Sometimes, all you need is music. But you may ask, how to listen to it while skiing or surfing?
People generally use earphones or headphones with helmets, but that is dangerous(more on that later) and kind of unintuitive.
To solve this, we have ski and snowboard helmets, which come with speakers integrated into them. So read on to find what advantages they have, what things to keep in mind while buying one and some of our picks for best helmets.
Benefits of Using Helmet with Speakers
If you just want protection, you can use regular helmets but the following are some advantages that helmets with speakers have over the regular ones:
Safer than in-ear earphones
In-ear earphones tend to block the ambient noise completely, making you unaware of what’s going around you. This might be great when you want to enjoy music while you are sitting in a room, but dangerous when you are driving or doing any outdoor activity, as you might not hear sounds such as another person passing you or somebody calling you.
This problem is partially solved by using helmets with built-in speakers, as they have artificially limited speaker volumes so that you can hear your surroundings as required.
Take calls from your cellphone
Without having to reach for your cellphone, you can take calls, as most of the helmets with speakers built-in have on-surface controls that can be used to accept, reject or end calls. The design changes with variation in model, but this is the basic functionality that should be expected.
Use navigation without being distracted
A quirk of using navigation while skiing or snowboarding is that you will need to periodically check your phone’s screen to make sure that you are going on the right track.
This can result in accidents, as now your focus is on the phone’s screen instead of the road/track.
But when you use an audio device while navigation is enabled, you must have observed that the narration comes on the audio device as well, which is what exactly is achieved with a helmet with speakers.
The narration comes on the helmet speakers as well and you can continue to make your way through as you will receive auditory directions to where you want to navigate, all without having to look at your phone.
Listen to songs, podcast et cetera
While traveling, what everyone can agree with is the wish to listen to the music they like. Which is possible if one is using a helmet with speakers.
Since most of the helmets either use 3.5 mm aux connection or Bluetooth for connectivity, you can use almost any music player to play the songs you like and listening to them via your helmet.
Stay connected with your buddies
Some helmets available on market allow people to form a local group and use the helmets for talking to each other, using microphones to send the voice, speakers to play the incoming voice signal over the network.
Some helmets use Bluetooth for it, while some use data over the mobile network for transmitting and sending voice signals.
Ditch the bulky headphone
Headphones are quite bulky and wearing them inside a helmet doesn’t seem to be a good idea at first glance, but people use it because it is functional.
Still, it is very difficult to reach the headphone controls and the headphones might not let the helmet make contact your head fully, making it unstable and unsafe.
Helmets providing audio over speakers solve this problem as they are designed and tested with speakers already in them, making them a safer and more accessible option.
Call for help when required
Most helmet manufacturers now include the ‘call for help’ feature in their accompanying app, which makes it easier for someone stuck in an emergency to send an alert to their selected contacts when used.
Also, the helmets have an integrated chip, which is used to identify your location as well, which along with your customized message can be sent to contacts as well.
Things to Consider Before Buying Snowboarding Helmet
Write things to consider, also include audio or speakers, Bluetooth as this article is about ski and snowboard helmet with speakers.
If you’re distracted easily or have issues focusing on the road/path, it is recommended not to buy one, as the audio from the speakers will do nothing but hinder your ability to be focused on the road, which is essential.
It may come with no surprise, snowboarding/skiing helmets with speakers are pricier than conventional or normal helmets, as they incorporate advanced circuitry, speakers, microphones, battery et cetera, which are not present in normal helmets.
So it is recommended that you keep your budget in mind while thinking about buying such a helmet.
Connection protocol refers to the method by which your helmet gets connected to your device.
One thing to note is that we would strongly recommend against buying helmet which comes with a proprietary (not standard) connection protocol.
If your intent is just to use an MP3 player, you might want to have a look at helmets with a 3.5mm Aux connection, as MP3 players generally don’t have wireless connectivity options.
Otherwise, if you want to use your phone or an MP3 player which has Bluetooth, just buy a helmet with a Bluetooth connection.
Connection protocol affects both signal range and battery life of a device, about which we will discuss below.
In Bluetooth devices, it is generally observed that as the versions progress, the signal range increases. The latest Bluetooth 5 can provide a working range of 200m, while that of Bluetooth 4.2 is 50m.
In case of 3.5mm connection, it is wired, hence there is no hassle of range, but you have to carry your device with you.
The helmets with Bluetooth come with a battery, as the Bluetooth module has to be powered.
The main problem with using batteries is that it is a component that becomes degraded over time, hence its capacity and life gets shorter over time. This translates to not being able to use it for as long as it could be before or when it was new.
On the other hand, helmets with a 3.5mm connection usually don’t come with a battery as the yare powered from your phone itself. Of there are features such as LEDs on your helmet, you might want to check is the device has a battery of itself or not.
So, if you are to buy a helmet with battery, make sure that it has the arrangement to change batteries, which might be helpful when you have to replace your batteries or want to put other battery while you are traveling.
Fitment with helmet(for helmet speakers)
If you are separately buying helmet speakers make sure that they fit correctly in your helmet, as improper fit on the ear may lead to ear pain and loss of blood circulation to it.
The points mentioned below are applicable to general helmets as well:
Size is quite an important criteria, as a tight helmet may result in headache, dizziness, et cetera, while a loose helmet will make the person wearing it will feel cold as well as compromise on the security.
Some helmets come with a size adjustment wheel, which can be used for making finer adjustments to the size, which can prove useful for the case when you don’t have a standard head size.
Insulation and ear protection
If you surf in a very cold climate, you might want high insulation, but if the climate is hot, you might not want insulation at all.
Since the need for insulation and ear protection changes according to the weather, it is important that you buy the helmet with only sufficient insulation and ear protection.
Standards and technologies
A helmet is of no use if it doesn’t protect you when required. Hence, make sure that you only buy helmets that comply with standards, such as European CE, The American Society of Testing and Materials et cetera.
Also, if possible, purchase a helmet, which incorporates MIPS, which uses a ‘slip-plane’ membrane inside the helmet, which shifts relative to the outer shell when there is an impact, reducing stresses coming onto the brain, which has been proven.
The amount of venting
Deciding the amount of venting is quite important, as choosing the wrong ventilation will lead to discomfort, which is dependent on the type of climate you wish to ski/surf in.
Some helmets have adjustable vents, while some do not, so keep in mind the amount of venting and your requirements in mind.
Goggle securing mechanism
As this sport requires a lot of physical movement, goggles may come loose and fall, which can be quite frustrating and inconvenient, so make sure that your helmet comes with a good goggle securing mechanism.
If you want to use any products like action cameras, headlights et cetera, make sure if the helmet you want to purchase has a suitable mount for your accessory, which will make it more convenient.
Otherwise, you always have the option of using sticker mounts.
Best Snowboard Helmet with Audio
Swagtron Snowtide Bluetooth Ski & Snowboard
This product from Swagtron comes in two colors- black and white.
This helmet provides you with the ability to listen to songs as well as taking calls. Apart from this, the helmet also works with an app, which is free to download, which features the ability to allow two-way group communications with a dedicated push to talk button(PTT), like a normal walkie-talkie.
The main advantage of PTT in this helmet is that it features an unlimited range, using data from your mobile network.
It also has big buttons, which are accessible even when you are wearing a thick glove, allowing for easy operation.
This helmet has a unique feature that it can detect crashes using integrated sensors, which sense if you have crashed and send your location to the emergency contacts you choose.
The helmet is both ATSM F2040 and EN 1077 certified, which means that it will provide you suitable protection and you can ski with no worries at all.
The helmet is constructed with an in-mold EPS layer on the inside, while the outside shell is made from ABS. It also features adjustable vents, which can be opened to allow more air in summers, or closed to get insulation in cold climate.
It also features an easily removable and washable liner along with a dial adjustable retention system and an adjustable and padded chin strap to make a secure fit.
Goggle guides and a strap lock are provided on the helmet as well.
The only downside with this helmet is that it is quite heavy when compared to the rest of the competition, but again it is a very feature-rich package. The helmet also comes with a 1 year warranty.
LIVALL MT1 Smart Helmet
This smart helmet includes some unique features that you will not see in any other helmet, such as the inclusion of wireless taillights on back of the helmet, which indicates the turn you are taking. This increases your visibility and makes it easier for people to observe you in dark, increasing safety.
It also features a wind-proof microphone, which allows for clear communication when it is windy or if your traveling at high speeds, which is a neat addition.
This helmet also offers an SOS Alert, which can be activated via an app.
As with other helmets, it provides you to listen to music and answer calls over Bluetooth. It also comes with a rim protector, which is helpful in case when you are crossing an area with trees and shades your eye from direct sunlight.
Problem with this helmet is that you cannot wear it on rainy and stormy days as it can damage the internal electronic components of it.
Also, the battery drains quite fast and there is a quality issue on charging ports as well, which break easily if not handled with care.
K2 2018 Phase Pro Helmet
K2 phase pro helmet is clearly for people who are style-conscious, as this helmet comes in a variety of color options.
It has an adjustable size wheel along with a venting adjustment, which allows for a good fit as well as a comfortable journey.
This helmet features a 3.5mm jack, which means that it is a wired headset.
This helmet comes at around 490 grams at size medium, which makes it the lightest of all helmets, which contributes to its overall superior comfort.
In this article, we discussed all about theBluetooth helmets.
We really hope that this article helped you and provided you with all the necessary information related to helmets.
Also, make sure that if you are buying a Bluetooth helmet, the manufacturer provides a good warranty on them, as there is always a chance of failure with them.