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Thread: Helmet speakers that sound good?

  1. #1
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    Helmet speakers that sound good?

    Guys and Gals:

    I just picked up a Scala Q2 unit for a labor day trip with friends.The speakers on the unit suck for music from my iPod. I did a search and discovered the headphone jack and plug mod.Thats slick and I will be doing this. I debated on using ear buds as I have done for the past several years...OR trying to use a set of helmet speakers again. I have bought different models from different places.They all sounding like crap. I did have a set of bass monsters from Collet electronics out of Canada years ago that worked well. I sold them by accident (don't ask) I was going to buy another set from them,but I have been hearing that either they folded up or just don't care for customers any more.

    Anyhow,any input would be great. If it's going to be earbuds,what brand that works,fits in a helmet,AND does not cost a arm and leg.

    Thanks

    Perry
    Perry Brokaw
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  2. #2
    Registered User Greg_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbrokaw View Post
    Guys and Gals:

    I just picked up a Scala Q2 unit for a labor day trip with friends.The speakers on the unit suck for music from my iPod. I did a search and discovered the headphone jack and plug mod.Thats slick and I will be doing this. I debated on using ear buds as I have done for the past several years...OR trying to use a set of helmet speakers again. I have bought different models from different places.They all sounding like crap. I did have a set of bass monsters from Collet electronics out of Canada years ago that worked well. I sold them by accident (don't ask) I was going to buy another set from them,but I have been hearing that either they folded up or just don't care for customers any more.

    Anyhow,any input would be great. If it's going to be earbuds,what brand that works,fits in a helmet,AND does not cost a arm and leg.

    Thanks

    Perry
    You can carefully unsolder the existing speakers and wire in a pair from a set of over the ear headphones. Try to use a pair that has high sensitivity (db/mw). If you go with earbuds, the only ones that seem to be comfortable over a long period are the ones molded to your ears.
    '04 R1150RT

    No matter where you go, there you are!

  3. #3
    Dachary
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    As far as the headset-ready communication systems go, I think the Sena SMH10 has the best-sounding speakers. BUT I don't think the system has the durability to be ready for a lot of riding. I had the first gen version and it died on me in a dozen horrible ways so I replaced it with the Cardo Scala Rider G4. The speakers aren't as good but the rest is better and we like it as a communication system.

  4. #4
    Nuckin' Futs! tonyfr's Avatar
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    You can try these for helmet speakers. I use the XSJ model and they sound pretty good.
    SABMWRA MOA #62
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  5. #5
    Registered User TomDac's Avatar
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    Klipsch Image X10 earbuds

    OK.. they're pricey, but OMG, they sound AWESOME and are so damn tiny that there is absolutely no problem getting a helmet over them.

    They fit deep into your ear canal and block 95% of noise while providing exceptional sound.

    I've been using them for about 3 years now and just love them.

    http://www.klipsch.com/image-x10-in-ear-headphones
    Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
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  6. #6
    Registered User Atomicman52's Avatar
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    J& M corp Elite headset.

    Awesome speakers!
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
    J& M corp Elite headset.

    Awesome speakers!
    Decent product, but they wouldn't even return an email when the mute switch on the cord failed. Yes, warranty had expired but the customer service could be better.

    I found this thread while looking for replacement speakers to get away from the fancy cords required for the mic and other features.
    Dave
    '92 K75S, '08 F800ST
    Cedar Falls, IA

  8. #8
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    +1 on J&M

    I know there are a lot of folks that have had a bad experience with these guys. I am not one of them. But since the subject is speakers and not J&M corporate ... I have their speakers/mic installed in an Arai Profile (using their bluetooth rig). They are awesome. The fidelity is super. The system cranks out enough volume to hear quality, full stereo sound even over wind noise and earplugs. If I had my druthers, I would use Bose in-ear headphones (the IE2 series). The new design keeps them in your ear with no pressure at all and, of course, the sound quality is the best around. Unfortunately, in Virginia, Code Section 46.2-1078 says that is illegal to have any earphones (well defined) unless they are "earphones installed in helmets worn by motorcycle operators and riders and used as part of a communications system,". I figure I have a better chance of no ticket or beating a ticket by meeting at least two of the three (installed (not ear buds) and communication system (garmin instructions (one way coms) and cell phone (two way coms)). I never plan on riding two up. Since I spent 10 years as a patrol LEO, I know how these folks think.

    Jim R.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  9. #9
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    With the Scala Q2, I cut the cord & installed a plug for my in ear molded monitors. Results are mixed. At first, I used the monitors straight from my iPod, then I ran them through the Scala Q2. The Scala KILLS the fidelity. So, if I am planning on needing COM, having a chit-chat with my wife or buddy who also owns one, I use the Scala, if not, I plug right into the iPod.
    John.

  10. #10
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
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    for the money charged for the Sena's the voice quality is great but the music quality is 20 years behind the technological times.
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
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  11. #11
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    The highly compressed sound coming out of an MP3/IPod track is already degraded garbage anyway compared to a live performance, original track or even a fairly decent 16 bit CD recording (though the limits of those are very obvious on a good sound system).
    Have never been able to get very motivated to listen to anything other than speech on a bike or in a car- misc thuds intended to be bass reproduction are just annoying. And my G4s and prior Q2s serve OK for voice where my primary interest is riding safety and routine comms. They surely are rotten at music though to the point that there is little reason for the built in FM radio (also rather degraded at the source).

  12. #12
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is such an animal. You should be using earplugs, which means the speaker needs to be turned up louder yet and their fidelity just is not very good from the start. Distortion sets in easy with helmet speakers.

    Insert earphones provide noise isolation and excellent fidelity (for the most part - there are many options out there).

    Having spent a little time dissecting the Q2 mount to add a headphone jack, I had poor results. I have had no time to determine why, it does not appear to be a class-D amp, rather a common grounded amp design, so I'm not sure where the fault is other than the mount itself could be bad (given to me by a friend).
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
    '09 K1300S 'Zoot' (Wicked, bad, naughty, evil, Zoot!)
    '94 K1100LT 'Desert' (the horse with no name)

  13. 07-27-2011, 06:04 PM

  14. #13
    The Bloviator DocZ's Avatar
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    But I digress...

    For about the last seventy-seven squintillion years, I have used Koss Porta-Pro's with various Sony Walkman's (Sonys had the best sounding headphone amps in portable devices back in the cassette days) AND with my beloved Sony Pro Walkman - Which I still use occasionally thankyavrrymuch- and finally with my looonnngg out of production single bit Panasonic portable CD player that the late Peter W. Mitchell (long time Stereophile Mag wag) liked so much. Yes, I still use that one on occasion too.


    Awhile back I decided in my typical randomish manner to do some of that thar experimentin' as one of my audio buddies told me something that defied logic. He said: crappy h-phone amp? Step DOWN to the Koss SportaPro phone. Which I did and he wuz right as usual. We think that while the Sport A Pros and Porta Pros have identical specs, the Sport A Pros have a much kinder impedence curve.

    A few weeks ago, my aged Sport a Pro H phones cable snapped whilst I was doing something complex and difficult at the gym - something a guy pushin' 60 should not do but I do it cause I can...but I digress again. I had a pair of Pora Pro speaker & wiring assembly in my hi-fi spares box of wonders and noted that they were identical in size and snap together fittings as the Sport A Pros. Switch made in 90 seconds and dang - they don't sound as good with my 4th gen Ipod Shuffle as the Sport a Pros. But the Porta Pros sound way better with a decent feed. Even better than my Grado S-60s though not nearly as good as my Stax Electrostatic h. phones which are about 18 years old now. But then I rattle on too much....

    Which leads me to the point of all this blather - Koss Porta Pro's AND Sport A Pro's snap apart easily and fit nicely into skid lid speaker pockets/ear pocket. Sport a Pro is cheaper and sounds better with crap headphone amps like Ipod shuffle, etc. The Porta Pro sounds better with nice equipment. Both have been in production for better than 25 years. The specs read the same but believe an old audio buff who started out building Dynaco stuff....Go with the Sport A Pro for the cheep junk we motorcyclists always seem to get stuck with. They are cheap enough to buy several sets for experimentation.

    You won't look as trendy - or silly - as a nice young gym bunny bouncing in her bouncy, flouncy, delightful way with the Koss products. But you won't have a silicone rubber wart stuffed into your ear either. And you just might hear that siren coming up behind you.

    Finally (you all said hopefully) I have done this. Back in the mid 70's, I managed to fit some Nakamichi (remember the Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck? If you do, you are as old as me!!) headphones into a Bell Star Lid. I drove them with a Sony Car Cassette Deck which I kept in the tankbag of by '75 Z1-B.
    After many, many iterations of the same theme, I use Koss Sport A Pro's with the 4th Gen Ipod Shuffle. Just snap the speakers out of the headset. A bit o self stick velcro keeps the speakers in the ear depressions in the Arai XD. I used small pieces of foam (scraps) to shim the speakers to the right depth. Lots of fiddling and not real SANO for you braided stainless underwear types but it works and it is cheap.

    there you go.

  15. #14
    Nuckin' Futs! tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    Has anyone used the big bass sound ones that are sold at Aero Stitch that are helmet speakers?? They claim great bass, great sound. They cost around 50 bucks
    These are the same Iasus speakers sold by Helmet Audio. I had a set and the sound was good. I use a MixIt2 amp in my setup and they are pretty loud.
    SABMWRA MOA #62
    2005 BMW R1200RT
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    1984 Kawasaki 750 Turbo E1

  16. #15
    The Bloviator DocZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    The highly compressed sound coming out of an MP3/IPod track is already degraded garbage anyway compared to a live performance, original track or even a fairly decent 16 bit CD recording (though the limits of those are very obvious on a good sound system).
    Have never been able to get very motivated to listen to anything other than speech on a bike or in a car- misc thuds intended to be bass reproduction are just annoying. And my G4s and prior Q2s serve OK for voice where my primary interest is riding safety and routine comms. They surely are rotten at music though to the point that there is little reason for the built in FM radio (also rather degraded at the source).
    Ditto that!
    From what Racer7 wrote I know he knows this but some of you may not. You can make your MP3's sound a bit better and less thin sounding. If you are ripping your own music, just set your software to the max bit rate allowable. Use Apple Lossless if you are importing into Itunes. If you only download music, you can download from sources that will sell you CD grade data OR even better -way better if you want from places like HD Tracks.com, Reference Recordings, B&W Loudspeakers' Music Division, etc., then import to Itunes or Windows Media Player, Media Monkey, etc.

    Yes, it can get confusing and geeky real fast. Personally I try to remember that all this music downloading, ripping and so forth is still pretty new so be patient and find a 12 year old to guide you when you hit a snag. That is what I did.

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