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Old 05-27-09, 11:05 PM   #1
chadhord
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Modifying Headphones for Cycling

I know, its a big no no. But I listen to music at low levels on low traffic streets, moreover its my own free will and would appreciate not hearing how dangerous it is.

I'm trying to modify headphones for cycling, has anyone had any success doing the same?
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Old 05-28-09, 01:02 AM   #2
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Are you talking about making them lighter, or more comfortable, or what?

I don't ride with headphones, but I honestly don't see what the big deal is. You still have more visibility than most cars, especially if you use a mirror. And consider that it's perfectly legal and safe for a car driver to ride with the windows up and radio blasting. John Allen's website has a more involved defense of headphones while riding.

For cycling, though, I'd still recommend an open-design headphone- that is, one that lets some sound in, much like using a radio with the windows down in the car. That at least preserves some of your auditory awareness. I personally prefer the sound of open-design headphones, anyway; they tend to have a more open soundstage.
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Old 05-28-09, 01:11 AM   #3
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Funny how we use our cycling for personal enjoyment. First of course, I am unsure about the safety issues.. 2. I go out on my bike to get away from the world. . Cycling needs no enhancements to make it enjoyable. I particularily like the fact when out cycling my sensabilites are more keen about the world about me.. Listening to music, as much as i like music; would detract.
a weird footnote.. The other day I was out riding and saw a woman riding a city bike with some kind of blaring music on a speaker that could be heard by all nearby..
She had great stability I guess. She had both hands off of the handlebars and had her whole upper body was 'dancing,' to the beat of the music..
I'd certainly never ride with her... She detract from my reason for riding.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:50 AM   #4
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I have a little radio with a set of earbuds. These would fit under the helmet. I stopped wearing them because I became convinced it was damaging my hearing even when used at minimal volume levels (which seemed louder than it should have been somehow). Some bad characteristic common to all earbuds? Or maybe it's only the cheap amplifier or cheap earbuds? Or all my imagination?

How about a speaker loud enough to be heard & that has good sound? I ruled this out after thinking about it -- too much player and batteries, too much fussing to use it (unless it comes with a handlebar-mount remote). Maybe with the right front bag it'd be OK.

On the other hand, cycling as an outside-world-distraction-free zone has some appeal for me, and I haven't tried too hard to 'solve' the 'problem'. Open to hearing others' experiences.
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Old 05-28-09, 04:51 AM   #5
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Firstly, I would like to say that I'm only lessening to music only when recreationally cycling on dedicated bike roads. If you stay on your side of road and keep a predictable trajectory, you pose no problems to other that may want to go faster than you.

Else, I would not be comfortable to do that when commuting, because of all the crazy people that want to occupy the same space as you at the same time (Yes, I'm looking at you damn poseurs fixed people with no brakes)

I personally use my cell phone and normal earphones that pose no problems in conjunction with the helmet. I like using the cell phone since I can readily and quickly answer any calls.

Cheers
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Old 05-28-09, 05:20 AM   #6
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I would be using my blackberry and wireless moto S9's, however as soon as I walk outside the sound breaks up.......so no help here.
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Old 05-28-09, 05:49 AM   #7
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They make sport ear buds that attach around your ears...easily found at your nearest wally mart or similar.

Don't let the nannies bother you...if you can walk and chew gum you can ride and listen to music. With the sport ear buds and proper volume settings, you can still hear anything close enough to be of importance and you should be paying attention to everything going on around you anyway, something even the nannies fail to do too often, even without listening to music.
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Old 05-28-09, 06:33 AM   #8
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Alpacalypse yes, I'm trying to make non isolating ear bud headphones, so I can hear traffic. The problem so far is "whistling" wind noise.


Duffer1960, DarkCloud and arej00dazed I also use my phone "to stream Pandora radio, Somafm or NPR" using the built in speaker or with standard ear buds. But I can't hear the built in speaker if in traffic or do I wish to use headphones while in traffic.
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Old 05-28-09, 06:33 AM   #9
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I agree with the questions asked...

"I need to modify my headphones" is kind of like "I need to upgrade my bike" in being far too vague to really offer any assistance. I don't ride with headphones, but I would suspect there are a wide variety of issues that might be bothersome depending on your headphones...

I would just say whatever you do to modify them, look out that you don't do something to introduce wind noise... This is probably the one aspect not considered with most headphones/earbuds since most people don't use them at the speed cyclists do.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:24 AM   #10
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I only use headphones on the streets because my mirror does far more judging what traffic is around me than trying to hear through the wind whistling in my ears. I take them out on the MUP because I don't want to miss the occasional "LOOK OUT!" or "On your left!"

Just as Chipcom mentioned, the over-the-ear earbuds work great. Partly because you can just hook them over the collar of your shirt, when you aren't using them.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:31 AM   #11
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If I'm on a road with a big bike lane and not much traffic, I sometimes wear one IEM in my right ear. Since it's an IEM, it does a pretty good job of passive isolation and blocking out wind noise, but since it's only in one ear and my left ear is free, I can still hear traffic and passing cyclists.

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Old 05-28-09, 08:31 AM   #12
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I can hear using my sony ear buds. Just turn down the volume a bit. No modifications needed.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:39 AM   #13
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speaking of "wearing headphones while biking is bad....mmmmkay", I was riding the other day with my kids in the tandem trailer on a bike path. Came up on the kid from behind fumbling around with his ipod while walking. I kept trying to get his attention to move out of the way but he couldnt hear me. I had to go nearly off road to get around him. Think he got a lil mad, I was too. So I dont want to head about safety issues with wearing headphones while biking, same exact thing can be said bout walking also.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
speaking of "wearing headphones while biking is bad....mmmmkay", I was riding the other day with my kids in the tandem trailer on a bike path. Came up on the kid from behind fumbling around with his ipod while walking. I kept trying to get his attention to move out of the way but he couldnt hear me. I had to go nearly off road to get around him. Think he got a lil mad, I was too. So I dont want to head about safety issues with wearing headphones while biking, same exact thing can be said bout walking also.
not to mention spelling and grammar!
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Old 05-28-09, 11:14 AM   #15
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oh sorry, I used "head" instead of "hear" and I left out a few " ' "........sue me. at least I write/type better than over 50% of the posts I read on the net.
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Old 05-28-09, 11:17 AM   #16
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oh sorry, I used "head" instead of "hear" and I left out a few " ' "........sue me. at least I write/type better than over 50% of the posts I read on the net.
lack of humor too it seems...son you are just all f'd up today! Listen to some music, you'll feel better.
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Old 05-28-09, 11:35 AM   #17
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http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private...-line_pxseries

Sennheiser PX100. Excellent sound. Open design. They come in a neckband version, too, which is helmet compatible.

They may seem a little pricey, but the sound quality is superb. Every audiophile I know uses them with their portable music player.

EDIT: The neckband version is here:
http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private...xseries_500501

It's also ten dollars cheaper. Neat.
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Old 05-28-09, 01:06 PM   #18
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lack of humor too it seems...son you are just all f'd up today! Listen to some music, you'll feel better.
yes and no. Yes, I'm f'd up cause my back is killing me. No cause I get trash all the time on message boards, its usually because ppl dont read my entire post, but skim over them. I tend to get a bit testy sometimes.........
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Old 05-28-09, 01:42 PM   #19
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you can try these -
http://www.slipstreamz.com/content.asp?subID=8

i have a pair, but i haven't actually used them
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Old 05-28-09, 02:39 PM   #20
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I can hear using my sony ear buds. Just turn down the volume a bit. No modifications needed.
Same here- but There is an earbud that converts Stereo to mono so that you only have to have one earpiece in to hear the full music- if that is what you require.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:24 PM   #21
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I know, its a big no no. But I listen to music at low levels on low traffic streets, moreover its my own free will and would appreciate not hearing how dangerous it is.
Ok, I won't tell you that you've got a death wish.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:39 PM   #22
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I can hear using my sony ear buds. Just turn down the volume a bit. No modifications needed.
1+ Same here.

Sometimes I can't hear the music over the cars.


I don't get the whole "death wish" thing. Just this morning I was cruising down a hill at 30+ mph into a decent headwind and the noise from the wind totally drowned out anything else that I could hear.

Maybe bicyclist should also stop riding down hill in high winds since that's dangerous too. Oh, and did I mention it had rained earlier this morning so I was riding on wet pavement?
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Old 05-28-09, 03:58 PM   #23
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Same here- but There is an earbud that converts Stereo to mono so that you only have to have one earpiece in to hear the full music- if that is what you require.
found here --> http://www.scansound.com/single-stereo-earbud.htm
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Old 05-28-09, 04:01 PM   #24
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anyone bother going through registration to see how much shipping is?..
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Old 05-28-09, 06:55 PM   #25
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I'd recommend against having one ear with a headphone. I find it messes me up dramatically-- it throws off my sense of placement (perhaps call it "hearing depth perception") to the point where it's worse than hearing nothing at all, since I'm constantly mis-placing sounds.

Better to use a normal set of headphones, in my opinion. The Sennheisers I mentioned work really well.
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