Safety is undeniably the first priority when it comes to purchasing a ski helmet. Whenever you’re shopping for a ski helmet whether it is for an expert, and adult enthusiast, or a child skier, you want to ensure that it will protect you to the best of its ability in case of an accident.
Once you have ensured that you are looking at high-quality, ASTM-certified ski helmets, aesthetics are increasingly becoming an important consideration, and bluetooth audio technology is an emerging trend, too. Trust us, there is no better way to kill time while stuck on a chairlift than to listen to music.
But with so many swoon-worthy tech-enabled helmets on the market (that are also ultra-safe), it’s tough to narrow down the best of the best—but we’ve done it! Below, we’ve put together our roundup of the best ski helmets with speakers and Bluetooth. Though some of the helmets we listed may be pricey investments, they’ll ensure that you can enjoy your favorite playlists in stellar quality as you’re zooming down the mountain. We’ve also included some more budget-friendly options that we feel are just as great—so no pressure to spend. Standard helmets, be gone. Happy shopping!
Recommended Ski Helmets with Speaker and Bluetooth
POC Obex Communication
-Top-notch sound quality
-A do-it-all helmet
Chips Ski Helmet Headphones
-For use with other ski helmets
-Designed for skiing and cold weather
-Best sound quality of any of your options
-ABS shell and EPS foam padding
-Brainteaser Aidio integration
-Available in a wide range of colors
-Baseline audio system
-Use with your own speakers
-Plenty of sizes and colors available
Chips 3.0: Ski Helmet Headphones (compatible with most helmets)
Let’s start with the most universal option on the list, and the most comprehensive. The Chips ski helmet headphones (here) are designed to pick up a bluetooth signal from your device, while fitting snugly inside the ear space of your existing helmet. This is probably the option for people who are really serious about listening to their music or having communication abilities while skiing or boarding.
I personally used the Chips headphones and loved them. They fit pretty well with my POC helmet, and there was never any risk of the sound moving around like there can be when using air pods. I had zero issues with the headphones not picking up my device, even after one pretty good spill. Battery life in the headphones lasted all day on the slopes, which for me was about 7 hours. The need to be charged after use every day.
Controlling the headphones was easy with a singular button to activate, which is nice when your hands are freezing cold. Using voice activation like Siri is probably the best way to do go when you are on a lift or on the slopes.
POC Obex Communication (w/ SPIN)
The cream of the crop for integration bluetooth helmets. In an article from last ski season, CNET hailed the POC Obex (Find it Here on Amazon) as a true “step up” from its peer helmets. In our opinion, the ‘Obex Communication’ model —manufactured by the Swiss company—has set the gold standard for audio-enabled ski helmets. Headphones are integrated into the helmet—so you simply have to wiggle the included cord under your jacket and insert into your smartphone (or other audio device of choice). Due to the top-notch sound quality, your neighbors on the gondola may be able to overhear what you’re listening to even if you’re playing them at a moderate volume—so choose your playlist carefully! The helmet’s remote control cord—which is compatible with most smartphones—enables riders to switch songs, take calls, and adjust the volume seamlessly. It was also specially engineered to be super lightweight—but also aramid reinforced to absorb maximum impact and provide protection.
Why the reference to “SPIN”? As of model year 2021, Obex is using a patent-pending technology for its foam padding layer which is designed to make the helmet more comfort and better-fitting. This system is called the “Shearing Pad Inside” technology, or “SPIN” for short. Even more, the helmet has vents at the goggles to release steam as well as a robust ventilation system throughout the entire helmet. Of course, you’re able to adjust the chin strap to ensure a safe and comfortable fit. In our opinion, the designers of this helmet anticipated all possible needs of skiers on the slopes and preemptively responded to them with the Obex’s head-turning design and plethora of features. Designed in white or black finishes, the Fornix Communication comes in sizes XS-S, M-L, and XL-XXL and is at the higher-end of the price range, but it is perhaps the best overall. If you’re looking for a do-it-all helmet, this is truly the one—and it’s worth its price tag. How far away is Christmas again? (here)
Demon’s Phantom Helmet with Brainteaser Audio (Find it Here) is an excellent option for skiers seeking style, high-quality headphones, and value. Covered with a smooth ABS shell and lines with EPS foam padding, it adheres to all safety standards. Vents in the front and back of the helmet add to its cool aesthetic and will keep you dry during your time on the mountain. Its big draw, however, is the Brainteaser Audio integration—just plug the included auxiliary cord into your smartphone and enjoy your music of choice! The volume control was designed to be easy-to-use—even when you’re wearing gloves or mittens—optimal for when it’s too freezing to even think of taking off your gloves. This is an issue we’ve encountered with other helmet audio systems, so we’re glad that the Phantom Helmet tackled this problem head-on. Another nice feature of the Phantom helmets are that you can easily remove both the audio as well as the ear flaps, which can be nice for days when you are skiing with friends or carving in spring skiing conditions.
The helmet comes in six matte shades—gray, orange, green, blue, white, and black—and is offered in four sizes (S, M, L, and XL). Plus, if you purchase on Amazon, a free fleece Balaclava face mask is included in your order. The helmet’s price is in the lower-end of the range for bluetooth audio ski helmets, depending on the size and color combo you choose. (here)
The K2 Phase Helmet (Find it Here) speaks for itself—it looks like it belongs on the heads of professional skiers as they race down the course. Among those who we talk to and poll, the Phase helmet gets rave reviews for its style, comfort, and fit. Available in a wide range of colors—white, blue, black, black / red, bleached orange, brick, lime, and moss—the helmet’s graffiti-like decals add to its cool feel. Its Active Matrix Ventilation system ensures that riders can quickly adjust their airflow so that their helmet never gets too hot or cold. The helmet is super lightweight, meaning that it won’t bog you down while skiing. K2 helmets always seem to fit well because of the company’s patented fit design —and its adjustable fit means that it may be a good helmet choice for growing kids and teens. Plus, its good fit means that you won’t be distracted from your time on the slopes. (Nothing’s worse than an ill-fitting helmet)!
As far as audio goes, the Phase helmet uses an integrated Baseline audio system that lets you bring your music to the slopes and even make calls, adding another layer of fun to your ski adventure. You can choose from a few different K2 helmets that feature the Baseline audio system, but we think the Phase offers the best combination of comfort, performance, and affordability. Audio quality generally is OK, not high-end, but you get what you pay for. Again, a wonderful option for those seeking to blend style and value. (here)
Smith Mission Helmet
We are big fans of this year’s Mission helmet from Smith (Find it here on Amazon). It is a good-looking helmet, and one that tends to fit most wearers very well. It comes in 4 sizes and 10 colors, giving you the ultimate in choice and customization. A well-ventilated helmet, it tends to be very comfortable in a wide range of temps.
As you can imagine, this helmet works great with Smith-branded goggles.
The helmet has well-built earflaps that contain compartments for speakers. You use your own speakers, which allows you to customize with whatever suits your budget and needs. The flaps that hold the speakers are actually quite concealed, and it might take you a minute to find them, but that just shows how well-designed the helmet is. The combination of a comfortable helmet and excellent compartment for the speakers gives you a bluetooth system ready for the slopes. (here)
Do the Ski Helmets Have Built-In Speakers?
Usually not. In the majority of examples above, the helmets are made with areas designed to hold speakers. They often have holes built for wires as well, but of course we prefer to use bluetooth so emphasis is placed on the speaker space. There are exceptions, such as the POC Obex (the first one we mention) which comes with high-quality speakers built right in.
Which Headphones Work Best For Skiing?
If you are going the route of using a helmet that is built for skiers wearing headphones, you will want to be sure you get the right headphones. Obviously, bluetooth or wireless headphones are going to be most comfortable and least-intrusive.
Regular Apple Airpods work really well. They are low-profile enough to fit neatly within the ear compartments of most helmets. And, well, Apple is the king when it comes to bluetooth headphones.
The other brand of headphones that rivals — or even surpasses — Apple when it comes to skiing is the Libratone. The Libratone Track Air is a great low-profile headphone, and it is waterproof so can withstand sweat, melting snow, or the spilled drink at apres ski. We also love that you can turn the noise-cancelling off. On the slopes, it is much better to be aware than aloof.
Paul Miller is the Founder of Family Skier. He is an advanced skier and has extensive experience with family travel and ski schools. An accomplished skier, he has skied in 15 states and provinces and 6 countries. In addition to FamilySkier, his writing can be found on many ski-related websites, and as curriculum for many ski clubs in North America.