Pumping up the jams when you're carving on your favorite slopes isn't just about entertainment. In fact, scientists have found that listening to music can improve your sports performance. When you're shopping for snowboarding headphones, know what specific features to look for to ensure you're getting the best technology for the next time you shred the gnar.
Look for headphones labeled "stereo quality." This means the headphones come with their own built-in sound processor. With their own processor, the headphones can deliver better sound quality at both a high spectrum and a low spectrum. If you're the type of snowboarder who says phrases like, "I love it when the bass drops," a full-spectrum range is crucial for sound quality and enjoyment.
Ambient is Awesome
For your safety, the best snowboarding headphones should be earbuds, clip-on headphones or other styles that do not fully cover your ears. This allows you to hear ambient noises around you. According to the National Ski Areas Association, this is especially important for snowboarders and skiers because headphones that block out ambient noises increase your risk of hitting other snowboarders or skiers or colliding with snowmobiles.
Most traditional snowboarding headphones have long sets of wires that allow you to string them from your pants pocket up through your snowboarding jacket. If you find that being tethered to your portable music player or smart phone gets cumbersome, your best bet is a wireless set of headphones. These typically use Bluetooth to stream your music. They also eliminate the risk of your headphone wires getting snagged when you're trying to land an ollie or a similar snowboarding trick.
Hidden in the Helmet
Most freestyle snowboarding helmets and some upgraded traditional helmets have built-in headphones in the lining of the helmet. This is the best option for minimalist riders who don't want to be troubled with extra tech gear when they're on the slopes. Additionally, in-helmet headphones project music around your ears without blocking out surrounding noise, thus increasing your safety when you're riding.
- Athletic Insight: The Experience of Music in Sport - A Phenomenological Investigation
- Mountain Weekly News: Best Snowboard Headphones
- The Active Times: 12 Top Headphones for Working Out
- Outside: How Dangerous Is Wearing Headphones on the Slopes?
- Snowboard Magazine: Sol Republic X Motorola Debut Tracks AIR Wireless Headphones
- Sport Pursuit: Buying Guide: Choosing the Perfect Ski and Snowboard Helmets