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Speaking of Headphones


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Mrs. A has a problem with headphones. We've tried at least 4 different headphones (one had 3 interchangeable size inserts) and nothing really works for her. She's forever having one side or the other fall out. She's now investigating local outfits that will custom mold earplugs for her. It's a relatively expensive alternative ($120 to $150) so I thought I'd ask if anyone has tried that route or perhaps online places that send the stuff to mold your own?



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I've had good luck with a DIY modification. If you're not really uptight about the fidelity... For me on a bike, it's so noisy that even with hi-fi earbuds it still sounds lousy.


#1 take a set of earbuds - the kind with the little rubber mushroom heads that slip into your ear canal. Throw away the silicone mushroom bits. #2, take a pair of regular foam earplugs and compress them into a flat little pancake. Then using a 2mm coring tool (fashion a makeshift coring tool out of sharpened metal ballpoint pen parts, etc...), cut a core out of the earplug. Should be straight down the center so it defeats the purpose of the earplug. #3 superglue the earplug onto where the old mushroom bits were mounted. Be sure to stretch the earplug down over the little shaft. #4 install them into your head just like a regular earplug.


My earbuds were $18. Earplugs are free, or close to it. And surely you have some superglue laying around... Like I mentioned earlier, the sound is a little muffled, but at 50mph on a bike, how can you tell? The only other thing I do is, if I need a new pair (this happened once in 5 years), I'll look specifically for earbuds that have a low external profile, so there's less interference from the helmet. I also wash mine once in a while, and that goes alright if you're not too sloppy with the soap and water.


I guess if that doesn't work, you can always superglue the earbuds directly into the missus' earcanal. She'd prolly be good for a couple months that way.

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Allen Rowand


I'm in the same boat. I've been trying these:


for a while. The company was great- PayPal screwed up the processing on my order, so EarFuze gave me a discount and free expedited shipping. Nice.


I've had 2 issues; 1) They get pulled out of my ears when I take the helmet off and 2) they start to hurt after an hour due to pressure from my helmet's ear pads.


For problem 1, I'm wearing a helmet liner which definitely helps. For problem 2, I just took an X-Acto and removed some material to see if that helps with the pressure.


I know this isn't exactly what you were asking, but may be an alternative for those that don't want to shell out for molds. If these don't work, I may check back to see what you did!



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I use a different slipon for each ear. One that was ok on my right ear, just didn't fit the left ear. Some people say I'm a little unbalanced.

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As has been mentioned before, the fidelity of the ER6i is remarkable, while practically eliminating wind/road/engine noise at the same time.


The first time I used them I was stunned that I could hear the music with better clarity at 70 mph, than I could on my home system.


I use foam tips and can have them in for 12+ hours without discomfort. The silicone ones with the "layers" did become uncomfortable after many hours in the ear.


They aren't cheap, but they are definately worth the money. I depend on mine to the point that I always carry an extra set in case something would happen when away from home.

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The problem I had with ER-6is in my helmet is the sticky outy part- where the "speaker" (yeah, I know it's a balanced armature, or some such) is- it gets bumped, leverages on the part in your ear canal, falls out.




Arizona Al's.


Best thing in the world.


Worth every penny. I should have bought them first.



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Does anyone know if Arizona Al will be at fall Torrey? How much does a set cost?


Saw a post in the "We're pumped" Torrey thread says Al will be there. I have used custom earphones for years, and wouldn't be without them. I got mine through a local audiologist, referred by the supplier, Westone.

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Custom molded silicone earplugs are my choice. They fit flatter under a helmet than most over-the-counter sets and they go in instantly. I hated fussing with foamies but do note good foam plugs do block more total sound. I actually prefer the damping of silicone plugs since they let in some useful traffic and radar detector frequencies.


I have a set with speakers and another set without (cheaper). The speaker set works but the sound quality is nowhere near my Etymotic ER-4P's. If you want to find the best price on custom molded I'd say go to a gun show. For whatever reason I found much better prices there than at any of the local motorcycle shows.

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der Wanderer

What do Formula 1 riders wear? If it works for them, it should work for me ;)

I know they tend to tape over the earbud to prevent it from moving prior to putting the liner/balaclava over their head.

Talking of which I have been trying to find one of those liners... no luck so far. Help someone?


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For years I couldn't figure out why I had trouble keeping the foam earplugs in. Others would compress them, insert them and be fine. But not me. As it turns out, I have small ear canals. I was at WalMart one day and saw some earplugs made for children to wear while in the pool. Bought some and they work perfectly. Can't remember the brand but they come two pairs packed in a plastic box, are blue in color and cost about $3.50.



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I'm similarly challenged, and have never found a pair of buds that really work for my small ear canals. If you go the Earfuze route, definitely spring for the kit that includes the practice ear. I tried a similar approach with some mail-order 2-part silicone putty, both for earphones and to make noise reducing earplugs. Neither experiment was completely successful for different reasons.


For sonic reasons, the earphones I was using had to be open at the back, and I never got an acceptable result with the putty. This should not be the case with the Earfuze phones, because they are designed to be covered by the putty.


For earplugs, after a couple of practice runs, I made a pair that fit fairly, but I discovered that I still preferred the feel and sound reduction of disposable foam plugs. I suspect this would not be the case if I had professionally made custom earplugs, but I'm so absent-minded that I'm reluctant to invest the money for something I am likely to lose.

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Best of both worlds a local audiologist clinic molded the custom plugs to fit my ER6's DSCN0070.JPG




That looks great, if you have room in your helmet.


Some of us meatheads, due to the limited size of helmet shells available to fit our melon like heads, have less room between the shell and our head, meaning the ear pockets are shallower, and even with some foam removed, there isn't room to comfortably accomodate the "sticky outy" part of that setup.


That's why the AZ Al plugs work so great for me- no sticky outy bit.


Also, it makes on and off easier- no worrying about the helmet dislodging the plugs when the helmet goes on.


If you have a differently shaped head you might not have such concerns. Me? I think my head is shaped like Mr. Potato head or something.

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Go to earinc.com they do a wide range of hearing protection and headphones.... under the motorcycle tab, check out the iPlugz


I have a pair and they are phenomenal. yes they were a couple hundred bucks, but the custom mold to your ear cant be beat and they are more comfortable and stable under a helmet than any other thing I had tried.


I probably went through over $200 worth of headphones in under 6 months before I got these. We use something similar under helmets in the air force and I had to do some searching to find this vendor... however well worth it once I did. The guy there was very friendly.. will set you up with someone local to take the impressions for free if you are in a big city... if not he will send the impression kit to you... my girlfriend did them for my ears without any problems in under 5 minutes.


Of all the farkling and gadgetry and equipment I have spent in relation to my bike, these are probably #3 after my roadcrafter and my helmet

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