I headed off to the 2014 Motorcycle Live show with two main items on my shopping list, one of which I actually achieved and the rest consigned to the “perhaps next year” column. I arrived just before the 10am opening time so joined the lengthy queue at the entrance of Hall 2 and filtered through at the appointed hour. I had pre-planned my stop off points which did work for the first one but lost its way after that, too much to see. In-line with the plan I scuttled off to find stand 2D62 where I found the Ultimate Ear Protection set-up.
Again I had done a bit of research and had settled on the “Squidgy” option which seemed to be the one for my application so ticking the box and adding extras of the cord and red for right and blue for left I sat for the initial examination quickly followed by the injection of moulding fluid. This was the bit I was concerned about but, any apprehension was wasted as it was a painless experience. The next step was to sit still for 5 minutes and not talk or move my jaw, it was a good job I was sat upright as any sign of an incline and I would have been in the land of nod pretty quickly. The mould setting period passed by with no problems or mishaps and after extraction I handed over the plastic for the deduction of the necessary funds.
That was it for the initial stage, I now had to wait for them to be delivered which would now be after Christmas.
Fast forward to after Christmas, 7th January to be precise, the package arrived which contained the ear plug moulding, the original impressions taken at the show, a nice poncy carrying case and the instruction leaflet.
First thing to do then was to try them out, read the instructions, refreshed my memory on how to fit them via the you tube video, gave them a quick rinse and slotted them home first time with no effort at all, result.
Had a wander around the house to give them a try-out, first impressions are one of quality and comfort excellent, the proof of the pudding will be a bike ride.
It was a couple of weeks later before I managed to get the bike out, I had managed to put my back out so all normal life was on hold whilst I hobbled about my daily routine!, after this episode passed I took to the roads and tried the earplugs for the first time. It was a planned 100 miles route so would be a good initial test.
I grabbed the earplugs from the hook in the garage, they were damp, seemed like the silicon material was melting!, that certainly couldn’t be the case at close to freezing as it was, I wiped them off and made a mental note to investigate further. I had practiced fitting these a few times and they are a doddle to fit, insert and twist until they are seated, easy peasy. Comfort wise they are as good as can be expected, remembering that the ear is not meant to have a foreign object stuffed in it, the comfort will never be 100% but on a scale of 1-10 these had to rate high 8’s, there was no pressure even when my helmet and various balaclavas and scarves were used so a good start.
Onto practical use, I used the plugs constantly for nearly 3 hours and never had any problems pain or discomfort wise so I am well pleased, they cut out more noise than my current ones, however this did have a downside, it meant I could hear the wind noise more, is this a problem?, I can’t really answer that yet. A few more trips will see them settle down and let me get used to them. Am I glad to have splashed out £60? initial impressions say yes to that one, again time will tell.
I have a couple of things to check out over the coming months so will update after the summer.
June 2015 Update
After using these ear plugs for 5000 miles I am well pleased with the results, when they are inserted correctly the moulding fits perfect and seals out the unnecessary sound but still allows speech.
The main reason for this update is that I have learnt that to get the most from these it is essential that they are inserted correctly. I have found that it is no good rushing with them, they need to be in the correct position full stop.
I have used these for many hours at a stretch with no undue discomfort but to re-iterate it is essential that they are inserted correctly otherwise they can give a bit of a problem on the pain front. Don’t get me wrong, it is not excruciating but tends to be a niggling pain which you are constantly aware of, allied to this, sometimes I have ended up with marks on my ears where the pressure points were.
To date I am very happy with the product and can’t see me needing to buy ear plugs again so was the purchase price justified?, to me yes but in hard cash terms that will be seen much further down the line.