Snowboard helmet headphones.

Snowboarding is never boring, and you don’t really ever need distracting from what you’re up to, but maybe you have a solo lift ride, or some git is yacking on a mobile phone up a long chair, or you just want to time your kicker pops to a slamming beat. Anyhoo, some snowboard helmets (you do wear a lid, right?) have the facility for slipping some headphones into the liner where they cover the ear.

I have a Giro Grove helmet and it’s got that facility. Where the pad meets the helmet at the top you’ll find a little velcro tab, which peels open to reveal a foam pocket which if you pop out the fabric disc in the center provides a recess for some headphones.

If you fancy shelling out a hundred quid or more there are a few products that suggest they’ll pop right in, but when I was scouting the net I found as many complaints about them failing as people saying “yeh, they’re ok”. I’m not naming any names but I’m sure you’ll find the same as me.

As it happened, I had some Sony MDR Q22LPS lying around from when I used to have a ring in my tragus so I couldn’t use earbuds.

I cracked them open, fully expecting to find some variation of a piezo disc inside them.
The coloured cap just pops off, which lets you get a better grip. Then you can see some tabs where the white plastic part meets the black part, carefully prize those guys open and *taking care* when separating the halves you find you’ve got perfect disc shaped headphones with some VERY THIN wires attached. I had to clip the earphone backs with scissors to get them to release the headphone wire.

I mixed some araldite and being careful not to block the hole in the center of the speaker assembly, I spludged it all over the delicate wires and used more to bond the shielded wire to the body of the speaker assembly. Giving that 20 mins to set, I messed around with my video camera since I got a new follow focus for it.
[flickr]photo:6871669381[/flickr]

Slip the headphones into the ear pockets from the back, like slide them *under* the padding so the wire’s far from your ear, and stash the wires under the padded head lining of the helmet, which is just velcroed into the hardshell. Voila, you can stick your iPod on and get on with being crashed into by that skiier you couldn’t hear coming. Choice.
[flickr]photo:6871730519[/flickr]