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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Earphones while riding?

I have a pair of low-profile earphones whose chords wrap around over my ears and come together behind my neck. (They're in-ear monitor earphones). I was thinking of wearing these and listening to my ipod while I ride. Any thoughts / legal issues you know of?
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 02:40 AM
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I would not wear them both while riding, some states (not real sure which) prohibit you from it, check on the local laws. One option though is an after market sound system for a bike. I have been seeing them more and more lately, and they make them for almost any bike.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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I'd guess it's illegal here in California, since with the headset law (using phones in car requires headset/speaker), you cannot use headsets that cover both ears. My Cardo headset has "speakers" on both sides, I wonder if that's illegal... hmm...

So aside from the legal considerations, any of you guys ride while listening to music? Any lessons learned? When I go on long rides at high speeds I'll wear ear plugs, and I've found that it doesn't hinder my riding/judgment at all. I'm hoping to find the same with listening to music.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 03:20 AM
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i bought a pair that have rubber piece that fits inside and seals the inside of the ear and they work great. i only wear them on long rides not worth it for the 5 - 10 minute ones.

music helps me concentrate(ADHD at its best) so i feel it makes me a better rider, but my friend say it relaxes him to much and he zones out and had a few close calls that way.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 04:02 AM
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I have a set of Altec Lansing noise canceling ear pods....they have rubber and "seal" inside your ear. Paid $20 at WalMart for them. They do work JUST like earplugs. If you mute or pause the mp3 player you can hear everything fine, its just muted (like with earplugs). I ride with them in all the time.....but only down the highway. When I get into town I pause the music.....so I can hear.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 07:00 AM
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I wear earbuds for my I-Pod just about everywhere. If the batteries die I put in ear plugs. Honestly, is having ear phones in any worse than listening to your car stereo/talking on the phone/whatever else you do in the car while driving? Its illegal, but so is half the crap people do on the road. I'm not losing any sleep over it.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 08:57 AM
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If you are doing a lot of extended highway travel (I don’t) I suppose this wouldn’t be too distracting. But as far as city driving I would never do this as it is only asking for trouble. There are just too many things you really need to be paying attention for to be distracted. To each his own though.
post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 09:02 AM
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I have a set of Altec Lansing noise canceling ear pods....they have rubber and "seal" inside your ear. Paid $20 at WalMart for them. They do work JUST like earplugs. If you mute or pause the mp3 player you can hear everything fine, its just muted (like with earplugs). I ride with them in all the time.....but only down the highway. When I get into town I pause the music.....so I can hear.
Do they have a very long cord? I've been trying to find something to plug into my Zumo 550 GPS, because it doesn't have a speaker for the motorcycle, and I don't want to shell out for a Bluetooth system. That seems like it might be just what I need. Regular earphones don't work. The volume on the Zumo is too low.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 10:48 AM
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In Tennessee it is not illegal. I usually listen to my ipod. However, I just got the Scala Rider Teamset so I am probably done with headphones.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by harrison_has_3 View Post
music helps me concentrate(ADHD at its best) so i feel it makes me a better rider, but my friend say it relaxes him to much and he zones out and had a few close calls that way.
You and me both, I don't find my iPod distracting but rather focusing. But then so is Cuban espresso coffee, doesn't make me jittery but rather helps me stay calm and focused. If they'd had Ritalin when I was a kid, I am sure my Mom would have had my butt on it .

Back to the Ipod.. I can still hear with mine on, except at high speeds. I heard a siren before some friends with me on Harleys did.... and I had my Ipod on!!
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 07:59 PM
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In texas I know its illegal to wear headphones when I ride but I do anyway. I have an iphone and I can manage to answer it with the thumb control on the headphone wire and be able to talk handsfree since it has two earphones....As far as the police I run the wire up my shirt and its not visible when I am wearing them. Also I don't think that they will ever pull you over for wearing headphones unless they just want to be really mean


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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 09:16 PM
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I wear earplugs...and listen to the voices in my head sing a chorus.... ;-)
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 09:43 PM
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I wear earplugs...and listen to the voices in my head sing a chorus.... ;-)
is it a happy song?
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 10:11 PM
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I just got my first iPod this month and love it. But I don't think I'd feel comfortable listening to it on the bike. That's just me, but I always want to focus on the ride and getting back home in one piece.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 12:28 AM
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I tried it once at a chess tournament...I hated it!

I tried it once on my motorcycle...I hated it!

It makes me feel disconnected from my surroundings.
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 01:24 AM
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besides all the legal issue's, I prefer the sound of the bike over music anyway. (I hardly ever listen to the radio while driving my van even)
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by skim1420 View Post
I have a pair of low-profile earphones whose chords wrap around over my ears and come together behind my neck. (They're in-ear monitor earphones). I was thinking of wearing these and listening to my ipod while I ride. Any thoughts / legal issues you know of?
Flatly illegal in california.

BTW... from an old man who says "HUH?" a lot for various reasons, the noise levels riding are very high... and you will be turning the earphones up loud enough to DROWN THAT OUT!

I would rather use ear plugs.....
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 03:07 AM
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I wear earbuds for my I-Pod just about everywhere. If the batteries die I put in ear plugs. Honestly, is having ear phones in any worse than listening to your car stereo/talking on the phone/whatever else you do in the car while driving? Its illegal, but so is half the crap people do on the road. I'm not losing any sleep over it.
What's really a load of manure is how wearing headphones while driving is illegal because it interferes with hearing, but deaf people can not be prohibited from driving a car......

Just pick one side, that's all I ask.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 12:10 PM
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A friend of mine has the speakers in his helmet.. I've used earbuds but find them uncomfortable and cumbersome in my full-helmet, so I think I'm also going to get the speakers in my helmet. Are these also illegal? They're pretty much the same as headphones as when they're in your helmet they're right against your ears..

I have another friend who has speakers on the handlebars.. I like this idea but I'm afraid they'd be hard to hear on the highway, plus I wouldn't want everyone else to have to her what I'm listening to..
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 08:20 PM
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A friend of mine has the speakers in his helmet.. I've used earbuds but find them uncomfortable and cumbersome in my full-helmet, so I think I'm also going to get the speakers in my helmet. Are these also illegal? They're pretty much the same as headphones as when they're in your helmet they're right against your ears..
I suspect the CHP would see it the same way..... they are basically headphones.

BTW, I did that before (built speakers into my helmet) but the sound is pretty bad. You would need a helmet with GREAT insulation.
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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 09:42 PM
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Check this link...In California you can have earphones in one ear only, same as Minnesota

http://www.bikerplaza.com/motorcycle-law.html#CA
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 10:43 AM
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[QUOTE=ZugZwang;511293]Check this link...In California you can have earphones in one ear only, same as Minnesota

Sweet, no restrictions for headphones in Jersey..
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 06:12 PM
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I tried the earphones in the helmet, and well, they suck. To much ambient noise which forces you to turn up the music to a unsafe level. A good set of earbuds act like a set of earplugs, which allows you to keep the music to a normal level, hopefully reducing any hearing damage etc...At least thats what I'm telling myself...

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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 11:11 PM
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Any ride over an hour and the MP3 is with me!

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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 11:16 PM
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In texas I know its illegal to wear headphones when I ride but I do anyway.
Really? Never heard of that in TX. Can you give a link or statute?

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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 11:29 PM
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Very old post, I know. Though wanted to add for those who wear German Helmets or half helmets where you're ears are exposed as opposed to a full face helmet, ear protection is needed to protect your ears from the wind noise.

Yes the wind noise can damage your hearing when wearing a 1/2 Helmet or German Helmet. It can get so over whelming even only going 50 mph. I started wearing regular ear plugs at first and it helped out alot with the wind noise being blocked, was able to ride like I do with my full face helmet but wanted to listened to some tunes off my smartphone.

So I went out and invested in a good pair of $100 Bose ear buds. I can easily ear my music up to about 75 mph before wind noise drowns it out. Though the ear buds stop the bad wind noise and can travel over 90 mph no problem.

Now I know there are older devices out there like Ipods and smartphones which do not offer loud volume output to clearly allow you to listen to music over your engine and wind noise. My Droid Razr Maxx has better then average music volume output then previous smartphones and basic cell phones. Though you just don't plug a cheap pair of $20 ear buds into it and think it will sound good. Shelling out $100 for the Bose ear phones was a good choice as music sounds really clear with lows, mid's, and high's. Also if I wear my neoprene face mask over the ear buds I'm able to easily ride over 90 mph and hear the music clearly, however when it is not winter I wear a face mask that is made of lighter material all through the Spring- Fall and make sure it is fairly tight over the ear buds to keep sound in and wind noise down.


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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 09:10 AM
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Any distractions while riding will increase the risk of having an accident. The fact that some folks have ridden for years with music in their ears without an accident does not change the facts. I guess if you live and ride in a rural area with low traffic levels and open clear fields of view, etc. the distraction of ear buds or ear phones playing might not be too significant, but for busy city or busy highway riding I would really recommend not using them. I also think that there are some things that we can live without and be perfectly happy, but if we start having those things then we can't imagine living without them. An example is car air conditioning. I'm old enough to remember when only luxury cars had A/C, and the rest of us did just fine. But once we had our first air conditioned car we never wanted to go back to roasting in our cages. I think music while riding is the same. I have never had it and don't miss it, and really enjoy the solitude of being with only my own thoughts and the input to my senses from the environment, but if I started having my favorite music while riding I might not want to go back to only the rush of wind and engine noise. My advice if you want it as an old rider and former MSF instructor is that if you don't have music now, don't start.
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:59 PM
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I see that this an old topic, but I figure this is even more applicable these days. For the money, I find the Shure SE215 headphones to be an incredible deal. $100, they fit into your ear and isolate sound like earplugs, so you don't have to pump up the volume very high. Plus, since the sound quality is quite good, you might find that you listen to music at lower volumes with them. The design stems from in ear monitors that professional musicians use on stage.

About legality...in NY one earphone is allowed. If I wear the earphones, I use both, I only use them on long rides. Most times i'm just listening to the sweet exhaust note of my triple.
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 07:25 PM
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I wanna get some speakers mounted in my helmet. It's set up for that, and bluetooth compatable even, so I might as well spend the coin to make my helmet ready for tunes.

Wind noise is so bad without the helmet that at any speed over 70mph, I cannot hear the music with earbuds and no helmet. It's pretty peaceful inside the helmet, to the point where I can hear the exhaust nice and clear. So, if I want music, in the helmet speakers seem the best choice for me.

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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 10:04 PM
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I've noticed with some BT headphones, and ear peices that have their own little volume control module where the ear phoens plug into.. That when using BT to stream music, it cuts down greatly on my devices volume output.

I have a pair of Motorola head phones which fit nice and and decent base, and can drown out people's voices near you easily, but when riding you can drown out the sound hitting 45 mph. Take a wired pair of Bose ear buds and I can travel at 65 mph and still hear music great. Though after 75 mph it starts to fade, but if I have the neoprene mask on which covers the ears, it locks in sound and I can hear at 92 mph just as good say at 40 mph.


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post #31 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 01:22 PM
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Yeah, it's subject to local state laws but not a good idea for total newbies. Need to concentrate on what's ahead and all around you until you get enough experience to acquire a "sixth sense". Personally, I like the sewing machine symphony along with the distinctive two stroke "braaaaap" when I'm on the pipe. If the cell phone rings, too bad. I'm too busy having fun. But I do wear ear plugs on a long interstate ride because it gets annoying and my helmet is terrible as far as wind noise above 65mph.
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post #32 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 02:36 PM
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For those of you thinking about BT headphones, I'd also recommend using a remote control with your iPhone or iPod, to switch musics and control the volume. I've been using this one for a while now: BuyiJet, you can Google it. Cheap and easy to use!
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post #33 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 05:00 PM
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Very few things better than being able to ride around and listen to your tunes. Heavy metal saves lives!
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post #34 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
Flatly illegal in california.

BTW... from an old man who says "HUH?" a lot for various reasons, the noise levels riding are very high... and you will be turning the earphones up loud enough to DROWN THAT OUT!

I would rather use ear plugs.....
Not so fast. That statement is flatly incorrect...http://lifehacker.com/5902802/ever-w...-youre-driving

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post #35 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 08:09 PM
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I am pretty sure you have to keep one ear free or without earbud
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post #36 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 10:30 PM
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For those of you thinking about BT headphones, I'd also recommend using a remote control with your iPhone or iPod, to switch musics and control the volume. I've been using this one for a while now: BuyiJet, you can Google it. Cheap and easy to use!
My SEMA bluetooth communication system allows BT music streaming as well and handsfree answering. I have not ridden with it yet (just got it) but am looking forward to it.

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post #37 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 11:00 PM
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Hawkeye, Do you plan on using your SEMA to talk to other riders? We are looking for a system that Hubby & I can talk to one another when I'm riding my bike. We are looking at the SEMA & the SCALA. If you do, would you let me know how it works please. We're not in a hurry, but think we will get something this summer. We don't know anything other than what we have read about them. Thanks in advance.
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