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View Poll Results: Earphones: yea or nay? (There's no electoral college here.)
I wear earphones while riding, at least sometimes 37 33.94%
I've tried them, won't do it again 13 11.93%
Haven't tried them, might 10 9.17%
Have never tried them, never will 49 44.95%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-18-16, 09:28 PM   #26
Wilfred Laurier
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I ride often on country roads with very little traffic, and love music or spoken word at a low volume. I also do rides where I am on MUPs or other roads restricted to cars part of the time and leave them in, and the volume on, because it is more convenient then taking them out eight times in a ride.
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Old 12-18-16, 11:20 PM   #27
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I always used to ride with a single earbud in (right side so as to ear traffic approaching from the left)


Recently though, have found a great pair of bluetooth headphones that allow what I would say is 95% of ambient noise in. I keep the volume at a low level and can still hear cars approaching, have conversations just as though they weren't in.

Plantronics Backbeat Fit -
https://www.amazon.com/Plantronics-B.../dp/B00KJLMBSO

Waterproof, comfy, very good sound, don't look goofy, and most importantly, safe. Two thumbs up!
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Old 12-18-16, 11:59 PM   #28
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Recently though, have found a great pair of bluetooth headphones
I understand that the sound quality of the bluetooth headphones is lower than the wired headphones.
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Old 12-19-16, 06:02 AM   #29
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Life doesn't need a soundtrack
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Certainly not for those who prefer to listen to traffic noise for cryptic safety messages!
Doubly certainly not for those "invested" in the experience of traffic noise!!
Nicely said. I think those who disdain earphones to focus on the "Purity of Essence" don't ride in the city.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-19-16 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 12-19-16, 06:39 AM   #30
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I understand that the sound quality of the bluetooth headphones is lower than the wired headphones.
You understand incorrectly.

There are plenty of truly horrible wired headphones. There are also plenty of really good bluetooth headphones.

For the application we are talking about (listening to content while riding a bicycle) - the last three feet shouldn't be the issue anymore.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-19-16, 07:57 AM   #31
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When I changed from car commuting to bike commuting, I missed listening to the radio. I tried the ear bud once but the background traffic noise was so loud I had to crank up the radio volume. Then I realized how high the volume was turned to. It'd be ruining my hearing. I also realized how pedestrians on the MUPs were oblivious to anyone else when they had their earbuds and headphones on.

Now I carry a pocket radio (a real one) in my jacket pocket close enough to my head to listen.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:11 AM   #32
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I tried it years and years ago (with a Sony Walkman cassette tape player - that's how long ago). I didn't like it. I felt too disconnected to what was going on around me. I don't really care what others do. It is only an annoyance to me when you need to announce yourself while passing and they can't hear you.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:15 AM   #33
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Play your favorite album before your ride. It will be stuck in your head and you can "listen" to it for hours. Heck, I have tunes from the 70's that I haven't heard in 30-40 years floating around in my head and that I can summon-up on-demand. I have even been known to sing while riding. "Hands.., across the water (water...)"
Headphones-schmedphones.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:16 AM   #34
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I just wanted to add that in addition to spoken word podcasts in one ear, I have a take-a-look glasses mount mirror and a bar end mirror. And even before I began listening to podcasts while riding I relied on my mirrors in addition to sound to help locate surrounding traffic.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:22 AM   #35
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I tried the "in ear" sound cancelling and ear bud headphones and didn't like the isolation. Even riding rails-to-trails I found the lack of road noise was distracting. Recently I purchased Trekz Bone Conduction Headphones (see link below). I really like them, they allow me to listen to music or podcasts on my phone and still hear things around me. Additionally I can receive phone calls from them since they have a built in microphone.

https://www.amazon.com/Aftershokz-AS...ekz+headphones
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Old 12-19-16, 08:24 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Nicely said. I think those who disdain earphones to focus on the "Purity of Essence" don't ride in the city.
I can not imagine having earbuds in my ears when riding around Boston in spring when the college kids are moving in.
(Kind of like popping some dark shades on on an overcast day). The one place where your senses have to be most acute and un-hindered is in the city.
...and in defense of the city, I like soaking in the ambience of the city and all it has to offer.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:31 AM   #37
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What.., cycling's not exciting enough for you? You have to "entertain" yourself? How about a nice, compact televison for your handlebars? Sorry, I just can't understand not being totally invested in the experience. One reason I ride is to get away from media saturation.
You can look at it like it's the candle light in a filet mignon dinner. Of course the steak can stand on its own, but the candle light can be complementary.

FWIW I rarely ride with music. I never ride on the road with music. We have several low traffic density MUPs around here and every now and then I'll wear one bud when I ride them. When I am feeling unmotivated, it can give me a little boost.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:34 AM   #38
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You left out the wear them in one ear option.
+1

I ride with a Bluetooth earbud in one ear (right), the music volume is low. I use it mostly to easily pick up calls while I'm out... and I will only take a call if I can find a place to safely stop; otherwise, they go to voicemail.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:40 AM   #39
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The ear buds topics raise their heads here regularly. As far as I am concerned there is no right or wrong answer. ILTB loves his buds and is confident that the buds don't affect his safety. He is right. Others don't wear buds because they use their ears to supplement their other senses to help them gather best possible safety snapshot from their surroundings. They are right. Some feel like it detracts from the essence of cycling, and they are right.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:43 AM   #40
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You can look at it like it's the candle light in a filet mignon dinner. Of course the steak can stand on its own, but the candle light can be complementary.

FWIW I rarely ride with music. I never ride on the road with music. We have several low traffic density MUPs around here and every now and then I'll wear one bud when I ride them. When I am feeling unmotivated, it can give me a little boost.

That sounds reasonable.
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Old 12-19-16, 08:48 AM   #41
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I can not imagine having earbuds in my ears when riding around Boston in spring when the college kids are moving in.
Just a few Berklee College of Music freshmen move-in for the spring semester - but in January.

The chaos of move-in week happens in the fall.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-19-16, 08:52 AM   #42
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Just a few Berklee College of Music freshmen move-in for the spring semester - but in January.

The chaos of move-in week happens in the fall.

-mr. bill
Quite. They move out in the spring. Thanks for making that clear.
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Old 12-19-16, 09:45 AM   #43
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Play your favorite album before your ride. It will be stuck in your head and you can "listen" to it for hours. Heck, I have tunes from the 70's that I haven't heard in 30-40 years floating around in my head and that I can summon-up on-demand. I have even been known to sing while riding. "Hands.., across the water (water...)"
Headphones-schmedphones.
You just described me... Yeah, the internal jukebox on demand, and yes, I too sing on good rides.

My wife often asks why I don't wear headphones when walking or doing the treadmill... Don't have to, I just pull up a song from in my head... and my orchestra is even better than life... I repeat good riffs and stanzas and sometimes take them off to never never land like jazz musicians. You just can't get that with plain old "recorded" music.
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Old 12-19-16, 09:56 AM   #44
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It is only an annoyance to me when you need to announce yourself while passing and they can't hear you.
Why are other cyclists obligated to hear your "announcements" about your passing maneuvers? Why not just pass with an appropriate clearance? Do you also make "announcements" about all your passing maneuvers while driving an automobile?
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Old 12-19-16, 09:58 AM   #45
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..I think those who disdain earphones to focus on the "Purity of Essence" don't .ride in the city.
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
I can not imagine having earbuds in my ears when riding around Boston in spring when the college kids are moving in.
(Kind of like popping some dark shades on on an overcast day). The one place where your senses have to be most acute and un-hindered is in the city.
...and in defense of the city, I like soaking in the ambience of the city and all it has to offer.
Or like popping on some dark shades on a bright sunny day. Actually, I don't wear shades at all, just eyeglasses to enjoy the sights, and like eyeglasses, earphones actually help me focus and enjoy the noise.
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Old 12-19-16, 10:09 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Play your favorite album before your ride. It will be stuck in your head and you can "listen" to it for hours. Heck, I have tunes from the 70's that I haven't heard in 30-40 years floating around in my head and that I can summon-up on-demand. I have even been known to sing while riding. "Hands.., across the water (water...)"
Headphones-schmedphones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by genec View Post
You just described me... Yeah, the internal jukebox on demand, and yes, I too sing on good rides.

My wife often asks why I don't wear headphones when walking or doing the treadmill... Don't have to, I just pull up a song from in my head... and my orchestra is even better than life... I repeat good riffs and stanzas and sometimes take them off to never never land like jazz musicians. You just can't get that with plain old "recorded" music.
Internal jukebox while you ride? Music stuck and floating around in your head? Singing good riffs and stanzas? Getting high on your own supply of "noise", eh?

Sounds like you two are practicing your own version of that distracted driving/riding thing we hear so much about on this list!
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Old 12-19-16, 10:14 AM   #47
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Why are other cyclists obligated to hear your "announcements" about your passing maneuvers? Why not just pass with an appropriate clearance? Do you also make "announcements" about all your passing maneuvers while driving an automobile?
Because sometimes they are unpredictable even when you think you are giving them plenty of room. I don't think cars really apply as a comparison.
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Old 12-19-16, 10:23 AM   #48
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Because sometimes they are unpredictable even when you think you are giving them plenty of room. I don't think cars really apply as a comparison.
What do you do when you pass cyclists whom you think are not aware of your "announcements" due to the presence of earbuds, failure to acknowledge your announcement, or however else you expect other cyclists to respond to your "announcements"?

Why not do the same without the announcements?
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Old 12-19-16, 10:57 AM   #49
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Internal jukebox while you ride? Music stuck and floating around in your head? Singing good riffs and stanzas? Getting high on your own supply of "noise", eh?

Sounds like you two are practicing your own version of that distracted driving/riding thing we hear so much about on this list!
Except for one thing... that internal jukebox shuts down very quickly when triggered by outside events... And tends to only work when things are quite and peaceful... unlike recorded music sources.
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Old 12-19-16, 11:02 AM   #50
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I voted yes, but I'm in the "I only listen with one earbud in, in the right ear away from traffic, and I'm only listening to speech (podcasts and audiobooks). No way would I have both ears plugged and be listening to music.
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