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Cat Ears

Old 07-22-19, 11:49 PM
  #1  
Jon T
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Cat Ears

I've spent the better part of the last 40 years working in a machine shop. As a result, my hearing sucks BIG time and I have tinitis. I can't hear a damn thing on my rides other than the wind rushing over my ears. I recently heard about "Cat Ears" for wind noise reduction. Has anyone used them? Are they worth the $18? I'm interested in your feed-back, both the good and bad.
Thanks
Jon
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Old 07-23-19, 02:14 AM
  #2  
jgwilliams
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I can't give feedback on that precise product since it doesn't seem to be available in the UK. I do have something almost identical (Wind-Blox) and it definitely makes a difference. Don't expect miracles, you'll still get the sound of rushing wind but, for me at least, it was greatly reduced.

You have my sympathy, by the way. My hearing is also not what it was and I've suffered from tinnitus for a number of years now. I've often wondered if all those years of the noise from the wind over helmet straps has contributed to that.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I've often wondered if all those years of the noise from the wind over helmet straps has contributed to that.
Me too. And riding alongside a high-speed highway is very loud. It'd be great if there were a way to hear the soft sounds and tone down the loud ones. (It'd also be great if that weren't necessary.) Also, when I listen to a podcast my earbuds make wind noise -- I can reduce it by turning my head to the side -- and that is *right* on the ear. That can't be good.

Jon T, I hope you find something that works for you.

Last edited by rseeker; 07-23-19 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:23 AM
  #4  
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My spouse/stoker and I started using Cat-Ears Classic this year. We both notice less wind noise and conversation on our tandem is easier.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:51 AM
  #5  
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I also have tinnitus and am sensitive to wind noise. When I was motorcycling, I wore ear plugs 100% of the time but don't want to block out that much sound on a bike.

I have some cat ears and they do cut down the wind noise but not all that much. I've also had issues with mine where the velcro started coming off. It's put on with an adhesive as opposed to being sewed on.

Actually it would be super easy to make them. Some material used for making stuffed animals and some velcro strip and fabric adhesive is all that you'd need. Have thought about making some but haven't gotten around to it.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:54 AM
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Musician who has tinnitus. Cat ears might make you look like your side-burns are taking over your head...but I find they work quite well.
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Old 07-23-19, 09:27 AM
  #7  
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I'm also an aging baby boomer with questionable hearing. CatEars work. What I have found is that the roaring rushing wind noise is still there, as it should be, but CarEars moves it out from the ear creating a pocket of quiet undisturbed air that makes it easier to distinguish discrete sounds. In other words they don't eliminate any noise just reduce its impact on your hearing - improving the signal to noise ratio in your ear. That all ramblingly said, they are also funny looking (but aren't all cyclists anyway?) and they are hot (but not really hotter than overall summer heat and its nice in the cooler months) and retain sweat. But they are affordable and it is nice not to have to strain to hear the world around you. Buy a pair and try them. They velcro on and off easily so installation and removal are a breeze. (pun intended)
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Old 07-23-19, 10:52 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for this thread...

I've never mentioned it to anyone, but when started riding again, the rushing wind noise was really unpleasant, and I couldn't imagine how I would have not been bothered bitd. i remember thevsounds being pleasant, mostly in rural VT. I figured in large part it was due to now wearing a helmet, and I just gave up cuz I have a daughter and I'm going to wear a helmet. I notice some hearing loss especially when my daughter is speaking to me from the back seat of the truck. Between aging, hanging out in clubs in the 70s and 80s, and worse, being an options trader in the pits during the 80s and 90s, my hearing is not what it was. It never occurred to me that my hearing loss would actually increase my perception of the wind noise. That explains it, now at least I feel less nuts.
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Old 07-23-19, 11:27 AM
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I've been using Cat Ears for a couple of years now, and they do work as described by the others here. I often get the "What's up with the Elvis sideburns?" question (and I'm Asian, which makes it even funnier). Sometimes people think they are ear warmers. I don't mind looking funny with them on.
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Old 07-23-19, 11:45 AM
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I got some a few years back, and wasn't impressed. Mine were the kind that strap on to your helmet straps. Even though I bought them for winter rides, I found that sweat ended up matting the "fur" after an hour or two, and they weren't effective for the rest of the ride (although the goofy look persisted).

I've had better luck loosely packing cotton into my ears.
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Old 07-24-19, 07:34 AM
  #11  
Jon T
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Thanks to all for your replies. I think I'm gonna try the cat ears "slipstreamz".
Jon
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Old 07-24-19, 08:01 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Warren128 View Post
I often get the "What's up with the Elvis sideburns?" question (and I'm Asian, which makes it even funnier).

https://www.dw.com/en/elvis-in-asia-...n/a-40163525-0
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Old 07-24-19, 09:24 AM
  #13  
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Good thread. I'm going to have to try some of these products, too. My tinnitus is bad enough and I'm concerned that the "wind in my ears" noise is making it worse. I think I'm going to try the Wind-Blox Classic. https://www.wind-blox.com/

Last edited by Altair 4; 07-24-19 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 07-24-19, 01:01 PM
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I wanna look like Vegas Elvis, riding my bike.��

Last edited by Last ride 76; 07-24-19 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:25 PM
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$18 for two little terry cloth things. What am I missing here?
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Old 07-24-19, 03:19 PM
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Made my own.

Rolled up some cotton so it is logged shaped about 3/4" in diameter. Cut it about 3" long. Spray painted black. Placing on helmet strap and using thin strips of tape, tape around cotton and strap. Home-made Rube Goldberg cat ears that work for me.

p.s. -- cotton from pill container, black paint on shelf from painting RV step, tape from desk = no cost
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Old 07-24-19, 08:11 PM
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Yeah I was going to say, you could make your own very easily. Go to Michaels or some craft shop and pick up some fuzzy material, cut to size, staple or sew it.
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Old 07-24-19, 08:26 PM
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Any of the well known models and brands can work. To optimize results:

1. make sure your helmet straps and wind reduction gear are flush against your face. Any gap will result in wind moving through, meaning the products won't work.

2. it's important that the wind reducers are as close to the front of the ear as possible. Too far up, too far down, too far forward, and they're not as effective. It sucks, but if the helmet straps are too far forward, you probably won't benefit a lot from these wind noise reducing products.

3. don't expect total silence. There is going to be a lot of air swirling around a typical vented helmet regardless. These won't help with sidewinds, either. To get a sense of how much they help, you can pull the strap to the side, and you'll hear a bit more noise from the wind.

Overall, they're a decent investment for $15 or $20 or however much they go for these days. The benefit is modest, but tangible. Keep your expectations reasonable and you'll be good.

As an alternative, I use Phillips in ear monitors, but replace the silicone tips with foam tips I bought from eBay. Any silicone will actually amplify noise from road vibrations IME. My setup might reduce noise more than some care for, ymmv.

Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
$18 for two little terry cloth things. What am I missing here?
The velcro, the padding, the cutting, and gluing or sewing.

Last edited by radroad; 07-24-19 at 08:32 PM.
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