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Old 01-28-2014, 08:31 PM   #1
Tweakedlogic OP
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Memphis TN
Oddometer: 31
Ear buds for long rides?

Let's be clear... I don't want to rock out in traffic. I want to be able to listen to music at a comfortable level on long hauls.

What I'm really looking for is ear plugs with speakers in them. I've tried more than a couple in-ear phones while riding. Most of them are so poor at isolating sound from the outside that I have to crank the volume all the way up. I do not want that.

Part of the trouble is the windscreen blasts my visor, which is only slightly better than the stock one that hammered my chin bar. At anything over 40 MPH, the wind roar is evident. Full disclosure, my GSX1200 does not like 40 MPH.

First must have is really good noise isolation, second priority is sound quality, and I would prefer not to spend my next paycheck on them too.

What do you use?
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:59 PM   #2
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Location: Phoenix / Toronto
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Bose's QC20 ear buds are top drawer, but expensive ($2-300).

At the other end of the scale, Sony's NC13's are only $50 and do a good job of noise isolation.

The key is to find a set that's comfortable in your helmet - not a small feat.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
Ricky Chuck
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S-Plugs work well for me, they push up into the ear and the line just hangs down in the openings. I got the single driver version, they make a double, and also have a custom mold program if you want even more comfort. I got the 22" length, but wish I had gotten longer for those times when I have lots of layers and a bacalava and neck warmer on, etc. Ride an R1150R with a windshield and Scorpion 900, which is too tight, and and an HJC full-face, which is too loud, but with a bacalava on it is almost dead quiet but for the wind vibration. Making calls is easy, and music is very pleasant.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:26 AM   #4
Joined: Jan 2014
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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All of the skull candy ear buds I've had have worked perfectly for the highway. I buy the ones that have the pause/play button on the cord which I can use while riding. It is nice to be able to turn the music off if I hit traffic.

Sent from my GS3
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
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Klispch x10. 125$ on eBay. I also use them at the shooting range
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
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Shure 215's - $99 - link to amazon

I bought a new Bell Star and it vents so much air (the reason I bought it) that I get a headache within 20 minutes of highway speeds. So I did a ton of research and settled on these.

The 215's are noise canceling. Foam tip that expands in the ear. Amp and speaker on the earbud. The earbud goes into your ear and lays flat against it - there is no protruding from the ear which means that it's easy to put your helmet on without pulling them out, and your helmet, if properly fitted, won't be pushing the earbuds further into your ear. The sound is amazing! I only need to keep it on the lower 25% volume from my iphone to hear the songs with full bass and clarity, while still being able to hear the road around me. Everything is replaceable for less than new price - since the earbuds, cords, and foam tips are all replaceable separately if needed - $15 for a handfull of replacement medium foam tips. The chord is long enough to run through my jacket and into any jacket pocket, or if it starts raining it's long enough to run through my jacket and into my tank bag with some slack to spare.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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Last year I used JVC Marshmallows which are at the dirt cheap end of the spectrum, they do block noise but I had issues when putting on my helmet they would shift a little and pop out just enough that they would let road and wind noise in.

I just ordered from reviews that I have seen havent been spectacular but they all seemed to be in regard to the cheap cord. I think they upgraded because of this and now use a stronger braided cord. For just over $40 I figure its worth a shot.

there are also which look similar but maybe a slightly large profile.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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I thought ER6i's where a great option until I bought customs, retired the Etys and bought a second pair as backup. They're that good, and things like replacing cords, fixing wiring issues, etc is usually about 35 dollars.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:46 AM   #9
Crazy George
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Meelectronics M6

Cheap, great sound, blocks out a lot of noise, and comfortable in a helmet.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:53 AM   #10
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I have been using Comply replacement earphone tips for many years.

They are the equivalent of compressable 'foamie' ear plugs that slip on the end of your exsiting earphones.

They are offered in different sizes so beware.

They are not cheap for what they are and they do wear out, however they work well.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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Custom molded earplugs with the speaker kit is the best and probably the most expensive. I love mine, can wear them all day with no discomfort and they don't pop out mid ride or while you are putting your helmet on.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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most earbuds that use an expandable foam or "marshmallow" style insert will have excellent sound dampening. the rubber diaphram style is often easier to insert and stay inserted, but has less sound dampening. i've tried several. skull candy often has very good sound quality... but i've had both good and bad sounding sets from them.

i could not afford the bose earbuds... and they do have a set closer to the $100 mark. Polk audio had a sale going on, and i scored a set of UltraFit 3000's. the sound quality is phenomenal.... once seated properly. getting them set is the trick... but once in place, they fit me really good. i've worn them several times and love them.

the "headset" actually is detachable from the main cord with the mic/controls which leaves less to snag on when putting on and removing the helmet. if you like to keep your device mounted on the bike, that leaves a clean break-away at the helmet end. the set came with 3 different cords and an adapter for the smallest plug like you see on the casios, early motorolas and such. using my ipod, the volume is usually hovering around 2/3 volume, and thats with the EQ set to "loudness". I only recently got an iphone and finally tested the mic. i chose to run the cord (flat by the way) through the front of my helmet face shield. i keep the mic tucked inside... and i've been able to carry on a conversation on the phone just fine at anything resembling a reasonable speed on a KLR.

i wanted to get a Sena headset... and now i'm not sure i want to bother with it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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I ride a dualsport and listen to music everywhere I go even on shortest of rides. I use a Sena SMH5 and love it. Don't have to fuss with earbuds coming out or in while on rides. It can be super loud or quiet. Even when doing 85mph I can listen just fine.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:27 PM   #14
One Less Harley
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Originally Posted by anonny View Post
Custom molded earplugs with the speaker kit is the best and probably the most expensive. I love mine, can wear them all day with no discomfort and they don't pop out mid ride or while you are putting your helmet on.

I had some custom ear plugs made and they did a terrible job. I'm probably one of the very few that hate those things. Money wasted for me. Etymotic ER6 work great for me, but may no longer be available.

I think my ear canal is shaped funny as even with foam ear plugs it takes some work to get a good seal.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:49 PM   #15
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freaking edit function is going crazy.

so while I don't currently use these... (I use speakers in helmet)

there are some features you seem to be looking for. (under $50 on amazon)

85%+ accuracy score

  • Tight, accurate bass with crystal clear high‑frequency detail at all listening levels

noise isolation
  • 35 dB - 42 dB of noise isolation
  • Documented highest noise isolation of any earphones or headphones on the market today

plugging them into your smart phone?

Listen to your music AND the outside world
with AWARENESS! for Etymotic mobile APP

AWARENESS! for Etymotic is a mobile app that takes the in-ear listening experience to the next level. Listeners can change sound level settings to hear not only their music, but the world around them. Perfect for exercising at the gym, jogging outside, awaiting a boarding call at the airport, or even listening to a podcast while watching kids at the playground.
You control how much outside sound is heard and when. No need to remove or re-adjust your earphones. To use AWARENESS! for Etymotic follow the easy instructions to get you started.

  1. 1. Download AWARENESS! for Etymotic from the iTunes App Store℠*.
  2. 2. The Awareness App requires a username (email address) and a password to activate the noise isolation features. Start activation process here.
  3. 3. An email verification will be sent to you. Please click on the link provided to activate your account.
  4. 4. Open the App on your mobile device and enter your username (email address) and password you provided to unlock all the noise isolation features.
Why Programmable Noise Isolation?

Etymotic earphones offer the highest noise isolation available blocking up to 98% of ambient noise. There will be times when you want or need to be aware of your surroundings.
  • Maximizes awareness for any situation (commuting, outdoor sports, work/office communication)
  • Never miss an important announcement or communication—Stay aware.
  • Get the most of your ETYMOTIC noise-isolating headset + earphones.
Informative, easy-to-use mobile interface so users get the most out of their ETYMOTIC noise-isolating earphones.

Originally Posted by Tweakedlogic View Post
Let's First must have is really good noise isolation, second priority is sound quality, and I would prefer not to spend my next paycheck on them too.

seems to fit the bill

KoolBreeze screwed with this post 01-29-2014 at 08:00 PM Reason: nuke
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