Cruising along enjoying the roads on your motorbike, you take it all in and enjoy the ride. The never ceasing gushing wind noise while motorcycling can be exhilarating, but it is also a threat and a health risk. The constant wind noise can be distracting, affecting your concentration. The noise can also have a fatiguing effect on your ears, resulting in aching or ringing ears. This danger can leave you vulnerable to permanent hearing damage, which will result in hearing loss. Read More…
How Wind Noise Can Damage Your Ears
You might think the biggest risk to your hearing when riding a motorcycle is the engine noise, but actually the real danger comes from wind noise.
Many motorcyclists are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
With the right hearing protection, the NIHL is 100 percent preventable. With this risk of damage being high while riding, prevention is key because once it happens the hearing loss can be permanent.
In the case with motor sports, NIHL is mainly attributed to noise from the turbulent airflow around the helmet, “wind noise.”
Do helmets provide sufficient protection from hearing loss?
Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are under the false impression that a motor helmet provides adequate hearing protection.
Motorcycle helmets do a good job at protecting the wearer from fatal injuries to lesser injuries such as bumps and bruises, but helmets do not keep out much of the noise.
Studies indicate that the maximum noise reduction from wearing a typical motor helmet is around 7 to 10 dB.
Motorcycle helmets come in many styles and are well-designed for safety, however, noise levels under a motorcyclist’s helmet are high. Sound can reach between 80 and 110 dB2. This level can rise rapidly with increased road speed. The wind noise can cause hearing loss after just an hour.
After long periods on the bike at high speeds, motorcyclists are exposed to high noise which can often lead to NIHL symptoms like fatigue, tinnitus, headaches and even disequilibrium.
Why motorcycle noise is harmful
Technical developments over the past years have evolved to motorbikes that are much quieter. However, bikers are still exposed to excessive noise caused by wind. At high speeds, noise levels can exceed 110 dB.
The faster you go, the louder the sound is. The longer you are exposed to it, the more it can damage or destroy the inner ear workings – damage which cannot heal or be undone.
Protect your ears with the right earplugs
To prevent hearing loss, many riders use standard foam earplugs. These plugs offer some protection but are often not very comfortable and don’t provide the hearing protection that is needed.
For the best hearing protection during motorcycling, we recommend custom-moulded earplugs that are designed specifically for the job.
Custom-made, filtered plugs fit perfectly because they are made for the wearer and will not interfere with your ability to pick up on problems with the engine or surrounding warning signals. They provide protection while still allowing for awareness out on the road.
Tip: Have your hearing tested to determine your current hearing levels. If you’ve lost some hearing, you can take steps to prevent further loss.
Important points regarding noise-induced hearing loss
- There is no cure for permanent hearing loss.
- Limiting exposure to loud noises, by wearing high-quality earplugs is one of the best “treatments” for NIHL
- Hearing loss is rarely painful, and the symptoms are usually vague which leads many people to assume that if the symptoms go away, their ears have “bounced back” to normal which is not the case
- Hearing loss accumulates over a lifetime and cannot be reversed
Protecting your ears from these dangers and to make riding considerably more pleasant is by using motorcycle ear plugs.
At Pacific Ears New Zealand we offer specially designed, custom-made, moulded earplugs for motorcycle riding. Motorcycling with the right hearing protection can make a world of difference and give you the assurance of a fantastic ride!
Our selection of motorcycling earplugs, include:
ACS Pro 27 Custom Earplugs – From $299
The Pro-27 earplugs are designed for high-noise industrial environments and motor-sports. Custom-made soft silicone earplugs with hearing protection filters offering exceptional attenuation in dangerously loud high-frequency environments. Used in extreme industry environments and motorsports. Exceptional attenuation in dangerously loud high-frequency environments.
Benefits and Features:
- Pro27 earplugs are custom plugs for high-noise environments
- Designed specifically for motor-sport activities and industrial environments
- Offer almost flat reduction of around 23dB through the low and mid-range frequencies and up to 35dB where you need it most, the high frequencies
- An average attenuation of 27dB, that can increase your safe exposure time by up to 9 times
- Pro27 Earplugs are Tested and Certified Class 5 hearing protection
- Allow you to maintain situational awareness and the ability to communicate
- Fit well and are comfortable in very loud environments
- Discreet, small-form factor without any protrusion (fits under a helmet or headgear comfortably)
- The filters are also removable for easy cleaning of the ear moulds and filters
- Water-resistant for use in many extreme, high moisture environments
- A natural sounding earplug without the occlusion
ACS Pro 20 Custom Earplugs – From $299
The Pro-20 earplugs are custom-made earplugs for motor-sport and for industrial use. Custom fit moulded earplugs and sound attenuating filters. The Pro-20 plugs are specifically designed to soften harsh high-frequency sounds. These custom-made earplugs are ideal hearing protection for most motor-sport and industrial uses. The PRO20 custom hearing protector has been designed to provide protection from high noise environments and those that are exposed to high noise levels for long periods of time, such as motorcyclists.
Etymotic ER-20xs Motorsport Ready-fit Earplugs – From $37.50
ER20xs plugs are high definition earplugs for motorsports. They come with 3 tip options and are ideal earplugs for motorsports and track racing enthusiasts.
Benefits and Features:
- ER•20XS earplugs come with three interchangeable pairs of ear tips
- ER•20XS earplugs are a great alternative to generic foam plugs
- They offer superior hearing protection and clear communication
- Earplugs with a stem-less design and low profile (fits under hats and helmets)
- Made with a small, flexible pull tab for easy removal
- Protects against noise-induced hearing loss
- Lowers sound evenly 20 dB
- Reduces wind noise and noise fatigue
Whatever your sport/recreation/work situation, Pacific Ears offers the very best in custom-made and ready-fit hearing protection.
Stuck on what to get? Give us a call on 07 5423659, or email us for tailored advice.