£19.95 | www.auritech.info | 01483 516434 | Tested by: John Milbank, Editor Motorcycle Sport & Leisure magazine
Sure, ear plugs are a pain. Yes, it’s annoying when you have your lid on before you remember them. And your gloves. And it’s raining. But being deaf is more annoying, as is tinnitus.
Enjoy more MSL reading in the monthly magazine.
Click here to subscribe & save.
These one-size-fits-all plugs are designed to filter wind and road noise, whilst allowing other sounds – like your intercom, or the filling-station cashier – to get through more clearly. They’re washable, which makes the price more palatable (water should be fine, but the own-brand cleaner is recommended), and come in a handy metal carry case.
To get the best fit, it’s important to put them in properly – that means lifting your ear and pulling gently backwards before inserting and rotating the plug. I do have odd-shaped ears (I really dislike custom-made plugs), but I found that if I didn’t take the extra few seconds to seat the Auritechs properly, they’d occasionally, and only momentarily, break their seal when I turned my head for a life-saver. Oh, and if you do use them, keep your ear hair trimmed – it’s too easy to pull a strand as you dig your fingers in to remove the plugs’ small stalks.
On the bike, they don’t give the same isolation as the 3M EAR Soft FX disposable plugs I usually use, but that’s the idea – the ceramic sound filter embedded inside the Auritech allows me to hear speech a lot more clearly. In fact, I can hear a range of tones more easily – a hearing test with no earplugs allows me to recognise down to a frequency of 95hz, and with the Auritechs fitted whilst wearing my Shoei Neotec with the front flipped open, it’s exactly the same. With my foam plugs, I couldn’t hear anything until 118Hz.
I listen to music on long rides though my Interphone F5MC, but I haven’t really noticed any benefit between the two sets. It’s when talking that the difference is more noticeable, and I do prefer not having to keep asking people to repeat themselves when paying for fuel. There are safety implications too of course – maybe it’s hearing the squeal of brakes that little earlier, or a child’s shout.
Before doing more controlled back-to-back tests, I would have said that these weren’t worth the money. I still think they’re expensive, and I prefer the way I can just shove my foam plugs clumsily in and they seal my ears perfectly every time. I also prefer the fact that I can buy a box of 200 3Ms (about a two year supply for me), for just £28.
But having realised just how much better these Auritechs are (despite being a touch noiser than the foam plugs), I am convinced. Now I’ve just got to try really hard not to lose them.
Enjoy more MSL reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.