I love riding with earplugs, even when commuting. They not only protect your ears from permanent damage (which can be caused by sustained speeds of 80kph and above) but they also calm the world down a bit. With earplugs in, the harshness of wind, horns and engines is all damped down, but not to the point that you can’t hear/recognise the important sounds you need to. They also make audio from your Bluetooth device clearer at speed.
Pinlock is a Dutch company that’s famous for their anti-fog visor insert, but it turns out they also make a pretty impressive set of earplugs specifically designed for motorcyclists. These earplugs are made from a medical grade thermoplastic elastomer material and the entire design is based around comfort and convenience.
The conical shape is designed for a snug fit and there’s a tiny pull tab so you can remove the plug easily as well. I find it takes a bit of pressing to get the plug properly sealed in the ear, but it’s quite comfortable once seated and you’ll soon forget they’re in there at all. Pinlock supplies two sets in different size, which is nice, although there’s only one set of the internal sound filters, so you’ll have to swap them between the plugs based on which size you want to use.
The company claims a Noise Reduction Rating of 24db, which is lower than the typical single-use foam earplugs. The positive of this is that these plugs are very convenient to use in the city and you can easily have a conversation with someone when wearing them. On the downside, they are still a bit too loud for me at high speeds, so I prefer using the foam plugs on the race track. But even there, these plugs are vastly better than no protection at all.
In the daily use scenario, it’s nice that they’re easy to wash and can be reused, which saves a lot of wastage with single-use foam earplugs. My sole complaint is that the case they come with is too large and I had to find a smaller container to carry them around on a daily basis. At Rs 1,999, they’re rather expensive and you could get a bag of a hundred foam plugs for less, but the comfort, convenience and performance makes them worth it for the regular motorcyclist who’s interested in hearing protection.
Price: Rs 1,999