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Last active Oct 18, 2017
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Comparing noise cancellation earbuds to motorcycle riding

Tested several ANC earbuds today, here's my data

🏆 Winner

JBL Everest Elite 100.

Synopsis

Earbuds with that stupid around-the-neck thing are a bad design for a motorcycle rider. The only earbud without the neck thing is the QC20.

The most comfortable and least popping earbud was the $250 QC30. However, for that price, I'd rather just buy the Sena INC helmet for $700

Therefore, out of these earbuds tested, my favorite choice would be the $25 JBL Everest Elite 100. For $25 you can't go wrong. Similiar wind reduction as the QC20. The popping is more frequent at high speeds, but it's a lot less hurtful. It also fits closely to your ear, and has very little that comes out.

I'm going to be hunting for more earbuds to test on Amazon.

Key

  • Flush against ear: How far the earbuds stick out of your ear, for comfort reasons wearing a helmet
  • Wind Reduction: Basically how effective at reducing noise
  • Popping Reduction: Earbuds typically have some kind of popping noise in high wind pressure / speeds
  • Comfort: How comfortable they fit in the ear

Variables

  • Motorcycle: Supersport
  • Gear: Full face helmet
  • Weather: 15mph winds, 78°F
  • Speeds tested: 0-120mph

$25 - Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23

  • Flush against ear: 3/10
  • Wind reduction: 2/10 barely removes any wind, just the harshness of it
  • Popping reduction: 7/10 no popping, just mild pressure changes, ignorable
  • Comfort: 4/10

Notes:

  • Very difficult to put helmet on with these in
  • Foam tips come off easily when taking helmet off. Falls on the floor and collects nasty dust

$140 - Bose QC20

  • Flush against ear: 5/10
  • Wind reduction: 9/10
  • Popping reduction: 0/10 loud popping above 50mph, not easily ignored
  • Comfort: 9/10

Notes:

  • Very comfortable, not deep in ear
  • Doesn't cause noise on bumpy roads

$250 - Bose QC30

  • Flush against ear: 6/10
  • Wind reduction: 8/10
  • Popping reduction: 10/10
  • Comfort: 8/10

Notes:

  • Very comfortable, not deep in ear
  • Doesn't cause noise on bumpy roads

$290 - Sony WI-1000X

  • Flush against ear: 0/10
  • Wind reduction: 8/10
  • Popping reduction: 10/10
  • Comfort: 3/10

Notes:

  • Accidentally hits power off button while riding multiple times
  • Too deep in ear, creates bad sounds on any bumpiness of the road

$25 - JBL Everest Elite 100

  • Flush against ear: 10/10
  • Wind reduction: 7/10
  • Popping reduction: 7/10 bit of popping above 50mph, easily ignored. Tons of tiny ignorable popping above 80mph, 5 per second
  • Comfort: 6/10
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