Motorcycle helmet headphones are headsets designed to fit inside a motorcycle helmet. These headphones make the long commute bearable. They stay put no matter what so you can enjoy your favorite tracks while traveling. Motorcycle headphones make an unassuming companion on a long drive. These headphones play music and accept incoming or outgoing calls anytime. High-end models also come with wireless connectivity, GPS navigation, and other useful features.
The beauty of motorcycle headphones is the design. Unlike your ordinary headphones, motorcycle helmet headphones won’t drown out the music. This, despite the persistent wind noise. The device is able to block ambient noise and focus on the audio.
Image used under Creative Commons from Hernán Piñera
Table of Contents
- Best Motorcycle Helmet Headphones
- Motorcycle Helmet Headphones Buying Guide
- Important Factors to Consider
- Added Features Worth Considering
- Safety First!
Best Motorcycle Helmet Headphones
Now we come to the main event, which helmet headphones are worth checking out. Read below to find out our best picks for every budget:
Outdoor Technology Chips Wireless Bluetooth
- Water Resistant
- Made for severe weather conditions
- Wireless connectivity
- Excellent audio quality
- Prone to audio leakage
- Prone to signal interruptions
Chips wireless helmet audio is a set of Bluetooth headphones fitted with 40mm drivers for crystal clear audio. As far as form factor goes, Chips is quite compact and lightweight. The speakers are made from rigid plastic. Once installed, the speakers are hardly noticeable. The two speakers are connected to a flat cable that sits across the top of the neck when worn.
Chips come with a patented 2 button control system for easy and convenient operation. The control system sets the Chips apart from other helmet headphones! The twin buttons let you adjust the volume, change tracks or pause/play the music. These buttons let you take calls too!
Thanks to the 40mm drivers, the audio quality is robust and full bodied. The sound is always clear and accurate, perfect for music listening. What’s more, the long battery life allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes for longer. Another unique feature worth mentioning is the headphones’ water resistance. Chips work even with a head full of snow. You can sweat through playlist after playlist and know that your headphones won’t die on you.
Chips is also tested to work in severe weather conditions. As for wireless connectivity, integration is trouble free and fast. The device is able to “remember” paired devices so there’s no need to re-pair them repeatedly. The controls are basically two buttons, one on each ear. These buttons are easy to operate with a single hand.
As with most Bluetooth enabled headphones, Chips is prone to signal problems. This goes especially for long range connection. Also, these headphones are prone to audio leakage. Don’t be surprised if people around you starts humming the song you are listening to.
All I have to say about Outdoor Technology Chips Audio System is that it is amazing and I’m glad there are companies that still believe in producing quality products in this world permeated with cheap garbage. Amazing sound quality and extremely easy to use. This is an excellent design
Chips is a well-priced headphones for bikers. The headset is not only lightweight and durable, the audio quality is superb too. The design isn’t flawless but for the price, Chips makes a great choice for audiophiles.
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The Sena SMH10 is a set of universal helmet headphones that boast of Bluetooth connectivity. The set is comprised of stereo headphones with long-range wireless intercom. The SMH10 is the perfect headphones for taking calls or listening to your playlist, hands-free. It also comes with a selection of useful features. These features include voice assisted GPS navigation and two-way communication.
The SMH10 boast of advanced digital processing technology. The audio quality is also great, one of the best sounding in its class! The audio clarity is also superb for outgoing and incoming calls. The controls are easy to operate especially with just one hand. The speakers are fitted with audio boosters so you can hear the sound through the SMH10 loud and clear.
The headset also features a modular system that you can customize with different mounts or earphone set ups. This way, you get the best possible fit. The clamp is quite durable, it attaches to the helmet with ease. The clamp is also versatile, it fits a wide range of helmet designs and sizes. Setting up the SMH10 is easy, there’s nothing to it. The headset comes with a dock plate so you can store the controls and battery. This headset is rechargeable and it takes about 2 and a half hours to get a full charge. The battery life is quite impressive at 12 hour talk time and 10 days of standby.
It’s hard to find faults in SMH10 because it’s genuinely a great set of headphones. One thing we think Sena should upgrade is the connector. The thinner construction means it’ll break after going through extreme wear and tear.
The SMH10 is one of the most popular helmet headphones from the brand because of the compact design and intuitive controls! The set is priced just right and the added features are just the icing on the cake!
I love this headset. It has been amazingly easy to use and the communication between bikes and riders is great! Pairing and general use of these are amazingly easy. With the 2 buttons and reading the manual a couple of times you can do virtually anything from changing songs to connecting to another intercom to volume and phone control.
The SMH10 is a bestselling helmet headphones set for a reason! The headset is compact and easy to use. The wireless connectivity is smooth and stable. Integration is trouble free.
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UCLEAR Digital HBC100 Plus
- Wireless connectivity
- Excellent audio quality
- Efficient noise cancellation feature
- Prone to signal interruptions
- Occasional background noise seeps in
The UClear HBC100 PLUS is a set of boomless headphones fitted with advanced microphone technology. The microphone tech ensures crystal clear audio anytime. HBC100 offers easy, hands-free operation as well as intercom feature. With it, you can communicate with other riders and still listen to your favorite music. The device can connect up to four users and the firmware is upgradable. Also, the HBC100 PLUS is designed for extreme weather conditions.
The design is pretty straightforward, the device features two flat speakers and the main unit. The main unit features three buttons. With just a touch of a button, you can turn the device on and off, take a call or listen to your playlist. You can also adjust the volume and skip a song with gloved hands.
Installing the headphones, you have two options. You can either use a double sided adhesive or use a clip to attach the main unit to the helmet. Between the two, using the clip is much more secure, especially if you’re on the road.
As for the performance, audio clarity is great. The wind noise does affect communication between riders but the audio is quite clear. That said, there was noticeable background noise when the HBC100 is in intercom mode. This is probably due to the sensitivity of the microphone to the wind. Once the noise cancellation mode is activated, the ambient sound goes away in an instant. However, there were weird pings here and there.
Listening to music, the HBC100 worked flawlessly. The fidelity and volume are excellent! Whenever a call comes, the music is paused automatically. Since the HBC100 utilizes Bluetooth connection, there were minor issues with connection. Still, these headphones worked great, particularly for music listening.
These allow my husband to wear his open face helmet and still communicate with me while I wear my full face helmet. It’s great to be able to speak in a normal voice while riding at highway speed.
HBC100 proved to be a capable communicator for bike riders. The design is pretty basic but the features are useful.
Sena 20S-01D Communication System
- Excellent design and durable construction
- Loaded with advanced features
- Stable connection
- Fantastic audio quality
- Not user-friendly
As one of the leading names in helmet headphones, Sena dishes out a sleek set of communicator fitted with advanced features. Trust us, when it comes to helmet headsets, the 20S-01D is as souped-up as headphones can get! These state of the art headphones offer a lot of industry firsts.
The Sena 20S-01D is an aerodynamic set of headphones that promise easy operation and stable connectivity. The headset features a durable construction and a large jog dial for ease of use. It features GPS navigator and a mind-blowing 1.2-mile range thanks to its advanced 4.1 Bluetooth connection. The headset also boasts of a built-in FM radio tuner, intercom, and noise control.
The 4.1 Bluetooth connection provides stable connectivity and reduced signal issues. The headphones generate high-fidelity sound and hi-def audio quality. The audio multitasking function enhances the audio quality. It allows for natural sounding audio.
The multitasking jog dial allows you to manipulate the settings with gloved hands. You can receive incoming and outgoing calls hands-free and listen to stereo music. You can activate the GPS using your voice or take intercom convos.
The reason why the Sena brand is popular among bikers is that the company take customer feedbacks to heart. The 20S-01D is based on what customers want in a pair of helmet headphones. This headset pretty much covered all bases. The headphones offer outstanding quality and performance. Of course, all these amazing features come with a hefty price point. That’s the only downside to the 20S-01D, it’s an expensive headphone set. But if you have the $$$, the 20S-01D makes a great investment.
It’s also worth noting that since this headset comes with many features, the operation is a little complex compared to basic headphones.
The 20S works great, much more convenient for listening to MP3s and even FM radio, and bike-to-bike communications are really useful. For short rides the speakers work well enough with foam earplugs in. For longer rides I plug in the custom molded earphones for better sound.
The 20S-01D is one of the most feature-packed headsets we’ve tested and it’s a brilliant device. Wireless connection is just as fantastic as the audio quality. The trade off, which is the hefty price tag and complex operation, may be off-putting to some. But if you’re willing to invest, our money’s on the 20S-01D!
Motorcycle Helmet Headphones Buying Guide
Back in the day, options for music listening among riders is limited. The problem with listening to music while on a drive is that the audio is hard to make out. Thanks to MP3 players, motorcycle riders were able to rig their helmets. They were able to install their music players right into their head gears. These days, there are more headphone options for bikers.
Freestanding Motorcycle Helmet Speakers
These are standalone helmet speakers that are not attached nor embedded into a biker’s headgear. Instead, these speakers are attached to one’s ear like a traditional headphone. The speakers are set in place using the placement of the helmet over the head.
Attached Motorcycle Helmet Speakers
These headsets are a part of the helmet itself. That means the headphones are a part of a biker’s protective headgear. Attached motorcycle headphones can be rigged into the helmet too. Most riders would attach an MP3 player straight onto the inside of the helmet using glue or Velcro.
Types of Motorbike Helmet Headphones
Some motorbike headphones come connects to mobile devices wirelessly. Others require wires to connect to speakers in the helmet. The design and features of the headset will affect the pricing. Cheaper headsets aren’t fitted with advanced features. Expensive headsets come with many features, but which of these will you maximize the most? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself while shopping around. Below are the common types of motorbike helmet headphones you can find on the market:
This is an oldie but definitely still a goodie! The classic wired headphones have a long cord. The cord connects the headset to the mobile device. This headphone type remains a popular choice among audiophiles for a reason. Wired headphones offer impressive sound quality. In fact, purists swear by wired headphones because the audio is clearer. These headphones are impervious to sound interference. That means the audio is stable. The overall design is durable, never fragile.
Bluetooth Helmet Headphones
Bluetooth headphones are the newer generation headphones that offer wireless connection. These headphones do not rely on wires to work. Instead, they are fitted with wireless technology that integrates to mobile devices easily. Bluetooth helmet headphones allow utmost freedom of movement. There are no wires that tangle so these headphones are convenient to use.
Bluetooth helmet headphones are not as popular as traditional wired helmet headphones. However, the demand for these advanced headphones is on the rise. That said, Bluetooth helmet headphones remain plagued with technical issues. Because these headphones connect to devices wirelessly, they are prone to sound interference. Signal issues may also arise at any distance. Battery life is also shorter, particularly among higher end models.
As far as audio quality goes, Bluetooth helmet headphones offer great sound quality. However, the sound quality just cannot compete compared to the to the wired versions. There’s also the matter of pricing. Bluetooth headphones are generally more expensive than their wired counterparts.
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Stereo System Headphones
These are headphones that connect to a bike helmet’s sound system. Stereo headphones also connect to a mobile phone, allowing you to take calls. But there are other stereo headphones that are designed specifically for music listening.
Important Factors to Consider
Wired or Wireless?
Motorcycle helmet headphones are available in wired and wireless forms. Wired headphones require hard connection with a device to work. On the other hand, wireless headsets depend on over the air signal for connectivity. No wires needed. Most wireless headphones come with attachable wires in case over the air connection fails.
If audio quality, dependability, and longer battery power are your top priorities, go for wired headphones. Wired headphones are more reliable because the audio is stable. But if you hate dealing with wires and you’re after convenience, go for wireless headphones. These headphones are stylish and tangle-free.
The speakers of helmet headphones vary in diameter and thickness. The type of helmet you use will dictate your choice of headphones. Helmet headphones with thick speakers provide louder, clearer audio. However, these speakers do not fit as securely as their thinner counterparts. Once you wear the helmet, the extra bulk will make the wear uncomfortable. Your ears are pressing against the speakers. Large speakers could also affect the integrity of the helmet itself.
Headphones with smaller and thinner speakers do not produce sound as loudly or clearly as their larger counterparts. However, they fit helmet of different sizes. Since the speakers are thinner, they don’t press hard on the ears as you wear the helmet. To get the perfect fit, it’s best to check the speaker thickness first.
Quality between helmet headphones varies greatly. Our advice is to check the audio quality in person just so you know what you’re getting after making a purchase. The same can be said for signal stability, you have to check it out on your own. We recommend reading lots of reviews and testimonials online if you cannot test the headphones in person. Try asking your biker friends for recommendations too!
Contrary to popular notion, the most expensive headphones aren’t necessarily the best. Conversely, bargain headphones do not equate to low quality. To get the best headphones, find the perfect balance between price and quality.
Choose headphones that provide excellent audio quality and durable construction. The price should be reasonable. The price point is certainly important when making new purchases. But it should not be the sole deciding factor. Always consider what you’re getting out of the deal.
You want a pair of motorcycle helmet headphones that are comfortable and durable. The headphones should not limit or affect movement in any way. Poor quality headphones can be problematic when you’re on a drive. They could even cause road accidents! Again, it helps if you could test out the headphones in person prior to making a purchase. This way, you know the comfort level and fit is perfect.
Image used under Creative Commons from Dustin Ground
Added Features Worth Considering
Most wireless headphones offer a variety of wireless features including intercom communication. Intercom communication is not a necessity. But it’s a nice extra especially if you travel in groups. With this feature, you can communicate with your passenger or fellow riders. You can use the intercom feature to warn your friends about obstructions on the road.
All motorcycle helmet headphones come with noise reduction feature. This feature neutralizes ambient sound that surrounds you. That includes engine noise or wind noise that creeps in your helmet. The audio should stay clear and audible even in noisy environments. The level of noise reduction will vary from product to product though.
Remote controlled headphones offer hands-free operation for convenient music listening. Not all helmet headphones come with remote controls. Some are adjusted by pushing a button or turning a dial. Using the remote, you don’t have to keep adjusting the settings by hand during your drive.
Not all headphone brands comply with all safety standards. Always consider your safety when choosing a set of motorcycle helmet headphones. Go for a trusted brand that provides high-quality products. Make sure your headphones are 100% compliant with all safety standards.