Motorcycle helmets are loud. Like, deafeningly loud. But, thanks to bluetooth communications company Sena and the Noise Control Helmet, they don’t have to be any longer.
I know what you’re thinking. “If I’m riding a motorcycle, I want to hear what’s happening around me.” And you’re right, you do want to hear those things.
What you don’t want to hear is the ambient noise created by your head moving through the air at high rates of speed. That’s right, it isn’t other cars or sirens or even your loud ass exhaust that’s the issue, it’s that thing you need to breath. So much so that the ambient noise inside your helmet reaches volumes between 90-100 decibels at freeway speeds, which actually makes it harder to hear the things you need to hear and fatigues the rider much faster.
As with most noise canceling technologies, the Sena uses a series of microphones to measure ambient noises and then it plays the inverse sound wave - which essential cancels them.
Sena is claiming a 20 decibel decrease, which is similar to the ear plugs the dog camping guy and I swear by. The ear plugs are likely a better (cheaper) option for many of you, unless you’re like me and have small ear canals and ear plugs hurt after an hour or so.
Sena claim the system allows the rider to still hear important noises like horns, sirens, and the bike’s rpm. It also has an ambient noise mode for when you stop for gas and want to talk to your buddies, which is operated by a button on the left side of the visor.
Naturally, a bluetooth module can be added to give the helmet full peer to peer communications and cell phone connectivity functions, just like their other offerings.
No word yet as to who is making the shell for the Sena helmet or the price, which will be two of the major factors determining the helmet’s success.
Check back in the coming months as samples are available and we try this noise canceling lid for ourselves.