SPEAKER SYSTEMS FOR HELMETS

Why add tunes to your riding? Because it’s relatively easy, and you’ll probably enjoy having it. How do you get the music to your ears with minimal kludge? Anything that’s effective above 70 mph on an unfaired machine is a challenge. Everything depends on starting with a quiet helmet.

I prefer using earmold or earplug speakers, but helmet speakers are more convenient for everyday use and commuting. If you want speakers built into your helmet (instead of the kind you simply Velcro to the liner’s fabric) then you’ll need about two hours and a soldering iron. This tool will allow you to remove some of the helmet’s polystyrene impact-absorbent material (if needed) to make room for speakers. Obviously, this will adversely affect the helmet’s safety. On most helmets, the entire cranial section stays in the helmet and the ear-to-chinbar-to-ear piece comes out as a single horseshoe-shaped unit (after breaking a dot of glue at the center of the chinbar). Bending the sides of the "horseshoe" inward allows you to move this piece toward the back and remove it without damage. Close study will usually reveal how any helmet comes apart. After pulling back the soft liner fabric and comfort foam backing, mark the EPS where material needs to be removed and use the tip of a soldering iron to melt a cavity shaped to accept the speaker. The foam shrinks cleanly away from the heated tip of the tool. Attach the speakers with double stick tape or an adhesive; then redo the upholstery and install the wires so the plug exits at a handy location. Do not work on your helmet unless you are confident you can get it back together so that it will retain its primary safety function, and are also willing to accept all responsibility for its failure to provide that function as a result of any changes you make. It is impossible to retain 100% of a helmet’s safety function after installing speakers.

SAFETY WARNING: This paragraph of information about installing speakers in helmets is an account of personal experience only. It is not intended as a recommendation or instruction. Any alteration of your helmet exposes you to significant health risks, up to and including your death. If your helmet has been modified it is not safe to use. This article is for entertainment only.