Heartech Earplugs - Ear Plugs:
SilentEar, QuietEar, FliteMate Earplugs
I'm a big believer in
wearing earplugs. I lost part of my hearing as a result of
what could basically be called ignorance on my part. Plenty of
rock concerts in the '60's and '70's, working in a really loud machine
shop and riding motorcycles!
But I'm more mature now, so I know
better, right? (Right!). And
now that I know what it means to lose hearing AND have a constant
ringing (tinnitus) in my ears, I sure wish I took better care of my
hearing back then.
Because once it's gone, it's gone. No
getting it back. That's why I'd really like to keep what hearing I have
left, so I always wear earplugs whenever I'm involved in any activity
that creates harmful noise.
If you've read any of the webBikeWorld
helmet reviews, you'll notice the reminders that I always wear
earplugs when wearing the helmets.
I never ride a motorcycle
without earplugs (or a helmet!) -- it's just too noisy, no matter what
type of helmet you're
wearing, and that's just the type of noise that can eventually cause
permanent damage to your hearing . A good set of earplugs, when
worn correctly, can tame the racket inside the noisiest of
Any helmet with good ventilation will also usually have
relatively higher noise levels; increasing the vent area usually means
more noise can intrude into the helmet. But earplugs can
definitely help mitigate the increased noise.
It may take a while to get used to
wearing earplugs and incorporating them into your riding routine, but
once you do, I'll bet you'll find that motorcycling will become a more
enjoyable experience. Because high noise levels also add stress,
and who needs more of that?
It's a fact of nature that ear canals
come in all different shapes and sizes, and you've probably noticed
that earplugs also vary in their size and materials.
So it pays
to try different types of earplugs and find the ones that provide the
best fit. You may try a single brand and find that it is either
uncomfortable or that it doesn't decrease the noise levels as well as
I've also found that some earplugs may either not
fit well enough to adequately block the noise, or they may protrude from your ear
just enough to touch the helmet liner. Not only can this cause
discomfort, it can also actually
increase the apparent noise levels, as the earplug becomes a conduit for
noise and vibration right to your inner ear.
brings us to these Heartech earplugs, which have a couple of unique
features. They are available in 3 sizes: small, medium and large (photo
left) to fit most any ear canal. They are also designed so that
they won't protrude from your ear, making it unlikely that they will
touch the helmet liner.
Also, I've found that the Heartech
earplugs are much
easier to insert than most of the disposable types and you can also
insert them without touching the part that goes in your ear. The
disposables have to be rolled up prior to insertion into your
Rolling up a disposable earplug with dirty hands is
not advisable, because even the smallest amount of dirt seems to get
transferred to the earplugs, which then gets a one-way trip into the inner
ear. But it's hard to keep your hands clean when riding,
especially if you've just completed a roadside repair!
To insert the Heartech earplugs, you
grab one of the three "handles", and twist the earplug as
you insert it. As with any other type of earplug, it helps to
reach around the back of your head with the other hand and pull the
ear to fully open the ear canal.
You may also find that opening
your mouth makes earplug insertion a bit easier also. The Heartech plugs go in with about a half-twist.
The Heartech earplugs are available in
three models. The "SilentEar" earplugs have the
highest noise reduction rating (NRR) of 34. This is about the
highest rating you'll find for any type of earplug. I recommend
the SilentEar earplugs for motorcycle riding.
makes the "QuietEar", which has an NRR of 22. The
QuietEar allows normal conversation to be heard, but protects from
louder noise. The QuietEar has a tiny hole in the end that
allows it to "breathe", helping to make it comfortable to
In the photo (left), the QuietEar is on
the left, and the SilentEar is on the right. You can just see
the tiny hole in the top of the blue QuietEar.
Heartech also makes a version of these
earplugs called the "FliteMate". They are a patented
design that helps reduce the pain sometimes felt from the variation in
cabin pressure when taking off or landing, and they also reduce
overall cabin noise.
The Heartech QuietEar and FliteMate earplugs are available
either as single pairs, or in a "Family Pack" that
includes one pair each of sizes small, medium and large. The
SilentEar model is sold in single pairs only.
All Heartech earplugs are made from
100% silicone, so they are comfortable and long-lasting. One of
the benefits of using the Heartech earplugs is that they can be easily
washed with some water and a tiny bit of soap, and they should last
a long time.
I'm not too fond of throwing away a pair of foam
disposables after every use or two, as they do not readily degrade and
so are bad for the environment. The Heartech earplugs also come
with a handy little travel case to store them when not in use.
wife tried the Heartech SilentEar earplugs and she really likes them;
she finds that they are more comfortable and fit better than the
PuraFit 6800 disposables which we both normally wear. The
SilentEar earplugs don't protrude from her ear like other earplugs
she's tried, so she's happy.
right ear canal is bigger than my left. I've always had
problems finding an earplug that will "fill" my right ear
canal well enough to block the noise.
solution I've found so far is to insert a PuraFit (green earplug,
photo left) earplug in reverse, and it's just big enough to work,
because the big end is about 13mm (1/2") wide (think about that
-- that's a BIG hole going into my head!).
Having that big, flat
end stuck in my ear isn't too comfortable though. The largest
size Heartech earplug is a bit too small for me -- they work fine
in my left ear, but they don't quite seal my right ear enough to
completely block all of the noise.
You may want to purchase the family
pack so that you'll have a choice of earplug sizes, because if an
earplug doesn't fit correctly, the full benefit of its noise reducing
capabilities will not be apparent.
The Heartech earplugs are
worth a try, with the only caveat that it's hard to tell which size
will fit your ear canal correctly, and the range of fit for each
Heartech size is not as large as the range for a compressible
disposable earplug, especially a tapered earplug like the PuraFit
6800's. The Heartech earplugs are comfortable, will last a long time, they're
washable and they fit nicely under a helmet because they're designed
to fit flush with most ears.
Special Offer for webBikeWorld
Visitors!: Heartech has kindly provided a special offer for
webBikeWorld visitors, only if you order through Heartech
in Israel: mention that you read about Heartech earplugs
through this webBikeWorld article:
3 Pairs Flitemate $13.50; 3 Pairs Quietear $13.50; 3 Pairs Silentear
$18.75. The shipping and handling charge is now $3.50 (up from
$3.25). For more information, contact Heartech.
Every earplug order from Heartech now includes a keychain earplug
holder. This plastic earplug holder has a screw-on cap and is
perfect for storing a pair of Heartech earplugs. Keeps them handy
and clean in between uses.
Review: Heartech Ear Plugs
Retail Price: $8.75 (pair) to $17.90 (family pack)
|Colors: Blue/yellow, orange/yellow
Comments: Non-disposable (help save the
environment!) and washable; easy to insert; available in 3
sizes and 3 types; made with 100% silicone. Heartech
now apparently has a secure ordering system now in place.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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From "F.B.B." (4/10): "SilentEar is a good product but
with one big drawback: sizing. I ordered first a medium size and it
was perfect for my right ear but too small for my left ear. Got to
order an other set of large for having the right size. Being not
really versatile is the main problem with this product.
I'm not doing biking but I need hearing protection with no stem. I
think it should be a better choice to use a Moldex Comets Reusable Ear Plugs
(NRR 25) with an helmet it is much more versatile and it fully hide in the
From "L.H.": "In April 2004, I
purchased my first motorcycle and immediately noticed the high
wind noise levels inside my full face helmet and the associated
temporary hearing loss. Having been around firearms most
of my life, I realized the need to protect my hearing and began
using a pair of disposable foam earplugs that I had lying around
the house. I knew I'd eventually have to replace those
earplugs, so I began scouring the Internet for more information.
After a little searching, I found
your web page on hearing protection. There, I learned
the proper way to insert disposable foam ear plugs and, for the
first time, was made aware of the fact that there were even
different sizes of disposable and reusable earplugs.
looking at all the options on your web page, I decided to try a
pair of HearTech SilentEar silicone earplugs and chose the
Earplug Superstore from your list of vendors. While
ordering the SilentEars, I noticed that the Earplug Superstore
also offered a Foam Earplug Trial Pack with 10 different kinds
of disposable plugs in various sizes. So, I included a trial
pack in my order.
When the average sized SilentEars
arrived, they wouldn't fit in my ear canal and that led me to
try a pair of the disposable Howard Leight MaxLite earplugs from
the trial pack. The MaxLites are for smaller ear canals
and they fit perfectly. So, with a quick call to the
Earplug Superstore, I arranged an exchange of the average sized
SilentEars for a small pair. The small SilentEars were
exactly what I needed!
I am very pleased with the
performance and comfort of the HearTech SilentEar earplugs and
with the service I received from the Earplug Superstore.
P.S. I also found a use for
the average sized disposable foam earplugs in the trial pack.
If I happen to be in a noisy environment when trying to sleep at
night, I can use a pair of the average sized earplugs and they
will block enough noise so that I can fall asleep. Without
fail, the earplugs pop out of my ears during the night so that I
can hear my alarm when it sounds in the morning."
From "R.G.": "Just received
my SilentEar from Earplugstore. Not sure how the NRR
works ---- whether it applies to only selected frequencies
but, I could swear that both my cheap foam disposables
(NRR-29) and my Mack's Pillow soft silicone (NRR-22) produce
as good or better sound reduction as the SilentEar
The SilentEar is easier to put in than the
foam but harder to put in and take out than the Mack's.
Perhaps the SilentEar is more effective in the frequencies
produced by air whizzing by the motorcycle helmet!"
I asked R.G. what size earplugs were used: "I got 3 sizes
and the small fits best. It feels the same in my ear as
when I use the Mack's or cover my ear with my palms."
From "B.S.": "I recently
purchased the Heartech Silentear earplugs. I tried them
while riding w/out a helmet and was unpleasantly surprised to
find that they allowed air to bypass the earplug creating undo
noise. I then attempted to use them with a helmet and
again was unpleasantly surprised to find that they were
uncomfortable (the helmet pushed on the earplugs) and allowed
wind to pass these plugs creating wind noise.
the company and their response was that they are not allowed
to ride without helmets in Israel and that maybe the plugs
were not placed far enough in my ear. I made numerous
attempts at repositioning these plugs without any
changes. Unfortunately I cannot use these plugs and am
using disposables which seem to work much better."