the topic of today might be a little controversial. there are people who swear you’ll crash as soon as you start listing to music on a motorcycle, and there are people who’ll have music on their motorcycle at all times.
when i started riding a motorcycle, i wouldn’t dare to listen to music. but as i got more experienced, i started to get interested in the option of listing to music on your ride. but i would have questions like: is it safe to listen to music on a motorcycle and what hardware do you need to listen to music on a motorcycle? that’s why i decided to make this guide on listening to music on a motorcycle. i’ll try to answer all your question the best i can.
no time? the short answer:
listening to music on a motorcycle doesn’t have to be unsafe. make sure you are able to hear potential hazards like other cars, horns, and sirens.
i prefer a helmet communication system combined with a pair of motorcycle earplugs. you’ll enjoy your music but you’ll also be able to hear your surroundings.
this communication system is crazy cheap on amazon and will work just as well as the sena versions, which cost 6 times as much. that’s my biggest tip of this complete article!
is it safe to listen to music on a motorcycle?
riding a motorcycle whiles listening to music can be done safely if you follow these rules:
- do not turn the volume up too much. you’ll have to be able to hear horns and sirens.
- do not block your ears with earbuds that will cut off the surrounding sound, and do not use noise canceling earbuds.
- make sure you are able to stop the music at any time, whiles riding. just in case of an emergency, you don’t want to be death by music.
ignoring any of these rules can be a potential safety hazard. you don’t want to be that rider with noise canceling earbuds on max volume, whiles riding around without being aware of your surroundings.
it’s only a matter of time before you miss a car, bus, truck or emergency vehicle.
i like to think that my setup is quite safe. first of all, i wear a pair of alpine motosafe earplugs. they block wind and engine noise by using a filter, but they will not block other sounds like horns and sirens.
besides that, i have two speakers mounted in my helmet. they are part of my bluetooth communication system. i turn them on, on a decent volume, but will not max it.
Read more: Helmet Care – Helmet Check
i’ll stream my music from my phone to the communication system, playing the music inside my helmet. the earplugs will make sure i won’t go death, whiles i can still hear my surroundings.
it all has to do with common sense though. i could max out the volume and be oblivious to my surroundings, but it would be stupid to do that.
how can you listen to music on a motorcycle?
there are four options when it comes to listening to music on a motorcycle. you can use a communication system like me, wear regular earbuds, mount speakers in your helmet or use speakers on your motorcycle.
music on a helmet communication system
your first option is to listen to music through your helmet communication system. this is the option i use since i have a communication system mounted to my helmet. it isn’t the cheapest option, but it can be done for less than $100 which is a great value for money if you ask me.
the benefit from a helmet communication system is that it also comes with a microphone. this means you can use the system to make phone calls or to stay in contact with your buddies during your ride.
there is great value for money option, available on amazon. it’s the yideng bluetooth headset (super cheap on amazon). it’s a chinese communication system which, at first, might seem a little bit crappy.
but don’t be fooled! it works great and comes close to the quality of a sena, but for only 1/6th of the price! i bought a pair (one for me and one for my girlfriend) for less than $100. do you have a hundred dollars to invest? don’t think twice, go for it. it’s absolutely worth it!
regular earbuds on a motorcycle
the second option is to ride with regular earbuds. i’m talking about the kinds of earbuds that come with your mobile phone.
i’m personally not a big fan of this, because of two reasons.
first of all, they irritate my ears. the earbuds press my ear when i wear them under a helmet, and they start to annoy me after 5 minutes or so. they just don’t feel comfortable at all.
secondly, i think they block too much sound. you won’t be able to hear your surroundings that well. i think it jeopardizes my safety, so that’s why i don’t ride with earbuds.
but hey, who am i to tell you not to use them. ryan f9 from fortnine says he likes them better than helmet mounted speakers. he prefers them because of the sound quality, whiles i prefer the speakers because of the safety issues.
want to go for the earbuds anyway, because you want to go for supreme audio quality? i would go for ryan’s favorite pair, because they offer the best audio quality for an affordable price. it’s the mee audio musician earbuds (check them out on amazon).
music on helmet speakers
the third option is a pair of helmet speakers. it’s essentially the same as a bluetooth communication system, with two differences.
first of all, it’s wired and doesn’t use bluetooth. that’s great if you don’t have bluetooth, but i think it’s a con.
the second difference is the fact that these speakers don’t come with a microphone. it’s really a one-way only. you’ll be able to listen to music, but you won’t be able to call or communicate with your buddies on the way.
they can still be interesting though since they are relatively cheap. you can find helmet speakers for less than $50, depending on the quality and brand.
my tip would be the uclear wired helmet speaker (check the price on amazon). they are cheap, provide good audio quality and are widely available.
the communication system i use, however, isn’t that much more expensive. so i would advise you to save up a little bit of extra money for the communication system since it comes with a microphone and bluetooth as well.
external (bluetooth) speakers for your motorcycle
the last option is to listen to music through external speakers. this is a great option for cruisers, harley’s, etc.
some motorcycle comes with speakers and even an fm/am radio, whiles others don’t. you can either install a set of speakers onto your motorcycle, or you can use a bluetooth speaker with a mount.
you could use a simple bluetooth speaker and mount it to your motorcycle with a ram mount or even a set of tie-wraps.
i personally don’t use this, because i feel like i’m bothering other traffic with my loud music. they music has to be really loud to be able to hear it over the wind and engine noise, with your helmet on.
what music should you listen on a motorcycle
first of all, i should say that you have to listen to the music you enjoy. for one it’s rock, whiles the other likes metal or dance.
however, you should be aware of the fact that music can influence your driving skills.
loud, fast and pumped music will get you in a pumped state, which increases the probability of speeding.
slow, chilled and soft music will make you feel more relaxt, which can also be seen in the way you ride your bike.
i mean, you get it right? speeding whiles listening to bob marley seems less probable than speeding when listening to dance music from tiësto, right?