Welcome to our quietest sport-touring helmets, where we’ve road-tested our top touring helmets to find the quietest.
While we’ve already determined the best sport-touring helmet in our other blog post on the topic, we were still curious about which helmet would come out the quietest since this is such a big aspect of these touring helmets.
While some people prefer to hear the roar of their engine while they ride, others prefer a quieter ride. Besides personal preference, noise isolation is important because it’s better in the long term for your ears.
It’s also a matter of comfort since you’ll be on the road for a long time, and you don’t want to stop for a break only to find your helmet leaves your ears ringing.
Lastly, a quiet helmet will help with allowing you to chat with your buddies and listen to your music while you ride.
So, we’ve decided to test the Shark Spartan GT Carbon, the HJC RPHA 70, the Arai Profile-V, the Shoei GT Air 2, and the AGV K6. And, while we have a few runners-up that we also tested, we’ll go over those helmets at the end.
Before diving into our road test, here is a brief explanation of how we conducted our test. When we gave our helmets to our riders, we carried out our test at about 80 mph (130 km/h) on long stretches of highway.
We measured the helmet’s internal temperature through a thermometer at the top of the helmet.
Next, we used a decibel meter for noise, taking measurements from a microphone near our rider’s ear. Lastly, we used an anemometer to find the day’s airspeed.
Quietest Modular Helmet By Brand
Shark’s new helmet is the successor to the Shark Spartan Carbon line. The shell of this helmet is made of carbon fiber, making it lightweight for a touring helmet at about 1450 grams.
As usual for Shark, the Spartan GT Carbon comes in two outer shell sizes and will be at about $530 USD/£457 GBP.
The visor is pinlock prepared with the insert coming in the box and has an internal sunshade with the slider on top.
The liner of the GT Carbon is removable, washable, has emergency release cheek pads, and comes with additional Velcro pads in the ears to help with noise isolation.
We took the Spartan GT Carbon out on a cooler day with the day’s wind speed at about 100-115 km/h.
The helmet clocked in for the day’s temperature at about 14-15 degrees, with the exterior temperature at about 13, so a pretty decent 1-2-degree difference.
This helmet also came in about average at about 100-102 decibels for noise. However, while this is a new helmet, it does the same for noise as its predecessor, the Shark Spartan Carbon.
So, while these pads, which were present in both helmets, likely help, it would’ve been nice to see them doing more.
But, overall, this helmet scored decently in our matrix for material, with a carbon shell and two shell sizes, that’s 4 stars.
As a result, we get a lightweight helmet with another 4 stars. With a pinlock-prepared visor, a good field of view, and some added safety features, this helmet gets another 4 stars.
However, as this was a noisier helmet, the Spartan GT 2 stars for noise and strong ventilation; the Spartan GT got another 4 stars.
Lastly, the Shark Spartan GT Carbon gets 4 stars for comfort. This brings the GT Carbon to a total of 4 stars at 22 stars, which is a respectable amount.
This helmet is made of HJC’s premium integrated matrix, or PIM, which is a blend of fiberglass and carbon.
This gives a lightweight helmet of about 1470 grams, similar to the Spartan GT. This helmet will also be coming in at about $440 USD/£260 GBP.
The visor of the RPHA 70 is pinlock prepared with the insert included in the box. The liner of the RPHA 70 is removable, anti-bacterial, and washable, and it has extra pads in the ear to help stop the noise.
Like the HJC RPHA 11, this helmet also comes with a variety of Marvel graphics, which, while it won’t impact the helmet’s noise, is something fun to note.
However, this helmet got taken out on a nice summer day, and while the temperature can influence the noise level of helmets, we haven’t found it to have a very strong impact so far.
The day’s wind speed was about 115-125 km/h while we measured about 24 degrees outside the helmet and 21 degrees inside, which shows a 3-degree difference and a poor ventilation system.
However, for noise, this helmet came in at 97 decibels, which is excellent and puts this helmet at an early lead.
Overall, the RPHA 70 scores very well. For material, the RPHA 70 has three shell sizes and a PIM shell, so that’s 4.5 stars.
For weight as well, this helmet gets another 4 stars. Finally, this helmet is pinlock prepared for the visor, so it gets another 4 stars.
For ventilation, this helmet was poor, giving only 2 stars. However, this helmet gets another 5 stars with its excellent noise isolation.
Lastly, for comfort, the RPHA 70 gets another 4 stars. This brings this helmet to a total of 4 stars at 18 stars, making it a strong contender as the quietest helmet.
This helmet will come at a recommended retail price of about $440 USD/£460 GBP. The Arai is made of fiberglass and comes in 3 shell sizes, weighing about 1495 grams.
We tested this helmet out on a nice day, with the day’s wind speed at about 125 km/h.
However, this was unfortunate for this helmet since the outside temperature was 21 degrees Celsius while the internal temperature was about 28 degrees Celsius.
For noise, this helmet did about on par with the Shark Spartan GT Carbon with about 101 decibels inside the helmet, so the average for these top helmets. Despite the poor performance on ventilation, the Profile-V rates well overall.
This helmet gets 4 stars for a fiberglass shell in 3 shell sizes for the material. For its weight of 1495 grams, this helmet also gets 4 stars.
The visor of the Profile-V also gives it 5 stars for its great field of view. For ventilation, though, this helmet only gets 1 star for its 7-degree difference. Nonetheless, this helmet still gets 3 stars for noise.
This helmet pulled out a bit stronger with about 4 stars for comfort. This brings the Profile-V to an average of 3 stars, with each star costing 18.5 per star, which places his helmet at the higher end in terms of value for money.
The GT Air 2 is made of Shoei’s Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM) material and has 3 outer shell sizes.
This helmet comes in at the same weight as most of our helmets today at about 1450 grams. The GT Air II also comes in at about $590 USD/£408 GBP.
The visor is pinlock prepared with the anti-fog insert in the box. The liner of the GT Air 2 is removable, anti-bacterial, and washable, and it has emergency release cheek pads.
We took the GT Air 2 on a warm, sunny day and the day’s average wind speed was about 130 km/h.
This helmet did well for ventilation, with the exterior temperature at about 26 degrees C, while the internal temperature was about 27 degrees, so that’s a 1-degree difference, which is great.
This helmet did well at about 97 decibels for noise, pitting it directly against the HJC RPHA 70 and showing another strong contender.
The Shoei GT Air 2’s ranking reflects its strong performance. Since the GT Air 2 is made of AIM and has 3 shell sizes, that’s 4.5 stars for the material. Furthermore, with a light 1450 grams, this helmet gets another 4 stars for weight.
The GT Air 2 comes with the pinlock insert in the box for the visor, so that’s another 4 stars. With a 1-degree difference from the helmet, this helmet gets another 4 stars for ventilation.
This helmet unsurprisingly does well for noise, getting a full 5 stars. Lastly, for comfort, this helmet gets another 5 stars. This brings the GT Air 2 to a total of 4 stars at 20 per star, which is a good result.
This is AGV’s entry into the sport-touring helmet category; even though this helmet doesn’t come with a sun visor, this is a strong contender.
The shell of the K6 is made of carbon fiber and aramid for strength at a lightweight, bringing it to 1350 grams, making it the lightest helmet here.
This helmet also comes in 4 shell sizes, which is excellent. The K6 will be coming at about £480 USD/£300 GBP.
The visor is pinlock prepared with the insert in the box and has been treated as anti-scratch. The K6 features a mixture of Ritmo, Shalimar, 2dry, and micro sense to give a premium helmet with great comfort for the interior liner.
With the K6 test, we had some nice weather with a consistent wind speed of about 115-120 km/h. In addition, during the road test of the K6, we measured about 23 degrees Celsius inside the helmet.
In comparison, outside, it was a temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius, so that’s a 1-degree difference which is very good.
We also measured about 101 decibels for this helmet’s noise, which is very good for such a lightweight carbon helmet. Given this strong performance, we can expect this helmet also to score well.
Due to the AGV K6’s carbon and aramid shell, this helmet gets 4 stars for the material. In terms of weight, this helmet also does excellent with 5 stars.
Finally, looking at the visor, it comes with everything one could hope for, giving it another 4 stars.
For noise, the K6 also did decently at about 101 decibels which are under most of our helmets today, giving it another 3 stars.
With a strong ventilation performance, the K6 also gets another 4 stars. This helmet also did well for comfort, with its quality interior liner giving it 3.5 stars.
Overall, this leaves the AGV K6 with an average of 4 stars, with each star costing 17.5 Euros per star, which isn’t bad for the lightest helmet here.
2 Helmet To Avoid
So, with all our helmets tested, let’s look at how they did all together, and we’ll also include our runners-up since we didn’t just test these 5 helmets.
We also tested the ICON Airframe Pro and the Nolan N87 Plus to ensure we found the quietest helmet.
When we tested the Nolan out, the interior temperature was about 11 degrees, while the external temperature was 11 degrees, showing a 2-degree difference.
For noise, this helmet clocked in at 102 decibels, which is about average, and the wind speed was about 110-130 km/h.
When we took the Icon Airframe Pro out, it was 15 degrees Celsius outside and 14 in the helmet, a great 1-degree cooler.
However, with the wind speed ranging from about 100-115 km/h, this helmet came in at a noisy 103 decibels, making this the noisiest helmet here.
On a side note, we’ve also tested the Icon Airflite, and though we’re not including it here today. For those who are curious, we measured about 110 decibels.
Which Helmet Was The Quietest?
The quietest sport-touring helmet slot is a tie between the HJC RPHA 70 and the Shoei GT Air 2 since both helmets came in at an amazing 97 decibels.
We have the AGV K6 with its 101 decibels, then came the Shark Spartan GT Carbon, Arai Profile-V, and the Nolan N87 Plus came in at 102 decibels.
This leaves the ICON Airframe Pro at the bottom with a noisy 103 decibels. In the end, it’s a good idea to look at how these helmets all stack up together since they perform differently across several categories, not just noise.
So, while the RPHA 70 came in at a very good 5 stars for noise, it still did poorly for ventilation, making this a hot helmet.
This makes the GT Air 2 a stronger helmet in terms of performance, but it also comes at a higher price.
In terms of the K6, this helmet came in as the lightest helmet that still blocks noise well. So if you’re looking for a helmet that gives you the most bang for your buck at a decent noise level, then the Nolan N87 Plus would be the one to go for, with a good star rating and strong noise isolation performance.
This is a tough category to compete in, but the Shoei GT Air 2 and the HJC RPHA 70 were the best at noise isolation.
|Brand||Noise Level in Decibels|
|HJC RPHA 70||97 db|
|Shoei GT Air 2||97 db|
|AGV K6 101||101 db|
|Shark Spartan GT Carbon||102 db|
|Arai Profile-V||102 db|
|Nolan N87 Plus||102 db|
|ICON Airframe Pro||103 db|
Where To Buy
We have chosen what we think are the best motorcycle gear online retailers for you to choose from. They both ship worldwide, but you may like to order from one or the other, depending on your location.
One supplier might have a sale, so it’s always best to visit both suppliers to see the available deals.