Bern Audio Chips 1
We’ll let you decide whether or not you think it’s smart to ski or ride while listening to music. But if you do prefer to link your turns while listening to tunes, consider upgrading those earbuds you shove under your helmet with the new Bern X OT Audio Chips ($129). Unlike other helmet-specific speakers that typically results in a tangle of wires and wrestling with your layers any time you want to pause the song, this wireless kit connects to your smart device via Bluetooth 2.1, so you can stash your phone in your inside pocket and leave it there. All the audio controls can be activated by pressing the glove-friendly buttons on either of the silver dollar-sized speakers. Raise, lower, and mute volume and skip tracks by pressing the left button, play/pause and handle phone calls via the right speaker, which also has a targeted mic to accommodate hands-free communication. Bern paired with industry-leading Outdoor Technology to make the Audio Chips, and it shows: music comes in clean and clear through twin 40mm drivers, with up to 10 hours of music playback and 12 hours of talk time—far longer than most slopes are open. It fully charges in 2.5 hours via USB, and stays in standby mode for 280 hours. Pairing the speakers to any Bluetooth-enabled device is easy, and they’re compatible with all helmet liners that allow speakers. And while the audio is plenty loud, you may top out the volume on high-octane days with howling wind (as we did while testing them out at a few Utah resorts). But then hearing some of what’s going on around you isn’t a bad thing.
—Nathan Borchelt

Bern Audio Chips 2