Can you Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle? Quick Answer

Many people use headphones to listen music, answer phone calls, or improve the sound quality when watching movies. People, however, prefer to wear them when traveling.

Can you Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle?
Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle

Headphones can provide an insulated experience that makes you feel safe while also cutting noise from oncoming traffic. However, the majority of people do so while driving a car. What about riding a motorcycle while wearing headphones? Can you still put them on?

Can you Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle?

While it is technically permissible to wear headphones while riding a motorcycle, different states have different rules. In most states, wearing headphones while driving is illegal unless they are used as hearing aids. Built-in helmet audio systems are legal in some states, such as Colorado and Illinois, but in-ear headphones are not.

What Are The Dangers Of Driving With Headphones?

The AAA (American Automobile Association) has partially banned the use of headphones while driving in some states for a variety of reasons. Let's take a look at them and see what the risks of driving while wearing headphones are.


Headphones Can Limit Your Hearing 

A motorcyclist, unlike a car driver, is constantly exposed to the elements. Because of its roomy structure, a car can keep you relatively safe and balanced. A motorcycle necessitates a great deal of focus and control. The majority of your control is based on your ability to hear traffic and the bike itself. The more sound your ear picks up, the more aware you are of your surroundings.

When you wear headphones, you may be unable to hear horns or the roar of a car behind you. As a result, you may be more vulnerable to an accident or severe damage. In fact, if you have a particularly poor hearing ability, wearing headphones can be even more dangerous. This is especially true if you are riding a motorcycle.

Alternative Video: Best Earbuds For Riding Motorcycles

Best Earbuds For Riding Motorcycles


Lowers Your Attention Span

As previously stated, wearing headphones can impair your hearing and thus your control of the motorcycle. However, if you're listening to music or talking to someone, your ability to concentrate on the road suffers. This is why it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving.

When riding a motorcycle, the rider must concentrate entirely on staying balanced and avoiding a collision with a car.

When you listen to music through headphones, your attention is drawn to the song rather than the road. You will lose focus if a car comes too close to you or if you are about to collide with one.

Reduces Reaction Reflex

Wearing headphones may also impair your ability to respond quickly to emergency situations. For example, if you're riding a motorcycle on the main highway and listening to music at full volume. You'll be too engrossed in that song and enjoying the open-air ride to notice anything else.

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However, if a car speeds past you, you may be caught off guard and lose control of your vehicle. This means you won't be able to respond to the situation appropriately in a timely manner.

Furthermore, when riding a motorcycle, your senses of touch, sound, and sight all work in tandem. Removing any of these senses while driving can be dangerous to your health.

Precautions For Wearing Headphones While Riding A Motorcycle

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Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle

If you decide to wear headphones while riding a motorcycle, make sure to take the necessary precautions.

While wearing headphones over your ears is illegal in most states, you can get around some of the laws while still remaining safe on the road. Consider some of the precautions you should take:

Use Built-In Helmet Headphones 

Earbuds or headphones with visible wires are illegal or dangerous to wear while riding a motorcycle in several states. In some states, such as Alaska, you can be fined for doing so. Several states, however, recommend the use of built-in helmet headphones.

Several companies have begun to manufacture headphones that are attached to the helmet. These headphones are mostly operated via Bluetooth and can provide a similar experience to wearing a traditional set of headphones.

The best thing about these headphones is that they don't completely cover your ear. As a result, you'll still be able to hear the traffic and focus on the road.

Because they include a microphone, built-in helmet headphones are also ideal for communicating with others. These helmets are wire-free, so they won't interfere with your arms or the motorcycle's handlebar.

Can You Listen to Music While Riding a Motorcycle?

Some motorcycle riders enjoy listening to music while riding. The music should not be so loud that you are unable to hear what is going on around you.

It's always important to keep your attention on the road and not on the music you're listening to. Music, on the other hand, can improve mood and concentration while driving. It can help you get in sync with your motorcycle by allowing you to feel the vibrations running through your body.

Safety Tips for Riding with Earbuds

The best open-ear headphones for bike riding - The Verge
Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle
  • Never ride with headphones or regular earbuds in your ears. This could even be a violation of local and state riding laws. When riding, never use noise-cancelling technology. Other drivers should still be able to hear you if they need to get your attention.
  • Use wireless headphones so you don't get tangled up on your bike. Your range of motion or field of view should not be hampered by the audio system. When riding a motorcycle, Bluetooth technology is the best option for listening to music or making phone calls. It eliminates the need for wires while providing a strong, dependable signal.
  • Ensure that the system supports activation so that you do not have to take your eyes off the road. In every situation, the helmet should recognize your voice. You should not be tempted to check your phone while riding.
  • For added peace of mind on the road, use a system with a long battery life. You don't want your emergency communication system to go out of service when you really need it.
  • You should not risk your safety by listening to music while driving. Use a full-face helmet with a Bluetooth motorcycle communication system to keep you safe in any situation.
  • Cardo Systems specializes in assisting riders in staying connected while on the road. Our Dynamic Mesh Bluetooth Communication systems use voice-activation technology to keep you in complete control of your bike. You can use your voice to make a call, select a song, or respond to a text message.
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Reduce The Volume Of Your Song

Whether you're using traditional headphones or the built-in helmet headphones, keep the volume of whatever you're listening to on the low side.

This is because loud music has a tendency to take over your bodily sensors. Your ability to feel the physical vibrations of the motorcycle will be mingled with the vibrations of the song.

If your body becomes confused between the sensory impulses of the song and the motorcycle, you are more likely to have an accident. As a result, you should always keep the volume low so that your attention is not diverted from the road while still enjoying the faint sound of your favorite music.

Use A Playlist 

Another thing you should avoid doing is touching your phone while driving. This includes song transitions. You can't ride a motorcycle with one hand and listen to music with the other. This will undoubtedly cause you significant harm. Instead, create a playlist of songs that will keep playing without requiring you to select one every three minutes.

Using Just One Of The Two Earbuds

It is perfectly legal in many states to use one earbud while riding a motorcycle. This allows you to maintain a partial awareness of your surroundings. However, this does not imply that you can turn up the volume on that single earbud. Even if you only have one earbud, you should always listen to music at a low volume.

What States Is It Legal To Wear Headphones While Riding A Motorcycle In?

Some cities and regions in Arizona and Oregon allow the use of earbuds and headphones, while others do not. However, in most states, including Washington, Colorado, Virginia, and Ohio, only built-in helmet headphones are permitted. Nonetheless, hearing aids are permitted to be worn while riding a motorcycle in all states.

As previously stated, the AAA creates all of the laws. Because there aren't many motorcycle riders in the United States, the laws governing whether they can wear headphones while riding don't get much attention. However, when it comes to wearing headphones while riding a motorcycle, there are some ground rules to follow.

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What Are Some Good Alternatives To Wearing Headphones While Riding A Motorcycle?  

What You Need to Know About Riding a Motorcycle with Earbuds
Wear Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle

If you believe you must have music or sound to ride a motorcycle, you can consider some alternatives to headphones.

A motorcycle stereo is one of the best alternatives. If you don't mind having people around you listen to your music, this is the best option. It is a portable speaker that connects to your phone and plays music loudly outside.

A helmet stereo is another option. This is distinct from the built-in helmet headphones. This stereo comes with a set of helmets. It is a tiny speaker inside your helmet that produces surround sound that is restricted to the helmet. This means you can listen to whatever you want without covering your ears.


In any case, you should always be aware of the laws of the state in which you live as well as the state to which you intend to travel. When riding a motorcycle, wearing headphones can be a double-edged sword. Because of the road's openness, you can have a fantastic experience. However, you may be unaware of the risks associated with it.

Furthermore, when going for a motorcycle ride, you should always consult with all of your options. If you believe that wearing headphones on a motorcycle will be too difficult, you should switch to a stereo. However, you have a plethora of other options.

The final distinction to remember is the difference between a car and a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than driving a car.

You can be slightly careless in the car and still be fine. There is no room for error on a motorcycle. As a result, when riding a motorcycle, you should always be cautious.

FAQs About Wearing Headphones While Riding a Motorcycle

Can you have headphones in on a motorcycle?

While many riders enjoy listening to music while riding, some methods are more dangerous than others. – Never ride with headphones or regular earbuds in your ears. This could even be a violation of local and state riding laws. When riding, never use noise-cancelling technology.

Is it OK to wear headphones on a bike?

Is it safe to ride in a car while wearing headphones? The relatively simple test conducted by Bicycle Network discovered that riding with headphones at a reasonable level does not reduce the amount of road noise you can hear to l

Is it OK to listen to music while riding a motorcycle?

A motorcycle's sound usually ranges between 70 and 80 decibels. Listening to music raises the decibel level. According to Heartsmart, listening to anything louder than 100 decibels for more than 30 minutes can cause hearing damage.

Trina Oralde

I'm a tech writer and contributor who covers the latest in gadgets and technology. I keep my finger on the pulse of the tech world, so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date on the latest with me!


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