Should You Use Headphones While Biking? How To Listen To Music On The Road?

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Is using headphones illegal for biking? Should I use headphones while biking? The causes and solutions are right below. Let’s scroll down for them.

Listening to music while biking is an enjoyable experience. However, this action may lead to unfortunate accidents. Some governments, as a result, ban headphones for bikers and runners.

On the other hand, playing music on your bike is still possible if you know the tips to avoid accidents. Some extra equipment or setting adjustments on your headphones can help.

This article will explain the reasons you should be careful with the sound from your headphones while you’re on the road. We also give you some ideas for listening to music safely. Let’s read on to discover!

Where Mustn’t You Use Headphones While Riding A Bike?

Although it may appear dangerous, only seven states ban headphones on the road: Maryland, Delaware, Florida, California, Rhode Island, New York, and Virginia.

Among seven places, only Maryland, Delaware, and California restrict headsets that cover both ears. On the other hand, Maryland still allows them on bike lanes.

Bicyclists in other states must not use a headset that covers only one ear. The grey area is Pennsylvania. The government there bans cars from wearing headphones. However, it is unclear if this rule extends to bicycles.

Why Is Wearing Headphones While Riding A Bike Dangerous? 

Even if your state doesn’t ban riding with headphones, you shouldn’t do so. Here are the reasons.


Safety is the main cause why bikers avoid riding with headphones.

Bikers are more aware of their surroundings if they can hear the traffic. It’s simple to tell if a car or a large truck is coming to pass them.

Listening to the bike might help you detect minor issues before they turn into massive disasters. There’s also something to be said for figuring out how your tire knobby touches the ground.


Recognizing the presence of others is an essential part of respect. If you’re wearing headsets, how can you know there’s someone behind you?

Hearing loss

If you wear headphones to block the outside sound, you’re probably listening to them at a loud volume. According to recent research, hearing loss occurs at 85 decibels. Meanwhile, the volume that most trach players perform is often at 75%.

Poor riding performance

It all basically boils down to concentration. Headsets may distract your mind even when you still have your eyes open. As a result, you can’t focus on your riding and perform worse.

Illegal issue

It’s unlawful to wear headphones while riding in some states. If you commit the crime, you will surely get punishment.

Not necessary

Do you have to listen to music while biking? Music can help you relax for sure, but not when you’re on the street.

Headphones are portable because they can serve your needs anytime. However, if music is not your ultimate need, headphones are not suitable to use.

Listening to music while biking may lead to serious accidents

Listening to music while biking may lead to serious accidents

Ten Best Tips For Riding With Headphones

There are only some states that ban wearing headphones on the road. It means that you can unwind with music while biking. Yet, it’s still valid when it comes to the risks of your action. To enjoy music properly, you should try some tips.

Use one earbud only

Some people may think that listening to music with only one earbud is meaningless.

However, even with the sound from one side, you’d be amazed at how clearly you can enjoy music. Allow the other ear to face the traffic so you can still hear everything that crosses your path.

Avoid noise-canceling earbuds

Noise-canceling earbuds and headphones work best in airplanes, offices, subways, and other noisy places. The roadway is not a place where noise-canceling headsets would be beneficial.

If you have to cover both ears, use regular headphones that enable you to detect incoming traffic, sirens, as well as other traffic noise.

Use bone conduction devices

The bone conduction technique transmits sound via your bones, as the name indicates. Sound will reach your ear via your cheekbones, passing your eardrum.

Bone conduction headsets do not sit into your ears. Alternatively, they stay in front of your ears and enable you to be aware of your surroundings while playing music.

Bone conduction technique is a good idea

Bone conduction technique is a good idea 

See more:

Some Ultimate Tips Of How To Fix Sound Delay On Bluetooth Headphones

How To Listen To Music While Swimming?

Best Headphones For Cycling: Top 10 Products For Everyone

Lower the volume

Simplicity always works. Setting the volume low not only protects you against accidents but also lowers your chances of getting noise-induced hearing damage.

Examine the wind speed

When the wind blows fast, you aren’t able to hear the music with your headphones.

In this case, consider leaving your headphones at home if the weather app forecasts strong wind gusts. You’ll escape the frustrating loop of turning the volume up to have it muffled out by the wind.

Use Bluetooth speaker for listening to music

If you want to hear music without any stuff in your ears, this is a beautiful alternative to the bone conduction headsets. Purchase a tiny Bluetooth speaker and attach it to somewhere convenient.

You can attach it to your backpack or handlebar if you’re riding. Otherwise, there are some types of speakers that enable you to clip on your clothes.

You can both enjoy your music and still hear the noise around you.

Discover more bike speaker ideas right here.

Buy a Bluetooth helmet

Riders must wear helmets all the time. If you feel like music can complete your trip, invest in Bluetooth-equipped equipment.

A Bluetooth-enabled helmet will help you stay safe. It also enables you to enjoy your own music while remaining aware of your surroundings.

Bluetooth helmets are worth trying

Bluetooth helmets are worth trying

Stop to adjust the volume

If something goes wrong with the audio, get out of the way before making any modifications. When you want to adjust something, you will focus less on your road.

Moreover, you can only use one hand to ride your bike. The other hand is busy handling your issue. How can you stay balanced with only one hand on the handlebar?

Trying to bike or run while altering volume, switching tunes, or tweaking your headphone may seem obvious, but it will lead to dangerous accidents.

Obey traffic rules

Traffic rules, especially for bikers and runners, differ in states and countries.

On the other hand, bikers must comply with the same regulations as cars, and runners must stick to the same restrictions as pedestrians. You can visit the webpage of your local ministry of transportation to learn and apply rules on your expertise.

Be vigilant

You may be following the regulations. However, it doesn’t imply everybody else on the street does. As a result, always keep an eye out for pedestrians, runners, and bikers. It would be best if the bikers were always aware of their surroundings.

Also, pay extra attention to emergency vehicles that are rushing, changing lanes suddenly, or doing any that might cause an accident.

Always be vigilant

Always be vigilant


Many reasons are leading to the ban of headphones while riding a bike. It may distract the biker’s brain from focusing on the traffic. They can’t be aware of their surroundings. As a result, disasters will happen.

If you want to use your headset safely, remember to adjust the volume appropriately. The ultimate rule to stay safe is to be vigilant all the time. Don’t be too deep in the music and forget that you need to ride your bike on the road.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!


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