helmet speakers

Discussion in 'Australian Motorcycles' started by DM, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. DM

    DM Guest

    Just spent $70 for some helmet speakers. They are uncomfortable and
    the sound is crap. Not happy. Still, I'll be able to hear my GPS
    telling me where to go. Might revert to my sports earphones. They are
    uncomfortable too, but at least the sound quality is good.
    DM, Jan 7, 2012
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  2. DM

    Nev.. Guest

    They've probably been mentioned here before, and they're not cheap, but
    Earmold headphones (I'm pretty sure they advertise in all the bike
    mags), are the beez neez. Professional molded earplugs which fit your
    ears perfectly, with a small plastic tubes running through it which
    carry the sound from some tiny speakers and wired to a standard 3.5mm

    I can set the volume to a comfortable level in a quiet room, then get on
    my bike and ride down the freeway with a noisy helmet and noisy bike and
    not need to adjust the volume to compensate for the extra external
    noise. And because they're molded to your ears they don't get
    uncomfortable. I have on a number of occasions worn them for 12-15
    hours a day while riding. Not only do they let you hear what you're
    trying to listen to, at a reasonable volume, but they also reduce
    fatigue because you're not listening to wind/helmet/engine/exhaust noise
    all day, nor are you straining to hear whatever it is you want to hear
    over the top of that noise.

    I've had my set for 3 years and in that time used them for about
    60,000km and still going fine. From memory they were $200 3 years ago,
    and I think $220 18 months ago when Jo got a set, so probably in the
    $240-250 range now. Money I consider very well spent.

    Nev.., Jan 7, 2012
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  3. DM

    Bill_h Guest

    What sort did you buy?
    Bill_h, Jan 7, 2012
  4. In aus.motorcycles on Sat, 07 Jan 2012 18:54:07 +1100
    THe sound quality is pretty average though, as the sound goes through
    long hollow tubes to get to you. THe difference between them and a
    $90 set of Sony in ear Fontopias is very clear.

    However... they are comfortable and they block more sound than even
    good in-ear ones.

    I am on my 2nd set. The first one broke down within the warranty
    period and was replaced without question. The 2nd had a speaker die
    again within warranty, again replaced without question. The
    replacement electrics are breaking at the plug end, but are out of
    warranty :) When they finally go I'll decide what to do. Probably
    cut the plug apart, work out which wires are which, and wire a new

    Yes, despite the problems, I like them one hell of a lot.

    If the money's a bit much then you could look at
    http://www.diycustomearplugs.com.au/ and mold them around your own
    earphones, or something from here

    Zebee Johnstone, Jan 7, 2012
  5. DM

    DM Guest

    DM, Jan 7, 2012
  6. DM

    Peter Guest

    I use Tooks headband
    Peter, Jan 7, 2012
  7. I used Koss's "The Plug" earphones for a couple of years with great success;
    they have a pliable "tacky" plug which moulds to your ear much like
    noiseproofing (OH&S) earplugs do. You give them a firm twist to compress
    them, insert them into your ears, and over the course of 5-10 seconds they
    expand to fill your auditory canal completely.

    I eventually switched over to a Cardo II system (which comes with its own
    speakers), but the earphones are still a favourite for long rides when I
    don't have to worry too much about wayward city traffic (they really _do_
    cut out practically all outside noise).


    At the time I bought mine, I couldn't find a local distributor/retailer who
    carried them; thankfully though Koss themselves were quite happy to sell me
    a set directly. I also ordered a half-dozen sets of replacement pads, of
    which I only needed to use one set over the two years I used them daily (one
    set per year isn't bad).

    Sound quality was on par with any high end in-ear earphones I've tried, and
    the cable showed no hint of ever getting damaged.

    At USD$15 + postage, they're a far sight better value IMO than $200+.
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  8. The difference six-odd years can make... They're now available more easily
    through eBay:
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  9. DM

    CrazyCam Guest

    On 01/07/12 11:49 PM, Bob Milutinovic wrote:

    Probably a dumb question, but, if you plug these into a mobile phone
    that kinda expects to also have a microphone someplace, what happens?

    Do they work, just not letting you answer a call?

    Do they stuff up the phone?

    CrazyCam, Jan 7, 2012
  10. I'd assume it depends on the 'phone, but in more recent years manufacturers
    have standardised on a four-pole socket (stereo out + mono in + ground) with
    the additional (mono in) pin occupying a slither of the space normally used
    for the ground.

    The net effect is that plugging a pair of stereo earphones in will (a)
    provide stereo audio out (as the pins match) and (b) short the microphone
    input to ground, thereby giving no audio input (not even noise), which is
    the way it's supposed to be done.

    Images for reference:
    3-pole plug: http://www.connector.com.sg/catalog_item/634003-0.jpg
    4-pole plug:
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  11. DM

    CrazyCam Guest

    On 01/08/12 8:11 AM, Bob Milutinovic wrote:

    Is this what the Koss ones do?
    BTW, thanks for the quick reply.

    It's now coming up for ten years since I was paid to be interested in
    all this geeky stuff.

    CrazyCam, Jan 7, 2012
  12. DM

    will_456 Guest

    Tried to order a pair, they don't post to Australia.
    You can order on eBay from US and UK sellers for about $25 inc postage.
    will_456, Jan 7, 2012
  13. In aus.motorcycles on Sat, 7 Jan 2012 23:42:24 +1100
    I found that in-ear phones like the Fontopia, and normal earplugs
    which are similar in idea to the Koss gave me trouble on long trips.

    My ears would itch!

    The earmolds don't do that, never an itch with them.

    I also have small ear canals, and different size each side. I find it
    surprisingly difficult to get good fit with earplugs or in-ear phones.

    One problem I do have with earmolds is they block a bit more easily
    than other designs. If my ears are waxy from a shower say then I
    might find stereo has gone mono until I clear the blockage.

    Zebee Johnstone, Jan 7, 2012
  14. You're not an ex-Tandy bloke too, are you?! :-O

    The Koss earphones have the same standard 3.5mm stereo plug, so yes, they'll
    do exactly that job when plugged into a 'phone with a standard 3.5mm socket.
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  15. Now that you come to mention it, I do remember having a similar problem with
    itchiness. I removed the "plug" component of the earplugs, exposing the
    narrow 1cm-long (approx) audio tubes, and trimmed them by 2-3mm. That then
    made the entire "front end" of the devices more pliable.
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  16. It was quite a few years ago, and I had to harrass them with several e-mails
    before they decided to oblige.

    If you hunt around on eBay you should be able to find them for under $20
    including postage - either way, not much more than a regular pair of
    earphones. And I note now that they include two sets of spare pads in the
    pack, something which was an additional extra back when I got them.
    Bob Milutinovic, Jan 7, 2012
  17. DM

    Nev.. Guest

    Nev.., Jan 7, 2012
  18. DM

    Nigel Allen Guest

    Being blessed with very hairy ears due no doubt to my proto-simian
    ancestry, I have had constant problems most of my adult life with ear
    phones sliding out.

    Most recently I rode to Bris-Vegas and having not lived there for some
    twenty years, had to rely on GPS to find my way around.

    I discovered that the new Samsung Galaxy S2 with the standard Samsung
    Earplug/Mike works bloody brilliantly. Could set a destination, toss the
    phone in my top pocket, plug the buds in (which go right in the ear
    canal) and just ride.

    Going to save me a fortune in "Nair" :)

    Nigel Allen, Jan 7, 2012
  19. DM

    CrazyCam Guest

    On 01/08/12 10:08 AM, Nigel Allen wrote:

    I'm happy that those supplied ear bud thingies work for someone.

    I recently got a new phone, a Nokia, with GPS and navigation.

    It also came with wee ear bug thingies and a mic/switch thing.

    Anyhow, I was trying this arrangement out on the bike.

    The buds fitted fine under my helmet, and, while not flash sound the
    instructions were understandable at lowish speeds....60 and 70 kph.

    All fine so far, then onto the Freeway..... well, at 100 or 110 kph, I
    could tell that "she" was saying something, but what..... <shrug> but,
    since I knew where I was going, not a problem. The voice instructions
    were when I kind of expected them.

    Then, I peeled off the expressway, thru Berowra, heading for Pie in the Sky.

    Clear instruction to bear left out of Berowra, for the Old Road, then,
    silence as I rode thru Cowan.

    Now, from Cowan to Pie there are a couple of nice bends, and it's an 80
    kph speed limit.

    To be honest, I was enjoying the bends, but could keep hearing this
    nagging voice, but not well enough to understand the message, so I
    slowed down to hear it, but the voice stopped.

    Repeat this a couple of times before I twigged that the GPS system was,
    indeed, nagging at me.......when I got to 10 kph over the speed limit.


    So, I really need some decent ear bud type things.

    CrazyCam, Jan 8, 2012
  20. DM

    DM Guest

    I have a set of block out in-ear sports earphones with clips that go around the
    back of the ears. Great for jogging. A bit uncomfortable under the helmet
    though, and they have to be held in place or they fall out of the earhole while
    putting the helmet on.

    The standard earphones with the iPhone drop out too easily. When it happens
    wearing a helmet its annoying.

    As to the overspeed nag mode, I welcome that at present. I've had a couple of
    fines recently and if it goes on I'll run out of points, or money, or both. I
    can put up with the nagging till things get back on track.

    Of course being a female voice I keep waiting for the sharp intake of breath
    when I fail to follow directions, and having it tell me, "fine, ignore me why
    don't you, find your own way there!".

    So far it hasn't happened, but I keep waiting for it!
    DM, Jan 8, 2012
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