The Right Gearing For Your Hearing
Taking the bike out for a long ride is a joy we share with millions of people around the world.
When talking about safety apparel, most riders think of helmets and eye protection, jackets,
pants, gloves and boots made for motorcycling.
But there’s another piece of protective equipment often overlooked. Yet, this piece of the safety
puzzle is essential and is also the most affordable piece of gear you can buy. This mystery
item? Hearing protection.
How Do Motorcycles Hurt Your Ears?
On average, a motorcycle’s engine runs at around 90 decibels, though many bikes can reach over 100 decibels. In the U.S. this is loud enough to require ear protection in the workplace. Even out on the open road, this can cause a lot of damage to your ears if regularly exposed.
In addition to the engine, the wind rushing past your ears can also be enough to ruin your hearing over a long period of time or repeated exposure. You don’t have to worry when cruising down city streets, but at 60mph, your ears have to put up with over 116 decibels.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, noises this loud can start to cause damage after as little as fifteen minutes. Constant exposure to loud noises like this can also cause your acute hearing to drop to a lower level, a condition called Temporary Threshold Shift.
Spend too much time in this condition, and you can develop tinnitus symptoms and permanent hearing loss.
Hearing Protection Built for Riders
Now we know that years of motorcycle riding can cause a lot of damage to the delicate structures in your ears over time. So, how do you continue to enjoy your rides without quickly losing your hearing?
Injuries like Temporary Threshold Shift and tinnitus aren’t worth it, especially when protecting your ears is so simple. Yes, you can use any type of earplug that you wish. However, most typical earplugs attempt to block out all sounds, including the sounds you want to hear like your engine, the traffic around you, and even emergency vehicles approaching.
Missing these sounds can be a huge safety factor. Fear not! There are motorcycle-specific earplugs out there designed by riders, for riders.
EarPeace MOTO and MOTO PRO Earbuds Review
Why These Ear Plugs are Different
EarPeace MOTO PRO Contour Ear Plugs are designed specifically with motorcyclists in mind. According to their website, “EarPeace filter technology allows a small, precise amount of unobstructed sound in, so you maintain situational awareness.”
This means you won’t have to worry about any hearing damage when out on a ride, but also don’t have to compromise on hearing the sounds you truly need to hear to stay safe. The PRO filter technology replicates the sounds around you at a safer volume, meaning you are still completely aware of your surroundings without taking damage from all that noise.
And we didn’t just take the website’s word for it either.
Real Riders Tested MOTO PRO Earbuds in the Real World
We shared these earbuds with four riders, all from completely different backgrounds, to test the claims made by EarPeace. Here’s what they had to say:
Rider #1 – Brittany
- Age: 36 years old
- Testing for: Long-Distance while wearing a Communications System
- Wearing: MOTO PRO MAX
- Riding: 1200cc V-twin / 675cc in-line three cylinder
- Helmet: Full face helmet with chin curtain, visor down
“Without wind noise drowning everything out, my communications system (including music) was crisp and crystal clear. As far as comfort goes, I quickly forget that I was wearing them. They fit easily under my helmet, so there was no compromise on protection. I could still hear my engine in all its glory, and sometimes that’s the best part of riding. Big thumbs up for that!”
Rider #2 – David
- Age: 36
- Testing for: Off-road Racing
- Wearing: MOTO PRO HIGH
- Riding: 300cc single cylinder 2-stroke
- Helmet: Off-road helmet and goggles
“To be honest, I didn’t even know they were there! I didn’t lose any sound around me, which is essential for racing. I felt like it was easier to stay focused because I was more in tune with my motorcycle, which helped my race performance.”
Rider #3 – Warren
- Age: 75
- Testing for: Daily Riding on Cross-Country ADV Ride (on and off road)
- Wearing: MOTO PRO HIGH
- Riding: 1200cc 2-cylinder boxer
- Helmet: ADV helmet with visor down
“These earbuds never hurt my ears like the other brand I was using (Pinlock). After riding every day for a month, sore ears are not acceptable. The MOTO Pros flex just enough and feel like they disappear into my ear. They also work just as well when it comes to filtering the sound to a manageable level.”
Rider #4 – Paul
- Age: 81
- Testing for: Day Rides at highway speeds
- Wearing: MOTO PRO ULTRA MAX
- Riding: 805cc V-twin
- Helmet: Full face helmet with no chin curtain, visor open
“These made a huge difference in how tired I was by the end of the day. The wind noise from riding with my visor open was exhausting me. With these in, I was able to ride longer and felt much less fatigued at the same time. Made the ride much more enjoyable.”
Test Summary and Product Ratings
Combining these 4 opinions, here’s a summary of how the MOTO PRO Ear Plugs perform and stack up to the competition:
Comfort: 4 Stars
All four riders agreed that these ear plugs are nice and comfortable. These can be worn all day without pain, and even several days in a row. On longer trips, this is essential, because sore ears can really put a damper on an otherwise perfect day.
Effectiveness: 5 Stars
All four riders agreed that MOTO PRO did exactly what they needed. Given that each of these four riders had individual needs, gear, and bikes, it seems like a no-brainer that the MOTO PRO ear plugs are effective in most, if not all, riding situations.
Compared to noise-cancelling ear plugs, this product actually enhances the hearing experience as opposed to removing it, and that is valuable beyond measure for riders.
Durability: 4 Stars
The silicone the ear plugs are made out of is designed not be extremely resistant to breaking down over time. Just like the slippery silicone oven mats we all know and love, these can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and maintain their integrity.
With proper cleaning – a simple wipe with a damp cloth or soapy water for extra-dirty plugs (not filters) – these should last an entire year or more with regular use. With 3 plugs+filters in each pack, you can even rotate use so that each plug can have a “rest” every third ride.
Need a vote of confidence from some heavy hitters? According to the MOTO PRO website, “Moto industry heavyweights including Ford Racing, Motorcycle.com and RedBull Global Rally Cross have trusted EarPeace for over 10 years.”
Now, that doesn’t mean they’ve all been wearing the same pair for 10 years, but you get the picture. If they could wear the same pair for 10 years, well, then they’d certainly get full marks in this department!
Pricing: 4 Stars
Competition to the MOTO PRO ear plugs is all over the board in regards to pricing. Amazon sells several products that reduce noise but have no sound-filter qualities for half the cost of MOTO PRO ear plugs ($15.99/9 plugs).
Professional musician earplugs are upwards of $80/pair. Others in the same price range have mixed reviews. Sure, you can get the foam one-time-use ear plugs from the drug store for $1, but even 30 packs of those will eventually run out.
Do you ride more than 30 days a year? We hope so! If you invest in MOTO PRO ear plugs, which can be reused many times as mentioned above, you’ll create less waste and spend less than continuously re-purchasing a cheaper version.
Even so, hearing protection is a hard sell. So, many riders overlook it, and for those that do, it’s going to be hard to convince them to pay more for something, no matter how good it is. Even though we’d like to award 5 stars here, we can’t–but that’s not the product’s fault, it’s just the nature of the market.
If four riders isn’t enough to convince you, consider that EarPeace MOTO PRO earplugs currently have 1334 5-star reviews on their website and 153 5-star reviews on Google.
EarPeace MOTO PRO Kits
The MOTO PRO kits come in two options:
- High – 19 decibels
- Max – 24 decibels
The patented Contour Ear Plugs(™) are made from hypoallergenic silicone with a velvet finish. They are reusable over and over – they won’t wear down or break. The ear plug tips feature an oval wave shape that is uniquely built to mimic the shape of your ear canal for an ergonomic, natural fit. This makes them extremely comfortable, even under a helmet.
When it comes to the filters, MOTO PRO “Ultra-Fi” filters are the first line of defense against harmful road noise. The tuned acoustic membrane acts like a primary eardrum, absorbing and clearly replicating sounds you want to hear. The filters do this while also protecting against wind noise.
Each set comes with 3 standard and 3 large interchangeable ear plug tips, 3 filters, and an aluminum carrying case for $39.95 USD.
EarPeace MOTO PRO Ear Plug & Filter Sets
The MOTO PRO Ear Plug & Filter Sets come in three options:
- High – 19 decibels
- Max – 24 decibels
- Ultra Max – 26 decibels
Each set comes with 3 standard and 3 large interchangeable ear plug tips and 3 filters for $29.95 USD.
Motorcycle Earplugs are Essential
It’s unanimous! Not only do MOTO PRO earplugs protect your ears from damage caused by wind and engine noise, they’re also super comfortable and easy to use whenever you need them.
We believe hearing protection is an essential piece of gear for every rider, and highly recommend all riders consider keeping their hearing safe on every ride by investing in a set of EarPeace MOTO PRO earplugs.
- Very effective noise protection
- Comfortable for long days in the saddle
- Can be worn for a wide variety of riding
- More expensive than cheap drug store foam buds
- Hard to convince riders to invest in good ear protection!
- Manufacturer: EarPeace
- Price (When Tested): $39.95 USD
- Alternative models & colors: n/a
- Sizes: 3 ear tip sizes
- Review Date: June 2021