Earplug Speakers for Motorcycles
Here's a solution for motorcycle helmets
that combines earplugs and hearing protection with speakers to listen to
music while you ride.
wBW Visitor "B.Y." recently
wrote us about an interesting solution that combines hearing protection
with the ability to listen to your favorite tunes.
MEElectronics M6 Earbuds |
Noise Reducing Earbuds |
Comply Noise Canceling Ear Plug Speakers |
Philips Active Noise Canceling Earphones |
Earplugs and Music
I too have chronic tinnitus or
"ringing" in the ears from very much the same origins(!) as you,
plus I have been a paramedic for over 20 years and in my early career was
exposed to unprotected siren noise in excess of 110 decibels for extended
periods of time...
(I always try to) protect my hearing, and have been
using disposable earplugs since the onset of my tinnitus two decades
As a new motorcycle rider, I noted how loud both the engine
noise and rushing air around an inside my helmet were. Ear plugs
certainly are effective in reducing this noise and protecting ones hearing
(from further damage hopefully). Shame on any states that have laws
making it illegal to protect ones hearing... this certainly should be
addressed by the health care community
I'm also a big music lover (one of the origins of my hearing problem), and
have decided it enhances my riding experience tremendously to have my
portable CD player.
My first solution was to purchase a relatively
cheap ($15) set of Panasonic earphones, which I temporarily "Velcro'd"
into the ear strap recesses of my helmet.
This was very comfortable,
but with the earplugs in place the CD player could not produce enough
volume to overcome the attenuation of the ear plugs to be heard over the
still present (but reduced) road noise. Basically this was a signal
to noise ratio problem, so I purchased a Radio Shack headphone volume
booster ($22) and this worked fairly well.
Still not satisfied, however, I believe the
best solution has come from modifying a pair of KOSS "the plug"
earbud phones ($20). The soft moldable plug that comes with with
these are not really suitable for the purpose of noise attenuation for a
motorcycle, and I have used a disposable moldable ear plug as a
replacement, and believe I have found the best solution: remove the
plastic string that connects the ear plugs allows for the insertion of the
earbud sound tube, and the fit and comfort is much better.
volume provided by the volume booster gives a much larger range of volumes
that can be achieved safely for enjoying music "on the road,"
while not requiring potentially high volumes that further could damage
Motorcycle riding, music, and hearing
protection do not necessarily have to be exclusive to each other...or
expensive. Attached photo shows the setup, with the original earbud
mold and the modified earplugs as replacements.
P.S. I have learned over the years it is
possible to reuse disposable earplugs many times simply by washing them in
the washing machine and throwing them in the drier, or using a little warm
water and hand soap, followed by thorough rinsing and air drying... doing
my bit for the environment as well."
Thanks for the tips, B.Y.!