Motorcycle & iPhone advice.
Sep 19, 2010 at 3:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

dozens

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So I currently have an iPhone 3GS, a recently purchased HD Sportster and a 3/4 helmet similar to this, but without the foam 'U' shapes around the ears:
 

 
Here's my array of problems...
1) My ears are ringing after riding. Not good.
2) I would love to listen to music while riding, but do not want to cancel out all outside noise for obvious safety reasons.
3) I want to be able to control my iPhone music with an inline controller like what comes with the iPhone.
 
Possible solutions are...
1) To accept the ringing and velcro some earpad-type headphones into the helmet, tucking in the cord & leaving the 1/8" plug poking out, allowing me to buy some adaptor/extension for the iPhone with inline controls that I can connect to it. Problem: horrible sound, even more beating of my eardrums.
2) Same as above, but get a set of IEMs that will both protect my hearing while also sounding good, and still allowing some outside sound in.
3) To get a bluetooth headset that covers my ears and both blocks some motorcycle noise and allows my listening to music untethered. Problem: no inline controls.
 
Ideas? Opinions? Your solutions?
 
Sep 21, 2010 at 1:50 AM Post #2 of 14

StVeronus

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Personally I ride with a full face and accept the wind noise in order to hear my surroundings.  If I were you, I wouldn't listen to music or talk on the phone while riding.  If it were me and my hearing was being affected by the wind noise, I would just put in earplugs.  Second I would put on a windshield that sends the air over the helmet.  Have been on my buddies Dyna with a screen, and it helps a lot.  But it isn't the most stylish solution.
 
Hope that helps,
St Veronus
 
Sep 21, 2010 at 3:01 AM Post #3 of 14

Uncle Erik

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I'm with StVeronus. I also wear a full-face helmet and don't use anything to block noise - it's more important to hear everything and not be distracted by music. Phone calls have to wait until I am not riding and there's no way I'll fumble with a remote when my hands should be an instant away from the clutch and brake at all times.

If I'm on a very long ride, I might go with foam earplugs that still allow enough sound through. But I'm not going to isolate with IEMs.

And yes, a windshield is a great option. Don't worry about the cool factor, either. Ride safe and ATGATT, too.
 
Sep 21, 2010 at 4:11 AM Post #4 of 14

dozens

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I absolutely DO NOT want any 'phone' functions while riding. I leave it in 'AIRPLANE MODE' while riding cause, well, I'm not available. But I DO want to listen to music and control skipping a track if it isn't what I'm feeling, plus protect my ears....
 
I understand what you guys are saying, but I'm not asking if I should do what I want, I'm asking if anyone has any advice on how to DO what I want. No hard feelings, no sarcasm, all good vibes
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Sep 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM Post #5 of 14

koziakauzu

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Personally I wear my custom IEM, it reduces wind and engine noise and I also listen to music/podcast at the lowest volume I can hear, with remote I can easily access clip to my shirt/jacket.
Since you wanna use your iphone, if you got a remote with built-in mic, you can find an app -sorry i forgot the name ATM- that will stop the music when the mic hears some sudden and higher-than-usual noise
 
Sep 21, 2010 at 10:30 PM Post #6 of 14

basementdweller

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At this point I have owned motorcycles for over a decade and disagree with those who automatically dissuade people from putting things in their ears while riding.  Ideally, one should have a windshield but those only work with certain types of motorcycles.  Personally, I've never found an iem that would seal well enough to allow me to listen to music wearing a full face helmet because the wind or microphonics are always moving the iems around in my ears...if any one has a suggestion for this chime in...
 
Anyway, my rather rambling reply is that earplugs will save your hearing and if you can find iems that work for you go for it, however; I would never(unless I was contemplating suicide) fiddle with a phone will going down the road.  Just my opinion.
 
Sep 22, 2010 at 7:21 AM Post #7 of 14

warrior05

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I have always ridden with at least earplugs in.  My hearing is too important to me.
 
I don't often ride with music but I recently really fell in love with the combination and went on a search for what would isolate enough so I don't have to jack the volume and fit in my full face.  My SA6 isolates wonderfully but are a chore to try and fit under my helmet.  Plus, they stick out enough that they get slightly pressed in and become uncomfortable over time.  I recently went on a weekend ride with my cheapo Denons and they actually did a pretty good job.  Customs would be great.
 
When I do ride with music, I set the volume and music and just ride without any on the fly controlling.  If I want to adjust the volume or change the music, I stop along the side of the road.  There are ways to plug in a volume controller though you might be a bit challenged trying to use it with gloves on.  There are basic wired remote controllers for iPods where you can FF/Rew/Skip and control volume.  Check out Aerostich.  They have a handlebar mounted iPod controller that would work nicely.
 
Above all though, I highly recommend anyone who rides where wind noise is noticeable to at least wear earplugs.  Exposure to high noise levels for a period of time is detrimental.
 
Sep 24, 2010 at 8:42 PM Post #11 of 14

basementdweller

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Quote:
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for all the advice! Could anyone recommend me some IEMs that are in the sub-$50 range that will not have wind noise?


I am considering qjays or etymotic er6i because of their size and insertion depth, but have not tested either.  The jays are outside your price range by a lot, but the er6i are only about $20 above what you want to spend...I honestly can't think of any phones that might potentially fit right under fifty bucks.  You see the problem isn't just getting the helmet on and off without pulling a plug, but also you need a plug that isn't pushed in by the helmet when you wear it.
 
Sep 27, 2010 at 8:51 AM Post #14 of 14

aangen

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Been there, done that. I just finished a ten day 5500 mile motorcycle trip. If I was on the bike, I was listening to music. In the last 30 years I tried this and that and yap yap yap, it's all junk until I got the Etymotic and then the Shure SE530 in ear headphones. The Etymotic headphones demanded the triple flange silicone earpieces that do an awesome job at reducing wind and road noise. You can still hear the motor and you might hear a horn. They allow you to listen at lower volume so your ears don't ring at the end of a ride. The triple flange silicone earpieces also HURT and I had to take them out after a couple of hours. The soft foam tips seal almost as well and are far more comfortable. The newer Shure SE530 headphones come with a new kind of foam seal that I think people are calling "olives". These babies rock and are easy to put in, easy to get a good seal, and I can wear them for 10 hours straight. I hear the motor, I hear the music. It works swell. A friend purchased the $130 Shure in ear phones and they came with the olives as well. You don't have to spend $500, but it helps. 
 
An open face helmet like yours demands an in-ear headphone. Etymotic now has a well regarded $150 set, and you can buy Shure Olive seals for $20 online. That might be the cheap route. They have a $179 set that includes controls for an iPhone. Since you are riding a motorcycle you will probably prefer text messaging while you drive anyway. (j/k)
 
Hopefully you are not a new rider. If you are, I'd wait a year or two before riding with tunes. You can easily get distracted by music and that's deadly on a bike. I have been riding forever so I am well practiced at focusing. (for the most part). Whatever you do, PLEASE RETAIN THE STOCK EXHAUST ON THAT HARLEY!!! (I hate how noisy people make them)
 

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