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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious to find a low tech (probably wired) speaker/earbud idea for being able to hear directions from my GPS. I wear ear plugs. A must for my noisy R. I am seeking out something like taping earbuds onto the inner shell near my ear. My Shoei actually has room and I have tried it with a pair of Sony earbuds but only in my living room, not on a ride, so may not be loud enough. Crude but if it works for occasional use...? I also do not want to make a valuable helmet even more attractive as the target of theft. Anyone else not willing to spend hundreds for a bluetooth set-up? Suggestions?
 

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Well, first, does the GPS require Bluetooth or does it have an audio out jack?

If it has a jack, any earbuds with sufficient length of wire can do the job.

I have these and like both...


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RW1R81E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have two Bluetooth dongles where I link to the GPS and plug the earbuds into the dongle. Battery usually lasts 10-12 hours. Neither is available now, but here are some ideas....

https://www.amazon.com/APEKX-Blueto...jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-BTR3-Bl...3ca-403a-923c-8152c45485fe&tag=bestprodosp-20

It does take some searching to find a good one that's not overpriced for what it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks zerO for the excellent suggestions/links. It has an audio out jack.
There are some flat in helmet speakers on Amazon, wired I think. But I would like something sleek, small, and worth the effort. Maybe just a loud earbud, velcro'ed to the inside of the helmet, with an added short extension to the GPS, so it can disconnect at the helmet when I forget.
 

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Earbuds will not work in the helmet...need to be in the ear. You get better sound quality along with road/wind noise suppression. To my knowledge, there is no quality helmet speaker system. The Sena system has mediocre speakers at best and improving upon it isn't cheap. The amplification from the GPS will do fine for headphones/earbuds but not speakers. I get more life out of a charge on my Sena by using earbuds instead of the included speakers because it's less power to run the drivers on earbuds compared to actual speakers.
 

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A couple of months ago I bit the bullet and purchased SoundEars custom-made earplugs from Ultimate Ear. They are -- without a doubt -- the best motorcycle earbuds I've ever tried. Exceptional noise reduction, very comfortable under a helmet for long periods, and pretty good sound (for music); spoken directions from the GPS are crystal clear. Made in the UK, and pretty expensive, but man, they're worth it.

Custom Motorcycle Ear Plugs | Motorbike Ear Plugs | Motorcycle Ear Plugs (ultimateear.com)
 

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To my knowledge, there is no quality helmet speaker system.
The Packtalk Bold with JBL speakers is pretty good. I use it with foam earplugs (32 dB NRR) and the speakers are loud and clear enough to have a phone conversation at freeway speeds without the other person even realizing I'm on a bike. Music sounds decent too. Sure it's not opera house level quality but its not bad at all.

The system I had before that (Scala Rider Q1) was terrible, couldn't hear a damn thing unless I was stopped.
 

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I just bought and installed these:

They were an upgrade to these, which I’d had for a year but are cheaper but of somewhat lesser sound quality:

Both sets are wired (not Bluetooth), and speakers velcro to the inside of one’s helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Both sets are wired (not Bluetooth), and speakers velcro to the inside of one’s helmet.
These seem thin enough to not interfere with putting on and removing my helmet, a tight fit Shoei RF1200.
Are they loud enough to be heard with ear plugs in without the need for an amp? That may be another issue. What are you plugging into?
 

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These seem thin enough to not interfere with putting on and removing my helmet, a tight fit Shoei RF1200.
Are they loud enough to be heard with ear plugs in without the need for an amp? That may be another issue. What are you plugging into?
The music is being output through my iPhone,which I keep in my inside jacket pocket. If you have a later iPhone, you’ll need the adapter as the speaker units are a standard 3.5 jack plug. I have no issues with volume, but placement so that they lay upon your ears is critical as the sound won’t “travel” well if there’s a gap. The first unit comes with a leather “shoehorn” to fix ears that may fold down when putting on the helmet, but any thin lever would work. If you’re just using it for GPS voice prompts, I’d go with the second, cheaper unit...it also seems to be a bit louder in potential volume overall.
 

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Bluetooth earbuds don't have to cost "hundreds". I use these Jbuds, although admittedly not under my helmet. I've simply never tried them there because I've discovered that I don't like having a GPS in my ear nattering away at me. I use these for Zoom and for my mobile phone. I used to use a Bluetooth comm headset on my helmet, with speakers and a boom mic, but that voice in my ear drove me crazy. I have enough issues with the voices coming from inside my own head 🤪 The only reason I used it was because at the time I was on call at work, and it allowed me to take off on the road and still answer the phone and solve problems when the network went out at work. I also find music in my ear distracting while I'm riding, so never used that feature, other than trying it to see if it worked.

These particular earbuds might have issues related to putting on your helmet, since they have 'tap' controls on the outer edge. I'm just using them as an example of what can be found. If putting on a helmet would interfere with the controls, perhaps look for a set with a "band", where the buds are wired together and there is an inline remote control, like these for example. If I was going to use something like this under my helmet, I'd want something that wasn't wired to the bike. I have enough problems forgetting to unplug my heated gear when I dismount. I haven't broken a wire yet, but the power cord is a lot stronger than the flimsy wires one might find on speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have no issues with volume, but placement so that they lay upon your ears is critical as the sound won’t “travel” well if there’s a gap. The first unit comes with a leather “shoehorn” to fix ears that may fold down when putting on the helmet, but any thin lever would work.
My helmet has a cutout in the foam padding at either ear, seemingly meant to pocket a speaker. I picture using the supplied velcro with the speakers to fix them in these cutouts. If thin enough I shouldn't have a problem with taking my helmet off. I'm not sure but if I am reading your post correctly the helmet needs to be shoe horned past your ears? But this is because your helmet doesn't have a specific speaker cutout at the ear? Am I right?
There will be a gap between the speakers and my ear, but minimal, millimeters.
Yeah, I will go with the cheaper of the two if I go this route.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have tested wireless bluetooth and wired earbuds and they simply won't work with my tight fit helmet. Even the Samsung Bud Live lozenge shape. Small but doesn't fit my ear well and when removing my helmet they just plop onto the ground.
Looks like helmet speakers or even a loud but small earbud that I can velcro to the helmet very near my ear. Mecanically that works but not sure about volume.
 

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I am curious to find a low tech (probably wired) speaker/earbud idea for being able to hear directions from my GPS. I wear ear plugs. A must for my noisy R. I am seeking out something like taping earbuds onto the inner shell near my ear. My Shoei actually has room and I have tried it with a pair of Sony earbuds but only in my living room, not on a ride, so may not be loud enough. Crude but if it works for occasional use...? I also do not want to make a valuable helmet even more attractive as the target of theft. Anyone else not willing to spend hundreds for a bluetooth set-up? Suggestions?

Ok, for years, I would buy ear plugs, and combine my very basic Skull Candy ear buds to create noise reduction ear bud for riding.
I did not use high end sound buds due to the inevitable wear and tear of wires flapping in the wind.

Basic Instructions:
Round Ear Buds
Skull candy sound buds
Total cost 25 USD

Using a heated straight pin, make a snug hole through the ear plugs, then slip them over the exposed ear bud "shaft" .
You could use a dab of glue if you want them to be more secure.
Typically would last about 2 months.

But...I've become a Blue tooth fan, and recently splurged on new Schuberth Carbon with built in speakers. With my Hear-Os ear plugs, they sound decent.
 

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My helmet has a cutout in the foam padding at either ear, seemingly meant to pocket a speaker. I picture using the supplied velcro with the speakers to fix them in these cutouts. If thin enough I shouldn't have a problem with taking my helmet off. I'm not sure but if I am reading your post correctly the helmet needs to be shoe horned past your ears? But this is because your helmet doesn't have a specific speaker cutout at the ear? Am I right?
There will be a gap between the speakers and my ear, but minimal, millimeters.
Yeah, I will go with the cheaper of the two if I go this route.
Thanks
My Arai has cutouts as well, and that stock placement is good. I had to — and you may have to, depending on the fitment of your helmet — use one or both (I had to use both) the supplied Velcro foam spacers to raise the speakers up against your ears. If there is any gap, distance and wind noise will wash away much of the sound...it truly needs to touch your ears. Because of that fit/need, your ears will tend to fold down a bit when putting on the helmet, so a thin wedge to poke in on the side of the eye cutout and straighten your ears is often necessary. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Sure SE215. Wired version has fantastic sound, also now available unwired. SE215 - Sound Isolating™ Earphones
Wearing an earbud, wired or not won't keep road noise out and after experimenting I have found getting my tight helmet past even a small earbud a PITA. The R with a windshield is a noisy experience, I need ear plugs. How well do the Shure work without music or phone call as far as noise reduction? Shure doesn't list a noise reduction number. I would like to try noise cancelling, but again I don't think anything in ear is going to work for me. Anyway it is only for occasional GPS directions and sturgeon has a really good point. I don't need or want music competing with road noise and won't prioritize even directions over hearing protection and comfort.
 

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Wearing an earbud, wired or not won't keep road noise out and after experimenting I have found getting my tight helmet past even a small earbud a PITA....
Some earbuds fit better than others. I've had to try several to find ones I like. The key is for the bud to fit INSIDE your ear canal enough that the stub on the outside does not extend to earlobe. The most I have to do to make a helmet fit without issue is to jam a couple fingers in to push the ear padding away so the ear slides in without touching the wire or earbud. Works as well as earplugs for me.
 

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I've used these in the past:


I was able to get my helmet on over them without issue and they are noise isolating so they also act like earplugs to an extent. I got them specifically for use under my helmet and they work great. It looks like that particular model is not available but there are likely comparable models. They were $50 when I purchased them.
 

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As an alternative to the big name BT comm devices (Sena, PacTalk, etc.) you could try the Lexin LX-FT4 Pro. Loudest speakers I've ever heard in a helmet, good quality, easy to pair, and cheaper than the big names. Yes, made in China, but they have good QC and are working on better equipment all the time. The Shoei the OP has should have plenty of room for the speakers in the inner shell under the liner.

Be a little wary of wired solutions, a friend got his hand caught in the cables of his earbuds and crashed over a curb at low speed - broke his back and was unable to ride for over a year... So make sure the cables run in a way that they won't EVER interfere with your hands.
 
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