I need earplugs suited for motorcycle use. I've tried out a few drugstore-level products (poor isolation) as well as helmet speakers (not quite loud enough to enjoyably get through earplugs) and want to try something better.
I have an upper target of $100 in price, give or take.
I am looking for IEM's with the following three criteria, in order of importance:
1. Isolation - as high as possible. I normally jam 33dB-NRR foam plugs in as deep as they will go. I can tell you for sure that single-flange silicone are totally inadequate in the SPL levels I'm operating in. I commute on the freeway three hours or more each day, and cannot overstate the importance of adequate hearing protection for myself. No earplugs = ringing in my ears and deafness for up to an hour after the commute.
2. Form factor - over-the-ear wire loop, and flush to ear. Something probably more like the Shure SE215, and less like the Etymotic HF5 stick-shaped plugs. Anything that sticks out will jam into the helmet, causing pain, and dislodge the plugs or interrupt the seal as I squeeze my head into or out of the helmet. Over-the-ear wire loop isolates the forces and keeps the plugs in position under the helmet.
3. Sound Quality - Is still important, but must yield to 1 and 2. I primarily listen to audiobooks/lectures, music, communication and telephone. I might also use them at work to help me focus in a noisy environment.
I'm sorry to ask for a recommendation as my first post, but I have spent some time searching and reading guides and threads, both here and at other forums for advice. The information on isolation I found tends to be SQ-centric, mainly for static listeners, and doesn't really address the unusual environment of freeway motorcycling.
I've been looking at the SE215 - good form factor, but my concern is that the isolation may not be good enough.
I've been looking at the Etymotic HF5 and MC5 - good deep insertion and isolation, but my concern is that the form factor may be painful.
Thank you very much,
Edited by rmzalbar - 3/11/14 at 1:31pm