The main reason that it's considered so dangerous is that they can act like ear plugs for the things around you and then pump sound into your ears after that. So you silence the things you're supposed to be paying attention to, and then crank the stuff you're not.
That said, I am a die hard musician ( my old band: http://www.myspace.com/themusicofessex
) and if I don't have music playing to me at all times I am dead inside. So I came up with an answer to my delima.
I bought some sony Sport Over the Ear headphones that had a speaker that was small but designed for playing out instead of playing straight into your ear. I disassembled them and took only the speaker and the wire with me to my helmet.
I then took an Xacto knife and carefully hollowed out some of the styrofoam near where the straps connected to the helmet (Shoei). I made sure not to damage the construction of the helmet. I hollowed out maybe less than 1 sq inch, maybe 1/4 inch deep.. The speaker did not want to fit in this area (which is a good thing) because I want the speaker to stay in place. So I pushed pretty hard to get it lodged in there. I covered it back up with the side padding and voila, I have sound!
There are three great things about my set up.
1. They don't move around when you slide the helmet on, or rip your ears off when you pull the helmet off.
2. It is not loud enough to inhibit my ability to hear everything
I need to hear. But it is plenty loud to keep my going strong.
3. No more fiddling around with whatever just to hear music when I'm going. I put the helmet on, plug in to my Zune and I've got tunes.
If anybody wants to do this too I can make a thread of my exact steps with pics.
Total cost: $20 and time. Scissors can be substituted for the Xacto knife.
P.S. I've found a program called MP3Gain to up the dB on the music in my library so that where my Zune fails in volume, my actual MP3's will make up. Just to get a little louder for the freeway.