There is certainly no shortage of new ways to listen to music while riding, which must be a sign that it’s something a lot of people like to do. Jamming to your favorite tunes while riding is great, but it always brings up two major issues: not being able to hear what’s going on around you, and the potential to irritate everyone within earshot. O-tus has the answer to both, with their Safe Sounds near-ear speakers. Designed to simply velcro onto your helmet above your ears (or inside your helmet for full face DH lids), the tiny speakers promise big sound without drowning out the background.
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The O-tus mini-speaker system uses two tiny 15 watt directional speakers to create surround sound around your ears without blocking outside noises. And, because they don’t actually go on or in your ears, they don’t violate many states’ laws about operating a vehicle (yes, that includes bicycles in most cases) with earphones in.
Wires are short, just long enough to reach a small MP3 player or Bluetooth repeater on the top or back of the helmet. It comes with enough mounting material to set up two helmets, making it an interchangeable system. The speakers and MP3 player use Snap Lock pieces (like Velcro, only stronger and better) to attach to the helmet. There’s also a 2-foot extension cable if you want to run the speakers directly to your phone or put your player in a hydration pack or jersey pocket.
“I got tired of finishing a ride and pulling off my helmet and having it yank the cord out or get tangled up,” said founder Joe Axtell. ”This keeps the system completely contained on the helmet. Because of the open air design, you’ll hear every bird, every sound.”
The system retails for $42.00 and includes shipping within the US.
Though I thoroughly enjoy my music and am not at all timid about sharing the road, I have never mixed music with riding. Simply seemed too dangerous and unnerving. While a veritable plethora of options for relatively safe listening are out there, this Kickstarter seems straightforward and inexpensive by comparison. AudioPLUX speakers mount on your helmet, near your ears and provide music while allowing for ambient traffic noise and the potential for conversation. A good, old-fashioned earphone plug connects to your music source and you’re rolling. And jamming. Hear more after the break…