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Prevent Hearing Loss With the Best Motorcycle Earplugs

If you ride without earplugs, you could be risking permanent hearing damage. It’s time to protect yourself.

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BYRobert Bacon/ LAST UPDATED ON May 17, 2022

Many bikers wear helmets, boots, and gloves to protect themselves when riding, but ear protection is often overlooked. It's possible to damage your hearing due to wind noise, so earplugs should be a priority each time you take your bike out. The best motorcycle earplugs are cost-effective and keep your ears safe and sound.


Earplugs are safety products that many riders choose not to use, but if you choose not to pick up a pair, you’re risking permanent hearing loss. The wind noise you experience while riding at 60 mph is around 95 to 105 decibels, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that exposure to noise that's more than 100 decibels is safe for only 15 minutes. Even if you take wind noise out of the equation, many motorcycles produce more than 100 decibels when revved. I never used to wear earplugs until a few long trips left my ears ringing and me disoriented for a long time. Now I never ride without a pair. Earplugs are one of the most inexpensive pieces of motorcycle safety gear you can get, and they’ll protect you every time you throw a leg over.

Best Overall

NoNoise Motorsport Noise Filter Ear Protection

Summary
This pair of earplugs reduce unwanted noise by up to 29.6 decibels.
Pros
  • Reduces noise by up to 29.6 decibels
  • Ceramic filtration technology
  • Reusable 
  • Made from silicone-free TPE
Cons
  • Expensive
Best Value

Softvox Motorcycle Earplugs

Summary
This package would be a bargain if you got just one pair of noise filtering earplugs, but you get two, making them an amazing value for the money.
Pros
  • Great value
  • Two pairs included
  • Reusable
  • Filters between 20 and 25 decibels
Cons
  • Not great at reducing noise 
  • Quality is a bit lower than high-end models
Honorable Mention

Pinlock Earplugs

Summary
These noise-filtering earplugs reduce sound by up to 24 decibels, and they come with a case.
Pros
  • Reduces sound up to 24 decibels
  • Reusable and durable
  • Filters replaceable and upgradable
  • Silicone-free TPE
Cons
  • Not best at reducing noise
Prevent Hearing Loss With the Best Motorcycle Earplugs

Our Methodology

To choose the best motorcycle earplugs on the market, I employed The Drive’s comprehensive research methodology and evaluated dozens of pairs of earplugs before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by consumer testimonials, expert reviews, discussions on relevant online forums, and my institutional knowledge of the automotive industry. I visited the Motorcycle subreddit to get a more informed opinion of what motorcyclists felt about the products on the market and RevZilla to see what the experts had to say after their hands-on tests.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Motorcycle Earplugs Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Make: NoNoise
  • Model: Motorsport Noise Filter Ear Protection
  • Filters: Yes

Pros

  • Reduces noise by up to 29.6 decibels
  • Ceramic filtration technology
  • Reusable
  • Made from silicone-free TPE

Cons

  • Pricey

Choosing the best overall earplugs was tough, but the NoNoise Motorsport Noise Filter Ear Protection edges the competition. These earplugs use ceramic filtration technology, which blocks harmful noises but allows you to hear lower-frequency noises, such as conversations, sirens, and horns. These earplugs are perfect for people who ride in states where it’s illegal to use earplugs that block out the sounds of sirens and horns. In terms of earplugs with filters, these earplugs have some of the best noise-canceling abilities, lowering noise by up to 29.6 decibels.

The silicone-free thermoplastic (TPE) construction means you can wash and reuse these, so they’re better for the environment compared to disposable models. The zirconium-oxide ceramic filter is designed to prevent the feeling of having a blocked ear. One of the few downsides to this product is that the thermoplastic outer construction might make these earplugs less secure than conventional foam ones. At a glance, these earplugs appear expensive, but when you consider that they're reusable and well made, their relatively high price is warranted. A carrying case is included in the sale.

Specs

  • Make: Softvox
  • Model: Motorcycle Earplugs
  • Filters: Yes

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Two pairs of earplugs included
  • Reusable
  • 20 and 25 decibel filters

Cons

  • Not as good at reducing noise
  • Lower quality

If you’re on a tight budget, but still want top-tier ear protection, check out the Softvox Motorcycle Earplugs. Included in this sale are two pairs of earplugs, so you’ll have a pair for yourself and a passenger or a spare pair in case you lose one. One of the pairs reduces noise by 25 decibels, and the other pair have 20-decibel filters, which isn’t an outstanding reduction but it’s good considering the price. Both pairs are made of hypoallergenic soft silicone and are reusable. The manufacturer states that if you take care of them properly, they’ll last for more than a year.

The dual-flange design means these plugs should fit snugly into your ear without any discomfort, and the small tabs at the end make them easy to pull out. There’s a wind noise reduction filter that allows some unobstructed sound into your ears, so you can hear sirens, horns, and speakers in your helmet. An aluminum case is included in the sale, so you can keep both pairs safe when not riding. The case comes with a handy carabiner so you can loop it onto your backpack.

Specs

  • Make: Pinlock
  • Model: Earplugs
  • Filters: Yes

Pros

  • Up to 24-decibel noise reduction
  • Reusable and durable
  • Filters are replaceable and upgradable
  • Silicone-free medical-grade TPE

Cons

  • Won’t reduce much noise

The Pinlock Earplugs fall short of my best overall pick, but the price is also lower, so they easily deserve an honorable mention. These earplugs can reduce harmful noises by up to 24 decibels but still allow important traffic sounds through their precision filters. The filters are replaceable and upgradable, which is useful because you should have these earplugs for some time as they’re reusable and fully washable.

They’re made from silicone-free, medical-grade TPE, so they shouldn’t cause any skin irritation. Two sizes of plugs are included, so practically every rider can find a size that fits them well. You could get cheaper earplugs that feature filters, but they probably won’t match the quality on offer from Pinlock. A carry case is included in the sale.

Specs

  • Make: Decibullz
  • Model: Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Filters: No

Pros

  • Reduce noise by up to 31 decibels
  • Moldable
  • Can remold for a better fit
  • Includes extra molds and differently sized tips

Cons

  • No filters

Molded earplugs aren’t for everyone, but some people swear by them, and the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs are my pick of the bunch. These plugs can reduce noise by up to 31 decibels. The downside is that these aren’t high-fidelity earplugs, so they reduce all sounds equally, making them unsuitable for use in certain states.

To fit these earplugs, put the thermoplastic molds in boiling water, let them cool, and then shape them to your ears. Unlike many molded earplugs, you can remold these. So, if you don’t get the perfect fit on your first attempt, you can try again. Included in the sale are two thermoplastic custom molds, one set of medium foam tips, and three sets of triple-flange tips: small, medium, and large.

Specs

  • Make: EarDial
  • Model: HiFi Earplugs
  • Filters: Yes

Pros

  • Syncs to an app
  • Low-profile design
  • Latex-free hypoallergenic silicone construction
  • Earwax protection
  • Aluminum carry case

Cons

  • Only reduces noise by 20 decibels
  • Pricey

The EarDial HiFi Earplugs are some of the most high-tech models on the market, and they’re perfect if you want to know exactly what level of noise you’re being subjected to. What separates this product from the rest is the Companion app to which it syncs. This app informs you about the level of noise around you and how long you can experience that level without damaging your hearing. These are high-fidelity earplugs, meaning they’ll reduce harmful noises by up to 20 decibels but enable you to hear horns, sirens, and traffic sounds.

The low-profile design and high-transparency hypoallergenic silicone construction make this pair one of the most discreet on the market. The soft silicone construction is latex free and features earwax protection, so these earplugs should be comfortable to wear for hours. When it’s time to take them out, the low-profile design isn’t an issue, thanks to the pull tabs on the exterior. These earplugs are reusable and should last for a few years, but they’re a bit expensive when you consider that they only lower noise by 20 decibels. An aluminum case is included in the sale.

Specs

  • Make: Howard Leight
  • Model: Laser Lite High-Visibility Foam Earplugs
  • Filters: No

Pros

  • Reduces noise by 32 decibels
  • 200 individually packaged pairs
  • Low-pressure foam
  • T-shaped design

Cons

  • Not legal in all states
  • Reduces traffic noises

Some riders prefer how foam earplugs feel and fit when compared to plastic ones, and if this sounds like you, pick up the Howard Leight Disposable Foam Earplugs. These earplugs are individually packaged and come in a box of 200 pairs, so they will last some riders for more than a year. These earplugs reduce noise by up to 32 decibels. Their impressive noise-reduction abilities are largely down to their construction of self-adjusting foam. The low-pressure foam adjusts to both small and large ear canals, ensuring a snug fit without discomfort.

The downside of foam earplugs is that they don’t have a filter that specifically reduces wind noise while allowing traffic sounds through. Since they lack this feature, they won’t be legal in all states and can reduce spatial awareness too much for some riders. The T-shaped design means inserting and removing these earplugs is smooth and easy.

Our Verdict 

The NoNoise Motorsport Noise Filter Ear Protection reusable earplugs reduce harmful noise created by the wind by up to 29.6 decibels but still allow you to hear important traffic sounds, making them legal in most states. If you want earplugs that feature the same kind of precise filtering technology, check out my value pick, the Softvox Motorcycle Earplugs.

What to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Earplugs

Decide whether you’ll get earplugs that feature a filter that allows specific noises through and blocks others out or conventional foam earplugs that reduce all noises to the same degree. You’ll also need to think about whether it’s worth spending more on earplugs that reduce sound by a few extra decibels. 

Types of Motorcycle Earplugs

Filtered

Some earplugs have filters that are attuned to block out specific frequencies such as wind noise but allow you to hear sirens, horns, your engine, and a navigation or intercom system. In some states, earplugs that don’t specifically allow traffic sounds are illegal, meaning you need ones with filters. This type of earplug usually isn’t as comfortable, and it doesn’t stay in your ear canal as securely as foam earplugs.

Foam

Foam earplugs have no filter and reduce all sound frequencies equally. Since the foam expands after you put it in your ear canal, these earplugs generally provide a better fit and don’t leave any gaps that’d allow noise to enter. Since these earplugs have no filter they’re better at reducing overall noise in terms of decibels. But you’ll need to ensure that these earplugs are legal to use in your state. 

Motorcycle Earplugs Key Features

Filters and Sound Reduction

Some earplugs with filters are better than others. All filters work to let sounds of the traffic and your intercom system through and reduce harmful wind and highway noise. But not all filters reduce dangerous sounds to the same extent. For example, some filtered earplugs reduce wind noise by 20 decibels while others reduce it by nearly 30. So, if you spend a lot of time riding on the highway or tracks, it’s worth spending more to get earplugs with better noise reduction capabilities. Filters can have unique features such as ear-wax protection too.  

Fit 

If you opt for foam earplugs, you won’t need to worry too much about how they fit, as they expand to the size of your ear canal. Earplugs that are made from plastic and use filters don’t conform as well to your ear canal and usually use flanges to keep them secure. If you buy earplugs made from TPE, make sure that they come with more than one tip size. Many TPE earplugs come with tips that are small, medium, and large.

Extra Features

Some earplugs come with extra features that aren’t a necessity but are nice to have. Look out for a carrying case, and it’s even better if it includes a carabiner so you can attach it to your backpack. A carrying case isn’t essential, but it helps to keep your earplugs safe and clean. Some high-tech models sync with an app that tells you how loud it is around you and how long you can continue to endure that level of noise without damaging your hearing.

Motorcycle Earplugs Pricing 

For about $18, you’ll be able to get a box of 200 decent-quality foam earplugs or a pair of low-end earplugs with filters. For between $20 and $30, you’ll get a good pair of earplugs with filters that should last at least a year or more if taken care of properly. For more than $30, you’ll get filtered earplugs with all the extras, such as ear wax protectors and the ability to sync with an app.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Is it legal to wear earplugs while riding a motorcycle?

A: In most states, it’s legal to wear earplugs while riding, but some states have restrictions. Check out this article to see what the law is for each state.

Q: Will earplugs for motorcycles prevent me from hearing sirens and horns?

A: Foam earplugs reduce all sounds equally, including traffic sounds such as sirens and horns. But earplugs with filters are designed to specifically reduce high-pitched noises, meaning you can hear traffic sounds. 

Q: Do I need earplugs if I wear a full-face helmet?

A:  Yes, the wind noise in most motorcycle helmets is between 95 to 105 decibels when traveling around 60 mph. This noise is more than enough to damage your hearing over an extended period, so you’ll still need earplugs for protection.

Q: Can I hear my Bluetooth speakers if I wear earplugs?

A: Yes, but only if you use earplugs with filters.

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