Is it illegal to wear earplugs whilst riding a motorcycle?

Is it illegal to wear earplugs whilst riding a motorcycle?

Many motorcyclists claim to use earplugs while riding their motorcycles to protect their hearing from the road's noise. Motorcyclists fear that if they ride without earplugs, they will become deaf. However, in many states, wearing earplugs while driving is against the law.

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Which are the best Earplugs for motorcycles

For Motorcycles, the best ear plugs are Nonoise Motor - New Generation Ear Plugs - Ceramic Filter.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

noise comes from the wind

People often assume that the source of the noise is the sound of the motorcycle or other vehicles. But the noise comes from the wind, and the resulting hearing loss is usually permanent. According to motorcycle accident attorney Ralph Buss of Ohio, when speaking with most serious motorcyclists, they frequently have to turn one ear because they cannot hear from the other ear.

The most common reason for such damage to one's hearing is the surrounding wind's sound around one's head. While some motorcyclists use earplugs to help reduce the noise, they risk having to pay a fine.

Riding your bike and speeding on the road can be a wonderful experience in your favorite place. And then it becomes even more comfortable if you have your biggest hits playing.

But the best way to hear this music is by using earbuds on a motorcycle. Yet it can be risky to drive with headphones or earplugs. Explore the risks and how you could make it less dangerous by using earplugs on a motorcycle.

Why Wearing Earplugs While Driving a Motorcycle Is Dangerous?

Here are a few explanations why it is insecure to listen to music or wear earplugs while riding:

  1. Hearing Restrictions

The first and most crucial explanation regarding earplugs is that they restrict your hearing. You won't hear the horns of other vehicles, sirens blaring or ambulances, local collisions, or other vehicle engines in the same manner as if you weren't wearing earplugs.

Even though earplugs can be ideal not only for preventing wind and engine noise, keeping the ears safe from dirt and debris—they limit hearing too much. Mostly if you ride in high-traffic areas, then this can be even more dangerous to do. If you don't hear well—then you're more likely to suffer an accident or cause one.

  1. Limited Focus

Comparably, to restrict the ability to hear anything around you, earplugs can lower your concentration or focus. If you're using earplugs during your rides, you may forget you're riding a bike close to other vehicles, making you less aware of your surroundings and becoming a hazard for other drivers. If you aren't well aware of everything happening around you as a motorcycle rider, you may not react well in different situations.

  1. Delayed Response

Let's say you don't listen to music, but just stop the wind and the roar of engines. Under that scenario, you might think that you are both aware of what is going on, and nothing concerns you. Well, it doesn't work that way. It is well known because it is better to hear and see things as they arise. You'll be more reliant on your ears, whether your hearing is impaired or you don't listen well to stuff. And it can override the response time. If something occurs around you, you're likely to respond even slower than you would have without earplugs.

  1. Could Be Used Against You

Eventually, you may also be part of a crash, even though you don't use earplugs. As the key factor causing the accident or the person experiencing the accident, a significant downside can occur.

If you were riding with earplugs in, insurance firms, prosecutors, and attorneys could hold that against you. You can be the one with the injury and raise the risk of going to prison in certain situations. In brief, you will be deemed as a reckless rider—which may be horrifying in an accident with your event.

Noises When Riding A Motorcycle

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

Advice for Wearing Earplugs While Riding a Motorcycle

Now that you know a few of the risks of riding bikes with earplugs, you could learn how to make life better as you do so. Here are a couple of tips to consider:

  • If you need music, use the Speaker

When using a speaker, you don't have to use plugs, earbuds, or earpieces. Any motorcycle speakers make it easy to play music while riding without any distortions. They may still distort your surroundings, but they don't look like earbuds or headphones. And sure enough, they're safe now.

  • Don't Turn The Volume Up

If you're using a headset in a position where it's legal, you can lower the volume as soon as you can. It would make it easy for you to respond to other cars and to be mindful of anything around them.

  • Using just one earplug or earbud

Keep one of your ears open if you may. This would allow you the opportunity to enjoy music or whatever you listen to with one ear and keeping the other open so that you can hear your surroundings.

  • Automate the Music or Content

Whatever you hear – ensure that everything is automatic (create a playlist, set a timer, among other things.) It is not safe to reach back for your phone or device to change the song, book, article, or whatever you want to listen to through your hearing device. It is likely you may lose control of the motorcycle or lose consciousness for a few seconds.

  • Be Conscious of the danger

Finally, make sure you know how unsafe it is to cover your ears while riding a bike. You cannot only injure yourself or anyone; you may even take your life and others simultaneously.

This sounds simple; however, you will prevent any risks by carefully following all the above by the letter.


Wearing earplugs can be legitimate and unlawful in certain areas when driving a motorbike, as you should know. Yet you have discovered at the same time that it's still risky. So it is up to you to determine whether wearing earplugs while on a bike is worth it or not. It is better to prevent accidents entirely instead of leaving it to chance.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

Other Questions

Are Kevlar jeans as good as leathers?

No, they are not. When riding a bike wearing leather pants is better because leather provides better protection against abrasion that’s why it is preferred by professional motorcycle racers. Leather is also more durable, so even after a crash the pants will still hold up.

Kevlar jeans are more stylish and are a good option for riders seeking comfort and style. Kevlar jeans are also heat resistant and will not melt due to the friction of a slide. In the end, it comes down to the personal choice of the rider whether they prefer safety or fashion.

Are jeans good for motorcycle riding?

Yes, if you really want to wear jeans while riding a motorcycle, Kevlar jeans should be preferred. Ordinary jeans will not provide you the protection that kevlar jeans will. Kevlar jeans are anti-abrasive and very lightweight. They are also heatproof and don’t let the jeans melt even under the friction of a slide.

Kevlar jeans also protect the knees and hips because the armor plates provide impact protection. They are also modern and stylish and provide great comfort, hence they are quite popular among riders. In short, kevlar is a combination of style and comfort.

Why do bikers wear tight clothes?

Cycling is all about aerodynamics. Bikers have to wear tight clothing when riding a motorcycle because baggy clothes flap in the wind like a sail and create a huge amount of aerodynamic drag which slows down the rider. The backward force created by air friction is called drag.

So the tighter the clothes are, the more aerodynamic the rider will be, and the faster they will go. Baggy clothes might be more comfortable, but they will not provide the biker the exceptional experience they look for. The clothing should be tight enough to fit snugly and the cuffs fitting should be close enough to prevent chafing but should also not dig into the arms.

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Last update on 2021-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you require more information, please check these references

Attenuation of Noise by Motorcycle Safety Helmets , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020

The effects of motorcycle helmets on hearing and the detection of warning signals , article, "www.sciencedirect.com", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020

The Effectiveness of Motorcycle Helmets as Hearing Protectors , article, "asa.scitation.org", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020

Author: Nick

Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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