About a year ago I got a pair of Nonoise hearing protectors, and I was sure that I posted an initial review of them on this site but I can’t find it (who knows, maybe it was the chromehed forum or somewhere else).
Anyway, it’s been 11 months since I got them and I am ordering a new set today. I have been using them daily for my commute (roughly 45 – 60 min each way) plus any extra-curricular riding I have done and they have become part of my regular compliment of gear. Prior to the Nonoise plugs I had been regularly using standard earplugs by Flents as a bit of background.
My initial review was something to the effect that it didn’t do all that was promised by the manufacturer but was close enough to the advertised ideal to make it worth it. After a year of using them, the ribs are starting to split, and the post to remove from the ear are starting to tear (more about that later) so I decided that I should stop using them, and being a notorious cheapskate decided I would go back to standard plugs by Flents for my riding. This morning was ride 1 with standard earplugs in 11 months, and I am spending the $30 as soon as I post this review. I am going to change my previously stated opinion of good enough to absolutely necessary.
The Flents provide attenuation sure enough, but it attenuates everything equally, which means that the ridiculous amount of wind noise from helmet buffeting my LT provides is in the same ratio as my music, traffic noise, and intercom. The Nonoise protectors adjust that ratio. On my ride this morning I found I had to drastically increase my radio volume to hear music, wind noise at highway speed was nearly unbearable, and overall everything just seemed louder but less defined. After the last 11 months it was an assault on my ears that was very unwelcomed. So the results of my 11-month test ride is that they indeed do exactly what the manufacturer claims, wind noise is drastically reduced in comparison to all the other noises you hear when on your bike, while all those other noises are reduced slightly but not as much as the wind.
Things I don’t like:
- Small size – I don’t have big ears, but on more than one occasion I have had them slip in too far and needed tweezers to remove (most likely the cause of the tearing of the removal post). It is always a little bit of a hassle to get them in just the right spot so that they make a seal, better when new and got progressively worse – probably should plan to replace at 6 month intervals going forward. I wish they made a larger size and the only (legitimate) complaint I have would go away.
- Price – an issue for me, but probably not for most. Going forward I am just planning $60 a year for hearing protection into my motorcycling budget and I’ll just have to deal with it because the value is worth far more than that to me.
Here is a link to the product on Amazon
for anyone interested, the new ones can’t get here soon enough!