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If you love the feeling of blasting your motorcycle along the highway, weaving through traffic and chasing the horizon, but miss being able to listen to the radio or hold a conversation like you can in a car, then you need motorcycle helmet speakers. Helmet speakers will transform your helmet into a mobile communication system; one that’s easy to set up and safe to use while riding. Whether you want to chat to your pals, receive GPS instructions, or listen to your favorite Spotify playlist as you ride, wired or Bluetooth helmet speakers can enable you do all these things, and more.
So, which of the many headsets available have the best sound quality, what features should you be looking for, and which are the best value for money? Have a read of our buying guide to the best motorcycle helmet speakers to answer all of these questions, and help you make an informed purchasing decision. You’ll be on your way to becoming a Bluetooth-enabled biker in no time!
The Best Motorcycle Helmet Speaker
Our pick of the best motorcycle helmet speakers on the market has to be the Sena 20S-01 Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System. This wireless helmet speaker has a universal intercom feature that allows you to connect to the Bluetooth headsets of up to 8 friends, up to a distance of 1.2 miles, making it perfect for group rides. Multitasking technology means you can simultaneously speak to your buddies whilst listening to music, FM radio or your GPS. If you need to call some further afield, the device can also be paired with up to two cellphones.
These hi-tech helmet headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 technology to pair with your phone or other Bluetooth devices, and can do so with just a shake of the device, thanks to motion sensor technology. Advanced noise control ensures a crystal clear HD-quality audio, even in the presence of traffic and background noise. The intuitive hands-free design responds to voice commands, so it’s super easy to control whilst riding, and doesn’t distract you from the road. Reviews praise multiple aspect of these helmet speakers, from the clear sound quality to the ease of set-up – however, at least one review mentions that the microphone piece worn on the outer helmet is not waterproof, so avoid using this in the rain.
Bluetooth 4.1 wireless helmet speaker with noise control
Connect up to 8 riders to a range of 1.2 miles
Multitasking technology allows you to converse whilst listening to music or GPS
Hands-free design responds to voice commands
- Weight2.08 ounces
Next up is the Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK Motorcycle Communication System. Like the Sena 20S, the PACKTALK has Bluetooth 4.1, but this is combined with Cardo’s DMC (Dynamic Network Communication) technology, which gives it the ability to connect up to 15 users over long-range intercom using DMC mesh networking. It claims to provide an ultra-fast and seamless conference calling experience, superior to Bluetooth, up to a distance of 5 miles. If you want to talk to your bestie in private, the DMC Private Chat feature also allows 1:1 conversation within the group.
If you do find yourself in a group chat situation, there’s no need to let it take over your airwaves – parallel audio streaming technology means that you can simultaneously hear conversations whilst listening to your music, FM radio or GPS. Other features of these cutting-edge motorcycle speakers include voice recognition, music sharing, self-adjusting volume and DMC Bridge, which allows any mobile phone or Bluetooth intercom user to connect to a DMC mesh group conversation. The PACKTALK is also waterproof and dustproof, so you should be safe to use it in all weathers – reviews confirm it stands up to wet and wintery conditions.
Dual technology: Bluetooth 4.1 and DMC
Connect up to 15 riders over long-range intercom (5 miles), or hold private chats
Parallel audio streaming technology for multi-tasking
Waterproof and dustproof
- Weight2.08 ounces
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, these Uclear Digital Pulse Wired Helmet Speakers could be just what you need. Unlike the first two devices on this list, which are full wireless communication systems, these Pulse speakers are helmet speakers only, which can be used in conjunction with a helmet communication system, audio device or Smartphone. They connect via a gold-plated 3.5mm stereo audio jack, and can be used to upgrade your current communication system, including the Sena 20S and Cardo PACKTALK.
These hi-definition helmet speakers are designed to provide a superior level of audio quality with extreme bass and crisp sound. Many reviews praise the sound quality, and at least one claims the sound is better at loud volumes than the standard Packtalk speakers. Pulse speakers feature a universal fit and are easy to transfer between helmets. Note that the only function of these headphones is to provide high audio quality; application will depend on the device(s) you are using them with.
Hi-definition audio speakers only
Compatible with most helmet communication systems and Smartphones
Provides extreme bass and crisp sound
Easy to transfer between helmets
- Weight2.88 ounces
This Heneng Wireless Motorcycle Helmet Headset uses Bluetooth 3.0 technology to connect up to 6 riders – although you can only speak to them individually, one at a time, so it isn’t suitable for group chats. It also has a relatively low operating range of only 500m. However, if it’s just you and a friend, and you like riding close together, this might be sufficient, and is a more affordable alternative to the Sena and Cardo communication systems.
You can connect the Heneng headset to your Smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled device and enjoy being able to listen to your music, receive audio GPS navigation instructions, or answer incoming calls. It has a cellphone talk time of 8 hours, and 150 hours standby, so it shouldn’t run out of battery on longer rides. If you’re on an overnight trip, it can be recharged fully in 2.5 hours. It also features noise suppression technology to improve the quality of sound – although some reviewers mention that the volume level is insufficient when riding on a highway, especially if you don’t have a full face helmet.
Bluetooth 3.0 wireless headset
Connect up to 6 riders (but only speak to 1 at a time)
500 meter operating range
Up to 8 hours talk time, 150 hours standby
- BrandShenzhen xinlangrui electronic
- Weight9.6 ounces
Another more affordable helmet headset which uses Bluetooth 3.0 is this LEXIN LX-B4FM 4 Way Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Intercom. This one allows you to connect via intercom to up to 4 riders, who you can talk to simultaneously up to a range of 1 mile. Connect to your phone via Bluetooth to make and receive calls, and listen to music and navigation instructions. You can listen to music for up to 15 hours, talk on the phone for 15 hours and leave on standby for up to 350 hours, and the device recharges in 3 – 5 hours.
The waterproof design of these wireless helmet speakers also makes them suitable for use in all weathers. There’s no voice command feature, but there are large buttons to make it easier for you to make selections whilst riding – although at least one reviewer experienced difficulty with the volume buttons. The general consensus of reviews though is that these are functional and good quality helmet speakers, for a quarter of the price of the Sena and Cardo versions.
Bluetooth 3.0 hands-free headset
Intercom with up to 4 riders at a range of 1 mile
15 hours music playback, 15 hours talk time, 350 hours standby
- BrandLEXIN ELECTRONICS
- Weight6.7 ounces
Designed with winter sports enthusiasts in mind, this Outdoor Tech Chips 2.0 Universal Bluetooth Helmet Audio System can be used in temperatures as low as -20°C/-4°F degrees, making it perfect for cold weather riding. The speakers use Bluetooth 4.0 technology to wirelessly connect to your Smartphone and allow you to listen to music. Push buttons on the earphones enable you to control the volume, skip tracks, pause audio and receive calls. There’ s a built-in microphone which enables you to hold conversations and give voice commands to Siri.
As these helmet speakers are intended for use by skiers and snowboarders, it is possible to download a free Walkie-Talkie app, which when synced with your Chips 2.0 earphones, allows you to communicate with your ‘crew’ up to a limitless range. However, this does use your cell network, so it depends on both you and the person you’re talking to having good cell data signal. If you’re looking for an affordable option to listen to music whilst riding, and the other riders you want to communicate with are happy to use the same set-up, then these hard-wearing helmet headphones are a solid choice.
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless helmet speakers
10 hours of playtime
Walkie-Talkie communication app to a limitless range
Designed for use in extreme cold temperatures
- BrandOutdoor Technology
- Weight2.24 ounces
Next up is another model of motorcycle helmet speaker by Sena – the SMH10-10. A simpler version of the previous design, this one offers intercom communication for up to 4 riders, at a range of of 900 meters. The Bluetooth 3.0 allows you to connect to any Bluetooth device for music streaming or GPS navigation, and you’ll get 12 hours talk time and up to 10 days standby from each full charge.
This headset also includes Sena’s advanced noise control feature, which is intended to reduce background noise and make it easier to hear when riding. This seems to be effective, as many reviewers praise the clear audio. One negative though, as another review highlights, is that these Sena models are not waterproof, and can be damaged or broken by use in the rain.
Bluetooth 3.0 headset and intercom
Intercom for up to 4 riders at a range of 900 meters (940 yards)
Advanced noise control technology
Up to 12 hours talk time and 10 days standby
- Weight1.54 pounds
If you would prefer to test out some of the functions of helmet speakers before investing in a higher-quality headset, this Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Headset from VR-robot offers many of the same features, and cannot be beaten on price. Connect wirelessly to your Smartphone to be able to listen to music, and use voice commands with the built-in microphone.
Some reviews comment that the sound is difficult to hear when riding at high speed, and at least one complains that the speakers are too thick to fit properly in their helmet – but the general consensus seems to be that these represent great value for money and are well worth purchasing, even if there are a few design flaws.
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless helmet headphones
Listen to music and answer calls
Sound reminder function
- Weight1.92 ounces
The third offering from industry leaders Sena on our list is their SMH5-UNIV Bluetooth Headset and Intercom for Motorcycles. These helmet headphones offer another simplified version of our top pick, with Bluetooth 3.0 technology that allows you to connect to your phone for music, GPS and calls. There’s an intercom communication function for up to 4 riders, although no built-in FM radio like on the 20S model.
One advantage of these speakers over some other headsets is that they can be used whilst charging – meaning you don’t need to worry on longer riders, or if you forget to charge them the night before. Many reviews also praise the high quality audio of this Sena headset compared with cheaper models. One top tip from reviewers of these and other helmet headphones seems to be to wear earplugs whilst you’re using them, as they drown out wind noise – although you will need to have the speaker volume turned right up!
Bluetooth 3.0 helmet headset
Intercom feature for up to 4 riders
Can be used whilst charging
Easy to control with gloved hands
- Weight13.1 ounces
The final set of motorcycle helmet speakers on our list is this HS-H130P Helmet Headset from iMC Motorcom. Designed specifically for Harley Davidson 7 pin audio systems, it interfaces seamlessly with your Harley’s factory-installed music system and intercom. It can be used with any type of helmet configuration, including open face and modular helmets. The speakers are easy to install and can be interchanged without extensive modification.
The HS-H130P features a directional noise cancelling microphone, for clearer communication whilst riding, whilst the flat panel speakers ensure a crisp audio. Reviewers praise the high sound quality when using the headset as an intercom and for listening to music. If you’re a Harley rider, this is the headset for you!
6mm motorcycle helmet speakers
Works with all 7 Pin Harley Davidson Audio Systems after 1998
Directional noise cancelling microphone
Compatible with all helmet types
- BrandIMC Motorcom
- Weight7.2 ounces
Motorcycle Helmet Speaker Buying Guide
If you’re still not sure which are the best motorcycle helmet speakers for your needs, have a read of our FAQs to help you decide – you’ll be hurtling down the highway listening to Bon Jovi in no time!
Features to Look for in Motorcycle Helmet Speakers
When choosing helmet speakers, consider how they will connect to your device. Generally, speakers either connect via a wire to your audio jack, or via Bluetooth. The former means the presence of a wire which could get in your way, but does guarantee a connection, whilst the latter is wireless, but the connection can sometimes be lost.
- Bluetooth version
There are different versions of Bluetooth technology available, including 4.1, 4.0 and 3.0. Bluetooth 4.0 has a faster speed than 3.0, as well as improved range and connectivity, so it’s the superior option (and the price tag will generally reflect this). Bluetooth 4.1 is better still, as it features an improved low energy protocol which allows it to manage its power and the power of your device more effectively, enabling them both to last longer.
- High quality audio
You’re going to want high sound quality from your helmet speakers, so you can enjoy the best possible listening experience. Read reviews to get an idea of the audio quality on offer, and look for noise cancellation features which will help to minimize background distractions. This is especially important if you want to use your helmet speakers to make and receive phone calls whilst riding.
As well as allowing you to listen to music and GPS navigation, another advantage of Bluetooth motorcycle speakers is that they can allow you to connect to nearby riders via universal intercom. This means that you can talk to your riding companions whilst you’re on the road, and allows you to talk to multiple riders at once. How many people you can connect to at a time varies depending on the headset, so make sure you look for one which can include the whole gang!
- Operational range
Similarly, each model of helmet headphones has a different range at which their intercoms will work. Of just the speakers featured here, this varies from 500 meters to 5 miles, so there’s quite a difference. If you want to use this feature, consider how far you and your riding partner or friends are usually apart from each other, and what kind of range you would need.
- Easy controls
You need to make sure your helmet headset is easy to use whilst riding, to minimize potential distraction from the road. Most good headsets with a built-in microphone allow you to use voice commands to control your audio. Many also have buttons to control volume or other functions – look for a design with large and easily accessible buttons, designed to be used by gloved hands.
Finally, make sure you purchase speakers that are suitable for your style of helmet, and are the correct size to fit the space available. Don’t choose speakers that are too big and bulky, as these may be uncomfortable when pressed against your ears inside the helmet.
Why Should You Buy Motorcycle Helmet Speakers?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to invest in some motorcycle helmet speakers. We’ve outlined a few of them below:
- Communicate with other riders
If you ride with a partner or group, Bluetooth motorcycle helmet speakers can allow you to connect and communicate with these riders via universal intercom (providing they have a Bluetooth enabled device too). This will only work when the other riders are within range.
- Make and answer calls
If you’re someone who receives a lot of important calls, or perhaps you just don’t like to miss the unimportant ones, you need helmet headphones. When connected via Bluetooth to your cellphone, helmet speakers allow you to answer your phone and make calls using your phone’s hands-free function, all whilst riding your motorcycle.
- Listen to music
Another great reason to buy helmet headphones is that they will allow you to listen to music on your motorcycle. We all love the sound of the open road whooshing past, but it can get a bit boring after a while! Instead, connect your helmet speakers to your phone or mp3 device via Bluetooth or audio jack, and tune in to your favorite Spotify playlist as you ride.
- Listen to the radio
Similarly, you can also use motorcycle helmet speakers to listen to the radio. This is particularly useful if you’re not one for Spotify and don’t hold a lot of music on your phone. Some headsets have a built-in FM radio, so just tune in, and you’re ready to go.
- Audio navigation
Last, but by no means least, one of the most useful applications of motorcycle helmet speakers is to listen to your GPS navigation system. Once the device is connected to your cellphone, you’ll be able to receive audio instructions from your chosen map app, and never get lost again!
Wired Vs. Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Speakers
Bluetooth motorcycle speakers are generally considered preferable to wired ones, because you don’t have to worry about the wire getting in your way, or ripping it out whilst riding. Wireless Bluetooth technology also means you can connect to any device within range, enabling you to have group intercom conversations whilst riding. One advantage of wired speakers is that you will not lose the connection, as can sometimes happen with Bluetooth speakers – unless of course you pull the wire out.
Best Motorcycle Helmet Speaker FAQ:
Q: What is the range of motorcycle helmet speakers?
A: The intercom range of motorcycle helmet speakers varies from model to model. Some cheaper designs will have a range of only a few hundred meters, whilst other more high-end models can have a range of several miles. The Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK Motorcycle Communication System has one of the longest operational ranges at up to 5 miles.
Q: Can I listen to music?
A: Yes, absolutely. Enabling you to listen to music whilst riding your motorcycle is one of the best functions of helmet speakers. Usually, you can do this by connecting your speakers to your cellphone via Bluetooth, and playing music through your phone - whether from your library or via Spotify etc. Some headsets also have a built-in FM radio, allowing you to tune in to the airwaves at the push of a button.
Q: Can I connect to my cellphone?
A: Yes, most motorcycle speakers allow you to connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth technology. This then enables you to hear anything playing through your phone, such as music or GPS navigation instructions. You can also make and receive phone calls using your cellphone’s hands-free feature.
Q: How can I make my headset last as long as possible?
A: There are certain steps you can take to extend the life of your headset. First, you should find out whether your headset is waterproof – if not, make sure never to use it in rain or extreme weather. Even if it is, you should still treat it with care and not expose it unnecessarily. If you’re not going to be using your headset for a while (for example if you’re leaving your motorcycle parked up for winter) remove the speakers from the helmet and place the device and all accessories somewhere safe and dry to store.
Our Top Pick
Any one of these headsets will transform the way you ride, but our pick of the absolute best motorcycle speakers has to be the Sena 20S-01 Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System. The Bluetooth 4.1 technology allows you to connect with up to 8 friends at a considerable distance of 1.2 miles, whilst the multi-tasking technology means you can connect to the group without compromising on your music, radio or navigation listening experience. A host of other hi-tech features such as motion sensor technology, voice control and advanced noise control for a crystal clear audio ensure that these Bluetooth helmet speakers are a worthwhile investment for any ‘sound’ motorcycle rider.
- Head Injuries: Why Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets Should Be Mandatory - HuffPost
- Choosing the Best Motorbike Helmet Style - DrivingTests
- What's the safest type of motorcycle helmet? - HowStuffWorks