Top Noise Canceling Earbuds for Motorbikers – Our Analysis & Guide
If you’re looking for the best noise canceling earbuds for motorcycle riders then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve made a selection of some of the top products available right now on the market so you won’t have to go through dozens of motorbike noise canceling earbud reviews to get an idea of what’s available for sale. We’ve placed the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 at the top of our list since it offers a very good level of quality and some functions that make it well suited for motorcycle use, including an aware mode that lets you hear the ambient noise when needed without having to take off the earbuds for this. They work with both Samsung and Android devices and also feature a microphone, so you can take calls while riding. If you’re interested in something more basic (and less pricey), then the Fit Life Earplugs 23dB should serve you well.
With the Bose alternative, you will be able to hear your favorite music while riding without having to worry about the sound of the engine or the high-speed air disturbing your daily ride. Compatibility is also not an issue since the earbuds work with most Android and Samsung devices.
There does seem to be a problem with the left speaker which can stop working out of the blue. It is yet uncertain what causes this issue but we tend to believe it is a manufacturing error.
If you want to block out unpleasant noises with the sound of your favorite tunes, then the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 is a great choice you will love to use both on and off the bike.
These comfortable ear plugs will reduce loud sounds and noises immediately and are a perfect choice for a wide array of activities. The acoustic filters will reduce sound levels evenly but still allow you to enjoy the clarity and richness of music or the on-going traffic while riding.
We are glad to report that we were unable to find any issue worth mentioning with this model. Customers are very happy with their choice and this is certainly a testament to the quality of this item.
The Fit Life option is one of the most affordable options on our list and will reduce noises and sounds, all without rendering you completely unaware of your surroundings.
This option is IPX4-rated for sweat resistance and built for an active lifestyle. The ergonomic design will ensure that once you’ve put them on your ears, they will not fall off easily. The earbuds are Bluetooth 4.1 compatible and can be connected with up to two devices at once.
Users have commented that the build quality isn’t the best since the power button can detach easily and the earbuds can sometimes have problems syncing with your devices.
The SoundPEATS Qy7 Mini is a great purchase for people that lead an active lifestyle and don’t want to be held back by a wired and uncomfortable pair of earbuds.
9 Best Noise Canceling Earbuds For Motorbikers (Reviews) in 2019
With all the wide array of options available out there, finding the right noise canceling earbuds might not be the easiest thing in the world. That’s why we’ve looked through scores of reviews of noise-canceling earbuds and selected a limited number of top scoring products for your consideration.
- 1. Bose QuietComfort 20 In-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones
- 2. TheFitLife Noise Reduction Ear Plugs
- 3. Toysdone Wireless Headphones Stereo Earbuds
- 4. R&T High Fidelity Motorcycles Noise Canceling
- 5. SoundPEATS Bluetooth In Ear Wireless Earbuds 4.1
- 6. Phiaton BT 220 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
- 7. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33IS Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
- 8. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H3 In-Ear Headphones
- 9. AKG K391NC High-Performance Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
- This Year’s Buying Guide
1. Bose QuietComfort 20 In-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones
When it comes to noise canceling technology, Bose is one of the most well-regarded names out there. Their Quiet Comfort line might not be the cheapest, but it’s sure to provide a high level of performance and quality for listening to music or phone calls in a noisy setting.
The QC 20 model can connect to either an Apple or a Samsung device via a reinforced cable, which also features a small panel which will allow you to activate either the aware mode or switch between music and phone conversations.
The aware mode will be especially useful to bikers in situations that will demand their full attention, as it turns off the active noise cancellation on the device.
This item also has an integrated active equalizer to improve sound clarity by silencing certain bands, while proprietary TriPort technology gives it an edge over the competition.
These headphones let you enjoy the music by reducing the surrounding noises.
By pressing one button, this model lets you be aware of every sound around you when needed.
Using these headphones, it is a good way to listen to your favorite music or call someone in a noisy setting.
This model works for Android and Apple devices with the help of a reinforced cable.
The reinforced cable allows you to switch from music to phone calls.
The quality of the sound is improved due to the integrated active equalizer and the TriPort technology.
They work great on public transport, on trains, or airplanes.
Wearing these headphones is very comfortable and they don’t fall out of your ears by themselves.
The life-span of this product is not very long, depending on the conditions you’re keeping them in.
The headphones are not great in noise-canceling when the weather is windy.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)
2. TheFitLife Noise Reduction Ear Plugs
This is a pair of high fidelity earplugs intended to provide 23 dB of noise protection without falsifying the outside noise. This will be especially welcomed for a biker, as it means you will still be able to make up as much of the environment as possible to avoid any potentially dangerous situations.
In a hard box packaging which can fit on a keychain, you will get 1 pair of earplugs with filters attached as well as spare silicone shells and a carrying bag. The shells are reported to be soft and easy on the ears, while silicone being non-reactive means that these won’t trigger any potential allergies through prolonged contact.
No foam is being used for the noise filtering mass, which means the sound won’t get muffled and it will be easy to distinguish between different car engines while in traffic, as well as listen to your favorite metal band without having to worry about potential ear damage.
The high-quality earplugs offer you protection against outside noises without falsifying the sounds.
It is an efficient way to enjoy your ride on a motorcycle as the earplugs let you listen to music while keeping you aware of the environment.
The earplugs can fit your keychain as they come in a hard-box packaging.
This product comes with some additional features like filters that are attached to the earplugs, a carrying bag, and spare silicone shells.
You’ll feel very comfortable wearing these earplugs as the shells are light and soft.
The silicone prevents the potential allergies caused by the long contact with your skin.
You will be able to differentiate between car engines in traffic since no foam is used in making these.
This product is not great for musicians and concert noises.
Only one pair of the three comes with the sound-blocking feature so you’ll have to remove it as you change the pair.Click to see the price on Amazon!
3. Toysdone Wireless Headphones Stereo Earbuds
If you want to execute wide motions with your hands without having a cable flailing about while listening to your favorite music then this is the product for you. The Qy7 integrates the latest 4.1 Bluetooth technology, which allows it to connect to 2 separate devices at the same time, be they either iPhone or Android.
Naturally, these also feature noise cancellation technology so you can listen to your favorite tunes without being bothered by the sound of your bike, but the output quality is not really the best available.
It has been commented, however, that these do a very good job for the price and also sport some additional features to make up for this.
They come with 2 sets of earbuds, together with a hook to ensure a better grip on your ear. Combined with the fact that they are also sweat resistant, they might make a good choice for dirt bike riders.
Using this product prevents cable failure, letting you enjoy your ride executing wide motions.
You can connect the headphones to two separate devices at the same time due to the 4.1 Bluetooth technology.
The headphones can be connected to any iPhone or Android device.
It is a great product for bikers as it comes with noise cancellation technology.
This product comes with two sets of earbuds.
For more grip on your ears, the earbuds come with a hook.
The product is sweat-resistant which makes them great to be used by dirt bike riders.
They come with a built-in microphone to allow you to make phone calls while riding.
With this product, you can enjoy the music or the phone-talks for about 6 hours.
These headphones don’t have one of the best output quality compared to other products.
If you wear these a longer period of time, you may encounter some pain in your ears.Buy from Amazon.com
4. R&T High Fidelity Motorcycles Noise Canceling
This small set of earplugs are reported to be especially comfortable, as they are shorter and fatter than most similar products. Soft silicone is used for the casing, so it doesn’t rub against your ears the wrong way or cause allergic reactions.
Most reviewers were able to wear these for 8 to 16 hours straight without experiencing any itching or pressure pain. No foam was used for the filtering material, which means the sound quality will stay true to life, with no muffling that might decrease your awareness to a significant degree.
As these are very compact, the hard case they come in is also significantly shorter than similar items, which makes them easy to fit in tight leather pockets. This also features a waterproof rubber seal, to keep sweat and dust from seeping in if you happen to carry it around the belt, connected through a small carabiner style holder.
This model of earplugs is fatter and shorter than similar products to give you more comfort.
To prevent any allergies during prolonged wear, the earplugs are made of non-toxic silicone that is soft.
You can wear these to protect your ears from harmful noises while you’re riding your bike but you can also use them during long band practices or festivals.
The product is not itchy and it doesn’t cause you any pressure pain.
The sound quality is not altered as no foam was used for the filtering material.
In order to keep your awareness increased, there was no muffling used in the making process.
You can take the earplugs anywhere with you as they come in a compact hard case.
These earplugs can’t be connected to your phone in order to listen to music.
This model comes in a universal size so it may not be suitable for kids for example.Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. SoundPEATS Bluetooth In Ear Wireless Earbuds 4.1
Since these use a Bluetooth 4.1 connection, the SoundPEATS Q12 can be operated with 2 devices at the same time, either with a laptop and phone for home use or 2 phones that are either Android or Apple.
The Lithium battery should provide up to 7 hours of continuous use, enough for a very long bike ride, with 1 and a half hour recharge time.
These, of course, have noise canceling technology, so the surroundings won’t bother you while enjoying your tunes. Most customers find that this works particularly well and the sound quality overall is reported to be very good for the price.
They are fairly easy to keep on the ears, with 4 sizes of ear tips available, as well as 3 pairs of year hooks. The two buds are outfitted with internal magnets so they close around your neck when not in use, making them harder to get blown off by the front wind.
If you are looking for some earphones with an advanced 4.1 Bluetooth technology that also protects your ears from background noise, these are a great choice for you.
The earphones have a built-in mic to free your hands while riding your motorcycle.
When not used, you can attach the earphones to each other around your neck thanks to the built-in magnets.
The specific stereo sound makes the sound more stereoscopic as it is a high-quality product.
This product can be connected to two different devices at the same time.
You can use them for about 7 hours thanks to the Lithium battery, charging in one and a half hours.
There are 4 different sizes of ear tips and 3 pairs of ear hooks.
The Bluetooth range is limited so you have to keep your device close.
The sound quality is average compared to other products.Click to see the price on Amazon!
6. Phiaton BT 220 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
This pair from Phiaton offers both active noise cancellation and a 4.0 Bluetooth connection that can handle 2 devices simultaneously. It also uses the aptX codec, for increased digital streaming efficiency and dynamic range.
The manufacturer specifies that up to 95% of the background noise can be canceled out, which means that you will be able to enjoy listening to your music in crystal clarity, without the engine providing a constant distraction.
In situations when it will be advisable to pay attention to what’s going on around you, a single button can be used to mute the sound and the active noise canceling.
Like all similar units, it can be used for making calls, and the battery provides it with 16 hours of working life for this function, meaning you won’t be as dependent on a power supply for charging when on the road.
The microphone is said to work surprisingly well on this unit, so you might want to consider it if you are in the habit of using the phone a lot from the bike.
Phiaton comes with a pair of headphones that use the aptX codec for dynamic range and increased digital streaming efficiency.
You can listen to your favorite music at high quality as the headphones cut 95% of the background noise caused by the engine.
In the moments you need concentration, you can mute the sound and activate the noise-canceling by pressing one button.
While you are on the road, you won’t need an external battery as the product works for about 16 hours.
You can also make phone calls as they come with a mic integrated.
The design is sleek for better maneuverability and the navigating system is very intuitive.
Some customers complained that the Bluetooth connection is lost sometimes for no reason.
The casing is made of plastic and it is not very durable so you have to make sure it is kept in good conditions.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
7. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33IS Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
This Audio-Technica model will make a good budget solution for those who are strapped for cash or otherwise unpretentious, but it won’t offer the same level of performance as more expensive models.
According to the manufacturer, the active noise cancellation will only work to counter around 90% of the background noise, which might be a good figure for a passive system, but will make a noticeable difference when compared to a Bose.
Judging by what people who bought this unit have had to say, however, it competes very well within its price range, offering a slightly better sound quality, a higher degree of comfort, and (surprisingly) better noise reduction than most other affordable models.
It also comes additionally with an airline plug adapter to be used during long flights, and it uses an AAA battery, that should last for a significant amount of time between charges. There are 3 different sizes of earbuds to choose from, and they also angle to fit your ear canal precisely for better noise cancellation.
These headphones cancel 90% of background noise thanks to the advanced electronics.
They come with an inline microphone to let you make hands-free phone calls while you’re on the road.
This product is great for travel as it has a compact design.
Using this model is more comfortable than other affordable products.
The audio signal is great in noise-canceling mode thanks to the innovative ANC circuitry.
For more protection, the headphones come with a pouch.
You can choose the suitable size for you as it comes in three sizes: S, M, L.
These headphones can also be used during flights as they come with an additional airline plug.
For improved noise cancellation, they come with an angle to fit your ear canal with precision.
The battery doesn’t provide performance for a long time, as other models do.
You may have a problem with the bass as it is not great.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.95)
8. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H3 In-Ear Headphones
People who bought these earbuds have found that the sound quality they offer is good on the whole, but maybe not as good as some of the additional features the manufacturer would suggest.
They are said to include a miniature bass portable to more accurately render sound in the lower ranges, but none of the people who reviewed this product were all that impressed with its performance in this regard.
What did make a good impression, however, is the great level of comfort provided by the in-ear buds, which are small, delicate and well angled to fit the ear canal. There are 3 sizes of these coming with a package, with quite a deal of difference between the smallest and largest one.
Another thing which drew positive acclaim was the 2-year extended warranty. It is a well-known problem with headphones suddenly losing input, and the fact that B&O Play customer support will have you covered if this happens can only be welcomed.
For a more accurate render sound in the low range, this model comes with a miniature bass speaker.
The main feature of this product is the great comfort it offers thanks to the small and delicate in-ear buds.
To make sure the earbuds fit your ear canal, they are well-angled.
This model comes in 3 different sizes to choose the convenient size for you or your close ones.
The design is very compact as the headphones come in a magnetized carrying case.
For more style, the headphones are sleek and good-looking.
The product is very lightweight so you can carry it even in your pocket.
It comes with a user manual for better understanding and extra ear gels to replace the old one.
These headphones don’t support Apple devices, supporting only EU/UK Android devices.
The cable is very thin and therefore you have to be careful to preserve it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($127.92)
9. AKG K391NC High-Performance Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
Besides featuring active noise cancellation, the cups on this AKG model also follow a closed back design, which will act as a further barrier against background sound. The feedback regarding its noise cancellation properties is mixed, however, with some customers estimating that only around 65%-80% of the background gets filtered out.
In regards to this, we feel the need to mention that reports can be influenced to a high degree by the particular users’ demands and expectations, and more exactly, customers can be sorely disappointed by a product which other people find to “work as advertised”.
The sound quality is reported to be good, and the model comes with many of the features you would expect from a set of noise-canceling headphones in its price range, like a line-in mic and a flight adapter. The battery life is particularly long, allowing for around 35 hours of continuous play.
Featuring the AKG sound quality, these in-ear headphones provide great noise-cancellation when you’re on the road.
You can enjoy your favorite music for about 35 hours and the battery is rechargeable via USB.
This product comes with an advanced noise-canceling technology that detects the difference between the background sounds and the music coming from the headphones.
You can make phone calls thanks to the in-line microphone that allows you to use FaceTime or Skype while you’re on the road.
The volume and the playback function can be controlled using a three-button remote that is very easy to use.
To enjoy the long flights, these headphones come with an adapter for airlines.
For more protection, this product comes with a pouch to keep it in when not used.
According to some customers, only 65-80% of the background noise is canceled.
The earbuds are a little heavier than other similar models.Click to see the price on Amazon!
This Year’s Buying Guide
Cutting down on the noise when riding will be a necessity if you want to enjoy your favorite tunes or be able to hear the person you’re speaking with on the phone. The high engine and surrounding noise might just prove uncomfortable, especially for those who are riding through busy city streets, in which case a pair of earplugs might be the minimum to invest in for a more pleasant journey.
Good noise canceling earbuds for motorbike riders come in many forms, from the simple earplug mentioned above to sophisticated models that use an active noise canceling technology. Deciding on the right model can be a hard task, made all the easier by a basic degree of familiarity with each system.
Noise isolation technology
This is a passive solution which uses padding to absorb some of the background noise, diminishing the volume of sound that reaches your year. The main advantages of this system come from its versatility and sheer simplicity.
It doesn’t employ any electric parts, so it doesn’t require any batteries, and as opposed to noise-canceling models, it doesn’t need to be attached to a device, making it fit for use in a wide range of applications, including providing ear protection underwater in the case of earplugs.
It is relatively inexpensive and there’s not much that can go wrong with it. These should offer a couple of years of reliable service regardless of the material employed, which is noise absorbing foam for over-ear models and soft silicone for the ones designed to enter the ear.
The latter types can offer around 20-25 dB of noise dampening (SNR), about half the level of a regular conversation, which might not sound that much but will make a significant difference when you consider the close thresholds for hearing damage.
Active noise cancellation technology
The active noise canceling headphones employ additional electric circuitry to effectively counteract the ambient sound with a signal of their own. A microphone is used to listen to the surroundings and a speaker delivers noise directly to your year with the purpose of canceling this out.
This means that the external sounds will be effectively muted to the user, even if no music is on, and combined with passive measures for reducing the dB hitting the ears, this system can allow for a great deal of comfort for most people.
However, people with sensitive ears might feel a mild sensation of pressure in their drums when the speaker used to generate negative soundwaves is activated, while some can hear a blank hiss whenever the music is turned off.
That’s why we recommend to test these out whenever possible before buying, especially as they also tend to be quite expensive and sending the product back might sometimes impose additional costs.
Wired or Bluetooth?
Wireless headphones have become increasingly popular in later years, as the absence of a cord connecting them to the audio device can greatly increase their convenience while on the move. The best Bluetooth noise canceling earbuds will allow you to move freely, without having to worry about hitting the cable and having them pop out of your years, or the jack disconnecting from the device.
These are, however, the more expensive alternative with the added cost being just the more obvious downside. The quality of the connection will depend on the device’s software to a large extent, and this can cause a lot of issues, especially if the phone’s memory is filled with clutter. So consider carefully if you really need all that extra mobility before going for a Bluetooth model, since you will be mostly using it from the bike saddle anyway.
Besides getting in the way, a wire will give the item some additional breaking points. Probably any headphone user has experienced the problem of a connector coming off and effectively disabling one or both earbuds. You can’t really safeguard against this other than by researching each individual product to make sure that it’s a quality build.
Some models also feature wires that are slightly thicker and reinforced in certain sensitive areas, and this might provide a further indication of how well this will hold over time.
Because of the fact you will be wearing a helmet, full cups won’t be an option in this regard, with compact on the ear headphones and micro models that go in the ear being the only available alternatives. (check out our recent article on the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmets)
Needless to say, the dimensions for on the ear headphones should be carefully chosen, since only the most compact of these can be squished inside a full helmet, while open face ones will probably still push upon their plastic body.
In the year buds shouldn’t be restricted by size, but are considered to be the most uncomfortable solution out there, and are prone to make the user sour if used for long amounts of time.
Headphones or headsets?
A headset refers to the headphone and microphone assembly, which can connect to your device either with a wire or through Bluetooth. The best noise canceling Bluetooth headset will allow you to take calls while on your bike, by using the integrated microphones of active cancellation models or a separate piece in the case of passive ones.
These will naturally be more expensive than headphones but are well worth investing in for the additional function.
Active vs. passive technology
We’ve already covered the basics of these two noise reducing solutions, highlighting a couple of advantages and disadvantages for each, but the question of which one will work better under our particular situation still remains.
The first thing to be noted is that the active system will allow you to shut off the noise cancelation at will, if you need to handle situations where your hearing must be as acute as possible, or at least as acute as the helm will allow.
Obviously, you won’t be able to “turn off” the padding on a set of in-ear headphones, albeit muting the sound might work well enough if the item doesn’t offer all that much noise reduction in the first place.
But is the traditional system significantly poorer? The short answer is that it depends on the price, with premium silicone or foam padding buds handling just as well on the road as active canceling models which cost 2 to 4 times less. All other things being equal, the active system will make a noticeable difference in the amount of ambient noise you’ll be able to hear.
A final thing to keep in mind is that the active system will have to use a control box, that will take up additional space in a pocket.