There is certainly no shortage of new ways to listen to music while riding, which must be a sign that it’s something a lot of people like to do. Jamming to your favorite tunes while riding is great, but it always brings up two major issues: not being able to hear what’s going on around you, and the potential to irritate everyone within earshot. O-tus has the answer to both, with their Safe Sounds near-ear speakers. Designed to simply velcro onto your helmet above your ears (or inside your helmet for full face DH lids), the tiny speakers promise big sound without drowning out the background.
We’re guessing the bike path cyclist may be the biggest market, but Safe Sounds are particularly awesome inside of a down hill helmet. By tucking the tiny speaker into the padding of your full face, you can get incredible sound while still hearing what’s around you. I tried it on with some fairly loud rock music playing and was still able to hold a conversation with Joe from O-tus without issue. Even more impressive is that for such a small speaker it had surprisingly good sound quality and audible bass.
Even though the Safe Sound is designed to be used outside of the ear, O-tus will have adapters that will allow them to be clipped to your ears when not wearing a helmet. The earpieces simply snap on to the speaker and hold it onto your ear presumably using a much lower volume.
Sound level is limited to the type of device you are using with the tiny Sandisk MP3 player attached to the back of the helmet in the first picture capable of 108db, while Apple products are limited to 90db. Safe sounds are sold with a short standard stereo mini cord that is intended to be attached to an MP3 player of the Bluetooth module at the back of the helmet, though O-tus sells an extension to use if you want to attach them to your phone in your jersey pocket or bag. Safe Sounds start at $42 for the standard model and go up to $95 for the Bluetooth combo set. Extra mounting material can be purchased as well allowing you to set up multiple helmets so you can stick and go.