Been down that road...
I use a SENA 5 for headset/communication. I found that with the unit set on maximum volume, I could hear it fine over the wind, but when at a stop the volume was suddenly so uncomfortably loud that I just knew it was damaging my hearing. So I had to go for earplugs, like it or not.
I tried foam earplugs, couldn't hear a bloody thing. I mean, I could hear a trickle of sound, but at speed it just wasn't good enough. So I went to the NoNoise plugs. I thought they were great -- plenty of sound got through, I could even hear traffic, but yes the wind noise was still quite loud, just -- managed, somewhat.
Then I added a windshield. And the sound was horrible. The windshield added so much extremely loud, sharp, harsh wind noise that it hurt to ride without earplugs at all. That set me on a quest to see if I could fix it. I went through three different windshields to try to find one that didn't make such an alarming increase in noise. I finally found a combination of settings on the National Cycle DX windshield that provides relief from the fatiguing wind pressure against my chest, while not increasing the sound level -- at all.
So that's the way I rode for a while -- windshield, with NoNoise plugs, and I thought it was fine -- sure, lots of wind noise, but I could hear the headset and it was definitely less wind noise than without the earplugs. So, all was fine... Until I lost one of the NoNoise plugs, and at $15 apiece, I wasn't happy with that. So I substituted in a foam plug for one side, the NoNoise for the other. And that worked fine for a while, until one day the NoNoise was inserted a little too deep -- and that was a nightmare. It got stuck, and there's no way I could get it out. I was out on the road some sixty miles or so, and it hurt like ****, and it was stuck, and I couldn't reach it no matter what, it was too deep. I eventually rode to a mini-mart/gas station and bought a pair of tweezers and managed to yank that sodding thing out.
So that was the end of my NoNoise experiment. Don't want to go through that again.
So I tried a foam alternative: Mack's Acoustic Foam Earplugs. They have a hole down the center, they claim it's for concerts, you're supposed to hear a lot more high-frequency detail and fidelity in the music, but still cut down the overall level of noise. They were expensive (for foam), I think close to $1 per pair. And they didn't work acceptably to me -- way, way too much wind noise, more than the NoNoise plugs for sure.
So I finally said "screw it", and stuffed regular cheap Hearos Ultimate Softness foam earplugs in my ears, cranked my headset up to max volume, and cranked my phone output to maximum volume, and -- it's fine. Very nice, actually. I can hear the music or phone calls or map directions or whatever with just sufficient volume, but -- there's no constant roaring wind noise. There's no hearing damage. It's pleasant. It's very nice. The foam earplugs are MUCH more comfortable than the NoNoise ever were.
So I don't know why it works fine now, when my first trial was unsatisfactory. Maybe I swapped types of foam plugs, I don't know. Or, maybe I only tried them with the noisy windshield? But with my windshield properly adjusted to provide no increase in noise, I now find that the soft Hearos plugs combined with the SENA at max volume provide the ultimate in comfort and utility. I do wish I could crank the SENA up just a little more (to 11, maybe?) but as is, it's perfectly acceptable.
So that's my first suggestion -- see if you can adjust the windshield (either in rake, or height) so it doesn't add that horrific sharp cutting wind sound. If you're getting that nasty hard sharp noise, then I don't think there's a satisfactory solution out there for you -- any earplug that blocks enough noise to overcome that windshield noise, is probably going to block too much of your headset's volume too. Get rid of the windshield noise (if at all possible) and you'll make it infinitely easier to arrive at a headset/earplug solution that protects your hearing and provides sufficient volume.
Last edited by Gaijin; 10-21-2017 at 05:26 PM.