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Discussion Starter #1
So after having a couple of different types of in ear earphones that I can't seem to keep in my ears once the helmet is on (and it seems that I'm clearly not the only person with this problem) I decided to try to permanently install some actual on-the-ear type of headphones in the helmet. So I went out and looked for the set that looked like it would be the best fit for my helmet. I settled on a set of Sennheiser HD 238s and got busy. I was hoping to get them in there without completely destroying them just in case it didn't work out the way I wanted it to. It seemed easy enough just looking at it since there was 12 little screws in the on the head band part of it but it turned out that it wasn't quite as easy as I was hoping it would be, damn Germans built these too good. I also hid the wire with the plug inside the shell leaving only the plug hanging out and will use a short extension that'll plug in to them and the ipod so that I don't have 6ft of wire hanging out of the helmet at all times and when I'm not using it I can just tuck the plug in to the helmet. The helmet is a Norton N-102. Here's a few pics of what I ended up with.





And here's what was left of the headphones by the time I was done. I ended up having to cut some of the plastic pieces and un-soldering and re-soldering some wires in order to get them to fit like I wanted. I haven't ridden with them yet since I just did it last night but I hope they're loud enough for the road, if not I just ruined a perfectly good pair of $80 headphones.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I went for a quick ride around town while I was running errands and here's what I found. The fit is great, don't even know they're there if the music isn't playing. It took me a while to find an extension cord so I didn't get much riding in with them actually playing but I think I got enough to make a solid judgment so far. I'll start by saying that the music I was playing wasn't exactly the loudest or hardest music on my ipod, I decided to try something at the 'softer' end of the spectrum, acoustic type of stuff. At low to moderate speeds (less than 45mph) it was very much acceptable, not excellent or spectacular, but acceptable. At higher speeds, not so good, (I got up to about 75mph according to the speedo) I could still hear it but it was thin, couldn't hear all the details in the music but still enough to enjoy it. The 'dirty' air coming off the windscreen was a bit of a factor, ducking back behind it made it a lot easier to hear, just engine noise and road noise to deal with. Standing up and getting into cleaner air was better too, still a lot of wind noise but no one ever said the N-102 was a quiet helmet. :fineprint: Turning up the volume at speed definitely makes it louder but the speakers sound like their starting to 'bottom out'. I'm convinced that this has more to do with the fact that the tiny amp in the ipod is being over worked than the speakers reaching their limit. I think I'll try a small in-line headphone amp, something along the lines of this, and see how that works. I am determined to make this work though, in-ear headphones are great because they kind of aid in noise cancellation but after too long my ears get to itching and it drive me crazy, I guess I need my ears to 'breathe', so to speak, and they fall out too much, even when I'm NOT trying to wear them under the helmet. I'll check locally to see if I can find an amp and report back on how it works. I'll also try a different style of music to see how much of a difference that makes and report back with my findings.
 

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I've already done the same thing you did, but with a much cheaper set of headphones! First, I've only been riding for a little less than a year, and after reading posts from enough people about wishing they had worn ear protection right from the start, I won't ride without something in my ears.

Anyway, my experience with my "homemade" helmet speakers was the same as yours. You can wear earplugs while using helmet speakers; it actually cuts down wind noise, but requires more volume out of the speakers... it just didn't work out for me.

I got a reasonably priced pair of skull candy earbuds, and to my suprise, I was able to get my full face helmet on without them ripping out of my ears. I do have to pull them out before taking the helmet off though. They do not provide as much ear protection as the foam plugs I use, but this was many times better than the helmet speakers for listening to music at any speed. I would bet that if I was willing to spend more money on better earphones, I could find something that would provide adequate ear protection and decent music quality.

I wouldn't give up on the earphones yet unless you've already done alot of research and tried different pairs because I don't think helmet speakers are going to work out for you. Maybe if you get a huge wind screen to hide behind to eliminate all wind noise, helmet speakers would work.
 

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Nicely done. :thumbup:

Another option I have found to provide great sound with all day comfort is to use these:



They are known as Plantronics VersaTips. Coupled with some earbuds similar to these:



Pop the foam earbud piece off, and slip the VersaTip on in it's place. They can end up being a little "dangly" and perhaps take a bit of getting used to in that regard, but they don't get knocked out of position when you put on your helmet or take it off. I can have my mp3 player at 3/4 volume and hear just fine at highway speeds, and they work reasonably well as earplugs when the music stops. I have the N102 also, by the way.
 

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I tried several small earbuds, skull candy type etc. And if I did manage to keep them in my ears while putting on my modular helmet they all would wiggle loose after a 1/2 hr riding. The sound was good from all.

I then scrapped (similar to what you did) a 12 dollar headphone set and attached the speakers in the helmet. This worked great fitting wise, and decent sound wise. I didn't expect much from 12 buck speakers but I wanted to make sure it would work first.
Next try was a set of Clark aircraft helmet speakers (borrowed from work):biggrinjester: The sound was much improved but the speaker casing was a little thicker than I liked. Did a great job keeping out ambient noise but was pushing against my ears.

My last step and what I'm currently using is an Autocom Active Plus. The MP3 player is wired to the autocom, the sound is great and my MP3 is mounted on a bracket near the left switch housing.
I have about a 6in autocom cable hanging from my helmet and I plug in to the autocom lead once on the bike them turn on the MP3 player.


Ken
 

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I have spent...too much money on "in helmet speakers". All guaranteed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Great at a stop light, not so much after that.

I have spent...too much money on "ear buds". But, I finally found what worked and am completely satisfied with. You need to find a brand/style with the angled design that allows the ear bud to fit more or less in the ear so that it barely touches your helmet. Helmet touching = pain after a while. Also, most of the good quality ear buds have several shapes/sizes of the removable foam/rubber piece that goes in the ear canal. This is important as finding the one that fits securely yet comfortable is the one that blocks outside noise and transmit the good sound best.

I currently use the Shure SE210's. Sound quality is excellent and the shape keeps the body of the earbud tucked nicely into the ear area. About $150 but the best money I have spent so far for speakers. I like the two piece cord. It allows a short piece to hang out of the helmet. I plug that into an adaptor on the side of the helmet. I have a main pigtail (EdSets) that covers wiring for microphone and speakers that then goes to the Zumo.

As for the ear bud coming loose, I have found that putting the helmet on can move them and that means they are not fully seated and can work loose. Using a "helmet slik" or similar product will help that out a lot. It allows the helmet to slide over the ear area without catching the edge of the ear bud.
 

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I have spent...too much money on "in helmet speakers". All guaranteed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Great at a stop light, not so much after that.

I have spent...too much money on "ear buds". But, I finally found what worked and am completely satisfied with. You need to find a brand/style with the angled design that allows the ear bud to fit more or less in the ear so that it barely touches your helmet. Helmet touching = pain after a while. Also, most of the good quality ear buds have several shapes/sizes of the removable foam/rubber piece that goes in the ear canal. This is important as finding the one that fits securely yet comfortable is the one that blocks outside noise and transmit the good sound best.

I currently use the Shure SE210's. Sound quality is excellent and the shape keeps the body of the earbud tucked nicely into the ear area. About $150 but the best money I have spent so far for speakers. I like the two piece cord. It allows a short piece to hang out of the helmet. I plug that into an adaptor on the side of the helmet. I have a main pigtail (EdSets) that covers wiring for microphone and speakers that then goes to the Zumo.

As for the ear bud coming loose, I have found that putting the helmet on can move them and that means they are not fully seated and can work loose. Using a "helmet slik" or similar product will help that out a lot. It allows the helmet to slide over the ear area without catching the edge of the ear bud.
I agree with realshelby above. Best solution is a good fitting "in ear" earplug type speakers. I like the Etymotic ER6i ones, which can often be found for $75-$80 on Amazon. They are really small.

I have heard of some Skullcandy models that are small enough for motorcycle use giving decent performance at an even lower price. Thread about them here: http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,6429.0.html

Here is a tip I learned for helping to prevent the earplugs from falling out: Use your ears as a buit-in strain relief. You can do this by routing the wires from the earplugs up towards your temples and then back over the top of your ears. Its takes some practice to do this easily, especially in windy conditions, but it reduces the number of time those accidental minor tugs on the wires disrupt the seating of the earplugs.
 

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I bought a set of Panasonic "over thear" type clip-on speakers. $20.00 .I pulled the clips off and velcroed them in place in my helmet. In spite of the fact that the manufacturer( Suomy) says there is no room for speakers, they fit perfect after a bit of adjusting. I then tucked the wire under the liner so there is about 12" of cord hanging off the helmet.
I installed this over a year ago, and have never had an issue. It's also a very quiet helmet too, so that helps.:mod2_walkman:
 

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+ 1 on the Shure ear buds, you can sometimes find them on sale at Futureshop...with the music off they are like hearing protection, with the music on, let the symphony continue.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here is a tip I learned for helping to prevent the earplugs from falling out: Use your ears as a buit-in strain relief. You can do this by routing the wires from the earplugs up towards your temples and then back over the top of your ears. Its takes some practice to do this easily, especially in windy conditions, but it reduces the number of time those accidental minor tugs on the wires disrupt the seating of the earplugs.
Is this the method you speak of?

I've ridden with them like this and they've still fallen out. This set came with 3 different size tips and they all do the same. Without the helmet their fine but in the helmet it just doesn't work.

Now, as for my installed 'speakers', I went for a bit of a longer ride yesterday, somewhere in the neighborhood of about 200 miles. They sounded really good and yes, I'm very satisfied with the outcome. It sounded better than on my short ride the day before but there were a few changes that may have made the difference. First, I raised my windshield, it was at the lowest position and I raised it to the highest possible position, maybe higher that it was meant to go, I'm using the 2 very bottom sets of holes on the mounting bracket with no bolts in either of the 2 upper sets of holes. Secondly, I bought one of these in-line amplifiers for the headphones. Now, this third part, after about 125 to 150 miles or so I installed handguards on the bike but I'm not sure if that made a difference, do the handguards somehow reduce wind noise? Either way, the last hour of the ride (heading home after stopping to visit family at the 125 to 150 mark) was great. Road noise and wind noise weren't a problem, while sitting or when standing on the pegs to stretch. I had the ipod on random and heard everything from Enya to Boston, ELO to Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails to Bob Dylan and it all sounded good. So, seeing as I could still hear it good both tucked behind the windshield and up directly in the wind I'm convinced that the major contributor to the better performance would be the amplifier, just providing better power to the headphones and giving them a better, stronger sound. What ever the reason, I like it and will continue to ride with this set up.
 

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Is this the method you speak of?

I've ridden with them like this and they've still fallen out. This set came with 3 different size tips and they all do the same. Without the helmet their fine but in the helmet it just doesn't work.
Are those ear buds or ear plug type headphones? Earbuds are what come with ipods and just sort of hang in your ears. I've never heard of anyone successfully using them under helmets. I'm talking about earplug type speakers like the Etymolic ER6i pictured above that Garandman and I use. They seat in your ear canal. They provide very high quality sound when on and provide earplug type noise isolation when off. That is the best solution IMHO.

Installing speakers in your helmet and trying to pump up the volume is not good for your ears.

Here is a good thread with more info then you ever wanted to know about helmet/ear sound solutions: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=289280
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Are those ear buds or ear plug type headphones? Earbuds are what come with ipods and just sort of hang in your ears. I've never heard of anyone successfully using them under helmets. I'm talking about earplug type speakers like the Etymolic ER6i pictured above that Garandman and I use. They seat in your ear canal. They provide very high quality sound when on and provide earplug type noise isolation when off. That is the best solution IMHO.

Installing speakers in your helmet and trying to pump up the volume is not good for your ears.

Here is a good thread with more info then you ever wanted to know about helmet/ear sound solutions: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=289280
Those are the in-ear plug type, similar in shape to the ones dsm_rally just posted above, my other pair are Bose which are more like the earbud, both of them fall out of my ears with the helmet on.
 

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Those are the in-ear plug type, similar in shape to the ones dsm_rally just posted above, my other pair are Bose which are more like the earbud, both of them fall out of my ears with the helmet on.
If that style of in-ear plug isn't staying in, then maybe you should try the one that looks more like the Etymolic ER6i with the narrowing silicon flanges.
 

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Is this the method you speak of?

I've ridden with them like this and they've still fallen out. This set came with 3 different size tips and they all do the same. Without the helmet their fine but in the helmet it just doesn't work.
With that long extention coming off the body of the unit I would say you would have trouble keeping them in your ear! I don't think those will work, IMO.
 
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