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7 Best Ski Helmet Speakers of 2024 Helpful Guide

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Updated May 19th, 2024

Best Ski Helmet Speakers

Listening to music while skiing can enhance the experience. It just adds a bit more feeling to flying down the slopes. What is the best way to listen to music while skiing? Ski helmet speakers mounted inside the ear pads are a great option that lets you hear music but they still let you hear what is happening around you. We have tried out many of the best options to come up with the best ski helmet speakers available today.

The 7 Best Ski Helmet Speakers

1. Best Overall – Aleck Nunchuks

Aleck Nunchucks product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.56 inch x 2.25 inch
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – 18 hours

The Aleck Nunchucks are a very popular ski helmet speaker. They have a built in comm feature in addition to being able to play music which lets you talk to other skiers using Nunchucks. The comm feature runs through a phone app so it’s not limited by Bluetooth range. Nunchucks are the recommended helmet speaker by our favorite ski helmet brand Smith.

Nunchucks have a titanium 40mm speaker that gives them good audio quality. They have a sound mixer feature in their phone app that lets you customize the sound quality to your liking. They have true USB-C charging and can be charged in 1 hour with up to 18 hours of play time.

They are controlled by a button on each ear. You need to remember button tap sequences for each ear to control them. They are not quite as straight forward to use as other brands.

See our review of the Aleck Nunchucks to learn more.

Aleck Nunchucks with Smith helmet

What we liked:

  • Sound Mixer feature in the App for adjusting the sound quality
  • Group communication mode
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • True USB-C fast charging
  • Good audio quality for helmet speakers

What we didn’t like:

  • Button tap sequences on each ear for controls can be hard to remember
  • Turning power off always triggers Siri/Alexa since they use the same long button push

See Best Deals!


2. Top Pick – Outdoor Tech Chips 3.0

Outdoor Tech Chips 3.0 product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.5 inch x 2 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40 mm
  • Battery Life – 13 hours

The Outdoor Tech Chips 3.0 is the latest iteration of their popular Chip series ski helmet speakers. When it comes to ski helmet speakers, Outdoor Tech is the gold standard and the far and away most popular brand. The Chips 3.0 improve upon the Chips 2.0 by changing to a USB-C connector for charging. You don’t have to fumble with an aux cable that can only plug in 1 way anymore. The downside is that they do not have true USB-C circuitry for charging. You must use a USB-C to USB-A cord and 5 volt source. No USB-C fast charging.

The Chips have a button on each speaker that can be used for controlling audio as well as activating Siri or Alexa to make phone calls or do other things on your phone. They have 45mm speakers which produce decent audio quality for inside a ski helmet. Don’t expect it to sound like a concert hall in there while you are skiing.

The Chips 3.0 use Bluetooth wireless to connect to your phone or other device for playing music. They have enough battery for 13 hours of playback. Even with cold temperatures reducing that, you still have enough for a full day skiing before charging.

See our review of the Outdoor Tech Chips 3.0 to learn more.

Outdoor Tech Chips 3.0 next to ski helmet

What we liked:

  • Thin enough to not be too noticeable in ear pads
  • Good sound quality for helmet speakers
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use buttons while wearing gloves and mittens
  • Can use to answer phone calls

What we didn’t like:

  • Has a USB-C Connector but not a true USB-C charger.

See Best Deals!


3. Best Value – Outdoor Master BT01

OM BT01 product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.78 inch x 2.0 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – 10 hours

The Outdoor Master BT01 Bluethooth helmet headphones have up to 10 hours of battery life and 3 control buttons. You can easily change volume or track from the 2 buttons on the left side. The right side button can be used to power on and off the headphones as well as play and pause the music. They are easy to operate wearing gloves. They can also be used for answering phone calls and giving Siri and Alexa commands.

The downside to the BT01 is how thick they are. They are a little over 3/4 inch thick and are only comfortable to wear with a wider helmet with roomy earpads. The Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS is the widest and most comfortable helmet for using these speakers.

They have up to 10 hours of music play and use a micro-USB connector for charging which makes them hard to charge without pulling out the side with the charge port. They have a power saver feature that shuts them down after 5 minutes. I do not like this feature since 5 minutes of talking to friends on the chairlift is more than enough to shut them down every lift ride.

See our full review of the Outdoor Master BT01 to learn more.

What we liked:

  • Easy to control with 3 buttons
  • Okay but not great sound quality
  • Long enough battery life for a day of skiing
  • Can play music, answer calls, and work with Siri/Alexa

What we didn’t like:

  • Micro-USB charging connector
  • Power saver shutdown after 5 minutes
  • Too thick to be comfortable with some helmets

See Best Deals!

Get 10-20% OFF with code ERO2022 at OUTDOOR MASTER


4. Best Intercom – Cardo Packtalk Outdoor

Cardo Packtalk Outdoor product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.4 inch x 1.6 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – 10 hours

The Cardo Packtalk Outdoor has an advanced intercom system in addition to helmet audio system. It can network with up to 15 other Cardo devices. The range can increase from 0.6 miles for 2 devices up to 5 miles with multiple devices to bounce off of. The unit can be controlled with a voice recognition microphone. It can change volume, play and stop, answer calls, or talk on the intercom all without touching any buttons.

Installation is a little more involved than a standard set of ski helmet speakers. You have to mount the 40mm JBL speakers into the ear pads. A microphone attaches to the neck strap. They give you some sticky tapes and velcro pads to clean up the wiring or attach the speakers if the ear pads have no pockets. They also give you a 3.5mm audio adapter so you can use a set of earbuds for a bike helmet with no earpads.

You have to mount a control unit to the outside of your right ear pad. This works great on most helmets. Some helmets have a zipper for the ear pads. The zipper on a Smith Vantage opens left to right so the opening with an almost closed zipper is on the wrong side. The zipper on a Smith Nexus and Smith Survey open right to left which works great.

What we liked:

  • Ability to communicate with up to 15 skiers
  • Longer range possible with networked controllers
  • Easy to recharge with control unit on the outside of helmet
  • Good sound quality
  • Low profile thin speakers that are less noticeable when wearing helmet

What we didn’t like:

  • Some helmets have zippers on ear pads that open the opposite way needed for the end that goes to the controller.
  • High cost

See Best Deals!


5. Best Wireless – Outdoor Tech Chips Ultra 2.0

Outdoor Tech Chips 2.0 Ultra product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.5 inch x 2 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – 12 to 14 hours

The Outdoor Tech Chips 2.0 Ultra are a true wireless ski helmet speaker. The 2 speakers have no wire connecting them. This makes installation easy since there is no wire to feed around the back of your head between the speakers. The 2.0 Ultra’s come with a case that is used for charging that can completely charge them in 1.5 hours. Sound quality and speaker design is similar to the standards Chips 2.0 and 3.0. You won’t mistake your helmet for an opera house but it sounds pretty good.

The downside to the Chips 2.0 Ultra is that you have to remove both speakers from the helmet to charge them. After charging you have to put them back in and hope you get the left and right in the correct side every time. The other downside is the price. You have to pay $100 more to lose the wire between the speakers.

What we liked:

  • True wireless with no connecting wire between speakers
  • Easy to install because there is no wire to feed
  • Easy to use 2 button controls

What we didn’t like:

  • You have to remove both speakers to charge them
  • High price

See Best Deals!


6. Best Wired – Outdoor Tech Wired Chips Adaptable

Outdoor Tech Wired Chips Adaptable product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.5 inch x 2 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – n/a

The Outdoor Tech Wired Chips Adaptable are wired ski helmet speakers and need no recharging. They run off your phone or other device and will play as long as that has power. They are always ready to go since they have no battery of their own. They come with adapters so they will work with a Lightning, 3.5mm or USB-C connector.

The Wired Chips have the same sound quality as the wireless Chips speakers. It is good for something that plays inside a ski helmet. They easily get loud enough to play over any background noise from skiing. They are controlled with 1 button on one speaker that does play and pause. It can also skip tracks. Everything else is controlled by a small FOB on the cord. You have to fish it out to change volume.

The downside to wired helmet speakers is the cord. You have to connect them to your device with a cord running from the helmet to your jacket or backpack where you keep it. You have to remember to unhook it when you take your helmet off to avoid breaking any of the connections. They are about 1/3rd the price of the wireless Chips.

What we liked:

  • Low cost
  • No battery to charge
  • Comes with 3.5mm, Lightning and USB-C adapters to work with almost any device
  • Good volume and sound quality

What we didn’t like:

  • You have to run a wire from your helmet to your phone or other device
  • Most controls are done with a small FOB on the cord instead of buttons on the speakers

See Best Deals!


7. Wildhorn Alta

Wildhorn Alta product image

Specifications

  • Size – 0.78 inch x 2.0 inch diameter
  • Speaker Size – 40mm
  • Battery Life – 10 hours

The Wildhorn Alta Bluetooth wireless ski helmet speakers are a good low cost option. They have okay sound quality but aren’t as loud as some of the other helmet speakers. They do have the advantage of 3 buttons for control. You can use the up and down buttons on the left speaker to change volume and change track without pulling out your phone. The large right button can start and stop and also power up and down and pair the speakers.

The biggest downside to the Alta is their thickness. The 2 button speaker is a little over 3/4 inch thick because of the ridge down the center. You need a helmet with wide roomy feeling ear pads to use these.

The Alta speaker uses an older micro-USB or USB-B connector for charging. They have about 10 hours of music playing time on a charge.

See our review of the Wildhorn Alta Helmet Speakers to learn more.

Wildhorn Alta helmet speakers

What we liked:

  • Easy to install
  • 2 buttons on left ear make it easy to change volume and change tracks
  • Can answer phones and activate Siri/Alexa
  • IP45 water resistance rating

What we didn’t like:

  • Micro-USB charging connector
  • Not the strongest for sound quality
  • Too thick to be comfortable with some helmets

See Best Deals!

Get 15% OFF with code ACTIVEGEAR15 at WILDHORN OUTFITTERS


Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

ryan@lowbudgetadventurer.com

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