Ask RideApart: Best Earbuds For Motorcycle Riding?

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We’re turning our reader’s questions over to RideApart readers. This week: what’re the best earbuds for listening to music while riding?

Reader David writes: “What do you guys recommend for earbuds/earphones while riding? I tried using the standard Apple earbuds and both the music and the ride sounded terrible.”

“I’m looking for some good audio sound but still able to hear road noise/traffic on the commute and joy rides (so probably not an ear canal noise canceling option, unless experience says otherwise). I know it will end up being a compromise between the two, but curious what others are using. I enjoy the level of noise I get through my earplugs, but I get bored just sitting inside my own head talking to myself. At least I answer back though.”

We get a lot of questions here at RideApart. By Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email. And, while we do a pretty good job of responding to all of them, we figure there’s a greater good that can be achieved by creating a public discussion. So, once a week or so, we’ll collate and publish them and turn it over to our fantastic community for responses. The editors will respond too, right here, where you can all see it. Have a question for us? Email
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  • Renato Volpi

    Guys I use Klipsh S4i earbuds and they sound amazing, and completely block any external noise/wind i Strongly recommend it! Im also a musician, so sound quality for me is essential, and those earbuds deliver that, and block all the external noise as well.

  • Chris Chin

    I found it almost impossible to find earbuds that stayed in my ear while riding and sounded decent. My favorite earbuds have always been the Logitech UE 500s (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultimate-Ears-Noise-Isolating-Earphones/dp/B003YKG2XM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378313981&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+ue+400), which are a nice compromise on price and sound quality. The problem is that they never stayed in once the helmet was on. I eventually upgraded the tips to Comply foam tips (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HKIAAQ/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), which work wonders. Just make sure that you use the correct size for the headphones (what I linked should be the correct size, but just double check). I can still hear road noise relatively well.

    • Meegoo

      Nokia essence bh 610 !
      Its bluetooth and have active noise cancelling, taking away most of the low frequence noise. Still i can hear the engine, and ambulance. I love it!

  • Theodore P Smart

    What’s next? the best bluetooth helmet? I wear earplugs because traffic is too f**ken’ loud.

    • luxlamf

      I would imagine those in the market for a Bluetooth helmet would like to hear peoples reviews of different models… They tend to be a bit pricey

  • Benjamin Baker

    Shure SE215. If you plan to ever ride with earbuds in, you need these. They’re technically stage monitors and have compressable foam tips. Essentially they’re a pair of earplugs that have a fairly decent audio range. It isn’t studio quality by any means, but having a set of ear buds that eliminates wind noise like a normal set of earplugs and then allows me to play my music at much lower volumes than normal headphones while actually hearing more of the music is priceless. They also have a wire chord style that wraps over the top of your ears and a “zero profile” shape. So your helmet won’t disturb them while being pulled on, I’ve never once had them fall out of my ears while riding.

    Forgot my favorite part: After burning through two sets of Bose Ie2s and having the cables become torn and ruined at the ear bud, I made sure to get a set with detachable and replaceable wiring. I’m pretty sure they can even be upgraded with a 3-button input cable.

    • Scott Otte
    • Robert Reinhardt

      Ive been using Shure SE215 buds for the past 2 years. Under a helmet, on a run, in the gym, commuting. Anywhere and everywhere. The sounds quality is great, they NEVER fall out (unless you snag the wire), and are all-day comfy. They are a little pricey at $100 but I feel that Ive certainly gotten my money’s worth from them. Love them!

    • Gus

      I bought these headphones about a year ago after reading a very similar review praising them. I’ve actually had the exact opposite experience. I can’t seem to get them to sit comfortably in my ear (I’m sure this is simply because my ears are weirdly shaped and not Shure’s problem), and I have also had issues with the cord not holding its shape behind my ear as well, leading to annoyance and some discomfort. Has anyone else had this problem or am I the only one?

      For me, it’s Klipsch S4i all the way.

      • Benjamin Baker

        Not sure. I preformed the cord before putting it over my ear instead of trying to pull it around with the headphones in. I haven’t touched it since the first day I set it and haven’t had an issue. Do you compress the foam tip before trying to put them in? They have to slide into your ear and then “expand” to get a full fit like earplugs. I’ve noticed mine don’t compress as well after about a year of use and I’ll probably order a replacement set.

        • Gus

          I made a mistake in my wording. It’s not that the actual earbud doesn’t fit or seal well, it’s that the plastic housing that sits in the outer ear doesn’t seem to fit well and causes some discomfort after 20-30 minutes. It appears to be pushing against a portion of my ear and seems to create a pressure point. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to having an ear shape that doesn’t work well with these earphones.

          • HoldenL

            Yep. I like my Shure SE215s, but they’re uncomfortable while wearing a helmet, and for the same reason: My ear shape. Specifically, the right ear canal goes straight up, toward the sky. That means the earbud has to be inserted in an abnormal direction. The plastic body of the earbud isn’t flush with the outer ear, so it rubs against the helmet lining. Maybe you have a similar issue.

            It’s not Shure’s fault. No one’s fault. It’s just that, for the minority of genetic mutants with weird ears, earbuds plus helmets are an uncomfortable combination. Which is too bad, because the Sena SMH-10′s speakers are terrible.

    • HyperRider

      Any idea if I can hook these up to my Sena SMH-10 and listen to music and communicate with another rider? I’m tired of the speakers they provide and figured a good set of headphones would be PERFECT. These sounds like they fit the bill

      • it_weenie

        I have the Sena SMH-10 base that has an earplug jack because I don’t like the stock speakers. The earplug jack lasted for about 6 months and then bent downward so much the wires inside broke. I took the whole thing apart and soldered on longer wires and they work great with my cheap JVC earbuds. I don’t know about music and talking to another rider, though. I usually do one or the other.

        • Christopher Murdock

          Got a link to the set that has the jack instead of speakers? This would be ideal for me, thank you.

      • it_weenie

        I know this thread is a week old, but I just received an email from Sena. They’ve released a firmware beta that allows music sharing between headsets. I think if you setup an account on their site, you can download it.

    • Shaun

      +1 for the Shure 215′s Ive had mine for a year and a half, no issues and have a fairly balanced sound. Tiny bit bass heavy, but i prefer that over that harsher, colder sound of some. And of course they never fall out and give me pefect wind noise muffling wheile being able to listen to the music at a lower volume and still hear things going on around me. Love these little buggers

    • Braden

      Agree on the Shure SE215s. Was my go to choice for the longest until I had an eventual stress fracture in the body of one of the buds. Don’t take that as a negative though, as I used and abused them for years and tens of thousands of miles with no trouble. The audiophile in me wanted something different, so I use the Etymotic ER-4PTs which work nearly as good as far as helmet fitment with superior sound.

    • Jake

      +1 If they still made the SE115 I would suggest those because I found them a bit easier to get my helmet over, but I have been riding with the SE215′s for that last year and they are also great for riding.

      They are built tougher than any other earbud I have encountered, and sound great and keep out as much noise as 30db Hearos.

    • kentaro

      I just wanted to thank you guys for the Shure se215 recommendation. Just got my pair from Amazon this morning and they are amazing. It’s fending off the helmet howling from my modular Nolan and the volume can be much less as a result. Holy crap the sound quality is damn good too. I wish I had this for my trip to the east coast last week. No more ringing ears after long trips. Thanks fellas.

  • http://www.codyk.net/ Cody Kitaura

    I use Hearos ear plugs. Actual ear buds have never been comfortable under my helmet.

  • Justin McClintock

    I use JVC Marshmallow earbuds. Not gonna say they’re the best, but they’re pretty darn good and they’re CHEAP.

    • Davidabl2

      As a curmudgeon in training tunes while riding seems somehow just wrong..
      But as a commuter the idea of “Traffic and Weather together” on the radio
      has a certain practical appeal..as does GPS driving directions. Esp. if I could get
      those things w/o celebrity gossip and happy talk…

      • karlInSanDiego

        Ditto that re: using google maps for constantly auto rerouted directions when I’m riding with Spotify going. Start out with both going. Choose your own ad hoc changes to your route by just doing it, depending on traffic, and google will break in during your song when the next turn is needed rerouting quietly in the background. It’s like having a smart navigator who only interrupts the song when it’s necessary! I do this with iPhone 4, and it is my best nav experience ever.

      • Justin McClintock

        I don’t normally listen to tunes while riding. But if I’m doing something like riding to the mountains, an hour or more away on major roads, I’ll usually throw them in for the boring ride up there, take them out while there, then toss them back in for the ride home. But that’s just interstate riding with light traffic. I’d never wear them cruising around Atlanta. Too much stuff going on.

        • Davidabl2

          If I ever cross the great plaines on a bike I’m sure I’ll have “tunes’ of some sort.
          Or just listen to a reading of “Zen andThe Art of Motorcycle Mechanics”
          With something else as a backup if “Zen” started to put me to sleep…

    • akaaccount

      The Marshmallows are pretty decent earplugs and have what I would call good sound quality.

  • 962c

    I use a set of S-plugs from plugup.com . They’re way more comfortable than the ER-6i headphones that I used to use. Marilyn can also put a 3.5mm jack on a Scala Rider G4, G9, Q2, etc… So you can use earbuds rather than the in helmet speakers. This gives you control of the phone’s functions including a one button voice dial if anything weird happens.

  • JC Maldonado

    Skullcandy Ink’d. Pretty affordable, good sound quality, and you can stuff them in your eyes and cancel out plenty of wind noise. I’d recommend using Loctite superglue on the rubber buds…I lost a bunch until someone told me to glue ‘em.

    • Mykola

      Seconded, same experience with inexpensiveness, sound quality, noise dampening, and occasional rubber-bud loss. Recommendable overall.

    • EchoZero

      I use Skullcandy Ink’d phones with Comply T-400 isolating buds. The Comply buds are isolating foam buds, similar to foam earplugs – gives you more noise reduction than the stock rubber buds and I find they stay in my ears a little better.

      • JC Maldonado

        Going to have to give those isolating buds a shot Echo. Thx

  • Maverick Moto Media

    we use 30 dB ear plugs when we ride- we’re of the mind that music is a dangerous distraction while riding; we’d rather hear what our motor, drivetrain and tires are doing, not to mention other vehicles than have our focus taken elsewhere by music.

    • kentaro

      Even on cross country trips? There are endless threads on the internets about removing more and more distractions from driving or riding but at the end of the day I prefer to listen to music at a reasonable volume if I will enjoy the ride more because of it.

      • Maverick Moto Media

        for cross country trips, we prefer to fly…

        • Scott Otte

          Touche’
          How about the all day trips, where your on the bike for 8 hours and sadly half of them are freeway connecting bits of awesome.

    • Damo Von Vinland

      I am in full agreement with Maverick. I always ride with ear plugs on any trips longer than 30 minutes. I don’t bother for my 10 minute back roads commute where wind noise is at an absolute minimum.

      I am however very curious about good (reasonably priced) noise cancelling earbuds for my GPS though.

    • victor victor bravo

      As expected the first answer is the most canned – how are you going to “hear” your tires on the fwy, or your drivetrain? – Wind noise is louder than both. If you have 30db ear plugs you should know that.

      And unless you have fitted earphones your ear plugs block out far more sound.

      Headphones have there place for calming the ride down a bit, but they allow more noise through which is either a distraction or not depending on who you ask, but it does wear your endurance down quite a bit and causes possible hearing loss.

      If you ride alot make your own decision and either invest in something like big ear plugs or fitted headphones that can work like earplugs on or off

      • Navin R Johnson

        My d606′s are much louder than wind noise..

    • dinoSnake

      I wear 30 dB ear plugs when I ride as well. Which is why, after trying earbuds and being thoroughly dissatisfied with them, I installed speakers in my helmet and went with a Chatterbox XBi2. Been running it for 4 years (not a Bluetooth newbie, I guess that makes me) and I wouldn’t use any combo less (than ear plugs + speakers). I tried the earbuds but, on a cross-country trip, after several days your ears are in PAIN from the constant pressure and you just want them OUT.

    • sospeedy

      Totally agree! I just don’s see why some feel a need to be distracted from riding!

    • Navin R Johnson

      Thankfully I’m skilled enough and alert enough that the sound of Octane cranked through my Boostaroo isn’t distracting to me. For the safety of others I’d suggest you keep your bikes on a closed course if sound is to distracting to you.

  • mfour

    Pretty much anything by Westone. I use their UM2s while riding to work everyday. They have really great customer service too!

  • karlInSanDiego

    Fit Ear M1-Single driver custom builts. Finally had a wire failure after 3 years of hard, daily use for 2 hours a day, so they’re out to get serviced. They’re expensive, but I use them for other things too (mowing lawn, garage work, playing bass quietly, etc). Consider them to be a superb custom speaker system for your bikes…all of them. Added benefit of great suppression of hearing-killing wind/engine noise. You’ll need to hook up with them at a major bike event, or get molds made locally and send to them.

  • Robert Reinhardt

    Ive been using Shure SE215 buds for the past 2 years. Under a helmet, on a run, in the gym, commuting. Anywhere and everywhere. The sounds quality is great, they NEVER fall out (unless you snag the wire), and are all-day comfy. They are a little pricey at $100 but I feel that Ive certainly gotten my money’s worth from them.

  • Sean Tempère

    I used a pair of Shure SCL3′s for a while but they got recently destroyed, overall good sound cancelation and very good sound quality. They sticked out a bit too much for optimal on-bike confort.
    Actually pondering over a pair of SE 425.

  • luxlamf

    I guess the Terms I used in my previous post where deemed “Not Nice” so I will reword. Before all the “Stiffs” show up and start grumbling that you shouldn’t listen to music ever while riding etc… because Grumbling is what they do, I have gone through many brands of Earbuds over the last 7 years and found VMODDA to have the best as far as quality in design and sound especially bass and mid range response. A big problem I was having was the wires shorting out after several 1000 miles but fixed that by making sure the wires from my ipod to my head are tucked inside my shirts or jacket to keep from flailing in the wind hence making the wires crack inside the sleeves. I also discovered the $60-$80 ones work great, anything more expensive is a waste for me as I tend to step on them, pull them apart etc.. when taking them off or on etc… and the ones WITHOUT the MIC on them work much better on the bike than those with. Vmodda is also very good about exchanging them when they break (not when I tear them apart obviously) but when they short out from leaving them flailing in the wind I just stop by their office on Sunset and they give me a new set. If you don’t live in LA they do the same VIA mail. v-moda.com/remix-audio/http://v-moda.com/remix-audio/

    • appliance5000

      Wow – stiffs – you’re so cool.

      • luxlamf

        Ah fresh off the Stiff Farm itself. BMW or Yammi? Or perhaps the worst kind of Stiff the Vintage Stiff and you have Norton’s or some other useless thing all the while wagging your finger at everyone “Not Properly riding a proper MC in the Proper way”

        • appliance5000

          I’m sorry you’re wrong on all counts. But this is fun let me try: You stuff a girkin down your fringed chaps so your package looks bigger, you have Bon Jovi tattooed on your right *ss cheek and Sambora on the left but now you’re looking into laser removal because he got fired and you stayed home that night so your friends wouldn’t see you cry, and you have a mullet but only because the steroid bulk doesn’t allow you to raise your arms enough to cut the back.

          In your court Mort.

    • Theodore P Smart

      I’d check your local motor vehicle code because at least where I am it is illegal to operate any thing on the road with headphones on. Then again this “Stiff” more often than not leaves his phone at home when going for a ride.

      • luxlamf

        Legally you are allowed to have 1 ear-bud in while operating a motor vehicle. Thanks for the concern though

        • Theodore P Smart

          I find it hard to share my opinion with a BoL (Bunch of Letters) that claims to ride everyday.

        • Piglet2010

          I find only one ear-phone makes me nauseated. As always, YMMV.

      • karlInSanDiego

        Dude, when you need to call for help one day, you’re going to regret leaving your phone at home.

        • luxlamf

          I guess this shows the difference, I ride my bike almost everyday, they are my main forms of transportation so I don’t “Just Ride” and leave phones etc.. at home, most days, if anything, I am caring a small pack with a iPad in it to a meeting or on set etc… The SUV is for taking the dog to the park or the Vet if need be or grocery shopping. Which I also wear my earbuds while shopping.

      • Brett Lewis

        Once upon a time, not too long ago as I recall, everyone went without a phone when they left the house. Most survived. Those were better times.

        • Randy Singer

          Back in the days when folks left home without phones, pay-phones where ubiquitous. Try finding one now. Even back then, if you had a solo accident (the Hurt study shows that these are far from uncommon among motorcyclists) on a lonely road, you had to wait for another vehicle to come by for help. If you have a cell phone with you, help can be on its way in minutes.

      • Piglet2010

        My phone has the ringer turned off when I ride, and I only use it when the bike is parked off the traffic way.

  • Robert Horn

    I LOVE my Etymotic ER-6i!!!!!!

    Earmolds are an excellent investment – they improve the seal, the sound, and the comfort to a level you can’t imagine ’til you’ve experienced them. It is a shame they quit making the -6i – not sure what I’ll replace them with when they die. For me, they sound good enough to enjoy the music, but not good enough to make me, uh, tune out.

    Used to own a pair of ER-4S and ER-4P – too expensive and too distracting for mobile use for me.

    • John Diamond

      Also love the ER-6is (and the newer replacement model)… used them for years now. In that time they’re made them a lot better / tougher / cheaper which is good because they used to be a bit fragile. I still bought them anyway because they sounded so good.

      Only thing I found with the etymotics is that they can stick out a bit too far so it’s uncomfortable wearing them in my helmet. I use a cheaper pair of Phillips (whatever model) instead.

  • Jeremy Piner

    Has anyone tried the Bose QC 20i noise cancelers? I have been resisting temptation so far to cut the wind noise in my Shoei at speed. They also have a button to let you hear what’s around you which cuts the noise cancelling which could be helpful at lower speeds and around traffic.

    • Scott Otte

      I also would love to hear what other motorcyclists think of these. I have a browser tab open to them for the last month to remind me to try and get more information on these.

  • Zachary Church

    I use the UClear HBC-100 Plus and connect it via bluetooth to my iPhone and I get a good combination of both. Also the amount of noise is determined by your helmet.

  • Allen Gates
  • Matt Mason

    I really like these “ask RideApart” articles, keep em coming!

  • Mark Vizcarra

    TORK Helmet Speakers is what I use along with my ear plugs

  • jonoabq

    Sometimes they are not for music as much as a radar detector and bike to bike com gear. Etymotic ER6-i with foam tips.

  • Jim Perry

    A friend who’s a professional musician recommended Shur’s and I love them. Great sound and they come with several ear-insertion things so you can get a great fit. $150 bucks or so but I don’t regret it.

  • BillW

    Custom molded earspeakers. Not cheap, but way better than anything off the shelf for noise suppression and fitting under a helmet (Etymotics sounded great but left me in pain). I got mine from “Arizona Al” Schibi, who shows up at a lot of BMW events, but there are certainly other sources.

  • Joel Sparks

    Melectronics M6 are pretty awesome for this. They’re cheap, sound pretty good, and have the same over-ear cable as the Shure SE215. I use a set of Comply foam tips – pause your music and you’ve got earplugs.

  • Geert Willem van der Horst

    I don’t have any experience with earphones, but Michael Neeves (MCN) seems to like these a lot: http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/Products/productsresults/Parts-accessories/2012/November/nov2612-review-proguard-fleximonitors-earphones/

    Not sure on availability outside the UK though and they are very expensive

  • John

    We always called “earbuds” the ones that hang in your ear, like a mini speaker, while the ones pictured are noise isolating earphones (NIE). The problem with NIEs is that they DO isolate sounds that you need to hear on a motorcycle, they take away your sense of perception of very loud sound and tend to be used badly, they are very uncomfortable for a lot of people and stick out further, which makes them hard to get under a helmet. And they are very position dependent for the sound.

    Sony used to make a high-end earbud called the MDR-E88 which was truly fantastic. I believe they are replaced by these – http://www.audiocubes.com/product_info.php?products_id=429 They allow you to hear what’s around you, while sounding very good. They will block a bit of sound, but not like an NIE.

    • Piglet2010

      All of my lids are way too noisy at 55+ mph to use anything but a NIE.

      When I did a training ride with Scala ear speakers (provided by the instructor), I had to put my earplugs in and turn the volume way up – wind noise made everything unintelligible above about 40 mph with just the speakers (this was with a Bell Revolver EVO lid).

      • John

        Sounds like a helmet problem to me ;^)

        • Piglet2010

          Even my Bell Star is noisy at higher speeds.

          The Revolver EVO is quiet on my Elite 110 with accessory windshield at top speed (~50 mph), until I stand over a bump, so I do not bother with ear plugs while scootering.

  • Campisi

    “I get bored just sitting inside my own head talking to myself.”

    Clearly, you need more voices in your head.

  • Dan Sciannameo

    Schuberth SRC system

    • Peter Sweigart

      I have the system in my C3 Pro, Ok for voice, not for music. I may do some surgury to use earbuds with this system.

      • Dan Sciannameo

        ok for me, I dont want it to be that good a isolated from traffice noise anyway

  • isupposeso

    Personally I just did a 7300 mile long trip and got back yesterday. As much as you want to hear your bike, being on it everyday and just hearing the sound of it gets tiresome and really boring especially for looooong touring. I personally use earplugs to protect my hearing and installed a Sena wireless headset to take calls, listen to music, gps, etc. It was not distracting at all and you could still listen to music with the speakers installed on the bike and also with the plugs in. And you could hear the engine for any unusual noises. I highly recommend this , especially with talking to other riders with the intercom and such.

  • ticticticboom

    Probably the best $250 I ever spent was on Challenger single driver custom molded silicone earplugs/speakers. Anything custom molded will redefine your enjoyment of music on a motorcycle. It’s a whole nother level compared to earbuds.

  • Piglet2010

    I love the sound of Etymotic ear phones, but hate that one can not replace the cords (or even splice them with normal equipment). Left mine laying out, and the kitten destroyed them by biting through a cord.

  • Kr Tong

    I absolutely disagree that music is dangerous. Music is no more dangerous than constantly fretting your bike is making a sound it shouldn’t. And that’s all you can hear either way.

    The hard part about answering this question is earshape. I know a lot of people who hate earbuds, who like one particular shape of earbud, who absolutely dispise my choice in earbuds etc. I personally have had good luck with the skullcandy 50/50. The treble isnt the best with them but they have a shape that, for my ears, doesnt hurt or irritate my ears after a long time. They don’t stick out that far, which is good. I own a pair of $100 klipsch S4′s that are just too wide to use under a helmet. They tend to tweak the earbud in such a way that colllapses the earbud and mutes the sound.

    I’ve also attempted to use products like the Jabra clipper that are supposed to adapt your earbuds for bluetooth. At least with the clippeer the volume doesnt go as high, and the bluetooth cuts out all the time. The tiny battery also only works for maybe an hour tops.

  • Austin Sorenson

    I use the cheap marshmallow ear plugs from JVC they stay in once you get them in right. They also do not protrude that far out like some headphones which are uncomfortable in a helmet.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FDOG6G/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • motoguru.

    It’s V-MODA, not VMODDA.

  • Andrew Platt

    Personally using earphones actually eliminates distractions for me, like white noise. I hate to use a cliche answer here but the best earphones are going to be the ones that fit you best. I had to try 4 types before I found one that fits well, blocks out noise well, and stays in my ear when I put the helmet on. A good set of in-ear buds will allow you to hear your music at normal volume. With mine, I can set my volume for indoor levels and still hear it fine on the bike on the highway.

    One note of caution though, some states do have regulations that make it illegal to use headphones. It’s not like a police will stop you just for that, but if you get pulled over for another reason and the cop sees you with ear buds you could possibly get fined.

  • Lord Triumph

    I use the Etymotic Research ER6i. I’m on my second pair after losing the first. Very comfortable and just the right amount of external noise cutout so that you can hear the music perfectly with a little bit of engine in the background. What would be ideal is if someone developed a system whereby I could use the ER6i’s with a bike comms unit because I find the ear pieces that come with kits from Scala etc are just terrible at music audio.

  • DrRideOrDie

    I use the Apple In-Ear Headphone $79.

    Pros: It provides some noise cancelling property like the 30 db ear plugs, If you have a good seal, its the equivalent of having the windows up in a nice German car with the volume turned low on a crystal clear sound system. You can still hear the engine, you can still hear the tires, you can still hear traffic, you can still hear ambulances, only it’s about 60db-70db instead of 100-110db. The fit of the silicone tips with 3 different option small, medium and large provide sufficient options for getting the proper seal.

    Cons: Sweat becomes an issue in the PHX heat. I’ve had to get 2 pairs of them replaced already due to sweat damaging the speaker. I may or may not have also doused my head with water and forgot they were in. Apple gives you a one year warranty. If they become unsettled while riding you can get a really irritating whistling noise requiring you to pull over and put them back in proper position.

    Conclusion: I have not tried the Shure or the more expensive Bose but for the money and customer service I’ve been more than happy with the Apple In-ear Headphone.

  • Gare’

    Having a problem with keeping earbuds in my ears I followed a CNET post and modified a set of Koss KSC75 over the ear style headphones by simply pulling the sport clips off and attaching a small square of self adhesive velcro to the back of each “speaker” to hold them in place in my HJC helmets. I can still hear the music, emergency vehicles, engine and wind. I feel it is less isolating than driving my cage with the sound system on.

  • Navin R Johnson
  • Jeremy Piner

    Follow up: I just bought the QC20 Bose in-ear phones. I have no problems getting my Shoei on with them in place although they sometimes fall out when taking the helmet off. The stay in place consistently and do not apply any undue pressure to my ears.

    They may not be the ultimate sound profile if you are an audiophile (they love to gripe about Bose), but they are incredibly (eerily) quiet, even at triple digit speeds. They have a button which activates the noise cancelling on the rechargeable battery pack that you can switch with gloves on, although it takes some effort to wrangle the thing out of your jacket, you won’t likely be doing it while in motion. One mode allows you to hear the surrounding noises much better than ear buds normally would allow, but when you flip the switch things go silent. I could only hear the slightest top end valve tweet from my Multistrada at a stop and couldn’t hear talking at all when in the NC mode.

    I recommend that you don’t run the noise cancelling around town as you won’t hear traffic or emergency vehicles. I flicked it on when I left the city limits (even with my Pikes Peak carbon windshield which is XSmall) and love them. They will cancel noise when you have no music going through them, but they work best with some sound coming through. They have around 10 hours of noise cancelling battery life per charge. Almost 1000k of back roads and highways down and I like them. I was cross shopping having some custom molded to my ear because most buds have been a problem with fit and retention. These are comparable in price to a good pair of custom plugs with sound, I think I made the right choice. Bose does have a great return policy, so I figured I couldn’t lose.

  • http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&tag=dfgecvb-20 Janet

    I would say that for motorcycle one need smth with noice cancellation… They are damn expensive but does the work greatly. I’ve got BOSE QuietComfort and hapy about them so far.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D429Y12/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00D429Y12&linkCode=as2&tag=dfgecvb-20

  • CB

    I’m already quite deaf, it’s a hereditary thing. It’s never occurred to me to wear earphones for hearing protection, but I do wear them every time I’m on the bike for music or podcasts or whatever. I’ve went through dozens of sets. Some are generic, some I pick specifically because I think they’d work well under a helmet. All of them break. I always end up tangling the cord in my gear, then I stand up and wrench them out of my ears and break them. Do it a few times and it’s fine, but when living in warmer climes, I was on and off the bike at least 8 times a day. It took it’s toll. So I’ve been looking into bluetooth and I’m excited to try the LG Tone. It’s one of those around the neck bluetooth deals. It sounds like it’ll do the trick, and it’s cheap enough to crash and get broken. The mic isn’t good enough for making calls while running the bike, but I don’t make or take calls while the bike is moving, anyway.

    If anyone has these, I’d love to hear if they like them.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-HBS-730-Bluetooth-Headset/dp/B009A5204K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390734209&sr=8-2&keywords=LG+Tone+%2B