No, AirPods cannot be worn on a motorcycle. They will not fit under any helmet and they are not safe to ride with in the first place. Motorcycle helmets are not designed for AirPods. According to Apple, the earbuds don’t fit all helmet shapes and provide only limited audio transparency.
The Following Are the Rules for Listening to Music While Riding a Motorcycle
In fact, there are numerous rules from the U.S. Department Of Transportation regarding what earphones may be used by motorcycle riders while operating a vehicle on public roads and highways. The first rule states that it is prohibited to wear a headset covering, earplugs in both ears, or any other listening device other than a hearing aid.
A motorcycle only has a single seat and it is shared by two people, so any noise-canceling devices such as headphones should be banned. The device blocks the noises from the wind and other vehicles, which makes it difficult to hear engine sounds or car horns. This can be very dangerous while riding a bike on public roads.
Noise-canceling headphones or earbuds often cause a motorcyclist to miss out on lifesaving sounds. The prohibition is also in place for motorcycle passengers, but they may wear self-amplified hearing aids or single-sided headsets.
The Dangers Of Wearing Headphones While Riding A Motorcycle
Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect your head from impact damage. They are resistant to penetration and the outer shell will absorb most of the force from an impact. The inner EPS liner is meant to absorb energy, not transmit it.
This causes a serious problem with wearing headphones because they could transmit sound right through your ear and into your brain without attenuation.
If you are wearing bulky headphones, they could increase the chances of your head hitting the pavement if you were to take a fall on your motorcycle. Apple suggests that AirPods are only for indoor use because they will not provide the same level of safety as an over-the-ear headphone or earbud would.
How to Stay Safe While Listening to Music on Your Motorcycle
There are a number of ways you can listen to music on your motorcycle without risking dangerous levels of sound exposure.
One option is using a Bluetooth helmet that not only provides a safe listening level but also has a microphone so you can stay connected with your friends or family. These helmets come in a vast range of styles and have air vents that can be opened or closed depending on the weather conditions.
Another option would be to buy an aftermarket helmet that has speakers installed in specific areas of the ear cups. These do not look as sleek as a Bluetooth helmet but they will provide the same level of safety and convenience.
You could also buy some earplugs and use your favorite pair of headphones to listen to music. This would be the cheapest option but you will still not get the same level of safety with your AirPods that you would with a dedicated motorcycle helmet.
Alternatives to Air Pods for Motorcycle Riders
Some people might not be willing to give up riding with their favorite pair of headphones. If that’s the case, there are still some excellent options you can choose from that will provide safe levels of sound exposure.
What Is the Best Method to Listen to Music While Riding a Motorcycle?
One of the best options would be to use a stereo system on the motorcycle. You can find these sold as aftermarket equipment or you can install them yourself. They plug into your motorcycle’s electrical system and then feed the sound directly into your helmet.
The most popular options come with integrated Bluetooth so you can pair the devices easy to make calls, handle phone calls, play music, etc… You will also want a model that is water-resistant so it can stand up to regular exposure to the elements.
Another option would be to use a motorcycle-specific Bluetooth device that allows you to control your music and phone calls without having to remove your hands from the handlebars. You can even integrate these devices with other motorcycle equipment like GPS units or cruise controls so you don’t have any distractions.
These types of devices provide the safe listening levels that you need and they are small enough to fit in your pocket without taking up too much space. They usually provide an excellent battery life so you can ride all day and still enjoy your music or talk on the phone without running down the charge on the device itself.
Is It Safe to Listen to Music on Your Motorcycle without Headphones?
NO, not unless you are using a motorcycle-specific Bluetooth device or an aftermarket stereo system. If you want the best possible experience while riding your motorcycle this is definitely something you will want to consider investing in.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Listening to Music While Riding a Motorcycle
Listening to music on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous because it takes your focus off of the road. According to one study, listening to music while riding doubles reaction time and causes riders to zone out due to sensory deprivation. It also impairs coordination and visual awareness which could cause a crash.
However, many riders feel there are some benefits to listening to music when they ride. Music is a natural mood enhancer and it can cause your body to release dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. This could help improve the experience of riding on long trips. It also makes the time seem shorter which can be useful for commuting or long journeys.
- Entertainment while riding.
- Can improve mood and experience of riding a motorcycle.
- Time seems to pass faster when listening to music.
- Distracted drivers are more likely to get into crashes.
- Reduced coordination, awareness, and vision can cause accidents.
- Can impair your hearing over time if not properly monitored.
While it might seem like riding with Apple AirPods would be safe, they are not designed for use on motorcycles and could actually cause more damage if you were to fall. You can still listen to your favorite songs on your motorcycle with a Bluetooth helmet or aftermarket speaker installation.