Just an update to this thread and a review of the Radians for you guys.
Having read this post I went to Amazon and ordered a pair of the Radians for $11 with free shipping (Prime Member). Figured I'd give them a try for that price point.
Just to give you some background... I'm the Safety Director for a construction company and have spent 17 years working in safety and dealing with hearing protection issues. I have tried hundreds of brands of ear plugs and muffs in an occupational setting. I currently have half a dozen types of ear plugs I can use on a daily basis when riding my V. I wear earplugs every time I ride because I have a cheap helmet and it is loud, mostly from wind noise. The foam ear plugs I currently use have a NRR rating of 33db. There are ear plugs out there that have a higher NRR rating but I have found that anything over NRR 34db results in all sound being cutoff and I can no longer hear what is going on around me, I don't even hear the engine running at high RPMs. --------Just a quick note on NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) and db (decibels) -- Normal conversation is around 60db. I haven't measured the the db's inside my helmet yet (I should do that sometime since I have the monitor) but I would guess that it is in the range of 90-95 db at 60mph. OSHA (Our governmental safety overlords) require hearing protection when a worker is exposed to sound levels above 85db. So if we do the math... with my 33db earplugs in I reduce the sound hitting my ear drum to 57-62 db. Well within normal conversational decibel levels. I contend that if you wear an earplug with 37db NRR rating you are blocking out too much of the world around you. I have tried at least 8 different earplugs for motorcycle riding ranging from soft foam to silicone/plastic models. Most work well, but some protrude too far out of the ear and it is uncomfortable when I put on or take off my helmet. An issue I have found with my own personal ears is that the ear canal in my right ear is larger than my left. Inevitably this leads to hearing more noise with my right ear as all the different foam earplugs do not expand to the same amount.
Okay.. now enough of the boring background info and on to the actual review.
I received the Radians and opened them with a skeptical mind. I didn't see how these little tubs of goop were going to work very well. I read and followed the directions and followed some advice given in various customer reviews of the product. The directions were pretty straight forward.
Open tub of white goop and divide the quantity in half. Then divide that quantity in half (so you're quartering it). Set aside.
Open tub of blue goop (or whichever color you picked when purchasing) and divide the quantity in half. Then divide that quantity in half (so you're quartering it). Set aside.
Now you are ready to start the mixing of the two ingredients. Make sure you have set aside at least 30 minutes from the time you press the two ingredients together as that is when the curing process starts.
Take one quarter of both blue and white goop and start kneading them together in your hand. Continue to knead for at least 30 seconds ensuring that there are no streaks of white or blue showing.
Lay down on your couch or floor (on your side), turn on the TV, and cram that goop down in your ear. Roll it into an elongated ball before hand so you can at least start it down your ear canal.
Follow the included directions as you cram it into your ear. You're basically going to fold over the excess material and smooth it down. It sounds complicated, but you'll see what I mean when you start it.
Spend about a minute getting it all smoothed out with your fingertip and be prepared for what comes next....
What comes next? That goop in your ear is going to start to cure and harden. This was a pretty weird sensation. It wasn't uncomfortable per se but you'll see what I mean. By the way... stay laying on your side for at least 10 minutes... I went 15 minutes just to be sure.
Get up.. dig your new earplug out of your ear. It may take some time the first time you do this because you aren't used to how you get these in and out. It isn't like foam ear plugs that you just grab and pull. You have to kind of twist them as you take them in and out.
Mark one of them somehow so you know which is right or left so you don't get them mixed up. Mine came out looking significantly different from each other (due to the larger ear canal on right side) your's may not.
Repeat for other side and then store the excess back in their containers.
If you read closely and were paying attention you will have noticed that you quartered the amounts of goop.... so basically you can make 2 complete pairs (4 total plugs)
with this one purchase. So you don't really have to fear messing one of them up.
Now on to performance...
The NRR rating on these is 26db. I'm not sure how they came up with that since there are too many variables to the human ear and the ability for humans to closely follow directions. Irregardless I would guess that their NRR is pretty darn close to 26db at least as far as my own applications of them have shown. Real world sound reduction on these is very good. Unlike my 33db earplugs I can now hear the wind noise from my helmet, but basically I can just hear that the sound is there, it is not painful or loud. I actually prefer this 26db sound reduction as I can now hear my engine and sounds around me. I don't get the feeling that I have been totally isolated from the world.
Fit and comfort is great on these as well. With foam earplugs I would sometimes feel I had "lost the seal" due to head or jaw movement and suddenly I would be getting air noise and it would be obvious a lot more sound was reaching my ear. With these DIY plugs I have not felt that at all. I get a perfect seal every time. The other nice thing about these plugs is that they are spread out across the folds of the ear more so less sound has a chance to get into your ear canal. This changes the frequency of that loud wind/helmet noise quite a bit (in a good way). The plugs are much more comfortable in my ears because they don't go as deep into my ear canal as foam plugs I jam in there. They are also more comfortable under my helmet as they don't stick out of my ear at all, they are flush with my ear.
All in all I think this is a good product for someone to try out custom earplugs and it is what I have switched to using for every ride. They have converted me and now I'm going to research local audiologists in my area to try and get some professional ones made.
Hope this has helped you guys out.
EDIT: Adding link and photos.
(not my ears