My obsession with Ear-plugs and ear protection is not new to the folks who know me. One needs ear protection for the longevity of their hearing capabilities and protection against prolonged exposure to Loud Music at concerts and Wind/Engine Noise from the road when on a motorcycle.
At a 100kmph the wind noise inside your helmet can get as loud as 90 to 100dB. A loud Music Concert can also cause hearing exhaustion after prolonged exposure. That’s where earplugs step in to save the day. A well designed plug that’s extremely efficient is usually an intense internet search away. I have been using the ER20 for my music applications, unfortunately though I cannot use them inside the helmet as the Plastic Stem that houses the Sealing Ring obstructs the process of wearing the helmet.
I was thinking out loud about finding myself a pair of purpose designed Motorcycle Earplugs and just then the good folks at Powersports MotoUsher sent me two pairs of No Noise – Intelligent Hearing Protection.
The No Noise Motorsport and Music earplugs share the same 3 flange physical construction with a differently precision-tuned, patented ceramic filters for both applications. The earplugs are re-usable and easily washable. They also come with a really cool cylindrical carrying case which can be hooked on to your keyring (Don’t do that, I almost lost a pair to the wind). All of this for 22 Euros on the shelf.
These plugs respond almost the way the Etymotic Research ER20 do. The attenuation across the Frequency Spectrum though is a little more than the ER20 with the range spanning from 9dB to 24dB. The higher level of attenuation does not make them an ideal option when it comes to having a conversation with them on. But that’s a small price to pay when You are protecting your ear drums while at a Live concert running at 120dB for a couple of hours.
These orange beauties are the best thing to happen to Your ears inside a helmet. With a more aggressive range of attenuating – 14dB to 25dB across the frequency spectrum, the motorsport plugs work like a dream. It reduces Road, Wind and Engine noise by a tonne. That said unlike the 3M Foam earplugs the No Noise do not isolate You completely. The design allows You to listen to communications over a Helmet Intercom, Honking, Traffic noise in case of another vehicle approaching, emergency sirens etc.
The silicon flange and stem allows for the No Noise to fit flush inside your ear canal without obstructing the Helmet as You put it on or take it off. It does make it a little difficult to un-plug if You have sweaty or wet hands as the Silicon Stem tends to slip. Again, that’s a cheap collateral against how it changes your helmet acoustics for the good.
The No Noise are locally available at MotoUsher. I’d highly recommend their Motorsport Plugs if You’re a Track enthusiast, an Adventure tourer or just an average Joe riding to work but would like to have great hearing capabilities when You grow older. The Music Plugs too are the best You can find locally. They make for a great companion at Music Fests, Loud Night Clubs and the friends who You’d not want to listen to.
I personally like the Motorsport plugs over the Music ones, as my primary go-to concert plugs are the Etymotic Research ER20. That said, the No Noise Music plugs are extremely effective and definitely worth the buy. I just have my reservations out of habit and years of using the aforementioned.
Here’s more about the ER20.
All Pictures Courtesy : Sigmund Q & Powersports MotoUsher
- Sigmund Q