Best helmet with speakers?
January 14, 2006
I'm looking to buy a ski helmet with internal speakers. It looks like there are two main ones, the Giro Fuse and the Boeri Tactic. Has anyone had experience with either one that would indicate I should go with one over the other? Thanks.
I haven't tried the speakers in my helmet but I have a Giro Fuse and LOVE it! It's extremely light and comfortable. With the adjustable vent system, you can keep your head comfortable is a fairly large temperature range as well. Additionally, I can hear just about as well as with no helmet. I've worn others that are heavy, hot and all the voices are muffled...
I had the Giro 9 and tried to put the speaker mod in but found out that the helmet that I had was too old but I got lucky cause I found a new Giro 9 at Snowshoe for only $89! I installed the mod in the new helmet and it rocks! There is a volume control on the cable to the helmet so you don't have to adjust the volume at your iPod (or MP3 and/or MD player as in my case) and when you're listening at a reasonable level (I realize that this is subject to interpritation) you can still hear what's going on around you.
If you already have a helmet, you can add your own speakers for $10 or less. Just go buy a set of headphones (over the ear type, not in ear) and pull the speakers off. Any set of decent headphones will do (don't worry about sound quality, it's not a big deal here) but flatter ones are better. Then install them in your helmet with any associated wiring needed. Obviously there are a lot of in between custom steps here, but it's all easy.
For my Leedom helmet, there was already a large space in the ear region between the liner and the shell. The headphone speakers nestle in there. I ran the wires between the shell and the liner, and a single wire comes out the back (there's already a hole in the area where the goggle strap hooks on). That, in turn, plugs into my iPod which is stashed in a chest pocket or collar pocket depending on what jacket I wear that day.
I ended up using a set of airline headphones (the type where one headphone hooks over each ear with a hanger) that I had purchased for about $2 on a recent flight. They were really flat once I busted off all the plastic, and integrated into the helmet nicely. I didn't expect much in terms of sound quality, but it's actually quite good.
At low volumes, I can still hear outside the helmet too, which is important.
So -- don't look for specific audio helmets and pay big bucks -- modify the helmet of your choice, or the helmet you already own!! It's cheap and easy!
Just install the tune ups kit into my Giro 9. Sound quality is awesome I'm really surprised. Now we know helmets look goofy especially when you have an ultra large noggin like mine but it looks really goofy when you're sitting in your living room with your helmet on listening to tunes.
Quite frankly, isn't this a safety issue! One of the ways I know a skier (or snow boarder especially) is near me is to listen for the sound of their equipment shussing through the snow. It scares the hell out of me knowing that people like you are skiing near me and not paying attention to what is going on around them. I hope you don't hurt yourself or someone else. Why not enjoy the sounds of you skis slidding on the snow and the silence of the woods.
It all depends on how loud you run it. If you're assuming I'm running with tunes screaming then you're dead wrong. I want to have it just loud enough to hear it but not so loud I can't hear my board or anyone around me. If thats not attainable then I'm returning them. As a rider I depend hugely on not only the physical feedback from the board but the aural too. Listening too loud can screw your balance up pretty badly and make it too dificult to ride.
I understand your concern but I'm a little offended that you assume that I don't pay attention to my surroundings when I ride. I'm a very conscientious rider and speakers or not I'm aware of what's happening. Without starting a whole arguement about the pros and cons, there are are probably more people out there with nothing on their ears that are oblivious to their surroundings.
Yes, you are correct. You don't have to listen to loud music to ski or board recklessly. Actually, it would be nice to cruise down a long empty slope with Jimmy Hendrix blasting in my helmet. But it should be an empty slope. However, I still think the music will affect peoples hearing and concentration and could contribute to accidents.
My feeling on this is the earpads will be off the ears enough to allow enough outside in. With full earcoverage earphones on you lose about 30% of outside sound purely due to isolation. With in helmet systems when you mute or turn off the sound (most if not all units come with a quick mute button that shuts everything off with one touch) you have full hearing, or very close to it.
As I said the key to all this is riding responsibly. I certainly agree that riding with tunes blaring on a crowded slope is not a good idea, way too much going on without adding any kind of distraction. Also it's key to make sure you have enough ambient sound coming in to be aware of you're surroundings. It's also key to balance, so ripping a slope with Hendrix blaring might actually suck.
So to sum up. Will I ride with the tunes on - yes. Will I ride with tunes on while others are on the slope - yes as long as it's not affecting me. Will I ride with tunes on while it's busy - very likely not.
The answer is none! The beauty behind skiing is to get lost on the mountain and hear the snow falling and the people falling gracefully around you
However as more of a purist, I believe that if the adrenaline needs to be pumped up by music then perhaps you need to visit an arcade and play the electronic version of skiing or boarding. Being out there is exactly about that ... being out there. Leave the music for the bar at the bottom of the slope at the end of the day. Enjoy the sounds of your giggles and laughs as you enjoy the greatest sport out there.