best earbuds for under helmet??

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by therm, May 26, 2015.

  1. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,529
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    I use Etymotic er4 on the bike. But I picked up a set of these Sony earbuds from Walmart to use at work and they work great.
  2. fahrein664

    fahrein664 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    United states
    i have been using apple earpods
  3. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    80421
  4. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    NW Arizona
    Hi all.
    Researching the daylights out of this problem led me here.
    I currently have the Sena SMH10.
    I'm absolutely amazed at how awful the audio quality is on this unit.
    Someone suggested that they are really awesome, and that maybe I had a defective unit, so I returned it, got another and had the same results.
    Sena's speakers are tinny, lack volume, and have zero bass.
    I've never actually stuck my ear to a dog turd, but I imagine if I did, it would sound better than this thing.
    I have ordered a new mount for them which has the option of a 3.5mm audio jack.

    The world of ear buds is large. Hugely large. Mindnumbingly large.

    After reading this entire thread, and every review of almost every brand, then watching the review of the MEE M6 pro's from Fortnine on the yootoobs, I've decided to give them a try.
    My current helmet is an HJC ISmaxII, which I like well enough.

    In the meantime, I found another yootoob of a guy doing a speaker upgrade on his Sena, and I'm going to give it a try. Here's the video.
    I received a set of headphones from a giveaway service to try, then review.
    They sound alright, and only cost me about 13 cents, and have the correct Ohms @ 32.
    I'm going to disassemble them, and try mounting those in the helmet instead.

    I think I'll try to do a really good job, and maybe carve out a little of the styrofoam in the recessed area in the helmet for speakers, giving them a little more breathing room, and somewhere for bass to develop.
    If that doesn't work, there won't be any loss, as the headphones didn't cost anything, and the Sena's are worthless anyways. I'll then give the ear buds a go either way.

    I will post up any findings, and the results I get after some testing.
  5. DFWKen

    DFWKen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    My experience is that when I carved out the styrofoam (with a heated paperclip bent to do the job), the helmet speakers were indeed farther away from my ears. The sound quality didn't improve, but the sound level decreased greatly in relation to motorcycle riding noises. I won't do it again. I had to build up the speaker wells with layers of velcro.

    Regarding best earbuds, many in this thread have recommended SPlugs.
    After trying ear buds, in the ear speakers at the rate of approximately 2 pairs a year and never being satisfied, I bought a set of S Plugs. That was 2 years ago and they're the cat's meow!

    /QUOTE="bbqjoe, post: 35927223, member: 424374"]Hi all.
    Researching the daylights out of this problem led me here.
    I currently have the Sena SMH10.
    I'm absolutely amazed at how awful the audio quality is on this unit.
    Someone suggested that they are really awesome, and that maybe I had a defective unit, so I returned it, got another and had the same results.
    Sena's speakers are tinny, lack volume, and have zero bass.
    I've never actually stuck my ear to a dog turd, but I imagine if I did, it would sound better than this thing.
    I have ordered a new mount for them which has the option of a 3.5mm audio jack.

    The world of ear buds is large. Hugely large. Mindnumbingly large.

    After reading this entire thread, and every review of almost every brand, then watching the review of the MEE M6 pro's from Fortnine on the yootoobs, I've decided to give them a try.
    My current helmet is an HJC ISmaxII, which I like well enough.

    In the meantime, I found another yootoob of a guy doing a speaker upgrade on his Sena, and I'm going to give it a try. Here's the video.
    I received a set of headphones from a giveaway service to try, then review.
    They sound alright, and only cost me about 13 cents, and have the correct Ohms @ 32.
    I'm going to disassemble them, and try mounting those in the helmet instead.

    I think I'll try to do a really good job, and maybe carve out a little of the styrofoam in the recessed area in the helmet for speakers, giving them a little more breathing room, and somewhere for bass to develop.
    If that doesn't work, there won't be any loss, as the headphones didn't cost anything, and the Sena's are worthless anyways. I'll then give the ear buds a go either way.

    I will post up any findings, and the results I get after some testing.[/QUOTE]
  6. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    NW Arizona
    My hope is this: I'm going to try to leave most of the face that the headphone speakers are mounted on.
    I'm not going to try to recess the speaker, but just give the speaker room to do its job.
    I imagine it much like when you pull a speaker from a cabinet, then play it, it just doesn't sound good without the box around it.
    So buy creating a little room behind the speaker, I am imagining it will improve things.
    I will be tackling this project today sometime, and will post pics. (I'm notorious for pics):-)
  7. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    25,541
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    I went through this process. The improved speakers were too thick. Hurt my ears. I wasn’t willing to cut on my helmet. I tried earbuds and they were definitely better quality. After a few weeks the bud fell off? I gave up and put the Sena speakers back in. I have the 30K. I’ve decided I don’t listen to music any way. I find it distracting. YMMV
  8. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    NW Arizona
    I don't listen to music all the time, but when I do, I don't want to struggle trying to listen to a mosquito in my ear.
    I'm going to find an answer.
    Off to the shop!
  9. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    25,541
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Good luck. I tried hemet buds. Helmetbuds.com. They worked good, but like I said, fell apart after a couple weeks.

    Not recommended.
  10. JosephMDunbar

    JosephMDunbar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    If you’re looking for a truly comfortable experience then custom in-ears are the way to go. They’re pricey but worth every penny. They stay in place and because they seal the ear you can keep your music at low volumes and still hear everything comfortably (music and outside noise) so you don’t have to blow your ears out.

    I use Alclair’s. There are plenty of good brands (JH, 1964, UE, etc) but Alclair uses the same components for less money. It’s a big investment but I guarantee you’ll never regret it.
    baldman1 and RoundTrip like this.
  11. Wilde

    Wilde Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    West Covina CA
    I used these super low profile earbuds: http://a.co/d/hJ0UJfn , put them in my ear nice and deep, then molded this stuff around them: http://a.co/d/8Hx9K6N

    It works great. With the music off, they're good earplugs that work for highway and city riding. With the music on (not even half volume on my Iphone), you can hear the music clearly on the highway. I don't ride with the music on in the city 'cause that really cuts you off from hearing anything around you.

    In retrospect I wish I had used some higher quality earbuds because they really don't need to be so low profile like the buds I used.
    gepenunes likes this.
  12. redfishguide

    redfishguide Old Dirt Biker Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,182
    Location:
    Beaufort, South Carolina
    Another vote for S Plugs. Been using them for about a year now and am totally happy with them. Use for both music and just ear plugs. Pricey for sure but to me worth it.

    Jack and Buck
    Mr. Canoehead likes this.
  13. kasuckmo

    kasuckmo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    fl
    Klisph x10. Best sound and comfort I’ve found. Mine are 10 yr old and easy to wear all day upload_2018-9-15_9-23-10.jpeg
  14. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    You'll guarantee that I won't regret it?

    Please paypal $1360 to I_tried_3_times_and_none_were_great@yourethebest.com

    I am currently using plugfones 'basic' model which are $15, and all silicone, making them much better than the original Plugfones. Also excellent are S-Plugs (good for smaller ears) and THESE, available on Amazon for $14.

    Nothing is as good as the ol' er6i, but for short money these are all safe hearing protection and comfortable, functional earphones.
  15. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,347
    Location:
    Western New York
    Shure 215.
    Game over.
    Rick G likes this.
  16. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    15,513
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Agreed. I used a spherical type tip with mine for better noise isolation and found them to be superior to everything else I had used, including the Ety ER6i 's
  17. kasuckmo

    kasuckmo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    fl
    I know right, I use mine on and off the bike. They block enough noise to use at the gun range. I’ve actually sleep with them when by riding buddy gets to snoring.
  18. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I think at this point it's important to note that there is no one solution. Everyone has different helmets, different ears, and different heads, and what is earbud nirvana for one person will be ear torture for another. For folks who are embarking on a first search for an earbud solution, you have to be extremely lucky to find a great solution on your first try...or third, or more. Personally, the er6i (these are awesome but discontinued) with the 2-tier silicone pyramid tips is as close to perfection as I'll ever find. Because they are no longer made (I like these so much I recently paid $115 for a used pair on eBay), I have spent years experimenting to find a replacement that I"m happy with.

    I have a shelf in my garage with the various candidates I've tried, and a rough guess would say that there are 15 unique sets of earbuds ranging from $15 Amazon specials to a $600 pair of custom jobbers. There's 2 pairs of Klipsh buds, a pair if Shure IEMs (I forget the model, they're similar to the 215 but I think it's a different model), S-Plugs (very good), two other Etymolic attempts, etc. representing maybe $2200 or so in testing.

    If you're new at this, here is my recommendation. Order a pair of Plugfones 'Basic' jobbers (this link is to a pair of generic ones, but I have both and these are literally identical to the Plugfones), and a pair of THESE CHEAPO AMAZON JOBBERS. Your total outlay will be under $30, and you will learn if smallish ones, or larger ones work better for you. The Amazon ones are roughly the same size as S-Plugs (small) and the Plugfones are a bit larger. These two cover a large 'what will work' spectrum and help you narrow it down a lot. Note that all of these, like ear plugs, need to actually be inserted into your ears, not just rest on your ear canal.

    The plan here is that without spending a fortune on stuff that doesn't work for you, you can get a good feel for what you like, what you don't, etc. for short money, then go from there. One example of how this strategy might work is that I bought the Shure ones, Klipsh buds, and 2 different sets of Etymolic buds at considerable expense, only to realize that none of them are close to fitting properly in my helmet, for me. Others love them like oxygen. We're all different.

    Hope this helps someone.
    KevinP65 and Rick G like this.
  19. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,418
    Location:
    Euclid, OH
    ^^^ Good advice. For me, the Shure option works very well.

    Rick G
  20. KevinP65

    KevinP65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    486
    Location:
    Nelson Cty, VA
    ^^Yeah. I gave someone a great deal on a pr. of Shure and a other few brands, too. I finally quit trying--the well ran dry. A real crap shoot.