According to the US Federal Highway Administration, highway traffic noise can reach up to 70 or 80 decibels. You may think that’s not that bad. However, this noise can be amplified if you’re on a motorcycle. This is due to the sound of the wind whooshing past while you rip through the traffic. Other sources have also claimed that the noise levels on a motorcycle can reach 115 dB in some instances. Whatever the case may be, motorists have to deal with the brunt of noise pollution.
Wearing a helmet can substantially reduce the noise pollution you are susceptible to. Hence, wearing a helmet specifically designed for quietness can be a boon to a motorcycle rider. Not only does it help in preventing hearing loss, but it also offers comfort to the ears and the head.
What Makes a Helmet Quiet?
The quietness of a helmet usually depends on the aerodynamics. When picking out one for yourself, you should be wary of the overall design more than anything else. If it’s designed to help the air slide over it, then it should be good at noise isolation.
This is done through painstaking modeling and wind-tunnel testing. This is not only done at one angle but several. It ensures that when you tilt your head at an angle, the helmet will not experience a lot of drag.
What the wind tunnel testing ultimately determines is the stability of a helmet when the wind is constantly hitting it. The less is wobbles on your face, the better chance it has to avoid noise. All this is evident when you see the design of a helmet. If it’s smooth, excessively curved, and tighter at the bottom and wider at the top, it’s probably got great noise reduction.
Here are five of the quietest full face Motorcycle helmets you can buy right now.
The visor of the Arai RX 7V is great for noise isolation. The variable axis system built into the helmet locks the visor in when shut. This prevents the outside noise from getting inside the helmet and causing ear damage.
The inner liner of the helmet helps the face rest comfortably and snugly inside, which also prevents excess air from rushing in, thus helping noise isolation. The liner is also eco-friendly, antibacterial, and washable and absorbs moisture.
The noise isolation on the helmet is great for normal road use. However, you could benefit from some earplugs if you’re racing on a track.
- This helmet is slightly pricey as compared to others.
- The visor is a bit tricky to open: you have to push both tabs on either side of the helmet to do so.
HJC RPHA 11
The HJC RPHA 11 is a helmet for motorcycles built for racing. It’s got great noise isolation technology that keeps out the excess sound. It has a great ventilation system that helps the air move in and out, and it doesn’t affect the overall noise reduction.
The aerodynamics of the helmet is great. It was designed to be aerodynamically slick due to experiments inside a wind tunnel. There is even a rear spoiler that channels the air. This gives the helmet a lot of stability at high speeds. This comes in handy when racing.
The top and rear vents allow for maximum ventilation and the forehead vent adds to it. The optimized shell design reduces the noise, despite all the air being let in.
The visor has a built-in anti-fog lens and there is even an enlarged eye-port. This is built for better visibility.
- It’s a pretty solid bargain and one of the cheapest helmets on this list
- The HJC RPHA 11 has a great inner liner which is bacteria-resistant
- While great for noise isolation, it may require earplugs at high speeds.
Schuberth C3 Pro
The original Schuberth C3 was one of the quietest motorcycle helmets ever made. The Pro improves on that quality. The rear spoiler has been optimized through extensive wind tunnel testing. It has turned the pro into a helmet designed for hi-octane motorcycle enthusiasts. It has been built keeping in mind aerodynamics at 100 km/h. Its enhanced aero-acoustics make sure that even at 100mph, the noise doesn’t grow louder than 82 dB.
The aerodynamics of the helmet has been designed to for greater downforce and lesser buffeting. Hence, the helmet blasts through the wind and the traffic without letting much of the noise enter inside. It also doesn’t hurt that a wind deflector has been installed for better noise cancellation.
Helmet sound levels rarely go above 82 dB, a cap that holds steady from 100 km/h onwards. While this is a slight improvement over the C3 (cap = 84 dB), the difference is night and day. Despite the helmet’s noise isolation, the improved ventilation allows for 60% better air inlet. The distribution channels around the helmet make sure the air is distributed evenly throughout. This makes it one of the quietest helmets for motorcycles.
- Noise levels max out at 82 dB at 100 km/h
- 60% better air ventilation than the C3
- The helmet is designed for stability in the presence of turbulence which helps the C3 Pro stay on without disturbance
- The pricing of the helmet may run you a few hundred dollars more than you bargained for
- The helmet’s shape makes it a little tight around the cheek area
Shark EVO-ONE 2
The Shark EVO-One was a great helmet for noise cancellation. The EVO-One 2 improved upon it even further. Through computational design and virtual simulations, this helmet’s noise reduction has been made exceptional. What that means is the helmet has been designed to remain stable during high speeds.
The breath guard installed in the helmet is retractable, removable, magnetized, and noise-absorbent. Hence, the wind lashing at the helmet won’t be as vexing as it is without the helmet. For extra noise isolation, there is even a lower lip joint which improves wind discharge from the rear.
This will not only help with noise reduction but with rainwater drainage too. The inner anti-scratch sun shield also helps with visibility and the compact design helps with stability. The airborne noise is further reduced due to the anti-scratch face shield. The chin and exhaust vents make sure that there is an uninterrupted airflow even with noise isolation. There is even a pair of independent top vents in front of the exhaust.
- The best part about EVO-One 2 is that it’s quite affordable
- The front flip design and the included set of earplugs allows for incredible noise isolation
- The main visor is a little fiddly to remove, requiring a small instrument to press the twin buttons on the sides
- The visor also needs to be reset sometimes when it’s not closed properly.
This is a fantastic helmet. It’s not only built for all types of faces, but it’s especially great at cutting through the air at high speeds. The shape of the helmet has been made tighter near the bottom, which helps with noise isolation. The retainer system is also spring loaded which helps to tightly seal the eye-port gasket and keep out water and wind-related noise. The eye port gasket also has a dual seal and this seems to make a huge difference when keeping out wind noise.
The perceived noise levels of the individual will vary. However, it’s pretty easy to see that this is one of the quietest full face motorcycle helmets.
- Excellent built-in ventilation
- Stylish design
- Double eye-port gasket
- Low noise levels
- It’s quite expensive
- There are no vents through the chin bar, hence subpar ventilation
- Chinstrap padding is a bit wanting
Using this list, you can probably find a great helmet for you. This list includes a lot of entries for different prices. Hence, you can decide which one suits you best according to preference and price range.