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Old 02-03-2014, 11:32 AM   #1
indr OP
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What's new in custom molded earplugs?

There's the kits you can buy and DIY at home like the Radians which run $20-$30.

Then there's the ones you can go to a hearing specialist. And they use fancy molds to make you one. They run $100+

If you're using one of these, how long have you been using them, how are the working out? If you have the expensive ones, what it money well spent? Are they painful? Do they come loose? Tell me everything.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indr View Post
There's the kits you can buy and DIY at home like the Radians which run $20-$30.

Then there's the ones you can go to a hearing specialist. And they use fancy molds to make you one. They run $100+

If you're using one of these, how long have you been using them, how are the working out? If you have the expensive ones, what it money well spent? Are they painful? Do they come loose? Tell me everything.

G'day Indr

This may not be very relevant to you as I'm in Oz, but I've had a pair of custom moulded earplugs (with in line stereo speakers) for about 4 years now. The mould themselves have lasted very well, but the speaker cable outer insulation is starting to split in some area's.

I wasn't aware of the Radians product - but they look pretty good and are very similar to the way the ear mould plugs are custom fitted over here. Although they don't seem to have the final protective coating of clear silicone.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF7u-hle380

The ones I have were about AU@270 - given the exchange rate and the bullshit prices we pay for stuff over here, it's probably close to the US$100+ you mentioned.

Money well spent? - shit yeah. Wish I'd got them about 20 years ago.

Painfull? - NO - the usual off-the-shelf plugs start to hurt my ears after about 30 minutes (which is why I never wore any- which is why I've got a bad case of "industrial deafness" now).
The moulded ones I can wear all day and they only start to get a little uncomfortable after very long rides (12+ hours).

Come loose? NO. The silicone doesn't shrink and they're moulded to your own ear cavity, so they're always very snug.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:30 AM   #3
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The $20 "at home" molded plugs are basically the mold material that you would send in to the company that will mold the $100 silicone plugs for you.

The $20 versions will last you a year, maybe two, and then you will need new ones. They are not as durable or water resistant as the silicone plugs.

However, either version is, IMO, better than the round barrel type earplugs. Anything that is molded specifically for your outer ear and ear canals will be more comfortable and a better seal than the fits-all type.

I have a pair of the silicone versions that I have been using for at least 7 years. My son, a trapshooter, gets the $20 pair every year as his ears are growing and changing shape.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:30 PM   #4
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I have Radians that I made into ear buds and custom ones I did at a show for about $50 (we did 3 sets, so got a discount).

Custom feel a lot better after 3-4 hours and seal a little better.

Radians could have been better but it's a learning experience. If I had bought 2 kits, the 2nd would have been a lot better than the first.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:56 AM   #5
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Plugs

There are many do it yourself kits. Like anything else however you get what you pay for. You can search my name in Vendors and see what I recommend. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. We do molded ear plugs as well as molded ear monitors.

Cheers
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:12 AM   #6
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I went with Dream Earz, recommended by Tourpros a year or so ago. They sound amazing when they don't break the seal. I wish they weren't hard acrylic, but otherwise they're well made and the owner was excellent to deal with. Ultimately, I don't wear them as often as I'd like because of the occasional broken seal in the ear. Bummer. They were expensive. It took 2 go's to get them to this point, and some rigamarole with acrylic nail polish.

My old Big Ears were awesome, after 4 trips back to them, but I lost them unfortunately. They showed me how great custom could be, but also how difficult it is to get a good fit. For me, I wouldn't bother unless you are really sure you're getting the correct fit.

Good luck
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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I had a molded set made, about $60, at one of the big MC shows last winter and I really like them over the foamies I had been using. It used to drive me crazy if one of the foam plugs wasn't in correctly, which seemed to happened often, and I really couldn't tell until I started riding so I would have to pull over and take off the helmet to fix it. With the molded plugs I have only had a few times it didn't seal correctly. They are also much easier and faster to put in...especially if it is raining and the foam ones get wet and won't compress.
I can't help with the DIY kits but the guy that made mine said some of the cheaper ones just use the mold material as the plug and that it only good for a year or so, I'm not sure what the actual material mine are made from but they seem very durable and clean easily. I had mine made in HI-VIZ so I won't loose them.
I never tried a DIY kit but it doesn't seem like it would be too easy to get it right on the first try.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levain View Post
I went with Dream Earz, recommended by Tourpros a year or so ago. They sound amazing when they don't break the seal. I wish they weren't hard acrylic, but otherwise they're well made and the owner was excellent to deal with. Ultimately, I don't wear them as often as I'd like because of the occasional broken seal in the ear. Bummer. They were expensive. It took 2 go's to get them to this point, and some rigamarole with acrylic nail polish.
Good luck
Sorry it took that to get them to fit right. Its unfortunately a budget thing. The ones I use are soft and provide 100% seal. Different company however
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:08 PM   #9
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Less than $10 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Radians-Custom...ref=pd_cp_hi_2
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #10
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So the Radians have a NRR of only 26 vs my standard barrel-shaped foamies that are about 32. Those of you that have the Radians- are you saying they're quieter than foamies, and if so how is that possible???
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baroquenride View Post
So the Radians have a NRR of only 26 vs my standard barrel-shaped foamies that are about 32. Those of you that have the Radians- are you saying they're quieter than foamies, and if so how is that possible???
For me, I have stupid tiny ear canals... The radians are quieter because they fit properly. The foam ones and all the variants I've tried so far rarely fit well and when I get them in all the way, they hurt. So they work a ton better than the nothing I used most of the time. The question wasn't about disposable vs permanent, just offering what I've used.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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noise attenuation

I have ridden many hundreds of 1,000s of miles - probably 500,000 at least. I have many molded plugs, a couple w/ speakers, several without.
What I have found works the best are the multi-colored Howard Leight Laser Lite disposable plugs.

What happens is that the molded plugs transmit a lot of sound through the dense hard material [at highway speeds]. The Laser Lites are very effective sound attenuators.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:03 AM   #13
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I've had custom ear speakers from PlugUp.com for 10 years of so. I also have tried the foam types and the cheap kits, really no comparison in sound reducing quality and function in my case. I use mine when working with power tools, also. plugs aren't that expensive but good earphones are. If you are at a event where a custom vendor is selling earplugs or earphones, check them out, the investment might pay off in the long haul, but each individual eventually finds their best solution
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rockydog View Post
I've had custom ear speakers from PlugUp.com for 10 years of so. I also have tried the foam types and the cheap kits, really no comparison in sound reducing quality and function in my case. I use mine when working with power tools, also. plugs aren't that expensive but good earphones are. If you are at a event where a custom vendor is selling earplugs or earphones, check them out, the investment might pay off in the long haul, but each individual eventually finds their best solution
I have two pair from plugup currently, one as a backup. The fact she repairs them so quickly and cheaply means the investment isn't so bad, she's put a new cord on one pair twice, 35 dollars each time. I've tried many others for music and used ER6's for a while, but the sound isolation is much better with the silicon molded, music volume is pretty low as well and can still be heard well.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
I have Radians that I made into ear buds and custom ones I did at a show for about $50 (we did 3 sets, so got a discount).

Custom feel a lot better after 3-4 hours and seal a little better.

Radians could have been better but it's a learning experience. If I had bought 2 kits, the 2nd would have been a lot better than the first.

I feel the same about the radians, I just did a pair 2 weeks ago and I'm not really happy with them, but I think if I did it again it would be better next time. Probably going to pursue the Sugru product next time, real silicone and half the price of the radians.
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