Snowboarding Headphones Guide—How To Make The Most of Audio During Extreme Sports
- 21 Nov, 2018
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Why leave your tracks at home if audio can travel with you wherever you go? Snowboarding has been a popular sport for the past 50 years. But it requires unique equipment that won't bother you during your rides. Luckily technology is catching up so you can enjoy your music on the best snowboarding headphones, no matter how wild your moves are.
Even if you' re already listening to your music while outdoors, are you sure you have the best snowboarding headphones for an optimum experience?
We researched this niche market to help you find the best way to upgrade your gear. Here' s all you need to know.
Snowboarding is no easy sport, right? It takes extreme concentration to retain balance and reach high speeds without crashing down. This is the practical side of listening to your favorite tracks:
- It can help you concentrate by calming your nerves, especially during competitions.
- It helps block out noises that can distract you.
- The right rhythm in a song can help improve your performance similar to how music helps you during jogging.
That means you can enhance your snowboarding experiences simply by playing audio via your phone, to your headphones.
But of course, music is about enjoyment too. A quality set of snowboarding headphones means you can keep on listening to that new album you love. You can also create a unique sensory experience in the outdoors. Let what you listen to be as entertaining as what you' re doing.
Sounds like money well spent, right?
Of course, it' s always better to be safe than sorry. Let' s discuss the risks.
Although it' s not a matter that' s enforced or policed, there is some controversy about wearing headphones while skiing. The concerns involve:
- Becoming distracted by the audio and bumping into other skiers.
- Not listening to the sounds around you means you won't hear someone calling or warning you. You may also miss the first signs of an avalanche—the loud noise coming from moving snow.
- Listening on Bluetooth speakers may bother other skiers.
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, we believe there' s no reason to view snowboarding headphones as a reason for concern. You can be a safe—even safer than usual—skier if you keep to a few simple guidelines.
How to Optimize Safety While Snowboarding?
Each sport has risks and anything you wear while on the board can turn into a possible hazard. So show respect to others and still get the most out of your headphones. While enjoying the sport—but also to play it safe—we suggest the following:
- Leave your Bluetooth speaker at home and invest in headphones. You don' t have the right to spoil others' day by blaring your music in their ears.
- Use a set that fits snugly inside your ear. An over the ear pair may slide down and distract you. It can also hurt you if you should fall.
- Ride with audio only playing in one ear. That means you' ll still take notice of noises and people' s voices around you.
- Keep audio levels low as possible so you can still notice important sounds around you.
It' s also noteworthy that communicating with others who are also wearing headphones increases safety on the slopes. If someone gets hurt or lost they can easily contact others for assistance. As a bonus, having your phone with you as audio source means you can call the authorities during an emergency.
When more and more snowboarders keep to these rules—and because it helps some people concentrate—snowboarding headphones can enhance the sport for everyone involved.
Now let' s choose your pair of snowboard headphones.
Which Headphones are the Best for Snowboarding?
You' ll find many snowboarder headphones on the market, but don' t let sales talk cause you to waste your money. For the ultimate audio experience during your next snowboarding session you' ll need most—or all—of these features:
- Wireless: You don' t want wires getting tangled in your gear. Rather invest in high-quality wireless systems. It' s a more effortless, but also safer, option. You need to concentrate on your movements, not a wire that gets in your way.
- In-line mic or controls: You also don' t want to take out your music source to change tracks. It' s distracting and your device may get damaged from extreme cold. With in-line controls you can manage your playlist effortlessly and even take calls without touching a phone button. This is extremely handy if you get hurt and need to call someone.
- Weather proof features: Note that weather proof doesn't only mean waterproof. You'll be using your earphones in extremely cold conditions and the components must be able to handle it. That includes the temperature, moisture and even your sweat.
- Noise cancelling effects: If you're using yours to increase your concentration a noise cancelling feature is essential. This feature in skiing with headphones is especially handy during competitions.
- Portability: Of course you don' t want to be weighed down by your headphones set. Make sure they're light enough to wear for a long time without experiencing fatigue. You may also consider snowboarding helmet headphones, but more about that below.
- Durability: You'll be moving a lot and even falling occasionally (hopefully not a lot). You need snowboarder headphones that won't crack and break at first impact. High durability is an essential feature.
Now, to help you vet available pairs and find your perfect fit, we compiled a checklist for you.
When you think about the design you should take your time and test out what will fit you best. Off the bat we' ll say that over the ear simply doesn' t work for most skiers. As stated it can easily slip, especially because you're moving all the time. It can also hurt you if you should fall.
This type will also make it difficult to wear your snowboarding helmet with headphones. They' ll simply be in the way.
More appropriate is an in-ear type that fits securely. You can wear your snowboarding helmet headphones in place. A good example and common favorite is this model from Plantronics. They're compact and they connect behind the head. This keeps your line of sight unobstructed at all times.
Another option is wearing a hat cap or a headband with built-in earphones, or space to insert yours. That means there' s no chance of them coming loose while you' re moving at top speeds.
2）Controls and In-Line Mic
As stated above you don' t need anything to break your concentration. Invest in a set with in-line controls and a mic. You' ll never have to push a button on your phone or MP3 player while on the slope.
Remember, if you don' t spend money on this feature you' ll have to take off your gloves to work on your phone. On a cold slope that' s not advisable.
Gauge whether your set is appropriately weatherproof. It needs waterproof coatings and ratings of at least IPX 4 to deal with snow & rain. Yes, your headphones will be wrapped in your clothing, but snow flies and you can' t always predict the weather. You're bound to get soaked and cold. Your gear must be able to cope with it too.
First of all, don' t settle for a set without Bluetooth. You don' t want wires bothering you all the time. Next, make sure there' s an adequate Bluetooth range so you don' t lose signal easily. The better the range of your snowboarding Bluetooth headphones the better. It' s less likely you' ll have a break in transmission. It will keep working even if the audio source and headset aren't in the line of sight while you move.
How long will you spend on the slope? Make sure the battery life—as stated while on full volume—is adequate. Usually a six-hour period is impressive. Don' t stop there, however. If you take a break you want it to recharge quickly. Recharging the best headphones for snowboarding will only take about two hours.
6）Grip: Comfort and Firmness
Once again, let' s talk about the fact that you don' t want it falling out of your ear. The grip is essential, but also the comfort. It must fit securely inside your ear without hurting you, even when you wear your goggles and helmet on top. Pain will make you lose concentration.
☛ Handy tip: Get used to them by wearing them at home for a while before your first ride.
This feature' s importance depends on how you' ll use your headphones. Noise isolation can block out the sounds so you can concentrate. However, for safe skiing, you may still want some noises to come through, or you' ll only use your earphones in one ear at a time. Therefore, this isn't a vital feature for everyone.
Audio can be the perfect way to increase your levels of exhilaration during snowboarding sessions. But don' t settle for any earphones, because the best snowboarding headphones will be a long term, dynamic investment. Make sure you get value for money—you know what to look for now.
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