I have maybe, well, let me count, okay 16 posts so far, not counting this one. A quick scan over them will show you that I haven’t really done any product reviews. Today, I am providing one. And it’s completely unsolicited. They didn’t reach out to me. The company didn’t say “Hey, we’ll give you free stuff if you review it.” (I have gotten those solicitations before (usually just for link swaps), but I don’t do them. I don’t like obligations.)
Anyway, to the point. I’ve been using the disposable orange foam squishy plugs. I have probably 10 sets in each of my jackets, my vest and in a Ziploc in my windshield bag. They’re not bad, assuming I can remember to put them in my ears before riding, or manage to do it while I’m riding. And assuming I get them positioned correctly before they start to expand. At higher speeds, though, like say 70-90 mph, I still get some buffeting noise from them. I just figured “oh, well…. I do have my head in the wind at a high rate of speed.”
The other day, scrolling through Facebook, particularly through the posts of a private bike group I’m in (SoGBB, if you know it, you know it), and saw an ad about three times for these EarPeace ear plugs. Claims to let you hear the right stuff, block the wind noise, blah blah blah. Sure whatever.
I’m a sucker for advertising sometimes, so I clicked the link, checked it out a bit. Meh, it’s free shipping, twenty-five bucks. Sure, whatever, I’ll try them. (Didn’t even know it came with a little container can.) I got the “Standard”, not realizing there was a smaller size. (Not sure “petite” is the right label for it, EarPeace. “Small” might do just fine.
I had some minor bike work to do today, Saturday, so I slept in. Figured debugging the lighting issue on my wife’s bike and my bike’s not-charging-my-phone-dammit USB problem would take several hours. Turns out, the relay I put on her bike, the fuse got blown. That took me about 10 minutes to realize, swapped it out, boom. Back in business. Turns out my USB issue was just the USB cord not working anymore. (Don’t ask me how long it took to debug that one, ugh.) Tried another cord from the house, boom, it’s fine. Since I rolled out of bed at 11:30, I was able to do all that, start some laundry, etc. and was able to ride. Left the house at 2:30. Rode up to Denton, got a burger and a beer, headed home. Took all the long routes, the scenic routes.
While I was doing the bike work, the EarPeace plugs got delivered. Well, great! I have some unexpected time to ride today, I’ll try them out. Cracked the box, glanced over the directions. (They’re ear plugs…what’s to instruct, really?)
I stuck ’em in my ears and started gearing up. Let me add here that I typically, and today for certain, wear a half helmet. So, my ears are usually in the wind. I’ve got a windshield on my 2016 Heritage, and it maybe comes up to the bottom of my nose. (Took it off for a ride once…gaah! Went right back on.) It blocks most of the wind, but… well, you’re on a bike, man! You’re gonna get some wind!
So, in the house, before riding, I notice immediately that I can actually hear things. Sure, it’s muted, but I can sort of hear the dryer tumbling the dark load, the washer doing the whites, the dog crunching on a bone. I know for a fact, with the orange squishies, I wouldn’t hear those things. I can’t hear the wife talking to me when I wear them. So, a little sound is getting through. I’m more concerned, really, that these are going to be any good on the bike. They’re supposed to block noise, not let it through!
But I’ll tell you, sure enough, they were great on the bike. I really should have gotten the (ahem) “smaller” size. Didn’t realize there was, when I ordered. But the regulars, with some occasional pushing with a finger, did stay in. (Maybe only had to do that 3 or 4 times all day.)
I didn’t get any of that typical buffeting I usually do with the orange squishies. And they were pretty comfortable. The color on them is a smokey gray, silicone, I think. So I didn’t look like some kind of alien with glowplugs in my ears today. Pretty sure they’re hard to notice. I was initially confused upon opening the package. “Who the hell has three ears?!?!” but I’m guessing the third one is in case you happen to lose one. (Note: The can won’t hold all three, just two.) The package comes with replaceable “filters”. Three, again, times the two types for a total of six. Guessing it’s the hard part in the middle of the plugs. Do they go bad? Do they get clogged with loose noise at some point? I don’t carry a pipe cleaner, so…. Also, not sure why there were two different kinds (white and black). Maybe I should’ve read the instructions better! Geez! Men!
I’m at the restaurant after a nice, quiet ride. I’m trying to enjoy a burger, ambient crowd noise, read my book on my phone and drink my Shiner draft. There’s a drunk lady cackling to my left. This lady keeps cackling, sudden outbursts. After a few of my passive/aggressive dirty looks go unheeded (or more likely unnoticed), I give up. (It’s a restaurant and bar, she has the right to cackle. I also have the right to get irritated, but have to keep it inside) “Hmmmmm”, I suddenly think, and reach into my vest pocket and grab the EarPeace can. I unscrew the little cap, pop the ear plugs back in my ears. (Had taken them out after parking the bike.) Ahhhhh. I could still hear her cackles, but they weren’t so damn sharp, right in my good ear. I don’t have great hearing in a crowd anyway, and I’m a little used to reading lips to compensate for what I don’t hear when people speak to me. So the waitress asking if I needed another beer wasn’t as easy to hear, probably more because the place was really crowded, but I got the gist. Not hearing Ms. Cackler was worth it.
Pretty good food, by the way, at LSA Burger Company in the Denton, Texas downtown square. Neat area. Went just now to grab the website link. I love they have Willie and Waylon in their cover image. (At least, as of this writing.)
After I finished my burger, I headed downstairs. Decided to grab a rum and coke at the bar next door. (No idea of the name of the place.) Just chilled, relaxing, reading my book on my phone again. Guy sits down to my right, decides that playing videos on his cell phone, without headphones, mind you, isn’t a horrible violation of common courtesy. Sometimes I really hate other people. I didn’t feel like picking a fight, and I’m rarely confrontational, anyway. I had taken out the right earplug when I left LSA so I wouldn’t seem like a rude dude who ignores people and actually hear what the bartender was saying to me. Well, this dude next to me with no concept of social decency…. I reach in my vest pocket and grab the other ear plug. I could still, slightly, hear his dumb phone, but it was soooo much better.
I’d have to say, if you have $25 to spare, give them a shot. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked. I’m hoping the little screw-top can will minimize my chances of losing them. But if I do, I do. I still have the orange squishies. Kind of wishing I had another couple sets, but the truth is I don’t spend much time alone. I’m usually with the wife (who has been out of town) or at work or with the guys from work at lunch. If I’m with other people, I won’t use them. But alone? I might just wear them ALL the time.
Good job, EarPeace. Just rename “petite” to “small”. Yes, more and more women ride bikes these days, but I would still think that older men concerned with hearing loss would be your primary market. I could be wrong. But “petite” is a bit off-putting for me, at least. Can you send me some, though?