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Helmet Audio
Helmets are becoming a more common sight on the slopes each year. I've not seen any recent stats but this story reports the trend for 2001-02, and anecdotally they are seen more and more. Adding audio to these helmets is an obvious "feature". Skiing/boarding with an MP3 player is not to everyone's taste (loss of situational awareness, less social interaction on chairlift rides, etc.) but there are some neat solutions available.

Skullcandy's system allows both a cell phone and an MP3 player to be connected to the same head set, and works with all standard headphones, audio players, and cell phones with a normal 2.5mm jack. There is some doubt as to whether these work with an FRS radio instead of a cell phone.

Some reviews of the Link: and .

are using Skullcandy's technology for their Tune-Ups kits for their Nine.9 helmets. Interestingly they do have a variant, the Tuneups II Two-Way, that is intended to be used with FRS radios. Put this together with a Garmin Rino and you've a great setup for music, communication and navigation.

I feel that Bluetooth is way of the future for this sort of device, especially once it becomes more common on MP3 players. My RAZR doesn't even have the 2.5mm jack. The will handle Bluetooth on the phone side, but only works with a few iPod models on the MP3 player side.

For the non-helmet wearer (or if one can fit a hat under one's helmet) there are several beanies available with built-in earbuds, such as , and of course almost any earbud is small enough to wear under a hat or helmet.

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Mountain Dynamics Inc. is not affiliated with some of the ski resorts mentioned herein.
SnowRanger and SnowRanger Uplink are trademarks of Mountain Dynamics Inc.
Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd.
Magellan is a registered trademark of Magellan Navigation, Inc.
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