Music and motorcycles often go hand in hand. A quality audio system can elevate your riding experience, making each journey memorable. But how do you find the perfect match for your bike?
Welcome to our comprehensive guide, where we help you navigate the exciting world of motorcycle audio systems, making picking the excellent sound for your ride easier.
What is a Motorcycle Audio System?
Before delving into the nitty-gritty of picking the right audio system, let’s get familiar with a motorcycle audio system. In its simplest form, a motorcycle audio system assembles components designed to project sound on your motorcycle.
Choosing an audio system is a crucial decision. Like in your car, the audio system works by receiving audio signals (from the radio, your Bluetooth-connected device, or any plugged-in device), amplifying them, and then projecting them through the speakers.
However, designing audio for motorcycles poses a unique challenge due to the open environment, road noise, and space constraints.
Assessing Your Needs
To pick the right audio system, start by understanding your riding style and motorcycle model. Those who ride in cities might prefer a simple, easy-to-use system with robust sound to overcome ambient noise. If you’re a long-distance rider, a system with Bluetooth and GPS might be beneficial.
The model of your motorcycle also plays a big part. Some audio systems are designed for specific models, providing a seamless integration that looks as good as it sounds.
Hertz Audio SPL Waterproof Custom Sound System Harley Davidson Street Glide
Key Considerations When Choosing a Motorcycle Audio System
While choosing an audio system, consider the sound quality and volume, durability, power usage, and ease of installation.
Sound Quality and Volume: At high speeds, road, and wind noise can drown out your music. Look for a system that offers clear, loud sound without distortion.
Durability and Weatherproofing: Given your motorcycle’s exposure to the elements, an excellent audio system must be weatherproof and built to withstand rough treatment.
Power and Battery Consumption: Ensure that your chosen audio system will only drain your motorcycle battery slowly. An audio system that balances quality sound and power consumption is ideal.
Ease of Installation and Compatibility: Will the audio system fit well with your motorcycle model? Can you install it yourself, or will you need professional help?
Understanding Different Types of Motorcycle Audio Systems
There are three main types of motorcycle audio systems to consider: speaker systems, helmet audio systems, and Bluetooth-enabled systems.
Speaker Systems: These are the most common type and include speakers that mount on your handlebars or within your motorcycle fairings.
Helmet Audio Systems: These systems include speakers and a microphone installed inside your helmet, providing clear sound and communication abilities.
Bluetooth-Enabled Systems: These allow you to wirelessly connect your device to your audio system, providing hands-free control and often integrating speaker and helmet solutions.
Exploring Top Choices For Motorcycle Audio Systems
There are numerous brands available in the market, each offering unique features.
Take a look at what we have installed on this Harley Davidson Street Glide:
Horn Tweeters – Hertz ST 25A NEO
The Hertz SPL Show ST 25A NEO is a high-performance 1-13/16″ bullet tweeter designed explicitly for sound pressure level (SPL) competitions.
Part of the revered SPL Show Series, this speaker guarantees profound audio delivery through its weather-resistant materials, copper-clad aluminum ribbon voice coil, neodymium magnet, and highly efficient compression loading horn.
This tweeter aims to enhance the emotional power of your favorite music, courtesy of its innovative design and use of premium components. It handles up to 50 watts RMS (100 watts peak), with a high-pass crossover point at 5,000 Hz at 12 dB per octave.
The speaker offers a frequency response range of 3,000-20,000 Hz, an impedance of 4 ohms, and a high sensitivity of 107 dB. Despite its high-power capability, it maintains a convenient top-mount depth of just 1″. The product comes with a 2-year warranty, assuring durability and long-lasting performance.
Front 6.5 Speakers – Hertz SV 165 NEO
The Hertz SPL Show SV 165 NEO, a part of Hertz’s SPL Show Series, are 6-1/2″ midrange car speakers designed with competitive audio enthusiasts in mind. Sporting a lighter structure, these speakers allow more midrange detail, reaching frequencies as high as 10,000 Hz. They provide a compelling sound for those looking for a competitive edge.
The speakers incorporate weather-resistant materials and a carefully designed structure to deliver impressive playback even in harsh environments. They feature a 1-1/2″ copper voice coil, a water-repellent pressed paper cone, and a neodymium magnet, underlining the product’s high-quality and performance-oriented construction.
Staying true to Hertz’s philosophy, the SPL Show SV 165 NEO aims to elevate the emotional impact of your favorite music. These speakers embody Hertz’s commitment to using premium components and innovative designs to optimize your car’s sound system for maximum enjoyment.
These 6-1/2″ midrange speakers, sold in pairs, are specifically designed for SPL competition. They handle up to 150 watts RMS (400 watts peak) and offer a frequency response range of 100-10,000 Hz. With an impedance of 4 ohms, a sensitivity of 97 dB, and a top-mount depth of 2-1/4″, these speakers balance performance and installation convenience.
The cutout diameter is 5-11/16″, and grilles are not included. Backed by a 2-year warranty, the Hertz SPL Show SV 165 NEO midrange speakers ensure long-lasting performance, enhancing your audio experience with exceptional midrange detail.
Rear 6×9 Speakers – Hertz SX 690 NEO.1
The Hertz SX 690 NEO.1 is an SPL Show Series 6″ x 9″ 3-Way Coaxial Speaker engineered for exceptional audio performance. Featuring a powerful Hi-SPL Mid-Hi unit with a 1.4″ dome tweeter and 1″ dome super-tweeter, this product includes a resettable solid-state protection circuit, ensuring it can withstand intense usage.
The SX 690 is designed with a nature-proof high stiffness pressed-paper cone resistant to water, humidity, and UV damage. It has a double-layer copper voice coil wound on a polyamide former, contributing to an unparalleled power handling ability.
The motor units are constructed with particular Neodymium N38 H to ensure increased performance while maintaining a compact form.
A unique feature of this speaker is the double fast-on terminals, which allow for daisy-chaining of multiple units and compatibility with most common motorcycle connections.
The Hertz SX 690 NEO.1 provides a peak power handling of 260 Watts and an RMS power handling of 130 Watts. It offers an impedance of 4-Ohm and a frequency response range of 65 – 24k Hz. With a sensitivity of 94dB SPL, this speaker can deliver sound with high clarity and precision.
The woofer, tweeter, and supertweeter sizes are 6 x 9 inches, 35 mm (1.4 inches), and 25 mm (1 inch), respectively. The voice coil diameter of the tweeter is 28 mm (1.1 inches). Both the woofer and tweeter magnets are made of Neodymium, and the cones of the woofer, tweeter, and supertweeter are made of water-repellent pressed paper, and Tetolon, respectively.
This product is conveniently designed for easy installation with a top mount depth of 3.35 inches.
Digital Signal Processor – Hertz S8 DSP
The Hertz S8 DSP is an ultra-compact Digital Interface Processor designed to seamlessly integrate any OEM source into your audio upgrade project, whether for cars, motorcycles, or boats. The device is encased in a corrosion-free, metal, and composite materials shell, underlining its durability and premium design.
The S8 DSP operates with a resolution of 96 kHz / 24-bit and is accredited with the Hi-Res certification from the Japan Audio Society (JAS). This acknowledgment attests to the exceptionally high level of audio performance that the S8 DSP can deliver.
This processor has a powerful 32-bit DSP and manages six high/low-level analog input channels, one digital coaxial input, and eight output channels. The SPDIF coaxial input is optimal for a digital connection with a Hi-Res player, enabling the highest quality audio playback. This broad range of connectivity options offers maximum configuration flexibility to the user.
Each of the eight output channels features a level control, a 15-pole parametric equalizer, time delays, and a crossover filter. The 7-band parametric equalizer of the input signal ensures a flat response from OEM sources that typically exaggerate low frequencies.
The S8 DSP is power-efficient, with a nominal power supply voltage and fuse of 7 – 20 VDC / 1A, an idling current of 0.34 A, and an operating voltage of 5 – 24 VDC. It also features an Automatic Remote Turn on/off function from BTL speaker outputs.
The processor ensures clear and powerful audio delivery with a maximum output level of 4V at 0.05% THD. Its bandwidth ranges from 10Hz to 40KHz (+/-3db) and features a high signal-to-noise ratio, low THD+N, and a high level of crosstalk separation at 1KHz. The device offers eight analog output channels, each of which can be controlled by the DSP for gain, crossover, EQ, delay, and polarity.
Amplifier – Sound Digital EVPOS 800.4
The 800.4 EVOPS amplifier is a compact, innovative design, purpose-built for Power Sports projects. It’s engineered to deliver a robust 800W RMS of power distributed over four channels, making it a powerful component in any audio system.
What sets the 800.4 EVOPS amplifier apart is its utilization of exclusive and patented technologies designed to deliver cleaner and more faithful sound reproduction. In addition to ensuring better performance and efficiency, these enhancements make it suitable for challenging Power Sports environments, including projects in water, clay, and other settings.
The power output at 2Ω is 4 x 200W RMS, while at 4Ω, it delivers 4 x 132W RMS. In bridge mode at 4Ω, the amplifier can provide 1 x 400W RMS. These specifications testify to its power and versatility.
The amplifier operates within a voltage range of 8V – 16V. It has a current draw of 35A during music playback, which increases to 70A at maximum power. A recommended fuse rating for music playback is 40A.
One of the 800.4 EVOPS amplifier’s strengths is its efficiency, rated at 79%. Its frequency response ranges from 5Hz to 22kHz (-3dB), offering a broad spectrum of sound reproduction, and it has a signal-to-noise ratio of 91dB. It also boasts a damping factor 200, ensuring reduced distortion and better loudspeaker control.
The built-in crossover provides both LPF (Low-Pass Filter) and HPF (High-Pass Filter) functions, with a frequency range of 45Hz – 850Hz, enhancing the accuracy and clarity of the output sound.
With compact dimensions of 5.1 in/13 cm (width), 5.7 in/14.4 cm (length), and 2.2 in/5.6 cm (height), and a weight of 0.89 Kg, the 800.4 EVOPS amplifier is a compact powerhouse designed to fit in a variety of Power Sports settings. Its compact size doesn’t compromise its performance, making it a choice component for any high-performance audio system.
Making a Decision: Factors Beyond the Audio System
When choosing a motorcycle audio system, consider the impact on your bike’s resale value, the warranty, customer support, and whether you’ll need professional installation.
Suppose you’re in Santa Clarita, CA, and need professional assistance installing a motorcycle audio system. In that case, Santa Clarita AutoSound is your go-to solution.
Visit our store at 25845 Railroad Ave, Unit 10, Santa Clarita in California. And we specialize in installing sound systems to fit your specific needs. You can reach us at 661-286-1100.
The choice of a motorcycle audio system is subjective. It depends on your personal preferences, the type of rider you are, and the model of your motorcycle. Considering all the mentioned factors, you’re now well-equipped to make an informed decision.
At Santa Clarita AutoSound, we’re always ready to help you pick and install the best audio system for your ride.
Our professional services guarantee a seamless integration that sounds great and looks perfect on your motorcycle.
We are here to assist you. Let’s enhance your ride with the power of sound.