Is this the motorcycle helmet that finally makes ear plugs unnecessary?
Sena, the company known for bringing sound into your helmet — sounds you want to hear, like your phone calls or music — has unveiled a helmet that's designed to eliminate the sounds you don't want to hear. The Sena Smart Helmet uses noise-cancelling technology to reduce the wind noise that is a threat to every motorcyclist's hearing in the long run.
The carbon fiber helmet (see a 360-degree view in the video above) was unveiled yesterday at the American International Motorcycle Expo. It incorporates four microphones and two earcup speakers that work like noise-cancelling headphones. The system counteracts steady noise, like the wind, while sudden sounds, like a siren, still come through. Aware riders know that the long-term effects of wind noise can destroy their hearing, and while some helmets are quieter than others, all helmets allow noise levels that can damage hearing with long-term exposure. Other than wearing ear plugs, the Sena Smart Helmet is the first potential solution to the problem.
The carbon fiber helmet is built to be light, so even with the additional weight of the electronics, Sena says it weighs about 3.5 pounds.
The Sena name is synonymous with Bluetooth communicators and, more recently, cameras. The Sena Smart Helmet does not come with Bluetooth capability, but it can be added. Sena has a Bluetooth system designed for the helmet that is completely wireless. The main unit fits in the neck roll and the pieces tuck neatly inside the helmet, except for the wireless buttons that attach to the outside.
The helmet will be available in five colors. Pricing is not yet available.