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Old 04-11-2014, 07:46 AM   #1
Merckx the Cannibal OP
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Palm Beach County, Fla.
Oddometer: 70
NoNoise earplugs -- I like 'em!

I just used a brand-new pair of NoNoise earplugs, and I highly recommend them. After just one 25-minute ride (my commute to work), I'm comfortable saying that they are the best earplugs I have ever tried.

  • almost silenced wind noise;
  • allowed me to listen to music on my Sena SMH10 with helmet speakers (although bass was muted);
  • while letting in the sounds of traffic and the bike's engine. I could hear the air whistling through the helmet vents.
But the rumble of wind noise was almost absent. I'm tempted to take the "almost" out of that sentence. The absence of wind noise was astonishing. I commute in suburban stop-and-go traffic at up to 60mph for a minute or two.

Source and cost:
I got the plugs at Twisted Throttle for about $36 including shipping. I don't mind paying for excellent gear and, for me, these plugs are worth the money. I won't argue with anyone who says these plugs are too expensive; if foam plugs do the job for you, that's great and more power to you.

NoNoise plugs feel like silicone, but the website says they are "silicone free" and are made of thermoplastic. They feel rubbery and they have three ribbed ridges that, when inserted, fill up the ear canal. In the center is a small tube that you grasp to remove the plug.

Inside that central tube is what NoNoise calls a "zirconium oxide ceramic filter" that's a "venturi-shaped sound channel." This noise filter is designed to tune out the sound frequencies of wind noise and road noise.

For storage, it comes with a screw-cap aluminum tube that's easy to drop when you're holding the plugs and unscrewing the cap. Don't try this while standing on top of a stormwater drain.

Using them:
The plugs are easy to put in. You tug on your earlobe or on the top of your ear (depending on your personal anatomy) and insert the plug with a twist. The plug is comfortable and doesn't feel like it's filling your entire ear canal, the way foam plugs do. Removing is easy -- grasp the central tube and gently pull out.

This is where the NoNoise plugs shine. Wind noise was almost gone. At the same time, I could hear the acoustic guitar on the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun." It's hard to describe (or to believe) how well these things filter out wind noise while letting you hear music and, more important, passing cars. While waiting a stoplight, a police car went past and turned on its siren. I heard the siren clearly.

I'm impressed that the wind noise was gone, but I could hear tire noise from cars. It's important for me to be able to hear cars coming up behind me.

For 2-1/2 years I have used, off and on, Alpine Motosafe earplugs, which are very good. Motosafes are made of silicone and they, too, have sound filters that fit into the central tube. The Motosafe sound filters are made of hard plastic, and there are two sets: green for low-speed city riding, and yellow for highway riding.

Motosafes do a good job of filtering out wind noise while letting in other sounds. But the NoNoise plugs are much better at this selective filtering. Both are better than foam plugs.

I liked the Motosafes, but they did have problems. For one thing, the noise filters are slick, hard plastic, and after a few weeks, they slid out of the silicone earplugs when I was removing the plugs. Eventually I had to superglue them in.

The Motosafes are too floppy to insert with your fingers, so you have to use a small plastic inserter.

Foam plugs are OK, but they muffle everything and not just wind noise. The NoNoise plugs muffle the wind noise but hardly anything else. And I don't particularly like the feel of foam plugs, whereas NoNoise and Motosafe plugs feel less intrusive.

Other thoughts:
When I saw the description of the NoNoise plugs on Twisted Throttle, I was skeptical. NoNoise makes plugs for all sorts of applications, from motorsports to airplane travel to gardening work, and the company says that each variety of plugs is tuned to filter out noise peculiar to that application. I was dubious, but my Motosafes were on their last legs (and, in fact, one of the Motosafe plugs fell apart as I was getting ready to go home from work yesterday -- and when I got home, the NoNoise plugs were in the mailbox. Perfect timing.), so I took a flyer on this new brand. I'm glad I did.

And finally, I have a quirk in my cranial anatomy that causes problems with most earplugs, whether they're Alpine Motosafes or foam plugs: My right ear canal is almost vertical. When I insert an earplug, the tail end invariably rests against the inside of my outer ear. Because the outer ear is pressed against the lining of the helmet, the vibrations caused by wind noise are transferred directly to the earplug, and I get a loud rumbling noise in my right year.

These NoNoise plugs are short, so they don't rest on the fleshy part of my ear. Thus they are silent.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:35 AM   #2
There and back again
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: East Greenwich, RI
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Thanks for the review...I was at TwistedThrottle last weekend and saw them there...I almost grabbed a pair, but didn't. Maybe I will now. They looked like nothing special or unique.

Wind noise on my Multistrada is awful...using normal foam ear plugs now and they help, but not enough for me.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:58 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Super F'd Up N. California
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While I'm still waiting for magical earplugs that will restore my hearing, those are interesting. There is an audio simulation panel here for the earplugs:

Qui Desiderant Pacem Preparate Bellum
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Kennewick, WA
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I used those before on tactical shoots, work great in close quarters shooting, oh any they are comfy...but get nasty looking quick if you have waxy ears
08 KTM 530EXC
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:04 PM   #5
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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I've been using the disposable foam earplugs for a while, but really need to try something better. The foams ones just don't stay put in my ears...and lately, I can barely tell I have them in.
2003 Aprilia Tuono
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Joined: Dec 2013
Location: The Desert SW
Oddometer: 195
I thought I was to only one using earplugs. Everywhere I go, nobody wears them. I use the foam disposable ones. I do not wish to cut all the noise, but I don't like the ringing ears if I don't wear em.

The foam is all I have ever used, so I'm used to them. "EAR" brand.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:50 AM   #7
Vtwin madness
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Not quite Tamworth, Aus
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I can't ride without earplugs.
950A, 660RR, 640A, 250EXC-2t, RM125C, PE175C, TM250
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
Dr Shafty
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Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Flagstaff
Oddometer: 39
Just ordered a pair. If they work as advertised
Just to say, my C3 Pro is almost quiet enough to forgo ear plugs. But, I've worn Hearos or similar for 40 years, and much prefer the quiet they bring. Listening to helmet speakers however with 30db plugs in is at best a pale compromise, at worst a waste of time.
Looking forward to trying them out.
...'excitable boy'...
2004 1150GSA
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:53 PM   #9
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: CO
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Cool, I'll try these.

They're also available on Amazon if anyone has prime and wants to get the free, quick shipping:

ETA: I am a fan of earpro and use it often because my hearing is important to me. I have SensGard ZEM noise cancelling earplugs I use for mowing and stuff like that. Sordin MSA Supreme Pros for shooting (amazing electronic stereo muffs that amplify quiet sounds and cut out loud and sharp sounds). FOr riding all I use is foam plugs. They work ok and I think they offer sufficient protection but something like this that lets other non-damaging sounds through would be nice. I hope they work well.

Mine should be here Wednesday.

Pardus screwed with this post 04-12-2014 at 08:50 PM
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:23 PM   #10
queasy rider
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Western Mass.
Oddometer: 437
always wear hearing protection!

At "middle-age" (50) I began to lose my hearing (due to years of unprotected exposure to rock-n-roll, motorcycles, hand tools, etc.). I never had any concern about this when I was younger. As a result I've lost much hi-frequency hearing and the curve is getting lower every year. This is NOT fun! In groups I need to be able to see the face of whoever is talking to understand them. Loud restaurants, parties, etc. render any conversation almost impossible. I often get "ringing" in my ears (tinnitus) which is very unpleasant. I now use hearing protection all the time, for any activities that might require it. Sure I feel like an old man/nerd at rock concerts! Yes it is a bit of a pita sometimes. But, I do not want to lose what hearing I have left any sooner than is necessary. Besides, I find riding much more pleasurable and less fatiguing without excessive noise!
"I intend to live forever, or die trying”. Groucho Marx
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
wandering fool
A Man on a Bike
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: New Orleans
Oddometer: 73
Okay MtC they better be good because I just ordered some!
I too have abused my ears and am paying the price so I am looking forward to trying these. I hate the all or nothing nature of the foam plugs. Thanks for the review!
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:23 PM   #12
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Oddometer: 410
I've been using plain old foam for years. Always, no matter what helmet or bike for the street. In contrast I don't have a habit of using them in the dirt -- maybe silly I know.

My 990 sure does create a lot of wind noise. Trying a few things on the bike to remedy that. Also going to try some memory foam in the ear pockets of my helmet and see what improvement that yields.

For all of you that have ordered these new ear plugs, please chime back in and give your candid opinion on how well they work. I want to hear more from you, ha no pun intended, before I buy them.

2013 KTM 990 Adventure Baja Edition
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:57 PM   #13
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Arlington, VA
Oddometer: 28
Thank you for the recommendation. Just ordered myself a pair.

I've always found the disposable foams ones to be fine, but I am always looking for newer and better.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #14
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Oddometer: 3,924
I'll be checking back to hear the reviews on these as well. I have a hard time getting the foam ones to stay put, or to expand properly. I've tried some of the silicone ones before, and had zero luck with them. They don't stay put, and don't seem to eliminate hardly any decibels.

I too wear earplugs at concerts. Some of my friends thought I was just being weird until they tried it. Not only do I not suffer from 3 days of ringing ears after a concert, I can actually hear the music better with them in. I already have tinnitus. I can really hear it in bed at's always there, but I only notice it when it's really quiet.
2003 Aprilia Tuono
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency!
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #15
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Rochester, New York
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Many thanks for the thorough review. Just ordered from Amazon.
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