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Old 01-17-2014, 11:25 PM   #1
davidji OP
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Listening to music on the freeway

How do you listen to music when you ride at freeway/motorway speeds? Do you do this without damaging your hearing?

I don't listen to music when I ride--though I have tried it a couple of times. But a lot of you do. And I wonder what works for you. Do you blast the music over the wind noise? Have you somehow eliminated the wind noise?

Bike speakers? Helmet speakers? Ear buds? Do you wear hearing protection? A helmet? what sort? And of course what bike(s)?
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:49 AM   #2
Llamaha
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I play language tapes using normal earphones, I've found that the best thing to have is an aerodynamic helmet as it keeps the wind noise down
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
rider33
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sustained wind noise, much less music loud enough to be heard over it will damage your hearing. What you need to do is to bring it down which ear plugs and a good full-face helmet will do. If then you want to listen to music during the boring bits, substitute good noise isolating ear speakers for the ear plugs & run them off an iPod or phone. At the moment I use Weston UM1's, good low profile (so they fit under a helmet), high isolation ear speakers with very neutral sound.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:40 AM   #4
kirb
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One option, custom audio earplugs. Block out everything and keep the volume down. Has wires. http://www.westoneaudio.com

I used to use in-helmet speakers (tork x-pro) with custom molded musician earplugs with adjustable db filters.
http://tinyurl.com/westear
I needed a boostaroo with an iPod:
http://boostaroo.com

I still use the custom earplugs, but just connect via Bluetooth to my iPod now with a cardo G9 wireless helmet system. Proper speaker placement is key, but it is loud enough.

Another item that is very important...a quiet helmet. Keeping the wind noise down keeps the music volume down.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:46 AM   #5
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I love listening to music or news or talk radio while traveling.

Never did it before my most recent bike, now I really like it.

I also have weather frequency on my radio, which is AWESOME when traveling through dicier conditions. One trip back and forth across Wyoming I was able to tell if the passes ahead were raining or snowing by listening to local NWS stations.

Bike: Harley Road Glide, all stock but aftermarket screen.

Helmets:

FF with Harley ear speakers velcro-ed in. This is my "night/desert" helmet. Speakers play as loud as I can take it.

3/4ish cop helmet. This is my day helmet. Much less buffetting and wind noise, and I use the speakers on the bike. Good to about 85 mph. Any higher and the wind noise becomes too loud to hear speakers very well.

My wife has a FF with the same HD ear speakers.
When we ride together she chooses the music, which means I normally turn off my speakers. Same with the intercom.

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Old 01-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #6
gymply
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I am a big fan of Shure earbuds. Currently using the SE215, but previously used a set of SE310. The SE215's can be found online for ~ $100. I bought mine at Guitar Center for $108 out the door. They fit well in my ear and underneath a fullface helmet. The SE215's come with several different size foam sleeves, but I have found that the silicone triple flange sleeves fit my ear best. Unfortunately, the triple flange sleeves don't come with the SE215's but can be ordered as an accessory. I had to trim the stalk to get the proper length for my ear. Putting them in your ear is awkward at first because the wire comes out the top of the earbud and wraps around the back side of the ear, but once you get familiar with it it is easy.

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Old 01-18-2014, 08:10 AM   #7
Scott of the Sahara
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just bought the Sure SE215's yesterday. I had an older set of Sures that I have given to my wife for her Kindle. I have not tried these with my Shoei Full Face Helmet, but they do stick out less than the other ones.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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I generally use earplugs on any freeway ride over 30 minutes. I have pretty good full face helmets that are reasonably quiet. I use a pair of Sony ExtraBass ear buds with good success. They make a good seal in the ear and are low profile. I use them with and without music. They are comfortable enough to sleep in when camping, when my riding buddies are snoring loudly nearby or if it is real windy. They are inexpensive and durable.

Lately, when not listening to music, I am using the Surefire earplugs (http://www.surefire.com/tactical-equ...rotection.html) available at gun stores for $10-15. Don't freak when you look at the website and see prices, they list the by-the-case price next to the single price. They are about the best earplugs I have found for the money, almost totally blocking out the sound, they come in sizes, so it is easy to get a good fit. I am using the EP5, in size medium. They fit in ear, are low profile and work so well that I use them when shooting at the pistol range. Also comfortable enough to sleep in when camping with loud snorers or parties near by.

But...the absolute best earphones that I am using are the Bose 20i noise canceling earphones (http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/...ones/index.jsp) for iPhone, also made for other phones. These can be used to listen to music or make calls. They ain't cheap, but amazing, almost totally eliminating any external noise, allowing you to listen to music at 'normal' volumes. The amount of noise reduction is 'spooky'. When you are at freeway speed and switch them on it is very weird, as everything goes quiet, like the world has almost stopped. The are fairly low profile, fit in your ear, and have different size tips for a good fit, rechargeable 16 hour battery. The take a little effort to get your helmet on without dislodging but I can do it pretty easy. I travel a lot on airplanes and can sit right next to the engines or in front of a screaming baby with no problem. They are pretty cool. Check them out at a Bose store, they have an jet engine simulator in the store and you see for yourself if they will work for you. Plus they have a good return policy if you don't like them. Can't sleep in them for camping, but I always have a pair of the surefire plugs with me for that.

Tried helmet speakers and couldn't make them work for me, no quality and just more loud noise. I have heard that some of the bluetooth headsets have pretty good quality and you also can gain intercom and other communication possibilities.

Good luck with search.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:23 AM   #9
Nophix
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Skullcandy Ink'd earplugs, and my iPhone. Turn on Google Music or iTunes Radio, and go.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
Shred Head Fred
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[QUOTE=danman;23253945]

But...the absolute best earphones that I am using are the Bose 20i noise canceling earphones (http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/...ones/index.jsp) for iPhone, also made for other phones. These can be used to listen to music or make calls. They ain't cheap, but amazing, almost totally eliminating any external noise, allowing you to listen to music at 'normal' volumes. The amount of noise reduction is 'spooky'. When you are at freeway speed and switch them on it is very weird, as everything goes quiet, like the world has almost stopped.

^ My feelings exactly. In December I did a 7k ride on my GSA 1200 ADV and while I like to listen to the purr of the boxer the BOSE are like being in a sound room, they are truely amazing. I could listen for about 7 hours straight before my ear canal got sore. I might do a little shaping on the housing for a better fit because they weren't designed to fit inside a helmet. A bit of a hassle getting settled in, but for the long haul what an experience. No ringing in the evening.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymply View Post
I am a big fan of Shure earbuds. Currently using the SE215, but previously used a set of SE310. The SE215's can be found online for ~ $100. I bought mine at Guitar Center for $108 out the door. They fit well in my ear and underneath a fullface helmet. The SE215's come with several different size foam sleeves, but I have found that the silicone triple flange sleeves fit my ear best. Unfortunately, the triple flange sleeves don't come with the SE215's but can be ordered as an accessory. I had to trim the stalk to get the proper length for my ear. Putting them in your ear is awkward at first because the wire comes out the top of the earbud and wraps around the back side of the ear, but once you get familiar with it it is easy.

Linky.
+1 on the Shures!
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:47 PM   #12
FakeName
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If I'm riding, I'm listening.

XM through Zumo 550. I'd rather my headlight failed than my music. I use cheapy (sorta) isolating earbuds.

IIRC, soundtrack to this was Zep:

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Old 02-04-2014, 03:04 PM   #13
celticus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymply View Post
I am a big fan of Shure earbuds. Currently using the SE215, but previously used a set of SE310. The SE215's can be found online for ~ $100. I bought mine at Guitar Center for $108 out the door. They fit well in my ear and underneath a fullface helmet. The SE215's come with several different size foam sleeves, but I have found that the silicone triple flange sleeves fit my ear best. Unfortunately, the triple flange sleeves don't come with the SE215's but can be ordered as an accessory. I had to trim the stalk to get the proper length for my ear. Putting them in your ear is awkward at first because the wire comes out the top of the earbud and wraps around the back side of the ear, but once you get familiar with it it is easy.

Linky.
+1 Me too. The Shures can be found cheap and they work well.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:24 PM   #14
KirkN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider33 View Post
sustained wind noise, much less music loud enough to be heard over it will damage your hearing. What you need to do (whether listening to music or not) is to bring it (the wind noise) down, which ear plugs and (not 'or') a good full-face helmet will do.

If then you want to listen to music during the boring bits, substitute good noise isolating (a.k.a. noise cancelling) ear speakers for the ear plugs & run them off an iPod or phone (source of yer music doesn't really matter - it's how / where the music gets to your ears relative to the source of the outside noise, ie wind).

At the moment I use Weston UM1's, good low profile (so they fit under a helmet), high isolation ear speakers with very neutral sound.

This (fixed).

Wind noise alone, even in a "quiet" helmet, will lead to hearing loss.

Any music (or phone or radio or whatever) you listen to must come BETWEEN your ears and the wind noise, not from OVER it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:04 AM   #15
hippiebrian
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I never got listening to music when riding.

I crank the stereo when I'm driving because I HATE FREAKING DRIVING and it distracts me from how much fun I'm not having.

I listen to the ipod on my bicycle, but usually only after 40 or so miles and I'm tired. The music helps keep my mind off of how tired I am.

I never have listened to music when riding, nor has it tempted me because I love riding, so music is not necessary. And I love music!

That said, I really should probably start wearing ear plugs. I'm over 50 and have probably, between work, playing in a rock band when I was younger, and riding for 40 years (a lot of those years helmetless like a dummy), I probably have done enough damage to my hearing and should mitigate any more.
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