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…

Canadian entrepreneur Lou Tortola’s motivation for creating the AudioPLUX speakers matched with my experience: the desire to sometimes listen to music (especially on some longer rides), but the hesitancy to do so on safety grounds. But what separates entrepreneurs from mere mortals is the annotated cocktail napkin sketch:


And so the AudioPLUX was born and subsequently Kickstarted. Intentionally eschewing fancy features such as Bluetooth keeps simplicity high and cost low. The goal was an inexpensive earbud replacement and not a more expensive accessory with a separate battery to charge. The speakers attach to any helmet using 3M Dual Lock fasteners and feature an in-line volume control. The anticipated retail price is $16 to $20 CAD and the first Kickstarter run is available to $20 CAD backers.

audioplux-speaker-black-sml audioplux-helmet-speaker-specs-

Perceived sonic quality–like music tastes–can be subjective, so the AudioPLUX are a candidate for a future test and review. If you’re like me and interested in incorporating music with riding -while remaining safe and aware of surroundings- but unsure of how much you may enjoy it, the AudioPLUX are an inexpensive option to try.


  1. I’ve found a better solution to this dilemma. Find roads or trails that are exciting enough on their own to where you don’t need to be entertained by music because the roads you ride on are so boring.

  2. I’ve been doing essentially the same thing for years by stitching old iPhone earbuds to the straps of my helmets. Works great and you can still hear traffic just fine. I’m still usually the first one to hear approaching cars, and the volume/pause/play button keeps me from fiddling with my phone or ipod in my jersey pocket.

    the new iPhone earbuds are too enclosed to work, though, so I’ve been looking for a replacement. I’d love to see a test of these when built.

  3. Rider left! rider left! What!? Oh I startled you and almost made you wipe because you couldn’t hear me. OH. Makes perfect sense these days.
    There is no way you can hear ambient noise over music turned up loud enough to overcome the wind noise. Yeah maybe a car horn but certainly not a rider calling passing left without yelling. You can do whatever you want and we do need more organ donors but its just inconsiderate and dangerous to other riders if they can’t clearly and quickly communicate intent to the rider with tunes blaring.

  4. Just put one earbud in your ‘away from traffic’ ear, and go ride. I’ve done this for years. Can hear everything, music, traffic, dogs, everything. The earbuds that mix the stereo into one mono channel are nice, but just one ipod earbud is fine as well. I like the older ipod earbuds better. They dont fill up the earhole as completely, which lets the sweat evaporate and lets the ear breathe. Just my 2 cents.

    • Yeah, the one-earbud tactic is a decent workaround but then you have to watch for attacking feral cats from your right flank. But seriously, if these work well, they might provide a decent, more ‘open’ sound than a single earbud. Or maybe not. And, yeah, I choose interesting roads and don’t necessarily need music to entertain. But on some of the looong rides, even with beautiful scenery and roads, music could be nice.

  5. if you ride the route enough then you should know the black spots. i always kill the tunes for junctions etc. Just don’t invest in some noise cancelling ones

  6. I’ve been using the $30 Yurbuds which allow a decent amount of ambient noise, without too much wind noise. I don’t hear other riders/joggers 100% the time (I usually do), but I can always hear approaching cars and haven’t had any concerns with these. Just sharing my experience here

  7. I’ve been riding with music for 20+ years of cycling, even as far back as the cassette tape walkman days and have never been startled by someone or something passing me. It’s a given that I’m not the fastest thing out there..I’m gonna get passed. I’ve never crashed or caused a crash that I attribute to listening to music. For me the whole point is to block out noise. What’s the big deal?

  8. I would rather have earbuds attached to that little helmet speaker. That way, I can purposely ride with my earbuds on, when I get to heavily trafficked areas, I can then dangle the earbuds out, but still have music piped through those little helmet speakers. Give me both at the same time.

  9. [deleted] there is nothing safe about this.
    You ride with this, earbuds, or anything else taking away your senses on the road bike and you’re asking to die.

  10. I use some bluetooth earbuds. Sounds pretty good, and I don’t play them loud, so can still hear sounds much better than I can when driving a car. I imagine that it’s technically illegal, although only bicyclists are penalized for listening to music as they do ‘their thing’. Wish there was an app which allowed street noises (via the microphone) to be mixed with music audio. Seems doable.

What do you think?