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Headphones for cycling, recommendations please!

AguilaAguila Posts: 622
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
Hello all,

Can someone recommend some headphones for cycling. At the moment I'm fine with my standard ones as they are tucked in under my ear warmer band. As soon as this comes off they are going to fall out constantly. I don't want to use my posh shure noise cancellers as I still want to be able to hear some traffic noise for safety. I've looked at the ones that hook over your ears and the ones with a neck band. Do they interfere with your helmet??

Can anyone recommend some with
- decent sound
- secure fit that wont mess with helmet/glasses
- not totally noise cancelling

Thanks!!

Andy
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Posts

  • Bang and Olufsen in-ear ones.

    I use them for the gym, and for snowboarding: in falls where I've lost my hat, googles etc. they've hung on.

    http://www.bang-olufsen.com/earphones
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    In-ears yeah? Shure Ec2's are the business and now not that expensive
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shure-Sound-Isolating-Earphones-Colour/dp/B000E5PNAI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1234866195&sr=1-3


    I've got the 3's at the moment they tend to stick out a little more, but still deliver awesome quality sound
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    edited February 2009
    Lordy!

    The B&O ones look a bit pricy! Probably not justified for the 25 quid mp3 player/dab they'll be hooked up to!!
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Clever Pun wrote:
    In-ears yeah? Shure Ec2's are the business and now not that expensive
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shure-Sound-Isolating-Earphones-Colour/dp/B000E5PNAI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1234866195&sr=1-3


    I've got the 3's at the moment they tend to stick out a little more, but still deliver awesome quality sound

    I have some of these already but would be worried about riding with them on as they really do block out 95% of the surrounding sound, do you not find that a problem??
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Aguila wrote:
    Clever Pun wrote:
    In-ears yeah? Shure Ec2's are the business and now not that expensive
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shure-Sound-Isolating-Earphones-Colour/dp/B000E5PNAI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1234866195&sr=1-3


    I've got the 3's at the moment they tend to stick out a little more, but still deliver awesome quality sound

    I have some of these already but would be worried about riding with them on as they really do block out 95% of the surrounding sound, do you not find that a problem??

    Nope, I have them on very low... I can still hear irate drivers beeping at me :lol: and you can still get the higher engines (motorbikes and scooters) easier enough

    I just take one out if needs be (talking)
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I recommend not wearing headphones for commuting
    I always remove the headband that covers my earing for riding through town
    Those people in metal boxes are trying to kill you! You need all the help you can get
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    vorsprung wrote:
    I recommend not wearing headphones for commuting
    I always remove the headband that covers my earing for riding through town
    Those people in metal boxes are trying to kill you! You need all the help you can get

    I thought someone might say that. I used to agree with you and scorned my mates who listen whilst riding in to work. I then tried it and you really do not miss hearing anything important unless you have genuine noise cancelling units on. I can still hear traffic fine.

    Also as one fellow rider put it:

    "bike accidents are caused by drivers not using their eyes not cyclists not using their ears"

    made me chuckle and probably true.

    Anyway bring on the suggestions, must be at least 3 days since I bought some bike kit!!
  • I cycled in today with headphones and no helmet for the first time ever. I knocked a minute off my average time. I'll pick somthing a bit more soothing to listen to on the way back... :lol:

    I use Sennheiser CX500. Although the CX300 is on offer on Amazon at the moment.
    <insert witty comment here>

    Also, I have calculated my FCN as 12...although I have no idea what that actually means.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    I've just bought these today, John Lewis are currently cheapest and with free delivery. They get good reviews by runners on Amazon, if they are comfortable for a runner, you know they will be for a cyclist. Also, they don't jam into your ears, so you can still hear traffic if that is important to you.

    http://www.johnlewis.com/230483454/Prod ... urce=14798

    Amazon reviews - http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mdr-As20J-Ac ... ewpoints=1

    As they are 2 piece, you can wear just one of them for listen to the radio/podcasts. Some of the other sports headphones are like an alice band so you have to wear both sides if you see what I mean!

    Dave.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Noise cancelling only works on repetitive noises, afaik. So it won't affect any beeps, shouting or other noises that are generally unpredictable.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    An alternative to the Sennheiser CX300 are these Creative Labs EP-630 - they are in the ear but don't block all noise out, cheap and cheerful but many say they outperform the Sennheisers. As I lose / break headphones regularly these make sense to me at about £7!
  • "bike accidents are caused by drivers not using their eyes not cyclists not using their ears"

    Just because an accident isn't you're fault it doesn't mean you cannot prevent it.
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Jamey wrote:
    Noise cancelling only works on repetitive noises, afaik. So it won't affect any beeps, shouting or other noises that are generally unpredictable.

    This is certainly not true of the shure type phones. I have some of those and you cannot hear anything else with them on regardless of its nature. Rather like the look of the sony ones from JL. Cheap enough to ruin in the rain etc too. Will prob give them a go.
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Geoffroid wrote:
    "bike accidents are caused by drivers not using their eyes not cyclists not using their ears"

    Just because an accident isn't you're fault it doesn't mean you cannot prevent it.

    How does hearing what is coming up behind you enable you to prevent it from hitting you?? Only the driver can do that, all you can do is brace for impact!

    Seriously though I do like to be able to still hear the traffic which is why I dont use my full on noise isolating/cancelling headphones.

    :D
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Aguila wrote:
    Geoffroid wrote:
    "bike accidents are caused by drivers not using their eyes not cyclists not using their ears"

    Just because an accident isn't you're fault it doesn't mean you cannot prevent it.

    How does hearing what is coming up behind you enable you to prevent it from hitting you?? Only the driver can do that, all you can do is brace for impact!

    Seriously though I do like to be able to still hear the traffic which is why I dont use my full on noise isolating/cancelling headphones.

    :D
    Yes, this has always puzzled me, what will I do different if I hear a vehicle behind me? They are behind me all the time, I don't dive on the pavement when I hear them, with or without headphones. What about electric vehicles?
  • Jamey wrote:
    Noise cancelling only works on repetitive noises, afaik. So it won't affect any beeps, shouting or other noises that are generally unpredictable.
    You will note that all noise cancelling headphones are either the ear canal type, or big ones that cover most of your head.

    The ones I've tried also appear to sneakily emit white noise as well (you can HEAR the clarity!!).

    White noise + noise attenuation does not noise cancellation make.
  • alfablue wrote:
    Aguila wrote:
    Geoffroid wrote:
    "bike accidents are caused by drivers not using their eyes not cyclists not using their ears"

    Just because an accident isn't you're fault it doesn't mean you cannot prevent it.

    How does hearing what is coming up behind you enable you to prevent it from hitting you?? Only the driver can do that, all you can do is brace for impact!

    Seriously though I do like to be able to still hear the traffic which is why I dont use my full on noise isolating/cancelling headphones.

    :D
    Yes, this has always puzzled me, what will I do different if I hear a vehicle behind me? They are behind me all the time, I don't dive on the pavement when I hear them, with or without headphones. What about electric vehicles?

    i have nothing against people who has headphones on when riding, its their choice.
    for me, it always better safe than sorry.

    there were a few time which if i didn't hear the noice behind me, i would have been in an accident. it was my mistake which i should of take the primary position on the lane earlier as im about to turn right and since the car behind me was driving behind me at my speed in a while, i assumed he would not overtake me anytime soon.
    "It is not impossible, its just improbable"

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,558
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-CX30 ... 807&sr=1-1

    great quality and sound. i dont have it on that loud at all, and still hear traffic and they never fall out
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    It seems insane to me to not use and act upon noise information from behind you almost constantly when riding. Even if you're not consciously responding to it, the difference between an engine idling and accelerating, the difference in engine pitch between a van and a car, the distant sound of a motorbike which could be all too close in only a second or two, not to mention the fact that the knowledge that a car is there may prevent you from even bothering to look round to, say, pass parked cars. I rely massively on the nuances of what I hear and I don't know if I could even ride if I lose these nuances. But each to their own.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Well, I generally don't ride with phones, just occasionally, but prior to any change of direction or road position I check with my eyes.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Maybe I'm more reckless than I thought, but a lot of my smaller road position changes I'm happy doing with my ears because I feel confident I understand the ambient circumstances. Never been hit from behind (or indeed from any angle), touch wood...

    Also, commuting through central London I'd be looking over my shoulder every 3 seconds or so and considering how key it is to keep an eye on the road ahead (bloody pedestrians) I think that'd markedly up the risk!
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Making turns without looking because you can't hear anything behind you sounds more dangerous than wearing headphones and looking behind every time you want to change direction.
  • steve-msteve-m Posts: 106
    Aguila wrote:
    Lordy!

    The B&O ones look a bit pricy! Probably not justified for the 25 quid mp3 player/dab they'll be hooked up to!!

    £25 DAB/MP3 : Where can I get one.
    Fixed, commute: Langster 08, FCN6
    Road : Aravis (byercycles) Shimano 105 triple
    Hybrid: Trek 7.2 FX, unused / unloved
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    I got mine here:

    http://www.cheapestelectrical.co.uk/pro ... dio+DA1103

    Very pleased with it too, it's some sort of website for ex-display/refurbished stuff but comes with 12 month guarantee. For £25 you can't grumble! Mine came quickly and works a treat, good DAB reception and the mp3 is good too, recommended.
  • steve-msteve-m Posts: 106
    Cheers for that. Just bought a disposable mp3 player for the gym / running - never realised it would the disposed of so soon!

    Have and old Sony DAB portable but is too big and kills the batteries, how long do they last on DAB on this?
    Fixed, commute: Langster 08, FCN6
    Road : Aravis (byercycles) Shimano 105 triple
    Hybrid: Trek 7.2 FX, unused / unloved
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    I only got it last week and put in some rechargable AAA's. Used approx 1.5 hrs daily since then and more than half full still so far so seems reasonable. This one isn't waffer thin but fits very easily into a jersey pocket and doesn't feel heavy.
  • alfablue wrote:
    An alternative to the Sennheiser CX300 are these Creative Labs EP-630 - they are in the ear but don't block all noise out, cheap and cheerful but many say they outperform the Sennheisers. As I lose / break headphones regularly these make sense to me at about £7!

    I also had Sennheisers which were pretty good, but when they broke I used the standard Creative ones which came with the player, and they're even better, although they don't have a volume adjuster (which is why I got the others).
  • You will note that all noise cancelling headphones are either the ear canal type, or big ones that cover most of your head.

    The ones I've tried also appear to sneakily emit white noise as well (you can HEAR the clarity!!).

    White noise + noise attenuation does not noise cancellation make.

    Noise cancelling and noise isolation are different things. Noise cancelling ones have a battery and use electronic gadgetry to reduce external noise - good for repetitive noise, for example use on a plane. Noise isolation plug right in your ears and are a cross between headphones and ear plugs - they work by stopping the outside noise getting in in the first place.

    An Apple explanation here:
    http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/guide/ ... MTc1ODk3MQ

    I never used to use headphones when commuting and thought it incredibly dangerous. I've now swerved into hypocrisy lane and use headphones most days. But I deliberately don't use my noise isolating (Shure) headphones so I still get at least some sound from the outside. And I tend to listen to podcasts rather than music as I find I can hear external sounds better through speech than through music.

    I use these headphones (the ones I also use in the gym) - cheap enough so I don't mind if they get trashed and they stay on pretty well as they hook over the ears. Not the best sound, particularly with wind whistling past, but then I am comparing them with other headphones I've got which are quite a bit more expensive. Also a bit garish :cry:
    http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones ... OMX+70.htm

    But don't underestimate how anti-social headphones can be when stopped at lights (assuming you do stop at lights :? ). Just last week, in the appalling rain we had one evening, I had no idea what the guy next to me was saying (I guessed something about the rain :lol: ) so just smiled and nodded a lot - I suspect he thought I was a little simple.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    I've ordered the sony ones described earlier which look similar to those.

    BTW Hundredth I'm well jealous of your fratello, are they as good as they look??
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