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Old 04-03-2012, 04:13 PM
SpiralOut188 SpiralOut188 is offline
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Default Recommendation for Motorcycle Riding

I'm going to be getting a new PMP soon (either the Sansa Clip+ or Cowon C2) for use when riding. To go along with my new player I need a pair of good in-ear monitors that will fit inside a motorcycle helmet and obviously cancel out sound.

The helmet cancels out quite a bit, but it is still a much louder environment than most. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but want much better than average sound quality and a good bang for the buck. And as stated before, they can't stick out very far because of the helmet. Any recommendations?
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:41 PM
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I wouldn't recommend trying to block out external noise at all. I have a motorcycle, and went the marine stereo route with wired remote. That way I can hear music (although admittedly crappy quality) and whatever's going on around me. It's saved my ass a couple times.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:57 PM
SpeedBoy3 SpeedBoy3 is offline
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One thing to keep in mind is how tight your helmet is at the base when you put it on. I've always had trouble with it moving my iems and breaking the seal when I put it on.

I just picked up a pair of the m6, and they fit very, very nicely into my helmet. The wire above the ear helps keep them in place. Going to be trying this with a set of foam tips on a roadtrip in about 2 weeks - hope it works!

I do my highway riding with earplugs anyway, so the music is just a bonus.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:47 AM
SpiralOut188 SpiralOut188 is offline
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I have actually been looking at the A151 by MEE, are they similar in size and style to the m6? They're the same brand and are also over the ear. And is the quality increase comparable to the price increase between the m6 and A151?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:08 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I haven't heard either of them so I can't say. This is just to let you know that most IEMs can be worn with the wires over the ears. It's the only way I wear mine.

Using earguides like this can help. I've heard good things about those but I never tried them. I just use a slider that snugs up under my chin to keep a slight tension on them and they stay in place like they were glued in. Just so you don't restrict your search to certain models because they're over the ears.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:19 AM
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I like the A151s a lot if you can find them at a good price, since they have been out for a while I’d say under $45.00 would be fair. That said, I’m not crazy about the included tips and if they don’t work for you the IEMs are hard to keep in or sealed properly. Fortunately the included double flange tips and after market tips work fine for me but then again I’ve never tried them under a helmet.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:26 AM
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Somewhat similar. The M6 sits a little more flush against the ear, but I think the A151 would sit flush enough to wear with a helmet. (Sorry, I do not have any motorcycle helmets to test it with.) I would say the isolation is slightly better with the A151 than with the M6, I do not know if that is a plus or a con. The best thing about the A151 is the braided cable. It produces no cable noise (microphonics) like most IEM do.

The big difference between the two are the drivers though. They sound totally different. The A151 uses balanced armatures that are far more detailed than the dynamic drivers of the M6. However, the single balanced armature of the A151 is really lacking in extension on both ends. So while the A151 has better quality bass (faster, better textured), their is a noticeable lack of sub-bass compared to the M6. Same with treble, the A151 sounds very recessed in the highs compared to the M6 giving it a darker sound. However, the M6 treble is a bit harsh and lacks the detail and clarity of the A151. The A151 wins the midrange hands down. The M6 have slightly recessed mids and the slightly forward mids of the A151 kill them in detail and clarity as a BA should.

All in all, the A151 is a good IEM, but not without a few trade offs, namely the lack of extension in the bass and treble. For some people the more accurate and textured bass will make up for the lack of sub-bass and the recessed and rolled off treble will be a plus for those with sensitive ears. For others though it will just not be worth it.

I honestly do not know much about motorcycle safety and do not know if wearing IEM while riding is good for protecting your hearing or bad for blocking out too much noise, but I would through the Shure SE215 into the ring. You never stated a price range so it might be way more than you want to pay, but the isolation is top of the line. I can use mine at the ballpark and never turn up the volume any higher than I would if I was sitting at home in a quiet room. That might be a good thing or a bad thing, I do not know. But if keeping the volume down while riding to protect your hearing is important I would consider it. They have a low profile design just like the M6 which I think would make them perfect for wearing under a helmet. Sound-wise, they beat the M6 by a long shot. Compared the A151, they are probably better overall, but still cannot compete with the accuracy of the BA. Nevertheless, they sound far far more realistic and natural. My biggest gripe with them would be the treble is recessed, which is a deal break for treble lovers. Otherwise they are well rounded with plenty of bass and forward mids that are very fun.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
... The A151 uses balanced armatures that are far more detailed than the dynamic drivers of the M6. ... All in all, the A151 is a good IEM, but not without a few trade offs, namely the lack of extension in the bass and treble.
cnhardwick I agree with your assessment of the A151s, similar to what I stated in my review. Even though I never tried the M6s, I think I have a good understanding of their SQ from your description in comparison, nice job

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
... I honestly do not know much about motorcycle safety ...
I rode a motorcycle for a few years long ago and I'm not sure I'd want total isolation, almost got killed by old folks a number of times. Although I do wear IEMs on a bicycle now with total isolation and I've yet to ever have a problem. I guess it depends on the rider and his/her awareness of surroundings ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
... You never stated a price range ...
In that case I'd I'd throw customs into the mix as well
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:24 AM
SpiralOut188 SpiralOut188 is offline
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Right now I'm bouncing back and forth between MEE A151, Shure SE215, and UE TripleFi 10.

The Shure and UE have much better noise cancellation, but I'm really liking the A151 for the low price. The 151 are priced at $53.59, SE215-K at $96.95, and the UE at $179.95(supposedly on sale from $399) from Amazon.

Are the TripleFi10 really worth the price increase compared to the other two? Are there better options at that price?
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:37 AM
cnhardwick cnhardwick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I rode a motorcycle for a few years long ago and I'm not sure I'd want total isolation, almost got killed by old folks a number of times. Although I do wear IEMs on a bicycle now with total isolation and I've yet to ever have a problem. I guess it depends on the rider and his/her awareness of surroundings ...
I would not say they have total isolation, you can still hear outside noises, however the outside noises do not drown out the sound and give you that feeling you need to turn up the volume to compensate. In some ways I could see how that would actually be better than just turning the volume up on a less isolating IEM which might just drowned out even more of the outside noise. I guess the real question should probably be whether or not wearing any IEM is a good idea.

Quote:
In that case I'd I'd throw customs into the mix as well
Touche. The only guess on price the OP has given is the A151 and we do not know if that is street price of under $50 or MSRP of $75. If it is the later then the $99 of the SE215 is not that far off. If it is under $50 then you are talking double the price and that is a bit steep. I was just trying to think of IEM under $100 that sit flush in the ear like the M6 and A151 and the SE215 was the only other one that came to mind.
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2012, 11:43 AM
cnhardwick cnhardwick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOut188 View Post
Right now I'm bouncing back and forth between MEE A151, Shure SE215, and UE TripleFi 10.

The Shure and UE have much better noise cancellation, but I'm really liking the A151 for the low price. The 151 are priced at $53.59, SE215-K at $96.95, and the UE at $179.95(supposedly on sale from $399) from Amazon.

Are the TripleFi10 really worth the price increase compared to the other two? Are there better options at that price?
The TF10 are defiantly ahead of the A151 and SE215 (I use to own them), however their monstrous size makes getting them to fit in your ears is a real pain. They stick so far out I would not even want to think about trying to fit them under a helmet. I would not pay $180 for them either. They have been under $100 on Black Friday three years in a row. You should be able to find them selling for closer $125 on places like head-fi and eBay (being cautious of fakes of course). If intend to use them at home, then they are good buy at that price, but if you intend on using them on the go, I would get something else even if the sound quality is not as good just because keeping those things in your ears while moving around would be a pain.

EDIT:

The A151 and the SE215 have been my two primary IEM for the last month, just switching back and forth depending on whether or not I am in a BA mood or a dynamic mood. With the A151 you are getting one of the best bang for you buck IEM under $50. While there might be equally impressive dynamics under $50, balanced armatures just do not get much lower than that. The same cannot be said of the SE215. It is not the best bang for the buck IEM under $100. You can get a better sounding IEM for $100. Why you buy the SE215 is the whole package. The top of class isolation. The removable cables. The comfortable fit. The great build quality. The 2 year warranty. The name brand. For some people those things are going to be worth it. For others all that matters is getting the best sound quality under $100 even if that means they a little more uncomfortable or build quality is a little lower. Based on sound quality alone I would not pay $100 for the SE215. It is not $50 better than the A151. However, as a whole package, I would say the SE215 is worth a $100 if it fits your needs and taste in music.

Getting back to the A151, while it is great bang for you buck IEM, it is not for everyone either. Many people will not like the BA sound would be better off getting an equally good dynamic like the MEElectronics CC51 (which I actually do not recommend because of build quality issues, but is the only other IEM around the same price I have owned I can compare personally). Hopefully that all made sense and was helpful.
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Last edited by cnhardwick; 04-04-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
I would not say they have total isolation, you can still hear outside noises ...
I agree, must have been typing away thinking of my customs, the isolation is good but I too can hear outside noises and conversations.

Edit: although when I use them with shure foamies they do isolate much better than any of the included tips.

Edit 2:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
Touche. The only guess on price the OP has given is the A151 and we do not know if that is street price of under $50 or MSRP of $75. If it is the later then the $99 of the SE215 is not that far off. If it is under $50 then you are talking double the price and that is a bit steep. I was just trying to think of IEM under $100 that sit flush in the ear like the M6 and A151 and the SE215 was the only other one that came to mind.
Then again he did say “Triple.fi 10s” which run around $444.85 and now you can find customs like the 1964-D dual driver customs for $325 and their triples are $400.00, but as you know by the *rolleyes* I was kidding around.

Edit: I do realize that the price I quoted for the TripleFi10s is high (compared to what you stated) but that was from a quick amazon check and I wouldn't pay that much for them either.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 04-04-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2012, 01:54 PM
cnhardwick cnhardwick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I agree, must have been typing away thinking of my customs, the isolation is good but I too can hear outside noises and conversations.

Edit: although when I use them with shure foamies they do isolate much better than any of the included tips.
That is a fair point, tips do have a lot of impact on isolation. I always use silicone tips because I do not like foam tips, but I bet your A151 isolate far better with Shure Olives than my mine do with Sony Hybrids. Picking up some aftermarket foam tips for the A151 would certainly boost the isolation, which is above average already.
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