Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 6:27 pm Thread Starter
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Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Hi, all,

I use earplugs when riding. The typical ones that you can get have usually over 30dB attenuation.

That is too much for me. I'd love to find soft-foam plugs that are just a tad over 20dB.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #2 of 12 Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 9:36 pm
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
Hi, all,

I use earplugs when riding. The typical ones that you can get have usually over 30dB attenuation.

That is too much for me. I'd love to find soft-foam plugs that are just a tad over 20dB.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Take a gander at this site. They should have sumpthin' that'll work for ya. Good luck.
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post #3 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 10:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Thanks, Dick, that site is useful. I ordered the sample pack.


I use 30+ normally, but my new J&M portable intercom (Integrator IV) is barely audible with plugs inserted.

For quite a while by now, I have been using the BMW-branded J&M unit built into my K1200LT; that one is loud enough to hear music and talk through all types of plugs.

I am a bit disappointed with the portable unit (which I need for the R1200GS) - it seems to struggle to generate enough volume. No problem without plugs, of course, but with the 32dB plugs inserted I can barely hear audio even when set at the highest level.

Before I build an in-line booster amplifier for the headsets, I am willing to sacrifice a bit of wind noise attenuation - at least to see how it works out.

Looks like I'll be most likely trying the moldable Mack's plugs. Will let you know.

The 29dB Hearo's are too close to my usual 32dB plugs: even though they attenuate half the audio power, they do not sound much different - human ear's response is logarithmic and reducing audio power by 2 does not have much effect.

Robert.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #4 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 11:49 am
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
Thanks, Dick, that site is useful. I ordered the sample pack.


I use 30+ normally, but my new J&M portable intercom (Integrator IV) is barely audible with plugs inserted.

For quite a while by now, I have been using the BMW-branded J&M unit built into my K1200LT; that one is loud enough to hear music and talk through all types of plugs.

I am a bit disappointed with the portable unit (which I need for the R1200GS) - it seems to struggle to generate enough volume. No problem without plugs, of course, but with the 32dB plugs inserted I can barely hear audio even when set at the highest level.

Before I build an in-line booster amplifier for the headsets, I am willing to sacrifice a bit of wind noise attenuation - at least to see how it works out.

Looks like I'll be most likely trying the moldable Mack's plugs. Will let you know.

The 29dB Hearo's are too close to my usual 32dB plugs: even though they attenuate half the audio power, they do not sound much different - human ear's response is logarithmic and reducing audio power by 2 does not have much effect.

Robert.
Robert, I don't know a thang about this product, butt I hear lotsa folks use 'em. Called a Boosteroo, or sumpthin' like that. Apparently a type of in-line audio volume booster. You might check on 'em (Google it) and see if it might work. Good luck, sir.
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post #5 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 12:18 pm
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Robert,

You seem to be very knowledgeable on the subject...so you probably already know this...butt...There are earplugs with speakers built in that do a nice job of keeping wind and road noise out while giving you plenty volume for your sounds.

If you are using the J&M integrator, you can get an adapter from cyclegadgets that will offer you a 1/8 th inch stereo jack for them to use

http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products...asp?Item=SPLUG

http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products...ct.asp?Item=HA

Check out those sites.

Hope that helps,

Ron


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735,834 miles on touring motorcycles since 1990

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2003 LTE 164,188 miles Silver (Purchased with 1687)
2008 R1200RT 176,196 miles (Purchased with 16458)
2017 R1200RT 84,612 miles (new)
Total BMW miles 497,451
1982 GL1100 rode 84108 miles (bought with 12012 sold 96120)
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post #6 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Thanks, Dick and Ron:

I am trying to start using only one helmet for all my bikes and that is why I do not want to use separate earsets: they do not work with the built-in J&M helmet speakers. Too tight in ear cavities and too painful.

Until recently, I have used Etymotic's earplug-speakers on some bikes and used one helmet on the LT and another elsewhere. Just too much trouble.

By the way, Boostaroo is an amplifier for earsets, so again, it would not help me.

My point is that the K1200LT system works very well, combining my Sat radio, GPS, radar detector, FRS radio and passenger intercom at correct volume.

I would like to make it easy on myself and have the same setup with the same helmet on other bikes and that is why I want to use the compatible J&M Intergrator. Since its volume is lower, I am willing to try less insulating earplugs.

If everything else fails, I may built an inline amplifier into the helmet cord - I am able to do that, but do not feel like it is worth the effort yet.

I'll keep you all posted on the further developments. Time to continue prepping the bikes for beginning of the season. Finally!

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #7 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 5:43 pm
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Robert

When the J&M unit first came out for the LT I found that, for me, I would like a bit more volume at the speakers. WHen I explained to the owner what I was doing (wearing earplugs and turning the volume up), he got a bit antsy and made it clear that they weren't intended to be used that way. I am not surprised then that the mobile unit sufferes in this area...a pity as the LT unit is so very good in so many other ways.

Good luck and I'll keep an eye on this thread. Maybe J&M would do a one-off installation of the Boosteroo inline on the curly cord :-).

Ralph
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but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

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Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #8 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 9:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
...WHen I explained to the owner what I was doing (wearing earplugs and turning the volume up), he got a bit antsy and made it clear that they weren't intended to be used that way...
Interesting!

I'll post the results of my experiments here.

So far, I found that it is the output of the Integrator that is limiting (it can only put out so much) rather than the input having a limited sensitivity (like the AUX input on K12LT factory radio).

I have boosted the inputs using my Mix-It amplifier, but it resulted in noisy clipping of the audio (distortion). That may be due to the fact that the Integrator is designed to use battery power sparingly and has lesser maximum output swing than the K12LT system running directly off the bike power system.

As said, my preference at this point is to use less-attenuating plugs. If that does not work out, I may look into amplifying the output to helmet speakers. That is going to be quite cumbersome, so that I'll leave it for last.

I design electronics for living, therefore I am not worried about the task, however I do not feel like cutting up the cords and adding yet another bulky box to the setup.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #9 of 12 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 11:32 pm
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Sensaphonics (http://www.sensaphonics.com/) provides custom molded earplugs that fit a variety of earphones. I have a set for my Shure SE530's. I use them for air travel. You can also get foam inserts that go into the slot in the place of the (Shure or other brand) earphones. Assorted foam densities are available, with different amounts of sound attenuation; you can try them until you find one with the right level for your needs. If I remember right, they start at -5 or -7 dB, and range up to -30 dB (??).

You go to an audiologist to get the molds made. The audiologist sends the molds to Sensaphonics and the new earplugs come back in about three weeks or so.

Custom-fitted earplugs are the most comfortable and give the best seal, because they fit your ears perfectly. With the earphones in, they give near perfect isolation, even on a noisy airplane full of crying babies, and I can listen to music at a quiet level.
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post #10 of 12 Old Mar 25th, 2008, 3:37 pm
 
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

You might want to check these by Alpine. Number one in Europe. Still may be to much reduction for you. They come with two filters so that you can 'tune' them. http://motorcyclingprovisions.com/pr...8&productId=84
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post #11 of 12 Old Mar 27th, 2008, 10:29 am
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

I have had a good bit of luck with the self molded kits. You mix two parts together and mold them into your ears - wait the allotted time and you have custom silicone ear plugs. I have found that if you keep them clean, they will last a long time - or until you Golden finds one on the floor and chews it up.

My last kit came from an online sport shooting website. I figured they would have decent ear protection products and they did - at a better price than motorcycle specific sites.

If you are interested, I will see if I can find the invoice and give you a website. I purchased two just in case I messed one up.

Lee Nowell
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post #12 of 12 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 9:43 pm
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Re: Earplugs that are not as insulating? Less than 30dB?

Have you tried cutting the foam ear plugs?
Bob

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