Me in Åre, Sweden.
Me in Åre, Sweden. Johannes Liljeson

Keeping your hands warm and your phone connected on the ski slopes

I recently went skiing. For this trip I modified my helmet headphones with the simple addition of a mike with remote control button. Here's some DIY for you who want to stay connected while on the slopes!

My head is big. This means most hats don't fit. And adding my long hair, you need to add a size or two to that. Which is why few of the ski helmets with built-in headphones fit me, not to mention comfortably. And considering what you need to pay extra for that feature, I figured I better buy a helmet that fits my head and then modify it. Which is what I did some years back. Using some duct tape, thread and a set €15/$20 head phones I had a helmet that allowed me to listen to music on my iPod while in the ski lift.

Now the problem with this set up is that I had to reach inside my pocket to pause or change tracks. I figured I needed to add a microphone with a remote control button. This way I could use my iPhone to receive calls and also use Siri to place calls or check the time. I picked one up for €10/$15 and it's worked like a charm, even in freezing temperatures.

In the past week I've used my helmet headphones and attached mike to listen to a lot of Radiolab podcast episodes while riding lifts. And I've found use for Siri, something I never have before. Finding it too cumbersome compared to taking the phone out of my pocket.

Using Siri I've checked the time: "What's the time?", checked current temperature: "What's it like outside?" (ironically seeing as I was outside) and placed calls: "Call [name]" without taking my gloves off.

And bringing my phone along allowed me to record my skiing using the Ski Tracks iPhone app to see speed, altitude, descent rate and distances.

Check out the photos in the gallery above to see how it I did it.

Now all I need is a case with an extra battery to make sure it lasts longer than 7 hours. Got any recommendations?

Update 2020-03-01: I've been using the "Outdoor Tech Chips" Bluetooth speakers since a few years now. It was nice not having to worry about tangled cables anymore.

This article was updated on 2020-03-01

Jakob Persson

Your host. A founder and entrepreneur since 20 years. Having worked as a freelancer, consultant and co-founder of a successful digital agency has shaped his skills in and insights into business. Jakob blogs at, speaks at events and consults with agencies and freelancers in growing and developing their companies. He holds degrees in media technology and cognitive science.