Total Motorcycle Product Review: You think you don’t need it. You certainly don’t want it. And honestly, you think it’s a little silly. You snicker about people who believe in it. I’m here to tell you, it’s wonderful. You have no idea how much of your road fatigue is from simple wind noise. How much longer you could ride, how much more you’d enjoy it, how much nicer it is, to just muffle the wind. Total Motorcycle Reviewers Eric and Carrie Leaverton’s take.
Full disclosure, I’m a “loud pipes save lives” kind of rider. I love a loud, obnoxious bike with aftermarket pipes, preferably dabaffled. And the notion of earplugs always seemed silly to me. Why would I want to mute the symphony of my machinery? The ad for EAR PEACE just happened to come up on one of my social media feeds, and as I know ear protection is popular, I inquired about a review. They came, I stuck ’em in, and went for a ride.
TMW’s Review of the EAR PEACE (M) High Fidelity Hearing Protection System
Reviewed by: Eric and Carrie Leaverton, Harrisville, Utah, USA
Review Dates: March 3rd 2018 – April 21st 2018
Price As Tested: $20.00 (www.earpeace.com 4-22-2018)
EAR PEACE is a passive, personal hearing protection system designed for motorcyclists and other motorsports enthusiasts. The system includes three earplugs, three sets of filters of varying strength, and a milled aluminum carrying case. The earplugs themselves are constructed of premium silicone rubber and feature a dual-flange design with a pull tab for easy insertion and removal.
The EAR PEACE hearing protection system comes in a small package, 2.5 x 4 x 1 inches (63.5 x 102 x 25mm) with a clear viewing window on the front. Inside you’ll find three earplugs, three sets of interchangeable filters with foam holders, and one cylindrical carrying case. Each ear plug body is .5″ (13mm) long with a .25″ (6.5mm) pull tab, for a total length of about .75″ (20mm). The cylindrical carrying case is 2.25″ (57mm) long and .75″ (20mm) in diameter, and features a cap on either end concealing two separate compartments. The main compartment is large enough to hold your two primary plugs, while the other end could conceal your spare or another set of filters. The entire case with all three plugs equipped with filters weighs 22 grams, or .8 ounces. The set is available with either a black or red case.
The three different sets of filters offer varying degrees of noise protection. They’re intuitively color-coded (clear for minimum, red for medium, and black for maximum) and slip inside the end of the plugs themselves. According the the package, they offer 11, 14, and 19 decibel reductions.
“They came, I stuck them in, went for a ride,
and was floored…”
USING EAR PEACE
The EAR PEACE earplugs are ridiculously easy to use. You pull on the outer rim of your ear, grip the plug by the tab in your other hand, and insert. The plugs create a perceptible sealing sensation once fully inserted, thanks to their dual-flange silicone design. Then, they stay put. Balaclava, full face helmet, look left, look right, talk to your partner with your intercom, they stay put. Take your helmet off, they stay put. Put it back on, they stay put. They may even stay put while chewing gum, but we didn’t think it was necessary to test that particular scenario. When it’s time for them to come out, you grip the little tab and give them a gentle tug. Occasionally the interior flange turns inside out, put it’s simple to fix. Insert, ride, remove, at no point are they difficult to manipulate.
Swapping filters is an easy operation as well, though it does require a little finesse. Basically you ‘roll’ the earplug off of the filter (rather than pull the filter out of the plug), and then push the new filter into the cavity. It’s worth mentioning that this procedure feels like it’s hard on them. The advertising copy on EAR PEACE’s website suggests you’re supposed to swap filters for different rides. Specifically they say “EarPeace motorcycle earplugs includes Medium, High and Max protection filter sets so you’re ready for any trip. Whether it’s a short loop on a Sunday afternoon or 1000 miles in 3 days.” It’s possible the earplugs could withstand numerous filter swaps, but my impression after a couple of changes is that it should be a rare thing. Find the filtration level that works best for you and your bike and stick with it.
Honestly, this bit was the hardest part of this review. Full disclosure, I’m a “loud pipes save lives” kind of rider. I love a loud, obnoxious bike with aftermarket pipes, preferably dabaffled. And the notion of earplugs always seemed silly to me. Why would I want to mute the symphony of my machinery? The ad for EAR PEACE just happened to come up on one of my social media feeds, and as I know ear protection is popular, I inquired about a review. They came, I stuck ’em in, and went for a ride.
I spent a lot time trying to find the right metaphor to explain using hearing protection. I asked my wife, Carrie, I asked my friends and family, I posted silly surveys on social media. Trying to find just the right way to say “I’ve been a fool!”. And though it was a arduous task, I believe I’ve finally settled on the right way to say it.
Naps. Parents know what I’m talking about, but they’ve been on the other end. When you’re young, your parents make you take naps. They insist you do. When you get older, your parents suggest you take naps. They say things like “I can tell you’re tired, you’ll feel so much better after a nap”. And you blow them off, shake your head, laugh. “No naps for me,” you say, and go on playing until you lose consciousness. But then you get older. School work gets harder. Your body changes. And one day, without any encouragement from your parents, you announce after a hard day in Junior High, “I’m gonna take a nap…” And they would have been good for you the whole time. You were just too impetuous and obdurate to believe it.
That’s hearing protection.
You think you don’t need it. You certainly don’t want it. And honestly, you think it’s a little silly. You snicker about people who believe in it. I’m here to tell you, it’s wonderful. You have no idea how much of your road fatigue is from simple wind noise. How much longer you could ride, how much more you’d enjoy it, how much nicer it is, to just muffle the wind. With EAR PEACE in our arsenal, we’re seriously considering an Iron Butt challenge for the first time.
“Hearing protection will change the way you ride,
how you ride, where you ride, when you ride, and all for the better.
Ear Peace Specifically
It’s hard to imagine any hearing protection working better than EAR PEACE does. It mutes the windblast, even when speeds reach triple digits, but without sacrificing situational awareness. I can hear traffic approaching from behind, the RPMs of my engine, sirens, horns, train crossings, all of it. You don’t sacrifice any readiness for wearing ear protection. And even better, it improves the performance of my helmet communications. I use the SCS-S1 Bluetooth Communication System, which we reviewed back in the summer of 2017. And not only does EAR PEACE not interfere with it, it actually improves it.
With wind noise muted, the clarity of my intercom, telephone calls, GPS navigation, and streaming music are drastically improved. Not the volume, of course. You lose some of that. But the clarity. It’s harder to hear Carrie talking. But I can understand her better. To the point where we can conduct entire lengthy conversations at 80+ mph, which was impossible before. Simply put, the EAR PEACE earplugs changed the way we communicate over our intercom. And again, as I outlined in the prior section, they also changed the way we ride in general.
Ultimately, we have no complaints about the system. They’re easy to insert and remove, and don’t get dislodged once they’re in place. They’re comfortable to wear, even after hundreds of miles, and don’t leave your ears aching when you remove them. The carrying case is simple, convenient and attractive, and with the lobster clip you can easily keep it on your key ring, hang it from a zipper, wherever it needs to be so you always have it handy.
There is a slight learning curve to the caps, we tend to forget the smaller bottom cap is the compartment, while the top cap is just a cap. We almost lost the spare on one ride after forgetting that detail, removing the cap without enough forethought. And given that the plugs are a marbled whitish-gray color, we nearly lost them on the concrete apron at the rest stop we were parked at. Some high-viz orange might not be a bad idea, but then they’d hardly look this discrete:
“They’re a simple thing that simply works,
and they have literally changed the way we ride…“
So really, the EAR PEACE offers no room for complaint. It’s a highly competent ear protection system with a solid presentation made of high-quality materials offered at the almost negligible price of a single Andrew Jackson. They’re a simple thing that simply works, and they have literally changed the way we ride. Given all these things, we have no choice but to award the EAR PEACE High Fidelity Hearing Protection system our highest honor, the TMW Editors Choice Award! Good job EAR PEACE!