MO Tested: EarPeace Moto Pro Earplugs Review
A slight change in shape makes a world of difference
I’ve made no secret of my love for musician’s earplugs for hearing protection out on the road. They minimize the potential damage to my hearing while still giving close to full frequency response – not muffled frequencies, like with traditional foam plugs. Back in April, after testing a set of EarPeace earplugs, I switched to them as my go-to noise protection of choice, ending a multi-years’-long devotion to Etymotic plugs. The EarPeace earplugs stayed put more than 95% of the time while offering similar protection. So, I made the switch.
As with many of the recently released earplugs, the plug seals your ear from the outer world via a pair of form-fitting flanges made from hypo-allergenic silicone. Two big changes differentiate the EarPeace Moto Pro earplugs ($40) from the standard EarPeace earplugs. The first is the new shape. Now that they are slightly oval in shape, the earplugs more closely resemble the actual shape of your ear canal, and therefore, fit more snugly. If you read my review from April, I noted that the pull tab used in removing the plug was easy to get in the wrong place, making it difficult to remove them. The new shape, aside from sealing better, assures that the plug/tab is in the proper orientation every time. I have to resort to using a key to dig out my earplug much less frequently with the Moto Pros.
Along with the shape, the Moto Pro receives updated noise filters, and when you order the Moto Pros, you have a choice of the 19dB or 24dB filters. You can also buy additional filters ($30), should you wish to change them in the future. EarPeace claims that the new filter design delivers better audio clarity than the previous generation plugs/filters. EarPeace explains the new filters thusly: “The tuned acoustic membrane technology performs as a primary eardrum, absorbing and replicating the sound signature while enhancing audio quality at a safe volume.” (And no you can’t put the new filters in the old plugs.)
But if you’re reading this, you’re probably more interested in how well the upgraded Moto Pro’s work, so we’ll get right to it. The new oval shape fits my ears (even my problematic left ear) more comfortably than the previous round ones. They retain their all-day comfort ,and thankfully, they don’t rotate when pressing them into my ear canals, which means that I don’t need to occasionally use my ignition key to remove the earplug because I can’t reach the tab with my fingers.
The noise protection of the Max 24 dB filters strikes the right balance between cutting out damaging noise, while still allowing me to hear directions from my helmet communicator systems. If I compare them to the previous generation, I honestly can’t hear the difference in sound quality at speed. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since that is not an ideal listening environment. At a stop, music comes through a little clearer, but I don’t listen to music very often when I ride.
At $40, the EarPeace Moto Pro earplugs aren’t cheap, but given how much better the new shape fits my ear, I think the additional cost is more than worth it compared to the original version. The fact that you get three earplugs (so that you can accidentally lose one and still keep using them) is a nice touch – as is the three-piece aluminum holder. EarPeace continues to produce my favorite earplugs. For now, the Moto Pro earplugs appear to only be available at the EarPeace website. Expect this to change over time.
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Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.
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