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Frank’s Disposable Earplug Review

March 10, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

This is the first guest article from Frank G – or as I call him “Frankie Boots” because he just got a new pair of Alpinestars boots and I’m jealous!  Seriously, Frank is a great rider, loves his BMW RT and we spend a lot of time together smoking cigars, bitching about motorcycle gear and lamenting the purchase of Revzilla by Cycle Gear.  Here is Frank’s first article for Singlesided Swingarm.  Welcome Frank!

 

Hey there everyone, Frank here and today I’m reviewing an assortment of different disposable noise cancelling earplugs or hearing protectors that you might want to use while riding your motorcycle. One thing I want to point out is that I have added into the group one pair of non-disposable earplugs that I purchased from The Twisted Throttle in Rhode Island when I stopped in there one Sunday during a ride. The rest of these are disposable earplugs I purchased from the Ear Plug Superstore online. This website has everything and anything for earplugs and yes even earplugs for your horse. But back to our review

Most of these earplugs are disposable foam and considered “non-rolling “foam type. What that means is that for a lot of you that are used to going to the pharmacy or inexpensive department store and purchasing a bag or box of cheap disposable foam earplugs and using them, they are rolling foam earplugs. They come delivered sort of rectangular in shape and to put them in your ear you have to squeeze or “roll “them to shape before placing and fitting in your ear. It can sometimes be a burden when the earplugs are new because the foam has a strong memory and sometimes bounces back to original shape before you can get them in your ear, which makes it harder to fit. These “non-rolling “earplugs start out “pointed” instead of rectangular making it easier to fit in the ear. They also seem to have a completely different type of foam I was worried that a pointed earplug would not have a better sound rating or hold off loud noises but let’s see what I found.

The first earplug I might as well review are the No Noise earplugs I purchased 1plugfrom Twisted Throttle. For $30 I found these not to do the job that well. They come with a ceramic insert and are made from a foam that seems to be soft enough and have a 3 flange point on them. I found them to be loud and not absorbing a lot of the noise. NRR rating was at an average 30db.

Next were a pair of E-A-R Push-In with Grip Ring disposable earplugs. These plugs had small tabs on the outside ends to help insert and retract from your ears. They were 2plugcomfortable putting in and taking out, but after using them for a couple of days the tabs started breaking off from being in the helmet. The insert material used was a soft foam that had a certain low friction to them and the tapered flange made for nice snugness in the ear. High pitch sounds like a horn were muffled a little too much for me. I want to be able to hear the horn loud and clear with only enough attenuation and dampening. The rest of the outside ambient sounds were muffled pretty well enough. NRR rating at 30db. I somehow liked these as one of my favorites. It had a little of everything; great NRR rating which made for over muffling, snugness, and a stem that made it so you didn’t have to touch the foam when taking in and out. A great sanitary feature.

Next up were a pair of E-A-R Push No Roll Foam disposable ear plugs. A completely different shape  with more of a “lolly pop” looking head. I thought I was going to have a hard time with inserting these things in my ear but much to my surprise I made out OK with these plugs. At minimum, I thought I’d see problems with theear09pg5-PUSH-INSse when they were in the ears for a long time. The shape just said to me “un-natural fit”; but once again I found them to be to my liking. They proved to be comfortable on a 2 1/2-hour trip without stretching my ear canals. NRR rating was sufficient at 28db.

Next up were the Howard Leight Pilot Hybrid Push-Ins UF foam ear plugs. Foam when it is in a tapered design can be appealing because it sits maybe not as snug but slides in easier. I found the sound dampening ample enough though and an NRR rating of 26 backs it up. The stem is short and good for that reason; you don’t have something protruding in your motorcycle helmet but then when you have to take it out I thought it would be a small problem in grasping the recessed tabs. I didn’t have a huge problem but then I wouldn’t be trying to remove them with gloves on. The “UF” in the name is for the description of the type of foam it uses which is Urea Formaldehyde.  4plugNow, I’m no doctor or scientist but to your urea formaldehyde on home insulation may be OK and some may say not but to use this on my skin, in my ear for a long period of time may be something I’m going to stay away from. You make your decision on this one friends. Is it worth it?  Formaldehyde in your ear like that? Your call.

The last pair that I will test are a pair of radical looking Peltor Next Skull Screws foam ear plugs. Yea, have a little fun with your ear plugs. Although not fluorescent like the other soft foam plugs which makes it easier to find when looking for them when lost in your pockets and storage bins, these have a grey color. Which makes up for th5plugat is a great flange and taper and a Philips head looking screw stem. The stem is just long enough for not protruding inside a motorcycle helmet too much. Sound is dampened enough to keep out the loud noises and keep in the necessary noise like a car horn. The NRR rating of 30 is one of the best rating I’ve seen so far. The comfort is also one of the best I’ve had so far. And with that I think I’m going to rate these comical looking ear plugs as a shocking favorite out of all I tested so far. Shocking as I thought when I was looking them all over before the testing began that this would’ve been my last pick just by looking at them but they turn out to be my favorite!

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