If you ride a motorcycle at highway speeds, you are subjecting your ears to high noise levels, even with a windshield and the quietest helmet. Ear protection is a must if you value your hearing. Although not marketed for motorcycle use, the Loop Experience Pro earplugs do work on two wheels.
After years of finding earplugs uncomfortable, I’ve been impressed with the latest earplug technology. Although the Loop Experience Pro earplugs don’t mention motorcycle use on the company’s website—they market them to musicians and club-going audiophiles—their PR team sees the value of earplugs for motorcyclists.
Loop’s pitch for its Experience Pro earplugs is that it attenuates all frequencies equally—essential for listening to music. As a motorcyclist, I prefer uncolored sound reduction, so even lowering across the sound spectrum is desirable.
Although Loop claims “flat attenuation” on its website, the spec sheet that comes with the Experience Pro earplugs says differently. According to the specs, the earplug drop sound in the bassy 63-500 Hz range by around 15 dB or so. However, the attenuation ramps up as high as 30 dB in the 1000-8000 Hz midrange and high end. That’s fine with me; the white noise produced by wind sits right in that higher range. The Loop Experience Pro earplugs sound great when riding a motorcycle, allowing me to hear traffic and the motor naturally, albeit at a lower volume.
Getting the most out of the Loop Experience Pro earplugs requires proper fitting and proper insertion. Loop offers four sizes of silicone tips, ranging from XS to L. If you’re allergic to silicone, three sizes of foam tips (S-L) are included. However, the EU doesn’t certify foam ear tips for hearing protection, and the numbers quoted are for the silicone ear tips. Still, the foam tips are better than nothing. The ear tips easily install and detach from a post on the base of the plugs, so finding the right fit is not time-consuming.
Once you find out which size ear tips are suitable for your ear canals, you have a choice to make. Loop includes a Loop Mute insert that will drop the sound another 5 dB—not an insignificant amount. If you’re riding alone, the Loop Mute inserts are the way to go. If you’re using an intercom system, it may be a bit too much sound reduction—or not. It’s easy to experiment to find out what works for you. The Loop Mute insert is mounted on the plug’s post, and then the ear tip over that—quick and easy.
Correctly inserting the Loop Experience Pro earplugs into my ears is something I didn’t get right the first time. The result is that I promptly lost one the first time I took off the helmet with them in my ears. Both fell to the ground, and I could only locate one. Yes, I had some Ear Peace backups, as I was still in the Loop testing phase.
Getting it right requires proper placement of the loop that gives the Loop earplug its name. The loop was likely designed as a fashion accessory for club-goers, as the loop looks more like jewelry than ear protection, especially in Glorious Gold.
Here’s the trick: You spin the loop around until it is tucked fully into each ear’s concha, behind the tragus. Yes, that’s it.
Once you’ve done that, a few good things happen. The ear tip is fully and securely inserted into your ear canal for maximum sound protection. The loop prevents you from pushing the ear tips in too far, making it easy to get them all the way in with confidence. The loop tucks into your concha, so it avoids conflict with your helmet when donning or doffing. If your helmet catches the loop when putting your helmet on, you’ve put the earplugs in incorrectly, and you get to try again.
Eventually, you develop the skill needed to properly insert the Loop Experience Pro earplugs, and it becomes second nature. Form meets function quite nicely in this instance.
There’s a small plastic case for storing the Loops when they aren’t in your ears. To clean them, just wipe them off with a damp cloth. You don’t want cleaning chemicals on them, as you’re putting them inside your ear.
Although not strictly a motorcycle product, the Loop Experience Pro earplugs absolutely get the job done on two wheels. The sound quality is good, so you can still enjoy the music of your motor and exhaust. As a bonus, next time I’m at a Cinder Cone gig, I’ll be sure to slip these babies in.
Loop Experience Pro Earplugs Fast Facts
Sound attenuation: 18-20 dB (-5 dB additional w/ Loop Mute)
- Silicone tips: XS-L
- Foam tips: S-L
- Colors: Glorious Gold; Midnight Black; Swinging Silver
Loop Experience Pro Earplugs Price: $35/pair