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Hi all,

A Revolutionary Noise Canceling Helmet: Alvin Halfaker’s Quiet Ride Helmet

This is an attempt to bring noise-cancelling technology to motorsports. I'm posting this merely as an item of interest, not as an endorsement either of the concept or the execution. I have used Bose noise-cancelling headsets while flying and they work well to cut--or at least mask--cabin noise. It occurs to me that sounding quiet may not necessarilly be the same as being quiet, meaning that this technology might or might not be better for our hearing than ear plugs. It might only sound quieter while only masking the dangerous effects of noise.

A Revolutionary Noise Canceling Helmet: Alvin Halfaker’s Quiet Ride Helmet
 

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A couple things come to mind when talking about an active noise cancelling headset, way too complicated and the greatly reduced inability to hear what's going on around you on the road. I like a very subdued background noise, just enough to let me know there is a vehicle near my space.

I ended up making my own set to go with my PackTalk Bold. I'm using a set of 40mm drivers with a plastic enclosure on the back for sound isolation and tuning. Very simple and sound great! I can now have beautiful bass and decent highs with extremely low background noise on my 18' DCT Tour cruising at 70-80MPH without being bothered by wind noise. And the best part is I don't need to turn the bike's volume up past 10 anymore. The speakers work so well that I even can hear the limitation of Honda's bluetooth as I notice some high frequency rolloff. When I go directly from the Samsung Note 9 to the PackTalk via bluetooth the highs are amazing.

Here's what they look like installed in my helmet. And they are so comfortable I don't even feel them.

364919


364920
 

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Well,
I actually thought of the same kind of ear protection system quite some time ago but, mine was gonna be more mechanically activated like moving a small lever that would move the padded ear surrounds, closer to your ear, once the helmet was on and in place. I thought it would be pretty cool. But, this plan is much better than anything I could have thought of. And, as far as not hearing surround sound stuff, I'm not too worried about that. I would be WAY MORE THAN HAPPY to ride a LOT quieter than I do now. And we have brand new HJC helmets. To cut outside noise by what, 65% is what they said, WOW, is all I can say. I might have to look into this system.
Scott
 

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For Crabballs, are you able to isolate the plastic enclosures from touching the helmet itself? I found noise transfer from contact with the shell, necessitating the need to insulate the speaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well,
I actually thought of the same kind of ear protection system quite some time ago but, mine was gonna be more mechanically activated like moving a small lever that would move the padded ear surrounds, closer to your ear, once the helmet was on and in place. I thought it would be pretty cool. But, this plan is much better than anything I could have thought of. And, as far as not hearing surround sound stuff, I'm not too worried about that. I would be WAY MORE THAN HAPPY to ride a LOT quieter than I do now. And we have brand new HJC helmets. To cut outside noise by what, 65% is what they said, WOW, is all I can say. I might have to look into this system.
Scott
I find off-putting the idea that you have to inflate the ear-surround pads each time you put on the helmet. I can't see me doing it. Not doing it would defeat the purpose, and an automated-inflation system would be too complicated.
 

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For Crabballs, are you able to isolate the plastic enclosures from touching the helmet itself? I found noise transfer from contact with the shell, necessitating the need to insulate the speaks.
Yes. I think lot of what you sway can be attributed to the type/brand helmet you are using and each helmet will have different challenges. I'm using a Shark modular. And using a very small piece of Velcro on the back can provide great isolation. the speakers are totally sealed and air tight. I had to drill a 1/64th inch hole in the back for bass tuning. The idea here is to set it and forget it. I don't have to think about the speakers, just turn the bluetooth on, that's it.
 

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I find off-putting the idea that you have to inflate the ear-surround pads each time you put on the helmet. I can't see me doing it. Not doing it would defeat the purpose, and an automated-inflation system would be too complicated.
gkarasik,
Have ya ever watched some guys getting ready to ride? I mean, I've seen some take SO LONG to get ready with all kinds of prep. Put ear plugs in, helmet on, adjust visor(s), gloves, zipper, wrist bands, plug in I-com speaker system, and more. Yes, sometimes getting on a bike, to take a ride, is like a pilots check list in a 747. So, pumping up the little bladder ear surrounds is but one more thing. Now, to me, it would not be too big of a deal. If we're gonna be on the bike for say anywhere from 30 to oh, maybe 150+ miles, and, knowing that ALL of those miles would be SERIOUSLY quieted, yeah, I'd take the extra what, 2-3 seconds to pump them up. Now, our ride would be way more comfortable. This is a choice thing. You do whatever makes ya happy.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #9
gkarasik,
Have ya ever watched some guys getting ready to ride? I mean, I've seen some take SO LONG to get ready with all kinds of prep. Put ear plugs in, helmet on, adjust visor(s), gloves, zipper, wrist bands, plug in I-com speaker system, and more. Yes, sometimes getting on a bike, to take a ride, is like a pilots check list in a 747. So, pumping up the little bladder ear surrounds is but one more thing. Now, to me, it would not be too big of a deal. If we're gonna be on the bike for say anywhere from 30 to oh, maybe 150+ miles, and, knowing that ALL of those miles would be SERIOUSLY quieted, yeah, I'd take the extra what, 2-3 seconds to pump them up. Now, our ride would be way more comfortable. This is a choice thing. You do whatever makes ya happy.
Scott
Yes, you're right. Lots of guys--maybe the vast majority--won't object, and I think in some cases guys like all the ritual of the pre-flight. Personally--I'm not advocating this for others--the less of the pre-flight the better. I resent even having to put on my helmet and gloves. For me everything I have to do before I ride is an obstacle, and I try to keep pre-flight to an absolute minimum. I want just to hop on and go, so I think for me this pad-inflation business would be a deal-breaker. My Bose noice-cancelling headphones don't require any kind inflation to fit well and to work well, so I wonder why these in-helmet pads do and whether that might not be done away with in future iterations. (Also, from the description, it sounds like there would be some Princess Leia-style hair-dos left after helmet removal.)

Anyway, I think this is a terrific and wonderfully creative idea, and the last thing I mean to be doing in this thread is putting it down or in any way discouraging its development.
 

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gkarasik,
Have ya ever watched some guys getting ready to ride? I mean, I've seen some take SO LONG to get ready with all kinds of prep. Put ear plugs in, helmet on, adjust visor(s), gloves, zipper, wrist bands, plug in I-com speaker system, and more. Yes, sometimes getting on a bike, to take a ride, is like a pilots check list in a 747. So, pumping up the little bladder ear surrounds is but one more thing. Now, to me, it would not be too big of a deal. If we're gonna be on the bike for say anywhere from 30 to oh, maybe 150+ miles, and, knowing that ALL of those miles would be SERIOUSLY quieted, yeah, I'd take the extra what, 2-3 seconds to pump them up. Now, our ride would be way more comfortable. This is a choice thing. You do whatever makes ya happy.
Scott
I'm the opposite, I just want to put my helmet on and secure the chin strap and go. I don't want to think about doing all that frivolous crap as I'm on and off my bike numerous times during a ride. All accessories should be designed that very little user intervention or thought is needed. No way am I going to buy accessories that take a PhD to use.
 

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I have the passive version of this but not installed it yet. Ripping out the internals of my helmet is a pretty big shore to take on. So in the meantime I just use:

 

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I have the passive version of this but not installed it yet. Ripping out the internals of my helmet is a pretty big shore to take on. So in the meantime I just use:

When you've got them fitted, be sure to come back and tell us how well they work for you. (y) And, do your present ear buds actually cancel some helmet noise?
 

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This is similar to the setup in a military flight helmet. I worked around helicopters when I worked for the National Park Service and we wore flight helmets. The ear cups really cut the noise. For the ear pads, you pump them up before you put the helmet on and then leave it once it is adjusted to where you like it. It is not a change every time you take it on or off. These systems are not cheap. For a brand new helmet with speakers, it would cost over $1000.00 and that is for the cheap one. I just scanned the article quickly and did not notice a price if there was one posted.

This seems to cumbersome. You need to turn on an external mic when you want to hear someone talk when stopped. This should come on automatically when the system does not register noise over a certain db. That is what my ear protection does that I use when shooting firearms.

I wish the guy luck with development. I will just stick with my custom ear plugs and helmet speakers. The custom plugs take about an extra 10-15 seconds to put in. They have been working fine for over 10 years.
 

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I ended up making my own set to go with my PackTalk Bold. I'm using a set of 40mm drivers with a plastic enclosure on the back for sound isolation and tuning. Very simple and sound great! I can now have beautiful bass and decent highs with extremely low background noise on my 18' DCT Tour cruising at 70-80MPH without being bothered by wind noise. And the best part is I don't need to turn the bike's volume up past 10 anymore. The speakers work so well that I even can hear the limitation of Honda's bluetooth as I notice some high frequency rolloff. When I go directly from the Samsung Note 9 to the PackTalk via bluetooth the highs are amazing.

Here's what they look like installed in my helmet. And they are so comfortable I don't even feel them.

View attachment 364919

View attachment 364920
Interesting ... Where did you get those tuneable speakers? A link or part number? TIA!
 

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Interesting ... Where did you get those tuneable speakers? A link or part number? TIA!
I removed the 40mm drivers from a pair of broken Bose headphones, the rear enclosure is a Caplug X-18, and the cushions are 65mm Chinese pads I got on eBay. Total investment, less than $30.
 

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I, on the other hand take that pre-flight time to focus-clear my head of distractions, and prepare to become invisible on the road and think everyone is out to get me. In that; ear plugs in/helmet on/plug in cord/put on gloves/check jacket/stratal the bike/etc is my get your head on staright time. I like the cupping of the ear thing but would forget to inflate the bladders and be distracted on the road. Yelling in my helmet. I also tried the in-ear speaker plugs, Moulded to my ears and think that they are not the best idea for riding as they pick up humm from the bike or overhead wires, become uncomfortable and I have a lot of discomfort after taking them out, and more than once have started them up at full volume, that being TOO LOUD HURTING MY EARS !! WHAT DID YOU SAY??? It was a big waste of money.
 

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my problem is trying to reach my boots after getting into the Tourmaster pants.

I wear a moisture absorbent head sock to keep my helmet clean.
Mesh jacket, and gloves.
maybe 10 mintues from start to kickstands up.

I use the EdSets Thunderclap speakers in my helmet, corded, no Bluetooth.
 
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