Love these earplugs. They're all slightly different but a similar fit. So if one fits, they'll probably all fit and vice versa.
I have a super quiet helmet but my bike has very little in the way of wind protection. Anything over about 30mph produces a lot of wind noise. These earplugs give me the quiet I want, yet I can still hear the intercom and the music from my helmet speakers and hear it.
One pair of these lives in the pocket of my riding suit. I carry a second, different pair on long rides then alternate since each style has a subtly different fit.
The earplugs are pretty hard wearing but don't last forever. Some warm, soapy water makes them nicer, now and again ;-)
Definitely recommend this product. (Posted on 11/26/13)
I ordered this sample kit because I have had troubles finding ear plugs that fit and reduce noise. They all seem to be too small. So I was excited when I found this sample kit. I tried all of these on and what do ya know, they were all too small. I must have weirdly large ears. Which is a bummer. I don't really want to spend the $100+ on custom ear plugs and after some more research have landed on some moldable swimmers ear plugs that are cheap and work really well. (Posted on 1/16/13)
Sometimes a product is more than a product. A really good product can even be a public service. The RiderWearhouse Aerostich Earplug Sample Kits (offered in a "Disposable Kit" for $10 or a "Reusable Kit" for $25) are that kind of product.
Riding a motorcycle is a well-known cause of hearing damage. It's almost impossible to find a hearing damage chart that doesn't include a picture of a motorcyclist with a suggested decibel caption beside the picture. Those charts seriously disagree about the level of noise exposure a motorcyclist suffers (from an impossible low of 85dbA to a more believable 125dBA), but they all agree that motorcycle riding is detrimental to the health of your hearing. If you experience the joy of a continuous tone, whine, "metallic waterfall" noise, or hiss when you are in a quiet room, you're one of the millions of tinnitus sufferers. Don't worry, if you like the sound of that tone, it won't go away for the rest of your life. Enjoy.
One of the additional joys of the "loud pipes" theory is that while you may think other people can hear you and, accordingly, watch out for you, you're not hearing much because you're driving yourself deaf. Helmet haters are getting the same benefit from their preference.
Exhaust noise is not engine noise and is mostly useless for troubleshooting purposes and wind noise is totally distracting. Lowering the overall noise level allows me to discriminate odd mechanical sounds, sirens, car horns, and even voices from the two major useless noises. The obvious solution is to ride wearing hearing protection. In a 90-125dBA environment, you have lost much of the subtlety in your ability to discern noises; important from unimportant. A high-noise environment is well known to cause fatigue, stress, loss of concentration, circulation and respiratory anomalies, and a weird psychological characteristic known as "learned helplessness syndrome." I've found that, if I want to hear the sound of my engine, I have to reduce the overall noise level to something tolerable. So, if you want to be able to put in a long, focused day on the bike, you're going to need to protect yourself from the noise of your vehicle, helmet, and wind.
That's easy to say, but it's difficult to find an earplug that fits. At the corner drugstore, Walmonster, or hardware store, you can find all kinds of earplugs and maybe you'll find one that works for you. I've tried the cylindrical industrial foam earplugs and they do a great job of shutting out noise, but they irritate my ears after a few hours. The latex flanged plugs I found in an industrial supply store were even more painful. The waxy sleep plugs work, but they get filthy quickly and stick to my helmet and are expensive. My expensive "musician's earplugs" work really well, but I'm afraid I'm going to misplace those $140 plugs in a restaurant after a long day's ride. When I discovered these kits from Aerostich, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try out a variety of plugs (many of which are stocked individually at RiderWearhouse) to see what best fit my ears and personality.
The "reusable" kit comes with ten different pairs of reusable plugs. Moldex Rockets, North Com-Fits, and others are in that kit. Seven are corded (for us forgetful types) and three are not. The "disposable" kit supplies you with twelve different pairs of plugs, six corded and six not. This kit includes Howard Leight Max's, EAR Express Pod Plugs, Moldex Pura-Fits, and others.
Most of the plugs in both kits were reasonably comfortable and all of Aerostich's choices provided good hearing protection. I found the reusable latex (or latex-like) plugs to be too stiff for long use, except for a couple earplugs (I liked the Moldex models). Some of the disposables wouldn't fit in my ear well enough to provide good isolation. In the end, I found that the Howard Leight Multi-Max was the optimum protection and most comfortable fit for my ears. I bought a case of 200 and I use them on the bike, mowing the lawn, working in my shop, in the recording studio and around live music, and when my wife is trying to get me to do some job I don't want to do. Your mileage will probably vary, which is the point in these two kits. Like snowflakes, no two ears are alike (even your own, probably). What fits and works for me probably won't work for you. The best way to find a good fit is to try a lot of earplugs and, for $35, you can try out 22 of the best.
Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly Magazine
firstname.lastname@example.org (Posted on 10/3/09)