Updated: October 2022
I don’t know about you, but I love the sound of my bike.
The deep burble of the v-twin. That slight air of malice upon idle. The sleek and slender face of a cheetah, combined with the roar and anger of a lion.
Consequently, it truly lives up to the ‘Africa’ in its name. But whilst I cherish the sound of my Africa Twin, I don’t want to be bombarded by it when I tour.
Because whilst it’s nice to bask in the note of your engine on a Sunday morning blast, it becomes a weapon on your hearing when you tour over long distances.
So in this post, we look at 10 of the quietest motorcycle helmets money can buy.
View more like this in our Helmets Category
Schuberth C3 Pro
We’re big fans of this latest offering from Schuberth. Not only does it look good, but you can feel the quality simply by putting it on. It has that luxury feel about it.
Its patented direct fibre (DFP) fibreglass shell keeps it light, with smaller sizes weighing in at 1,600g and larger ones at 1,800g.
As you might expect, the C5 was developed in the wind tunnel for optimum aerodynamics and aero-acoustics.
Unlike the C3/C3 Pro and the C4/C4 Pro, which were all built upon the improvement of existing models, the C5 is all-new. It shares none of the components of its predecessors – only the experience that has come from trial and error.
As a result, an immediate reduction in wind noise is noticeable – even in comparison to the highly coveted C3 and C4 Pro models. There’s also less buffeting in comparison to the C4 Pro, and the re-designed neck roll reduces ambient wind noise, too.
In previous years, the C3 Pro was a tough lid to beat if you were compiling a list of the quietest motorcycle helmets. But for comfortable, peaceful, all-day riding, the C5 is the new one to beat.
Find the Schuberth C5 on:
Schuberth C3 Pro
Schuberth helmets are known for being among the quietest motorcycle helmets money can buy. And for many years now, the C3 has been the most popular helmet in Schuberth’s line-up. For good reason.
Developed as a flip-front (modular) helmet, the C3 Pro is functional, comfortable, and loaded with quality protection. Furthermore, it’s as happy on long tours as on weekend blasts.
As a result of being developed in wind tunnels, the C3 Pro provides exceptional comfort by minimising contact pressure, reducing lift, improving directional stability, and reducing wind buffeting.
If noise is a factor for you, it’s worth noting that the C3 is one of the quietest helmets in the world, producing around 82 decibels of noise at 100 kph (62 mph.)
Additionally, the neck cushion has been ergonomically designed and includes a precisely placed wind deflector to further reduce noise.
On the rear, the spoiler ensures greater comfort and aerodynamics thanks to progressive wind tunnel testing, and the overall shape of the helmet has been designed with aero-acoustics in mind.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to find one of these on the cheap, thanks to the C4 and C5 releases.
Find the Schuberth C3 Pro on:
Schuberth C4 Pro Carbon
If you’ve got the extra cash, it might be worth looking at the more expensive C4 Pro Carbon.
With cutting-edge technology, high-end materials and build quality, it’s up there as a gold standard lid that is also one of the quietest motorcycle helmets on the market.
The C4 Pro Carbon is built with comfort and quietness in mind. And this is evident in the interior fittings and optimised acoustics.
Like the C3 and the C5, the C4 Pro Carbon has been optimised through extensive development in the wind tunnel. And the result is an incredibly stable helmet that rides quiet no matter what speed you seem to go.
With its optimised neck roll and noise reduction at the mechanical attachments, the C4 Pro Carbon rides at around 85 decibels at 100 kph on a non-faired bike.
Find the Schuberth C4 Pro Carbon on:
Shoei Neotec 2
One of the things we like about Shoei’s Neotec 2 is its no-nonsense approach. It’s a simple-looking helmet, built from quality materials, and is light and durable.
As well as this, it has a Sharp 4-star rating and is one of the quietest motorcycle helmets on the market.
The big button release on the front makes the flip front easy to use with bulky bike gloves. And the same can be said for the internal visor button on the side of the helmet.
It also comes with a washable inner and a Pinlock anti-fog system. And the Neotec includes an integrated communications system designed by Sena specifically for the Neotec 2.
The neck pad on the Shoei is thick and works as a seal between your face and the outside world.
And the design of the cheek pads enhances the dampening of environmental sounds.
Find the Shoei Neotec 2 on:
Shoei GT Air 2
As with all Shoei helmets, the GT Air 2 is extremely well-built. This results in better aerodynamics, enhanced noise reduction technology, and harmonious integration with the Sena SRL2 communications system.
In addition, the GT Air 2 is available in various shell sizes, which can be combined with 4 different inner pad sizes. This aids in better fit and comfort and also the improvement of noise reduction.
The removable inner offers a contoured fit, enhanced comfort, and noise control. Furthermore, an integrated spoiler in the chin bar helps provide a quieter ride whilst the chin curtain further reduces wind noise.
Finally, the integrated spoiler aids in aerodynamics and acoustics.
Find the Shoei GT Air 2 on:
Shoei NXR (RF-1200 Outside EU)
We’re big fans of this helmet because it’s the no-frills version of the more expensive helmets in Shoei’s range. But the cheaper price doesn’t take away from its quality, and it’s still one of our quietest motorcycle helmets around.
Its compact shell design and build mean the NXR is lightweight whilst maintaining structural strength. And its noise reduction technology is highly effective.
Unlike its bigger siblings, the NXR doesn’t come ready to install comms systems. But it does come with a great fit and a variety of cheek pad options to personalise comfort and reduce wind noise.
We also like the venting system, which has 4 inlets on the brow, and 6 outlets at the rear.
The integrated spoiler at the rear improves the dynamics of the helmet. And in turn, it helps with wind noise, buffeting, and acoustic control.
Find the Shoei NXR on:
HJC R-PHA 70
The R-PHA 70 is a mid-range, sports touring all-rounder. It’s slightly heavier than its Shoei rival (the NXR), coming in at 1,485g. But it’s still lighter than many others on the market at this price point, thanks to its carbon and carbon-glass hybrid fabric shell.
The main reason for its lightweight properties is that this HJC is based on previous racing helmets. Moreover, the racing properties carried over don’t just keep it light in weight. They also affect aerodynamics and noise-reducing features.
Is it the quietest helmet we’ve ever worn? No. But for a full-face helmet, it’s quieter than many of its similarly-priced competitors.
Despite not being up there with the Schuberth’s of the world, this lid is still pretty quiet on a range of bikes in various riding conditions.
The large cheek pads do an excellent job of preventing wind from ricocheting through the gaps. And on the whole, this is a mid-range helmet that is quiet, light, and well-ventilated.
Find the HJC R-PHA 70 on:
Shark Evo ONE 2
We were fans of the original Shark Evo ONE, so it’s no surprise to see further improvements on the Evo ONE 2.
Noise-reducing designs are prevalent in the new design thanks to virtual simulations. As with the Schuberth’s above, the Evo ONE 2 has been designed with stability and noise reduction at its core.
Even the breath guard on this helmet is removable, retractable, noise-absorbant, and magnetised. As a result, it’s one of the quietest motorcycle helmets in its price bracket.
To improve noise isolation radiating from the rear vent, Shark incorporated a clever lower lip joint which increases airflow and quietens noise.
Furthermore, the chin guard locking system is optimised for improved ergonomics, flexibility, and prevention of wind whistling through the joint.
Find the Shark Evo ONE 2 on:
Arai Tour X4
The first thing we noticed about the new Tour X4 is the improved wind flow and noise reduction. The neck roll, combined with the flattened bottom edge, does a great job of keeping out the wind.
Being an adventure-inspired lid, we loved all the strategically placed vents to keep you cool on the trails. But we feared this could lead to heightened wind noise.
We needn’t have worried as the helmet stayed quiet even with the vents open.
The removable visor is great for swapping out for goggles. But probably not great for keeping out the noise! If you want a quieter experience, keep the visor on.
That said, the peak is a great addition for blocking glare as the sun sets in mid-July.
On the whole, this helmet is strong, durable, well-made, and weighs in at 1,710g.
The peripheral vision is extensive, thanks to its wide field of view. And the removable cheek pads go a long way to personalising fit and reducing noise.
Find the Arai Tour X4 on:
Bell Qualifier DLX
The Bell Qualifier DLX is our favourite helmet on a budget. Overall, it’s lightweight, has a transitions adaptive visor as standard, and has good noise-protective features.
From the off, it was evident that the padded wind collar did a good job of reducing road and wind noise. And we felt the aerodynamic profile prevented wind buffeting and lift whilst riding.
The transitions adaptive visor on this helmet is not available on any of the other helmets on this list. And it also comes with integrated speaker pockets and accommodates the Bell Sena SMH10 comms unit.
As a package, this is an excellent budget helmet that provides good noise protection and a lot of features for the money.
Find the Bell Qualifier DLX on:
Are Modular Helmets Noisy?
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But modular helmets offer better noise protection than full-face lids. So they generally make for the quietest motorcycle helmets.
The head hole on a full-face helmet has to be large enough for you to fit your head through. And once it’s on, it leaves a large, gaping hole underneath your chin where wind and noise can make their way up.
With a modular helmet, the helmet has to be put on with the chin section in the upward position. Once closed, the chin section can wrap further under your chin to reduce wind noise and draft.
Quietest Motorcycle Helmet Under $200 (£145)
It’s all well and good to suggest helmets that cost £500 and above. You would expect them to provide everything you would ever need at that price.
But what about if you’re a new rider? Or what if you’re simply on a budget?
We figured that most people on a budget would consider somewhere around $200 a reasonable price for a do-it-all helmet.
And in this price range, the Bell Qualifier DLX offers some unique features whilst being lightweight and protecting you from unwanted noise.
Sure, the technology is a little old now. But the transitions adaptive visor has always been a crowd-pleaser. And for the price, we’re struggling to find a better one.
If you’re looking for the quietest motorcycle helmets on a budget, you can’t go far wrong with this one from Bell.
How To Make A Motorcycle Helmet Quieter
If you’re not in a position to spend a fortune on a super-duper helmet (or you already own one that you’re not ready to part with), there are plenty of things you can do to make your riding experience quieter.
Try some of these suggestions:
Good Screens Accompany The Quietest Motorcycle Helmets
People get themselves into all sorts of trouble when they start messing with screens! Yes, there are aftermarket screens for pretty much every bike known to humankind.
But hardly any of them have had the time, money, and resources thrown at them than the ones developed by manufacturers.
If your bike came with a screen from the manufacturer, then you’re usually best off sticking with it. Pair this with one of the quietest motorcycle helmets above for great results.
If you ride a naked bike, chances are you won’t be doing much touring on it anyway.
But if you do ride long distances on a naked (or any bike without a screen), a modular helmet in combination with a thick neck roll or windjammer will serve you well.
The Quietest Motorcycle Helmets Still Need Earplugs
Regardless of how quiet your helmet may be (including the ones above), it’s still highly recommended that you wear earplugs.
There are all sorts of plugs available these days, from disposable, filtered, and even custom-made options.
As technology moves on, we’ve also been testing noise-cancelling headphones, which are insanely good at reducing unwanted noise in your lid.
The Quietest Motorcycle Helmets Fit Well
It doesn’t matter how quiet your helmet is if it’s too big. The smaller the gaps, the less chance you have of wind getting in them and rattling around inside.
Moreover, helmets that are too large won’t protect you in a crash, either. The quietest motorcycle helmets are the ones that fit well.
Get Yourself A Windjammer
We’re big fans of the Proline Windjammer 2 here at Motorcycle Tourer HQ.
If you’re unfamiliar with windjammers, they’re pieces of technical material that act as draught excluders for your helmet.
Once fitted, a windjammer stops wind (and noise) from entering your helmet and damaging your ears. It also prevents pulling on your neck.
After earplugs, we find a windjammer invaluable to reducing wind noise and riding-related fatigue.
Oh, and if you’re into making videos or vlogging, a windjammer helps a lot with your audio, too!
Quietest Motorcycle Helmets: Conclusion
Riding a motorcycle is loud. Even though you might not think it at the time. And even though you love the noise it makes.
But noise isn’t just coming from your bike. It’s coming from the wind and other environmental factors along the way.
Prolonged exposure to this noise damages your ears. And the worst bit? It’s irreversible.
As I said at the top of this post, I love the sound of my Africa Twin. But in a few years when the bike is long gone, I don’t want to be suffering from the damage it did to my ears.
And neither do you.
Get a noise-reducing helmet and some earplugs. That’s all you need.
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