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Music Setups

Old 01-01-21, 01:19 PM
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davedela
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Music Setups

There are many ways to safely listen to music when we ride. What is your setup?
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Old 01-01-21, 01:23 PM
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My current setup

My latest cockpit configuration:
  • UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker
  • Repurposed Pebble Smartwatch for music control and track display
  • Bontrager Elite with DuoTrap for ride info
I have yet to find a cycling computer with integrated music controls...
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Old 01-01-21, 01:33 PM
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I play tunes in my head when I can get those little voices to shut up long enough.

Surprisingly that old gnarls barkley hit goes pretty well for me when putting out some speed over 26 mph.
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Old 01-01-21, 02:00 PM
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I use a pair of these. I realize $60K is a lot to spend on a bicycle sound system, but it looks really aero.


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Old 01-01-21, 05:49 PM
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My setup consists of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium w/mic, Victure Player and Sangean DT-180 Radio. The bone conduction headset is wired which I favor for the sake of duration of power. Also good radio reception and bluetooth are mutually exclusive at this moment in the market. The headset is for use with the phone too - I have a triple splitter there and can even listen to everything in parallel. When necessary I can use a USB charger off hub dynamo.
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Old 01-02-21, 12:53 AM
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A couple of weeks ago I got a little JVC Bluetooth speaker (SP-SA1BT-B) and have tried it on a few bike rides, walks and jogs, with the speaker in a pocket. Works fine. But it's not considered weather-resistant. But good enough to tempt me to get a better speaker.

I might try a weather-resistant JBL speaker next. Several friends have a couple of the popular JBL speakers, for the bottle cage or strapped to the stem or handlebar. I've noticed over the past few years that in casual group rides those speakers can be fairly loud (enough for nearby cyclists without annoying the entire neighborhood) without blocking ambient sounds and traffic.

I have some Bluetooth ear buds for walks/jogs, but I wouldn't wear them for bike rides. These have the flexible hooks around the ears and interfere with my helmets. I wouldn't be comfortable with ear buds that blocked ambient sounds for bike rides. There are some that claim to both reduce wind noise and enhance ambient sounds but those are pricey. A bottle cage speaker has the same benefit at a much lower price.

I just use my phone apps -- Amazon Music or Spotify. I could also use VLC player with my collection of music apart from streaming services. My phone always sits in my pocket. I wouldn't need access to a music player during a ride, walk or jog. I just set up a playlist ahead of time and let it run. And I have a Moto G Power with 3-day battery, so it'll easily run all day even with music, activity and navigation apps, etc., running simultaneously.
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Old 01-02-21, 01:32 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
A couple of weeks ago I got a little JVC Bluetooth speaker (SP-SA1BT-B) and have tried it on a few bike rides, walks and jogs, with the speaker in a pocket. Works fine. But it's not considered weather-resistant. But good enough to tempt me to get a better speaker.

I might try a weather-resistant JBL speaker next. Several friends have a couple of the popular JBL speakers, for the bottle cage or strapped to the stem or handlebar. I've noticed over the past few years that in casual group rides those speakers can be fairly loud (enough for nearby cyclists without annoying the entire neighborhood) without blocking ambient sounds and traffic.

I have some Bluetooth ear buds for walks/jogs, but I wouldn't wear them for bike rides. These have the flexible hooks around the ears and interfere with my helmets. I wouldn't be comfortable with ear buds that blocked ambient sounds for bike rides. There are some that claim to both reduce wind noise and enhance ambient sounds but those are pricey. A bottle cage speaker has the same benefit at a much lower price..
I had JBL Wind on my handlebars and then Sony SRS-XB12. Both were weather resistant but with qualifications. I.e., they would survive rain fine, but the rain affected sound quality. In Wind in particular, the water would clog the grille completely and the sound would get horrible. Overall, Sony was louder and its sound quality was better. The advantage of Wind was that it had a radio, but choosing the stations was a horror. The selection was automatic and depended on station strength. As times it jumped erratically and you hardly ever knew where you were on the dial. The problem with Sony was that its Bluetooth (?) was causing interferences in the surrounding when anything was connected to it by wire. The Sony was heavier and both tilted if you rode over a bump. I think that the JBL flew off its clumsy original mount before I replaced it. Overall they were too much hassle for me and the bone conduction headphones are a far superior solution.

I should also mention many Chinese speaker-equipped players for bikes on Amazon and elsewhere for around $20. They are weather resistant and come in mono and stereo. Their sound is not as good as for the similarly sized devices from reputable companies, but they are well more usable than expected for their price.
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Old 01-02-21, 04:22 AM
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iPod Nano in shirt pocket with apple wired earbud.
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Old 01-02-21, 06:32 AM
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I'm really liking my powerbeats pro.
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Old 01-03-21, 01:07 PM
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Bone conduction BTLE headset with a watch style MP3 player. The MP3 player is completely out of the way and doesn't take up any room in my jersey pockets and doesn't fall off like most clip style players do. The bone conduction headsets allow me to hear my music and everything else around me. I can even hear the beeping on my Bolt when my Varia radar detects an approaching vehicle.I get about the same battery life with the headset and MP3 player as I do with my Bolt. So when the Bolt needs charging, they all get charged.
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Old 01-03-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Bone conduction BTLE headset with a watch style MP3 player. The MP3 player is completely out of the way and doesn't take up any room in my jersey pockets and doesn't fall off like most clip style players do. The bone conduction headsets allow me to hear my music and everything else around me.
What BT headset are you using? The AfterShokz BT headset that I am commonly using, different from the wired above, is great for voice, but pretty horrible for music.
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Old 01-03-21, 10:08 PM
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I got buy wife these the blue tooth speaker on back of the tandem worked but in noisy places it was not great these sown good but they are no0t in your ears https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/...tempo_black_us


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Old 01-04-21, 07:03 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
What BT headset are you using? The AfterShokz BT headset that I am commonly using, different from the wired above, is great for voice, but pretty horrible for music.
Vidonn F1 from Amazon. They were rated in the top five on several YouTube videos I saw on bone conducting headset reviews. I don't have a large head and I initially had an issue with them sliding out of position since the band was not tight against my head. This was causing them to not perform very well as far as sound quality goes. I now have them angled over the rear of my head where they fit nicely and comfortably under my helmet. No movement and really nice sound quality. Much better than riding with one earbud so you can hear what's going on with the other.

Edit: I also found that putting the volume all the way up on the headset and adjusting it with the MP3 player works better than the other way around.
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Old 01-04-21, 09:34 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Vidonn F1 from Amazon. They were rated in the top five on several YouTube videos I saw on bone conducting headset reviews. I don't have a large head and I initially had an issue with them sliding out of position since the band was not tight against my head. This was causing them to not perform very well as far as sound quality goes. I now have them angled over the rear of my head where they fit nicely and comfortably under my helmet. No movement and really nice sound quality. Much better than riding with one earbud so you can hear what's going on with the other.
Thanks. You do not need to convince me about bone conduction - it is a great technology. However, I will presumably stay with what I have from AfterShokz, wired Titanium with mic and BT OpenComm. I was hoping that by a minor compromise on voice communication I could have good music quality on BT. However, Vidonn's reviews suggest that you should give up on voice there and other problems I never had to deal with with AfterShokz were mentioned too.
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Old 01-04-21, 05:06 PM
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Update: This discussion made me realize that I can connect my OpenComm either for voice or music. In the BT music mode the music rendition is quite pleasant, but bidirectional voice communication is absent. In the voice mode, the music quality is bad, but one can talk. Maybe this is obvious for everyone, but has been a discovery for me. For the bike and phone I will stay with the wired connection where everything is of a reasonable good quality all at once including getting input from 3 devices.
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Old 01-04-21, 07:13 PM
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I got a set of bluetooth earbuds for Christmas, and while I don't usually listen to music while riding I thought maybe wearing one of the earbuds (likely the right one, away from the traffic side) might work well for whenever I get a phone call while riding. It's really a pain to stop, dig my phone out, and try to answer it before it goes to voicemail. Just pushing a button on the earbud will answer, so that will be a lot easier. However, my fear is the earbud falling out and getting lost while riding. It does stay in my ear OK, and I've used it while driving, but I suspect my ear will get sweaty while riding during warm weather and it might slip out. I just can't wait for warmer weather to get back outside on my bike and try it out.
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Old 01-05-21, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I got a set of bluetooth earbuds for Christmas, and while I don't usually listen to music while riding I thought maybe wearing one of the earbuds (likely the right one, away from the traffic side) might work well for whenever I get a phone call while riding. It's really a pain to stop, dig my phone out, and try to answer it before it goes to voicemail. Just pushing a button on the earbud will answer, so that will be a lot easier. However, my fear is the earbud falling out and getting lost while riding. It does stay in my ear OK, and I've used it while driving, but I suspect my ear will get sweaty while riding during warm weather and it might slip out. I just can't wait for warmer weather to get back outside on my bike and try it out.
I was looking at Bluetooth earbuds but went with a bone conduction headset because I was also worried about loosing one or both of the earbuds. I have had wired earbuds fall out while riding. My main concern was the helmet strap catching one of the earbuds and pulling it out. And depending on where you are riding when one falls out, it's not like you can just stop and go look for it.
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Old 01-05-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
I was looking at Bluetooth earbuds but went with a bone conduction headset because I was also worried about loosing one or both of the earbuds. I have had wired earbuds fall out while riding. My main concern was the helmet strap catching one of the earbuds and pulling it out. And depending on where you are riding when one falls out, it's not like you can just stop and go look for it.
If it had an over-the-ear piece it would be better. I have an over-the-ear earpiece headset/microphone for a two-way radio which I occasionally take with me on rides, and it never falls out.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:12 AM
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I'm in the market for a Bluetooth helmet speaker; I had a cheap ($30) one that worked fine for my needs but it attached to the helmet with glue. No big surprise when one day I couldn't find it. I dont want that to happen with the next one.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:41 AM
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If you can afford them, the new Bose Sport Open Earbuds hang from the top of your earlobes.
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Old 01-11-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GusV View Post
I'm in the market for a Bluetooth helmet speaker; I had a cheap ($30) one that worked fine for my needs but it attached to the helmet with glue. No big surprise when one day I couldn't find it. I dont want that to happen with the next one.
If you try one of those again, use VHB tape instead.
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Old 01-11-21, 01:35 PM
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For many years I used to use a single, wired, earbud in the non-traffic side ear, with the wire going from my phone in the right rear pocket, under the jersey, and to my right ear. But now I've upgraded to a Bluetooth bud which works great and removes the wire-getting-pulled issue, UNTIL you have to wear the wireless bud under a balaclava, then the extra height of the bud battery causes the balaclava to push the bud into your ear and causing orifice discomfort over time. So when a balaclava is used, I go back to the lower profile hard wired bud.
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Old 01-13-21, 01:47 PM
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Those Bose sunglasses with the speakers built in look great. The bone conduction headsets sound like great ideas. I haven’t tried either. I do have something I like a lot. I’ve tried all kinds of sound systems on the bike, and this latest one beats them all. It’s a collar bone speaker/headset. I feel like I’m more aware of the sounds on the road than is a car driver with the windows open. I can hear my audio and all the sounds I would normally hear without the headset. This is ideal for me.

I use it inside, too, now for listening to radio, podcasts, and phone calls. I wear it all day long from rising out of bed until I get in bed. It helps me as I’m starting to lose my hearing so I can’t use my phone handset anymore.

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Old 01-13-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I do have something I like a lot. Iíve tried all kinds of sound systems on the bike, and this latest one beats them all. Itís a collar bone speaker/headset. I feel like Iím more aware of the sounds on the road than is a car driver with the windows open. I can hear my audio and all the sounds I would normally hear without the headset. This is ideal for me.

I use it inside, too, now for listening to radio, podcasts, and phone calls. I wear it all day long from rising out of bed until I get in bed. It helps me as Iím starting to lose my hearing so I canít use my phone handset anymore.
The collar one uses the same idea as helmet speakers, just without the helmet . The bone conduction circumvents your ear canal and there are hearing aids using the bone conduction, helping those with problems in the middle and outer ears. Big vendors, such as Best Buy, may have demonstration headphones with bone conduction and maybe it is something you should check out.
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Old 01-13-21, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I got a set of bluetooth earbuds for Christmas, and while I don't usually listen to music while riding I thought maybe wearing one of the earbuds (likely the right one, away from the traffic side) might work well for whenever I get a phone call while riding. It's really a pain to stop, dig my phone out, and try to answer it before it goes to voicemail. Just pushing a button on the earbud will answer, so that will be a lot easier. However, my fear is the earbud falling out and getting lost while riding. It does stay in my ear OK, and I've used it while driving, but I suspect my ear will get sweaty while riding during warm weather and it might slip out. I just can't wait for warmer weather to get back outside on my bike and try it out.
After using my earbuds while spinning on my trainer and having one of them fall out, and while doing chores around the house while listening to music with my earbuds and one of them falling out again, I've determined that they are definitely not suitable for use while actually riding. I'm sure I'd lose one easily. I'd rather find one which attaches to my ear.
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