Can I Use Airpods In a Motorcycle Helmet? Yes, Here’s Why

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Listening to things while riding can be a bit of a divisive issue. Riders either wear nothing, have earplugs, or use Bluetooth sets. Some wear earpieces while riding, particularly Apple Airpods. However, is it safe? Can I use Airpods in a motorcycle helmet?

Generally, you can use Airpods in a motorcycle helmet, as you can still hear your surroundings. There is also no specific ruling that bans this. However, the experience can be cumbersome and less enjoyable than a Bluetooth kit.

In this article, I discuss whether you can use Airpods in your motorcycle helmet and whether it is better than, say, using a Bluetooth audio kit.

Why Do Some Riders Wear Airpods?

I have used many Bluetooth kits with my helmet, which means I do not have the habit of wearing AirPods while riding my motorcycle. 

I did, however, experiment with wireless earpieces with my helmet before. I have also met riders who actually prefer Airpods. Here are their reasons:

 

Use Airpods In a Motorcycle Helmet - airpodsApple AirPods 3: Buy On
Amazon

They Have Multiple Helmets: Some riders told me he enjoys rotating a couple of helmets, and putting Bluetooth set into them would ‘cost a bomb.’ It simply makes more sense for them to wear their Airpods and then slip on their helmet of choice for the day.

Airpods Have Excellent Noise Cancellation Technology: I have also heard from riders who appreciate their Airpods’ noise cancellation technology. They find they have a quieter ride wearing their Airpods, and they can hear the music or podcasts better. 

Airpods Give Them Higher Quality Audio: Some may think their Airpods give a better sound experience than Bluetooth audio kits, so they prefer to listen to their Airpods while riding their motorbikes.

They Do Not Have To Buy A Separate Bluetooth Kit: Some riders have an Airpod lying around or have been using it daily. Wearing Airpods with helmets means they do not have to shell out additional funds to buy Bluetooth audio kits.

Can I Use Airpods In A Motorcycle Helmet?

I spent some time looking through the United States Department Of Transportation’s website. I found no specific rules forbidding you from wearing AirPods while riding motorcycles. 

This means the answer to the question “Can I use Airpods in a motorcycle helmet?” is likely OK.

However, there are laws on the use of ‘headphones,’ which vary by state.

For example, I found that in California, you can only wear headphones on one side of your ear while riding a motorcycle. New York has the same rules, while Florida disallows this altogether.

Please note that it can be difficult for me to review all the motorcycle rules on AirPods across all US states, the EU, and elsewhere around the world.

So, please check the rules in your area and see if it’s kosher to use AirPods in a motorcycle helmet.

However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are reasons why many riders still prefer their Bluetooth systems over Airpods.

Are Airpods Better Than Bluetooth Systems?

If you are deciding if you want to invest in Airpods or a Bluetooth system, here are a few arguments that may support you to use Airpods in a motorcycle helmet:

Airpods Go Beyond Helmets

Airpods are a better choice over Bluetooth sets in one aspect: versatility. You can wear your AirPods while riding your motorcycle, and while you are not, so you do not need to buy a Bluetooth system for your helmet. 

If you have multiple helmets, you may appreciate this flexibility even more, as you can now listen to your tracks without having to install multiple Bluetooth systems for your helmet. 

Airpods May Be Cheaper

Another reason to consider is pricing. You can get Airpods for under $100, while a decent starter Bluetooth system, say a Cardo Spirit HD, would cost you $100+ or more. 

Use Airpods In a Motorcycle Helmet - cardo_spirit_hdCardo Spirit HD: Buy On
RevZilla | Amazon

If you relax a little on the budgetting, you may notice that the higher-end Airpods Pro may cost you around $200 only. A more premium Bluetooth system, say a Sena 30K, would cost you more. 

Use Airpods In a Motorcycle Helmet - Sena30kSena 30K:
RevZilla | Amazon

In short, you will likely save some money with Airpods over Bluetooth systems.

When Are Bluetooth Systems Better Than Airpods?

I think Bluetooth systems are better from my experience using Bluetooth systems and wireless Bluetooth earpieces. Here’s why:

Keeps Your Hands On The Bike Handle

Another thing that made me really enjoy Bluetooth systems over AirPods is the controls. I found myself having to control everything using my iPhone since the earpieces are buried deep inside. 

This means that I must unlock the phone first and then swipe my fingers around to change tracks or adjust the volume. 

You would know the difficulty of doing that when riding motorcycles, especially if you have gloves on. It is also very dangerous since your eyes would not be as focused on the road. 

With a Bluetooth system, you simply lift one hand to the controller beside your helmet and press away. It is easier and, in many cases, much safer for a rider. You can also keep your eyes on the road instead of on the phone screen.

Less Flimsy To Put On And Take Off

I prefer Bluetooth systems over Airpods or other earpieces because they are easy to wear. 

I particularly hate the experience of having to first put on the earpiece, then gingerly and slowly slide my helmet in to avoid causing the earpieces to get out of place. 

I have also seen riders with modular helmets trying to shove their AirPods into their ears with their chin bars lifted up.

It was not a very comfortable experience for me, and it was cumbersome, too.

Bluetooth systems have wires and speakers that can be installed directly into the helmet, so I just have to slip in my helmet as usual and have the speaker seated at the perfect place. 

Easier To Communicate

While listening to your favorite music or podcasts on Airpods is not an issue, talking could. 

Airpods are not designed to be worn over a helmet, which means the microphone may not work as well when dealing with wind noise. 

While riding my motorcycle, I found it hard to pick up calls or bark orders to Siri. This is not an issue with my Bluetooth system. 

Plus, you can communicate much better with other riders over your Cardo or Sena while riding anyway.

 

riding bikes in a group
If you ride in groups, Bluetooth systems make it easier to communicate while riding, than Airpods.

Tips When Wearing Airpods In A Motorcycle Helmet

If you decide to wear AirPods in a motorcycle helmet, here are a couple of tips that you may find helpful:

Airpods First, Then Helmet

One of the biggest issues to use Airpods in a motorcycle helmet is the whole flimsiness of it. 

They can easily slip out of position, and putting them back in place after you have slipped on your helmet can be very difficult. 

I found the following steps helpful when trying to wear my AirPods well, especially when I try to put on a full-face helmet:

  1. Put your AirPods on. 
  2. Put your helmet on your head, but stop just above your ears.
  3. Use your index fingers to keep the AirPods in place, then use the other fingers to pull your helmet down. Be slow and gentle here. 
  4. Once the helmet has gone past your ears, you can take away your fingers.

You can reverse the process when removing your helmet to prevent your AirPods from falling out of your ears.

Some Headgears Can Help

If you wear headgear underneath your helmet, you may be able to use it to help keep your AirPods in place. 

You may be able to pull some sweat liners or beanies to cover your ears. You can then use this to help keep your AirPods in place while you put on your helmet.

Fine Tune The Audio Before You Ride

Adjust the settings for your Airpods before you start riding. These include the volume, tracks, GPS instructions, and so on. 

The reason? Riding your motorbike while swiping your phone with your gloved fingers can be incredibly difficult. You are also likely to take your eyes off the road – incredibly dangerous for a rider.

Airpods Pro Stays On Your Ear Better

The AirPod Pros have better noise-cancellation technology. As a result, you should have a better listening experience while riding than, say, if you wear regular AirPods.

The Pro earpieces also have silicone tips, which should help secure them to your ear canals better.

If you plan to wear AirPods in a motorcycle helmet, getting an AirPods Pro instead of the regular AirPods may be a better choice.

Can I Use Airpods In a Motorcycle Helmet? Explored

I’ve discussed whether you can wear AirPods while riding your motorcycle in this article. Although no specific rules prevent this, check with your local and state traffic laws, as things can be different. 

In most cases, a Bluetooth system is the safer and better choice. They are designed specifically for motorcycle riding and should give you a better overall experience.

If you are keen to check out Bluetooth sets, feel free to look at some of the reviews I have about them:

Michael’s Summary & Conclusion

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations:

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Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for All of Michael Parrotte's contact and Social Media information

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