best earbuds for under helmet??

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

  1. Wilde

    Wilde Adventurer

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    Okay, I just tried the Bose QC20 which has active noise cancellation. All I can say is, "Wow!" Soooo much better than earplugs. Also way better than about four other earbuds I've tried along with the earbuds surrounded by the custom molded silicone stuff which I suggested above. They're astonishingly good at killing the wind noise.

    At $250, they're expensive. I wasn't sure how well they'd work so I was hesitant to order them. However, since the price at Best Buy is the same as Amazon and everywhere else, I ended up getting them there with the idea that I could easily return them if they didn't work out. Yeah, I'm keeping them.
  2. JosephMDunbar

    JosephMDunbar Adventurer

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    Haha, I get it but I qualified the statement! You get what you pay for. I’ll double the comment @KingOfFleece and his comment on the “shure 215’s” it’s similar high quality armatures that are in a lot of custom in-ear’s, just without the custom shell. Though the custom shell is was what offers the good seal, allowing you to keep things at low volumes, and the comfortability for long periods of time. And if you take care of them they can easily last 5-8 years or more.
  3. Bobo

    Bobo Are we there yet? Super Supporter

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  4. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

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    Hahahaha.. :) I was just funnin' ya., but that was my point: you absolutely do not always get what you pay for. I've tried three times to get custom ear molds, and each time, my right ear mold will not stay sealed. This, despite my warning the audiologist on the last two attempts that my first set wouldn't stay sealed in my right ear. They both tried to fix it, and made multiple molds, but to no avail. For me and my apparently weird right ear, the custom shell is what fails to provide a seal. There is no doubt that this solution is great for many people, but not all. Also, not all people who have tried the custom ear mold solution find them to be comfortable over multiple long days. Many do, but not all.

    This is why I suggested to start with the cheap-o jobbers. Even if a person is new to the under-helmet ear bud thing, it will provide them with a frame of reference re: what they like and what they don't, for shot money. Then based on what is learned, they can go from there. Or, they can get lucky like I did and find that there is a really cheap solution that works extremely well for them.

    Believe me, I wish by custom jobbers worked for me...I spent enough to buy (2) SHoei Neotecs on them, and they all collect dust in my garage cabinet.
  5. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Similarly, needed replacements for my beloved ER6i's. Many of the buds protrude enough they didn't work. Was looking for noise isolation more than sound quality: mostly use them for GPS directions.

    These are tiny, work under any helmet and you can literally sleep on them. Good as a backup if nothing else.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WRSL38
  6. thirdofthree

    thirdofthree Adventurer

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    How does the isolation compare to the ER6i? I don't need sound quality, just very good isolation and ability to hear intercom / GPS.
  7. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    Get the SPlug single. They are the closest to the Er6i in fit and if you don't care about sound quality, the singles will be good enough.

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk
  8. kasuckmo

    kasuckmo Been here awhile

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    Er6 sucked. They hurt my ears in less than an hour. I’m telling you I spent a grand on different earbuds. The klisph x11 were by far the best in sound and comfort, and less footprint.
  9. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

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    ...and this is my point. There are a million solutions, and one size definitely does not fit all. I've spent almost a grand on one set (custom molds with high end internals), never mind different ear buds, and I have about 30 sets (literally). I wish I'd only spent a grand total. None were better for me than the er6i, but others find the opposite. This is why I suggested the cheap approach first, to try to figure out what works for the individual without being dumbasses like us and spending a fortune.

    On a side note, if your X11's are a smaller footprint than your er6i's, you didn't have er6i's. I have both on my desk in front of me and the er6i is about a third smaller. Not that it matters...just sayin' for folks looking for points of reference.
  10. RCR001

    RCR001 MOTO CHASER Supporter

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    Just picked up a pair of snugphones. After many pairs of bluetooth earbuds over the last couple years i think i have finally found the pair that fits great and sounds good..https://snugphones.com/ Very impressed!!! 90 bucks on Amazon.
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  11. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

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    Here's what I've found so far...
    I purchased the Sena mount that has a wired non boom mic, speakers, and a jack for earbuds.
    I first tried the headphone speakers. In fact, two different kinds.
    I didn't see any improvements.

    Next I went with the well reviewed M-6 pro earbuds.
    I found they sounded good with nice bass.
    The problem is any bass signal there is, is drowned out, covered up, or replaced by the sounds of the road, the exhaust etc. It's like there was little to no bass at all when at speed. The buds cable was manageable, but was begging to be a problem.

    The best so far was the last solution.
    I removed my helmet liner, then found a holesaw just a bit smaller than the speaker size of the suppied ones from Sena.
    Using just my hand, and starting with a reverse spin, I bored a cut in the styrom just a hair past halfway to the shell.
    I then dug out the center of the cut carefully with an exacto knife, until it was a nice uniform shape.

    The idea was to make some room behind the speaker.

    Have you ever pulled a speaker from its cabinet, then played something through it?
    Its sounds like crap. The speaker needs the box, and that's what's wrong with these helmet speakers.

    So the hole I made was smaller than the speaker, so the speaker would not sit in the hole, but rest face up on top of it.

    I then loosley filled the cavity with cotton.
    Then using a hot glue gun, I made a bead all they way around the speaker, sealing the speaker into the styrofoam.

    The sound is greatly improved.
    I won't say it's louder. I won't say it has more bass.
    But I will say it's fuller and a lot easier to hear.

    I tested this on my 05 kingpin with stage one pipes.
    For me, if the pipes were any louder, they'd have to go.
    I could hear the music clearly in the ImaxII helmet. In fact a few times I had to turn it down. IMG_5453.JPG IMG_5455.JPG

    If I should tire of this, or want to continue on, I have a cylinder style bluetooth speaker that has some really nice little speakers in it. They look just like regular basket style speakers, but smaller.

    This little project took a few hours. I'd say the mod is more than marginally worth it.
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  12. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    Being an old audiophile guy, I understand what you are trying to accomplish. My concern would still be the road noise. What are you doing to eliminate the road noise? If using earplugs, you are muffling the music and sound as well ambient noise. That is why I like in ear monitors as they eliminate the outside noise and you can pump nice clean sound at moderate volume into your ears for acceptable quality. With your set up, you have to make the speakers louder than the ambient noise making the volume to your ears louder yet.

    Or am I missing something?

    In the end if you are happy with it, you aren't wrong!

    Rick G
  13. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

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    yes, you missed something.
    Please read the post again, then we can discuss this further.
  14. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    OK, I re-read your post. No mention on how the ambient sound from riding is addressed. No noise cancellation or noise reduction.

    Rick G
  15. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe n00b

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    I cannot see a way as of yet to address ambient sound. The Imaxx helmet itself is not sound proof, but isn't near as noisy as some I've owned.
    I think the chin curtain helps, especially without a boom mic stuffed under it.
    As I previously wrote, the fullness in sound has increased, which could be interpreted as more volume.
    But you can only get as much volume as the Sena puts out without adding an amp of some sort.

    I find it hard to believe that someone has not yet come out with a helmet built around an audio system, rather than the other way around.
    I saw a video sometime back about Sena trying, but their price was going to be around $800, and I think the project just never came to fruition, although I could be wrong.

    I did see an audiophiles earbud that cost $1000, and for that price they should cook and feed you breakfast right in your helmet, but I'm not going to go that far.

    The M6 pro was just short of $50, and had pretty good praise. I'd try my Apple ear pods, but I can't wear them for more than an hour without my ears hurting.

    So for now, I guess I'll stick with my latest mod using the Sena speakers, the sound is Ok, and sometimes on certain tracks it's actually too loud.
    I don't know if we'll ever get the sound of $10,000 JBL's in our helmets.

    Edited to add:
    The only other improvement that I think could be made, would be to velcro or glue (rubber cement?) a replacement set of headphone pads around the speakers.
    I think this could possibly work, but I think the pads would wear out rather quickly from putting on and removing the helmet.
    Also I'm not sure how one's ears might feel about not having any air circulation after awhile, but I might try it for experimental sake.
  16. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    Anyone tried the Bluetooth version of the Shure SE215?
  17. KevinP65

    KevinP65 Been here awhile

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    I had some J&M speakers yrs ago and they were like headphones. They worked ok and less of a hassle than plug type stuff, IMO. I have wondered why that kind of setup isn't used more. I guess cost. I used Cardo speakers--not for long. The J&M system was used on an 01GW and the lower cords didn't last (no BT back then) and it ran a hot mic which was very annoying to me/her. We kept the intercom off until needed and finally just got rid of mic altogether and did the old fashioned yell thing when necessary. I kept the speakers and after about 10 yrs I looked at them and the ear ring was shot which may have been due to poor storage. She ain't around no more either but poor storage was not part of that deal, lol.
  18. JDakota

    JDakota Adventurer

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    I use them. Comfortable under the helmet, great sound and easily 8hrs of battery life. I have tried many bluetooth buds and these are my favourite. My only gripe is the provided clip is prone to breaking.
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  19. Alexander Mackenzie

    Alexander Mackenzie Adventurer

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    Yes. I have tried both the wired and bluetooth version under my bmw evo6 helmet (basically same as schubert c6).

    The controls on the bluetooth version are outside the helmet when worn. Its possible, but not easy, to work them with gloves. They are pretty robust and end up tucked under the neck ring but they are exposed and may not survive a prolonged soaking.

    Battery life is good 6-8 hours.

    An alternative to consider is the cable version se215 with a bluetooth audio adapter. Like the link below, that has tactile controls and can be clipped inside or outside a chest pocket. If you get one pick one that has a micro usb charge. Mine has an annoying non standard port.

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00UUDZLB0...=g14&creativeASIN=B00UUDZLB0&tag=thewire0f-20

    There is some very minor loss of sound quality over BT, not that it matters in your helmet. Having the cable gives you the option to plug into your device and use them when the BT battery dies and sound quality is slightly better when plugged in.

    The se215 have very good sound and provide some noise protection. I have used the stock grey ear cups and the flanged and compressible foam options they sell seperately. For me the stock cups are best all around, the foam stay in better and give better noise protection but become uncomfortable by day 2 or 3 of a long ride. I found the flanged ones uncomfortable.

    I found plugphones provide good protection, reasonable sound and ok comfort, and they are a lot cheaper. I find them increasingly uncomfortable on day 3+.

    I find custom molded "in ear monitors" are by far the best. Good sound, they stay in, and most comfortable especially for long rides. Important to get a good mold to ensure a comfortable fit. My supplier did them a second time at no cost because the first ones were nit sealing well after an hour under my helmet.

    If you are in BT se215 price territory you may get better value from spending a bit more and getting custom molded in ear monitors.
    George Hanson likes this.
  20. dirtngravel

    dirtngravel Adventurer

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    I went with EAR Inc. They are custom fit ear buds that stay in your ears even when pulling your helmet on over them. They block out wind noise while also giving you great sounding music. The only problem you'll have is finding a location for getting the custom fit form made of your ear. Their main office is in Boulder Colorado https://earinc.com/product/iplugz-gen-ii/ and you can sometimes find them at various motorcycle rallies. You can use their web site to located one of their offices. These ear buds are expensive but I've had mine for about 6 or 7 years now and they still work great.