When you’re out on a scenic ride, the last thing you want to be worrying about it is excessive wind noise. Instead, you probably want to be focussed on the scenery and enjoying the road ahead.
While some riders choose to wear ear plugs for safety, another option is noise cancelling earbuds. These allow you to listen to music on your motorcycle while still protecting your ears. The best noise cancelling earbuds for motorcycle riders will provide exceptional sound quality while being a practical choice for riding with.
In this post, we’ve put together a list of some of the best earbuds for motorcyclists. This should make it easier for you to find the right pair of earbuds to bring with you on your next ride.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to read the whole post, it’s the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones that we recommend as the best for most riders. These provide a great sound quality and practical features that are well-suited for motorcycle use.
Otherwise, keep scrolling to check out our list of recommendations. We’re sure you’ll find something suitable for your riding style, budget, and personal requirements. Let’s jump right into it!
The Best Motorcycle Earbuds
With so many options to choose from, it could be difficult to find the right pair of noise-canceling earbuds. It’s even harder finding something that’s going to stand up to the rigors of riding a motorcycle.
To make it easier for you, we looked through heaps of reviews and personal recommendations to find the best motorcycle earbuds for most people. Here you’ll find both wired and wireless earbuds depending on what you’re looking for.
Why just 4 different earbuds? Well, there aren’t that many options out there suitable for motorcycle riding. While there are thousands of different brands and models of noise-canceling headphones, most of them are only suitable for regular use. Each of our recommendations would make a great choice for riders looking for something durable and equipped with active noise cancellation technology.
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Motorcycle Riding Overall)
The Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are our top recommendation as the best noise cancelling headphones for motorcycle riders overall. These are a great choice for most people, especially if you’re looking for suitable noise cancellation technology along with great sound quality.
Bose is well-known for their high quality audio products. The same goes for the QuietComfort line of headphones. While there are more affordable options out there, they definitely won’t provide the same level of performance and quality when you’re listening to music out on the bike.
These are wired noise cancelling headphones. It’s easy to connect them to your smartphone, thanks to the reinforced audio cable. These even come with different audio modes depending on what you’re doing.
With the “aware mode” it’s possible to turn off the active noise cancellation. This is a great feature, especially if you’re riding in areas where you need to be paying full attention. Otherwise, you can leave it turned on, and enjoy your music to its fullest extent.
Another great feature is that the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are equipped with an integrated active equalizer. This helps to improve sound clarity by silencing certain frequencies and audio bands. The result is better sound and audio coming through the headphones.
What People Love
The Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones let riders enjoy their music, audio books, or podcasts, by effectively reducing surrounding and external noises. Thanks to the “aware mode”, it’s easy to control when you want the noise cancelling feature activated or turned off.
The headphones themselves are comfortable to wear. There’s a molded plastic earpiece that helps to keep them in your ears while you’re riding. They’ll also stay in place once they’re in due to the low profile, streamlined design.
Finally, it’s easy to control all the functions with the control model. It’s big enough that you can change the volume and songs while you’re riding, even with gloves on. As these do need to be charged, everything needed for charging is included in a portable carrying case.
What People Don’t Like
Some people have complained about the build quality of the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. This depends on how you treat these headphones. Obviously, if you’re leaving them out or being rough with them they won’t last as long.
Another issue is that it can be easy to forget to charge them. In this case, the noise-cancelling feature won’t work. If you remember to charge them, this won’t be an issue.
Overall, the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones stand as one of the best noise cancelling earbuds for motorcycle riders. These are a great choice if you’re looking for that noise cancellation feature while enjoying a high-quality level of audio.
The control module makes these easier to use when you’re on the bike. With the “aware mode”, you can turn off or on this feature depending on where you’re riding. We believe most riders will find these headphones to be ideal for their riding experiences.
TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones (Best Motorcycle Earbuds Overall)
The TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are our second recommendation as the best in ear noise cancelling headphones for motorcycle riders. These are reasonably priced and practical for riders looking for a better audio experience.
The TaoTronics earbuds are equipped with an active noise cancelling functionality. This makes it simple to cancel out the surrounding noise an focus on your music, podcast, or other audio. There’s a nifty slider that lets you quickly and easily tune everything out by up to 25dB.
When it comes to charging, these earbuds last up to 15 hours per charge. This is great for local rides, commuting, and even longer day trips. Charging is effortless with the included USB cable, and can even be done when you’re out on the bike.
As for comfort, these earbuds are equipped with ear hooks. This feature helps to keep the earbuds securely in place and prevents them from falling out while you’re riding. Even with a helmet on, you can keep listening to music without worrying about them wiggling out.
Also worth mentioning is the monitoring mode. This is a great feature to have for riding with. It allows you to listen to the exterior sounds while your audio still plays. This way, you can focus on the sounds around you, while still enjoying your music.
What People Love
The TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are a great choice for riders. They’re well-reviewed and come with practical features that motorcyclists can enjoy.
For starters, these are an affordable set of noise cancelling earbuds. You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars for an enjoyable audio experience. Thanks to the lower price, it’s also not a big deal if they happen to get damaged or lost when you’re out on your motorcycle.
Next, the sound quality on these are awesome. They pump out a deep bass with rich-mids and highs. You can really appreciate the music you’re listening to instead of the constant droning of your engine or traffic. Compared to cheap earbuds, these offer a surprising quality of audio.
The active noise cancellation is also worth mentioning. Despite the lower price, these earphones are they able to drown out much of the surrounding noise. They’re not perfect, but compared to the cheaper alternatives, they’re suitable for giving you better audio on the bike.
There aren’t any problems when it comes to using the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. There’s only two buttons you need to worry about. A quick tap of the ANC button and you can drown out the ambient sounds around you. Tap the monitoring button if you’re in traffic or you want to hear what’s going on while still enjoying your audio.
Finally, there’s the excellent battery life. You can expect up to 15 hours or more of audio time when you’re using these headphones. Of course, volume and mode selection will have an impact on battery life. However, these are a great choice for commuting, local rides, and even longer day trips.
What People Don’t Like
The main concern people have with the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones is that it doesn’t come with all of the same features you would find with a more expensive pair of headphones. Like I mentioned, these are still a great choice if you’re looking for something reasonably priced and you’re on a budget.
Another issue if you’re not used to using noise cancelling earbuds, is that it’s possible to forget to charge them. Thankfully, a charging cable is included, and hopefully you remember. If not, it’s easy to charge these noise cancelling headphones at home or even when you’re on the bike.
Overall, the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones remain a great choice as one of the best earbuds for motorcycle riding. They’re reasonably priced, well-reviewed, and are equipped with the features most riders will find great for riding with.
The battery life is suitable for most riding styles and the ear hooks help to keep the earbuds in place while you’re riding. We believe most riders will find these headphones to be a great choice!
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones are a great choice if you’re looking for noise cancelling earbuds with good battery life. These boast an impressive 20-hours of playtime, making them ideal for longer rides and even multi-day trips.
Thanks to the aesthetically minimalist design, these earbuds slide into your helmet without restricting your movement or getting in the way. They’re designed to be sleek and lightweight, which makes them practical for travelling with.
Finally, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones are equipped with a streamlined inline remote. This makes it easy to use the controls when you’re on the go. From here you can quickly change the settings depending on the noise reduction you need.
What People Love
Arguably, one of the best features of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones, is it’s impressive battery life. With up to 20 hours of playtime, these don’t need to be charged as often as some of our other recommendations. This playtime makes them great for longer rides and even for commuting, where you would only need to charge them once per week.
When it comes to noise reduction, which is the feature most of the are looking for, these offer impressive quality. The earphones are equipped with the standard Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC. When it’s turned on, you can focus on your audio with your surroundings tuned out. Turn it off, and pop back into Transparency Mode, for when you want to hear what’s going on around you.
While these don’t come with ear hooks, they are equipped with a set of comfortable and lightweight ear tips. These are exchangeable and can be changed into a bigger or smaller size depending on your preferred fit. Thanks to the streamlined design, these noise cancelling headphones stay in place and aren’t as likely to wiggle out.
Finally, these are a practical choice if you’re looking for something lightweight and durable. The earphones are designed using ultralight materials. The earbuds themselves use a stainless and scratch resistant metal, while the remote uses a durable aluminum and rubber material.
What People Don’t Like
There are two main concerns people have with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones. The first is the cable noise and the second is the battery case.
Cable noise is a problem with many headphones, although it’s likely caused by user error for this pair. To avoid any issues with cable noise, make sure the battery is fully charged. Also, confirm that you have turned the headphones on and that the noise cancellation is working.
As for the battery pack, people have a concern with the larger external battery case that these headphones use. Unfortunately, if you don’t want the up to 20-hours battery life, I’d recommend going with another pair. Otherwise, this is something you’ll have to live with for such an impressive battery life, which gives you more usage out of these earbuds.
Overall, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earphones are a great choice for riders looking for noise cancelling earbuds that are minimalist, lightweight, and that have an impressive battery life. These are a great choice if you’re commuting regularly or taking longer trips and you want to listen to your music uninterrupted.
Despite not having any earhooks, I’d still recommend these as a great choice for most riders. The battery life, streamlined design, and durable build quality are all suitable features practical for riding.
TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Neckband Bluetooth Headphones
The TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones would be our recommendation if you’re looking for the best wireless noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones for motorcycle riding. These are great choice if you don’t want to worry about any long wires and you’re mostly going on shorter rides or local commutes.
Similar to the TaoTronic wired earbuds we just mentioned, the TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones take advantage of Active Noise Cancellation to provide you with a better audio experience. With the ANC enabled, you’ll be able to enjoy up to 8 hours of playtime from these headphones. Turned off, this shoots up to 16 hours of playtime.
Along with being wireless and Bluetooth enabled, these headphones are designed to be splashproof. Thanks to the Nano coating, the components are protected from sweat and light rain. This way you can keep riding during the summer or through some light rain without having to worry about damaging the headphones.
What People Love
One of the best features of the TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones is that they are, in fact, wireless and Bluetooth capable. This makes them easy to use with most helmet styles. It’s also easier to connect to your smartphone through Bluetooth, rather than having to deal with a wired connection.
Another impressive feature is the battery life. As I mentioned, it’s possible to get up to 8-hours of playtime with the noise cancellation enabled. This is practical for commuting and shorter day trips. With the noise cancellation turned off, these have a play time of up to 16-hours.
Speaking of noise cancellation, these headphones are equipped with the stand ANC technology. This reduces ambient noise and provides you with a better audio experience. Whether you’re listening to music while you’re riding, or pulled off to the side to take a phone call, the ANC helps to enhance the audio coming through the headphones.
Included with these earbuds are 6 ear tips as well as 6 ear hooks. The tips are great for regularly changing out or finding a better fit. With the ear hooks, you don’t have to worry as much about the headphones slipping out or sliding out of your helmet while you’re riding.
What People Don’t Like
The main concern people have is the battery life. However, for a pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones, the 8-16 hour battery life is rather impressive. 8 hours is definitely on the lower side with the ANC on, so I’d recommend a different pair if you want something longer-lasting.
Another drawback is the inline control module. It can be tricky to use with the headphones on. That’s because your motorcycle helmet will probably get in the way. With gloves on, it can be hard to find the module.
An easy work around for this is to use a lightweight pair of gloves. Alternatively, you might have to pull over to turn off the noise cancellation or to take a call.
Overall, the TaoTronics Neckband Bluetooth Headphones are our top recommendation as the best wireless noise cancelling headphones with Bluetooth for motorcycle riding. These are easy to use and there’s no wires that get in the way. There’s also the 8+ hour battery life, which is suitable enough for most people.
We would definitely recommend these if you want something with Bluetooth and that’s wireless. They easily slip under your helmet and are suitable for shorter rides or local commuting. The sound quality is as good as you can expect for when you’re out on the bike. Finally, the active noise-cancellation helps to improve your audio experience active for your loud rides.
Best Earbuds for Motorcycle Riders Buying Guide + FAQ
It’s not fun using normal earbuds when you’re out on the bike. The sound quality isn’t as good and most of them aren’t very comfortable. You also have to listen to the music quite loud, which can damage your hearing, especially with all of the wind noise.
It’s understandable that you want to be able to enjoy your favourite music, podcast, or audiobook when you’re out riding. The sound of your engine, wind noise, and traffic around you can get pretty annoying if you’re spending a lot of time on the bike. That’s why, for many riders, it’s worth it to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones for motorcycle riding.
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right pair. That’s why we put together this helpful buyer’s guide. Be sure to read this guide if you’re having trouble deciding or you’re not sure about the different features you want in a pair of noise-cancelling earphones.
Active Noise Cancellation Technology (ANC)
Active Noise Cancellation technology, or ANC, is the most popular tech used for reducing external sounds with these headphones. Models that come equipped with ANC are built using additional electric circuitry. This extra circuitry is designed to dampen ambient sounds with a special signal.
There’s a small microphone that’s built in and used to pick up the sound levels of your surroundings. The speaker, using the information from this microphone, delivers the audio at the right level while cancelling out the external sounds.
This is achieved through what’s called negative sound waves. Even without any music, the noise cancellation remains active. While some noise still may get through, the bulk of the external audio can be dampened and reduced.
The result? Audio that you can hear better inside your motorcycle helmet.
Wired vs Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones
Every year Bluetooth and wireless headphones become more popular. There’s no need to deal with any cords or wires. With a set of wireless headphones riders enjoy more flexibility and a better range of motion.
Unfortunately, the technology and product quality isn’t really there compared to wired headphones. In the non motorcycle space, this isn’t the case, but for riding it’s still wired models that reign supreme.
That isn’t to say you can’t find the best Bluetooth noise cancelling earbuds, like the ones you recommended up above. However, they’re going to be more expensive and won’t have as long of a battery life as the wired options.
While it’s easier and more practical to use Bluetooth, most people will still be better off with a set of wired headphones. The battery lasts longer and there are more options available for a wider range of prices.
If you can find a set of Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones that you like for riding with, go ahead and try them out. Otherwise, stick with our recommendations above!
Extra Features to Consider
Battery life and active noise cancellation technology are the two main features to consider when you’re in the market for the best noise cancelling headphones for motorcycle riding. However, there are some extra considerations to keep in mind.
Comfort and Durability
When it comes to secondary features, comfort and durability are of the utmost importance. Considering you’ll be wearing these headphones for extended periods of time, it’s important that they’re comfortable to wear. They also need to be durable for long-term use and able to withstand the harsh conditions of riding.
The best way to find this out is to check reviews. Look for rubber or foam ear tips, as well as additional ones so you can change the fit. Any headphones that come with the ear hooks also provide a better, more secure fit and are less likely to fall out while you’re on the bike.
As for durability, all of our recommendations are durable and use quality design materials. To find out on your own, check out the manufacturer specifications. Look for durable materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and rubber. These are better suited for the rigors of the road.
Are Motorcycle Earphones Waterproof?
Waterproofing is another feature worth considering. It’s likely you’ll be riding in different weather conditions, including rain, fog, or humid weather. Waterproof headphones, or those that come with a waterproof coating, are more able to withstand these wet conditions.
Personally, I try to avoid riding in the rain. And when it is raining, I want to have my full attention on the road ahead of me. Due to this reason, I avoid listening to music or wearing headphones during poor weather conditions.
If you need to be listening to music during the rain, look for waterproof models. This information can be found in the manufacturer’s description. Alternatively, you can check out reviews to see what other riders have to say.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Benefits of Noise Cancelling Motorcycle Headphones?
Believe it or not, there are a few benefits to wearing noise-cancelling motorcycle headphones. For starters, the noise cancellation features can help preserve your hearing. It’s loud when you’re out on the bike, with traffic and wind noise, and the excessive sounds can damage your eardrums.
With a good pair of noise-canceling earbuds for motorcycle riding, you can enjoy listening to music while preserving your hearing. It’s also a good idea to consider wearing motorcycle ear plugs, if you’re not going to be using headphones while riding.
Listening to music, audio books, or podcasts can improve your riding experience. While it can be distracting, for some people it’s more enjoyable with audio coming through their headphones rather than staring at the road.
Is It Legal to Wear Headphones on a Motorcycle?
The answer to this question depends on where you’re from and what the local laws are. For the most part, wearing headphones on a motorcycle is legal in North America and throughout the world. Whether you’re wearing headphones or ear plugs, it’s important that you protect and maintain your hearing.
In some states, however, it’s not exactly legal to wear headphones or ear plugs. It’s always a good idea to check the local laws to determine what the legality is regarding this issue. On the other hand, it might be worth risking a ticket to protect your hearing or have a more enjoyable riding experience.
Can Riding a Motorcycle Damage Your Hearing?
Yes, the excessive wind noise created at high speeds can definitely damage your hearing on a motorcycle. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus, something many motorcyclists become familiar with.
Riding at highway speeds for as little as 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss and hearing damage. That’s why it’s always a good idea to wear motorcycle ear plugs or use noise cancelling headphones when you’re out on the bike.
Is it Dangerous to Listen to Music While Riding a Motorcycle?
The answer to this question depends on your skill as a rider and whether or not you’re easily distracted. In some cases, music or audio through your headphones may distract some people. However, if you’re focusing on riding, especially in tricky situations, it’s not dangerous at all.
Think about it – there’s always excessive sounds and noise coming into your helmet. If you’re not using earplugs or headphones, there’s the wind noise and traffic sounds you have to deal with. With earplugs, everything around you is much quieter and it’s easier to focus. The same can be said about music.
When you’re first starting out, you might be better off using your plugs instead of headphones. As your skills progress, consider introducing music into your riding routine and see how things go.
If you find you’re getting easily distracted, resort back to ear plugs until your skills improve more. Practice listening on your motorcycle commute and see how things turn out.