Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers Buying Guide

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Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers Buying Guide

Virtually every motorcycle movie ever made features a scene with music playing while the protagonist rides his or her bike down the road. There is just something about cruising along the open road that begs for the added beat of some great music. Unfortunately, most motorcycles do not come with built-in audio systems. This is generally for practical reasons since there is far less room on a motorcycle to install an audio system than there is inside a car. There is also the issue of wind noise. That can be bad enough in a car with the windows rolled down, and it is much worse on a motorcycle, many of which do not offer any kind of protection against the wind, and that means no protection from wind noise.

Another issue is figuring out where to mount speakers since motorcycles rarely have mounting points for them. One common solution is to install speakers directly on the handlebars, where they are both accessible and positioned so the wind directs the sound towards the rider. Stores that sell automotive audio systems often offer these types of motorcycle sound systems. Online sources like eBay can also be a great way to find good deals on handlebar speakers.

How Speakers Work

Before understanding the specifics of a motorcycle handlebar speaker, it is important to understand how speakers work in general. At its simplest, a speaker is nothing more than a pump that generates pressure waves in the air. Most speakers rely on a series of magnets to drive a membrane or diaphragm to move air and produce sound. Volume can be controlled by adjusting the amplitude of the movement and pitch by varying the frequency. It is a simple system that works very well.

Speakers in the Motorcycle Environment

While motorcycle handlebar speakers are subject to the same physical laws as all other speakers, the circumstances of their mounting requires that certain additional considerations be taken into account that are not necessary for most speakers, particularly speakers used in homes or in cars. Motorcycle handlebar speakers are outdoor, rather than indoor, speakers and this makes a significant difference when balancing features against a given rider's needs.

Weather Conditions

Due to the size and design of motorcycle handlebars, motorcycle handlebar speakers are mounted on the outside of the handlebars, fully exposed to the environment. This is a much harsher environment than the majority of speakers face, and motorcycle handlebar speakers have to be designed to withstand and work in any weather. This means they have to be able to continue to function in extreme temperatures and also in wet weather. While most handlebar speakers are at least water-resistant, some are not designed to be used in extremely wet conditions, presumably because most casual riders do not ride in the pouring rain.

Vibration and Mounting

It is also important to mount motorcycle handlebar speakers properly. Any motorcycle vibrates while in motion, and the handlebars transmit those vibrations to the rider and to anything that is mounted on them. This includes handlebar speakers. The key problem with vibration is that speakers rely on sound vibration to function, so any additional vibration can affect the sound. The solution is to mount the speakers solidly to the handlebars so they do not vibrate unnecessarily. This helps ensure the best possible sound.

Things to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers

There are a number of factors every purchaser needs to consider when looking for a set of motorcycle handlebar speakers, and every one of them depends on the prospective buyer's knowledge. The very first thing any rider should do is take the time to determine exactly what kind of speakers he or she needs and why they are needed. By understanding their own needs, buyers can ensure that they are in a position to make informed decisions, and this greatly increases their chances of satisfaction. The key here is for the buyer to understand how the different features of handlebar speakers can meet those needs. It does take some time, effort, and thought, but the results are worth it.

Set a Budget

One of the most important early steps when looking for a new set of motorcycle handlebar speakers is determining the available budget. This not only makes it easier for the buyer to narrow down the choices, but it also helps him or her figure out a list of priorities. Making a realistic budget is the first step in taking control of the purchasing process, and that plays a huge role in buyer satisfaction.

Consider Speaker Power

The output of most speakers is rated in watts. The more watts drawn by a given set of speakers, the more powerful they are, and the louder they can be. This is particularly important for buyers who regularly cruise at high speeds because they may not be able to get clear sound from a quiet set of speakers. Speaker power does come at a cost. Not only are more powerful speakers often more expensive, they also put more strain on the battery. This makes it very important not to leave the speakers on after the motorcycle is turned off, as they can drain the battery in short order, and a dead battery is a major inconvenience.

Weather Protection

Weather is one of the most damaging things handlebar speakers can face. Extremes in temperature and moisture can degrade the overall performance of speakers and even damage them. As with power, the amount of weather a set of speakers can handle is often closely correlated with price, and more expensive sets are often more weather resistant than less expensive speakers. Considering the climate and seasons in which a given person may use a motorcycle makes it much easier to ensure a satisfactory listening experience. Someone who only rides in the summer and puts the motorcycle away during inclement weather is less likely to need exceptional weather protection than a person who uses a motorcycle for the daily commute to work, rain or shine.

The following table indicates the qualities a buyer should pay attention to when looking for a set of handlebar speakers.

Quality

Explanation

Price

More expensive speakers are generally higher quality

Balance

Some speakers focus on one factor, such as weather resistance, more than others

Power Draw

More powerful speakers produce more sound, but drain the battery more quickly

Mounting

The more secure the mounting, the better the sound

Installation

The easier the installation, the more likely the mounting is to be secure

Weather Resistance

Weather-resistant speakers can be very important to all-weather riders

It all comes down to knowledge and understanding. Individuals who know what they want and understand why they want it are always going to have more successful purchasing histories than people who do not know these things.

Buying Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers on eBay

One of the best possible places to buy motorcycle handlebar speakers is eBay. The site offers a huge variety of products from all over the globe. All you need to do is put the keywords you want into the search box that is found on every eBay page and watch as the results appear on your screen. You can also refine your search results by adding additional search terms or by using the filters to focus more clearly on listings that really meet your needs. You can filter by everything from item location to price range to brand, making it easy to ensure that most unsuitable results are eliminated. You can also take advantage of eBay's sort function to make sure that the listings that best fit your needs are concentrated at the top of the list and are the first ones you see.

After arranging your results the way you like them, the next thing to do is focus on finding your most compatible seller. The key to choosing a seller lies on the profile pages, where you can see everything from their feedback ratings to their location, as well as any other policies that may be important. Some sellers may offer bundle deals, such as including the tools to mount the speakers, while others may allow local buyers to eliminate shipping costs by picking their speakers up in person.

Conclusion

Motorcycle handlebar speakers are a great way for riders to listen to music while enjoying the feel of the wind whipping by on a motorcycle on the open road. One of the keys to finding the right set of handlebar speakers is taking the time to understand exactly what the buyer requires. Weather resistance can be a huge benefit to someone who uses a motorcycle as part of a regular daily commute throughout the year, but it may be less important to the person who takes a motorcycle out a few times a year and rides it only in good weather. Other important factors include the mounting, which has a direct impact on performance, and the buyer's available budget.

As always, knowledge is the key. It is what separates the satisfied buyer from the disappointed buyer and ensures that all buyers get the speakers that meet their requirements rather than just speaker sets that happen to be available within budget. Nothing can make a buyer happier than having the right set of handlebar speakers for a long motorcycle cruise on the motorway.

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