Putting on a Full Face Helmet over Earphones - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 7:27 am Thread Starter
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Putting on a Full Face Helmet over Earphones

I have a Shoei X-Eleven helmet. I also have two sets of earphones (ER-4P's and Shure SE530's) with custom-molded fittings. I bought the SE530's for air travel. The custom molded fittings provide a superb seal. When my brother gave me the ER-4P's I got custom fittings made for them, too. The custom fittings were done by an audiologist, who sent the molds back to Sensaphonics. Both ER and Shure specifically recommend Sensaphonics.

The problem is that I cannot pull my helmet over either pair of earphones. They stick out too far. If I try to force the helmet on, it hurts a lot, and the earphones are forcibly pulled out of my ears as the helmet goes on. The ER-4P's are pulled out of their silicon fittings, too.

There is no way to put the earphones in after the helmet is on. The helmet is too snug for that. I can't reach in there through the face shield area, or from underneath.

Just for giggles, I also tried the original ear buds that came with my iPod. They stay on after I put the helmet on, but don't seal out the wind noise from the helmet. It doesn't make sense to damage my hearing even more, by cranking up the volume higher on the buds to overcome the wind noise. The whole point is to seal out or at least attenuate the wind noise.

I like the Shoei helmets for their high safety values, comfort, and excellent ventilation, but I use foam earplugs to seal out the wind noise, which seems to come from the vent intakes, whether or not they are open or closed.

Do you have any suggestions, other than buying a different helmet?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 7:37 am
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Silks

Try wearing one of the Silks or one of the other helmet liners. It solved the problem for me. Silks
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 8:15 am
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That was my problem until I got a set of custom earphones. You definitely don't want to make a compromise on your helmet. You can try the suggestion above, but if that won't work then you only real alternative is another set of earphones. Mine (from Big Ear) are flat on the outside and flush with my ear so there's nothing to catch on the helmet.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 9:46 am
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Sensaphonics (good enough for the likes of NASA, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborne, and the Secret Service) is a first rate company which makes a top shelf, if spendy, product. Have you talked with them about your problem?

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 10:37 am
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Would one size smaller cheek pads for your Shoei help you out?? If there is a Cycle Gear store near you, they usually have them in stock and will let you swap out a set for a trial fit.

Bruce C
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 12:26 pm
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My nephew played rugby when he was in the U.S. Marine Corps. They would wrap electrical tape around their heads to keep their ears from being torn off.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 2:24 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA
Sensaphonics (good enough for the likes of NASA, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborne, and the Secret Service) is a first rate company which makes a top shelf, if spendy, product. Have you talked with them about your problem?
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

I don't think I can reduce the cheek pads enough to make it work, and I think that tape would get uncomfortable over time.

Calling Sensaphonics was a great idea. I have dealt with Sensaphonics before, and you're right, their customer service is very good.

I called them this morning and spoke with one of their audiologists. She told me that they were aware of the issue, and have no solution for the problem with my Shure and ER earphones.

They do have an answer, however. Sensaphonics makes their own earphones, which are designed to be low-profile. The transducers are built into the mold itself. Concert performers use them so that people don't notice the earphones. They are also designed for those with helmets - e.g., motorcycle riders, car drivers, etc. The only drawback is the cost. I don't remember the exact price, but it was between $700 and $800. Ouch!

Cheers,

XMR
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 3:38 pm
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I just got a set of molded earphones from Big Ear and have started using them in my helmet. I do use a helmet liner and that seems to help with putting the helmet on, I just have to pull out on te lower edges a bit. Taking it off is a bit more challening as it feels like it's pulling the earphones out, but they don't get dislodged at all. I ghuess I just have to get used to the new feel.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 8:31 pm
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The Earplug Company

David,

I had some custom in-ear monitors made a year or so ago from a fellow that I read about in BMW ON mag. His name is Bob Weis and he owns The Earplug Company.

It took 4 or 6 weeks as he first had to send me the impression kit to take a mold of my inner ear. I purchased the custom made Challenger C and still remember the tag line that describes them - Not for the faint hearted.

They sound unbelievable, really cut down on helmet noise (recall I too, run a Shoei X-Eleven), and most importantly for you they fit nicely inside my helmet. I take great care putting on and removing my helmet but I've not had any problems to date. I like them so much I even wear them to the gym for use with my Ipod instead of putting up with those uncomfortable ear buds.

Check out Bob's site here:

http://www.earplugco.com/prod01.htm


If $165 sounds a bit more palatable than $800 I recommend you give them a try.


Best regards!

David
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2008, 9:23 pm
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the least expensive solution is a helmet liner as a previous member suggested. additionally the liner keeps your helmet super duper clean and the liner keeps my helmet perfectly snug. i tend to sweat less in warmer weather and the liner dries out faster. for cold weather, get a full face liner.

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