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Gear Review

5 5

Description Misleading, But In a Good Way

I used this for the first time tonight. For starters, it was toasty warm, which I've come to expect from helmets, but I never got sweaty, which is always a plus. But aside from the helmet's basic functions and aesthetics, let's talk about the speakers since that's probably why you're looking at this in the first place.

This actually doesn't come with the Twin-Top Audio Kit as the description says, but if you compare to other Smith helmets, you'd figure that out just by looking at the supplied images. It's a single cord, so if you don't need to hook up to a phone and music device as two separate devices, as I didn't (I use my iPhone as my iPod as well), then this is right up your alley. The cord has a volume wheel on the side, which honestly is difficult to use with gloves, but set it and forget it and you'll be fine. The single button (which is "mashable" with gloves) works just like the main button on Apple earbuds - click once to pause/play the track, twice to skip, hold to fast-forward, hold longer to use voice control. It's awesome. I could make and answer calls while on the lift or mountain, and rock tunes when I was riding the lift alone, like the outcast of the mountain. And the speakers can pushed loud enough that you really can't hear any conversation going around you, but if you dial it in just right, you can hear quite a bit going on around you and still hear the music just fine (it's good to be kind of safe, after all). In terms of audio quality, it's a lot better than I expected. They're not exactly studio monitor headphones, but how could you ever expect it to be? The bass was great, it didn't sound tinny, and I could even hear some percussive parts of a song I love that I'd never heard before, which was nice. I'm of the ADD generation where having that kind of "distraction" tends to help me perform other tasks better - maybe it's because I'm not over-thinking things, but for me it definitely improved my riding a bit. In short, I liked it the most for the runs where I'm all by myself with no one to talk to (sad face), but now can be entertained the whole time. Also, not having to fish my phone out of my inside pockets to make/receive a call was a huge plus.

My only complaint is minor: the earcups, given that they have speakers on them, put pressure on my ears and after a while my ears start to ache. I say that's a minor complaint because I have this issue with every helmet with earpads and every pair of headphones that aren't of the over-the-ear or earbud variety. It's an affliction I've dealt with all my life, so I was fully expecting that when receiving the helmet. Certainly not a big enough issue to keep me from wearing this to the mountain every time I go.

Responded on

Yea, I thought the ear issue was just me. I did hurt me as well.

Responded on

Yea, I thought the ear issue was just me. It did hurt me as well.