Best Headphones for Skiing

What are the best headphones for the ski slopes or for cross country? Which are the best wireless ski helmet headphones. How about wired models?

Are you planning to come down a black run to the sound of Drake, or Led Zeppelin or maybe Mozart?

Will you track your way through a snow-filled forest to the sounds of Taylor Swift or James Taylor? Or maybe the Wu-Tang Clan is more your thing? Skiing is fun but it involves snow. Not much you can do about that 🙂

Snow is cold. When the snow gets warm it becomes water and water does not mix well with electricity.
Unless you are very lucky or very talented, you are probably going to fall over, maybe quite hard. That could be in a Moghul field or it cod be in a forest run.

Then your headphones might well come off when you are travelling at high speed. How easily could you go back and find them?

They might even hit something. Maybe the ‘something’ is ice or a rock, or a tree. What happens then?

Of course, you probably should be wearing a ski helmet, or at least a cap, or beanie to ski with. So how are your headphones going to fit? We spent over 64 hours looking into these and other similarly important considerations.

There’s plenty of options. These include (but are not limited to):
  • Wired in-ear
  • Bluetooth in-ear
  • Skull bone-conducting
  • Cheek bone-conducting
  • Combined helmet/audio
  • Combined hat or cap/audio

You can also choose to pay for models that cost tens of dollars or take the risk and pay hundreds of dollars. So, plenty to think about

Let’s start with our best-rating recommended 3 models to grace the slopes with

EDITOR’s PICK
1. Avantree TR509 Waterproof Wired Sport Earphones
«EDITOR’s PICK»
Best sensible wired headphones for the rough stuff
Our rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Avantree tops our list because wired headphones, that are really thoroughly waterproofed and a reasonable cost are far and away the most sensible choice. Because they are wired, you are unlikely to lose them and the Avantree models have a very high waterproofing rating (IPX 7) and can even be used for swimming. Worst case if they break, the costs of replacing them are reasonable.

Pros:
— Snow, water and sweat won’t be an issue. Comfortable to wear Unlikely you will lose them easily.
2. BOSE SoundSport Free, True Wireless Sport Headphones
«EDITOR’s PICK»
Best in-ear headphones for skiing helmet or beanie
Our rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For about five times the price of the Avantree model, you get these high-end Bose models, and if you have the money they are well worth it.
The Bose Soundsport tops our list of best in-ear headphone buds for skiing with a helmet. They have a fantastic sound quality and will fit nicely under most headgear, which of course will help stop them from falling out or otherwise taking damage.
Note that companies like Demon make combined helmet/audio products. That’s what we’ll look at next.

Pros:
— Sound is superb. Nothing else comes close. Impress hi-fi geeks too.
3. Demon Phantom (Universal Helmet with Brainteaser Audio)
«EDITOR’s PICK»
Best combined helmet/audio combination
Our rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These solve three problems at once, protecting your head from damage, filling your head with adrenaline – enhancing sounds and keeping your head protected from the cold (or from sunburn).
So an all-round solution and only one cost. These could be a sensible option for some during their giant slalom run.
The obvious downside is that they are only really designed for one kind of use - out on the snow.
You’d look a little strange jogging in the park in New York or hanging out on the beach in Malibu, or mowing the lawn in suburban Chicago, wearing these.
On the plus side, unlike Bluetooth audio caps and beanie hats – they do offer genuine protection to a serious skier.

Pros:
— A great all-in-one solution.

Main criteria to pay attention to

best headphones for skiing
Below are some important facts when deciding are best headphones, wired or wireless for skiing. We spent over 54 hours looking for the best ski headphones

Above all the main point is that they must be practical. This sounds like we are just stating obvious but some people miss this. Reviews and ratings are all very well but are the model you think you want, really right for you and what you want to do?

Here’s our key criteria:
  1. Must be value for money. That does not mean cheap, some more expensive models are well worth it. It just means the price has to be in relation to cost. More of this in point 6
  2. Must have good sound. Otherwise, what’s the point? Especially they must provide decent bass. Noise-cancelling can be a plus too.
  3. Must be reasonably snow- and water-resistant. A rating of IPX5 is good (water-resistant) but IPX6 or IP7 (fully waterproof)is really much better. That’s because snow and ice are just frozen water and they melt easily. Don’t forget it can be an issue if you sweat too.
  4. Must be secure. Skiing is not the same as bench pressing in a gym or a gentle jog around a suburb. Skiing is like a practical lesson in physics, involving mass, velocity and sudden acceleration and deceleration. Lose earphones on a slope or on a cross country run and you may never find them again. Are you really going to go telemarking back around that course in the evening as the sun is setting or go back to your cabin then head out for the evening?
  5. Must be comfortable. It’s a fact that people’s ear openings vary in size. Just like you need different shoe sizes.
  6. Must not just be an overpriced brand. You can spend a lot of money for a brand name but that doesn’t mean that the extra cost is necessarily worth it. There are good models from famous vendors (some are actually really good, like the BOSE models) but plenty of other good low-cost choices as well.

Best Skiing Headphones Under Helmet

If you buy a model and you can’t appreciate the sound, or they then easily fall off, or die due to water ingress, or otherwise don’t really cut it, you just wasted your money.

So, get a pair which is suitable for you and your style of skiing. Cross country is not the same as hot-dogging or full-pelt downhill racing.

Now let’s look at the full list, starting with our top 3 in detail.


1. Avantree TR509 Waterproof Wired Sport Earphones

Best sensible wired headphones for the rough stuff


Wired headphones and earphones are less fashionable than Bluetooth today but are more practical for skiing and usually cost less. There are no batteries to charge and no reception problems. He cable is a bit annoying but on the other hand, it keeps the earpieces safe
Avantree ticks all these boxes and more. The TR509 are really thoroughly waterproofed to IPX7 standard (so you could even swim underwater with them) and are a very reasonable cost indeed.

Features:
They have a neat over-ear design and come with a choice of plugs for different ear sizes. This is an important point for comfort but also for the safety of the earbuds. Having a snug fit means the annoyance of a bid dropping out is minimized and you are also less likely to lose them (though the cabled design should help that issue anyway).

Sound is good although not up to the standards of some rivals, especially in the bass frequencies.
In the worst case, if you do have an accident, the costs of replacing them are reasonable.

Pros:
  • Snow, water and sweat won’t be an issue. Comfortable to wear Unlikely you will lose them easily.
Cons:
  • Sound is OK but not the very best
Verdict: For the money, they tick all the boxes for practicality and reasonable quality. That’s why they are top of our list as best wired ski helmet headphones

2. BOSE SoundSport Free, True Wireless Sport Headphones

Best in-ear headphones for skiing helmet or beanie


OK, let’s make a confession. These BOSE models could have easily topped out the list. Yes, they are about five times the price of the Avantree model. Yes, they are not as practical. But we still love them.

If you have the money (including replacing them, maybe more than once) just go get these OK?

Features:
The sound quality of these wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Bose Soundsport means they top our list of best in-ear headphone buds for skiing with a helmet. Actually probably without a helmet too, but then you’ll probably lose one at some point and that will be a sad thing.

They have great sound quality across a wide range of frequencies. They will also fit nicely under most headgear, without an annoying cable.

Pros:
  • Sound is superb. Nothing else comes close. Impress hi-fi geeks too.
Cons:
  • Snow, water actually might be an issue. Possible you will lose one. High costs.
Verdict: If you really care about the music you are listening to, these would be top of our list, Not especially practical but very desirable. You don’t but a supercar because it’s cheap and great for moving around lumber.

3. Demon Phantom / Demon Universal Helmet with Brainteaser Audio

Best combined helmet/audio combination


These solve three problems at once, protecting your head from damage, filling your head with adrenaline – enhancing sounds and keeping your head protected from the cold (or from sunburn).

The Demon Universal comes with goggles too, so you really are covered.

Features:
An all-round solution for music, protection and warmth (there’s a balaclava included) and only one cost. These could be a sensible option for some during their giant slalom run.

There’s a choice of four head sizes and it’s important to factor in the balaclava.

Pros:
  • A great all-in-one solution
Cons:
  • The obvious downside is that they are only really designed for one kind of use – out on the snow.
Verdict: Great but we don’t advise wearing when visiting a gas station on the way to the slopes.

4. BOSE SoundSport, Wireless Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones

Best skiing headphones for hi-fi geeks


BOSE has a fantastic reputation in the hi-fi world built up over decades and quite rightly so.

Features:
BOSE is very much a luxury model manufacturer.

These are more than twice the price of most models on this list. However, their sound, especially in the bass frequencies, beats anything here.

BOSE does not use noise-cancelling in this model which has some advantages (you can hear noises around you, which is safer). They use active equalization on the music itself and the results are great.

Battery life is only 6 hours and waterproofing not as good as some other models.

The Bose headphones – to be honest – are a bit too good and too expensive for the skiing itself. But who cares? Wearing them to the lodge, or bar, or on the ski lift, or maybe on a blue run is fine.

Plus, anyone who knows Hi-Fi will be suitably impressed.

Pros:
  • These are lovely technology designed by people who love and understand audio.
Cons:
  • May be a bit expensive and not robust enough for seriously strenuous skiing
Verdict: Given their very high price and really not especially good waterproofing, you might want to take them out for a tricky run. More headphones to listen to and be seen wearing than a practical choice. But we love them. Who cares if they aren’t that practical?

5. KerKor Bluetooth Beanie Hat

Best headphone hat for light skiing

If you are off doing cross country or on some gentle blue slopes, you can get your music from several beanie designs with built-in audio, like these fun hats from KerKor.

Features:
This comfy washable beanie hat is velvet inside, with detachable Bluetooth V4.3 earphones

So, just take your phone along, connect the two and off you go.

You get between 6-9 hours listening time and charging time is 1 hour.

If you really want to make phone calls on the snow, you can do that too. A built-in microphone supports hands-free calling.

Sound is OK for the cost, which is reasonable.

For when the evening is closing in, there’s even a light. Wow.

Pros:
  • Fun and warm, decent audio. Great for the gentle slopes
Cons:
  • Negligible head protection. Unlike standalone wired or wireless headphones, not much use when the summer comes and you want music on the beach.
Verdict: Skiing is fun and these are a fun product. Not especially sensible or safe. We like flashing lights.

6. TREBLAB XR700

Best for multi-purpose Ski use


An “over the ear” design, we like the Trelab XR700 because of their chunky looks and clever over the ear adjustable feature.

Features:
These wireless Running Earbuds have custom adjustable ear hooks. That means, different shapes and sizes of the average skier’s ears can be adjusted for.
Top Bluetooth 5.0 is supported along with high-level IPX7 Waterproofing.
Noise Cancelling is included plus a Microphone In-Ear Headset, so again you can ski on vacation and call friends back at work and gloat. Nice,

Pros:
  • Will fit most users easily. High spec Bluetooth and waterproofing.
Cons:
  • Will work with open ear helmets but closed-ear helmets might be a problem.
Verdict: we recommend but think about your preference for helmet type carefully.

7. TREBLAB XFit

Best for most ski helmet types


Another Trelab model, this, however, is an in-ear design, that should work with any helmet or hat. A good contender for best Bluetooth headphones for ski helmet

Features:
These use Bluetooth 5.0 are Waterproof to IPX6 (not the best but good enough for most ski situation) and offer noise cancellation.
There are around 5 hours of useable time, but the supplied case offers far more than that – up to 30 hours.

Pros:
  • Small and should fit almost any ski helmet type
Cons:
  • Easy to lose unless under a hat or a ski helmet
Verdict: Another reasonable choice if you are prepared to risk skiing with individual earbuds.

8. Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbud

Best luxury alternative choice for most ski helmet types


Another Bluetooth earbud model, this is a luxury in-ear design, that should work with any helmet or hat. A good contender for best Bluetooth headphones for ski helmet

Features:
These Wireless Earbuds come with about 5 hours of normal charge, a Charging Case with a fast recharging function.

Phone calls are supported and there a selectable level of ambient noise reduction that Jabra calls ‘hear through’. Which you set up on your smartphone.

A nice gimmick is you can use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and google assistant. Maybe to get the number of that mountain café or maybe to get the number of mountain rescue?

These use Bluetooth 5.0 and are water-resistant. Jabra quote IP56, which is for dust and powerful water jets. So if you run into any firefighters putting out a blaze on the slopes, or lumberjacks cutting down some trees, you are pretty well covered.

There are three sizes of what Jabra calls ear gels to ensure a comfortable and safe fit.

Getting the tightest comfortable fit also helps bass frequencies, so it will improve your sound, possibly quite markedly.
Jabra supply a phone app to customise the sound
There are around 5 hours of useable time, but the supplied case offers far more than that – up to 30 hours.

Pros:
  • Small and should fit almost any ski helmet type
Cons:
  • Easy to lose unless under a hat or a ski helmet
Verdict: Another reasonable choice if you are prepared to risk skiing with individual earbuds.

Best Ski Headphones

best ski headphones
We have looked at in-ear and over-ear designs, wired and wireless, helmets and hats to try to answer the question “what are best headphones for skiing?”

As ever, it comes down to your needs, preferences and of course what cost you will accept. There are plenty of other good products out there, so we don’t pretend this is a definitive list.

Don’t just follow reviews, recommendations, a brand, a popular model or a topical technology. Ratings only take you so far.

Our list just shows suitable models from each category. We looked at

We hope you have found this useful and will have fun on a gentle blue run or on a full superpipe.

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7 Comments

    1. Bone conducting models come into main types, skull conducting and cheek conducting. They are not the best headphones for ski helmet. The best ski helmet headphones are earbud designs or other kinds of earphones.
      The problem for bone-conducting if you want Bluetooth ski helmet headphones is they will be difficult to wear for under ski helmet.
      Even if you are not wearing a helmet, if you are travelling at high speeds and crash, that’s not good at all. Remember this is skiing, nor sit-ups in a gym or jogging in the park.

    1. Yes. A ski helmet keeps your head protected (and keep your head warm too).

      You don’t need a ski helmet for cross country, or messing about on nursery slopes, but head injuries vai skiing can and do occur and they can be very serious indeed.

      Being experienced is not enough. Even a helmet won’t 100% protect you.

      Think of the topical news stories about Formula I champion. Michael Schumacher, who had a bad head injury and still has not recovered.

      Some people don’t wear helmets for fashion reasons. That’s not very smart.

      Skiing is a risky sport, that’s why holiday insurance sometimes excludes it. Breaking an arm or leg is bad but you should recover. Head injuries are potentially much more serious.
      Be smart and protect that brain.

    1. IPX is a rating system for protection against ingress of water, dust, grit, sweat etc.

      If you are doing serious skiing you may encounter some or all of these and therefore so might your headphones.

      The lower IPX ratings (4 and 5) means you have some water resistance. The higher ones (IPX 6 and 7) mean the headphones are pretty waterproof. So, an IPX7 rating is a big tick in the box.

      If you have an IP56 rating, the first number refers to solids (dust, sand, grit etc.) and the second to liquids. So, for example, the Jabra scores well in both.

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