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Gear Reviews

Pinlock Motorcycle Ear Plugs Review, Block the Noise, Hear Your Mates

It’s a well-known fact that riding a motorbike fast is bloody noisy. Stock exhaust or not, wind noise can often drown out your bike at speeds upwards of 50 mph. Even with a good quiet helmet like a Schuberth, the wind noise can have a deceptive impact on your ride and the health of your ears. Excessive noise can obviously cause hearing damage, tinnitus etc. But less obvious is the fatigue it can cause as your brain unconsciously tries to process and block out the noise. As such, it’s highly recommended to wear earplugs to reduce wind noise and to maintain your concentration on riding.

One disadvantage of earplugs is they can block out too much noise, making it difficult to talk to other people, either when parked up, pillions behind or mates over Bluetooth helmet intercoms. So, when I saw Pinlock had released a set of motorcycle earplugs with a special core that selectively blocked out higher frequencies like wind noise but let through lower frequencies like voice, I was most intrigued and purchased a couple of pairs for Mary and myself to try out.

Pinlock earplugs
Not leftover Lego, but special red sound filter cores to slot in the earplugs
Categories
Clothing/Protection

Protect Your Hearing – Laser Lite Ear Plugs

Laser-Lite-Ear-PlugsI’ve found wind noise is a big issue on the motorbike. Not so much around town at low speeds, but as soon as I get above 40 mph it becomes more and more of a problem. A jaunt on the motorway is literally quite deafening, above 60 mph I can no longer hear the engine, wind noise just overcomes everything else. This is not good, as I have other interests are in music, hi-fi and home cinema. Going deaf or suffering from severe tinnitus will stop me from enjoying these.

A study by the University of Southampton found that at 70 mph in-ear noise can hit 100 dB. To put this in perspective, British law dictates that anyone exposed to more than 85 dB in the workplace, must be provided with and must wear ear protection, to prevent permanent damage. At 100 dB, permanent damage can occur after just 15 minutes!

So, the moral of the story here is to wear some ear protection. There’s a multitude of different products on the market, from cheap foam inserts to custom moulded plugs. I’m currently using the Laser Lite foam earplugs. Cheap, simple and actually pretty good. A big bag of them on eBay set me back just a couple of quid. At this price, you can get enough that you always have some handy and not too fussed if they get lost or dirty. They work surprisingly well and quite markedly reduce noise, which at first gives a strange sensation of isolation when riding. Go careful, as this isolation and reduced noise can make you inclined to ride faster than you think you’re going. Around town, I tend not to wear the plugs, as I generally don’t go fast enough to warrant them and I like to use all my senses for awareness of those on the road around me. But out on the motorway, they are essential.

Buy some Laser Lite Ear Plugs from eBay