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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy: I have never looked into listening to tunes while riding but that is changing. I have no clue where to even start. Should I just go with ear buds and an iPod (legality & safety??)??.

Can I add in-helmet speakers that are wireless or tether to an iPod?

Thanks for the help.
 

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I'm not sure of the legal aspects. I sometimes listens to tunes when I'm out on a leisurely cruise using Sony earbuds and my iPod. I figure that I usually wear ear plugs anyways...so why is a little music any worse?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure of the legal aspects. I sometimes listens to tunes when I'm out on a leisurely cruise using Sony earbuds and my iPod. I figure that I usually wear ear plugs anyways...so why is a little music any worse?
I've never worn ear plugs, but I feel the same way. Now it has been a while since drivers ed (26 yrs) but I seem to remember it being illegal to wear headphones in autos while driving. Not sure how that works on a bike.

I have seen several internet sites hawking slim speakers that fit into the ear pockets of helmets. Any idea on sound quality?
 

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I have HUGE experience with this. I've tried just about every type of headphone amplifier and helmet speakers and ear buds.

Here's the short version. Forget Helmet speakers. You need to crank them up so loud to overcome wind noise that you are damaging your hearing with over 120db sound levels of wind noise, engine noise and music combined. Not good!

The best by a long margin amplifier for earbud use is the Amplirider. This unit is hand built by an engineer up in Canada and he sells them for $65. Just can't be beat for motorcycle use. And it has a built in mixer for GPS and radar detection if you want to add that later. The volume control is water resistant and remote mountable. No one else offers this option. Simply amazing for $65!

This unit, hooked up with a set of $20 Koss ear buds and your choice of source (I-Pod, discman, sat radio, etc) and maybe the addition of an inline noise filter, and your good to go. I've installed nearly a dozen of these sytems and they all work perfectly. I had one on my bike for my epic journey to Alaska last summer, and it worked perfectly.

Amplirider http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplirider.html

Koss http://www.koss.com/koss/kossweb.nsf/p?openform&pc^eb^PLUG
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, thanks. But does the device add a lot of clutter? One idea I had was an ipod with sound isolating ear buds.

I'm glad to hear from someone with experience with the in-helmet speakers. I will stay away. I found it odd that none of the web sites for these would list freq. response. Guess we know why now.
 

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I have a Garmin 2730 GPS. It has XM radio, and holds about 900 MB of MP3 files. I wanted and AIO unit instead of having individual GPS, MP3 and XM units. Currently using the FM transmitter to a radio, but it is really bad. Going to hardwire to an amplirider and get the Koss plugs too. Another good earphone is supposedly the Etymotic ER6i. They get great reviews over at advrider, but the are $$$. Buy.com has them for $70.
 

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Like Roy B says, helmet speakers won't be sufficient on a relatively unfaired bike like the Strom - too much wind noise. Earbud speakers are the way to go.

If you're not expecting to integrate your music source with other electronics like comm, phone, GPS or radar, a less expensive option of boosting the sound is the battery-powered Boostaroo: http://www.boostaroo.com/ ; available from a variety of sources for around $20-$25.

Radio Shack also sells a one-off of the Boostaroo:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103656&cp=&origkw=booster&kw=booster&parentPage=search
 

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As for the legal aspects of riding while having your ears plugged in, chances are very good that most states have laws on the books against it. My experiences have been that few cops will pull a rider over solely for doing that; but depending on the attitudes & demeanor of the involved parties it might very well get tacked it on as an "extra" if you're popped for some other violation.
 

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I belive all states allow one ear speaker (hands free cellular phones and such)

But we wear ear plugs anyways and OSHA requires all operators of vehicles with an SPL of over 87db to wear ear protection. I've never heard or read of a motorcycle operator being popped fpor wear in ear plugs or for having ear speakers.

The Boosteroo is a pretty poor amplifier when used with anything approaching good ear speakers. I've got a couple of them hanging around as I used them in the very early phase of motorcycle music. And they take batteries which is a PITA...........

Trust me, for $65 you just can't beat the Amplirider......And wait till you talk to Gary (Electric Ave owner)....that's worth $20 right there!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a Garmin 2730 GPS. It has XM radio, and holds about 900 MB of MP3 files. I wanted and AIO unit instead of having individual GPS, MP3 and XM units. Currently using the FM transmitter to a radio, but it is really bad. Going to hardwire to an amplirider and get the Koss plugs too. Another good earphone is supposedly the Etymotic ER6i. They get great reviews over at advrider, but the are $$$. Buy.com has them for $70.
After all the farkles I have purchased in my one week of ownership, $70 is cheap.
 

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Pennsylvania is the one state that doesn't allow any ear plugs or ear buds. Many states allow ear buds or helmet speakers for communication only, not entertainment. Allowing sound in one ear only is common too. Check http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp for state laws.
 

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Don't waste...

your time or money on...

helmet speakers
headphones
audio amplifiers
anything that adds bulk or junk to your trunk!

I've tried them all and when all was said and done I had wished I had saved my $$ for the amplified ear buds like the Entymotic or Shure style. I prefer the Shure because they have an adapter that acts like an ear plug...all I hear is music!

Yes they're expensive $60 to $150 depending on the ones you get, but they are worth it. And if you start out with them you've saved all the money wasted on other attempts that don't affer the quality of sound this style does. My little Sansa MP3 Player and the ear buds can really pump the volume!

This is of course just my opinion and I am sure others will disagree, but if you want to start with the best option, these are what you'll want. Good luck!
 

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Pennsylvania is the one state that doesn't allow any ear plugs or ear buds.
But deaf people can drive there. Maybe that's it, after you go do deaf from not using protection, they give you your license back.
 

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Starcom Advanced and Zumo 550

I have a Starcom Advanced and Zumo 550 and plan to tie in my satalite radio in the next phase of my project. The control and clarity of their helmet speakers is stunning, way better than I expected. The Starcom Advanced has noise cancelling and it compensates for road and wind noise without being excessive. Communications with a passanger are nice and clear at any speed. The key is in getting the speakers and microphone set up in the helmet right. It is bice ti have Music without missing out on that beautiful V twin sound and still being to tell when someone is approaching. Of course you can crank it up and have nothing but road pounding tunes too. YMMV...
 

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I've never heard or read of a motorcycle operator being popped fpor wear in ear plugs or for having ear speakers.

Me; in Massachussetts in 1997; pulled over outside of Boston on my K1100LT for doing 14 over. Officer Friendly tacked that on, and made me remove my earbuds and put them in my saddlebag (after first threatening to confiscate them).
 

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I've read the regulations for various states that say what you can and can't use for audio on motorcycles and just don't understand it. They manufacture high-end cars and trucks with so much sound-deadening material in the doors and floors that you can bearly hear anything while in them other then your own audio. If the reason for not allowing headphones/speakers in helmets is so you can hear what is going on around you then why do they allow cars to be so quiet on the interior? I just think it is a double standard.

So if being able to hear things around you is required when riding a motorcycle, can a deaf person get a motorcycle license? I'm pretty sure they can.
 

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If I ever get bagged for helmet audio, maybe the defense is to be deaf. They're really stooooooopid laws and deserve to be challenged.

Of course I don't think I've seen a cop who wasn't using a cell phone in the cruiser for at least 5 years.
 

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I use the Amplirider that Roy B mentioned with speakers from Aerostitch that fit in the ear pockets of my lid. No isseus and if I'm stopped by Officer Friendly, I can turn the volume off and he won't necessarily know I'm using them.. The amplifier & mp3 player are in my Joe Rocket Manta tank bag. Good combo for me.
 

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I use a pair of Shure EC-2 ear buds that provide phenomenal sound quality. The noise attenuation is about 30db so they make decent earplugs even without the music. With them I'm able to keep the music low enough that I can enjoy it and still hear enough to be irritated by the idiot over-driven car speakers 4 cars ahead of me.

Wanna stop me for using ear buds then stop that idiot who can't hear a fire engine right behind him.
 
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