With inept drivers and dodgy road surfaces to contend with, ears are not always the first body part motorcyclists think to protect when they go out on their bikes.
But while helmets and other safety gear protect against crashes that put life and limb in danger, a biker’s hearing is at risk on even a safe and steady ride. That’s where motorcycle ear plugs come in handy.
Even at a distance of 25ft, a motorcycle reaches noise levels of 90 decibels. When you’re sitting atop something generating that sort of noise, it is likely to be even louder. By way of comparison, Noise Regulations require employers to take action to protect employees if they are exposed to an average of 80 decibels over the course of a working day.
In other words, wearing ear protection is advisable for motorcyclists, particularly those who are travelling long distances.
What do motorcycle ear plugs need to offer?
Primarily, motorcycle ear plugs need to provide protection from noise. That’s what our ISOLATE® ear plugs do. They are made from metal, which completely blocks direct sound from entering your ears. You might expect metal to conduct noise, but when isolated from the inner ear by our comfortable Earfoams, it actually shuts out even low frequency sounds.
Some sense of the real world
Total silence can be eery and disconcerting even in your own home, let alone when you’re flying up a motorway alongside HGVs. Our ISOLATE® ear protection stops noise entering your ear directly, but allows you to hear the details in sound through bone conduction.
This is useful for avoiding total alienation from your fellow road users and if you want to use in-helmet audio.
The engine isn’t the only thing making a big noise when you’re riding a motorbike. The wind can also be deafening when you’re cutting through it at 70mph (on the dot, officer). Effective motorcycle ear plugs not only protect your hearing, but also provide respite from the onslaught of noise that can otherwise cause mental fatigue, lapses in concentration and errors of judgement.
The Noise Chap reviewed our ISOLATE® ear protection on his bike and observed: “Normally on this motorway the wind noise is added to by tyre noise on the concrete to create an unholy racket that leaves your ears ringing for ages afterwards and I have conducted enough hearing tests over the years to know this is 'a bad thing’. Wear the ISOLATE® PRO plugs however and things change completely.”
Particularly for long journeys, it is important that motorcycle ear plugs are comfortable. It is not like a biker can just reach up and adjust the plugs mid-ride, so they need to sit nicely within the ear for long distances.
The Noise Chap added: “I have now worn my ISOLATE® PRO plugs for several motorway journeys and I have to say that over and above any other ear plug I have worn over the last 25 years, these things both go in easier and also stay there.”
For additional comfort, you might favour our ISOLATE® MiNi ear protection, which are 33% smaller than those tested by The Noise Chap but 100% as efficient. The smaller plug will sit under a helmet even more comfortably.