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I have a Shoei X-Eleven helmet. I also have two sets of earphones (ER-4P's and Shure SE530's) with custom-molded fittings. I bought the SE530's for air travel. The custom molded fittings provide a superb seal. When my brother gave me the ER-4P's I got custom fittings made for them, too. The custom fittings were done by an audiologist, who sent the molds back to Sensaphonics. Both ER and Shure specifically recommend Sensaphonics.

The problem is that I cannot pull my helmet over either pair of earphones. They stick out too far. If I try to force the helmet on, it hurts a lot, and the earphones are forcibly pulled out of my ears as the helmet goes on. The ER-4P's are pulled out of their silicon fittings, too.

There is no way to put the earphones in after the helmet is on. The helmet is too snug for that. I can't reach in there through the face shield area, or from underneath.

Just for giggles, I also tried the original ear buds that came with my iPod. They stay on after I put the helmet on, but don't seal out the wind noise from the helmet. It doesn't make sense to damage my hearing even more, by cranking up the volume higher on the buds to overcome the wind noise. The whole point is to seal out or at least attenuate the wind noise.

I like the Shoei helmets for their high safety values, comfort, and excellent ventilation, but I use foam earplugs to seal out the wind noise, which seems to come from the vent intakes, whether or not they are open or closed.

Do you have any suggestions, other than buying a different helmet?
 

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That was my problem until I got a set of custom earphones. You definitely don't want to make a compromise on your helmet. You can try the suggestion above, but if that won't work then you only real alternative is another set of earphones. Mine (from Big Ear) are flat on the outside and flush with my ear so there's nothing to catch on the helmet.
 

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Sensaphonics (good enough for the likes of NASA, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborne, and the Secret Service) is a first rate company which makes a top shelf, if spendy, product. Have you talked with them about your problem?
 

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Would one size smaller cheek pads for your Shoei help you out?? If there is a Cycle Gear store near you, they usually have them in stock and will let you swap out a set for a trial fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BillA said:
Sensaphonics (good enough for the likes of NASA, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborne, and the Secret Service) is a first rate company which makes a top shelf, if spendy, product. Have you talked with them about your problem?
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

I don't think I can reduce the cheek pads enough to make it work, and I think that tape would get uncomfortable over time.

Calling Sensaphonics was a great idea. I have dealt with Sensaphonics before, and you're right, their customer service is very good.

I called them this morning and spoke with one of their audiologists. She told me that they were aware of the issue, and have no solution for the problem with my Shure and ER earphones.

They do have an answer, however. Sensaphonics makes their own earphones, which are designed to be low-profile. The transducers are built into the mold itself. Concert performers use them so that people don't notice the earphones. They are also designed for those with helmets - e.g., motorcycle riders, car drivers, etc. The only drawback is the cost. I don't remember the exact price, but it was between $700 and $800. Ouch!

Cheers,

XMR
 

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I just got a set of molded earphones from Big Ear and have started using them in my helmet. I do use a helmet liner and that seems to help with putting the helmet on, I just have to pull out on te lower edges a bit. Taking it off is a bit more challening as it feels like it's pulling the earphones out, but they don't get dislodged at all. I ghuess I just have to get used to the new feel.
 

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The Earplug Company

David,

I had some custom in-ear monitors made a year or so ago from a fellow that I read about in BMW ON mag. His name is Bob Weis and he owns The Earplug Company.

It took 4 or 6 weeks as he first had to send me the impression kit to take a mold of my inner ear. I purchased the custom made Challenger C and still remember the tag line that describes them - Not for the faint hearted.

They sound unbelievable, really cut down on helmet noise (recall I too, run a Shoei X-Eleven), and most importantly for you they fit nicely inside my helmet. I take great care putting on and removing my helmet but I've not had any problems to date. I like them so much I even wear them to the gym for use with my Ipod instead of putting up with those uncomfortable ear buds.

Check out Bob's site here:

http://www.earplugco.com/prod01.htm


If $165 sounds a bit more palatable than $800 I recommend you give them a try.


Best regards!

David
 

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the least expensive solution is a helmet liner as a previous member suggested. additionally the liner keeps your helmet super duper clean and the liner keeps my helmet perfectly snug. i tend to sweat less in warmer weather and the liner dries out faster. for cold weather, get a full face liner.
 

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XMagnaRider said:
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

I don't think I can reduce the cheek pads enough to make it work, and I think that tape would get uncomfortable over time.

Calling Sensaphonics was a great idea. I have dealt with Sensaphonics before, and you're right, their customer service is very good.

I called them this morning and spoke with one of their audiologists. She told me that they were aware of the issue, and have no solution for the problem with my Shure and ER earphones.

They do have an answer, however. Sensaphonics makes their own earphones, which are designed to be low-profile. The transducers are built into the mold itself. Concert performers use them so that people don't notice the earphones. They are also designed for those with helmets - e.g., motorcycle riders, car drivers, etc. The only drawback is the cost. I don't remember the exact price, but it was between $700 and $800. Ouch!

Cheers,

XMR
I'll chime in here and mention I have the Sennsaphonic $700 or $800 dollar unit. They are made out of a soft silicon for comfort (their ad pitch).

That said.... They absolutely SUCK!

They allow one extra molding should they not fit. Then you are screwed and kiss your $800 good-bye. They have two transducers in the for better bass and treble. Problem is if they do not seal, you lose the bass and they sound as if they were two inches from your ear and tinny.

I got a seal by using some Silly Putty on them which helped, but I ended up getting tired of replacing the Silly Putty for a seal so I had another mold made by a different audiologist. Turned out it took several months for them to show up on the redo. It fit as bad as the first! Just too small to effect a good seal. More Silly Putty.

I suspect their silicon process may shrink a bit once they make the final. Don't know, but I used up my free re-fit. Now they sit in a junk drawer.

I tried some others while at the Cycle World Show. They send them out to Westone and they are of a bit harder clear vinyl/plastic and the seal is very snug and sound far better, even if they only have one transducer. I can wear them all day without a problem. Still working 4 years later and cost about half as much. The cords exit straight out the bottom where the Sennsaphonics go up over the ear and down like musicians phones.

If you get a good fit, you can't beat them. But you can lose big dollars too if they don't guarantee even after one re-fit.

Mack
 

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Scala Rider Q2

I had a slightly different problem with multiple earplugs and found this solution:

Scala Rider Q2 http://www.cardowireless.com/US/Q2 which has membranes.

I now have Bluetooth connections to my cell phone, my TomTom Rider 2 GPS, and a second Scala Rider for a passenger or a close-by rider. It also has an FM receiver and iPod input (with optional mount).
 

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uweus said:
I had a slightly different problem with multiple earplugs and found this solution:

Scala Rider Q2 http://www.cardowireless.com/US/Q2 which has membranes.

I now have Bluetooth connections to my cell phone, my TomTom Rider 2 GPS, and a second Scala Rider for a passenger or a close-by rider. It also has an FM receiver and iPod input (with optional mount).
Their claimed range of 1,640 feet seems a stretch. I was lucky to get that distance with a Kenwood GMRS transmitter/reciever.

Everything I have that is Bluetooth only works for maybe 30 feet (line of sight). :confused:

My beef with Bluetooth, aside from frequent charging, is some stuff isn't compatible with other maker's Bluetooth devices. The new Nolan N-103 doesn't work with the Sony or Jabra stereo Bluetooth transmitters. Haven't tried the Wivo one yet (it's sitting on the counter). Zumo is mono in Bluetooth and it sounds awful and I hope the Wivo one will work in the stereo output jack on the Zumo. Hardwired and it's wonderful - although still not as good as in-ear phones.


Mack
 

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Just for giggles, I also tried the original ear buds that came with my iPod. They stay on after I put the helmet on, but don't seal out the wind noise from the helmet.


little wind noise means you can still hear a little of the outside world which is good....blocking all outside noise is unsafe and also lets you hear if smething starts clunking or squealing......that would be a good thing...
 

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This thread interested me because I started using earphones for rider comms and found exactly the same problem pulling the helmet on and off.

I tried putting some helmet speakers inside and behind the foam. I could still feel the foam wasn't fitting my ear profile and it took some miles to get used to some mild discomfort.

Now I'm using an ear tube for comms and this feels a lot better in my ear when wearing the helmet. Noise reduction is nearly as good as my 3M foam plugs because it seals well. A lot of hearing aids use this principal (and secret service agents on TV!). The electronic power volume needed is also small as it is quite efficient.

Most active electronic in-ear devices are physically quite large and hard. My ear tube which connects to a transducer on a throat mic neck band is thin soft squidgy silicon type tube and the actual in-ear part is very small soft and squidgy like a baby teat. I only have one for mono and I'm not bothered about Hi-Fi, but I suspect bass response on music should be very good because of the seal. I was concerned about more helmet noise if the ear tube broke the helmet neck seal, but it seems ok.

I'll post a quick photo.



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earphones

Hi Magnarider;
Yea, I have ER4s too, and I have the same problem.
I bought a pair of ER6i for my IPod and they are very comfy while putting my Shoi Multitech and taking it off. The phones arent as expensive as the 4s, but they arent as robust.
My cables went bad after a little over a year and they replaced them for free!
ER did the same on my 4s 3 times!. That's great customer service!
I wear earphones 8 to 12 hours a day because I am a Machinest and noiselevels require hearing protection. I am very rough on both sets of ERs and I coulden't be happier with the sound price and quality not to mention the great customer service.
Try the ER6 (the i modle are maye for the IPods), you won't be sorry.
 

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I had this problem too. I got a pair of Skull Candy Titans and they block out road noise like a ear plug and sound fantastic.
 

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Emilynator said:
I had this problem too. I got a pair of Skull Candy Titans and they block out road noise like a ear plug and sound fantastic.
Exactly what I stumbled on and carry with me now. They are cheap (less than $50) and work great. Offer pretty decent noise protection and the tunes sound good. I make funny faces pulling my helmet off but they are worth it.
 

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I think at one time or another everyone has tried to put a helmet over earbuds. In my experience I either knocked them out of place putting on the helmet, or they were painful to wear inside the helmet. I solved the problem completely with a Nolan NCOM N-102 helmet. It really has met all my expectations, and the blue tooth is clear as a bell. I use it in conjunction with a zumo550 which has a built in MP3 Player as well as XM radio. If you use it with the multimedia wire it plays in stereo, in Bluetooth mode you only get mono. The helmet with all the electronics was about 650.00.
 

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2008-K1200GT said:
I think at one time or another everyone has tried to put a helmet over earbuds. In my experience I either knocked them out of place putting on the helmet, or they were painful to wear inside the helmet. I solved the problem completely with a Nolan NCOM N-102 helmet. It really has met all my expectations, and the blue tooth is clear as a bell. I use it in conjunction with a zumo550 which has a built in MP3 Player as well as XM radio. If you use it with the multimedia wire it plays in stereo, in Bluetooth mode you only get mono. The helmet with all the electronics was about 650.00.

Yes...think the key is to use a flip up....I have the Nolan N-COM...I use a Jabra blue tooth in conjunction with my cell phone for mp3 only...some sony ear buds.works great.....great sound and still can hear outside sounds,police,fire squeeling brakes...I think when pulling on the helmet there is more space with a flip up when going over your ears....I have tried to use full face helmets but DAMN...I kinda like my ears and what ever hair I have left..TOOOO clousterphobic for me
 
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