Ear protection is a widely ignored safety aspect of motorcycling. Studies have shown that irreversible hearing damage can take place after just 15 minutes of sustained riding above 100kph – we’ve all been guilty of being there. The problem isn’t to do with engine sound as much as wind blast, something most helmets don’t do a very good job of protecting you from. That’s where earplugs come in.
I’ve been riding with earplugs for years, even on the daily commute. I do so because they create a sense of calm by suppressing the harsher, shriller sounds of wind and traffic, while still allowing you to clearly hear important things like horns and sirens. My ear plugs of choice are usually the soft disposable foam types that can be used for two to three times before they get dirty and need to be discarded.
Small size ensures a comfortable fit.
These reusable plugs by a company called No Noise are different. Made from silicon, they house a ceramic filter within that promises to cut out harmful frequencies while allowing you to hear everything else. There are numerous advantages to these plugs, with the first being comfort. I have narrow ear canals and they fit much nicer with less pressure over a long period than the typical foam plug. I also like that they’re washable and reusable, which removes the guilt that comes with throwing foam ear plugs away – these maybe bright orange, but they’re also much greener.
The company claims a noise reduction factor of 21, which is significantly lower than the number on foam plugs that typically ranges between 30 and 35. Wind noise is dramatically reduced, which is the primary goal, but these plugs simply don’t cut as much noise as the foam ones. I actually like this at lower city speeds, as it’s easier to have a conversation with someone. They work decently well on the highway too, but foam plugs remain my go to for sustained high speeds, especially at the racetrack.
Included in the package is a neat aluminium cylindrical case, but the asking price isn’t cheap, and similar money could get you a big box of foam earplugs. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way, but as long as you don’t spend too much time at very high speeds, you’ll appreciate the comfort and convenience of the No Noise plugs. Just make sure not to lose one of them.
Price: Rs 1,850