best earbuds for under helmet??

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

  1. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    #21
  2. huguesfrederic

    huguesfrederic HF

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    +1 on Complyfoam
    #22
  3. tstang

    tstang Adventurer

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    I don't use earbuds, but in my general experience with headphones (my day job is being a sound designer for film/tv, so I've tried my fair share) Audio Technica and Sennheiser tend to have the best quality/cost ratio. And by quality, I mean both sound quality and durability, the former of which is really not all that significant in this case cause, let's be honest, riding tends to be among the louder activities one could do
    #23
  4. drz919

    drz919 Adventurer

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    Instead of trying different ear-buds I went with a suggestion my friend made and went with in helmet speaker system. I use foam ear plugs (that don't hurt) and just turn up the volume enough to hear. This is also what I do for coms and it allows me to ride with ear pro but also listen to music/comms.
    #24
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  5. NJEnduroBiker

    NJEnduroBiker '13 Super Tenere

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    I've had the S-plug for a few years and they are comfortable all day.......for me.

    However, on occasion I will accidentally pull on the cord while riding or turning my head which sometimes pulls the earbud out or moves it and makes it uncomfortable.

    And it really pisses me off when I have to stop and take my helmet off to put it back in. I have 2 cord clips but sometimes they don't seem to help.

    So I've been thinking about putting speakers in my helmet and just using foam ear plugs.

    Don't mean to hijack the thread but if someone knows of decent helmet speakers please chime in.
    I've found threads for cheap speakers.......but I'm looking for something decent........not $300.........but not $10 either
    #25
  6. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    I've been down the speaker route. If you space them out so the foam cover on the speaker lightly presses against your ears they sound fine for comms and phone calls. They still SUCK for music, you just can't any bass in that configuration. It will sound fine sitting on your sofa when you test them, but once on the road with the ambient noise and vibrations, the bass is nonexistent. If that doesn't matter to you , give it a try. I find it waaaay tooo tinny sounding and fatiguing to listen to. Splugs don't sound as good as a good pair of regular earbuds, but they sound good enough, and I find they work well in the motorcycle application because they have a very mellow laid back tonal balance that works well at the volumes you have to use on a motorcycle.

    Another thing to beware of with speakers; I spent a lot of time getting mine spaced out so they were right at my ear, but so that I had no sensation of them touching my ear. Still, after 3 or so hours, i would feel a sore hot spot on my ears.

    Now that I am using the Splugs, I've removed the spacers so I have more clearance between the speakers and my ears. With both systems in the helmet, if I decide I don't want to listen to music and need to give my ears a brake from having the plugs in, I can unplug the Splugs, and still have the speakers for comms and nav directions.
    #26
  7. NJEnduroBiker

    NJEnduroBiker '13 Super Tenere

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    Thanks for the advice.
    I'm not an audiophile and usually listen to talk radio podcasts or books on tape, hardly ever music but I could still see the tinny sound being annoying.

    Maybe I need to find a better way to secure the cord to my helmet so that it won't pull the buds out if I accidentally tug on the cord:dunno
    #27
  8. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    +1 :nod

    I have been using them for several years. Very comfortable and they stay in your ear when putting your helmet on/off. The sound quality is just fine with my old ears. The noise reduction is enough that I can keep the volume to almost the same level as I use when off the bike. You can't beat custom fit ear buds for comfort.

    I never liked helmet speakers because the noise reduction just isn't very good and I had to raise the volume too high. It takes a toll on your hearing and once affected it doesn't come back.
    #28
  9. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    Check out the Splugs, with just a little bit of caution, mainly making sure the cord doesn't get caught in the helmet trap, I don't have any issue when putting on , or taking off my helmet. It's best to route the cord down behind the helmet strap rather than in front of it. They have a guaranteed 30 day money back deal if you don't like them.
    #29
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  10. Wandering Dane

    Wandering Dane We are the luckiest guys Supporter

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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Bose noise canceling ear buds: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=...iant=qc20i&perfsourceid=K2861316&src=K2861316

    The comfort, sound quality and noise suppression make these spectacular in my opinion. Several of my riding buddies report similar satisfaction.

    These are not true ear buds, instead they fit inside the outer ear with only a small cone-shaped section fitting against the ear canal. Therefore, the dreaded compression of conventional ear buds against the ear canal does not happen and you use these all day long without pain or discomfort.

    The Bose buds can be a bit tricky to keep in place when putting the helmet on, I keep my thumbs on them while pulling on the helmet straps.

    The beauty of this product is the noise cancelation. All the noise from wind, exhaust and tires goes away to a large degree but you can still hear traffic and speech, truly amazing. In addition, a small control unit is provided to adjust volume and on/off, ease to use with gloves.

    In my business, I travel frequently by airplane. The Bose units are truly amazing in cutting the airplane background noise level and you can still clearly hear the announcements. I've noticed that these units have quickly become a favorite among business travelers.

    While pricy, Bose has these on sale right now.
    #30
  11. cessnadog

    cessnadog Been here awhile

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    I bit the bullet last year and got a custom Earpieces made. Turned out less expensive than I thought they might be and I am really happy with them. Brand I got is Westone. About $200 total.

    All day comfort since they were custome made for me.
    Good noise attenuation. Much quieter than the other plugs I tried.
    Low profile so my helmet slips right over them.
    Very good sound quality. Sound is better that you really can appreciate on the bike
    #31
  12. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    I use Etymotic ER6i and they are great for a few days but I have found after about 6-7 hrs they become excruciatingly painful. To the point that I just can't wear them for like a week until my ears recover. That's not good. I'm not sure where to go from here. I pretty much just use the Orange foam earplugs now and have the Sena turned up all the way. Bad part is it's hard to even hear any music at 75mph cause the speakers can't overcome the wind noise. I'm at a loss of where to go from here but would love to find some speakers that would work with my Sena and earplugs. The Ethmotics sound amazing but I just can't handle the pain. Oh ha and I've had to have the rubber tips dug out of my ear more thsn once with a set of needle nose pliers. I'll be monitoring this thread for suggestions.
    #32
  13. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    Check out Splugs. They probably don't sound as good as what you are currently using, but they are all day comfortable.
    #33
  14. Wandering Dane

    Wandering Dane We are the luckiest guys Supporter

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    I've had similar experiences with the Etymotic ER6i, great sound but painful after a while. Also, I had to visit a clinic in Toronto once and pay a doctor $50 to dig out the tip that was deeply buried in the ear canal. That's when I threw them in the trash.

    What to do: check out the Bose noise canceling ear buds, I promise you will be amazed at the lack of wind noise, the quality of the sound and the comfort.
    #34
  15. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Really considering the Bose ones. It's to bad some of these companies don't have a 30 day or so return policy. But maybe they do and I'm just not aware. Does Costco sell the Bose Noise Canceling ones? I know they have a great return policy.
    #35
  16. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    You get a 30 satisfaction guarantee on the Splugs.
    #36
  17. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Which Splugs are people buying. The single or dual driver ones?
    #37
  18. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    I bought the single driver model with the short cord. I called and spoke to the gal who makes them and explained to her that I was looking for as much bass as I could get because the wind noise and vibration mask those frequencies. She recomended the single driver model because the driver is larger and produces more bass. She said she could make me a special set with really big drivers but said I wouild have to have a large ear cannal to fit them. Unfortunately, I have small ear canals.

    Now, all that said, they still don't make as much bass as I would like. Still pretty thin sounding when riding. It may be that I can't fit them deep enough in my ear canals as well. They're still a huge improvement over speakers, are comfortable and easily work with a helmet.
    #38
  19. CalamariKid

    CalamariKid Been here awhile Supporter

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    I tie the cord though the pull loop on the chin strap so - keeps any movement down stream of that point from being transfered to my ears.

    I use the SkullCandy noise isolating earbuds you can pick up nearly anywhere - they are OK - after reading this post I'm going to try using them with some Comply tips. Downside is after a while the wind whipping on the cord ruins it, but they usually last a few months.
    #39
  20. billiards101

    billiards101 Adventurer Supporter

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    :super
    I have this exact same setup. Works well.
    #40