an absolute breeze and this, for me, is where this product really shines. It’s such a simple idea, I’m shocked no one else sells these with their ear plugs because it makes such a difference.
Getting the earplug seated correctly makes a massive difference and I can happily say that this little device makes these earplugs comfortable all day.
Having recently took these on a three day trip to Wales – about 10 hours in the saddle each day I can happily state I had these in the entire time and didn’t have the slightest issue with discomfort.
I opted for the road use ones and they do reduce the noise greatly – just forget to put them in and you will realise how much noise they have been cutting out! They also do work with sat nav systems and Comms gear as I was using both an had no issues with either – so there must be an element of fact in this filtering claim.
Just try using the disposables with a sat nav or head set and you will see non filtering ear plugs in action – everything is blocked.
So there you have it – a reasonably priced hearing protection solution for both the track and the road that lets you hear your devices and other important noises, with a fitting solution that really shines – and on the back of offers all day comfort – what’s not to like?