Looking For The Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds For Motorcycle Riding?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones.
There are times when I want to revel in my motorcycle’s deep, rumbling bass, and there are times when I’d prefer to hear the bass from my music instead, so I almost always carry a set of earbuds that fit comfortably inside my helmet. I’m not an audiophile that craves studio-quality sound, but I’ve learned that your average set of earbuds can’t compete with the sound of a motorcycle. If your earbuds don’t offer noise cancellation, they’re just not worth wearing while you’re riding.
What to look for in noise cancelling earbuds for motorcycle riding
Generally speaking, noise cancellation headphones are intended to reduce environmental distractions that can detract from your music. A good pair of noise cancelling earbuds won’t completely eliminate ambient noises, but they should cut the disruptions enough to let your music stand out and provide an immersive auditory experience. But how do you know which earbuds actually deliver noticeable noise cancellation, and what features should you be looking for in a set of quality earbuds? To help you out in your search, here are a few things to look for:
- Active noise cancellation – most earbuds that offer a conforming soft earplug market themselves as “noise cancelling,” but there’s a huge difference between that and active noise cancellation (ANC). Headphones with ANC are normally battery-powered, and like the name implies they actively work to eliminate environment sounds while blocking ambient noise with the standard snug-fit earplug.
- Fit – when you’re talking about wearing earbuds while riding your motorcycle, it’s important to remember that you’ll often be subject to rough terrain that can dislodge standard earbuds. It’s best to use earbuds that have an extra piece to wedge it safely in your ear.
- Toggling on/off ANC – some of the premium earbuds offer a feature where you can press a button that mutes the music and lets you listen to your surroundings without removing your earbuds. This can be really helpful when you’re wearing a helmet.
- In-line microphone – most earbuds these days offer in-line microphones for hands-free phone calls.
- Hands-free controls – you don’t want to be pulling your phone out of your pocket while you’re riding, so it’s important to pick a set of headphones with in-line controls that you can easily use to skip tracks and pause the music.
The Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are without a doubt the best noise cancelling earbuds out there, rivaling the quality of most over-ear studio-quality headphones. They consistently provide premium quality sound everywhere you go, whether you’re listening to your tunes on the crowded subway or flying down the highway on your motorcycle. You’ll enjoy deep, clear sound from the Active EQ as Bose’s TriPort technology brings your music to life.
When you turn on the active noise cancellation, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the distractions around you disappear, and how clear you’ll hear your music. The QuietComfort 20 Headphones also offer Bose’s proprietary Aware Mode that lets you mute your music and hear what’s happening around you with the push of a button, without taking out your earbuds. They’re built for versatility, too, with an inline microphone and remote that lets you seamlessly transition from music to calls on your iPhone or Android smartphone.
Unlike other earbuds that can easily get dislodged from your ear while riding, the QuietComfort 20 Headphones employ Bose’s proprietary StayHear+ tips that provide a soft, secure fit. They have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that boasts up to 16 hours of active noise cancellation, and if the battery runs out, the earbuds still provide you with Bose-quality sound. They command a high price, but you get what you pay for.
Symphonized NRG 2.0 Earbuds | Wood In-ear Noise-isolating Headphones | Earphones with Mic and Innovative Shield Technology Cable
I absolutely love Symphonized speakers. Wood has always played an important role in music by imparting warmth and life to instruments and concert halls, and every set of Symphonized speakers uses handcrafted wood parts to match that unique effect. And when I say handcrafted, I actually mean handcrafted—all Symphonized products are assembled by hand and meticulously tested to ensure consistent quality and durability.
The Symphonized NRG 2.0 Earbuds deliver a crisp, powerful acoustic sound with a strong, deep bass. They employ a unique in-ear canal design that reduces ambient noises, along with standard noise-cancellation technology to provide distraction-free listening. You can use the earbuds to answer phone calls, skip tracks, and activate voice control with the built-in in-line microphone. Every set comes with three sizes of custom silicone earbuds to ensure a perfect fit, and an eco-friendly travel pouch for convenience. They also use a gold-plated 3.5mm jack for a stronger sound connection with less leakage.
TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wired Earbuds In-Ear Stereo Awareness Monitor Earphones with Microphone and Remote
If you’re looking for earbuds with Bose-quality noise cancellation without the premium price tag, I’d highly recommend the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Wired Earbuds. The Bose QuietComfort 20 Headphones still win at the end of the day, but the TaoTronics earbuds are a close second-place for a fraction of the price. The TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Wired Earbuds reduce environmental noise and disruptions by up to 25dB, and even the built-in microphone has noise cancelling properties for clearer phone calls and undisturbed voice transmission.
The active noise cancellation features run on a 15-hour battery, and when the battery runs out the earbuds still deliver a great auditory experience. The TaoTronics earbuds also offer Monitoring Mode, letting you mute the music and listen to your surroundings by pushing an in-ear monitor button. I personally like the aluminum build with the black matte finish as it gives the earbuds a sleek, modern look with added durability, and the format of the earpiece helps it stay lodged in your ear better as you’re riding on rough terrain.
I have to admit, at first glance I didn’t love the transparent shell on these earbuds. But I had a chance to try them out in person, and now I’m a believer—in both the design and the quality. The APIE A1 earbuds use magnetic neodymium iron boron magnets deliver exceptional sound with unbelievably high definition using a proprietary driver design. They pump out some of the deepest bass, crystal clear midrange, and soaring highs that I’ve heard from earbud headphones.
The earbuds also employ a unique triband tuning technology to suppress high-frequency glitches, so the high-tech look on the outside matches the impressive technology packed inside. The soft silicone ear buds make for a comfy fit and aid the noise cancellation, and they’re durable enough for travel and exercise. Of course, like all of the other earbuds we’ve discussed they also come with a built-in microphone for hands-free phone calls.
In Ear Earbuds Noise Cancelling Headphones Gold Plated Plug Wired Earphones with Microphone Volume Control Remote for MP3 Cell Phones Tablets Laptops PC (ES-70GRAY)
If you’re on a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with these noise-cancelling earbuds from AWEI. The AWEI earbuds deliver powerful bass and accurate highs. They’re built with an alloy housing acoustic chamber, so they’re much more durable than the plastic earbuds you normally see in this price range. They don’t offer active noise cancellation, but the in-ear design and fit do a good job of blocking out ambient noises to deliver a better listening experience with fewer distractions.
If you’ve got the money to splurge on the Bose QuietComfort 20 Earbuds, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in your purchase. They’ll stay lodged in your ear better, they eliminate the most amount of environmental noise, and they deliver crystal clear sound. If you’re looking for similar quality at a fraction of the cost, go with the TaoTronics earbuds. If you’re wanting to keep your purchase under $25, then I’d highly recommend going with the Symphonized earbuds.