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  1. #1
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    Headphones and wind noise...Looking for suggestions

    I am predominantly a mountain biker but I ride road occasionally and have been on a road kick for the past couple of weeks and haven't ridden the mountain bike at all.

    I have some standard earbuds with earhooks that I have used for years for mountain biking, having gone through several pairs. They work great link here...

    Amazon.com: Philips Flexible Earhook Headphones SHS3200/28 (Black) (Replaces SHS3200/37): Electronics

    The problem is on the road bike since I am moving much faster I get alot of wind noise. In fact there is more wind noise with the ear buds on because they direct airflow into the ear canal.

    Can anyone recommend some earbuds with hooks that are good for road riding and are not too bad with wind noise. I really need the ear hooks to keep them in place.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Just put these over your earbuds:


  3. #3
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    Etymotic is the only one who does these right. They are v shaped so you press them into your ears and they stay and seal against wind noise. You hear pure music. The ear hook things are dorky and don't seal. Mine stay in place at 120mph on the motorcycle so there are no problem on the bicycle. They cost but all good things in life cost.
    Thousands of miles on the bicycle and 100,000 on the motorcycle and no problems for me so the safety Nazi's can just keep their mouths shut. Enjoy your life and don't be afraid of it.

  4. #4
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    Monster Isport Intensity In-Ear Headphones (Green)

    Amazon.com: Monster Isport Intensity In-Ear Headphones (Green): Electronics

    I've used may earphones. these are waterproof, sweat proof, allow you to hear surrounding noises and cut wind noise.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    I tried a bunch of different earphones looking for a set that would cut down wind noise while riding. Most increased wind noise quite a bit. I finally got Westone UM-1s which did what I wanted. They come with a number of different tips and the trick is finding the ones that will reliably seal the ear canal. I wound up ordering and using an even larger size of foam tips than what came with them. They're basically like wearing foam earplugs and cut down all outside sounds dramatically, which also permits listening to music with very good fidelity at low volume levels while riding.

    Of course this greatly reduces your ability to hear so use at your own risk. Personally, I only use them on some solo rides, generally ones I'm very familiar with.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I have their products. The didn't work well enough for me at all. I have a couple of sets of the spoilers that go on the front helmet straps and the things that look like ear flaps (Slips). NG IMO
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  8. #8
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    These are called iems. inner ear monitor. they are considered to be a passive noise reduction system. if you read the package it will tell you how many decibles are involved. use at your own risk

    if you really want to get reviews on sound quality try head-fi.com. portable headphone forum

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    ..if you really want to get reviews on sound quality try head-fi.com. portable headphone forum
    Sound quality wasn't that important to me, and the Weston UM-1 sound quality is plenty good enough for riding, which is the only thing I use them for. Any of the many earphones/buds I tired has sufficiently good sound quality, they just didn't attenuate the wind noise, most making it worse in most cases, or didn't fit my ear well. There are others similar to the Westones (sealed drivers) that I'm sure would work as well. The Westones were just the first that I tried that I was satisfied with.

    Check this: Westone/Rory Sutherland on Vimeo

    As far as wind noise attenuation without blocking the ear, I just came across this: Cat-Ears Wind Noise Reduction ? First Look - BikeRadar

    I hazard a guess that these will work better than the Slipstreamz products...
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  10. #10
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    I have had good experiences with Sennheiser earbuds.

    ex.

    Amazon.com: Sennheiser CX 300B MK II Precision Enhanced Bass Earbuds (Black): Electronics

    That being said I wouldn't advocate riding near traffic (or anywhere else) with headphones.

  11. #11
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    You didn't specify what you are willing to spend on good headphones. When one says good headphones, to me that means In Ear Monitors or IEMs, sometimes called canal phones because they go into the ear canal like ear plugs, as opposed to ear buds that just sit on the outer portion of the ear. The benefit is noise isolation. They work like ear plugs to block outside noise and allow you to hear the music better at a lower volume.

    I call entry level quality IEMs from companies like Shure, Westone, Phonak, Eytmotic, and Ultimate Ears starting at around $100. They vary in design and sound signature, but all are quality headphones that will actually do what you are wanting which is block outside sound, stay in and sound great.

    I like designs that route the cable up and over the ear and exit behind your ear. This allows you to put the cable under your jersey on your back. This keeps the cable out of your way in the front and avoid getting caught. IEMs will not fall out. I'd look at Shure SE-215s or Westone UM-1s. Can't go wrong with either.

  12. #12
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    Don't forget to invest in a good pair of foam tips. I use the Comply tips with my Sennheiser IE8 and they're doing the job wonderfully.

    Comply Foam Plugs
    "Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race."
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  13. #13
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    Though I use the Etymotics for earphones, though I don't use them often on a bicycle. For biking I may try the AfterShokz. they do not go in the ear and rely on bone conduction, this leaves your ears open so you can more easily hear other noises. AfterShokz Sport Headphones - Ears Open Bone Conduction Headphones For Safer Sports

    I tend to be able to hear outside noises better at speed on a motorcycle with earplugs or the Etymotics in because it lessens the wind noise created by the wind hitting my helmet, allowing me to hear lower frequency noised like traffic better. I can also listen to music at a lower level, something I do anyway.
    How many wheels?!

  14. #14
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    How about Cat-Ears? Many more versions here. I understand that Bradley Wiggins uses naturally grown versions to help hear the team radio more clearly.

    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

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  15. #15
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    I only use one earbud, the one for my right ear so I can still hear traffic! I have a bar end mirror but will still only use one, besides it's against the law to ride with them on!

  16. #16
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    +1 for Westone 1 or 2.

  17. #17
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    You can take clear tubing about 3 inches long and cut it along one side. Then place it on the helmet strap in front of the ear. Works well and is easily adjusted to deflect the wind around your ear. It definitely gets rid of most of the buffeting and wind noise.
    Felt F3 (RED)
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  18. #18
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    I am the OP and have found a solution to my problem.

    I needed to a pair of in ear headphones but they always slipped out. I found these in ear headphones which stay put very nicely and give a good seal. They have an extra piece to "wedge" the ear piece in.
    Amazon.com: Monster iSport Immersion In-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk- Blue: Electronics

    I paired the headphones with the slipstreamz spoilers and I am quite happy with the results.
    Slipstreamz - Products - The Spoiler

    I will say though that the spoilers are a real PITA to install and if I had seen the Cat Ears first, I prolly would have gone with them.
    Cat-Ears, LLC, Bicycles & Accessories, Boulder, CO 80308 - index

    Thanks for all your comments.

  19. #19
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    Glad you found a solution. On my ride this morning, my first in 6 weeks, I was thinking of this thread as my frozen ears seemed to hear more wind noise. It was amazing how much quieter it was by just holding a finger up in by the straps. Made me think the cat ears might be a great idea.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbyman View Post
    You can take clear tubing about 3 inches long and cut it along one side. Then place it on the helmet strap in front of the ear. Works well and is easily adjusted to deflect the wind around your ear. It definitely gets rid of most of the buffeting and wind noise.
    I've got to try that, I can't hear anything while riding. And it would scare me to death to ride with earphones. Good way to die around here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukbloke View Post
    How about Cat-Ears? Many more versions here. I understand that Bradley Wiggins uses naturally grown versions to help hear the team radio more clearly.

    Do they sell a Wiggins or Vaughters version of those clip-on side burns?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    I've got to try that, I can't hear anything while riding. And it would scare me to death to ride with earphones. Good way to die around here.
    Could you provide a few examples describing what it is you hear and how you react to hearing it in a way that improves your safety?
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Could you provide a few examples describing what it is you hear and how you react to hearing it in a way that improves your safety?
    Sure. If I'm not bucking a headwind, I can usually hear enough to hear another bicyclist coming up behind me, or to hear an 18 wheeler loaded with oilfield casing (usually driven by an illegal alien with no CDL) bombing up behind me. I can then move as far to the edge of the shoulder as possible and be particularly careful about my line.

    Old dopey me............implying that riding with earphones blaring wasn't safe. It's not safe skiing either.

  24. #24
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    It seems unnecessarily cruel to cut off cats' ears for our music-listening pleasure. The Wiggo method seems much more humane.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    It seems unnecessarily cruel to cut off cats' ears for our music-listening pleasure. The Wiggo method seems much more humane.
    That would be preferential but for those of us who are FFC'd (Facially Folically Challenged) we need something else. That's why I'm transplanting cat ears onto my face.

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