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I felt really stupid, but my boss let me try his 250.00 set of Bose noise canceling headphones....We were at one of the most noisy sites we have. It is on the local Airforce base, right next to the runway. We were "working", but I dont know anyone who could really "work" when an f35 is having its engine "tested".


Its pretty incredible. Very much like hearing "New York, New York" after the Yankees win. The ground shakes and these planes disappear within a few seconds. With the headphones on, there really was zero noise..duh....I had no idea they were that good. Do you guys know if they make anything we could stuff into a helmet? If so, I'll order them, today.
 

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Noise

Long term damage aside, most everyone seems to agree you feel less tired at the end of a long day riding if you wear hearing protection.

I agree, loud noise you can't escape from is fatiguing, i have a set of ear plugs i should wear more often. I can vividly remember riding my Harley without helmet and ear plugs for a couple of hours in a 15 mph head wind traveling at 80 mph because i thought it was cool. I did this many times. I was half deaf for a day after the trips. Stupid! Its great if you have good hearing now. Changes can occur slowly or not so slow. I have tinnitus and it sucks big time. Men should not recommend not wearing ear protection IMHO.
 

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Maybe they can substitute some sort of brain scan, next time, and not waste time on the worthless hearing test? Any 60yr old, with a brain, who had hearing that was"fine" would double down on the desire to protect what they have. Why risk it on noises that are proven to be loud enough to damage?


I know there is always some douche who will disagree with any sort of safety topic, but ear protection is a stupid one to do this with. Once you dont protect, and you do damage, thats it. Theres no going back to fix like you can sort-of do with a knee injury or maybe even a back injury.
you get out of the wrong side of bed or always so aggressive?
cant see why you have to go on the attack
cheers
 

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I dont mean this nearly as aggressive as its going to sound, but maybe you never were able to hear people when they said, "Shut the **** up." Seriously, thats what people need to hear when what they have to say is foolish, stupid, and dangerous.



If I was the one who invented hearing damage, associated with motorcycle noise, then maybe it could be a differing of opinion. Its not like that. Experts can show us this behavior will harm your hearing. I suppose if someone is riding slow enough, it might not matter? Maybe this is where you are at?



Maybe you can start a topic of using grinders without eye protection? You really dont need it unless soemthing flies in your eye?
 

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@ Gazzas - Rcannon isn’t usually this aggressive, I think he’s just outraged at the suggestion of riding without ear plugs. Here’s what I suggest to you - buy a good set of ear plugs (I happily use NoNoise plugs) and do a couple of long rides with them. Towards the end of the second ride, take out the plugs and ride whatever distance you can without them. IMO, you won’t ride far :)

RC - relax, my friend. You’re great at giving correct advice and you’re right here too. But you can make your point without the aggression, Gazzas would be more open to it that way. It’s human nature :)
 
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Bikram, you know me well enough to understand Im not at all serious when Im talking to our friend Gazzas Im sure hes a nice guy, and I mean him no harm.


I do question new people, and their motives, when they show up and say foolish things, but even still, Im not at all being serious, and I dont believe he is, either. A person would have to be really stupid to not understand this hearing damage issue, and I do not believe he is.
 

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My general rule of thumb is to always wear ear plugs for anything more than cruising around town. I find it to be so much more enjoyable to have the wind noise cut down. I can actually hear my helmet speakers and the bike more clearly than without ear plugs, because of the ear fatigue that sets in without them. This is true for musicians, too. Loud stage volume sounds awesome for a little while, but your brain loses its ability to make out detail with that kind of constant sound pressure going on.

I was fortunate to have high quality custom ear plugs from when I played in bands, but I would buy them again just for riding if I ever lost them. Because they’re custom molded, they fit into my ear canal and don’t interfere with the helmet at all. You can select what type of noise filter goes in them, and you can swap them out for different applications. The nice thing about these, compared to other typical ear plugs, is that they reduce the volume without affecting your ability to hear. It’s literally like turning a volume knob down on the world around you. With the 15db inserts in, it cuts out wind noise, but still lets me easily hear my helmet speakers, sound of the bike, environmental and traffic sounds, etc...

I use Westone ear plugs, which required a trip to an audiologist to get a mold made of my ears. If you’re like me, having to take this step may seem like a big hurdle, but there’s no reason for it to be. I just used the Westone website to find an audiologist in my area. $200 covered the cost of the molding and the plugs. The audiologist sends the molds to Westone, where they use them to create your custom plugs. They also keep them on file in case you want to order more or to get custom in-ear headphones.

If the price seems a little steep, I’d also recommend checking out their TRU Professional universal ear plugs (probably the 16db model). You should get the same quality sound reduction, but without needing to get a custom fitting. And they’re only $45.99.
 

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I always wear ear plugs. Cheap foam ones that I keep in the right pocket of all of my motorcycle jackets.
Even if I am just running to the store to pick up some asparagus for dinner, ear plugs go in. At this point, it is habit and don't think about it.

My dad was a truck driver for 30 years and his hearing is bad. It is due to being exposed to the constant noises of the truck. I remember when I got home from my first long ride(without ear plugs) I couldn't hear what my wife was saying from across the room. At that point, I decided that I wouldn't ride without plugs again.
 

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I use Decibullz molded ear plugs. They are high fidelity and you heat to mold to your ear. I also affixed a Wind Jammer to my helmet to block wind noise.
 

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Noise
I agree, loud noise you can't escape from is fatiguing, i have a set of ear plugs i should wear more often. I can vividly remember riding my Harley without helmet and ear plugs for a couple of hours in a 15 mph head wind traveling at 80 mph because i thought it was cool. I did this many times. I was half deaf for a day after the trips. Stupid! Its great if you have good hearing now. Changes can occur slowly or not so slow. I have tinnitus and it sucks big time. Men should not recommend not wearing ear protection IMHO.
I also have tinnitus and hearing loss most likely caused by motorcycling and farm equipment and probably some rock and roll concerts. It's insidious and progressive and from my and my audiologist's research, there's no treatment or cure yet.
But I remember the thrill of the sound of my expansion chambered 2 strokes and how much faster and more exciting they were than the stock muffled bikes. I also remember my Dad trying to warn me (farming and WWII took his hearing) and laughing it off. I wore ear plugs in the military but never for riding. I was in my 40s when I discovered how fatiguing riding noise was and also about when the tinnitus began to come and go. I've worn hearing protection ever since but 30 years later the tinnitus is loud, constant and very annoying and my high frequency hearing is almost gone. I can watch it fading away on the charts from my annual checkups. Do what you can to NOT start down this path.

Geez, I've become my father!
 

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I was in a class a few weeks back. Yearly class we have to go to in order to be able to go onto the various refineries.

When you look at earplugs, they give a rating in "db reduction" . That number isnt as straight up accurate as I always thought it was. I wont even try to explain it, but it is interesting.

 

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I only ride without earplugs if I have to ride in the city (I live in a big city and traffic is really slow, most of the time I filter between cars that are at standstill) which normally won’t be more than 20 minutes and I hardly ever manage to ride faster than 50 km/h. In those circumstances noise is not an issue and I prefer to be aware of everything around me, so if I can hear without filters, it helps. Other than in those exceptional circumstances I ride with custom made earplugs. I’m lucky that my brother in law runs a business for hearing aids and he has moulded them to perfectly fit my ear channe.
As Bikram pointed out, if I ever stop for gas or coffee and forget to put them on again the level of discomfort is so pronounced that I immediately stop to put them on again. I have an intercom but only use it for getting the audio clues from the satnav. I don’t really enjoy music when I’m riding.
Cheers
 

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I always ride with ear plugs with integrated ear buds in them as I posted in the past. For the same reasons as you guys I have already damaged my hearing enough over the years. Too many concerts to mention and just stupid [email protected]@.
 
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I rode for many years without earplugs. Then I went a few years trying to wear them on long trips. I was wearing the foam type. Struggled with them.

About ten years ago I had my ENT office make me a set of “custom” molded plugs. Ever since then I cannot ride without them. Wish I had done it sooner. The custom molded plugs have zero discomfort.

Over the years since then I had a second pair made. I always have a set as spares with me on long trips. Inevitably you will drop them from time to time and it’s amazing how far they can bounce and roll when they hit the ground.
 
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Glad you found some that work Jim. I've tried 3 different "custom" ear plugs and all were unbearable after a day of riding. Regular 33db foam inserts work the best for me or my Etymotic earbuds when I want to listen to music. I carry a baggie of spare foam plugs on every bike.

The hearing protection debate is like the smoking debate or the over-drinking debate or the seat belt debate or the drinking lead-acid debate (lol). It's hard to comprehend how some people can still argue against it.
 

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Friend of mine has been riding for longer than I've been alive, he didn't ever wear earplugs. Now he wears a crazy hearing aid. I remember when we were having a conversation and the battery on his hearing aid died. Even when I was shouting in his ear he could barely hear me. He still rides. Funny thing is that he turns the hearing aid off when he rides his bike.

Do what you want with this info.
 

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Very interesting topic, never try earplugs before. But will try to just compare if total comfort will increase in long rides. Remember this feeling when you stop after few hours, turn off engine and take helmet off.
 
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