Hearing degeneration


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dtrider
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Hearing degeneration

Postby dtrider » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:30 am



Went to the audiologist yesterday and found out that my hearing in the upper frequencies has degenerated quite a bit. Probably explains why I have problems hearing my wife, but it also leads to some questions for on the bike.

We've been having some problems with volume on the bike in that I would like to have the volume turned up so that I can hear the music, but that then makes it uncomfortably loud for my wife. I was looking to install a passenger volume control so that I could turn the volume up, and then she could turn hers down to a level that is comfortable again.

However the audiologist has recommended that I get some custom-molded ear monitors that I can plug in to the bike's audio system. They would act as ear plugs to block out the outside noise, but then have the speakers directly in my ears so that I can hear the music and intercom. My concern there is that now the problem will be reversed: when the volume is loud enough for my wife to be able to hear, it will be too loud for me.

Is anybody here using ear monitors? Have you run into volume control problems?

Thanks.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:25 am

I've thought about those - I have custom-molded earplugs that I wear while riding, and they cut out a ton of wind noise. Like you, I also have fairly advanced hearing damage, and 24/7 loud tinnitus. Makes it very difficult to hear people talking when there is any background noise. I really want to protect what I have left.

So I wear my earplugs, and turn up the speakers in the helmet so that I can hear them through the earplugs. That cuts down on the signal/noise ratio considerably - but also requires that a passenger also wear earplugs, or their ears would be blasted out by the volume of the headset in the helmet.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby CMReynolds1 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:37 am

I would caution everyone about using them in BOTH ears. Most state laws only allow one speaker to be active, thus allowing the other ear to hear sirens, horns, etc.

Just a thought for your consideration.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:22 pm

CMReynolds1 wrote:I would caution everyone about using them in BOTH ears. Most state laws only allow one speaker to be active, thus allowing the other ear to hear sirens, horns, etc.

Just a thought for your consideration.


The laws are extremely varied by state.

In terms of audio headphones:

California,Maryland, New York and Minnesota allow in one ear only.
Alaska, Massachusetts and Rhode Island ban them altogether.
Georgia and Pennsylvania allow them, but for communications purposes only - no music allowed.

As for earplugs, only two states have laws on the books: California specifies that you must be able to hear horns and sirens when wearing them, and Maryland allows custom-molded earplugs only.

There are some localities that also have laws on the books that may make them illegal, or create restrictions: often these are unintended, as they were meant to apply to cars, and say "motor vehicles" - which then includes motorcycles.


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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby CMReynolds1 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:27 pm

Thanks WingAdmin. It is good to have facts, I appreciate it. By the way, Oregon and Washington are one ear only.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:49 pm

CMReynolds1 wrote:Thanks WingAdmin. It is good to have facts, I appreciate it. By the way, Oregon and Washington are one ear only.


Do you have someplace that specifies that? I found quite a few web sites that all seem to have the same information, and they all state that both Oregon and Washington have no helmet headset restrictions.

Washington:


RCW 46.37.480

Television viewers — Earphones.


(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle equipped with any television viewer, screen, or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast which is located in the motor vehicle at any point forward of the back of the driver's seat, or which is visible to the driver while operating the motor vehicle. This subsection does not apply to law enforcement vehicles communicating with mobile computer networks.

(2) No person shall operate any motor vehicle on a public highway while wearing any headset or earphones connected to any electronic device capable of receiving a radio broadcast or playing a sound recording for the purpose of transmitting a sound to the human auditory senses and which headset or earphones muffle or exclude other sounds. This subsection does not apply to students and instructors participating in a Washington state motorcycle safety program.

(3) This section does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles, motorcyclists wearing a helmet with built-in headsets or earphones as approved by the Washington state patrol, or motorists using hands-free, wireless communications systems, as approved by the equipment section of the Washington state patrol.


I did a search for any mention of statutes in Oregon, including searching the ORS themselves, and found no reference. I found plenty of people who stated that earphones/headphones on motorcycles are permitted in Oregon, but prohibited by local statute in Beaverton.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby CMReynolds1 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:23 pm

Well, I live in Oregon and have lived for years in Washington. The license test even asks the question. While I don't have the RCW in hand it is the law. Several family members and some friends are LEOs and they concur. I will attempt to find the RCW so we both have the facts. We all know LEOs can be wrong just like anyone else.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby NVSB4 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:36 pm

Here is the latest from AAA broken down by state. They even have Canada as well.

http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/headsets/
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby CMReynolds1 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:51 pm

I must be going with old law. I stand corrected and have informed my LEO family and friends to read up and stay informed. Thanks for setting me straight. It is weird that helmet speakers sold here only play one ear, hmmmmmmm
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby dingdong » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:57 am

I ride with a couple of guys that wear ear buds in both ears. They hear almost nothing from the outside. Sirens, horns, etc. Very dangerous. I'm frightened for them when we ride. Be very careful what you use.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby seelyark1 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:13 am

That AAA website is very interesting, and it covers lots more than just ear plugs. :) Thanks for the link :!: Had two kids decide that I wasn't tailgateing the van in front of me so they passed me with nowhere to go except behind the van. Then they didn't really like my headlight modulator. It was the reason I was not on the van's bumper. Maybe they will learn something. I backed off on them like I had the van.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby dtrider » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:18 am

Well, this thread sure went off on a tangent. :lol: And I still haven't gotten an answer to my question: are the ear monitors going give me problems with the volume being too loud for me or too soft for my wife?

As to the ear plug laws, frankly I think they are stupid laws that would probably be pretty much unenforceable other than as a biker harassment charge. I can't see how having ear monitors would be any worse for hearing outside noises than having regular ear plugs, and probably a lot better than half the cars that drive around these days with the sound system cranked up. When it comes to driving, hearing is a pretty minor anyway. If a siren is coming up behind me, it's usually past me before I can hear it. If hearing was all that critical, then the deaf wouldn't be allowed to get a drivers license, and all of the rest of us would have to have hearing tests as part of the licensing exams.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:44 am

I rather suspect that you may easily overpower in-ear monitors with the bike's audio system - and especially if your wife is using standard in-helmet speakers. In order to have enough volume for your wife to hear anything, you will be blowing out your ears with your monitors - you would have to add a separate volume control for YOU!

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby dtrider » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:47 am

That's kind of what I'm afraid of. Unfortunately the J&M lower cable that allows plugging in the earbuds doesn't come with a volume control. Looks like I may have to get both that cable and one with an in-line volume control and figure out a way to wire them together.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby tfdeputydawg » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:41 pm

Back to the question asked:
You should follow your Dr's advice on the custom fit plugs.
You should also install a volume control for your passenger.
I can almost guarantee w/you hearing loss, even using the custom ear plugs, your wife will still need a lower volume!
BTW, if you have J&M head sets, they offer a lower cord w/an in line volume control:
http://www.sierra-mc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=JM-HC-ZBV
or
http://www.sierra-mc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=JM-HC-PBV
depending on which model you have.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby dtrider » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:42 am

Well, first part done. Picked up the new hearing aids yesterday. So far things do seem a bit better, but I'll go back to the audiologist in a couple weeks to do some tweaking. At the same time I'll be picking up some custom molded ear buds to use on the bike. From there we'll decide if we need separate volume controls. I'll follow up with final results.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby 52wingnut » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:55 pm

Well I have 24/7 tinnitus and have found that foam ear plugs work best for me then turn the volume up. Best if your passenger uses them also. Wind noise even inside a fully enclosed helmet is still loud enough to cause permanent damage to your hearing. My open face with the shield on seems to be much louder than without it. So I use the plugs ALL the time.

I watched my dad struggle with ear molded hearing aids for years and never could get the fit right. The minute he would yawn or laugh (anything that would cause his facial muscles to react in a large fashion) one of his plugs would work lose and start whistling. I watched and learned...when it's time for hearing aids I'm going with the clamshell style. I have had to wear headsets for over 40 years working in television and nothing beats the fidelity from those. But I'm not going to wear them if I don't have to.
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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby DETOUR22 » Fri May 01, 2015 6:52 am

I use a set of Sony noise cancelling ear buds. They cancel out 100% of engine whine and about 60% of wind noise. I can still hear sirens and horns and play the radio at a reasonably low volume.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby ghostvet » Fri May 01, 2015 7:15 am

DETOUR22 wrote:I use a set of Sony noise cancelling ear buds. They cancel out 100% of engine whine and about 60% of wind noise. I can still hear sirens and horns and play the radio at a reasonably low volume.



Tell us more about these please?

Thanx!

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby DETOUR22 » Fri May 01, 2015 8:22 am

The model I have has been discontinued. Here's a link to the Sony site. As usual Google is your friend.

http://store.sony.com/noise-canceling-e ... es-Earbuds

It's very reasonably priced compared to other brands like Bose.

These also work well with a half helmet where your ears are out in the open wind.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby ghostvet » Fri May 01, 2015 9:31 am

DETOUR22 wrote:The model I have has been discontinued. Here's a link to the Sony site. As usual Google is your friend.

http://store.sony.com/noise-canceling-e ... es-Earbuds

It's very reasonably priced compared to other brands like Bose.

These also work well with a half helmet where your ears are out in the open wind.


I am thinking -for me- ear buds are a pain in the butt because it is one more thing to do getting in and off the bike.

I have a full face modular helmet with J&M speakers built in. Is there some sort of noise cancelling replacement for those?

Thanx!

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby DETOUR22 » Fri May 01, 2015 10:00 am

Yes, that would be great but I've not heard of one. Try googling for a noise cancelling add on for headphones.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby phochief » Fri May 01, 2015 1:11 pm

Regarding the AAA list of Headset laws, they left out this very important part of the 316.304 statute for Florida:

(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) Any law enforcement officer equipped with any communication device necessary in performing his or her assigned duties or to any emergency vehicle operator equipped with any ear protection device.

(b) Any applicant for a license to operate a motorcycle while taking the examination required by s. 322.12(5).

(c) Any person operating a motorcycle who is using a headset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as to prevent the speakers from making direct contact with the user’s ears so that the user can hear surrounding sounds.

(d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a cellular telephone that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby garwil » Fri May 01, 2015 3:41 pm

I have similar hearing loss as you, and started wearing one hearing aid last year. (I will pick up the other when I can afford it).

I installed a passenger volume control for my wife so that I can turn up the volume to where I can hear, but she can mute it for her comfort. It works great.

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Re: Hearing degeneration

Postby VTBikeman » Sat May 02, 2015 12:54 pm

I'm 63, a musician and I have hearing loss and tinnitus. I wear the little foam earplugs in the car. They attenuate the road noise, then I turn up the radio. Not ideal but much less fatiguing. In states where the earbuds are ok I use them. Or at night anywhere where I'm unlikely to be seen.

On the Wing I do the same thing. If I want to hear the radio I'll use ear buds and keep the wires out of sight in states where it's illegal.

In neither case am I ever unable to hear horns, sirens, or any other sounds that are important.

There is more attenuation of exterior noise in a quality car that has a quiet cabin than most earplugs can supply. The drugstore variety typically are 25 - 30 db of attenuation. Even with them in I can hear a rider in the rear seat adequately.

I think the legislation is aimed at kids who like music stupid loud.

I have almost complete loss of bass sounds in my left ear. I don't know the reason for it but I suspect it is from years of driving with my driver side window rolled down. This is just a theory, but when you think about it, the left ear gets extremely buffeted and exposed to a lot of subsonic noise.

Going for an hearing test soon anyway.




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