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Noise Isolating IEM for use while riding motorcycle

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi, I need some help in choosing an IEM for use on my motorcycle. Bar far the biggest factor in my purchase is noise isolation, to help block out wind noise/road noise while still being able to listen to music at a comfortable level. The second most important factor for me would be how far the IEMs protrude from the ears, as they have to fit comfortably under a helmet. Currently I have been using a pair of Meelectronics M9s, but I have found that they protrude from my ears a little to much and don't isolate as well as I would like. Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 16

What's your budget? The Shure SE215 offers good isolation.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was looking for around $50. They don't have to have great sound quality, just isolate really well. I am willing to look into more expensive options as well.

post #4 of 16

Look into CIEMs. Not cheap, though there are some competitively priced options, but they would be ideal for your purpose.
 

post #5 of 16

For $50, you can choose from Brainwavz, MEElectronics and my favourite among that range I've tried are the HisoundAudio E212. The noise isolation is good but I'm not sure how it will fit when you are wearing a helmet. Also look at Vsonic GR06, the design looks like it can fit inside a helmet and is good value.

post #6 of 16

Man... as a rider. BADBADBADBADBADBAD idea.

 

C'mon, seriously?!

 

Motorcycles are dangerous enough with all the people out there trying to kill us.

 

You want to eliminate one of your most important senses to save your life?

 

It blows my mind you are even considering this. Not in a million years would I. Just me though. 

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnnW View Post

Man... as a rider. BADBADBADBADBADBAD idea.

 

C'mon, seriously?!

 

Motorcycles are dangerous enough with all the people out there trying to kill us.

 

You want to eliminate one of your most important senses to save your life?

 

It blows my mind you are even considering this. Not in a million years would I. Just me though. 

+1

But if you absolutely must, I'd go with an earbud so that you can at least hear some stuff going on around you. 

post #8 of 16

lol just let OP learn it the hard way

 

(now i feel like a total *sshole)

post #9 of 16

I don't appreciate your guys' condescending tone. I made an account just for this, because it is very clear to me that none of you have ever ridden a motorcycle before. 

Let me educate you.

 

Motorcycle Riders are at serious risk for hearing loss as the noise in your helmet -will- reach at least 110 dB. That right there for any prolonged amount of time is hearing damage. In fact, it's extremely common (and highly suggested by all riding associations and audiologists) for motorcyclists to wear earplugs to dampen the wind noise and bring the dB into a more acceptable (and not permanently damaging) range. 


Want sources? Here. I did the cursory google search for you so you don't have to do it yourself. 
http://www.audiologyworld.net/pdf/motorcyclenoise.pdf

http://www.hearingtestlabs.com/motorcycle.htm

http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/motorcycle-helmet-hearing-loss-study/

 

"Now why doesn't he just get earplugs and not listen to music? It's still dangerous. Music is a distraction." Yes. It is. And for that reason, when you drive your car you shouldn't listen to music, talk on the phone, listen to the radio, and the whole variety of things you do to keep yourself entertained while on the road. Because let's be honest, you're riding a giant metal battering ram that could easily kill any pedestrian and vehicle faring passenger if you accidentally hit them. Double standards. Don't even start. 

 

tldr; On a motorcycle, all you hear is the wooshing of the wind that's so loud it causes hearing loss. OP's question is perfectly valid and he's looking after this ear health. 

 

edit: grammars


Edited by Evre - 10/8/13 at 9:23pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evre View Post
 

I don't appreciate your guys' condescending tone. I made an account just for this, because it is very clear to me that none of you have ever ridden a motorcycle before. 

Let me educate you.

 

Motorcycle Riders are at serious risk for hearing loss as the noise in your helmet -will- reach at least 110 dB. That right there for any prolonged amount of time is hearing damage. In fact, it's extremely common (and highly suggested by all riding associations and audiologists) for motorcyclists to wear earplugs to dampen the wind noise and bring the dB into a more acceptable (and not permanently damaging) range. 


Want sources? Here. I did the cursory google search for you so you don't have to do it yourself. 
http://www.audiologyworld.net/pdf/motorcyclenoise.pdf

http://www.hearingtestlabs.com/motorcycle.htm

http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/motorcycle-helmet-hearing-loss-study/

 

"Now why doesn't he just get earplugs and not listen to music? It's still dangerous. Music is a distraction." Yes. It is. And for that reason, when you drive your car you shouldn't listen to music, talk on the phone, listen to the radio, and the whole variety of things you do to keep yourself entertained while on the road. Because let's be honest, you're riding a giant metal battering ram that could easily kill any pedestrian and vehicle faring passenger if you accidentally hit them. Double standards. Don't even start. 

 

tldr; On a motorcycle, all you hear is the wooshing of the wind that's so loud it causes hearing loss. OP's question is perfectly valid and he's looking after this ear health. 

 

edit: grammars

 

Sorry but you're wrong in my opinion. First of all I do ride a bike.

 

Second of all, it's different. In a car a radio is not in your ears. You can still hear outside noise. I say the same thing to people who wear earbuds in their car. It's dangerous.

 

You can't hear things around you with earbuds in. Horns... anything. 

 

"You don't appreciate the condescending tone?" Please... I said it out of a serious safety concern. 

post #11 of 16

It may not be the wisest idea to use IEMs while riding around around school zones:)

 

But I don't really see how it would be an issue on the highway. Especially if wind reaches 110db. There is not a lot in the way of of external sounds that you will hear over that anyway.

 

I guess it is for the individual to be aware of and manage risks, and to use some common sense.

post #12 of 16

As a bike rider, I've been to'ing and fro'ing over this for a while - would I listen to music on the bike?

When I ride, I wear earplugs to reduce the external roar to less damaging levels and as others have said, you don't hear much at all above the road\wind noise.

So, I don't rely on my ears at all - I use my eyes to ensure I know exactly whats going on all around me at all times.

 

So, I would listen to music on the bike?

If I could trust myself not to get absorbed by it and have it affect my right hand :D 

post #13 of 16

if you don't care about sound quality and looking for cheap buds to isolate I love the Skullcandy earphones. the last ones I used were the FMJ ( eh I liked them for the bass but is discontinued)  and the Smoking buds which were around $30 when I bought them

post #14 of 16

Graymatter,

I know I'm answering a bit late, but have you found a solution that you like yet?

I've gone through numerous models of IEMs over the years. So far I have found things that either sound good, or stay in my ears, or are comfortable for extended periods, but nothing that does all three.

 

Currently, I'm using Etymotic HF-3s. For daily use, the HF-3s have great sound isolation and very accurate sound. They are quite adequate for me, for everything except riding. Unfortunately, their lack of bass emphasis means a deficit of bass inside a full face helmet when at speed.

The other issue is comfort. I am currently using the included foam tips because the three flange tips become painful after a couple of hours or so. The foam tips result in slightly poorer isolation and sound quality. Plus they fall out more easily than the three-flange tips once my helmet is on. But I've had to make the compromise for long rides. 

 

As I'm sure you've experienced, once at speed, bass disappears even with a good isolation seal. I really want better bass at highway speed. I'm not a bass head. I know it will be too much bass once I get off the bike. But I'm looking for a set specifically for long rides. 

 

So, I have been looking for a small, comfortable, IEM with good isolation and bass emphasis. 

I'm going to try:

Klipsch s4i

Scosche IEM856MD

 

I suspect that each of those two might be physically too large and either hurt or get pulled out of my ears once I have my helmet on.

But, both are apparently bass emphasized and have iPhone compatible controls. I'm not interested in talking on the phone while riding. But I require pause and volume control buttons on the IEMs since iPhone touch screens don't work with any of my riding gloves.

Any thoughts about those two? Or do you have any other suggestions?

 

I'm also interested in the Bose QC20 noise canceling IEMs. There is a great motorcycle specific review of them at webbikeworld: 

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r5/bose-quiet-comfort-20-review/

They're very expensive, but I think they may be worth a try. If the "awareness" switch works as advertised they'd be an improvement over simple hearing protection (ear plugs) which I use even when I'm not listening to music. I'm skeptical, but they are returnable.

 

BTW, for all you safety dudes out there: every riding safety instructor and ultra-distance rider that I've ever met (myself included) will tell you that hearing protection is *required* at anything over 35 mph or you *will* induce hearing loss over time. The best hearing protection advertises about -30dB. In practice, reduction is really more like -25dB or less, which just isn't enough to prevent a rider from hearing a car horn, a siren or screeching tires. You listen to music in your car going down the highway, don't you?

I'm not a 15 year old kid riding a scooter around in city traffic. So, if you're a non-rider or a safety-dude, please spare us all the lecture.

 

Anyway, I plan on trying all three, but I'm open to any other suggestions.

Buy, ride, return. Buy, ride, return. Buy, ride, smile. :)


Edited by D-28 - 11/13/13 at 5:04pm
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

D-28, I haven't found something I really like yet. I can't see myself spending all that much money (maybe like $30-$40) on new pair of IEMs. I have a pair of monoprice's enhanced bass IEMs, I liked that they protruded less, but they didn't have the pronounced bass that the M-9s had. I too need a little more bass while riding. I'm going to look into getting a pair of M-6s as they would protrude a lot less, but have about the same sound signature of the M-9s. I added a set of foam tips to my m-9s. While this helped with the isolation, they still protrude a little too much. While this is annoying, I'm probably going to just stick with the M-9s until I find something I think is worth trying in my price range. If you find something that works for you please let me know!

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