Sometimes when you’re cycling, especially if you’re out on the open road, the constant wind noise in your ears can get rather annoying. It can also be potentially dangerous, as it may mask traffic noises. Well, if you’re OK with sporting what at first glance looks like a pair of dark sideburns, Cat-Ears might be the answer.
Wind noise is ordinarily created when air flows over and around the ear, creating audible turbulence as it does so. Modeled after the tufts of fur at the front of a cat’s ear canal, the faux fur Cat-Ears attach with Velcro to the helmet straps in front of the rider’s ears, dampening and deflecting that air flow.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
They reportedly reduce wind noise by 40 to 60 percent, but because they don’t actually cover the ears (which a headband would), they don’t compromise the wearer’s hearing. Also, if you’re not one for the sideburns look, the company does also offer models made from less funny-looking fleece.
This actually isn’t the first product of its kind. Slipstreamz is one of the companies that currently offers something sort of similar, although it isn't made from sound-deadening fur or fleece, and requires the helmet strap to be twisted.
Cat-Ears range in price from US$8 to $15 a pair, depending on the style. A demo can be seen – and heard – in the video below.