Many motorcyclists struggle with wind noise, which can cause ringing in the ears and make you feel tired on long journeys. The sound of the wind and the bike engine itself can also cause long-term hearing damage. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a good pair of motorcycle ear plugs if you’re a keen biker.
A good pair of ear plugs for riding will protect your ears from loud engine noises and block out wind noise without making you lose awareness of what’s going on around you. A few companies manufacturer ear plugs aimed specifically at motorcyclists. Some of these ear plugs are very good, but high-quality general-purpose ear plugs will get the job done too.
One disadvantage of wearing ear plugs is that they can make you lose a bit of spatial awareness and feel slightly cut off from your environment. However, most people get used to wearing ear plugs and ear plugs rarely block out so much noise that you won’t be able to hear other motorists.
Ear plugs on their own won’t always be enough to deal with wind noise. You might want to combine them with something like the WINDJAMMER 2, which is a silicon band that fits around the side of your helmet to block out the wind.
We’ve researched the market and picked out 5 of the best motorcycle ear plugs available in the UK in 2017. We hope the reviews below help you find a good pair to protect your hearing while riding.
3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs
The 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs are made from polymer foam and are designed for a range of purposes. They can be worn to block out distracting background noise or to protect your hearing when riding a motorbike.
These ear plugs are made by 3M, who are a respected brand name in the personal protection equipment (PPE) industry. Even though they’re cheap they’re made to a high standard and can be relied on to offer real protection for your ears.
They can be reused a few times provided you keep them clean, and they’re cheap to replace once you’re done with them.
Oxford EARSOFT FX Motorcycle Ear Plugs
The Oxford EARSOFT FX Motorcycle Ear Plugs have a single number rating (SNR) of 39 dB, which means they can reduce the volume of loud sounds by roughly 39 decibels. This makes them some of the most effective ear plugs available when it comes to noise attenuation, helping to protect your hearing from harmful engine and wind noise.
These ear plugs are very good at reducing noise, but like most ear plugs they can get quite uncomfortable on long journeys.
Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs
Like the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs reviewed above, these ear plugs from Howard Leight are general-purpose rather than being intended specifically for motorcyclists. They’re cheaper than most ear plugs aimed at bikers, despite being made to a high standard.
These ear plugs have a soil-resistant skin which helps keep them clean on long journeys. Their high-visibility yellow design also makes them a good choice for motorcycling as it’s hard to lose them and you can see them easily in low light.
They have an SNR of 35 dB, which means they aren’t quite as effective at reducing noise as the Oxford EARSOFT FX Motorcycle Ear Plugs (which have an SNR of 39 dB), but they’re still better than a lot of the alternatives.
The MotoSafe Ear Plugs from Alpine are designed especially for motorcyclists with the aim of reducing wind noise without blocking out the noise of traffic. They’re pricier than general-purpose ear plugs, but are designed to be reused.
These ear plugs have two wind noise filters so you can choose to either have medium or high protection depending on how noisy it is when you’re riding. The filters are designed to reduce wind noise without reducing your spatial awareness or making you feel isolated.
You could buy several bags of disposable ear defenders for the price of these, but if you wash them and keep them clean you should be able to reuse them for at least 6 months.
Pinlock Motorcycle Ear Plugs
Like the Alpine MotoSafe Ear Plugs reviewed above, these ear plugs from Pinlock have a wind noise filter designed to reduce wind noise without making you feel cut off from the environment around you.
They are sold in packs of two, with a medium pair and a large pair. This means you could try both to see which fit you best, or give one pair to your partner or a friend.
These ear plugs are quite expensive compared to most of the others reviewed here, and it’s not clear that the price is justified, hence their low position on our list. While these ear plugs generally perform well, you can get something similar for a lower price.