Let’s face it, skiing is fun. It makes no difference if your an experienced diehard skier, or a novice on the ski scene, there simply isn’t anything quite like hitting the slopes on a cold, wintry day.
Even though it’s exhilarating enough by itself, there is something that can make it even better! And what could that be?
Enjoying your favorite tunes while you’re on your downhill runs of course. So get yourselves a good pair of ski helmet headphones, to not only ski down the mountain, but groove down it!
And remember that the best ski helmet headphones don’t just give you access to your playlists, you can also use them to communicate with your skiing buddies. You’ll always know exactly where everyone is, and your pack can stay together.
Ski headphones can also be used for making and taking telephone calls whenever needed, great, not only for socializing, but also for keeping you safe.
But, you may be thinking that you could just use your headphones?
That isn’t possible in most cases. Most headphones are not suitable for use as helmet headphones, because they do not fit securely and comfortably inside your helmet. Whereas, most ski headphones are specially designed to fit directly into your helmet’s lining.
Choosing the best ski helmet headphones can be difficult, so we’ve made the decision a lot easier by bringing you our Top 10. They are all excellent headphones, but which one is the right one for you? You’ll find out soon enough.
But before we get to that, we’d like to answer some common questions and give you some background info to make your decision making easier, so here goes…
As with any product, ski helmet headphones vary in terms of features and functionality. So there are certain things you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. So, what are the important questions you should be asking yourself, before deciding which are the best ski helmet headphones for you…
This is a significant factor because you don’t want to be taking your gloves on and off regularly to change songs or make phone calls. Any buttons should be easy to operate with your gloves on. Some of the headphones we feature can be operated by tapping on your helmet, while others can be voice operated.
Your headphones need to be able to withstand the constant knocks and bumps associated with skiing. These are not only from the occasional tumble but also, from zig-zagging, as you twist and turn your way down the mountain. It’s also worth considering getting water resistant headphones. These won’t get ruined when you get snow in your helmet.
Even though you want to groove to your fave tunes, you are on a mountain with lots of other people. And they happen to have sharp things attached to their feet and in their hands, so safety has to be a concern.
It’s therefore essential that your ski helmet headphones, let in at least some noise so that you can hear what is going on around you. Headphones that block out all external noises are therefore not recommended.
Your headphones should fit easily into your helmet. Ones that wrap over your head are not safe because any falls could press them into your head. Or worse still, they could break and push small sharp pieces into your ear.
Also make sure, that you don’t damage your ears by exposing them to high volumes for long periods of time. Always keep them at a reasonable level to protect your ears and hear a little of what’s happening around you.
This is obviously important for any pair of headphones. They should be balanced, giving crisp highs and deep lows.
As with all your ski gear, you want everything to be as light as possible. Heavy headphones will be annoying and weigh down your helmet.
Everything is wireless these days. But, there are some things to consider before purchasing wireless Bluetooth headphones for skiing.
When you think of the best place to get a reliable Bluetooth connection. Tumbling down a mountain isn’t usually at the top of your list. This intermittent wireless signal can lead to annoying silences as your tunes or phone calls continuously cut out. Manufacturers are trying to overcome this by designing headphones with better technology, but it is still a work in progress.
If you are worried about these connection problems, simply get yourself a pair of wired headphones instead of Bluetooth ones.
However, If you do go for the Bluetooth option, be sure to check out the length of battery life. Because you definitely don’t want to end up with a funky, music-filled morning, but a very quiet afternoon. This is never a concern when using wired headphones because they never run out of charge.
If you do decide on wired headphones, think of how you will store them, as well as where you’ll put the wires, so that they don’t get in your way.
The best ski helmet headphones come in one of three designs, in-ear, on-ear or in-helmet.
In-ear headphones are very light, but they can easily fall out of their ears. So get some with ear hooks if you want them to stay inside your ears.
A lot of people don’t like the feeling of something being inside your ears. If you’re one of them, go for on-ear headphones. These sit on your ear and have a hook that goes around them. They are very comfortable to wear and stay in place.
But, in our opinion, the most convenient headphones to wear for skiing are in-helmet designs. These are made to fit securely into the pockets in your ski helmet.
Now that you know everything you need to know about ski helmet headphones, it’s time to review what are in our opinion the 10 Best Ski Helmet Headphones currently on the market.
Top 13 Best Ski Helmet Headphones in 2023
1 Wildhorn Alta – Best Affordable Ski Helmet Headphones
Wildhorn has become well known for making more affordable headphone options, especially for those who like being active. The Alta is an excellent example of this. Coming in at around $100, they are by no means what you’d call premium priced.
The Alta Lodge is located just outside of Salt Lake City, and it is the perfect environment to use these headphones. They are made from durable plastic and will easily fit into any ski helmet with pouches for headphones.
Superb for the slopes…
The Wildhron Altas have an IP45 rating which means they will easily stand up to water, sweat, and of course, the cold. The Altas aren’t truly wireless since they are connected to one another with a high-quality woven chord, but they still make for a totally hands-free user experience.
Wireless setup and connectivity are no problem thanks to Bluetooth 5.0; the Altas have an effective range of up to ten meters and will deliver up to ten hours of playtime. The handy charging case will hold an additional charge which means you’ll have tunes to listen to no matter how long you’re on the mountain.
Unfortunately, though, the case charges via the mostly redundant and sometimes frustrating micro USB cable. It would have been nice to at least have USB C.
Controlling the headphones is easy thanks to the big buttons, and pressing them with gloves on still provides tangible feedback, so you’re not unsure as to whether the button was pressed or not. The left buttons will allow volume control and track skipping when holding down. The right button allows you to pause and play and activate your voice assistant.
When it comes to sound quality, the Wildhorn Altas are not going to win any awards for audio excellence, but that’s not what you buy them for. They are loud enough to cut through the noise but don’t go pushing them to the max as they can begin to sound a bit harsh in the high end.
Likewise, the low end is by no means thumpy, but as long as you don’t push them to the max, you’ll have enough definition in the bass to immerse you in your music. Overall, these headphones are not for audiophiles; they’re for skiers, and in my opinion, any skier who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on headphones would be more than happy to use them.
- Well built
- Easy to use
- Decent sound
- Good battery life
- Still uses micro USB to charge
2 Cardo Freecom 4 Plus – Best Premium Ski Helmet Headphones
Cardo has been making high-quality wireless audio solutions for outdoor enthusiasts and motorcyclists since 2004. The Freecom range is their flagship, and the Freecom 4 Plus stands at the very head of the pack. Let’s look at what $250 will get you.
The Freecom 4 Plus is well-built and designed; the unit itself clips onto the outside of the helmet with ease and sits securely so you can move about with confidence. It comes with an IP67 waterproof rating which means rain, snow, and dust should be no problem at all.
Getting the Freecom 4 Plus installed might take a bit of time since you have to take care to get the wires tucked away so that they don’t cause irritation while you’re on your skies, board, or motorcycle. But, once they’re in, though, they’ll stay there.
Included with your Freecom 4 Plus unit are two 40mm JBL speakers, some spacers to get the speakers closer to your ears if you choose, a corded microphone, a hybrid microphone, some velcro pads for attaching the speakers and wires, and finally, a USB cable for charging.
Keep in touch…
Like the rest of the models in the range, the Freecom 4 Plus is equipped with Bluetooth 4.2. If you like to stay in touch with Friends while you’re skiing or riding, the Freecom 4 Plus will allow you to communicate with up to four other users within a ¾ mile range.
On a full charge, you’ll be getting around twelve hours of use, and even if you run out of battery, you can charge the device while you’re using it if you’ve got a battery pack.
The Freecom Plus is equipped with a volume wheel and buttons for playback and call answering. The buttons do give feedback, but this doesn’t always translate if you’re wearing thick winter gloves.
Up to date…
Since the release, there have been numerous firmware updates to not only the unit itself, but also to the companion app. The App itself works flawlessly, and knowing that more updates are sure to come, adds longevity to the product.
Thanks to the two 40mm JBL speakers, the Freecom 4 Plus delivers superb audio quality in comparison to competitors. The volume is more than adequate to meet your loudness needs, and even at the very limit, there is minimal to no distortion in the sound.
Voice quality on these best high-end ski helmet headphones is fantastic; even at speeds of up to 40km/h, you are able to have crystal clear phone conversations thanks to background noise getting minimized. The integration with both Siri and Google Assistant is flawless, and the superb microphones mean that your voice commands are never missed or misinterpreted.
- Well built
- Excellent sound and voice quality
- Superb companion app with regular updates
- Some of the best customer support around
- Good battery Life
- A bit tricky to install
3 Outdoor Tech Chips Ultra – Best Mid Priced Ski Helmet Headphones
Outdoor Tech has been one of the leaders in their field since launching in 2010. They are particularly successful in making audio solutions for helmets, and the Chips Ultra are perfect for Skiiers. Coming in at around $170, they are not the cheapest but definitely not the most expensive either.
Like all Outdoor Tech products, the Chips ultra are well built and have a very stylish design; in fact, they are easily some of the most stylish ski helmet headphones you can buy. The matte black finish on the case and the Chips themselves mean that fingerprints aren’t going to show up easily.
The Chips Ultra are truly wireless, meaning there are n pesky wires that need to be tucked away or secured with velcro. They have nice big buttons that provide a good tangible “click” feedback which can be felt even through a pair of thick gloves.
As far as features and function are concerned, the Chips Ultra are keeping it simple, which is part of what makes them so appealing. The headphones feature Bluetooth 5.0, which will give you a solid connection of up to ten meters. Connecting them to your device takes a few minutes, regardless of whether it’s Apple or Android.
On a full charge, the Chips Ultra will provide a full twelve hours of playback; the case holds an additional charge, so you’re looking at a full day of playback time. The case and headphones will take around two hours to fully charge.
What’s in the box?
Included with your purchase is a nice cloth headband from Outdoor Tech; the headband has two pockets sewn into the sides, which means you can use the headphones even if you’re not wearing a helmet. This is a big plus point since it adds to the functionality and, therefore, the value of the headphones.
In terms of sound quality, the Chips Ultra do not disappoint. They are more than loud enough to cut through background noise, thanks to the 40mm drivers. The low end is particularly impressive, with well-defined bass that doesn’t lose integrity at high volumes. However, the highs can seem a bit recessed at times, but most users would prefer a tamed high end to a sharp one.
Not the best of microphones…
While the mic quality on the Chips Ultra is not bad by any means, it’s not the most usable. If you stand still during a call, you should be able to have a decent conversation but talking with someone while you’re on the move might prove a bit difficult due to some muffling in the voice.
- Well built
- Good battery
- Average sound
- Not the best mic
4 Outdoor Technology Chips
Southern California’s Outdoor Technology, aims to bridge the gap between modern lifestyle and outdoor mobile technology. It does this, with these excellent in-helmet headphones offering Bluetooth compatibility and over 10 hours of battery life. Making them perfect for spending all day on the piste.
Outdoor Technology’s helmet chips effortlessly connect to any Bluetooth device. If you don’t have one, or your having connection problems, the Chips are also equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack to connect via a standard audio cable.
They snuggly fit into any helmet with an audio liner. These include Bern, Giro, Smith, Ano, Pro-Tec, Bolle as well as many other helmets. Equipped with 40mm drivers, they deliver up to 10 hours of your favorite music in crystal clear sound quality.
They feature a built-in microphone, so you should have no problems answering calls, without having to take off your gloves. You can also operate them by clicking your helmet, with each earpiece having an oversized button that can be operated from outside your helmet.
If you want to raise the volume, double click the left earpiece. Or press once to lower the volume. To play, or pause your tunes, or answer and hang up calls, simply press the right earpiece once. Easy as that.
In standby mode, the Outdoor Technology Chips stay charged for around 280 hours. Once paired one time with a device, they pair again automatically when turned on, and have a wireless range of 32 feet.
Designed to function perfectly down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius), so they should stand up to even the coldest temperatures. They also have a sweat/water resistance rating of IP45.
They come supplied with a USB cable for charging, a backup audio line-in cable with controls, a carrying pouch, and an instruction manual.
5 UCLEAR Digital Pulse Helmet Speakers
From wireless to wired, expensive to very affordable. These Pulse helmet speakers from UClear Digital will add hi-definition audio to any helmet.
UClear Digital products are designed for you to enjoy the outdoors, while also staying connected to your phone, your music, and your friends. Whether you’re in the ski-lift, hurtling down a run or in the lodge afterward, UClear ensures you stay connected.
Their universal fit means that they plug into most helmet communication systems, and audio devices using a standard (but gold plated) 3.5mm audio jack. And, being equipped with a 40mm driver, the Pulse delivers a crisp sound with excellent bass.
They are also very portable, their straight-forward design allowing you to move them from one helmet to another quickly. This makes them perfect, not only for your ski helmet but also any other helmet you have.
Since they are wired, you’ll never have to worry about running out of charge while you’re up and down the slopes. Use then to enjoy endless hours of your favorite tunes.
Weighing down your helmet will also never be a problem, thanks to how light they are.
Along with the in-helmet speakers, you also get an installation mount set and simple instructions.
6 Dreamruns Direct Connect Audio Kit
We went from expensive to very affordable, and now we are going even further into the budget market, with these headphones from Dreamruns, which may be the answer to all your outdoor winter needs.
They may be cheap, but they don’t sound it, these full fidelity in-helmet speakers can handle 20Hz to 20kHz. This makes them superb for all your music, from rock to rap to EDM. Their 40mm speaker drivers provide a loud and very clear sound, especially when you consider how cheap they are.
They fit into all ski helmets with helmet pockets and come equipped with a 3.5mm plug. You can, therefore, connect these speakers to any smartphone, mp3 player, or even an old-school cassette walkman if want to play your original 80s mixtapes.
The speaker cable is a high-quality braided design for outstanding durability. And can be disconnected, if you only want to use one speaker to listen to your music, while your other ear listens to what’s going on around you.
These headphones come with a 2-year replacement warranty.
7 Yideng Bluetooth Headset
This Bluetooth headset is absolutely perfect for communicating with friends on the slopes, as well as for enjoying your choice of music. The Bluetooth intercom function allows you to talk with up to three of your friends at the same time within a 600m to 1000m distance.
The headset provides clear and reliable wireless communication. It also has a 2.5mm audio socket for wired connections if need be. The headset features controls for answering and rejecting phone calls, as well as a hands-free FM radio, and controls for wirelessly streaming music.
It’s equipped with Advanced Noise Control technology. This reduces background noise making your music, as well as your phone calls, clearer. The speakers are super slim, so fit easily into your helmet. And the microphone features wind and noise compensating properties.
There’s also no need to worry about getting snow on this headset because it’s waterproof.
You can use it to talk or listen to music for up to 8 hours using Bluetooth, or for an unlimited time if you use the wired option.
It comes with a 12-month warranty, a travel charger, an audio cable, and all the equipment you’ll need to assemble the headset.
8 Heneng Bluetooth Headset
If you ski with a lot of friends, then the Heneng Bluetooth Headset could be the one for you. It supports up to six skiers. After pairing you can choose any of your friends to talk to, but only one at a time.
The Yideng we just featured allows fewer communication options but over a greater distance, the Heneng having a maximum operating range of 500 meters which is half that of its competitor.
Also like the Yideng, it features noise suppression technology which improves the sound quality of the incoming and outgoing signals.
It works for up to eight hours and has a 150 hour standby time and comes with a 1-year warranty.
9 BE Headwear Bluetooth Headset
Next up we have the BE Headwear Bluetooth headset. Featuring an ultra-slim design, this on-ear headset will easily fit into virtually any helmet. While the 30mm speaker drivers sound great for such a small package.
It uses G3 Tech Bluetooth 4.0, so you can expect the best Bluetooth connection possible to your device, resulting in a great listening experience. These headphones also allow you to hear what is going on around you without lowering the quality of the audio – they basically turn your helmet into a quality mini-surround system.
With around nine hours of battery life, you shouldn’t need to worry about these headphones dying on you. They also have a quick recharge time of two to three hours ready for your next downhill run.
To make operation super easy, you can control the headphones using voice prompts for a completely hands-free experience. They are also fully compatible with SIRI, just press the “+” sign to activate it. This allows you to change between music and calls without having to press a single button.
But, not only are they compatible with smartphones, but are also two-way radios, so that you can keep in touch with your buddies as you go up and down the slopes.
The come with the BE-LINK system, a micro USB charge cord, DCV helmet Velcro mounts, and a lifetime warranty.
10 UCLEAR Digital V2 (11015) Wired Speaker Set
If you are looking for a high-quality, but budget friendly option, this lightweight headset could be the one for you.
UClear’s V2 Speaker is paired with an industry-exclusive concealed microphone. This provides you with top-of-the-line audio and voice clarity in an unobtrusive package.
It’s designed for any ski helmet, the 30mm drivers delivering quality audio for exceptional phone and intercom communication.
They are engineered to the highest standards, the driver and microphone being integrated into a single housing. This creates a simple, lightweight solution that can be easily installed in minutes, without the need for tools.
11 iASUS xSound High Definition Helmet Speakers
We’re back in high-end helmet speaker territory with the iASUS xSound.
These ultra-thin speakers pride themselves on having very high-quality audio. They are actually so good, that they rival a number of the best full-sized headphones, delivering solid clean bass, great overall balance, and crisp highs.
They feature a thin lightweight aluminum chassis, Kevlar-reinforced cables and come with foam covers with a velcro mount, to place them exactly where you need them. This allows you to get maximum volume out of them and minimize sound degradation.
They, unfortunately, have no controls on an in-line module or on the headphones, because they’re actually designed to be used with a separate amplifier. This can, however, be overcome, by simply plugging them into your smartphone, or getting a Bluetooth adaptor to power them.
Although originally designed for motorbike helmets, they work brilliantly as Ski Helmet Headphones. And deliver some of the best audio you’ll hear from any of the headphones in this run-down, but they do munch through your battery.
12 Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headphones
Although these in-ear headphones were not specifically designed for skiing. They offer a snug fit, long battery life, superb sound, and are waterproof.
The X3 Headphones by Jaybird are specially designed to offer high-quality performance and looks, yet still be as small as possible.
They feature patented silicone ear fins which securely attach to the ear for a snug fit, locking the earbuds in while you slalom your way down the piste. They come supplied with multiple sizes of silicon and Comply tips offering maximum noise isolation, and a comfortable fit.
Built to last with a rugged yet stylish design, the X3 Headphones are great for even the worse weather conditions. Their hydrophobic nano-coating keeping moisture away, be it sweat, rain, or snow.
They have a battery life of 8-hours, and a quick charge of 15 minutes will give you a full hour of playtime.
The MySound App integrates with the headphones and allows you to tweak and customize the sound for a personalized experience. These profiles can then be saved for future occasions.
13 Bose SoundSport Headphones
Specially designed for active people, these headphones are super lightweight and deliver the incredible sound that Bose is famed for.
When it comes to sound, we all know the name, Bose. They have been a longtime leader in the sound and speaker industry, so when they decided to create some on-ear headphones, we expect them to be superb.
And they are. Although understandably expensive, they offer sweat and weather resistance, as well as a snug and comfortable fit, thanks to the exclusive Stay Hear+ tips. These keep the headphones comfortably in place, no matter what skiing maneuver you attempt.
Bose’s active EQ ensures that the high-quality audio experience is consistently balanced at any volume. This, along with with the lightweight feel, and the ability to take calls with the inline mic, make these a tough set of headphones to beat.
You may have to pay a little extra for these five-star headphones, but they are worth every penny.
So, there you have, in our opinion, the 10 best ski helmet headphones currently on the market. Which one is best for you, will depend on what you personally prefer. For example, some people love in-ear designs, while others prefer in-helmet designs.
Whatever your preference, we’ve included the best of every design so making a choice should now be much more straightforward.
On the face of it, the differences between the headphones covered can be quite subtle. All the models featured of a particular design, tend to offer very similar features. But there are differences, as we have outlined.
For example, if you ski for long periods of time go for a wired design or a wireless design with long battery life. If you don’t, then you can choose any of them.
Of course, there has to be a winner, and that is…
The Outdoor Technology Chips
They won because they offer the best all-round features – superb audio quality, wireless functionality, and long battery life. They are one of the higher priced offerings here, but we think they are worth it.
Honorable mentions also go to the Bose Soundsport Headphones for incredible sound quality. And the UClear Digital Pulse Helmet speakers for fantastic value for money. They both came in a very close, joint second place position.
Have fun on your next ski trip and enjoy some fantastic music while you’re at it!