Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Noise Canceling Headsets for Helments?

  1. #1
    - 109029's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Randolph, NJ
    Posts
    7

    Question Noise Canceling Headsets for Helments?

    Does anyone know if there are any noise canceling headsets for helmets? I'm looking for something like the Bose headphones that cancel out unwanted noise. Mostly what I want to do is to minimize the wind noise (I wear a Shoei RF-900) but still be able to hear the engine, traffic, etc. After a half hour's ride or more I have a terrible ringing in the ears from the wind noise (I have tinnitus, my ears ring almost all the time, but the ringing gets annoyingly loud after prolonged exposure to noise). I tried earplugs, they did help a little bit, but they were not too comfortable for me and I felt that they also cut out sounds that I did want to hear. I'm tempted to get a pair of Aiwa noise canceling headphones (about $50) and try to fit the earpieces into the helmet as an experiment, has anyone tried anything like this?

    Thanks much for any info.

    -- Jonathan Gabel

  2. #2
    Registered User RT_Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    189
    I haven't tried noise-cancelling headsets although it's a neat idea if it would work.

    Did you try custom ear plugs or the generic foam plugs? I recommend much more comfortable custom plugs as a much simpler solution.

  3. #3
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    7,799

    From another thread...

    Howdy...

    In the thread, http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....&pagenumber=2, there was quite a bit of talk about noise cancelling plugs. Here is my coupla cents on it

    Actually the noise cancelling headphones are not as effective in protection as ear plugs.

    They are incredible, I have a couple of sets and they do work really well, Sony has also come out with some in ear ones that work well.

    The way they work is by producing noise that is out of phase with the ambient noise. However studies have not proven that they are true protection as they do involve the injection of additional acoustic energy.

    Having said that, I do use mine a lot on airplanes. Just to cut down on fatigue and to listen to music. I know that they are not real protection.

    Having worked designing sound systems that could cause damage to hearing, I have learned and studied the rules and guidelines for noise exposure and protection. I must say that the views expressed are my own and should not be treated as legal advice.
    I have also tried the Sony in ear noise cancelling plugs and they do okay, but something else to consider is where the sensor/microphone is placed in the system as that will have a large impact on the effectiveness.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  4. #4
    - 109029's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Randolph, NJ
    Posts
    7
    Brad:

    Thanks for the link to the older post, there was a lot of good advice in there. I'll look into the various other brands and custom ear plugs. I agree that there is going to be a balance between comfort and noise reduction. I had tried generic foam ear plugs, what was uncomfortable for me was that with them sealing off my ear canal it felt as if my ears were congested. I am curious to know if the custom plugs in any way can provide some venting, which I know sounds contrary as I would think that any venting might diminish their effectiveness.

    I have a pair of the Bose headphones, I use them for all the times I fly on business and when mowing the lawn. They are very comfortable and work very well at reducing the noise they are designed to cancel. They are in my opinion worth their expensive price. What promted my intial post question was what I saw on the Bose website; Bose makes headsets for pilots, and also headsets (and maybe helmets?) for military use, see:

    http://www.bose.com/controller;jsessionid=Bhhn1PSAkPXx11jmrzKrsOtdNnod LTbJBqxJ0tu9oPJoeKEmKwfj!1074317330?event=VIEW_STA TIC_PAGE_EVENT&url=/professional/military/crewman.jsp&pageName=/professional/military/index.jsp

    I have sent Bose an email inquiring if they have anything similar in the works for motorcycle applications.

    -- Jonathan

  5. #5
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    7,799
    My hope is that David Clark (http://www.davidclark.com/) will come out with something or perhaps a Helicopter Helmet (http://www.flightsuits.com/helm_sph5.html)
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  6. #6
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587
    After riding round trip Dallas to Spokane , I've become a big believer in ear plugs to cut down on ringing. While not perfect, they're better than nothing. I'm about to try a custom pair since the foam ones seem to be hit or miss and not always comfortable.
    Ear plugs are like shovels in that they don't come with instructions so I've tried all kind of ways to insert them. When they work, besides the noise protection, they really help concentration.

    I think a good candidate who should adopt the noise cancelling technology should be AutocomAutocom
    since they work so hard to make a quality motorcycle product. I'll send them a note and share what I find.

  7. #7
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West Salem, OH
    Posts
    2,888
    I had a set of earplugs made, they are worth every cent. It is like I have nothing in my ear, but the noise reduction is amazing.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  8. #8
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587
    Here's the reply I received from Autocom after asking them about incorporating noise cancellation.

    Thank you for your input:
    We are always looking for ways to make Autocom even better. We have been looking into the negative feedback noise cancellation you are talking about. The biggest issue is the fact that motorcycle noise is very inconsistent. Bose headsets and others like them generally work well on airplanes, factories, etc. which all have very constant types of background noise. When the background noise changes often (exhaust, wind, etc.) it is very difficult for the negative feedback to work well. Hopefully sometime in the near future.

    Regards:
    Rick Suhocki
    Product and Technical Development Manager

  9. #9
    1flyer
    Guest
    Last year while I was at Oshkosh, I asked the various aircraft headset vendors about both noise canceling headsets and small boom mikes and headsets for motorcycle use. Most all of them didn't have a clue what I was talking about. One guy looked at me a little funny and then smiled and said, ÔÇ£Not yetÔÇØ.

  10. #10
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587
    Originally posted by lorazepam
    I had a set of earplugs made, they are worth every cent. It is like I have nothing in my ear, but the noise reduction is amazing.
    Well thanks to Lorazepam, I went and got fitted for a custom set of earplugs yesterday. They'll be ready in about 10 days. Can't wait !!

    While there I had my hearing tested and sure enough I'm loosing my ability to hear high frequency at age 56. Bummer! My right ear is worse, but I told the doc it's no big deal since that's the ear my wife talks into.

  11. #11
    - 109029's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Randolph, NJ
    Posts
    7
    Thanks, everyone for all the great replies. Bose responded to my inquiry with:

    Thank you for your inquiry. Currently, we do not have a product that is adaptable to a motorcycle helmet. There are no immediate plans for a product of this nature.

    Thank you for choosing Bose Corporation
    Richard C. Tessier Ext. 61021
    Customer Support Team
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Bose Corporation
    US Telephone: (800)999-2673, ext. EM1
    International Tel: (508)766-1099, ext. EM1
    Fax: (508)820-3465
    Email: http://www.bose.com
    I may just go ahead and try adapting a set of Aiwa's as I had indicated in my first post, I'll reply back whenever I get that done (may be a while, lotsa other home projects and honeydoos on my list).

    -- Jonathan

  12. #12
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    7,799
    Originally posted by RT RANDY
    Well thanks to Lorazepam, I went and got fitted for a custom set of earplugs yesterday. They'll be ready in about 10 days. Can't wait !!

    While there I had my hearing tested and sure enough I'm loosing my ability to hear high frequency at age 56. Bummer! My right ear is worse, but I told the doc it's no big deal since that's the ear my wife talks into.
    A little hint, your plugs may be tax deductible and tax free. Of course you need to check with your state laws and stuff, I just figured I would pass along the idea. If your ear plugs are perscribed, they can then be treated as health care costs/medical devices.

    Also depending on your line of work you may be able to deduct them as a non-reimbursed work expense.

    Of course I am not a lawyer or accountant, all typical disclaimers apply. Apply at your own risk...
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  13. #13
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    minnetonka mn
    Posts
    615
    Headsets Inc of Amarillo TX makes a noise cancelling kit to retrofit aircraft headsets with a noise cancelling capability. They use an analog concept so it will reject random low frequency noise, but it is not effective above about 250 Hz as I recall from their data. I tried to interest them in helmet applications but they didn't sound too interested. I have one of their kits installed in my H10-40 David Clarks in my airplane. Very effective.

    In my M/C riding case, I have found there are two different components to helmet noise. One is turbulent air rushing past the interference point between my shoulders and the bottom of the helmet. This can be determined by hunching up your shoulders to close off the gap while riding & see if it reduces the noise. This seems to be the case when riding with no fairing. A knit "gasket" around my neck sharply reduces the noise. I do this summer and winter for my unfaired bikes. Also very effective. It is my quietist riding solution.

    The second noise component is wind blowoff from a fairing (R1100RT in my case) buffetting against the top of my helmet's forehead. This sets up a vibration in the helmet structure that creates a narrow band random noise around 80 Hz in my ears. I ran some tests at work on a helmet and found that a full face helmet will resonate in a bell mode at 80 Hz in response to force inputs at the forehead. The noise sounds like it is coming from inside your head as the phase of the sound input to your ears is simultaneous in and out for the two sides.

    The engineering solution to this is to either eliminate the excitation (the fairing blowoff via a higher fairing which I don't want) or to provide additional damping to the helmet structure. Theoretically the damping could be provided by a metallic ring around the bottom of the helmet bonded on to the helmet via a strong thin damping material such as those made by Soundcoat. It would be an elegant solution for a very premium helmet maker. It is called constrained layer damping.

    Or I can put up with the misery of earplugs - which is what I do. Tinnitus is a sign of substantial damage to one's hearing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •