Headphones for cycling?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Shifty Geezer, May 29, 2012.

  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer New Member

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    A couple of years ago I was wanting to listen to audiobooks while cycling to work. I tried several different pairs of headphones and they all suffered from terrible wind noise at anything above walking pace making them unusable. Revisiting this idea, I've learnt about Bone Conduction headphones which I'm guessing will have zero wind noise, but I don't know what other headphones are available. The recommendations I've read for things like the Sennheiser PMX680s suggest they are also capable. Waterproof headphones would be a benefit as well, but sound quality doesn't matter as it's only spoken voice I want.

    Anyone have any suggestions, especially cyclists with real-world experience?
     
  2. holmes

    holmes New Member

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    What do ohms do?
     
  3. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    All electrical circuits have resistance to current flow. OHMs is the measure of that resistance.
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi Shifty Geezer

    Many people use the Grado iGrado for cycling. There will be some wind noise with this type of open backed headphone as part of the reason this is a popular choice is that you can still hear road traffic.

    If you are in the countryside and therefore not as exposed to traffic then IEM's will cut wind noise to a minimum.

    Guide to the best IEM's


    Feel free to ask more questions.
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm commuting on major roads, so want full audio awareness. At ~£40, the iGrado's are similarly priced to the Chilli Air bone-conduction headphones, which I've only found on Amazon. The Chilli's should be completely without wind noise. I have two concerns with them which is 1) Price, if a £10 pair of headphones can do just as well. I don't care for sound quality; 2) external audibility as Amazon reviews say the audio is clear to other people (at which point, what's the use of being contact headphones when they could just be worn around your neck...). I can't see why they'd need to oscillate the air much if they are securely pressed against the head. As you don't stock them, I'm guessing you haven't experienced them first hand. If all open-backed headphones are going to have wind noise (which you'd expect) I may just give the Chilli's a go.
     
  6. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I really don't like the bone conduction headphones, they are uncomfortable and do not sound as good. Surely you will still have wind noise if you are not wearing any headphones? Maybe I have missed something there:) I'm sure there are some fans of the bone conductors out there but I use these iGrados, they leak a bit of noise but not enough to bug anyone whilst cycling. If the bone conductors don't do the job give the Grados a chance as they sound amazing.
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer New Member

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    Sure, there's wind noise just from the ears. But the ear-bud headphones I have tried while cycling generated *loads* of noise, even at slow speeds, that drowned out all audio.

    I can't think of any way to actually test the headphones for the intended purpose before actually buying! I suppose I'm entitled to return them for a full refund, but that's a bit of a faf.
     
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Shops do not have to accept earphones back into stock so make sure you check before you buy. Any items which go into the ear are deemed a hygiene risk and are therefore treated like food and drugs - nonreturnable (by sellers choice) after being opened as they cannot be sold as new again.

    Other than finding a shop with a cycling track and a massive selection of headphones which you could try (wish I could point you at one but...) there are not many options for trying things up front. If you are a very keen cyclist and like writing you could see if a cycling magazine would be interested in publishing a round-up - then you could get samples! You would be unlucky to try 5 good headphones and not find one that worked how you would like.
     
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