When I train on the road I hear loud wind noise in my ears. I do not want to use headphones for safety reasons. I recently solved the noise problem on my goPro mic using a “wind muff”, which is actually a foam cover. It works very well. I think it should be possible to cover the ears with some material that would eliminate wind noise, but allow hearing everything on the road, which would be even better because the wind noise will not muffle other sounds.
They dampen down the sound, but everything is still audible. I can still have a normal conversation with my partner while wearing them. That being said, I’ve only tried them with indoor cycling and social events. I’m not 100% sure how it would block out the sound of cars and other cyclists, so still to be tested.
That’s a totally different product. They claim that “filters sound equally across all frequencies”. Wind muffs work by blocking the wind, not sound. The wind causes turbulence around the ears and thus creates noise. The faster you go, the louder the noise is. If you turn the head sideways, it becomes quiet.
Change your helmet and/or fix your chin straps properly… I have two different helmets, one has much louder wind noise compared to the other just by virtue of the different shaping just above the ears. Keeping the straps close to the skin in front of your ears will also reduce wind noise. That’s also why you want sunglasses over the straps and not under.
As safety measure, I trust Garmin Varia radar more than my own hearing – nearing car distance and relative speed is shown visually plus bike computer can be configured to beep. This sound is strong enough to come through noise-cancelling in-ear headphones.
Since using radar, I have always used headphones now and never been startled by unexpected passing vehicle.
I bought a pair of Cat-Ears after getting fed up of getting home nearly deaf from my local MTB loop which finishes with a 5km fireroad descent at 30-60kph. They did help, but you look like a dork when they’re fitted to your helmet straps. I think the fastening design could be improved they’re very bulky. When its cold enough to wear to a buff or a balaclava, I find they are better at cutting the wind noise. But for warm days the Cat-Ears are more comfortable.
Garmin Varia has limitations. When a car approaches you from behind and stays there waiting for a moment to overtake, the radar loses the car. Also on a curvy road you may hear a car before the radar actually shows it. Also I just want to be aware of my surroundings. There are many sounds that I need to hear, like some bike noise that may be a first warning of some sort of failure. I do not want to bet my life on a consumer device.
True, those are good points. I guess it boils down to local road traffic culture and surroundings. Where I live, there are many side roads with very little traffic at weekends. I usually even ride in middle of road and move to side only when car is passing, maybe once per 20min or so.
Hope you’ll find something to smooth out the noise that does not affect your sense of security. I remember it being quite deafening during long rides during spring/autumn with strong winds.
I used the cat-ears for a short time and they worked really well for me. But I was never able to get over how ridiculous they made me look/feel (despite wearing lycra in public and somehow being ok with that). Anyway, I ended up switching to noise cancelling AirPods Pro with foam tips, as since they only block out that constant wind noise, I actually hear cars/traffic much better. Plus, I use a Varia, which the beeps come through the AirPods which is an awesome bonus. Final note: the newest AirPods Pro wind noise cancellation while cycling is worse than Gen 1, not sure if that is going to be fixed in a future update.
Cat Ears just breakup the windflow coming around your ears, thereby reducing the wind noise. It is a very simple concept…you can replicate it very easily by just laying your index finger along your helmet strap while riding. You’ll be amazed at the sound difference.
There is no reason for them to look as stupid as they do……an alternative is to take a piece of foam backer rod ~2cm and sew it to your helmet strap. Plus, it is usually grey so the color matches many helmet straps and is not as noticeable.
I suffer from wind noise as well, and have tried all sorts of things- mostly those mentioned above.
What have worked for me, both indoor and outdoor, are a pair of Aftershokz headphones.
They sit just in front of the ears, so you can still hear surroundings noises, but they seem to deflect the wind path away from the ears and have greatly reduced the wind noise to a much more acceptable level for me.
Now I don’t know if this is a general benefit for all, or if it is just down to the shape of my noggin, but it might be worth a try if you can find a cheap second hand pair
Yeah, that works as well, but not quite as good as some other options perhaps. Again, you are just looking to divert the airflow around your ears and since the sound pod of Aftershokz sit in front of your ear, it accomplishes this effect.
That is a much better solution…I have contemplated something similar over the years.
I still think you can make an even better solution that is more visually appealing…honestly, it amazes me that one of the major lid companies have not developed an integrated solution by now. It would very easy and offer a compelling feature.