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Ear plugs and blue tooth devices....

Discussion in '24-7 Lounge' started by SlickT, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. SlickT

    SlickT Tuned and Synch'ed

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    To start, I have a bad case of tinnitus (permanent ringing in my ears), so earplugs stuck in deep are a must on any ride. Otherwise the condition will get worse and so will my life. So that being said, I am interested in a two-way communication device like a bluetooth headset, but do not want to spend $400 if I cannot hear the speaker through my ear plugs? Any one ever use a headset system with ear plugs? Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    If your condition is permanent I think you should invest in custom made ear-plug-phones like pro musicians do

    [​IMG]
     
  3. erice

    erice Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I have similar ear problems, having had many ear infections and burst ear drums. I have custom ear plugs (molded in the ear) which are supposedly are better than the over-the-counter foam ones. At least they are a lot more comfortable. I can't ride more than 20km without them or I regret it for several days.

    I also have a bluetooth intercom system / phone system mounted in my helmet (installed earlier this year). Don't use the phone part (can't understand why anyone would want to talk on the phone while riding), but the intercom works very well, both for hearing and being heard by my wife on her bike. Could also use it for streaming music via bluetooth, or GPS, but so far we haven't bothered.

    The helmet I use is a Nolan that is designed for their N-Com system (an N-90, which is a flip-up helmet), but I don't use the Nolan electronics since they were WAY overpriced. Instead, I installed a Sena SMH-5. The cutouts in the helmet for the Nolan speakers and mic worked perfectly for the Sena, and the device itself just sticks on the outside on the Nolan N-Com cover, and can be easily removed (other than the speakers and mic).

    The helmet you use may be a big factor in being able to hear, but the combination I have works for me.

    Eric
     
  4. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    Speaking of the helmet regarding your condition, I noticed recently that depending on angle of attack of the air stream (depends how much you angle your head against the wind) a lot of subsonic buffeting occurs from air entering under the chin opening. This could cause ear trouble for you.
    I have yet to test the "windjammer" under helmet skirt I bought recently
    [​IMG]

    but the ultra quiet Schuberth models have a similar design

    [​IMG]
     
  5. bobra

    bobra Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    The problem with ear plugs like these is that they generally cannot be connected to bluetooth devices. My Scala communicator has dedicated in-helmet speakers and there is nowhere to plug in alternative speakers.

    I use Earmould plugs and have no problem hearing my GPS commands through the Scala speakers. No doubt it is muffled compared to no ear plugs but it's still functional.

    I thoroughly recommend the moulded ear plugs - effective and very comfortable. I suggest you get a pair connected with a string as mine have a tendency to pull out of my ears when I remove my helmet and without the string you can spend a lot of time on your hands and knees looking for them!
     
  6. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    Only maintenance needed is washing?
    Do they cope alcohol soaking for quick sterilization?
    How much fuss to make them and cost?
     
  7. erice

    erice Tuned and Synch'ed

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    My Nolan has a skirt similar to the Schuberth, but I find it too hot with the chin shield in place.

    My earplugs just clean up with soap and water, no need to sterlize them. They are made of silicone, so they're pretty durable.

    I bought them at the Toronto motorcycle show (local company that is about 5 minutes from my house as it turned out). They made them there at the show (involves sitting while they pour the fluid in your ear to form it) and went back about an hour later to pick them up after hardening and trimming. They come in various thicknesses (I chose thinner so I can also sleep with them if travelling) and cost about $50.

    Eric
     
  8. SlickT

    SlickT Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Thanks everyone. My only worry about the molded plugs is they won't get deep enough or fit tight enough. I currently have to get my foam plugs to the ear drum and then pull them back just a tad to ease discomfort, but I cannot allow air space between drum and plug because that air vibrating is the problem. Makes the ringing in the ear go into overdrive and I want to ride into a tree sometimes.

    I bought the windjammer for the bottom of my helmet, it is hard to tell if it makes a difference, as I have put it on, and have yet to take it off and try a ride to compare now. I would imagine it's helping.

    Great to know you can hear through plugs to speakers in helmet, just what I wanted to hear. I am thinking about the Scala headsets. Just might have to order a pair soon!

    Thanks.
     
  9. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    Since it now seems it will get a while for me to afford to fix my DR's burnt clutch please do report of you Windjammer test results - it arrived a few days after I made my bike unable to go faster than 70 kph and I am really curious if it is working or not...
     
  10. SlickT

    SlickT Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Well I bought some helmet speakers from the Aerostitch catalog and hooked them up to my iPod. Needless to say at over 15 mph I cannot hear a thing with my plugs in and wind noise. I wonder if the speakers are exceptionally weak. I hope blue tooth communication devices have better speakers, because the plugs have to stay in.
     
  11. bigkev

    bigkev Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I have a Midland BT Next fitted into my Shoei Full Face and wear foam ear plugs (SNR 35db) whenever i'm on my Stelvio, instructions/music streamed from my Zumo 660 comes through no problem. The volume can be too loud at low speeds because I also like to be able to hear what's going on around me.
     
  12. bobra

    bobra Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Sorry for the late response - didn't see this post before now....

    Wash in soapy water or you can use alcohol (they are latex and robust). They need to be custom made - they inject latex into your ears and it sets in about 5 minutes. Cost about AU$60 as I recall but well worth the investment.

    Cheers
     
  13. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    At last I tested the Windjammer on my Shoei Multitec flip-up with results less than impressive.
    It surely eliminates subsonic turbulence and makes most related audible artifacts much less pronounced and also rectifies the air stream around the base of the helmet but it also surely does not make ear plugs unnecessary
    On this particular helmet, there is a lot of low-mid frequency (maybe 300-500Hz) noise on all usual airstream-angle-of-attack head stances and the Windjammer does not alleviate these phenomena despite testing different attachments. So if I am going to use earplugs after all, no need for the Windjammer. Maybe it is better suited for use together with mild attenuation ear plugs.
    For me it now holds use as a chill barrier in cold air.
     
  14. Mi_ka

    Mi_ka High Miler

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    Well, I tested a Windjammer-hifi earplugs combo setup a fortnight ago on a mixed mainly tarmac round trip of 450 kms.
    I gladly report that this combination works well, with each product complimenting the other for a very good overall result, at least on my Shoei Multitec :)

    While I did the trip on a DR650SE (mostly secondary roads, a bit of dirt roads and a quite a bit of secondary and main highways), speeds were hovering around 120-130kphs with constant headwind of 5-6 beauforts for much of the trip - this means helmet windstreams of 170-180kphs for big stretches on my screen-less DR which is big-block Guzzi travel region.
    Of course, other parts of the trip meant I got to test under various wind direction and speeds. I even stopped to take the windjammer off 5-6 times to see what difference it made to just wearing the hifi ear-plugs.

    Results?
    This has been the most noise-relaxed trip I have done in my 20 years of riding! Wish I thought of this combo much earlier!
    Why? Noise was very low, no problem at all, while I was not deaf like with normal ear plugs.

    The earplugs I used are these:http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html. They are sound-engineer-grade attenuating flat-enough the whole audio spectrum: When you wear them the noise goes down a lot but you are not becoming deaf like with the usual foam plugs.
    I have had them for years but they were no good against the subsonic under helmet buffeting and related mid-low hz secondary generated noise so I did not use them since I am a bit anal on noise (studied audio recording engineering 20 years ago).
    Well, here comes the Windjammer cutting all under helmet buffeting and related noise annoyances.
    The combo means that all noise (including the Multitec 300-500Hz annoying wind generated range) goes down a lot while I can still hear what's going on around me.
    Things got so quiet that for the very first time I realized that on the DR at travel speeds there is engine noise in the 200Hz range traveling up the seat through my skeleton to my ears! Up my bum - no noise, down I sat, there it was!

    Only be aware that these particular model of earplugs is a bit long and can touch the helmet directly causing very-very uncomfortable low range noises.Make sure that the ear sockets of the helmet are deep enough if you want to get them.
    Also, the helmet's ventilation takes a hit - I traveled at most 25C and I think that above this temperature things become uncomfortable heat-wise... Well, can't have it all...
     
  15. ahernandez74

    ahernandez74 Just got it firing!

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    why not just wire up the wired iphone earbuds to your helmet? It'll work just about the same and not really be half as costly. Plus its more reliable and doesn't have any battery that you need to charge.
     
  16. SgtCrump

    SgtCrump Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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