Music solutions
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Member
Primavera 50
Joined: 02 Nov 2020
Posts: 9
Location: New York City
Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:39 pm quote
Hi all -

How do folks solve for playing music when riding? I have put a small Bluetooth speaker (JBL Clip or small Jambox) into the glove compartment and hooked it up to my phone’s bluetooth. It’s ok but the engine drowns it out while riding. Thinking of maybe a Velcro patch to keep the speaker on the outside of the glovebox. Wondering if y’all have any suggestions. Thanks! ✌️
Hooked
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 27 Sep 2019
Posts: 260
Location: San Francisco
Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:23 pm quote
I've only ever tried a Packtalk Slim, but I'm quite happy with it.

It's all of {a set of helmet speakers (basically slim 80s headphones with velcro to attach to your pads), a bluetooth transmitter, and a proprietary helmet-to-helmet comms system}. I mostly use it to play music, but occasionally will chat with friends on a group ride.

My charge port broke on tour recently. They sent me a replacement, but I was without bluetooth for a few long days. I got an audio extension cable and connected my phone directly to the helmet speakers. I missed being able to change volume/songs while riding, and USB-C jacks are notoriously finnicky to keep an audio cable plugged into - that got really frustrating. Was nice to not have to think about turning the unit on/off separately from my phone though.

If you don't mind spending a few hundreds dollars, the Packtalk Slim is a good option. It's a pain to install (you'll probably have to cut the trim on your helmet), but worth it.

If you're looking for a cheaper option, I believe you can get the speakers themselves for about $80, and wire them directly to your phone.
Addicted
2018 GTS 300 Touring Rosso Vignola, 2020 BV 350 Matte Green, 1956 VL3
Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Posts: 859
Location: Herriman, Utah
Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:08 pm quote
A Sena will pair to your phone. Works great. Another option that works nice are Bluetooth hearing aids. Don’t ask how I know.
Addicted
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 24 Mar 2018
Posts: 776
Location: south Texas
Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:34 pm quote
A pair of Lexin B4FM helmet communicators for my wife and me. In helmet speakers that bluetooth to my phone for music, or helmet to helmet. About half the price of the Sena equivalence.

Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 1461
Location: IL
Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:26 pm quote
I have A Uclear system and can stream music from my iPhone to the speakers, have had it for many years and think it works great. Need to keep it soft enough to hear what is about you , in my opinion.
Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 3694
Location: Tempe, AZ
Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:42 pm quote
I listen to my thoughts (aka The Voices").
Molto Verboso
2013 GTS300ie
Joined: 12 Dec 2017
Posts: 1035
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:48 pm quote
I prefer to have all my senses working when I ride.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7733
Location: Downtown Toronto
Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:53 am quote
Sena system, simple and works. The ability to speak to a pillion or riding partner wearing one is very handy. It's saved me from a number of helmet slaps or dark stares from the sidecar.

Oh and this topic has blown up before. The OP is looking for a recommendation not an opinion on riding with music. Let's keep this civil please.
Hooked
Bo - midnight blue GT200 R.I.P. Tethys - 300 GTS Titanium
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 475
Location: Bowie, MD
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:55 am quote
just music
Just for music, I use one of those sleep earphones headband. Takes a bit of wiggling to get the earpieces just right but I normally don't have too much trouble with it. I just got the cheap one and it's working fine both for under the helmet and for sleep. Two birds and all that.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7733
Location: Downtown Toronto
Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:56 am quote
FWIW the negative karma wasn’t me but someone may remember the last thread on this. It’s almost become the new “what oil to use” topic.

Same deal though if someone wants advice on a good aviator style helmet. Those can also go sideways.
Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 1461
Location: IL
Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:56 am quote
While I prefer my uclear system I have a few times used AirPods, a bit tricky to get the helmet on but once on they do seem to stay in well, again need to keep the volume low so you can hear the world around you, an ok but not great choice in my opinion.
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1838
Location: Minneapolis USA
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:51 am quote
Music would be fine - Ear Plugs I do not understand.
For whatever reason, I have not moved up to music on the scooter trail.
Even though I love music, I do enjoy just taking in the adventure on two wheels.

A bunch of the guys in my rider group wear ear plugs. They must have real sensitive hearing. I personally don't get it. Scooters are reasonably quiet and I wear a doo-rag and helmet over my ears.

Sorry to change the post subject, but I do not get the ear plugs.

Bob Copeland
Ossessionato
BV350, Primavera 150, Yamaha Zuma 125
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 3201
Location: The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:58 am quote
I wear ear plugs to save what's left of my hearing.
Enthusiast
GTV 300 - GTS 300
Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 58
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:02 am quote
If I opt for music while riding I use PlugFones

Ossessionato
2014 Commuter BV350(45,000)/2015 Scoot Life BV350(10,000)/2010 El Diablito SH150i(30,000)
Joined: 27 Dec 2013
Posts: 2518
Location: Orange Park Florida
Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:18 pm quote
I don't use a full face helmet,(did I say that out loud)so this is what I use. I turn it off when I enter the slab. Do you have a windshield? That will improve the sound and could create a mounting point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29fjWsF4axc

Hooked
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: 27 Sep 2019
Posts: 260
Location: San Francisco
Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:35 pm quote
Re: Music would be fine - Ear Plugs I do not understand.
Bob Copeland wrote:
A bunch of the guys in my rider group wear ear plugs. They must have real sensitive hearing. I personally don't get it. Scooters are reasonably quiet and I wear a doo-rag and helmet over my ears.
It's not about engine noise or sensitive hearing, it's about the cumulative damage of wind noise. At highway speeds, the wind buffeting your helmet can be as loud as a nightclub. (You might not feel it without the bass, but it is quite loud.). Listening to loud noises, even just wind, for dozens of minutes a day can damage your hearing.

Hearing damage can interfere with your ability to enjoy life: not just music, but also conversations, crowded places, etc. It can also literally hurt your ears. I don't want to fuck with any of that, so I wear 25dB plugs every time I ride. Plus, cutting out the wind noise makes the music sound better too!

You can get custom molded plugs for around $200 from any audiologist. If you amortize that out over the amount of time you can still hear, they're effectively free. I keep mine in a little aluminum bottle on my keyring. If you search for a "keychain pill holder," you should be able to find one.
Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 3694
Location: Tempe, AZ
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:25 pm quote
Re: Music would be fine - Ear Plugs I do not understand.
mayorofnow wrote:
Bob Copeland wrote:
A bunch of the guys in my rider group wear ear plugs. They must have real sensitive hearing. I personally don't get it. Scooters are reasonably quiet and I wear a doo-rag and helmet over my ears.
It's not about engine noise or sensitive hearing, it's about the cumulative damage of wind noise. At highway speeds, the wind buffeting your helmet can be as loud as a nightclub. (You might not feel it without the bass, but it is quite loud.). Listening to loud noises, even just wind, for dozens of minutes a day can damage your hearing.

Hearing damage can interfere with your ability to enjoy life: not just music, but also conversations, crowded places, etc. It can also literally hurt your ears. I don't want to fuck with any of that, so I wear 25dB plugs every time I ride. Plus, cutting out the wind noise makes the music sound better too!

You can get custom molded plugs for around $200 from any audiologist. If you amortize that out over the amount of time you can still hear, they're effectively free. I keep mine in a little aluminum bottle on my keyring. If you search for a "keychain pill holder," you should be able to find one.
Especially since wind noise is about the same tone as my Tinnitus.
Addicted
Buddy 125, Scarabeo 150, Scarabeo 500ie, Triumphs, Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 691
Location: Charleston,SC-Knoxville, TN- Sanibel, Florida
Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:02 pm quote
I dunno.....but wish I could take this music with me!!!

Member
Liberty 150
Joined: 06 Oct 2020
Posts: 25
Location: Reno
Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:51 pm quote
I prefer a ipod clone, with actual buttons, there is no way I could go to the next song or pause on a touchscreen phone
I carry the pod in my right shirt pocket, so I can operate with my left hand, while riding

I wear a full face Bell which has pockets for headphones
Member
Primavera 50
Joined: 02 Nov 2020
Posts: 9
Location: New York City
Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:31 pm quote
Thanks all! I actually bought a Toovren portable speaker mount which attaches to the side view mirror arm with 4 velcro straps. Works well, but would love something that is a bit more efficient. Not looking for something in my helmet. I drive in NYC so need to keep those ears open!!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WVXXTW8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7733
Location: Downtown Toronto
Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:20 am quote
konadog wrote:
Thanks all! I actually bought a Toovren portable speaker mount which attaches to the side view mirror arm with 4 velcro straps. Works well, but would love something that is a bit more efficient. Not looking for something in my helmet. I drive in NYC so need to keep those ears open!!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WVXXTW8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I get the keeping th gears open part but you can actually hear what is going on around you with helmet speakers. It really is not wearing headphones with your phone or music player. There is an air gap between you and the speakers in the helmet. I ride in Downtown Toronto which is as bad as NYC and have no problems. My BMW K1600 has speakers built in but I would never use them in the city. TBH I'd feel a little strange riding around town with everyone hearing my music or podcasts.
Hooked
2017 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 21 Jun 2016
Posts: 350
Location: Irving, TX
Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:19 am quote
I use a single AirPod clone wireless earbud in the left ear. It stays in very well with the modular helmet. I use my iPhone as a speedometer, and have it mounted to a RAM mount above the gauges, so if I need to adjust the volume, I can simply use the volume buttons on the side. I keep the volume low enough that I can hear what's going on around me.

The only drawback I've found is that some songs use the stereo channels to split parts of the song between the two speakers, which means I'll only hear half the song. I would have thought that by only connecting one earbud, the stereo signal would be sent as mono to it. It's not that big of a deal to me, though.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2652
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:26 pm quote
mayorofnow wrote:
I've only ever tried a Packtalk Slim, but I'm quite happy with it.

It's all of {a set of helmet speakers (basically slim 80s headphones with velcro to attach to your pads), a bluetooth transmitter, and a proprietary helmet-to-helmet comms system}. I mostly use it to play music, but occasionally will chat with friends on a group ride.

My charge port broke on tour recently. They sent me a replacement, but I was without bluetooth for a few long days. I got an audio extension cable and connected my phone directly to the helmet speakers. I missed being able to change volume/songs while riding, and USB-C jacks are notoriously finnicky to keep an audio cable plugged into - that got really frustrating. Was nice to not have to think about turning the unit on/off separately from my phone though.

If you don't mind spending a few hundreds dollars, the Packtalk Slim is a good option. It's a pain to install (you'll probably have to cut the trim on your helmet), but worth it.

If you're looking for a cheaper option, I believe you can get the speakers themselves for about $80, and wire them directly to your phone.
I'm with mayorofnow in regard to in-the-saddle "listening": I have a Cardo Packtalk Slim, and while not the cheapest setup (in fact, hardly the cheapest), it's actually the least-intrusive (unlike earbuds), and most-versatile: besides music, which it also excels at, I use it primarily for GPS, not because I always need to know where I'm going, but because it gives me near-real-time info of potential delays on account of accidents/construction/Et Cetera. I can also place or take calls or texts, and do some 95% of all this hands-free, by the sound of my voice.

As far as getting music to your ears without going whole-hog, you can get something like Cardo's Freedom 1, which, besides being way-cheaper, gives you what you need in a system designed for helmet use, , which to me is a big deal in terms of something that otherwise stays out of the way when doing the business of piloting something with two wheels and an engine. Regular earbuds usually involve wires; I never recommend anything with wires while rolling on two wheels, with or without an engine. (I did this as a cyclist in NYC in the 1980s and 90s.)

And, of course, there's the option of just going without: just you, the bike and its sounds, your passing surroundings and their sounds. You could do worse...
Molto Verboso
LXS 150
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 1090
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:54 pm quote
Cheap and cheerful:

UClear wired in-helmet headphones -- $40 or so.
Cycle Gear (for reference only, not necessarily recommending the vendor)

Bluetooth headphone adapter with microphone -- about $14.
Amazon (reference only, no idea about this vendor)

I've used this setup (different bluetooth adapter but functionally identical) for years. Wear earplugs and run the adapters (and phone bluetooth setting) at full volume. Battery life at full volume is a little over two hours. This is fine, since they charge in one hour. Get two, and alternate between them at fuel stops -- charge one from the bike while you're listening with the other.

If you plan to use the microphone, the bluetooth adapter will need to be mounted inside your helmet somehow. Also, the microphone sound quality will be "almost unusable" unless you're stationary.

It's not weatherproof at all, unless it's inside the helmet and nothing drips onto it.

You almost certainly won't be able to use the control buttons while riding, so your phone will need to be accessible for volume adjustments.

If installed inside your helmet, the blinking blue light might appear in or reflect into your field of vision and be quite distracting. Electrical tape can be your friend here.

On the other hand, it's cheap -- $70 for one set of headphones and two bluetooth adapters.
Addicted
BV 350
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 734
Location: Nebraska
Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:49 am quote
Worst case
Just out of consideration for your fellow humans, kindly consider one of the ear-plug or helmet-speaker systems. Most vehicle mounted speakers sound awful (hi-fi, it's not), and need to be played pretty loud to overcome vehicle, traffic, and wind noise. Perhaps your fellow motorists do not share your taste in music.

As a worst-case scenario, a local knothead on an unmuffled Harley rides around with the sound/noise system turned up loud enough so it overcomes the vehicle noise, and perhaps his incipient deafness. Very pleasant as he drives by.

But then I'm picky. Recently bought a fairly decent Bluetooth speaker, to go along with my hi-def music player. Only to find that Bluetooth significantly degrades the music quality, even using the higher-quality Bluetooth codec. So it mostly gets used hard-wired. I rarely listen to music in the car or truck, as the background noise level intrudes sufficicently to spoil the experience.

And yes, I wear earplugs when I rode. Tall enough so that my head is out in the windstream, no matter what I'm riding, and the noise is loud enough to damage hearing, over time. I enjoy music too much to voluntarily give up that pleasure. Listening to people, on the other hand, not so much.
Hooked
'13 Buddy 125 Seafoam
Joined: 25 Oct 2018
Posts: 302
Location: Southcoast, MA
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:36 pm quote
i run an oontz angle 3 ultra by cambridge soundworks in my buddy front pocket...sounds pretty good at speed...the sena systems are probably the best option but i like my setup cause i can use it anywhere and it's a lot cheaper

https://www.amazon.com/OontZ-Angle-Ultra-Hi-Quality-Splashproof/dp/B073BVWRSP/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2MI8A1DEVSTTR&dchild=1&keywords=oontz+angle+3+ultra&qid=1605818122&sprefix=oontz+an%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-3
Molto Verboso
GTS 250i.e.
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1466
Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:13 pm quote
This sony bluetooth dongle is pretty good for riding.
SONY BLUETOOTH HEADSET WITH SPEAKER SBH56
https://www.sony-asia.com/electronics/accessories/bluetooth-headset-with-speaker-sbh56

Good battery and physical buttons for volume and track. Pair it with some good ear plug style headphones and you're sorted.
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