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Ski helmet audio options

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi, so i'm after a helmet that won't cost the earth and is compatible with some sort of audio system. I don't want to use earbuds underneath anymore, they hurt after an hour or so :/

Do i have any options at all? Most of what i've seen is either expensive or faffy.

Cheers guys.
post #2 of 26
evogear.com is having a 35% off sale in their outlet store.  their selection is a bit depleted at this point but there is a nice giro shiv w/ audio, $110 less 35% is $71.50

http://www.evogear.com/outlet/helmets/giro-shiv-audio-helmet-2.aspx
post #3 of 26
There is a lot of Giro setups going for cheap, but you also should be aware that the Motorola Bluetooth Wireless DOES NOT come with an adapter for non-Bluetooth devices.  While they work fantastic with a cell phone, you will need to shell out a lot of money for an adapter (last I saw was $120) for an iPod or similar device or you will have to run a cord (so much for wireless).
post #4 of 26
I love my Salomon Essential AF helmet with the audio earpads (rip out the stock ear pieces and pop in the ones with speakers). I believe the Foil is a similar helmet. They may not be making these models anymore, but they're fantastic, so I would check out Salomon's current lineup. I hear good things about Giro, too.

Audio helmets are definitely the way to go–turn them on right before you drop, then turn 'em off to talk to your buddies on the lift or just listen to nature. IMHO, safer than earbuds or headphones, too.
post #5 of 26
You didn't mention your current helmet - there may be an audio system available. Instead of earbuds you could try thin over the ear headphone phones which like the built in do not block too much ambient noise.

Giro, Smith, Leedom, RED helmets with removable earflaps all have standard audio systems available for about $30 USD. First find a helmet that fits, then worry about the audio.
post #6 of 26
 I have a Giro Omen and then bought the removeable ear pads with headphone inside. I absolutly love it. Its a great experience. You can find a helmet pretty cheap on Tramdock from time to time or check out backcountry or evogear. Then just do a search for compatiable pads. I know most giros are audio capiable.
post #7 of 26
Listen to your ride, and what's around you.  Forget about music. 
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus View Post

There is a lot of Giro setups going for cheap, but you also should be aware that the Motorola Bluetooth Wireless DOES NOT come with an adapter for non-Bluetooth devices.  While they work fantastic with a cell phone, you will need to shell out a lot of money for an adapter (last I saw was $120) for an iPod or similar device or you will have to run a cord (so much for wireless).
 

I use the Giro with an iPhone. I picked up a bluetooth adaptor from Bestbuy for less than $50, but it was over a year ago. Works great.
post #9 of 26
I dont mean to thread jack, but are you guys saying that there are helmets made with speakers built into them?
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 92hatchattack View Post

I dont mean to thread jack, but are you guys saying that there are helmets made with speakers built into them?

Yes it's totally nuts!   Why can't we wear them in our cars?
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman78787 View Post

 I have a Giro Omen and then bought the removeable ear pads with headphone inside.

A side note:

The Giro Omen Skullcandy earphone-equipped earpads are actually warmer than the stock earpads, esp. in high winds on a freezing day.

The funny thing is I never actually hear what's playing when I'm skiing hard, as I'm way too focused on the task at hand and must be zoning the music out.  It's only when the trail lets up and I'm cruising on a cat-track that I hear what's playing.  And of course on the lift... but then again half-the-time I end up muting it so I can conduct a conversation.

I've been very pleased to have it.
post #12 of 26
Just watch out for the full-on Bluetooth setups that stream the music from your player via A2DP.  Those eat your battery life fast.  You're actually better off with a setup that ties into your phone via Bluetooth to take and control calls, but uses a wire for your music.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DtEW View Post



A side note:

The Giro Omen Skullcandy earphone-equipped earpads are actually warmer than the stock earpads, esp. in high winds on a freezing day.

The funny thing is I never actually hear what's playing when I'm skiing hard, as I'm way too focused on the task at hand and must be zoning the music out.  It's only when the trail lets up and I'm cruising on a cat-track that I hear what's playing.  And of course on the lift... but then again half-the-time I end up muting it so I can conduct a conversation.

I've been very pleased to have it.

I've never actually woren the regular ear pads. But thats good to know. I guess I wont ever take the Skullcandy ones out. :)
post #14 of 26
 I agree with Jacque! 

Wearing headphones while skiing is the reason I got hit by somebody two weeks ago as they could not hear me yeling as they got closer!
post #15 of 26
^^^^^^^^^^^^ It's definitely possible that some people misuse their headphones, but don't assume that everyone that listens to music while skiing has it blasting in their ears.  This has been debated many times - let's leave it alone this time.  The OP is most likely not interested in opinions on whether or not people should be listening to music while skiing.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

^^^^^^^^^^^^ It's definitely possible that some people misuse their headphones, but don't assume that everyone that listens to music while skiing has it blasting in their ears.  This has been debated many times - let's leave it alone this time.  The OP is most likely not interested in opinions on whether or not people should be listening to music while skiing.
 
Your right, but people tend to go to the latest discussions, and put in their two cents. 
I tried music once, and that was the last time for me.  I got lost in the music, became less aware, and went way too fast for that.
Have fun with your music, but please be careful.  I'll continue to listen to my skis!
post #17 of 26

I love having music and phone when I ski.  Sometimes it's just when I'm on the chair especially those days when my friends or family quit and I want to keep going.  I started with the wired Giro tune-ups, but the wire kept cracking from the cold.  Also it's a pain when a phone call comes in because the volume wheel only controlled the audio (as I remember it).  Anyway, went to the S805 Motorola bluetooth linked to my blackberry.  I put a 32 gb chip in and sync music from my library to the BB.  The ear pad kits replace std. ear flaps on either giro or smith.  The integration is easy.  Just link it once, start your helmet up then start up your BB music player and you've got great sound.  Get a phone call... just hit the left ear piece to answer, talk and then hang up and your music kicks back in.  Change volume, rotate the left ear, change song, rotate the right ear piece.  Easy to do with gloves on.  I've had this setup for about 3 years but the Li battery just quit holding a charge and there's no replacement battery available, nor is it meant to be replaceable (although it wasn't too hard to get it open).  I know battery life is an issue, especially in the cold weather, but my bb and helmet both lasted a full day on the slopes, no problem.  I did meet people with a similar rig using an iPhone and they often had dropped bluetooth links that they had to powerdown/powerup.  They said it was something to do with the profile from apple, but I couldn't tell you.

 

I've been looking for a replacement set and I can't really find one.  the skullcandy unit is tough to find and doesn't look like it has the same easy access controls.  I think I'll just find another S805 kit and do it again.

 

As for distractions, I swear I've had my music cranked and as soon as I hit the bumps, I couldn't hear a thing but the blood coursing through my veins.

post #18 of 26

 

Nothing like skiing with some good tunes in the background. The problem is most of the current audio systems are poorly made. I have tried many different versions of  Smith helmets with Skullcandy and Giro with Tune ups. The speakers sound cheap and the speaker wire is thin and breaks easily. Also, the in-line volume control is difficult to work and the mute button always seems to get stuck and stops working. I have had to replace them too many times. Finally found the answer from a suggestion in a post here. The Smith Vantage helmet now has a leather zipper pocket earpiece for the speakers. It is made for the Skullcandy speakers ($50) that you buy separately but I would suggest avoiding those and upgrading to a better system that will sound great, is more durable, and will definitely last longer. I purchased the Sennheiser PX 100-II headphones on Amazon ($90), carefully removed the speakers and wire from the plastic headset piece and placed them into the Smith Vantage. Sennheiser is a great company well known for high quality headphones. It comes with a very nice in-line volume control and mute. You will need a small screwdriver (for watches) to remove the speakers. It took only 20 minutes. The sound is fantastic and the system with my iPod is easy to use. Much better quality than Skullcandy. Hey, why can't Smith and Sennheiser get together on this? Highly recommended--audio ski helmet for the audiophile!

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahpow View Post

 

Nothing like skiing with some good tunes in the background. The problem is most of the current audio systems are poorly made. I have tried many different versions of  Smith helmets with Skullcandy and Giro with Tune ups. The speakers sound cheap and the speaker wire is thin and breaks easily. Also, the in-line volume control is difficult to work and the mute button always seems to get stuck and stops working. I have had to replace them too many times. Finally found the answer from a suggestion in a post here. The Smith Vantage helmet now has a leather zipper pocket earpiece for the speakers. It is made for the Skullcandy speakers ($50) that you buy separately but I would suggest avoiding those and upgrading to a better system that will sound great, is more durable, and will definitely last longer. I purchased the Sennheiser PX 100-II headphones on Amazon ($90), carefully removed the speakers and wire from the plastic headset piece and placed them into the Smith Vantage. Sennheiser is a great company well known for high quality headphones. It comes with a very nice in-line volume control and mute. You will need a small screwdriver (for watches) to remove the speakers. It took only 20 minutes. The sound is fantastic and the system with my iPod is easy to use. Much better quality than Skullcandy. Hey, why can't Smith and Sennheiser get together on this? Highly recommended--audio ski helmet for the audiophile!


You get my vote for the best first post in like, forever.

post #20 of 26

I once did something similar with my old giro fuse and a cheap pair of Koss headphones. They still sounded better than skullcandy. 

post #21 of 26

I had trouble using ear buds due to the discomfort, so I did some research and bought ear buds made by Westone, which is a professional In-Ear-Monitor (IEM) company for musicians/singers.  They have a great line of in-ear products, with lots of different shaped eartips to maximize comfort.  The sound quality is incredible, better than anything I have ever heard.

 

BTW, I have no affiliation or interest in Westone, just simply a guy who does a ton of research before I buy a product.  beercheer.gif

post #22 of 26
Reviving this thread... smile.gif

So, I just got a Smith Vantage helmet, and heard the Skullcandy audio kit was poor quality (both for audio and controls), so I bought the Burton Red audio kit. Sounds "okay" for a cheap setup, good enough for me for now, I'm really not an audiophile and don't like listening to headsets or buds on high volumes anyway. The volume/mute control seems easy enough to use, but I'd really like to buy a twin-tip cable w/mic like the Skullcandy comes with (but better quality that lasts, is easier to operate, etc), so I can use the helmet speakers with an iPod and cell phone without having to get my phone out and gloves off on the mountain.

I'm going to hunt around radio shack for a twin-tip cable w/mic solution. Anywhere else you'd recommend looking that has these cables and doesn't break the bank?

I was looking at motorcycle and snowmobile helmet setups, but they can get pretty expensive. I'd rather go to the source for cables that everyone buys from and assembles kits, rather than paying top dollar for a $15 item that gets marked up to $50.

Where would you look for cables w/mics like this?

Thanks guys (and girls).


A note regarding audio creating dangerous situations on the mountain, here's my $.01 on the subject: It's very hard to hear people while at speed, your skis, snowboard, bicycle, etc moving you through the air with velocity creates wind noise. No music, low volume music, I don't think it matters a ton, there is another factor at play here which is much more important. (High volume music is just destructive, it's well-known this causes hearing damage long-term, so I won't even address that here.) What does matter a ton is visual awareness. I've been skiing and snowboarding for a long time, riding bikes on the street and trail, and even racing cars and go-karts on dedicated race tracks. I make it a practice to look around me at all times, making sure I know what's ahead, to the side and behind me before making moves whenever possible. This practice becomes a habit, and it's a habit worth adopting. Drivers, skiers, boarders and cyclists make their environments more dangerous--both for themselves and for their fellow enthusiasts--by not maintaining visual awareness of what's around them. You simply cannot rely on your ears. Your eyes transmit critical information with objects, angles, distances, speed, depth, etc so you can make calculations and adjustments while in motion. Take away that data, and you're just depriving that computer in your melon of info it needs to protect you (and others). Always look around you, keep 360-degree awareness. You'll be able to go as fast as you want, and you'll less then chances of cutting someone off---or getting cut-off unexpectedly yourself. And most importantly, you'll have more fun, and avoid injuries so you can keep having fun. That's the whole point, right? Off soap box, sorry for the rant. I want all of us to be safe and have fun out there, and this is one way to facilitate that, and it works. Happy pow-pow everybody. smile.gif
post #23 of 26

Do you have any idea where I can buy audio ear pieces for the solomon essential helmets... mine are broken and i cant seem to find anywhere i can replace them.

post #24 of 26

Skull Candy makes an earbud specifically for wear with a helmet with ear flaps called the Asym. They are about $35, comfortable and sound very good. I used them for 30 days last year under my old, tight Salomon Ranger and they were great. A cheap solution.

post #25 of 26

Here's my 2cents - I started integrating bluetooth using the Motorola S805 on a Smith Advantage Snow Helmet.  The system was easy to integrate pairing with my Blackberry bluetooth.  The phone/player functionality works perfect and sound quality is acceptable.  I setup my girlfriend's helmet using a pair of Sennheiser PX100 headphones hard wired into a Outdoor Tech OT Bluetooth adapter paired to her IPhone.  Her system can hold a charge longer than the phone with audiophile quality sound.  I use Liquid image video goggles as well.  Next phase - integrate GPS and  7.1 subwoofer sound enjoying my favorite tunes/movies before laying my lines.  I love having the ability to tune out all the kids, parents and loud telephone conversations in the Bubble Lift/Chair. 

 

Lastly, when going down the hill, the ambient noise is relatively loud to begin with.  So forgetting music and headphones, EVERYONE needs to be acutely aware of their surroundings.  The downhill rider has the right of way so stay clear.  Ride defensively, LOOK around before you take your line.  Carvers should look uphill before slicing hard turns.  Stuff happens so be safe and watch out for the other guy...always!

 

Eat less and ski harder!

 

Steven Arrow

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Nothing like skiing with some good tunes in the background. The problem is most of the current audio systems are poorly made. I have tried many different versions of  Smith helmets with Skullcandy and Giro with Tune ups. The speakers sound cheap and the speaker wire is thin and breaks easily. Also, the in-line volume control is difficult to work and the mute button always seems to get stuck and stops working. I have had to replace them too many times. Finally found the answer from a suggestion in a post here. The Smith Vantage helmet now has a leather zipper pocket earpiece for the speakers. It is made for the Skullcandy speakers ($50) that you buy separately but I would suggest avoiding those and upgrading to a better system that will sound great, is more durable, and will definitely last longer. I purchased the Sennheiser PX 100-II headphones on Amazon ($90), carefully removed the speakers and wire from the plastic headset piece and placed them into the Smith Vantage. Sennheiser is a great company well known for high quality headphones. It comes with a very nice in-line volume control and mute. You will need a small screwdriver (for watches) to remove the speakers. It took only 20 minutes. The sound is fantastic and the system with my iPod is easy to use. Much better quality than Skullcandy. Hey, why can't Smith and Sennheiser get together on this? Highly recommended--audio ski helmet for the audiophile!

 

Thank you kind sir. I signed up to just to post this reply. You've won the internet for the day as far as I'm concerned. 

 

I've suffered through skull candy craptastic products before and I vowed never again.

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