Upgrade Your Motorcycle Helmet—With a Bluetooth Headset

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Lately, I’ve been listening to voices. They inform me all types of helpful info, reminiscent of the place to go and find out how to get there. Don’t fear, all of this exactly stops after I take off my bike helmet. That’s as a result of it is Bluetooth related, and I like that I can hold my smartphone in my pocket whereas using and get all my instructions straight to my ears. 

It’s the perfect improve I’ve ever made to my using expertise. You ought to neglect about mounting your smartphone to your handlebars and make the improve too. Your sanity will thanks.

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Eyes Forward, Ears Up

Ever since studying that smartphone cameras are being shaken aside as a result of vibrations when mounted to bike handlebars, I’ve had a worry of wrecking mine. I additionally usually don’t love trying down at a display screen for navigational instructions whereas using. People can do a lot of silly issues behind the wheel of a automotive in a mere second. 

Call it defensive driving or no matter you want, I all the time need my eyes to be on the highway, particularly when I’m on a bike. There’s an unwritten legislation of the universe that claims the smaller the car you are driving, the much less doubtless it’s that different drivers are going to note you (or give a hoot that you simply’re occupying a slice of the highway). It’s dangerous sufficient in a small automotive. Multiply that a number of instances over if you’re on a motorcycle.

I’d fairly get all my instructions by a Bluetooth headset, fed from Apple Maps or Google Maps on my cellphone and delivered straight to my ear with out having to take away my eyes from the highway. It’s safer and makes using a lot much less nerve-racking.

Yes, you possibly can simply use wi-fi earbuds, however I’ll do you one higher: the Cardo Freecom 2X. It’s my favourite Bluetooth headset. The controls—a large, chunky scroll wheel—are simpler to function whereas sporting bike gloves than contact controls on most wi-fi earbuds, and the 40-millimeter JBL audio system put out some fairly nice sound. That’s useful for clearer instructions and for listening to music and receiving cellphone calls (although I hardly ever do the latter two when I’m using). 

At freeway velocity, the JBLs are loud sufficient to listen to clearly over wind noise, though you will not precisely have the ability to deafen your self with a surplus of quantity. You can hearken to music properly sufficient to listen to it, but it surely’s not loud sufficient for a true-blue headbanger.

The Freecom 2X can be utilized by itself or linked to a different Freecom unit in the event you like using with a associate, and its half-mile vary will allow you to speak to one another with out fear. If you journey in greater teams, you possibly can improve to the Freecom 4X ($216). It’s the identical unit, but it surely allows you to hyperlink as much as 4 headsets throughout a vary of 0.75 miles.

The Finer Details

The Cardo Connect app that pairs your smartphone with the headset works seamlessly, and I have never had any points with it on my iPhone. The Freecom 2X recharges through a USB-C connector, which is a good, fashionable contact. No extra Micro USB!

It comes with {hardware} to mount it to each a closed-face or an open-face helmet. For closed-face helmets, you stick an adhesive-backed microphone (to choose up your voice) on the within of the chin bar. For open-face helmets, there’s a versatile stalk that mounts close to the ear and hangs in entrance of the mouth. Routing the wires and audio system beneath the helmet padding takes a little bit of DIY work, but it surely’s nothing a little dedication cannot resolve, even when the instructions aren’t nice.

Cardo offers you choices for mounting the headset itself to the aspect of the helmet. There’s a clip in the event you’re utilizing a helmet with skinny sides and an adhesive-backed mount in case your helmet is just too thick for the clip. I mounted the Freecom 2X to my Shoei RF-1200 closed-face helmet with the adhesive clip, and it has held on by broiling East Coast summers and late-year frigid rain with none signal it is going to weaken and pop off.

If you utilize GPS apps whilst you journey—who would not lately?—take into account wiring up your favourite helmet (or helmets) with a Bluetooth headset reminiscent of this. The cellphone calls and the power to hearken to Spotify whilst you cruise are perks, however the true sweetness is retaining your self secure sufficient for one more day’s journey.

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