Riding a bicycle while listening to your favorite tunes is one of life’s simple pleasures. The wind in your hair, the momentum of your pedaling, and the soundtrack of the open road combine for an invigorating experience. When commuting to work or cruising around town on a bike, having portable audio can make your ride exponentially better. But what are the options for listening to music on a bicycle? Let’s explore some of the best Bluetooth speaker solutions to pump up the jams during your cycling adventures.
One of the most versatile options for listening to audio while cycling is a pair of wireless earbuds. These compact Bluetooth headphones fit snugly in your ear canals to deliver crisp stereo sound without any cords getting in your way. Wireless earbuds work great for bicycle riding as well as motorbiking applications.
Thanks to recent advances in Bluetooth technology, wireless earbuds now have very reliable connectivity. Most quality models today use Bluetooth 5.0 or above, allowing you to roam up to 800 feet away from your audio source without losing signal. This gives you plenty of range from your smartphone or music player mounted on the bike.
Many wireless earbuds also employ noise-canceling technology using tiny built-in microphones. This allows you to focus on your music or podcasts while reducing the ambient noise of wind, traffic, and other surroundings. This can be a useful feature for safe awareness while riding.
However, a potential downside of earbuds is that their sealing effect in your ear canals reduces your ability to hear important audio cues around you. For road cycling this may not be a major issue, but mountain bikers require added environmental awareness so earbuds are not the best choice.
Earbuds should also fit very securely for intense biking activities, so seek sweat-resistant models with different tip sizes for a tighter in-ear fit.
Handlebar Mounted Bike Speakers
If you want shareable portable sound that doesn’t isolate your ears, handlebar-mounted Bluetooth speakers are a popular pick for bicycle audio. Let’s look at some of the options available for mounting speaker systems right on your bike’s handlebars.
There are speakers designed specifically for bike installation, featuring mounting frames that securely clamp around the handlebars. Other portable Bluetooth speakers use simple rubberized handles or loops that allow flexible wrapping around bars of various sizes.
For example, the JBL Wind 3 is an intentional bike speaker with an adjustable clamp and rugged materials to withstand outdoor riding conditions. Alternatively, the JBL GO 3 is an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker with a sturdy loop that can easily be slipped over handlebars for improvised mounting.
Aftermarket mounting accessories are also available as a low cost option for mounting common mini Bluetooth speakers on your bike. These handy universal mounts fit around the handlebars, allowing you to securely fasten a small speaker using zip ties or clamps.
When selecting a handlebar speaker for your bike, waterproofing is very important. Look for speakers with an IPX7 waterproof rating or above to withstand splashing water from riding in the rain. Integrated bike speakers will also have rechargeable batteries, but portable speakers will need to draw power from your bike’s electric system if it has one.
Before choosing handlebar-mounted speakers, ensure the mounting mechanism will fit your specific handlebar diameter. Also consider battery life, as higher volume levels needed for outdoor riding will drain a charge faster. And be sure the speaker’s audio output capabilities match your needs.
Warning: Loud Music Can Distract You From The Road
While riding with portable tunes is exhilarating, it’s crucial to be responsible and maintain awareness of your surroundings. Never play music so loudly through headphones or speakers that you can’t hear hazards around you. Situational alertness is key to staying safe on the move.
Water Bottle Container Fitting Speakers
For bicyclists concerned about space on their handlebars getting cluttered, there is an alternative option. You can place a small waterproof Bluetooth speaker right inside your bike’s water bottle holder or in a backpack pocket.
This keeps the speaker secure while riding over rough terrain. Just be sure to safely strap down your water bottle and speaker if going off-road so they don’t bounce out.
Rear-Mounted Bike Speakers
Mounting portable speakers on your rear bike rack provides omnidirectional sound that you and people near you can enjoy. Certain powered bike speaker products are designed specifically for back rack installation.
Some feature cool bonus safety lights in addition to audio playback. Having a lighted speaker on the back gives added visibility to surrounding traffic.
The rear placement also projects sound away from you as the rider, allowing you to maintain situational awareness. Rear placement avoids potential handlebar clutter as well.
Generic Bike Fit Speaker Kits
For major brand portable Bluetooth speakers like UE Boom and JBL Flip models, there are generic mounting brackets available. These specially designed kits allow you to securely attach a speaker to your bike frame tubing or handlebars.
The mounting plates are designed to generically fit a range of compact speaker sizes from different brands. Simply use the included zip ties to fasten your speaker snugly to the mount. This is an affordable way to rig up great sounding audio for your bike adventures.
Speaker Solutions For Motorbikes
Now let’s look at some effective audio options for listening to music on the open road using motorbikes. When riding a motorcycle, high speeds and open-faced helmets make headphones ill-advised. Instead, there are two main speaker solutions bikers can turn to.
First are handlebar-mounted motorcycle speakers. These noise-cancelling speaker units are designed specifically to mount on the handlebars using clamps or frames that center the audio projection. This allows the rider to easily adjust volume and song playback using controls within easy reach.
Secondly, motorcycle helmet speakers are a great choice allowing you to listen to music, GPS directions, and even make hands-free calls. The mini speaker units are built right into the helmet lining using various methods.
Some utilize bone conduction technology sending audio vibrations through your helmet and into your head. This allows you to keep aware of surrounding noise for safety. Helmet speakers also prevent hearing damage from sustained wind noise during long rides.
However, helmet audio may limit your ability to share music or communicate with a passenger. Handlebar speakers project outwards for a shared listening experience.
When shopping for motorcycle helmet speakers, be sure to get systems made specifically for your helmet make and model. Seek out decent audio power and battery life as well. Some systems feature quick microUSB charging right on the control module at your collar.
The key factors for choosing speakers to listen to music during cycling are sound quality, system compatibility, and battery performance. Handlebar mounted speakers provide shareable portable audio, while sleek wireless earbuds allow private listening pleasure.
For motorbikes, handlebar and helmet-mounted speakers are great options that allow easy access to your music and navigation guidance. With all the solutions now available for bike and motorcycle audio, you can enjoy your favorite soundtracks while riding free wherever the open road takes you.