by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
We've said it many times.
And we'll say it again.
The noise generated when riding a motorcycle is hazardous to your health.
It doesn't matter whether you're wearing a full-face or half helmet, riding behind a fairing or as a passenger.
The noise can and does cause hearing loss.
I can tell you from personal experience that hearing loss is not fun.
Not to mention suffering from tinnitus for the rest of your life...
So I always wear properly fitted earplugs, and I've tried many different brands.
Several years ago, I settled on the Moldex Pura-fit 6800 (32 NRR) as my favorite earplug.
They're soft, they have a high level of noise attenuation, and they feel more comfortable to me than any other brand I've tried so far.
The only thing that's still a problem is that the Pura-fit 6800's are slightly too small for the diameter of my right ear canal, which for some reason is bigger than my left.
I've been inserting the earplug backwards, because only the big end will completely seal my ear.
I've been on a search for an earplug that will work as good as the Pura-fit 6800 that will allow me to insert them normally.
The Hearos brand is well-known to motorcyclists, and they can be found in many motorcycle shops.
The problem is that they are relatively expensive for what they are.
That is, they don't seem much different than other brands of similar style earplugs, but I've never been able to find them at a discounted price.
NNevertheless, I purchased a pack of Super Hearos (32 NRR) and Extreme Hearos (33 NRR) to try.
The photo below compares the Moldex Pura-fit 6800 (green earplug on the left) to the Super Hearo (middle) and Extreme Hearo (right).
The Extreme Hearo is noticeably larger in diameter (13 mm vs. 11 mm at the large end) than the other two, and they do seem to fit my larger sized right ear canal when inserted normally.
They have a "rubbery" feel to them, not as "foamy" as the Pura-fit 6800's.
They're a bit harder to roll up to the small diameter necessary to fit into the ear, but once inserted, they're very comfortable and seem to really seal out the noise.
I'd have to say that they're probably about the quietest earplugs I've tried.
The Super Hearos have a slightly different feel, a bit less "rubbery" but not as "foamy" feeling as the Pura-fit 6800's, and more dense.
I don't really notice any difference between the Pura-fit 6800 and the Super Hearo in terms of performance.
But the Super Hearo seems like it has slightly less form after it's rolled up, making it a bit harder to insert, and it takes longer to expand to fit my ear canal, so I prefer the Pura-fit 6800's.
The problem is the price.
I can occasionally find a bulk pack of 200 pair of Pura-fit 6800 earplugs for $22.00 or so if I'm lucky.
I haven't been able to find Hearos in any type of bulk container, and $5.49 for 7 pair is way too expensive for the number of earplugs that I go through.
I'll admit to not using a new pair every time I ride, but I rarely use them more than 2-3 times. I go through boxes of 100 pair in what seems like no time at all.
It's too bad really, because I'd probably settle on the Extreme Hearos as my favorite earplug.
If you're new to wearing earplugs, the Hearos are worth a try, because they're soft, comfortable and effective, and you can usually find them in your local motorcycle shop.
|wBW Review: Hearos Earplugs|
|Manufacturer: Hearos||List Price (2004): Super Hearos $4.99/8 pair. Extreme Hearos $5.49 for 7 pair.|
|Colors: Super: Tan, Extreme: Blue||Made In: U.S.A.|
|Review Date: July 2004|
From "M.P.": "About the earplugs, I use the Hearos regular, light blue at 29dB. The 32dB seem to block out too much noise and make me feel slightly disoriented, like I've got a head cold.
I can usually find them at any drug store chain for around $5 or $6 for a pack of 14 pairs, which is great when I inevitably drop my last pair in a puddle of oil at the gas station.
They also make a Junior size, which is perfect for my petite girlfriend. No more chopping down the regular ones with a pocket knife."
From "G.D.M.": "I was looking for earplugs and came across your site.
I suffer from chronic insomnia so your site helped a lot with figuring out what would be the best plug. I have settled on the Moldex 6800.
I had bought a variety pack of earplugs from the ear plug store online and tried both the Hearos brand, Moldex and others.
You mentioned if anyone could find a better deal on the Hearos to let you know.
Well I emailed them and they managed to get a quantity discount of sorts: "Save big on our economy bulk pack with 10 20-pair bulk packs."
It is STILL is pretty expensive but if these work for some people and they need them that is a significant saving."
From "G.S.": "Picked them up at Walgreen's for $4.39, including the little storage case.
Like you, one of my ear canals is larger than other. Couldn't find a tight fit until these. Thanks!
Best solution is probably custom made plugs ($75) on which I am now waiting."