Hearing loss is one of the least talked about yet highest risks that motorcyclists face. Wind noise at highway speed, even in a full-face helmet, consistently exceeds 100db and can cause permanent hearing loss. If you aren’t wearing hearing protection you are risking long-term damage to your hearing. Wearing earplugs is an easy and effective way to protect yourself on every ride. And perhaps just as importantly, cutting out wind noise brings a calmness to the ride that improves concentration, reduces fatigue, and improves safety. For such an inexpensive accessory it sure has a lot of value.
Eargasm may be an unusual name for an ingenious product that works.
We’ve tested a wide variety of earplugs and even tried earbuds to reduce noise. Today we want to talk about Eargasm brand earplugs. Don’t be put off by the name, we found that they actually work. Eargasm earplugs are an ingenious earplug designed to trim high-pitch background noise while allowing foreground sounds like music, conversation, and even emergency sirens to come through with greater clarity than conventional foam earplugs. And they’re reusable.
Inexpensive disposable foam earplugs, when correctly inserted, do a good job reducing ambient noise. You decide how much to block by selecting earplugs with a higher or lower Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The NRR rating maps directly to the decibel reduction. For example a foam earplug rated NRR29 can take 29 decibels off the 100db+ wind noise inside your helmet. That’s enough to keep your ears safe. But those earplugs are also muffling and distorting your music, conversations, and surrounding sounds. That’s not good. Which is why we went looking for an alternative and found Eargasm earplugs.
Eargasm earplugs feature a noise filter wrapped in a medical grade silicon shell. The placement of the noise filter in the earplug shell allows it to direct sound into the ear without further obstruction from the shell itself. The effect is that high-pitch background noise is significantly reduced while other sounds such as voices and music are still quite audible. The Noise Reduction Rating for these earplugs is 16db. The manufacturer however is adamant that the effective noise reduction is closer to 21db depending on sound frequency and proper fit. We haven’t run objective testing, but on-the-bike experience confirms these earplugs are effective at speeds up to 90mph. Anything over that and we’d recommend well fitted foam earplugs with a higher NRR rating.
Silicon earplugs are easier to insert than foam and comfortable on long rides.
Eargasms are easy to insert, just position them at the ear canal opening and press until firmly seated. The silicon shell has a small extension tab to make pulling them out just as easy. The shell fits flush with the ear and stays put even with a snug fitting helmet. We’ve found Eargasms start comfortable and stay comfortable even on a long 500 mile day. For the most part it won’t work its way out by itself. But how well they stay in depends on correctly inserting the device in the first place. We did find that after about an hour of riding, if the earplug was not correctly inserted it would move a bit because the silicon ribs pushed out from the ear canal. However, when that happened we didn’t notice any change in the level of noise reduction.
Eargasms are a good value at about $35 per set. They come with a small round aluminum carrying case that can attach to your tail bag for easy storage and access. You also receive a set of smaller silicon shells. Eargasms don’t require any maintenance, clean-up with soap and water, and will last for years.
Significant noise reduction without messing up the music.
At the end of the day, every rider should wear hearing protection. It’s a simple way to reduce fatigue, increase concentration, and make every ride more enjoyable. For our money, Eargasm earplugs provide excellent protection from wind noise while allowing surrounding sounds, music, and conversation to be heard. We think they’re worth a ride.