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Discussion Starter #1
I feel the need to defend my question right off the bat. Despite being pretty good at researching things on the internet - I haven't found a definite answer to either of the following... Which is surprising because it should come up ALOT!

It is illegal in my state (Florida) to use headphones while driving.

Every Honda Goldwing that goes by has a microphone on it, I assume for radio comms between bikes in the group. Are they all breaking the law? What's the deal? Every Harley with a tourer fairing that goes by has a car stereo in it... Whats the point without a means of listening to it? Or does H-D support breaking the law?

Furthermore I see that you all use headphones and MP3 players for music on the go. Is it only Florida where headphones are illegal - or do you all bend the laws a bit as well?

I use my bike primarily for long distance trips (V-Strom lol) and I am desperate for some music to break up the 4-5 hours of perpetual droning wind noise I must otherwise endure. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
For what it's worth - I have ridden with my headphones in once, and found that it did not take away my ability to hear my surroundings.

It's a stupid law... But not one I feel like getting pulled over for every time a cop behind me in traffic notices a wire running into my helmet.
 

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The AMA directory of state laws says: No earphones allowed. Helmet speakers are allowed. They have no problem with cars having the windows up and rattling from speaker noise though.
 

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My hearing is much more important to me than the very small risk of getting caught and paying a fine. Helmet speakers do nothing for reducing noise. I'll be wearing earplugs or noise reducing earphones wherever I ride. Studies show riders wearing such protection can actually hear outside noises better than if riding with open ears and putting up with a constant din of ear damaging wind noise. State laws can be checked at http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp
 

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headphones

I ride with my Zumo 550 navigational instructions ported through a mini amplifier "Boosaroo" into speakers in my helmet. As well the amp splits the signal for my passenger allowing them to hear, with plenty of notice, about upcoming lane changes, exits and turns. Because I have good routing instructions I'm much safer and can concentrate on driving and not map reading. I make my own decisions about safety and I'd defy any law that makes it more dangerous for me ride. Of course the bonus feature is that we also can listen to favorite mp3s.
 

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Helmet speakers are probably like a j&m headset. I have my old ones from my goldwings and have made an adapter to plug into my mp3 player. Hear music great. don't have to worry about keeping the ear phones in the ear as you put on your helmet. I also have an adapter where I can plug in my cb to talk to other riders. It is easy to do. Buying the headset is expensive or buy just the the speakers to velcro in the helmet.
With these it looks like all you do is stick in helmet an plug in mp3 player. Not very expensive. Don't know about quality.

http://helmetspeakers.net/ This looks easy enough
http://www.motoguide.com/helmet_speakers.shtml
http://www.helmetaudio.com/
 

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Every Harley with a tourer fairing that goes by has a car stereo in it... Whats the point without a means of listening to it? Or does H-D support breaking the law?
Gold Wings have radios too. and they both have speakers which are loud enough to here at speed without helmet speakers. i know the Harleys have automatic volumes. the faster you go the louder they get (the speakers too). they are pretty nice setups made by Harmon/Kardon. Harley would NEVER advocate breaking any laws. Haven't you seen all the "for closed course use only" pipes they sell?
 

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That's pretty funny. Any bike mounted sound system I could hear above the wind noise at even 30mph would be breaking my town's ordinance for noise emitted from a vehicle. I need my music and GPS directions clear and enjoyable but can understand how music can be a bit of a hazard. There should be an equivalent car law then. I also need sound isolation from wind noise. Some state legislators need to talk to an audiologist before passing such stupid laws.
 

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I have been using Chatterbox products for atleast 10 years. The newer FRS models are great and I love them. They come with helmet speakers/microphone set up. I plug a mp3 player into it so my wife and I can listen to music and her and I can talk to each other I can also talk bike to bike. if I'm in a group ride with others with FRS radio's then we can all talk which is nice for road hazards. The leader warns everyone if there is something in the road. I personally don't care what the state laws are for having ear plugs in or music in my helmet. Why should it be ok to listen to loud music in your car but you can't do it on a bike bullshit. I have rode in several states from the Southeast to the Northeast and I haven't been pulled over because I had a wire hanging off my helmet. I don't plan on changing my ways at this point in time. Just my 2 cents worth.

Eric
 

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for me i just bought a pair of cheap over the ear headphones from walmart, popped them off the head band, put some of that 3m plastic velcro on the backs and stuck them into the existing openings inside the padding of my helmet that are right over my ears, and i wear earplugs (earplanes) whenever i'm on any semi lengthy rides
 

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I took apart a set of low profile noise canceling headphones and velcroed them into my helmet, they do work very well at reducing engine noise and such, they also reduce the low frequency wind noise. The only problem is that my helmet doesnt have very thick soft padding so they are not very comfortable. I had this same problem with Ipod earbuds. Can anyone recommend a helmet that has thicker padding that would work with speakers? Thanks
 

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Headhones

I think the original post said that the Florida law does not allow headphones. Headphone seal out outside noise and completely cover the ear, headsets in a helmet do not work this way, I think that would be the approach I would use if stopped.
 

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Jabra Eargels

I'm ordering a pair of Jabra Eargels and plan to use them on an inexpensive set of earbuds(SkullCandy, Marshmellows, Sony, etc.) purchased at Bestbuy, Circuitcity or Radioshak. The 6-pack includes 3 pairs of different sizes to hopefully match most ears.

The reason for the Eargels is comfort. I've tried some of the aformentioned earbuds without eargels and find them to be uncomfortable after a short while. I also don't think they would seal out wind noise at motorcycle speed as well without the Eargels. The Eargels seem to get pretty good reviews and are value priced.

I guess this is illegal, but I've read a number of posts where riders preferred the sound clarity of earbuds over helmet speakers. I wonder how many people really get a ticket written for earbuds, anyway ? I plan to use them primarily for hearing GPS commands, but am not sure if that would qualify under the law as being for 'communication' or not.

I'm wondering how many other riders have tried the Jabra Eargels and what they thought of them ?
 

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In ear speakers

Try a set of Etymotic ER6i in ear speakers, you can shop around for them, I bought a set recently for $85.00 they seal out exterior noise about like a set of ear plugs -25db and have really good sound. They come with 2 different sizes of in eas mushrooms. Kieth

The ear gels and other types for outer ear sealing just do not work under a helmet.:mod2_arabia:
 

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That's an excellent point. I hadn't thought beyond noise suppression. Noise canceling systems can be an excellent tool for saving hearing in a noisy environment. They produce sound waves in opposition to those of ambient noise. I'd be interested in finding out more about what systems are effective and small enough to add to a Zumo for example.
 

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Physical Wind

not true, the headsets you get with an autocom system are noise cancelling, there are other noise cancelling systems that use speakers as well
They may help cancel the sound of the wind, but will they stop the irritating effects caused by the physical wind rushing the ears on some helmets ?
 

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I took apart a set of low profile noise canceling headphones and velcroed them into my helmet, they do work very well at reducing engine noise and such, they also reduce the low frequency wind noise. The only problem is that my helmet doesnt have very thick soft padding so they are not very comfortable. I had this same problem with Ipod earbuds. Can anyone recommend a helmet that has thicker padding that would work with speakers? Thanks
HJC helmets have HUGEspeaker pockets



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