GL1800Riders Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realize "sound" and "quality" are, in the case of helmet speakers, somewhat subjective areas and I realize most guys who purchase something feel what they bought is "the best". But I was wondering if any real ( not anecdotal I love 'um opinions) independent tests have been published on the small speakers we use in our helmets. I know "audiophile" and riding on a motorcycle listening to music do not really go hand in hand but some of the speakers I've purchased with headsets over the years are downright sh**. Are there any specs that give us a clue as to how good they really are? If anyone has that info I would be grateful to check out the article or read the reviews. I am not really interested in how great this brand or that brand headset sounds. I've tried 'em all. Additionally, when I install my headsets for myself or my friends I'm especially careful to line up the center of the speakers with the center of the ear canal. I hope I'm doing the right thing in that regard. THANKS very much beforehand for and real info!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,382 Posts
I realize "sound" and "quality" are, in the case of helmet speakers, somewhat subjective areas and I realize most guys who purchase something feel what they bought is "the best". But I was wondering if any real ( not anecdotal I love 'um opinions) independent tests have been published on the small speakers we use in our helmets. I know "audiophile" and riding on a motorcycle listening to music do not really go hand in hand but some of the speakers I've purchased with headsets over the years are downright sh**. Are there any specs that give us a clue as to how good they really are? If anyone has that info I would be grateful to check out the article or read the reviews. I am not really interested in how great this brand or that brand headset sounds. I've tried 'em all. Additionally, when I install my headsets for myself or my friends I'm especially careful to line up the center of the speakers with the center of the ear canal. I hope I'm doing the right thing in that regard. THANKS very much beforehand for and real info!!
You have the right idea about lining up the speakers with the ear canal. All of the headsets I've bought were mounted where the recommended instructions indicate, the speakers end up a little behind the ears. The other issue for me was that the speakers are too far away from the ear canal. Resolve those two conditions and you will get louder speakers. One of the other factors is the quality of the helmet sound insulation. Those helmets with vents have a tendency to make more noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,259 Posts
If you have truly tried "all" brands, you may have a small problem. I'm assuming you tried the so-called "name" brands also? I went for years using the OEM speakers and when I finally realized I was damaging my hearing doing this, I went to the helmet speakers. If I turn up the volume too much they can hurt my ears. First thing, you need a helmet that fits snug. This cuts way down on extraneous noise. You say you have already aligned the speakers. Are the electronics on your bike working properly? Have you had your hearing checked lately? I can only speak with my and a few friends experience, but those in-helmet speakers can be turned up far enough that they hurt your ears. Sounds like something is wrong with either your equipment or your hearing. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
Buy the lower cord from J+M that allows the use of ear buds. It eliminates the speakers. :thumbup: Tom :trike:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,965 Posts
All current helmet designed speakers are fair AT BEST. Just listen to a high quality set of headphones and decide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,551 Posts
I have EdSets and have tried my Etymotic (old) EM6? earbuds, the helmet piece on the Edsets has a mini jack plug for the earbuds. I get better sound, but I also get a whine from the bike through the earbuds. So to EdSets about this and they said there is nothing that can be done.

I also think, plugging in the earbuds does not disable the speakers, so you get sound from both sources.

I normally wear 33nrr ear plugs under my Shoei Qwest full face helmet, I have to have my audio volume set on max (30). At max volume, the volume my ear receives, through the helmet speakers, is barely above a normal voice volume. I have my CB volume set around 12.

I can actually get louder audio volume using my bike speakers.

I'm 55 years young and currently have no hearing problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
I always wear ear plugs and have found that doing so greatly improves the quality of the audio sound from the bike's system. I have the J&M JMCB2003 CB radio on my VStrom. While the audio quality is better than that in the GL1800, the J&M helmet speakers still don't deliver great quality audio. The earplugs seem to improve it to where it's at lease pleasant to listen to, even if I do have to turn up the volume a bit.

The adapter for plugging in earbuds looks interesting. Does it disable the helmet microphone in the helmet or simply just allow you to plug in earbuds instead of the helmet speakers? Seems to me that if you can substitute the adapter for the helmet speakers, all you'd have to do is unplug and remove the helmet speakers. Sounds like a neat idea to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
I think a few people read too much into the OP's comments. He didn't say he couldn't hear the speakers, but that they sounded like S*it. So volume isn't the problem, quality is.

I used to buy the lowest price systems from J&M and they were OK, but as someone that loves quality sound, and has some good stuff in cars and home, I knew there was something better. Then I won a Shark Evoline at an event, and sent it to Wingstuff.com and their guy put in a higher quality headset that they sell, no name brand that I remember. The difference is a bunch. Much better highs, clearer mids, and now there is some real low frequency stuff. Headsets will never punch you in the gut, but if you can hear the bass, your mind will fill in the details!

I say, check out the higher quality lines from J&M, I have also heard good things about Edsets, and give the installer at Wingstuff a call and talk with him. Pay a bit more and get a LOT more.

Also, I wear Musician style earplugs. These cut down on the road/wind noise and they make the music and CB a LOT clearer and nicer. They do require you turn up the volume, but they will help save your hearing, not so much from the speakers, but from the road/bike noise! That hurts your hearing more than the music or CB. Try these earplugs, they are cheap and once I wear them for a few days, they no longer hurt, or once you hear how they help your hearing, you can have custom ones made that should not hurt at all. Here is what I buy:

http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,008 Posts
I have a Suzuki M109R cruiser with loud pipes and what I have found that works for me is form fitted ear plugs. I paid $40 for them and they are more than loud enough with good quality sound coming from my mp3 player.

Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,902 Posts
I realize "sound" and "quality" are, in the case of helmet speakers, somewhat subjective areas and I realize most guys who purchase something feel what they bought is "the best". But I was wondering if any real ( not anecdotal I love 'um opinions) independent tests have been published on the small speakers we use in our helmets. I know "audiophile" and riding on a motorcycle listening to music do not really go hand in hand but some of the speakers I've purchased with headsets over the years are downright sh**. Are there any specs that give us a clue as to how good they really are? If anyone has that info I would be grateful to check out the article or read the reviews. I am not really interested in how great this brand or that brand headset sounds. I've tried 'em all. Additionally, when I install my headsets for myself or my friends I'm especially careful to line up the center of the speakers with the center of the ear canal. I hope I'm doing the right thing in that regard. THANKS very much beforehand for and real info!!
I would try the high end J&M I think its the elite series
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
"Good" is subjective. I've never seen measurements of frequency response of any helmet speakers and probably never will. Every different helmet/head combination and ambiant noise level would make those types of measurements useless in real application.

You can get pretty close to audiophile quality sound with the right equipment. Helmet buffeting/drone and wind noise have a huge influence on how loud a speaker has to play to overcome competing ambient noise frequencies. Reduce the noise and improve the sound. Some in-helmet speakers can provide pretty good sound, but often only at sound levels that are causing long term hearing loss.

You'll get the best sound with a quiet helmet and either custom molded IEM's (in ear monitors) or very good "ear buds" like Etymotics or Shure's which have "deep ear" foam buds designed to reduce incoming sound. With the right amplifier and equalizer ( highly recommend the Digizoid Z02) you'll get bass response below 30hz. This is your best bet for hearing conservation and you'll be surprised by the increased fidelity and just how little volume it takes to hear everything. "webikeworld" has a couple of good articles on helmet noise and sound. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Big thank yous to everyone who replied and offered suggestions, especially to those who understood that loudness is a non problem, quality is. I do like to listen to good stuff (I enjoy a nice old Adcom Tuner/PreAmp GTP-500 with an Adcom GFA-555 power amp run into equally old ADS L1290 loudspeakers). But I ain't foolin' myself into thinking I'll hear "fine" audio riding around on a scooter! Apparently there are no sources to compare speaker specs. And I, too, use earplugs when I listen and the "base", "tinny highs" filtered out by the plugs, sounds a bit better. And I do slowly and incrementally shim the speakers during installations to get the speakers just the correct distance from the ear. I do prefer speakers and earplugs to earbuds.

I was just hoping one of you guys had a silver bullet (a good high end itty bitty helmet speaker that had decent quality) in your belt that would make listening to music on the bike a bit more enjoyable.

THANKS again for all the good feedback and suggestions!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,866 Posts
I would try the high end J&M I think its the elite series
I have those. They are better than the "low end" J&M. No helmet speaker on the market is going to sound like Bose or equivilant when connected to the GW radio.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top