Listen up! The best motorcycle earphones as chosen by MCN

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For many riders, the solitude and peace of riding a motorcycle is what they love; no phones, emails or questions, just them and their bike and the road. However, others, myself included, like to remain connected with a set of motorcycle earphones for listening to music on long, straight roads and being able to hear sat nav instructions on my route.

One solution is to attach a motorcycle intercom to the side of your helmet, but a quicker and less permanent fix is to pair a set of earbuds to your phone to wear underneath it instead.

Black Friday motorcycle earphone deals

15% off Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds – was £259, now £219

50% off Samsung Galaxy Buds – was £139, now £69.00

Over 50% off Sony WF-C500 True Wireless Headphones – was £90, now £43.69

17% off soundcore by Anker Life A1 Bluetooth Earbuds – was £47.99, now £39.99

Best motorcycle earphones in detail

Price: £143.49
Amazon Amazon Prime
These ever-popular Jabra bluetooth earbuds feature advanced active noise cancellation, 5.5 hours run time (31 with charge case) and a two-year warranty.

These Bluetooth earbuds are Amazon's own brand and come in a charging case, you charge the case and it charges the earbuds when you put them back in. They can work individually or together for stereo sound and reviews are good, especially for the sound itself.

They look to be fairly low-profile and act as Bluetooth motorcycle earphones, so you’ll need to control music from your phone while the microphones may struggle with speech inside a helmet.


  • Good value
  • In-case charging
  • Low profile


  • Passive sound reduction only

Rrp: £15.99

Price: £14.99
Amazon Amazon Prime

These are a step forward from the kind of earphones that come with most smartphones, in that they include an earloop to secure them in the ear better than just a plug.

They are wired so this might be an issue but generally, this means that there is a control that is accessible to change the volume, start or stop tracks and make or take calls, as well as instigate voice control of the smartphone. However, with the microphone built-in to the control, which would likely hang outside the helmet, vocal options may be limited.


  • Control of the phone
  • Secure earplug design
  • Passive sound reduction


  • Cable may interfere with comfort
These bluetooth earphones have the convenience of a connector cable so that you don't drop them when removing your helmet. They weigh just 25g and have a 10 hour play time.

Rrp: £229.99

Price: £182.74
Amazon Amazon Prime
Alternative Retailers
Audio Visual Online
Bluetooth earbuds from sound specialists Sennheiser, featuring adaptive noise cancellation, wireless charging and IPX4 splash resistance. Seven-hour battery life, extended to 28 with the charge case.
Editor's Pick - We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it
Price: £128.65
Amazon Amazon Prime

I have a pair of these and they are nothing short of brilliant. They use active noise cancelling to keep your ears safe andthey also have a 'hear-through' system to let ambient noise in, useful if you're in traffic or an urban ride.

Controls are via two buttons but there is a smartphone app that controls them too and music sounds brilliant. Voice calls are fine with no helmet on but the microphones don’t pick up well inside a lid, so the other person can’t hear you. And you can wear them when you’re not on the bike too.


  • Low-profile so fit under helmet
  • Active noise cancelling
  • ‘Hear-through’ for ambient noise transmission


  • Microphones don’t work well inside helmet

These Bluetooth in-earphones look to be a little larger than a pair of traditional earplugs, thanks to the battery and control system being housed in pods in the cable that connects each side together.

However, the microphone is also in the control pod, so making and taking phone calls is likely to be hit and miss. But in terms of listening to music and sat nav instructions, they should work well and being JBL, the sound quality should be excellent.


  • Low-profile
  • Excellent reputation for quality
  • External control pod


  • Little use for phone call in-helmet
Price: £161.09

These low-profile earbuds are linked by a cable incorporating the battery and controls. They not only connect to a smartphone, but provide active noise cancellation as well as limiting maximum sound levels entering the ear. The over-the-ear loops help keep them in place and the manufacturer quotes a 16-hour battery life.

They’ll do music from your phone and act as a hands-free headset for sat-nav instructions as well as calls, but with the microphone in the control, it may not work well in a helmet. Also, for motorcyclists, the control on the right could be a pain (you don't really want to take your right hand off the bars, do you?)


  • Active sound cancelling
  • Hands-free headset profile
  • Control phone from headset


  • Controls on right-hand bud

Another custom-made earplug, this one from Custom Fit Guards comes with a set of Bluetooth earphones built in to offer audio from a smartphone or sat nav directions while also reducing the amount of unwanted or ambient noise. The earphones are linked by a cable incorporating the battery and controls.

The beauty of the CFG system is they come to your home to take the mould of your ear before producing the plugs. You can also add extra drivers if you want higher audio quality.


  • Custom fit to your ear
  • Wireless audio delivery
  • Excellent noise reduction


  • None

Earphones in detail

Of course, an in-helmet intercom is a great solution that can satisfy all of these requirements. However, as many of us also wear earplugs to protect our hearing from external noise, these can also reduce the effectiveness of any intercom.

Coupled with that is the fact that the intercom must stay within the helmet so is no use to you off the bike and if you have more than one helmet – you ride a sports tourer and an off-road bike, for example – then you need an intercom (or at least a fitting kit) for each helmet.

One way around all of this is to wear a set of motorcycle earphones within your helmet. These can serve to insulate your eardrums from the external noise while also directing sound directly into your ears, making them far more efficient.

Like intercoms, motorcycle earphones, as well as many ‘sports’-style earphones, will have some form of separate control but some may not and in this case, you may need to control them directly from your sat-nav, smartphone or even by voice.

The other difference will be the fit. An intercom will (should) sit flush within the helmet’s interior and not interfere with your ears. A set of earphones may protrude from the ear’s profile and so may not work with all motorcycle helmets, though generally if you are careful, you should be able to get a helmet on – a flip-front or open-face may be easier here.

Finally a word on phone calls. While you may be able to hear someone else on a phone call, depending on where the microphone is located in the system you are using, they may not be able to hear you so if crystal-clear phone calls are a key element of your riding, these may not be for you and an an intercom could be a better bet.

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.