Headphones for skiing and snowboarding

For most skiers and snowboarders music is a big part of snow sports. Just as in a lot of exercise-based activities, it can boost your enthusiasm, confidence, and concentration. In fact, It’s common for professional skiers to have a specific song that they always race to. Personally, after I tried it once I haven’t gone without my iPod since.

photo: espn.go.com

Such a change got me noticing how terrible some of my headphones were for the slopes. For example, every time I bring the standard Apple headphones for any rough expedition they’ve broken. Durability isn’t the only thing that I look for in headphones for skiing, though. There’s also a definite need for:


I’m putting this first because I’m not willing to pay more than 30 dollars for headphones. I lean towards a price around 20 normally. If you’re willing to pay over a hundred dollars for a pair of top of the line headphones then these recommendations may not be very useful to you.

In-line Remote control

There’s nothing more irritating than having to dig through your coat pockets looking for your mp3 player to change the song while wearing debilitating gloves. If you’re anything like me you’ll go to rediculous lengths to avoid such feats, including jumping up and down trying to activate shake-to-shuffle, consequently launching yourself face first into the snow. (true story)

Sony headphones, while I find to not be the most comfortable brand, do have a remote control great for skiing.

The Sony EX earbuds have on-wire controls for volume, fast forward, rewind, play, and pause.


Comfort is a huge deciding factor when it comes to headphones to ski with. Headphones that are normally comfortable feel awful when pressed up to your ear by a hat or helmet. JVC is a great brand for comfort as they make some ear buds completely encased in silicon.

The JVC air cushion headphones have a silicon air cushion that pretty much makes them comfortable no matter what. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have ones with in-line controls. The JVC marshmallow headphones are almost as comfortable though and have a remote.

If you don’t like the way ear buds feel at all there are a lot of winter hats that have headphones built into them.

I have one from American Eagle with play/pause controls that I like using.

Sound Isolation

Of course you want your music to sound clear. When I’m skiing I also don’t want my music to be heard by anyone else but me. Nothing worse than the moment on a ski lift when you know the hipster sitting next to you can hear the Ke$ha blasting in your ears (We R Who We R has a great beat for my turning pace, don’t judge haha).

The MeElectronics M9P headphones have really good sound isolation and in-line controls for an affordable price.

Do you have any preferences? Also, feel free to share your favorite skiing or exercise song.