Music offers significant benefits to an individual in terms of mental health and mood. So, sometimes we listen to music to spend some quality time alone or just pass the time while on-road. Listening to music while riding a motorcycle can enhance the riding experience, but what about safety? Although the practice is ever growing, the question has caused heated debates over the years.
So, can you listen to music on a motorcycle while riding? The answer is, YES, you can. Motorcyclists are allowed to listen to their favourite music while riding but with some certain regulations. There are safety measures you need to follow, such as using a Bluetooth-enabled helmet or a stereo system instead of in-ear headsets. It is not advisable to use wired earphones while riding as the risk of being cut off from the surrounding environment is really high.
Personally, I love some hard-hitting tunes while riding. But I always make sure to be safe at the same time. So, keep reading this article to find out how you can safely listen to music while riding bikes as I tackle this challenging question.
Can You Listen To Music On A Motorcycle While Riding?
The short answer is, you can listen to music while riding. But the problem is, when you have earbuds attached, you cut off all other noises from the surroundings. For example, you are less likely to hear ambulance or police sirens or horns honking from behind. This may result in legal issues or in the worst case scenario, life-threatening accidents.
According to the American Automobile Association, interactive technologies with hands-free and voice-command features in vehicles may create visual and mental distractions to the riders. Thus, many motorists are provided with a false sense of security. The bottom line is, while the technologies are widely available, it is up to you to decide whether they’re safe or not.
But is it legal to listen to music while riding a motorcycle? The answer depends on what state you’re in and what device you’re using to play the music.
For example, California vehicle code 27400 states that, “A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears.“
Similarly, headphones are illegal in Illinois, though authorities do not prohibit wearing single-ear bluetooth sets for entertainment and communication purposes.
So, the message is clear. You can listen to music on motorcycles while riding, but you should not use a device that completely cuts your hearing off the surroundings necessary noises.
Many safety experts are against this practice, citing increased chances of accidents. However, with the advancement in technology, there are numerous ways through which you can safely listen to music on a motorcycle while riding. Let’s learn about some of these methods.
How Can You Listen To Music On A Motorcycle?
The best way to listen to music while riding motorbikes guarantees your safety first. So, here are some ways you might want to look at:
1. Helmet Speakers
Helmet manufacturers have stepped-up their game by making helmets with internal speakers. These products look cool and are recommended for any rider who loves playing music while they ride. Helmet speakers offer a high-performance wireless audio system with an amazing listening experience.
Some helmet speakers are integrated with a comm system that lets you answer your phone calls hands-free. They are portable and you can choose from a wide range of designs to match your bike’s aesthetics.
2. Stereo Speakers
Using your motorcycle’s built-in stereo soeakers is the most secure way to listen to music on a motorcycle while riding.
Most bikers prefer this method for safety reasons as well as the loud and clear sound speakers produce. Though some find it somehow aggravating since people around can hear what they’re listening to. This won’t be an issue if you set to volume to a moderate level.
Another drawback is that the whistling wind makes it challenging to get the music clearly. In my opinion, it only happens in highways and traffic free roads. If that’s the case, you can always slightly level up the volume a bit (not too high) for better clarity.
Today most motorcycles come with high-quality and powerful amplifiers that make it possible to listen to music despite the whistling wind. Some are Bluetooth-enabled to allow you to play music from your smartphone. Another great feature is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about being damaged by rain.
3. Motorcycle Earbuds
Motorcycle earbuds work pretty much similar to regular phone earbuds. They are compact, comfortable, and less complicated and easy to use. Besides, the chances of damaging your eardrum is quite low since motorcycle earbuds are limited to about 100 decibels of sound.
4. Wireless Headsets
Wireless headsets provide a simple and easy-to-use option for riders who want a cost-effective way. It does not need to be plugged into a device. Wireless headsets are bought separately and can be connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone or motorcycle audio system. They are perfect for use off the motorcycle as well; they are comfortable for jogging, walking, or doing yard work.
5. Noise-cancelling Headphones
No, this is not an ideal option, and that’s why I decided to introduce the issue. Noise-cancelling headphones are specifically designed to lock out noise interference allowing you to focus on what is playing through your headphones. These headphones will be an eexcellent choice indeed if you prefer to cut off any external sound around you completely. But this is something legal authorities do not recommend.
Keep in mind that while noise-cancelling headphones do a perfect job of blocking external noise interference, it makes it more dangerous since it leaves you unaware of your surroundings.
What Types Of Music Should You Listen On A Motorcycle?
Music has a way of communicating with our inner soul. Different music genres affect us in different ways. For instance, slow music is perfect for bedtime, while high-tempo music is perfect for working out. So, what type of music should you listen to on a motorcycle while you ride?
Studies found that classical music can significantly improve visual attention while traversing different sections and landscapes.
On the other hand, soft, slow and chilled music will help you feel relaxed. Fast, loud and pumped-up music is more likely to get you excited, which increases the chances of overspeeding.
Let’s face it. You only listen to the music you like. No one can force you to a single genre while riding a bike.
However, you should choose the genre responsibly and be very aware of the volume. Try to keep the volume to a moderate level so that you or the people driving beside you don’t get distracted.
Benefits Of Listening To Music While Riding A Motorcycle
Listening to music while riding a motorcycle makes it memorable and enjoyable. While some people may regard it as a bad practice, it actually has some benefits attached to it. Here are some:
- Calming effect – Studies have proven that music has a significant impact on our moods as well as mental health. Some music genres can help calm our minds, thus aiding our bodies to relax and stay focused.
- Reduces unnecessary noise – Listening to your motorcycle engine for prolonged hours is not the kind of fun you need on your long ride. However, listening to music on a good pair of headsets can go a long way in blocking out that unnecessary engine roar noise.
- Keeps you alert – We all know the effect of certain music genres on our mental health. Listening to music while riding a motorcycle can help you stay alert on the road hence reducing the chances of an accident.
- Affects the subconscious mind – Some music genres have a way they affect your subconscious mind, helping you react faster to the happenings around you, such as speeding trucks or cars.
Disadvantage Of Listening To Music While Riding A Motorcycle
In oppose to the advantages listed above, listening to music while riding a motorcycle has a few drawbacks. Here are some disadvantages of this practice:
- Distraction for others – Listening to loud music using your motorcycle stereo system can distract other road users increases the chances of an accident.
- Reduced hearing sensation – Loud music can hinder you from picking up important alerts on the road, such as sirens, horns, etc. It puts your safety at risk.
Listening to your favourite playlist while riding motorcycle doesn’t have to be unsafe. It makes the riding experience more enjoyable and memorable. All you got to do is make sure that the music is not too loud and that you are aware of your surroundings. For example, you should be able to hear horns and sirens.
There are some legal regulations of how you can listen to music on a motorcycle. But all that adds up to one point- your safety and the safety of the others. So, if you are looking to buy headsets to enhance your riding experience, always analyse the safety risk and pick one that suits your needs as well as ensure your safety.