When I cycle I usually listen to music with a headset, but the wind noise is so annoying that I do not hear the music.

I would not turn up the volume of the music too loud because I prefer to have awareness of the noise of cars and everything around me.

I used to listen to music only from the right headset with a low volume, so the wind noise seems stronger and I am not able to understand the music. I cycle at low speed, so the wind noise is caused by the power of the wind, not by my speed.

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    Possible duplicate of Headphones with low wind noise?
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 12:48
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    The only time headphones on a bike are ok is when you're on a stationery trainer. I used to wear them and while long boring roads become a little better, its too dangerous. Try riding faster instead.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 18:19
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    Having to turn the volume up extra high in order to hear it over other noises is a great way to get hearing loss.
    – BSO rider
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:00
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    kickstarter.com/projects/wind-blox/… I am not related to this product in any way, I don't even have it myself. But when I simulate this with my fingers, it seem to help. Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 6:29
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    @Daniel: Wind noise is irritating even if you don't wear headphones. It bothers me quite a bit, anyway.
    – user23374
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 16:35

13 Answers 13


Recently I've tried using bone-conduction earphones. They work surprisingly well. I can hear traffic and noises around me clearly because the "transducers" rest on your cheekbones, about two fingers in front of your ear holes.

Its really weird because I can block my ears with fingers, and the music keeps playing mostly unchanged, but the ambient sound reduces significantly.

Works well for voice frequencies too, so podcasts and audiobooks are fine.

Some models are bluetooth, some are wired. Some can also function as a cellular hands-free kit.

Downsides: the sound is not high-fidelity, it is subtly changed. Its hard to describe the phonic difference.

Also, ambient noise can still be louder than your headphones.

Any headphones are totally banned in organised events too - races do not permit headphones of any type.


I had this exact problem, and I found a variety of products that can solve this and reduce the wind noise significantly. Cat Ears, Wind Blox, and SlipStreamz being the ones I know of (no affiliation).

These products attach to your helmet straps and force the wind around your ear, therefore reducing the wind noise. I've heard you can also put a twist in your helmet strap to have a similar effect.'

Once I started wearing these, I could put my headphones in and understand podcast conversations much better. I even wrote a post about these wind blocker products on my bike commuting blog I love them so much (I am NOT affiliated with any of the companies mentioned, just an enthusiastic bike commuter).

When I was initially looking a few years ago I believe only the Cat Ears were available, so I got what's now called the Cat Ears Classics. They look a little funny, but they definitely work and provide a little warmth from wind chill as well. Here I am wearing them.

Left turn on a bicycle. Cross, stop, & Pivot

Happy biking!


I have taken to wearing an ear cover routinely, regardless of the temperature. I like it because it pads the helmet and acts as a sweatband, but it also reduces the wind noise in my ears. You could try that.


I'll answer the wind part of your question.

I saw a chap riding the other day who had some small triangles of cloth sewn so that they sat around his helmet strap and went back over the ear. Imagine little pendant flags about 40mm high and wide, with a loop for the frontmost helmet strap to pass through.

Not sure if they were home made or bought, but they'd stop the wind of passage without reducing sound much.

A second option is a bandanna under the helmet, something like this enter image description here

but big enough to go over the ears while remaining thin enough to be under the helmet.



I've been using slipstreamz for years. They block the wind noise and allow you to put your headphones outside of your ears. I listen to talk radio on my daily commute, but can still hold conversations with other cyclists with the radio on because it's ambient.


  • Do you have any connection with the company? You should add a disclaimer when making a product recommendation.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 22:43
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    Here's an alternative: cat-ears.com Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 9:26

For me the best alternative are on-ear neckband headphones. The pad help to reduce significantly the wind turbulence noise, while on ear earphones does isolete you from traffic and environmental sounds. Sadly, this type of headphones are becoming harder to find.

enter image description here
(source: Amazon)

  • I have used 4-5 behind-the-neck headphones for the last 15 (i think) years and I love them. There is still noise, but it's acceptable. Now, my last pair is damaged, and it is really hard to find non-crap behind-the-neck alternatives. Companies seem to have abandoned the concept. sad... Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 14:28

I've switched from earbuds to canal phones and problem with wind declined dramatically. Canal phones isolate you from surrounding noises better than any other type of earphones so you don't have to use as high sound volume which is good for your hearing.

I'd ignore those saying that you shouldn't listen to music while riding bicycle at all, even with canal phones you can hear other cars and cyclists much better than in a car with radio turned on. Same people want you to put mirrors on your handlebar, wear visible jacket and helmet while riding for groceries and they will make you guilty of accident while you don't do those things.

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    even with canal phones you can hear other cars and cyclists much better than in a car with radio turned on Irrelevant. You're not "in a car" when riding. And when you're "in a car" you're surrounded by protective metal. Same people want you to put mirrors on your handlebar, wear visible jacket and helmet while riding for groceries and they will make you guilty of accident while you don't do those things. Straw-man arguments are a major logical fallacy. Riding with anything in your ears would also likely be contributory negligence if you're hit. Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 17:51

Getting a pair of these may be worthwhile if you want the most noise reduction possible. It's similar to the windjammer covers sound mixers use, at a fraction of the price. They'll kill more noise than Slipstreamz, but I wouldn't use them on raceday.

Kenmont Faux Fur Earmuffs


I do not like or endorse the idea of wearing headphones while riding, especially on roads and streets, however, I really enjoy listening to music. My alternative has been a relatively small bluetooth stereo speaker. It is shaped almost cylindrically less than 2 inches diameter (like 4 cm) by 8 inches (20 cm).

I mounted it on the handlebar for riding on roads. I can clearly hear the music when car traffic is far, but as soon as a car approaches, it's noise overcomes the sound of my speaker. Granted, that "interrupts" music, but I'd rather hear that big truck approaching or that racer-wannabe revving the engine, as that alerts me of their presence and prompts me to glance at them to check if they pose danger for me.

For city riding, I've used the same speaker but inside a top pocket in my backpack, so it is near the back of my head. The result is almost the same. Of course the public also hears my music, but since the speaker is near my head and the streets are noisy, most people didn't notice until I get close to them (A little bit over normal conversation range). Here I set the volume such that I could hear a car approaching, claxons, etc.

I do not think that would be annoying to pedestrians since the street is already filled with too many other sounds. On some quieter streets with cycle paths that where usually invaded by pedestrians, sometimes the music served as a sort of "here I am/here I come" announcer, causing pedestrians to turn their head and acknowledge my presence before I rang my bike bell. (Not that I relied on that, but It happened)

With this setup, sometimes a friend rode along with me and we could sustain a conversation without me having to stop the music, just turned volume down a bit.

I preferred this way of listening to music because as nothing physically blocks my ears, I could easily hear many danger-alerting sounds, so I felt not isolated from the environment. Earbuds by themselves tend to block part of ambient sound, even with no music playing, and over the ear headphones tend to interfere with helmet straps and do not sound as good as my speaker at close range.

There are even commercially available speakers that fit in a standard bottle cage.

On the other hand, I wouldn't use a speaker while mountainbiking with other people, because in a more quiet environment where other people will remain near, I would not force them to hear music they don't want to. That is, normal courtesy should be observed regarding speakers.


I found the sennheiser cx300ii earbuds the best for reducing (not eliminating) wind noise after trying many different brands. Headband or bandana also assists but gets too hot where I live.

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    Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Does this reduce wind noise or drown it out with other noise? I concur on the bandanna/headband suggestion., which also helps with forehead sweat
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 3:27

I can highly recommend windfree, they cover the ear with an open cell foam cup and is extremely effective. I’ve tried the wind blox but they make little difference even with lots of fiddling to ensure correct position etc. They were also awkward to use with sunglasses as there was a gap where the arms had to go under the blox. But the windfree earcovers work really well.

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    Just checking -- are you in any way affiliated with this product? Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 17:41

Smart helmet with a controller. In addition to the capabilities of the headset, there is an important diode for the cyclist and direction indicators, as well as safety.

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    Could you explain what there smart helmets are, whether someone actually makes them and why a diode would be important for the cyclist?
    – ojs
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 15:59
  • And what does this have to do with reducing wind noise? Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 10:20
  • @ojs I suspect "diode" is an autocorrect error. I've had that word appear unexpectedly in my texts from time to time. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 10:21

for your own safety. you use cover ear. cover ears work very well at reducing wind noise , particularly at higher speeds. awareness of surrounding traffic and racers.

  • 5
    Welcome to Bicycles SE. We're looking for answers with more detail. Please consider expanding your answer to further elaborate on the details, benefits and drawbacks of "cover ear". You may also want to look at your grammar and formatting. A short answer like this is likely to get downvoted, flagged for moderator intervention, and possibly deleted.
    – Gary.Ray
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 12:25

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