According to Tyll Hertsens' review of the Jays q-JAYS and Etymotic ER6i earphones, the biggest issue facing motorcycle riders when it comes to headphones is matching the earbud with a snugly fitting helmet. Earphones should be small enough not to be dislodged. They should also be worn with earplugs to help mask traffic noise and prevent noise fatigue. Rider Magazine recommends a helmet headset as an alternative.
When shopping for new earphones, look for a pair that comes with replaceable filters. Earwax and moisture lower the volume of earphones over time. For riders intending to travel long distances, comfort is key. The best fit depends on the shape of an individual's ear.
Bluetooth helmet headsets are installed in a motorcycle helmet to allow for hands-free music streaming and calling, though Rider Magazine strongly discourages the latter for safety reasons. An ideal headset has a long battery life with a short charge time and streams from any Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player. Installing a headset in a helmet also allows riders to safely communicate with each other, which is perfect for long trips with a companion or for greeting another motorcyclist on the road.
Earphones are not legal in all states for motorcyclists.