Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 13, Issue 4

Issue link: https://cp.revolio.com/i/1477133

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Page 21 of 39

22 | WheelsOfGrace.com | #62 Best Motorcycle Helmet Communicators Options for solo and social riders While many of us enjoy riding motorcycles because of its solitary nature, group rides are also a source of great riding memories. Once you've ridden with a group of friends and been able to talk to each other during the ride, you'll understand why Bluetooth helmet communicators have go en so popular. You can remind everyone of an upcoming turn or give a warning about a road hazard. Or, if you're riding with John Burns, be serenaded with an endless list of song snippets. Never a dull moment here. But there's more to these gadgets than that. How about touring and actually being able to hear music without frightening the horses in the nearby fields? Or maybe it's just something as mundane as having Siri whisper direc ons in your ear. Parents can adjust their child-rearing logis cs on the fly. A er a while, a helmet communicator will become an essen al part of your riding kit. When choosing your helmet communica on device, you should consider how you plan on using it. If you're a lone wolf who never travels in a pack, a simple system that connects you to your phone will likely suffice. If you're regularly part of a gaggle of riders, you should probably s ck to what the rest of the group already has in order to maintain maximum compa bility. You should also take a look at your helmet to make sure that it has speaker pockets. Most current- genera on helmets do, but it's always a good idea to check. Even if your helmet doesn't have dedicated speaker pockets in its physical structure, it is some mes possible to fit the speakers inside of the padding that forms the ear cut out in the liner. The helmet type will determine the kind of microphone you use. An open face or modular helmet requires a boom mic that sits on an ar culated arm mounted under the cheek pad. A full-face helmet will need a mic stuck to the inside of the chin bar. Some helmets even offer recessed moun ng points for the microphone and wiring, too. In fact, a recent trend is to pair a helmet with a specifically designed communicator for that model. (See our reviews of the Shoei Neotec II Helmet + Sena SRL and the Shoei GT-Air II + Sena SRL2.) When looking at Bluetooth helmet communicators, you'll no ce that some of them can get pre y pricey. You should avoid the siren song of the cheap, no-name knockoffs as they typically lack the reliability and durability of those of the major players. Instead, if you're on a budget, shop by the features you'll need. Below, you'll find a selec on of the best communicators available. Click the links for discounted pricing. Cardo PACKTALK BOLD While the Bluetooth connec on to your smartphone or other devices stays the same, the Cardo PACKTALK BOLD brings bike-to-bike communica on to the next level by offering Dynamic Mesh Communica on (DMC) to improve your group-riding experience. DMC allows up to 15 other DMC communicators to drop in and out of the mesh without upse ng the communica ons of the other members. On top of that, you get improved range, up to a claimed 1 mile or even 5 miles for the en re group! Never fear, you can s ll communicate via Bluetooth 4.1 to riders who don't have DMC units to keep them in the conversa on. The BOLD also offers natural voice opera on, allowing the rider to say "hey, Cardo" to ac vate the unit's command set, like checking the ba ery or star ng the intercom. Addi onally, the voice commands give you direct access to Siri or OK Google for smartphone control. Premium sound is provided by 40mm-wide, high-defini on speakers by JBL. The ba ery boasts up to 13 hours of talk me and a week of standby for daily riders. Sena 50S Bluetooth Headset The Sena 50S Mesh 2.0 Intercom features the next genera on of mesh bike-to-bike communica on. With an easy One-Click-to-Connect Mesh Intercom connec on, the 50S con nues the goal of keeping riders connected on their journey. Audio from both your phone and other riders is clear, thanks to high-defini on speakers. Sena claims that responses between the Mesh 2.0 units has resulted in 80% more data being transferred across challenging and harsh condi ons. Coming from one of the name-brand helmet- communica on manufacturers, we expect good things from the Sena 50S Mesh 2.0. Sena 20S EVO The Sena 20S was the unit that ini ally won MO editors over to the Bluetooth communicator way of riding . Now, the Sena 20S EVO offers an improved form factor, while s ll retaining the same cradle used by Sena's upscale 30K. The 20S EVO delivers HD- quality audio allowing riders to listen to music, GPS, and make or take calls. U lizing Advanced Noise Control, wind noise doesn't interfere with incoming or outgoing audio from your phone or other sources. The intercom allows you to talk with up to 7 other riders at distances up to 1.2 miles away. Mul tasking technology allows you to have motorcycle helmet intercom conversa ons while simultaneously listening to music, FM radio, or GPS. The clever round controller allows for easy mode-switching, and voice control technology lets you do it hands-free if you prefer. FREECOM C PLUS With a shortened range of about 0.3 mi., the FREECOM 2 PLUS is perfect for the solo rider who wants the benefits of connec ng with their smartphone or the ability to communicate with a passenger at a bargain price. As with the rest of Cardo's communicators, the 2 PLUS has a slim line and sleek aerodynamic waterproof design. Sized at only 16mm from top to bo om, the Freedom 2 PLUS won't add any addi onal bulk to your helmet. Sound comes from a pair of thin but powerful 40mm speakers. In addi on to being able to stream GPS direc ons, music, and phone calls from your phone, the built-in FM radio with RDS for automa c selec on of the strongest signal allows you to listen to the radio if you prefer. Other nice features include: automa cally adjus ng sound volume based on the outside ambient noise and to answer calls, make calls, and control your mobile device either with the touch of a finger or via voice control.

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