I’ve spent twenty years working in the Wood Industry, where loud machinery is commonplace. Over the years, I’ve dealt with hearing trouble and thought wearing earplugs while riding my motorcycle was too little, too late. That all changed when a friend convinced me to try earplugs while riding.
A single motorcycle ride wearing earplugs changed my outlook, and I haven’t looked back! I’ve been wearing disposable foam earplugs for over 6,000 miles with fantastic results. I no longer get headaches after long rides and am more alert and less mentally fatigued.
As good as disposable earplugs have been, the one big drawback is that I go through many of them throughout the riding season. I recently reached out to the WaltInPA YouTube Community for recommendations on non-disposable earplugs and was presented with various options.
Before I could settle on an option and place an order, I received a surprise email from Hearprotek. They asked if I would be interested in reviewing their Motorcycle Earplugs, and I was happy to accept. This review is based on a free product supplied by Hearprotek in exchange for my honest opinion.
Are Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs Comfortable
When it comes to wearing earplugs while riding a motorcycle, the most important question most people have is, are they comfortable? Let’s face it; it doesn’t matter how well they work; if they aren’t comfortable, you won’t wear them.
I’m happy to report that I find Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs very comfortable. Included with your earplugs are two sizes; small and large. Both sizes are made entirely of soft silicon that wraps a small plastic filter.
The earplugs are designed with pleats (or perhaps barbs are a better description). As the plug is inserted into your ear, the pleats move around and bind in your ear – helping prevent them from working back out of your ear while also being soft enough to remove easily.
My longest ride while wearing the Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs was approximately 2.50 Hours. During that time, I never experienced any discomfort.
Do Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs Block Wind Noise
Next to comfort, the next important aspect of earplugs on a motorcycle is their ability to reduce wind noise. Hearprotek has an interesting approach to this. Not only do they supply you with two sizes for comfort, but they also use an interchangeable filter for both 17 and 19 decibels. This allows you to tune your earplugs for both fit and noise reduction.
It is worth noting that I found a discrepancy regarding the advertised noise reduction level. My package claims a noise reduction range of 17 and 19 decibels. The Hearprotek Website advertises 23 and 26 decibels. I cannot locate any markings on the filter to indicate their noise reduction level. I can only assume that the rating was changed at some point, and perhaps I received an older model.
I have tried the 17 (Red) and 19 (Gray) filters and didn’t find a tremendous difference between the two. Both do an excellent job of reducing wind noise in my helmet while allowing me to hear traffic and my Sena 50S Bluetooth Communicator.
How to Place Hearprotek Earplugs in Your Ear
Inserting the Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs into your ear isn’t much different than using a standard foam earplug. The main difference is that due to the silicon body, they do not need to be compressed before insertion. To seat your earplugs properly, follow the steps outlined below.
- Using your right hand, pinch the small tab on your Hearprotek Earplug between your thumb and index finger (placing the tip of your index finger on the filter)
- Using your left hand, reach over your head and grasp the top of your ear. Gently pull upward on your ear to expand your ear canal.
- Using your right hand, insert the Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplug into your ear – using the tip of your index finger, gently press it into place. The small tab should be protruding slightly from your ear. If at any point there is discomfort – stop!
- Using your left hand, slowly lower your ear and allow your ear canal to compress the earplug.
- Follow the same procedure to insert your left earplug.
To remove your Hearprotek Earplug, pinch the small tab between your index finger and thumb and pull the earplug out of your ear.
Caring for Your Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs
One of the significant advantages of using a silicon earplug over a foam earplug is that they can be used long-term and don’t need to be discarded after each use. Included with your purchase is a small aluminum travel case. This allows your earplugs to be safely stored when not used (and not collecting lint in your pocket!)
How to Change the Hearprotek Filters
Hearprotek Earplugs utilize a small filter to control the amount of noise permitted to pass through them. The filter is a small plastic plug with what appears to be a paper material inside. Removing this plug requires that the silicon be stretched away from the plastic while applying pressure from the opposite side.
While removing this plug is easy, use caution when doing so. The filter is small and can sometimes be ejected from the silicon surrounding it. This makes it very easy to drop.
To reinstall the filter, press it into the silicon earplug. The silicon may require a little massaging to seat appropriately around the plastic filter.
How to Clean Hearprotek Earplugs
The main body of Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs is made from silicon, making caring for them straightforward. To remove a small amount of earwax residue from your earplugs, wipe them down with a soft cloth. I prefer to use a microfiber cloth as it leaves no lint behind.
For more thorough cleaning, remove the filters as outlined above. Be sure to store the filters in a safe place, as they are easily misplaced due to their small size. Use a small amount of mild dish soap, such as Dawn, with plenty of warm water to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse to remove any excess soap and pat dry with a dry cloth.
Allow the earplugs to dry for several minutes, ensuring that there is no water inside of hole where the filter gets installed. When completely dry, reinstall the plastic filter, and they are ready to be used.
What Comes with Your Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs
When my Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs arrived, I was surprised at the size of the packaging. At roughly half the size of a deck of cards, the box contained various items to customize your experience.
Two Sizes of Earplugs
Included with your Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs are two different sizes of earplugs – Small and Large. Both sizes are shaped the same, with the only visible difference being the diameter.
Small size is the best fit for Youth, Women, Small Adults, and Adults with small ear canals. I find myself in this category and require a smaller and softer earplug to fit comfortably in my ears.
Large size is the best fit for an average to large male adult.
Two Noise Reduction Filters
As noted in the previous section, my package of Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs is labeled as having 17 and 19-decibel filters. The Hearprotek Website lists the package as containing 23 and 26-decibel filters.
In either case, the filters are color-coded to tell them apart quickly. The lower decibel filter will be Red, and the higher decibel filter will be Grey. The filters are interchangeable and can be installed in whichever size earplug fits you best.
Like the Hearprotek Earplugs, the neck cord is made of silicon material. The ends are designed to stretch and fit around the exposed portion of the filter. This allows the earplugs to hang around the user’s neck without storing them away in a pocket or the included travel case.
As a rider that wears a full-face helmet, I didn’t find this accessory very useful. The cord gets in the way when I put on my helmet, binding against the cheek pad and pulling the earplug out of my ears.
I think this accessory would be more beneficial for those that wear half-helmets that do not fit over the wearer’s ears.
Aluminum Travel Case
One of the minor annoyances of wearing earplugs is what to do with them when you park your motorcycle and take a break. Often they wind up in a pants pocket, where they get coated in lint. Hearprotek remedies this problem by supplying you with a travel case.
The travel case is made from a hollow aluminum tube with a threaded cap. The cap contains a rubber o-ring which helps prevent it from unscrewing due to vibration. The travel case also includes a small length of chain and a spring-loaded clasp.
The clasp allows the aluminum case to be clipped onto a set of keys or a backpack. I would advise against attaching them to your keys as the aluminum will damage the paint on your motorcycle.
My Opinion of Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs
Before giving you my opinion on the Hearprotek Motorcycle Earplugs, I want to be completely transparent in that I did not purchase my earplugs. They were provided to me, free of charge, requesting that I review them and share my opinion with my readers.
I have two minor complaints and think addressing them would improve the quality of the product. The first change I would love to see is higher decibel noise reduction. Before using these earplugs, I used Honeywell Max Lite Earplugs from Howard Leight with a noise reduction rating of 30 decibels. I found those foam earplugs to be significantly quieter.
My other suggestion would be to include some mild texture on the silicone body of the earplug. On longer rides (1.5+ Hours), I found that the Hearprotek Earplugs would slowly slide out of my ear canal. The more they slid out, the more noise they would allow to pass through. I feel that some level of texture would help keep them in place and improve the experience.
With that said, I am quite pleased with my Hearprotek Earplugs. They are comfortable and do an excellent job reducing wind noise in my helmet. They are priced reasonably and would make an excellent addition to your current motorcycle gear.
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