One of the smartest things you can ever do when you ride a motorcycle is to wear a helmet. It protects you and greatly improves your chances for survival in the event of a crash.
It can also dull out some of the sound of the road to lend a more peaceful air to your ride.
Unfortunately, motorcycle helmets, while a bit soundproof, don’t fully have the capability of dulling out all the unwanted noise to make for a quieter ride. It also depends on the helmet you choose.
Some helmets can simply have a standard wind rushing sound, or even a whistling sound. But that sound varies depending on the design of your helmet and how the air flows through it.
There’s always going to be a degree of that ambient noise but there are some things you can do to tone it down and enjoy a more crisp sound experience while riding.
Here, we’re going to discuss how to soundproof a motorcycle helmet by adding elements to it that can give you more peace on the road.
But first, there’s plenty more ground to cover. So ride with us and learn all about how to add more soundproofing to your motorcycle helmet safely and effectively to get back to enjoying that free feeling you love.
Choose Your Helmet Wisely to Reduce Sound
As we just mentioned, all helmets will be prone to sound despite having soundproofing qualities to them.
The shape and size of your motorcycle helmet will affect how much of the rustling you’ll get while out on the road. What makes some helmets better able to reduce noise though?
For one, the more that air can flow through your motorcycle helmet, the more you’ll hear it.
Obviously, helmets need to reduce the amount of openings so they can serve their main purpose… to protect your skull in the event of a crash.
It’s probably for the best that the manufacturers think about how to keep you safe, especially when you consider how many people just don’t pay attention on the road anymore.
Of course, if you choose a full-face style of motorcycle helmet, then there are a bit of variables coming into play.
Some have many vents and outlets while others don’t. The positioning of these vents is also different from brand to brand and model to model. Some may only have a single vent on the forehead or a double vent at the top of the helmet.
Each design will have the air moving through it differently and affecting the sound you hear.
Your first goal when you choose a motorcycle helmet should be one that can stand up to impact should something terrible happen.
But aside from that, you can choose ones that help reduce the sound. And you can also do something about that sound should you find a helmet you really like wearing on your motorcycle that could do with some extra soundproofing.
We’ll get to all that shortly so keep reading!
Limiting Sound’s Impact on Your Motorcycle Helmet
Some might argue that the sound of the wind is a beautiful thing. There’s no denying it doesn’t have a certain soothing quality.
But when you reduce the amount of sound in your motorcycle helmet, you can better hear what’s going on around you.
Often, this can be all it takes to help you make a split-second decision that could save your life on the road.
Studies have also shown that sound can make a big impact on your attention. Different volumes of the sounds you hear while on your motorcycle can actually impair your peripheral vision as they found.
What does that mean for you? Quite simply, reducing the impact of the sound you feel from your own vibrations on your motorcycle, the wind, and the sound all around is a better measure for your safety.
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds, pardon the pun. Sounds transmitted by the bones and your body bypass your ear canal in an entirely different way.
That same study discovered that the lower the frequency of sound, the more efficiently it moves through the body and further, that your helmet might in fact be serving to amplify that noise.
When helmets are designed, the function the manufacturers are trying to best serve is that of protecting the head from an impact.
Acoustic performance isn’t much considered for it’s keeping the skull and the contents within it from damage should an accident occur.
It’s hard for them to craft an ample balance. Look at the aerodynamics of a bicycle helmet my comparison.
Motorcycle helmets need to be tougher because the speed of impact is greater than when one falls from a bicycle.
What’s more, those aerodynamic shapes can make it more difficult to keep your head in a steady position when looking around to change lanes.
Safety is certainly the priority but the flow of too much sound is the tradeoff.
The study suggested that consistent sound ratings should be incorporated though to help reduce noise for motorcycle riders while protecting the head.
It found that reducing sound can lessen the chances for a dangerous situation, allowing riders to have a better reaction time for being able to hear any dangers before it’s too late.
An experiment was conducted to see how well noise-cancelling technology could reduce the noise while on a motorcycle.
A large set of noise-cancelling earmuffs was attached to a motorcycle helmet with an acoustically-engineered dummy serving as the tester.
This makeshift helmet didn’t have a face shield though it did cover the back and top of the head.
Driving the dummy around on a rig at a variety of speeds, it was determined that this device was capable of reducing sound by up to 26 decibels.
This was an impressive finding that could, in the coming years, shake up the industry and provide exciting change.
Minor Behavioral Adjustments That Can Help Reduce Noise
Until helmet manufacturers can fully take these findings and incorporate them into their designs without compromising safety (or attaching large noise-cancelling headphones to every helmet), there are a few things you can adjust to help reduce the noises you hear while riding.
■ Riding Position
Perhaps shifting the way you sit or make contact with your motorcycle is one way to work with the noise problem.
As mentioned, some of the noise you hear while on your motorcycle is the result of the vibrations running through your bones. It also reverberates through your helmet.
Finding a way to reduce the sound through your riding position can be very beneficial, as proven by the study we mentioned above.
This is also very difficult to achieve because you have to have contact with your bike in order to ride it and the noise through the bike becomes amplified as you ride.
That’s why your helmet really comes down to it. We’re not suggesting you remove your helmet. Please don’t do that!
Helmets are designed for safety and protection. No matter how good a rider you are, all it takes is for a bad driver nearby to run into you and cause you serious and lasting damage, or cost you your life. It’s not worth it.
So, if the way you are seated on the bike causes internal vibrations that reverberate throughout your body and interfere with your hearing, what can you do? Keep reading to find out how to make your helmet more soundproof for your safety
■ Quiet Ride Earmuffs
Likely, this isn’t the best idea in a place like Florida because of the extreme heat, but in colder climates, earmuffs for your motorcycle helmet can be very beneficial.
For one, they will keep your ears warm as the frigid winds whip past you while you roar on down the road. For another, they’ll protect from noise too.
■ Wear a Scarf
Again, motorcycle riders in hot climates will not be jazzed about this but a scarf can be a viable solution for reducing noise on your ride.
As you know, turbulence makes that wind noise and that noise can come up under your helmet from below your chin or where there are any openings around your helmet at the base of it near your neck.
You can actually block that sound out by wearing a scarf. It should be worn so it connects with the bottom of your helmet.
Tie it just right and you’ll have a shield that keeps the wind from moving through your helmet.
■ Make Sure Your Helmet Fits Correctly
Size doesn’t matter in some things but with helmets it is EVERYTHING. Getting the right sized helmet is imperative to keep you safe should you be involved in a crash. But the better fit you have, the less wind noise you’re going to get.
Be sure you measure your head properly to choose a helmet that fits it perfectly. You can go into a motorcycle shop and have them help you try them on and see what your measurements are.
This is also a great way to get a feel for each helmet manufacturer out there. Never just randomly buy a helmet, especially if you’re new to riding.
You should make sure you find one that is well-known and that fits you well. The extra bonus on this is you’ll reduce sound when that helmet is the right size.
Many experienced riders even find that by changing their helmet by getting refitted, it solves much of their noise problems.
■ Ride with Your Visor Closed
If your helmet is of the style that has a visor, you should flip it closed while you’re riding. This will significantly reduce the noise from the wind.
Make sure it’s sealed all the way around. If not, you’ll get all that extra noise from the turbulence, making for a loud ride.
And as we discussed, when the sound your hear is too loud, it can create an unsafe riding experience because it prevents you from hearing dangers on the road until it’s too late.
■ Plug Your Ears
Even some earplugs could be a simple and effective solution to handle the noise. You can get them just about anywhere.
You may even have them already if you have a snoring partner (or even a snoring pet!) that you block out when you go to sleep at night.
Earplugs were designed to protect your ears from damaging decibel levels which makes them ideal for riding.
Because they fit into your ears and are generally made from silicone, they can absorb sound with ease. You can get a carrying case for them too so that they stay clean and contained once you’re off the road.
■ Wear a Wind Blocker
As mentioned, lots of wind can get into your helmet at the vulnerable point underneath it where it meets your neck. Buying a helmet that has plenty of padding in that neck area.
If you have a helmet that doesn’t have enough padding around the neck, you can improve upon the design by adding some support to your helmet.
Keep reading and you’ll find out what you can use to safely block excess sound from flooding you out in your helmet.
Additionally, these tips will add more cushioning and support to comfort your neck area which is never a bad thing!
One such item is the NOJ Quiet Rider. Many motorcycle enthusiasts swear by this lightweight noise reduction product that drastically reduces noise from wind.
Further down, we’ve also got plenty of tips for you on a variety of helmets and why they’re a good choice for reducing noise on the ride.
One of them is the Schuberth C3 which comes with a double neck roll to put a damper on noise while giving you more comfort.
Before we get into the helmets though, let’s talk about some soundproofing tips to minimize noise in your helmet.
These can be used with your existing helmet should you be unable to get a new one at this time plus you can use them with any of the helmets we’ll detail below for further noise reduction.
Soundproofing Tips for Minimizing Helmet Noise
Regardless of the helmet you have, you can add more soundproofing measures with ease to get a high-quality ride with minimum sound interference.
This will help you stay safer on the road. Here’s a sundown of helmet soundproofing materials you can use for this task.
Fleece is a fantastic blocker of wind. You can stuff some of it behind the cheek pads on your helmet.
Not only will it deflect wind from rising up through your helmet but it will also create a tighter fit around your face for better protection and comfort.
■ Stuff Memory Foam in the Ear Holes
Now, expanding on the idea presented above with the fleece, another option that might feel a bit cooler is to stuff memory foam around the ear pockets in your helmet.
You’ll need to cut up a memory foam pad to customize the pieces into a small enough portion so that it can fit in there.
Once you have it in there, you’ll want to use your hands to press the foam tight, then acting quickly, slide it over your ears so it expands as it covers your ears for a custom-fit that leaves no room for wind.
■ Wear a Balaclava under Your Helmet
When it’s cold outside, you can just use a balaclava. Wear it underneath your helmet to reduce the noise from the wind. This is an incredibly simple solution, plus it will keep you warm.
Now, we’re about to venture forth into the land of the quietest motorcycle helmets. The tips we’ve just detailed can be used along with the following helmets if you want even more quiet on the road.
The following 5 motorcycle helmets are among the quietest available today. We will discuss them in great detail so you can choose the right one for your needs.
What Are the Quietest Motorcycle Helmets?
Without further ado, if you’re shopping around for a new motorcycle helmet, consider one of these 5 ultra-quiet helmets.
Often regarded as “the Rolls Royce of motorcycle helmets,” the Schuberth C3 Pro was designed with safety and acoustics in mind.
With a focus on controlling the acoustics to make even speedy rides quieter, this helmet consistently ranks at the top for controlling sound and allowing for better concentration while on the road.
The faster you ride, the louder it is. It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure that one out, but for a point of reference, you’ll only hear at 82 decibels when you’re flying along at roughly 62mph on the highway.
Conversations generally hover around 65 decibels while a loud rock and roll show will exceed 100 decibels.
When your motorcycle is running at even a low speed, it will generally reach 90 decibels.
And the point of all these decibel references? That’s to show you that the Schuberth C3 Pro tames down that sound to such a degree that it’s truly astounding.
It was optimized and engineered for this purpose without sacrificing safety, making it the darling of the motorcycle helmet world.
It also thoughtfully worked with aerodynamics to lend you a faster ride while adding ergonomic neck padding which absorbs even more sound while keeping you comfortable.
Plus, the whole thing has a wind deflector to make the ride even quieter.
Add to it the comfortable interior lining that works well with all heads, the EPS, the integrated sun visor, reflectors, and strong chin strap and this is one supreme quality motorcycle helmet that will stand up to anything while keeping things extremely hush.
It’s a fantastic helmet but even good things have their drawbacks. As we said, it’s referred to as the “Rolls Royce” of the helmet industry, you can infer that the price is pretty steep.
It could also use a few tweaks for ventilation, but if you have the money to spend and a quiet ride is as important to you as your safety, it’s a worthy investment.
2. Schuberth S2 Helmet
Another one by Schuberth, the S2 underwent hours upon hours of testing for acoustics before being unleashed.
The results are impeccable for this is one helmet that provides incredible safety plus a quiet ride.
As we discussed with the C3 Pro when it came to decibels, the S2 was specifically designed to keep decibels underneath 85 when they’re traveling 65mph.
Motorcycles run at about 90 decibels so this helmet really achieves new heights when it comes to silencing surrounding sounds to allow you better ability to hear.
With a shell designed out of EPS foam, this special foam absorbs shock better than others while adding more soundproofing to the helmet.
Consider it a win-win. Plus with the overall design and shape of the helmet, the foam just kind of seals the deal, making it have much more effective sound absorption properties.
And then there’s the interior padding lining the S2 which absorbs much of those sounds from the road.
The padding also happens to be extremely comfortable, another win-win, especially if you’re on the road for longer.
Riding down the highway will certainly feel more easy and breezy but without that rush of noisy wind keeping you from hearing all that’s around you.
As it turns out, it’s even more thoughtfully designed because that lining is antibacterial and made from allergen-free materials.
So if you have to share this helmet, perhaps for a passenger, you can count on it to keep you fully protected in more ways than you imagined.
Additionally, being well-ventilated and lightweight add to its roster of advantages.
It keeps you cool even in high temperatures, protects from loud noises, guards against contamination, and is a solid helmet should you have an impact.
It’s truly well-thought-out though the S2 is also a pricey option like the C3 Pro. But if you plan on riding for any amount of time, the price of your safety is certainly worth it.
While Schuberth is a fantastic brand that garners much affection, Shoei shouldn’t be overlooked either. The Neotec is a helmet that has been carefully designed to resist noise thanks to a few very specific features.
For one, it features a chin curtain which you can insert with ease into the chin bar. The chin curtain makes it easy to reduce the noise and related turbulence on a high-speed ride.
The helmet’s fiber shell also is an effective tool for absorbing shock and sound. So it’s protective, as it should be, in the event of a crash, but it’s also exceptional at reducing the noise.
By far, one of the best features of the Shoei Neotec helmet is that it is extremely well-ventilated.
It has 2 side vents that let in enough air to keep you from overheating yet the thoughtful design keeps it from being noisy.
With the shell-integrated spoiler, it reduces the lift and drag and thus, creates a quieter ride.
With an EPS liner, this material is by design multi-density, allowing it to aptly absorb sound while providing plenty of comfort.
Some riders find the helmet to be a bit tight, but that helps keep the road sounds down and provide a comfortable and quiet ride.
It’s also priced lower than Schuberth’s two helmets we discussed above. Certainly not cheap but it is definitely in a more comfortable price bracket for most riders, giving a quieter and smoother ride.
This allows you to get safety and soundproof comfort without breaking the bank.
If budget, safety, and soundproofing are all non-negotiables for you, try Shoei’s RF 1200 helmet. It features an aerodynamic shape that quiets down the ride plus an interior lining that is phenomenal for absorbing sound.
You should know of course that no helmet out there is ever going to completely silence the noise from a ride, even with proper ear protection.
However, you can still find helmets, like this one here, that will do a wonderful job of bringing that roar of the road down, allowing you to hear what you need to hear.
For long distances the RF 1200 is an ideal choice. It’s provides a dual layer lining, each with 2 different densities. This makes a big difference for absorbing sounds and shocks too.
So you get the benefits of better protection and better absorption of noises from the wind and the road at high speeds.
The shell itself was tested in a wind tunnel to resist wind noise as much as possible so that the weight and buffeting you get when you’re on the road with it are significantly reduced.
Many other soundproof helmets on the market have a reputation for being heavy, but the RF 1200 is lightweight and hits all the right notes when it comes to balancing the best of features riders want and need in a helmet.
It’s another fantastic option by Shoei, though trying it on as well as the others on the list can give you a feel for what works best for you.
We recommend it simply because it provides stellar sound-cancelling features, keeps you safe, and is very lightweight without compromising on safety or soundproofing, all at a great price.
However, some have found it to be a bit noisy for them, citing a less than perfect fit. This can happen with any brand so it’s important to get your fit right.
Not every brand will work for you though the Shoei RF 1200 has made many riders more comfortable and given them a quieter ride.
Last on our list, but certainly not least is the Arai Signet Q helmet. This one is quite aerodynamic in shape, allowing to channel off that wind noise at high speeds.
And while that’s a great selling point, we’re a fan of the inner lining. It helps with the acoustics, absorbing the sounds effectively while bringing more comfort.
You can also adjust the cheek pads to different sizes to get your just-right fit and comfort that feels tailor-made for your head.
What that basically means is that you can wear it for long rides without feeling cinched and pinched all while enjoying a quieter ride even when you’re flying down the road. Air flow was also taken into consideration while crafting this helmet.
The design of the Arai Signet Q allows for keeping cool even in high temperatures, something that allows you to truly open up and enjoy the road.
All that and it filters in it a way that keeps it from adding to the wind noise.
The reason for this is that its unique design makes the wind work with you rather than against you.
It has a long oval shape that is more aerodynamic, and dare we say just a bit more stylish, than other helmets.
It also reduces forehead pressure, another reason why so many find it to be such a comfortable helmet.
If you’re looking for a the quietest of motorcycle helmets, you’re also searching for one that is safer too. But if you can get one that does it all and offers that aerodynamic rush, why not? It’s not the most expensive helmet on our list either so it is certainly a viable contender.
Do keep in mind that the metal plates aren’t flexible though but you can adjust the pads and find them in your size. It could make the difference between you loving this helmet or wanting to find another one.
Motorcycle helmets are mostly designed to keep your head safe, but in more recent years, the technology has evolved to keep up with the latest in soundproofing innovations without sacrificing safety.
Unfortunately, sometimes that can come at a cost of a heavier helmet, but not always.
Not everyone has the budget to replace the motorcycle helmet that they currently have either.
Trying to endure the loudness of the wind and sounds from the motorcycle as well as other vehicles on the road can be incredibly distracting which is why motorcycle riders should take steps to quell the sounds for a safer experience.
For those who can’t afford to step up to one of the helmets listed here, you can employ other affordable methods to modify your existing helmet that will help reduce wind sound.
You can also add try them with newer helmets to maximize the silence and have a quieter ride.
What’s most important here is trying to get as quiet a ride as you can. If money is no object or you need a new helmet, start with one of these that are designed to quiet things down.
And if not, do what you can to add soundproofing measures to your motorcycle helmet for your safety.
Additionally, we’d like to remind you that wearing a helmet is the safest way to ride your motorcycle but no matter how high-quality that helmet is, it must fit you correctly.
Go get fitted and get a feel for all the brands available to you before you order one. It will ensure that you get the right size and the right fit to keep you safe and sound, pardon the pun, while out on any ride.