Quietest Motorcycle Helmets – 2020 Top Picks

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Motorcycle riding is a fun hobby, but it can get noisy. Wearing the proper helmet can reduce noise, giving you a more pleasurable ride. In this guide, we'll list the five quietest motorcycle helmets.

Our top picks all have unique features designed to reduce the noise while riding motorcycles.

Our Top Picks for Quietest Motorcycle Helmets

  • Strong design
  • Safe to use
  • Durable, strong
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  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe to use
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  • Best for the Money
  • Easy airflow
  • Safe to use
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Comparison of the Best Quietest Motorcycle Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Advanced CAD technology used for a lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Full front to back airflow with ACS ventilation system
  • Composite polycarbonate shell construction for durable
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  • Very strong and lightweight ABS plastic used for shell
  • Inner lining is replaceable and washable for easy cleaning
  • Cheakpad comes with emergency release system for improved safety
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  • Best for the Money
  • Maximum airflow with dual vented diffuser
  • DOT approved to make it quite safe helmet
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  • Quietest Modular Motorcycle Helmet
  • One-touch sun visor for easy closure
  • Anti-fog lens inserted for better safety
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  • Quietest Motorcycle Helmet Under $200
  • Aero-dynamic shape to reduce fatigue
  • EPS structure used with shell for better durability
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What Makes a Motorcycle Helmet Quiet? 

Motorcycles make for a noisy ride. Choosing the right helmet can reduce the noise you hear while riding. Common causes of noise are the wind, traffic, and your motorcycle's engine.

Shape

Picking a helmet that has an aerodynamic shape is the best way to have a quiet helmet. A round helmet catches most of the wind, and an open face means most of the air gets under your helmet, making it louder. Helmets that have angled shapes will be quieter.

Fit

The fit of your helmet will also affect the noise level. If your helmet is loose, more air can get inside. It's essential to wear a helmet that fits snug against your head, without being too tight. 

Extra Features

Cheek pads, liners, and chin straps play an essential role in safety and noise reduction. These tools make your helmet more comfortable, safer, and quieter, as less air can get under your helmet.

A face shield is also recommended, as this helps block out the air that gets into your helmet. An ideal shield will have a complete seal all the way around when closed. 

How Often Should I Replace My Motorcycle Helmet?

Helmets need replacing every five years. However, if your helmet has had one or more direct impacts, you should replace it sooner.

These recommendations come from the Snell Memorial Foundation and manufacturers that have held studies that prove helmets experience wear and tear from multiple factors. 

Things that can cause a helmet to degrade:

  • Regular use

  • Cosmetics

  • Body fluids (sweat)

  • Hair oil

  • Cleaners

  • Fuel

  • Chemical transfers

Quick Take - Quietest Motorcycle Helmets

Hoping to cut to the chase? Below are the three quietest motorcycle helmets:

  1. HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II
  2. Arai XD4
  3. Fuel Helmets SH-FF0015

Review of the Quietest Motorcycle Helmets

In this section, we're going to take a look at the five quietest motorcycle helmets available. We'll discuss the necessary specs to consider, including materials, pros and cons, and features.

Best Overall:
HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II

HJC 980-614 IS-MAX II Modular Motorcycle Helmet (Matte Black, Large)

PROS

  • 95% UV coated pinlock face shield
  • Advanced Channeling Ventilation System
  • 3-stage adjustments of the Smoke-tinted shield
  • Chin bar and face shield protects from injury and noise
  • Antibacterial wicking interior is removable and machine washable

CONS

  • Doesn't offer as much protection from noise
  • Modular style isn't as safe as a full-face helmet

Helmet Specs 

  • Type of Helmet - Street Riding Motorcycle

  • Materials Used - Advanced Polycarbonate composite shell

  • Brand - HJC Helmets

  • Type - Modular

  • Certifications - DOT

  • Clasp type - Single-button face shield/chin bar release

  • Weight - 5.35 pounds

What Types of Activities is the HJC Motorcycle Helmet Best For?

This modular style helmet offers moderate protection from noise and injury. Activities that you would want to wear this helmet for include:

  • Street cruising
     
  • Street touring
  • Street sports
  • Street scooters
  • All-terrain vehicles

Safety Features of the HJC Motorcycle Helmet

The HJC motorcycle helmet comes with an adjustable polycarbonate chin bar, which protects your face from injury. Studies show the chin, and lower face makes up 50% of severe injuries during accidents.

The SunShield is UV protected and has three adjustable shades so you can adjust the hue to the brightness of the sun and reduce strain on your eyes. And it keeps your eyes safe from debris, car exhaust, bugs, and weather. 

What Are the Components of the HJC Motorcycle Helmet? 

  • Cheek Pads

This helmet comes with removable cheek pads that make your helmet more comfortable to wear. These pads also help your helmet fit more securely.

  • Face Shield

The UV SunShield has a one-hand locking mechanism that makes it easy to raise and lower the visor. Lift the shield to get fresh air, have a conversation, or drink without having to remove your helmet. 

However, you shouldn't leave the shield up while riding, as it can cause drag and damage the visor.

  • Chin Bar

The polycarbonate chin bar protects your lower face and provides a more secure fit. The single snap button makes it simple to release one-handed. And it's adjustable so you can customize the fit to your needs.

  • Vents

An ACS (Advanced Channeling Ventilation) system offers airflow from front to back, so your head stays cool while riding. 

Runner-up:
Arai XD4

Arai XD4 Helmet (Black, Small)

PROS

  • Rounded chin bar
  • Facial Contour Support cheek pads
  • Large, sculpted vents increase ventilation
  • Dry, cool liner is removable and machine washable
  • Intermediate oval (IO) interior shape for better aerodynamics

CONS

  • Not ideal for versatile activities
  • No UV or anti-fog protection on the face shield

Helmet Specs 

  • Type of Helmet - Dual sport

  • Materials Used - Blend of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and resins

  • Brand - Arai

  • Type - Full face 

  • Certifications - DOT, Snell 

  • Clasp type - D-ring chin strap

  • Weight - 4 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Arai Motorcycle Helmet Best For?

This helmet is ideal for dual-sport riders and adventure-touring. It would not be suitable for off-road riding, sportbikes, or highway riding.

Safety Features of the Arai Motorcycle Helmet

This helmet uses patent-pending Facial Contour Support cheek pads that slide out, so the helmet comes off easier during emergencies. 

The rounded chin bar makes the helmet more comfortable to wear and rests flatter against your chin, so there's less risk of digging in or catching if you wreck. 

What Are the Components of the Arai Motorcycle Helmet? 

  • Face Shield

The face shield seals around the eye-port, so you don't get water leaks during foul weather. And it protects your face from common travel hazards.

  • Cheek Pads

This helmet uses unique emergency padding that can be removed using the easy-press tabs. If an accident occurs, removing the pads makes it easier to get the helmet off without moving the head too much. 

  • Vents

The ventilation is a unique feature of this helmet. You have an adjustable vent at the chin, two large rear vents, and two top vents. 

There's also non-adjustable vents on both sides of the lower back and two vents covered with screens on each side of the chin vent. More vents allow airflow around the temples.

Best for the Money:
Fuel Helmets SH-FF0015

Fuel Helmets SH-FF0015 Unisex-Adult Full Face Helmet (Gloss Black, Medium)

PROS

  • Internal vent system
  • Cheek pads are removable 
  • Face shield protects your face and quick releases
  • Front and back vents improve airflow for a cooler head
  • The removable mesh liner is easy to clean and adds extra comfort to your head

CONS

  • The shield doesn't protect from UV or fog
  • The plastic construction doesn't offer much protection

Helmet Specs 

  • Type of Helmet - Motorcycle, passenger, snowmobile

  • Materials Used - Thermoplastic shell

  • Brand - Fuel Helmets

  • Type - Full face

  • Certifications - DOT

  • Clasp type - D-ring 
  • Weight - 4.5 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Fuel Helmet Motorcycle Helmet Best For?

This helmet is best for beginners, just starting with motorcycles. It can also be worn for operating snowmobiles. It's exceptional as a passenger helmet but might not be ideal for long motorcycle trips. It is not intended for dual-sport or off-roading.

Safety Features of the Fuel Helmet Motorcycle Helmet

The cheek pads provide comfort and protection to your face and come out if you need to remove the helmet during an emergency.

The chin strap has a D-ring closure for adjustments, and a retention strap keeps excess material out of the way.

What Are the Components of the Fuel Helmet Motorcycle Helmet? 

  • Vents

This helmet features top and brow vents, so you get more air circulation around your head. The lightweight makes the helmet more comfortable and cool to wear. 

  • Cheek Pads

Removable cheek pads make it easier to get this helmet off during accidents. They provide more protection and comfort for your face. And you can remove them for easy cleaning.

  • Face Shield

A clear face shield keeps your face protected and is removable. It even comes with a storage bag, so your visor doesn't get scratched when not attached to your helmet.

Quietest Modular Motorcycle Helmet:
Schuberth C4 Pro

PROS

  • Complex vent system
  • EPS foam liner improves impact resistance
  • Built-in speaker and microphone for SC1 system
  • Anti-fog shield insert offers a wide range of vision
  • Aerodynamic design for improved speed and noise reduction

CONS

  • Thick neckroll can make helmet hard to get off
  • Can be challenging to use communication buttons while wearing gloves

Helmet Specs 

  • Type of Helmet - Racing/Touring

  • Materials Used - DFP glass yarn shell

  • Brand - Schuberth

  • Type - Modular

  • Certifications - DOT

  • Clasp type - Ratchet

  • Weight - 3.9 pounds

What Types of Activities is the Schuberth Motorcycle Helmet Best For?

This helmet is ideal for street riding when you have another rider you want to communicate with while driving. It's also for street racing and tours.

Safety Features of the Schuberth Motorcycle Helmet

The Schuberth comes with a sun shield that has an anti-fog insert and a wide view, so you have more of what's around you. 

A chin bar keeps your lower face protected and has an easy to use latch and adjustability so you can get a secure, comfortable fit. 

What Are the Components of the Schuberth Motorcycle Helmet? 

  • Vents

The Schuberth helmet has multiple vents that help provide ventilation to keep your head cool. There's vents in the chin and around the forehead that allows for airflow without the noise.

  • Impact Liner

This helmet comes with a liner made of EPS foam that helps absorb impact to reduce injury during impact. A multiple pattern design gives stronger absorption in essential areas.

  • Face Shield

This helmet gives you a visor that provides an extra-wide view with an anti-fog insert, so you don't have to worry about losing vision. 

Quietest Motorcycle Helmet Under $200:
AGV 0101-11766

AGV 0101-11766 Unisex-Adult Full Face K-1 Motorcycle Helmet (Black, Medium/Large)

PROS

  • Dri-Lex comfort liner 
  • Large quick-release shield with Pinlocks
  • Multiple adjustable vents for ideal ventilation
  • Adjustable shield lets you set different positions
  • Aerodynamic design reduces wind resistance for a quieter ride

CONS

  • Thermoplastic material isn't as safe
  • Doesn't come with Pinlock or fog insert

Helmet Specs 

  • Type of Helmet - Sportbike/Racing

  • Materials Used - Thermoplastic resin

  • Brand - AGV

  • Type - Full face

  • Certifications - DOT

  • Clasp Type - Double D-ring

  • Weight - 3.3 pounds

What Types of Activities is the AGV K1 Motorcycle Helmet Best For?

The AGV K1 helmet gives you a safe and quiet ride while racing. The material is thermoplastic, so it's suitable for beginners but may not work for advanced professionals.

Safety Features of the AGV K1 Motorcycle Helmet

The extra-large shield gives you a broader point of view, so you have a safer race. You can see more of what's going on around you.

An EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner comes in four sizes so you can have a custom, secure fit. The liner also offers slight cushioning for your head.

What Are the Components of the AGV K1 Motorcycle Helmet? 

  • Vents

This helmet has an Integrated Ventilation System (IVS), which features multiple vents to provide advanced aerodynamics. There's a triple vent on the forehead and two vents on the chin, all adjustable with sliders. 

Twin exhausts under the rear spoiler help pull air through the channels in the liner so your head stays cooler.

  • Shield

The face shield on this helmet offers a broader, taller viewpoint so you can see more. The Pinlock shield is anti-fog ready. 

But you do have to purchase the fog insert, as it doesn't come with the helmet. This brand does fog during cold weather so it might be an investment you want to make.

Types of Quiet Motorcycle Helmets

There are multiple styles of motorcycle helmets, so it can be challenging to determine which ones offer the quietest rides. When choosing a helmet, the priority should be safety. Many of the features used to keep you safe also provide noise reduction.

Full Face

Full face helmets are the best type of helmet to buy, no matter what kind of riding you're doing. This style provides comprehensive cover for your head to protect from debris, wind, bugs, and other dangers.

Components that make a full-face helmet include a sun visor, vents for adaptable air control, and a chin bar. Newer models can even have Bluetooth enabled speakers and visors that tint themselves according to the sunlight. 

Modular

A modular, or flip-up, helmet is halfway between a full face and a ¾ size helmet. This style has a visor and chin bar that flips open in the front.

These helmets are a bit heavier than a full-face, and they're not as safe due to the hinge. Modular helmets are ideal for cruising and riding in an upright position. 

Open Face

An open face or ¾ helmet offers protection to the sides, top, and back of your head but doesn't protect your neck or face. These helmets are suitable for tourers, scooters, cruisers, and cafe racers.

Open face helmets do not have a chin bar, and some may not have a visor. Others may come with a partial or full-face visor. 

Half Helmet

A half helmet protects the top of your head and the area around your temples and forehead. Some styles may protect the neck and ears. But none of them offers protection for your face and eyes.

In terms of quietness, you wouldn't want to choose a half helmet. It would be difficult to block the sound from common pollution with the minimal coverage of this style.

Pros and Cons of Quiet Motorcycle Helmets

All products have good and bad sides. We're going to look at some of the pros and cons of wearing a quiet motorcycle helmet. 

Pros

The biggest pro about quiet motorcycle helmets is that you have a more peaceful trip. It can be hard to enjoy a ride with the wind whipping and your motor roaring. Many people can end up with headaches after a long time on their motorcycle. 

Another benefit is that quiet helmets can protect your hearing. Riding on a motorcycle can expose you to noise levels up to 115 dB. Long-term exposure to loud sounds can put you at risk of tinnitus - hearing loss. 

Most helmets that can reduce sound also offer better safety protection. The best type of quiet helmet is a full face that blocks noise and protects your entire head, face, and neck. 

Cons

The biggest con of wearing a helmet is getting stuffy when you wear them for a long time. When you wear a full-face helmet, you can get hot, making for an uncomfortable ride. Helmets that have adjustable ventilation offer better airflow.

Another con is that if you're wearing a helmet that blocks out the sound, you might not hear things going on around you, such as shouting, sirens, horns, or your partner speaking. 

Some helmets have built-in Bluetooth so you can communicate with your rider or listen to music. You will need to be more aware of what's going on around you when wearing a quiet helmet. 

What to Look For When Buying a Quiet Motorcycle Helmet

When shopping for a quiet motorcycle helmet, there are some unique features to look for that can help block out common sounds, such as traffic, your engine, and the wind.

Aerodynamic Shape

When riding your bike, one of the biggest sources of noise is having the wind blow through your helmet. The faster your bike goes, the louder it sounds.

Buying a helmet that has an aerodynamic design can help block out the roaring of the wind, so you have a quieter ride. The best shape will have a smooth, curved, tight fit on the bottom and a wider profile at the top.

Interior

Some helmets come with extra interior perks that can help you have a quieter ride. Not only can these features block wind noise, but they can also muffle road noise.

Components that can make your helmet quieter include a neck roll and cheek pads. The neck roll seals the area between your head and neck to block out noise. Cheek pads also help reduce noise. 

Chin Curtains

Not all helmets come with chin curtains, which is a unique feature that can help filter out common noise pollution during your ride. It's also great during cold temperatures to keep you warm.

But you can buy these separately so it shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you find a great helmet that doesn't have this feature.

Arai vs Schuberth Helmet For Quiet Motorcycling - Comparison Overview 

Let's compare a couple of our tops to see how they balance out.

Aerodynamics

The design of your helmet can play a significant role in the noise level inside your helmet. The proper aerodynamics allows the wind to roll over the top of the helmet, reducing noise.

Schuberth offers helmets with advanced aerodynamic designs that help reduce noise levels to less than 82 decibels. Their helmets also have enhanced aero-acoustics.

The Arai offers sleek, stylish designs, but they are less aerodynamic, meaning you may hear more noise while riding. 

Ventilation

Since noise is the biggest sound issue when riding, it helps to have a helmet that features vents. Not only will your head stay cooler, but the wind channels can also help reduce noise.

Schuberth uses multiple vents in their helmet designs that allow for better air circulation and equal air distribution, making your ride quieter.

Arai helmets come with limited ventilation along the top of the helmet so that you may experience more noise. But the thick cushioned liner on the inside does block out more sound, a feature that the Schuberth doesn't offer.

Shields

Face shields help block the wind from hitting your face. It also reduces the noise that comes through your helmet. An ideal shield will lay flush against your helmet with no gaps.

Arai uses secure locks that keep your shield in place flat against the helmet to block out sound. It also keeps you safe from potential dangers.  

How To Make a Motorcycle Helmet Quieter

There are some ways you can make your motorcycle helmet quieter.

  1. Raise your bike screen to block more wind (if applicable).

  2. Have an aerodynamic helmet with an aero-acoustic wind channel.

  3. Pick a helmet with a visor that seals closed so air can't get inside.

  4. Wear earplugs.

Refer to this video for a more in-depth explanation of how to make your motorcycle helmet quieter.

Conclusion 

When choosing a helmet for motorcycles, you'll want one that offers the best safety protection but also helps you have a quieter ride. Helmets with a face shield, such as full or modular helmets, offer the best noise reduction. An aerodynamic shape will also reduce noise.

People Also Ask

Here are a few common questions people also ask about the quietest motorcycle helmets.

How Loud is it Inside a Motorcycle Helmet?

Motorcycles can idle around 80 dB. Constant exposure to anything over 85 dB can result in permanent hearing loss after just 15 minutes of exposure. When the bike is moving, the noise can get up to 115 dB. Quiet helmets can reduce the noise to a safe 80 dB, although others may not.

Are Quiet Motorcycle Helmets Heavier?

Some of the best quiet motorcycle helmets are heavier than regular helmets. This issue is due to the extra features that come with quiet helmets. However, they don't have much excess weight to be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.

Why Are Shoei Helmets So Expensive?

Shoei helmets cost more than other brands because they use better materials to create aerodynamically advanced helmets. They also undergo more safety testing than other models. The different features and the country where they're made also brings up the price tag. Shoei helmets are handmade and shipped from Japan.

How to Measure For a Motorcycle Helmet

Use a cloth or metal tape, or a piece of ribbon that you measure with a ruler, to get the size of your head. Measure above your ears and one inch below your eyebrows. The tape should wrap around your full head. Then compare your measurements to the sizing chart from the company.

Are Loose Fitting Helmets Louder?

Yes, loose-fitting helmets do get louder. When a helmet doesn't rest snug against your head, it allows more room for air to penetrate. The more air that gets inside your helmet, the louder the sound.

How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet Fit Better

The best way to make a motorcycle helmet fit better is to get one the right size for your head. Next, make sure the cheek pads rest snug against your cheeks. Adjusting the chin strap of your helmet can also give you a better fit. And with some helmets, you can get padded liners that reduce the amount of room in the helmet, making it fit better.