Think engine noise & motorcycle exhaust are your biggest concerns when it comes to hearing?
Wrong. The actual enemy in question is the wind noise. In fact, a study from OSHA found wind noise to be extremely hazardous to your hearing, especially in the absence of a proper helmet.
This doesn’t necessarily mean one should stop biking altogether. But it does call for advanced gears that offer more hearing protection, like an aerodynamic helmet.
That said, today, we will review the 5 best motorcycle helmets for hearing aids and cover numerous questions along the way. Continue reading to learn more on:
- How many types of ‘quiet’ motorcycle helmets are available on the market?
- What makes motorcycle helmets quieter?
- How to care for hearing aids when biking?
The YM-926 is a lightweight helmet constructed from ABS material. The material enhances durability while its aerodynamic design allows the helmet to resist wind and effectively minimise drag & noise. For the interior, the helmet is lined with multi-density EPS along with soft & smooth pads that are completely removable & washable.
The helmet is supported by a sturdy chin strap and a quick snap & release buckle.
What we like:
Adjustable Vents: The 360° adjustable ventilation vents give the user complete control over airflow, which helps control the rattling wind noise while speeding.
Quality Construction: The lightweight & flexible construction of the YM-926 serves as a great solution to frequent complaints users typically make on full-face modular helmets such as low-quality shell, extra weight, hard opening, etc.
How many types of ‘quiet’ motorcycle helmets are available on the market?
These are the different quiet helmets currently available on the market. Each helmet offers different performances in terms of noise reduction.
- Full Face Helmets: As the name suggests, this one pretty much covers every part of the head via a solid material, except the eye region. Clear or tinted visors or both typically cover the eye section. Since the helmet covers most of the head, it leaves very little space for noise to enter inside the helmet.
- Modular Helmets: These come with their chin bar completely removed or flipped so that it can convert from a fully-covered helmet to an open space helmet. The downside is that the helmet only goes quiet when its chin bar is pulled/flipped downward, and it’s pretty dangerous to ride the motorcycle with the bar flipped up.
- Off-road Helmets: Although very similar to full-face helmets, it differs due to its angular chin bar paired with the absolute sun peak. As dust & road noises are pretty common during off-road riding, the helmet is often optimised with ventilation for fresh air supply. Moreover, its shape and design allow smoother airflow, which results in the quietness of the helmet.
What makes motorcycle helmets quieter?
Once you ride over 40 mph, wind noise takes over the sound of both the engine and the road. This means less protection equals more wind disturbance, thus, increasing the risk of hearing damage & loss. A helmet won’t cut any wind/road noise when made poorly or doesn’t fit you, which is a ticket to an uncomfortable ride.
This is where helmets with features like an aerodynamic design come in. The design drastically decreases wind drag & noise. Fewer contours to catch wind mean quieter the ride, and it’s one reason why full-face helmets remain the quietest model.
Additional features like the interior padding further insulate against noise. Note that the foam composition often varies from soft, hard, memory to combination. Instances like layered padding allow a better and quieter fit as well. Air duct placement is another essential element that keeps noise away from your ears while cooling the inside.
Moreover, today we have advanced helmets that offer a noise cancellation system. It creates reverse sound waves of the original sound collected by a mic placed around the ear and subsequently played via an ear speaker, thus, reducing harmful noise levels.
What makes a motorcycle helmet noisy?
Noise typically enters a helmet via its visor seal, air vents, and chin gaps. Although noise levels differ depending on the fit of the rider’s head within the helmet, a loose-fitting helmet will further cause the level to increase. Additionally, your helmet tilt, bike type, and flow of speed are proven to affect noise production as well.
Are modular helmets loud?
Although modular helmets can reduce noise and often come with noise reduction features, they are noisier than full-face helmets. But that doesn’t necessarily mean modular helmets are loud, and their noise reduction efficiency is much more effective when compared to open face helmets.
How to care for hearing aids when biking?
If you’re set on using hearing aids inside the helmet, moisture can cause a big concern. However, there are measures one can take to avoid moisture damage. Make sure to stop biking every now & then to wipe your ears & hearing aids and keep yourself hydrated.
Another issue during cold temperatures is condensation. Along with your sweat, the hearing aids will collect moisture from the air, and the battery life will deplete because of the frigid temperature. Hence, remember to carry extra batteries if you’re planning on a long ride.
Can we cut the inner lining of the helmet to accommodate hearing aids?
No. It may seem like you’re making a snug fit for your hearing aid, but in reality, it only compromises the helmet’s security. It is highly recommended not to reduce any inner foam or protection of the helmet.
Are there alternatives to HA’s when riding a motorcycle?
Many audiologists advise patients not to ride with hearing aids. So, if you’re following that advice, worry not. There are specific alternatives available to cancel out wind noise and protect your ear.
You can use highly beneficial custom moulded ear protection or go for a quality pair of earplugs if you want a cheaper solution. Another option is to utilise a windjammer, a neoprene helmet cover designed to keep helmets insulated from wind noise & drafts.
How much can we spend on a biking/motorcycle helmet?
This is a general question, and the answer generally depends on how much you’re willing to invest in your safety. We’re not just talking about money. You may be thinking expensive helmets give it all, but there are helmets at different price points that produce a similar effect.
Going for the most expensive or the least expensive solely based on the pricing isn’t a good idea. In other words, it’s more important to research and check the helmet’s fit before sealing the deal. As mentioned earlier, it’s more than investing money; it’s about investing time as well.
How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Helmet for Hearing Aids?
Here’s a simple buying guide to help choose the correct helmet. It consists of essential factors necessary to find the best motorcycle helmet for hearing aids.
Always get your sizing right
No matter how noise-free your helmet is, it won’t matter if it’s not the right fit. Smaller gaps equal less chance of wind rattling inside the helmet. Aside from that, the wind can also start pulling your head away quicker if it’s a bigger fit and dislodge your hearing aid in the process if you are wearing one.
Additionally, big helmets deliver less protection in a crash as well. Remember, the quietest helmets are those with a good fit so, make sure always to get the sizing right.
Aerodynamic Design & Visor Seal
When it comes to reducing noise, aerodynamic helmets make the quietest helmets. The helmet blocks air from the ears by driving it away through the bottom opening. Whether you’re wearing HA’s inside or not, it’s an important feature to look out for in helmets.
The visor seal is another feature that requires equal attention. A fully-closed visor can bring a big difference in cancelling out wind noise. A poorly designed one will vibrate or loosen after some use, so pay proper attention to the chin piece.
Helmet straps seem like a minor thing, and however, when adjusted incorrectly, they can flap around and make tons of noise. Plus, it will not offer complete protection in case of an accident, so make sure to check it often.
That said, a strap doesn’t usually make much noise unless an extra strap is left behind after adjustment. This results in flappy noise, and the extra strap is often trimmed and burnt. Fortunately, most modern helmets with toothed straps don’t face this issue, so we suggest looking for such straps. It saves the trouble of trimming and keeps your security intact.
Features like noise reduction, communication facility, wind control measures, and integrated shades enhance the joy of riding while minimising risks. Helmets with more advanced features come with a higher price tag. However, if money isn’t an issue, these helmets are worth the investment.
The weight of the helmet influences the comfort factor of your ride. Hence, this is an essential factor to consider. If you’re used to wearing earplugs or HA’s when riding, we suggest you look for a lightweight helmet. A heavy helmet will not only leave you with a headache, but it can easily knock off your device as well.
Reviews of the Best Motorcycle Helmet for Hearing Aids
This one features a complete lightweight, aerodynamic construction with the front backed by a clear visor. The multiple vents allow efficient control of airflow and wind noise, while its removable chin cover further helps reduce wind noise.
What we like:
Quality Materials: The helmet is composed of quality material with ECE certification, thanks to its lightweight, aerodynamic polycarbonate material.
Great Noise Cancellation: The JDC prism has great vent placement, soft padding, and a chin cover that provides excellent noise cancellation.
The Mamao Bluetooth helmet is composed of a lightweight ABS shell and multi-density, shock-absorbing EPS. This advanced helmet is supported by a Bluetooth system with high-grade lining & breathable padding on the inside.
What we like:
Bluetooth system: The helmet features an advanced Bluetooth system that allows users to pair via a mobile phone. Automatically connecting to incoming calls, listening to music, etc., are some features users can get from the connectivity.
Multiple colour option: A surprising bonus the company adds with this helmet is the multiple colour availability. It comes in a massive collection of 20+ colours & designs.
The LS2 NC helmet is a full-face helmet constructed from thermoplastic polycarbonate. A durable & lightweight material that allows users to put the helmet on/off quickly. The helmet is further backed by an anti-scratch visor & a micro-locking buckle system.
What we like:
Ease of use: Owing to its lightweight, the helmet is easy to put on/off, even when users wear accessories or tools such as headphones, earplugs or HA’s.
Comfortable fitting: The helmet offers an excellent fit with comfortable & breathable padding around the interior.
The YM-831 is a stylish matt black helmet with an aerodynamic shell. Helmet operation is supported by a quick-release buckle, sun visor, and Bluetooth system. Washable & removable liners and pads support the inner surface.
What we like:
Aerodynamic shell: Its aerodynamic shell aids in keeping your head streamlined. This helps reduce drag and loud wind noise and prevents headaches and dizziness.
Adjustable intake & exhaust vents: The helmet’s adjustable vent system keeps the user cool and comfortable and helps circulate fresh airflow.
Today, many full-face helmets have the “quietest motorcycle helmet” tag. However, Yema YM-926 is one helmet that genuinely lives up to the name through its performance. It is indeed an extremely quiet helmet supported by tons of features. Let’s say, with the Yema YM-926, it’s a product worth investing in.