If you experience ear fatigue and hearing loss after a ride, then you should be checking out the quietest motorcycle helmets available – one in ten people in North America experience preventable, permanent hearing loss. Riding a motorcycle at 40 mph or faster can generate wind noise greater than 100 dB with a helmet on, and 10 times louder without one.
A good helmet doesn’t just look good and keep the bugs out of your eyes. It protects your ears from wind, road, and engine noise, and your melon in the event of a crash. In this article, we’ll look at what makes a helmet quiet, what to look for in a helmet, how you can protect your hearing, plus the top 10 quietest motorcycle helmets.
Top Pic for Best Quiet Motorcycle Helmet
- Around every corner is a brand new adventure, and with that...
- At SHOEI, they know that feeling quite well, which is...
- Enter the all-new RF-1200.
- With a world-class team of designers and engineers leading...
- A lighter, more compact, streamlined helmet with next-level...
Other Good Options
- Schuberth C3 Pro
- HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II
- SHARK Helmets EVO-ONE 2
- Bell Bullitt
- Arai Signet-Q
- Shoei Neotec II Modular Flip-up Helmet
- 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Helmet
- Bell Qualifier
- Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet
- Top 10 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets – Reviews
- #1 Shoei RF-1200 Helmet
- #2 Schuberth C3 Pro
- #3 HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet
- #4 SHARK Helmets EVO-ONE 2 Blank Matte Modular Helmet
- #5 Bell Bullitt Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet
- #6 Arai Signet-Q UK Flag Black Frost Full Face Helmet
- #7 Shoei Neotec II Modular Flip-up Helmet
- #8 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Full Face Helmet
- #9 Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet
- #10 Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet
- Fodsports M1S Pro 2000m 8 Riders Group Motorbike Helmet Communication System
- How Do Helmets Work?
- Why Is It Important to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?
- Types of Motorcycle Helmets
- What Makes a Motorcycle Helmet Quiet?
- Quiet Motorcycle Helmet Brands
- What To Consider When Buying a Quiet Motorcycle Helmet?
- How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet Quieter
Top 10 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets – Reviews
#1 Shoei RF-1200 Helmet
Best Quietest Motorcycle Helmet Overall
The RF-1200 from Shoei is wind-tunnel tested for aerodynamics. The full-face lightweight low-profile design is both DOT and SNELL certified. The shell is Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM+) construction which means it’s very strong and absorbs and disperses energy.
It also has a rear spoiler that adds centrifugal force when riding at speed. It is designed for both upright and angled riding positions.
The RF-1200 keeps wind noise to a minimum while allowing road event sounds to be heard. Weighing 3.46-pounds, the helmet is comfortable and has good airflow from well-positioned vents. There are active chin, forehead, and two vents at the top.
The active exhaust vent at the back allows it to be opened or closed. Closing the vents decreases the wind noise. The visor also has a good seal to close out wind noise when shut. The helmet includes a chin curtain which further blocks out wind noise.
The padding improves the fit, and a better fit usually translates into comfort and less noise. There are removable sections at the ears for the installation of a Bluetooth, radio, or a noise-canceling system; however, leaving them in place reduces wind noise.
The liner system is fully removable and washable, which also means pieces can be replaced for thinner or thicker pieces to improve the fit. In case of an emergency, there is a quick-release on the strap and red-taps on check and neck pads that allow them to be easily removed by paramedics.You can check the current price or purchase this helmet on Amazon.
#2 Schuberth C3 Pro
Quietest Full Face Helmet
Schuberth C3 Pro is DOT certified 3.53-pound modular flip-up shell is made of fiberglass with a special resin for greater strength. Its aerodynamic design creates zero lift, buffeting, or oscillatory tendencies at highway speeds.
The inner shell is multipart EPS foam construction for increased protection and is integrated with the helmets cooling vents. The removable washable liner has COOLMAX material to make it more comfortable. Plus it has Interpower coatings to wick moisture away for a cooler ride.
A well-fitting C3 Pro offers a quiet internal sound level of 82 dB at 60 mph. The ergonomic neck padding works with the chin skirt to minimize wind noise penetrating under the helmet.
The lower rear spoiler also helps deflect the wind and reduce noise. Additionally, the easy change scratch-resistant visor is designed to reduce wind whistle and minimize wind noise when open or closed.
The helmet has adjustable air vents that provide constant fresh air intake to help aerate the inner helmet fully. The airflow funnels between the liner and shell through channels in the EPS, keeping it away from the ears.
The vents don’t close but adjustable, so a flow of fresh air is maintained. The C3 Pro is equipped with the Schuberth SRC-System™ PRO which makes it easier to connect and control communications and navigation systems and has two integrated antennas. The helmet also has a quick release chin strap in case of an emergency.No products found.
#3 HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet
Quietest Modular Helmet
The HJC 980-614 modular flip-up helmet is crafted from advanced polycarbonate composite. The aerodynamic shell has a large eye port, is lightweight, comfortable, and weighs in at 5.35-pounds.
The adjustable polycarbonate chin bar has a single-button release, making it easy for one-handed operation – even when wearing gloves. The face shield is also a quick release for ease of cleaning and replacement. The visor also is pin-lock ready to reduce fogging, but it doesn’t come with the pins.
The fit of the helmet and its thicker composition, contribute to its quiet comfort. The liner wicks moisture away and is removable for washing. The stick-on cheek pads can be switched with different sizes to improve comfort and fit, which decreases wind disturbance.
The neck seal further improves the fit and comfort, while also sealing out wind noise. An aftermarket chin skirt is available to deflect air and control wind intrusion; unfortunately, it interferes with the modular thumb release mechanism.
Max II is DOT approved and has the ACS advanced channeling ventilation system to control the flow of air and associated wind noise within the shell. The adjustable front and back vents provide ventilation airflow to remove moisture and keep the interior cool.
The vent at the chin bar creates airflow across the visor, cooling the face and decreasing fogging. The liner has cut-outs that accept Bluetooth communications systems, so the air seal isn’t compromised, which helps control intrusive wind noise.Buy on Amazon
#4 SHARK Helmets EVO-ONE 2 Blank Matte Modular Helmet
Quiet Ride Helmet
The SHARK Helmets Evo-One 2 is a modular thermoplastic helmet with a compact profile and weighs 3.6-pounds. Ideal for touring or cruising, it is DOT, and ECE certified for both full-face and open-face use, making it a versatile 2-in1 helmet.
The Evo-One 2 received 5 stars in the SHARP crash test, and the chin bar stayed locked in position in all tests, offering greater rider protection. The helmet has an integrated inner sun visor, plus a double-D ring chin locking system for enhanced safety.
The chin bar can be moved from the down position to the up position, so it is out of the way for open face use. It is recommended that two hands be used to move the chin bar, and it’s not advisable as an in ride practice.
There is a locking system to keep the chin bar in position for enhanced flexibility and to maintain the ergonomics, balance, and aerodynamic performance of the helmet in both full and open-face positions. The visor has “Auto-up/Auto-down” to automatically move it when moving the chin bar from one position to the other.
The small round aerodynamic design helps decrease wind noise, as does the rear spoiler. There’s also a magnetic chin curtain to block wind noise under the helmet in the full-face position.
The plush, removable, and washable CoolMax lining helps to seal around the neck and face to minimize wind sound penetration and increase rider comfort for a quieter ride. In full-face mode, there is a single chin and face shield vent with a large toggle for ease of control.
The face shield has an auto-seal system that pulls it in against the seal to keep out wind noise. Additionally, two controllable vents on the top of the helmet direct cool air over the top of the head and out the exhaust vent below the spoiler, keeping wind noise away from the ears.Buy on Amazon
#5 Bell Bullitt Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet
Quietest Full Face Helmet
The Bell Bullitt is a full-face 3.5-pound DOT approved vintage look helmet. It is available in 3K carbon fiber or low-profile fiberglass composite shell construction with a large, wide viewing port.
The helmet is secured with a double-D closure with a padded strap for increased comfort. It usually comes with a flat face shield, but can be customized with bubble one. Some suppliers include one of each. The visor blocks some wind noise but doesn’t have a rubber seal, so there is a good flow of air over the face.
The liner is genuine leather with thick foam padding. The interior is removable and washable.
Bell carries different size contoured cheek pads for improved fit, which also helps control wind noise. The Bullitt has speaker pockets integrated which also reduce wind noise around the ears.
There are 4 forehead vents and a rear exhaust that channel the airflow over the head and away from the ears, reducing some wind noise and cooling the rider. Additionally, the front chin vent functions with a switch inside the helmet; however, there is a lot of airflow under the chin.
The tighter the chin pads and helmet fit, the less wind disturbance. Unfortunately, there is increased wind noise and helmet pull at speeds over 70 mph.Buy on Amazon
#6 Arai Signet-Q UK Flag Black Frost Full Face Helmet
Quietest Arai Helmet
The Arai Signet-Q is an oval based aerodynamic shell with an elongated front and meets or exceeds DOT and SNELL standards. It has a large eye port for improved peripheral viewing, and the visor is pin lock ready for a fog-free view. The handcrafted helmets have an integrated chin spoiler that channels wind and improves stability.
The helmet has a thick comfortable liner shaped for the more oval head improves fit, safety and comfort. The liner has 5mm thick cheek and side temple pads that peel-away for a more customized multi-interior fit and the facial contour support (FCS) cheek pads provide a better fit which decreases wind noise. If needed, it has removable cheek pads and neck roll system for emergency removal.
Arai has aerodynamic upper vents with toggle control, and the side exhausts have sculpted cowling for better airflow and to minimize wind noise. The brow vents in the visor cool the face without weakening shell and help keep wind noise away from the ears.
There are also air channels in the EPS liner to help wick moisture and move heat out the rear of the helmet. For additional comfort and noise control, the neck roll adds stability and reduces wind disruption, and is also removable for cleaning.Buy on Amazon
#7 Shoei Neotec II Modular Flip-up Helmet
Quietest Dual Sport Helmet
Shoei Neotec II is a DOT approved modular flip-up helmet with a multi-ply fiberglass matrix shell. The aerodynamic and lightweight 5-pound helmet has advanced noise reduction and a wide viewing port.
There are 4 different shells and 5 liner sizes for optimized fit, which improves comfort and noise control. Plus, it has a 360° Pivot Lock System with a stainless steel locking mechanism and large release button on the chin bar to allow the rider to lift the chin bar and cover of the flip-up, even while wearing gloves.
The helmet has been wind tunnel tested for aerodynamics and wind noise control. It has multi-piece dual EPS layers for enhanced ventilation and impact absorption, which also tunnels the air and removes heat and moisture.
The upper air intakes are flanked by the upper exhaust outlet, which is shielded by an integrated spoiler to decrease drag and lift and improve cooling. The face cover and visor have a ‘Vortex Generator’ to further control noise and airflow, and the visor seals well in full-face mode, further reducing noise.
There is also a built-in chin curtain to decrease air under the helmet, reducing lift and sound. Additionally, the lower vent has a large shutter toggle for operation with gloves.
The Neotec II has a 3-dimensionally shaped interior for improved comfort and noise control, which is removable for cleaning, adjustment, and replacement. The cheek pads are multi-layered for comfort, decrease wind noise, and improve helmet stability.
The flip-up allows for a better fit around the neck, helping to keep wind and road noise out. The helmet is communication system ready, and the chin strap has a micro ratchet for easy adjustment, closure, and release.Buy on Amazon
#8 1Storm Motorcycle Street Bike Full Face Helmet
Best Aerodynamic Motorcycle Helmet
The 1Storm helmet is a 5-pound modular flip-up helmet with a thermoplastic alloy aerodynamic shell and is DOT approved. There is a lift-up switch under the chin bar to operate the modular flip-up, which is large enough to work wearing gloves.
There is also a side lever switch for raising and lowering the inner visor. The aerodynamic and lightweight helmet is communication system ready, with three speaker locations.
The Storm has active top-mounted vents and two always open rear exhaust ports for controlling airflow and cooling. There are two chin bar vents to draw fresh air into the face shield area for cooling and defogging.
The visor also has a quick-release mechanism. The padded liner is removable and washable and provides some protection from wind and road noise, especially at non-highway speeds. The better the fit, the more sound it will block.Buy on Amazon
#9 Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet
Best Noise Cancelling Motorcycle Helmet
The Bell Qualifier is a full-face DOT approved helmet. The polycarbonate/ABS composite construction makes it a lightweight 4.85-pound aerodynamic shell. It’s available in 3 different shell sizes with the EPS liner designed for a better fit.
The face shield has a quick click release system to make cleaning and replacement easier, plus the NutraFog II system to prevent fogging. The microfiber interior lining improves comfort and fit, which also improves sound control.
The Bell Qualifier has two intake vents at the crown that funnel cooling air through channels in the EPS liner to two matching exhaust ports on the lower rear shell. There are also two intake ports on the chin bar for improved airflow under the shield.
The padded liner helps control wind and road noise and is removable for replacement or washing, as is the padded collar. The collar roll further improves comfort and reduces road and wind noise. Plus, the cheek pads are contoured for a better fit and to stop wind sound, and they are also removable.
Additionally, there are pockets in the liner for easier integration of speakers into the helmet.Buy on Amazon
#10 Shoei GT-Air 2 Helmet
Best Motorcycle Helmet for Wind Noise
The Shoei GT-Air 2 is a full-face DOT approved aerodynamic shell made of an advanced integrated matrix (AIM) fiberglass construction with noise reduction technology for a quieter ride. The molded spoiler decreases lift and drag, and pressure on the neck.
The EPS liner is multi-density multi-piece construction to maximize airflow and impact protection. There are 3 intake vents to maximize airflow through EPS channels and out the 5 rear and neck exhaust vents, improving rider comfort.
Plus the active chin bar vent adds fresh air behind the face shield. The face shield is also pin-lock equipped to stop fogging and is spring-loaded to seal tight to the rubber bead to keep out wind and rain.
There are 3 shell and 4 different EPS liner sizes for better fit and comfort, which means less wind and road noise intrusion. The 3-D Max-Dry removable noise-reducing interior liner contour fits for comfort and noise control.
Plus the cheek pads are multi-layered to stabilize the helmet and improve comfort and block out the wind. The chin bar has an integrated spoiler for a more comfortable and quieter ride, and there is a chin curtain, and breath guard included to reduce wind noise further.
The chin strap uses an adjustable stainless steel ratchet with quick-release. There is also a quick release emergency system for removing the cheek pads to make helmet removal safer for an injured rider. The liner is also communication system ready.Buy on Amazon
Sena SMH10D-10 Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset / Intercom (Dual)
The Sena SMH10D-10 is a two-person Bluetooth 3.0 intercom, music sharing, and communication system with a 980 yard (900 m) range. It allows hands-free calling from a Bluetooth phone and 4-way intercom connectivity.
The system also has advanced noise control technology (A2DP) to decrease road and wind noise. Connect the unit to the side of your helmet with the clamp and adjust the boom mic to suit.
The 2.08-ounce rechargeable system uses a lithium polymer battery and is good for about 12 hours of talking, or 10 days on standby. It also uses universal protocols allowing it to link with other brands.
Use the Jog Dial to control volume and functions like play, forward, reverse, and pause. The SMH10D-10 is also compatible with some GPS systems too. The system will also save volume levels for different users. The unit has a 2-year warranty and comes with cables, charger, and mounting kit.
Cardo FREECOM 4 PLUS – 4-Way Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
The Cardo FREECOM 4 Plus is a 4-way Bluetooth motorcycle communication system with a range of 1312 yards (1200 m). The 4+ is voice-activated for true hands-free communication and listening enjoyment, and a safer ride.
The rechargeable battery is good for 13 hours of use or 7 days on standby, and charges in 4 hours. It can even charge while you ride using a battery pack or a 12V outlet.
The 4 Plus is water and dustproof, has self-adjusting volume, interchangeable boom and microphone, and built-in FM radio. It can connect up to four riders, and the universal connectivity links it to other brands.
The 4+ links to phones and GPS systems too. There is a Cardo Connect App for ease of operation and upgrades. The package comes with cables, charger, mic, and mounting kit. A mounting kit for half-helmets is available too.
Fodsports M1S Pro 2000m 8 Riders Group Motorbike Helmet Communication System
The Fodsports M1S Pro is a Bluetooth 4.1 motorcycle communication system for up to 8 riders. The maximum range for 8 is 2187 yards (2000 m), but the optimal for 2 riders is 546 yards (500 m).
The dust and waterproof hands-free, voice-activated unit supports phone, music, intercom, and GPS. The M1S Pro also has a CSR chip to help control wind and road noise, and provide clearer sound.
The Fodsport has a rechargeable battery which is good for 7 days on standby or 20 hours of active use and can be charged in 3-hours, or while in use. It has an easy mounting system and can quickly be moved from helmet to helmet. The M1S comes with cables, charger, hard and soft mics, and mounting kit.
How Do Helmets Work?
Ears are designed to catch airborne sounds so we can react to what we hear. Motorcycle helmets are usually smoother and more aerodynamic than the human head. So a helmet that covers the ears should protect it from excessive wind noise.
At low speeds or stops, it is the noise from the engine and pipes which can cause hearing damage. However, wind pressure and wind noise at speed are more constant and damaging.
Helmets do create some turbulence around the edges that catch the wind, but it is less than the ears and facial contours create without a helmet. Helmet manufacturers have spent millions in the past 5 or so years to test designs for wind noise and improve their products to better protect against hearing loss.
Wind noise is as damaging as listening to a live band in a pub or using a chainsaw or lawnmower without ear protection.
Why Is It Important to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?
Motorcycles makeup approximately 3% of the vehicles on the road but account for 14% of traffic fatalities. In a crash, a motorcyclist is 28 times more likely to die than someone in a vehicle, and without a helmet on for protection, that number jumps.
Additionally, riders or passengers without helmets have a higher risk of brain and spinal cord trauma that results in greater health care and rehabilitation costs, plus permanent disabilities.
Helmets can also protect your eyes and ears from wind damage, debris, and prevent dehydration and sunstroke, which could lead to an accident. Helmets are lightweight and crack resistant and designed to shield your head and brain during a collision. The more protection for the head and face, the better it is for your ears and eyes too.
A helmet can also improve your ride comfort in different weather conditions and decreases worry about rain, dust, bugs, and wind so that you can enjoy your ride. Wearing a DOT (Department of Transportation) approved helmet, and protective gear may not prevent an accident, but it can decrease the extent of short term and long term injury, and even death.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
Modular HelmetsModular helmets are full-face helmets with a hinged or removable chin bar. It provides full facial protection, although it isn’t as strong as the one-piece full-face helmet.
The modular allows the rider to lift the lower protection and face shield to the forehead to permit eating, drinking, or conversation without removing the helmet. Most manufacturers recommend against riding with the chin bar up as it creates drag, increased noise, changes the weight dynamics, and decreases the protection.
Full FaceA full-face helmet covers the whole head from below the chin, and up. An oval eye-port is left open to permit peripheral and forward vision – an important feature! The full face has a molded fixed aerodynamic chin bar that offers greater protection and helps prevent wind lift.
The eye portal on sports helmets is angle upward and the chin bar is higher as riders are angled on the bike. The air ducts are also nearer the top to draw more air in when leaning forward.
On helmets where the rider sits more upright the chin bar is lower to protect more of the neck, and the eye-port is angled straight out. The helmets are designed for cruisers, touring, and ADV riders and often are designed for comfort and to be more soundproof. The air vents are also closer toward the top front of the helmet to catch more airflow.
Open FaceOpen face or 3/4 helmets are made of the same material as a full face and have the same padding. However, they do not have the attached chin bar, so are not as aerodynamic or offer the same level of protection.
The open face means the face is exposed, and there are more seams where wind noise can enter. Some helmets have a flip-down or snap-on face shield top protect from dust and rain, but it does nothing to decrease wind noise.
Off-RoadOff-road or motocross helmets are full-face helmets with an attitude. They have a more angular chin bar, lack the face shield, and have a sun peak.
They are lighter and have more ventilation since motocross is a highly physical ride, and usually occurs in warm weather. The helmets are designed for off road, so aren’t as soundproof, plus the sun peak would catch the wind too much.
Half HelmetsHalf helmets cover the top half of the head. They offer minimal protection, even if they are DOT approved. They are lightweight and have lots of airflow exposure, which also means much more noise.
Head protection in an accident isn’t much better than a helmetless rider.
Novelty HelmetsNovelty helmets are made to look like German or Allied WWI and WWII army helmets, like skulls or SCI-FI characters. Many are not DOT approved, even if you buy the sticker and add it.
Those that are authentic DOT approved helmets offer similar head and sound protection to the half helmet.
Dual-SportDual-sport helmets will do highway and off-road, so are ideal for certain bikes that are built for both – two helmets in one. The versatile design has greater ventilation and a more aerodynamic sun peak like the off road but has the built-in face shield and better soundproofing of the full face.
The chin bar protrudes more than on a full face but less than on a true off-road. Additionally, the face shield can be flipped up to permit the use of goggles when necessary.
What Makes a Motorcycle Helmet Quiet?
Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect the head and neck, be comfortable, and only recently to protect from road and wind noise which can exceed 100 dB. Some manufacturers post NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) values for their helmets.
Other makers may test their helmets, but don’t post an NRR since there is no standard method of testing or for comparison – so the same NRR value may differ greatly from brand to brand.
Helmets can be loud if they don’t fit properly or are cheaply or poorly made. You don’t want total silence when riding; part of the fun is the sound and feel of the ride. However, helmets that don’t cut the wind or road sound can make the ride uncomfortable.
Once your speed zips over 40 mph, the noise of the wind across the ears begins to exceed the engine and road noise. The less protection the helmet offers, or more exposed the face and ears, the greater the wind disturbance and potential for hearing damage and loss.
An aerodynamic design can drastically cut wind drag and noise. The fewer contours to catch the wind, the quieter it will be – one reason the full-face helmet is the quietest model. The interior padding also insulates against sound.
The padding may be soft or hard foam, or a combination, or even memory foam. The foam composition also plays a part; open and closed cell material will absorb or trap noise differently.
Additionally, the padding may be layered to allow for a better fit, which makes it quieter too.
The placement of the air ducts is important for cooling, and also to keep the noise away from the ears. Additionally, a chin curtain improves the sound control of the helmet.
The higher the quality, the better it will seal between the chin bar and chin to reduce wind funneling into the helmet. Some helmets come with them, or it can be purchased separately.
Another option is advanced noise cancellation. It is a system that creates a reverse soundwave of what you would normally hear – picked up by a microphone at the ear, and played back through an ear speaker to reduce harmful noise levels.
Quiet Motorcycle Helmet Brands
There are many motorcycle helmet brands manufactured around the world. However, if buying a helmet in North America, ensure it has either the DOT or SNELL sticker or both. If neither is present, try a different helmet.
Europe and the UK have similar safety standards to look for too. The 5 Brands identified here are more commonly available; they are not ranked, just in reverse alphabetical.
Shoei HelmetsShoei is a Japanese manufacturer that began in 1958 and makes excellent helmets that are both safe and comfortable. They were the first to make carbon fiber helmets and also to use Kevlar to strengthen their product.
Although expensive, the helmets are designed to reduce wind and road noise, so earplugs aren’t necessary. They have a built-in sun visor and are warrantied for 5-years.
Shark HelmetsShark Helmets was founded by professional motorcycle racers and have been manufactured in France since 1986. They are presently owned by the Australian Company, 2R Holdings, which also owns the Italian manufacturer of Nolan Helmets.
Shark focuses on performance and safety and is known for its design and tech work. The helmets are aerodynamic – so quiet, offer a high level of protection, have a quick-release visor, and are expensive.
HJC HelmetsHJC has made helmets since 1971 and claims the world title for being the #1 helmet manufacturer for the past 17 years or more. The South Korean company manufactures mid to high-end helmets in Korea and Vietnam and distributes them worldwide.
They have their own wind tunnel for testing design features, including aerodynamics and noise. The affordable helmets are designed for comfort and are equipped with earplugs to reduce noise.
Bell Helmet Company started in 1956 as a division of Bell Auto Parts. It is an American company that uses Chinese and American parts to manufacture helmets. They produced the first full-face and the first full-face off-road helmet.
The helmets are well designed and comfortable but tend to be heavy and also noisy. Most Bell helmets are both DOT and SNELL certified.
Arai is a family-owned Japanese firm with more than 70 years making hand-built helmets which are quality tested throughout the assembly process. Arai uses DOT and SNELL standards as the baseline of their helmets, so the finished product exceeds them, making them more expensive than others.
The lightweight helmets have a chin deflector and are designed to minimize wind and road noise and to be comfortable. They have good venting and SNELL and DOT certified.
What To Consider When Buying a Quiet Motorcycle Helmet?
There are many things to consider when buying a helmet, and everyone has a personal take on it. I want a helmet that has passed the tests and is certified so my melon is as safe as I can make it. After that, safety and comfort usually go together.
A helmet that fits well protects better than one that is loose or too tight and is quieter. So, a helmet that has a good EPS system, ergonomic padding, interchangeable components, adjustable cheek pads, good neck support, and is washable is part of comfort and protection: the chin strap and release tie safety and comfort together like a Christmas ribbon.
The aerodynamics of the helmet is part of the design, and also contributes to its quietness and comfort. A good design resists lift and drag and helps reduce wind noise.
Ventilation that can be adjusted allows the rider to control airflow through the EPS tunnels and around the face, removing heat, moisture, and controlling wind and road disturbance. The easier it is to control the better too.
The cheek pads and neck roll should further minimize wind penetrating inside around the ears, and decrease wind and road sound, so make sure they fit well.
Buying a helmet made of polycarbonate, AIM fiberglass, ABS or composites is a personal choice – if it passed the tests and is certified, I’m good. The shell composition often affects weight and price.
The weight of the dome contributes to its comfort. Whether you ride upright or hugging the gas tank, a heavy helm will increase fatigue and discomfort. A round or egg-shaped shell is part of design, aerodynamics, and fit. Different shapes fit better on different skulls.
The type of helmet affects coverage, comfort, and safety. If you’re all about looks and have to match the image of bike and dome, then you may have to give something up.
Some types of helmets are quieter and offer more protection than others. Full-face and flip-up offer the most protective coverage and are the quietest.
The face shield is also part of the protection and comfort quotient. The better it seals, the quieter it is, and the easier it is to operate the better too.
Wind Reduction – look for a helmet that is quiet rated, but realize there is no set standard as of yet.
Visors – Look for a helmet with a rubber seal so the visor doesn’t whistle or leak. It should seal out wind and rain, and be easy to operate.
Communication – look for a helmet that has removable pads that allow speakers to be comfortably inserted. Some are communication system ready, and others have built-in systems.
Sunshade – many brands have built-in interchangeable visors that flip down inside the face shield for sun or night driving comfort.
How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet Quieter
Road noise can be irritating at low speeds, but wind noise will make even your pipes hard to hear at highway speeds. Full-face and flip-up helmets are quieter than other helmets since they minimize the wind rush.
Unfortunately, the number and location of vents on these helmets can open the rider up to more noise. There are several things you can do to quiet wind noise disturbance.
A chin or neck curtain will eliminate wind tucking up under the helmet and adding noise. Adding larger cheek pads and a thicker neck roll will also stop wind noise.
If you don’t use the vents, consider taping them over. Adding memory foam around the ears to prevent wind rushing past, and sealing any crevasses where wind can penetrate will also help.
If the visor doesn’t seal tight, check if it needs a new bead or can be adjusted to pull in tighter. Managing the wind noise means you can still hear your engine and the road, but won’t have the ringing in your ears when the ride is finished.
Improving the fit of your helmet by wearing a balaclava, face mask, helmet ear muffs, or a neck tube scarf can reduce wind noise. Adjusting the windscreen or adding one to deflect wind away may help too.
If wind turbulence is bothersome, remove accessories and see if that helps. Buying a ‘quiet’ helmet is another option. You’ll still hear your engine, but less of the wind. Purchasing an advanced noise-cancelling system will also reduce noise levels.
Earplugs are another possibility for protecting your hearing. Don’t stuff your ears so you can’t hear anything, make sure you can still hear the engine and road noise like horns and sirens – and don’t wear them in Ohio until they change their ban.
Manufacturers are making improvements to helmets every year. They are quieter, safer, better fitting, and more aerodynamic.
The top 10 quietest helmets may be different next year, but the goal is to protect your hearing and your head. Even the quietest helmet may need some help though.
Hopefully, you found something in this article to help stop the ringing in your ears at the end of a ride. If you found the information of use, let us know, and share it with others who may find it helpful.