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Thread: Bluetooth Helmet Headsets?

  1. #1
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Bluetooth Helmet Headsets?

    Hi Folks,

    I've decided it is time to enter the 21st Century and buy a Bluetooth helmet headset so I can (1) listen to music on my iPod, and (2) make and receive phone calls on my Blackberry - I don't think I would ever use bike-to-bike intercom nor do I need an FM radio. I've done a little research and it seems that there are basically three solutions for my Scorpion EXO-700 helmet, the Cardo Scala Rider Solo and intercom-capable Scala Rider Q2; the SMH10, and the BlueAnt Interphone F4.

    It seems price runs about $150 to $250 for these things, but I have found one vendor selling the Scala Q2 for $120 (so that is top of the list for now...)

    Anyone have these or others and want to comment? Comparisons would be especially helpful!

    Thanks folks,

    Ted
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  2. #2
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    I too am on the verge of buying a BT headset for my Shoei, I plan on using the intercom along with the BT for the phone and GPS if I ever get a new one that can link to it. I think I going to go with the Sena. Seems like it has good volume, can BT the music or hard line it and not interfer with the phone BT etc, same as the Cardio. Just like the controls and reviews for the Sena.

    Might want to check out Web Bike world, they have been on the BT headset thing for a while reviewing them as the come out.

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
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  3. #3
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    Ted,

    I use the J&M bluetooth unit. I cannot compare it to the units you mentioned, but I can tell you that it works great. I use it for GPS directions, music, phone calls (rarely), and to talk to my wife through the optional wired intercom.

    I would highly recommend the extra capacity battery and professional installation from a company such as Sierra Electronics.

    Happy Shopping!

    Mike

  4. #4
    AstroBob bob88061's Avatar
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    Blue Ant F4

    Got 2 units which work really well. Paired easily with everything, have a nice "auto volume" function, have a nice range, a charge lasts a long enough (at least a full day), and got a boom mike for wife's open-face and a chin-bar mike for my full face.
    'If life throws you a curve, lean into it!'
    Bob Bryant
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    www.teambryant.org

  5. #5
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I have a Scala Q2 dual set. It works good for music, other than that the speakers sound like crud. Receiving a call on my phone, sound is great, I can talk & hear very well. No issues & most people cannot believe I'm on my bike talking. Bike to Bike is awesome. My buddy with the same unit & I had a great conversation all the way to the rally & back. It is clear, full duplex & keeps you alert when music isn't cutting it.

    I'm going to cut the headset wires to use better speakers or inserts as well.

    I guy I met at the rally had a unit I've never heard of. He was super happy with the sound & how it worked with his iPOD. I think it was SENA. It had a big wheel to change volume, etc...

    John.

  6. #6
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I really like the BlueAnt but it apparently lacks a hard audio input so I have taken a pass on it. In doing more research it seems that the Scala Q2 speakers are quite weak so I am leaning towards the Sena SMH10. The new Scala G4 is out but it is more expensive than the SMH10 and the WebBikeWorld shootout still put it in second place.

    Does anyone know if intercom units from different manufacturers can pair?

    EDIT - thanks for the input John, it certainly seems like you are not alone with the weak speakers comment, matter of fact there are several Youtube videos showing how to mod the Q2 with better speakers. The SMH-10 is the one with the big dial, looks pretty cool - unfortunately it looks like Sena forgot to pay its web hosting bill
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  7. 10-17-2010, 05:11 PM
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    HiJack...

  8. #7
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Ted,

    Here is theSENA site I found:

    http://www.bluevisionwireless.com/?g...FQpvbAodU3wnKA

  9. #8
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Ted,

    Here is the SENA site I found:

    http://www.bluevisionwireless.com/?g...FQpvbAodU3wnKA

  10. #9
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Someone somewhere recommended MrHit and they seem to have the lowest price I have found yet, $150 - apparently nice folks to deal with as well.

    The J&M unit looks like a great contender here, though the price is unfortunately on the high side. Plus, the Sena dial looks like a very handy feature.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  11. #10
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrafikFeat View Post
    I was biting my tongue over this as it seems our biggest complaint as motorcyclists are distracted drivers.
    Do you really need to be that 'connected'?

    Again, one of the main reasons I ride is to escape this stuff.

    I just needed to be the one dissenting vote.
    I hear your voice. That is the reason we live in a society that allows choice. You are free to ride to escape and not have to listen to my Playlist.

    Ride Well
    Ride Often
    Ride to
    Ride Well

  12. 10-17-2010, 09:51 PM
    Reason
    HiJack

  13. #11
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Ride Attentive.
    And wear your gear, make sure your bike is properly maintained, and don't listed to people who say motorcycles are too dangerous - now can we get back to headsets?

    Thanks to the power of the forum there is a local rider with a Sena headset I will hopefully be checking out in person this week!

    For reference...

    Sena SMH10


    Scala Q2
    +

    Scala G4


    BlueAnt F4
    Last edited by Ted; 10-17-2010 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Now with Pictures!
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  14. #12
    Registered User 119240's Avatar
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    Sena owner since June - my son & I love ours
    '91 K75S, '06 K1200S
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  15. #13
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrafikFeat View Post
    Ride Attentive.

    Of course, that is part of riding well.
    Ride Well

  16. #14
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 119240 View Post
    Sena owner since June - my son & I love ours
    Mind if I ask a few questions?

    What type of helmets are you using?
    Any issues with install? Mic or speaker placement?
    Is the volume enough to clearly hear the spoken word (will be using it mainly for lectures, podcasts and audiobooks) when using foam earplugs?
    Does the auto-volume feature where it raises and lowers the volume to match ambient noise work well?
    Lastly, how long does the battery work on a charge?

    Thanks!
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  17. #15
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    J&m

    Here is a reprint from a posting I did last year. I am still using the J&M and still could not be happier. Even with ear plugs (old age tinnitus, ya know) I get full robust stereo and directions when needed from the Garmin. In the rare case I get a call from the Wife, it turns off the Garmin music and auto answers the phone and auto hangs up when done. (I do have the hit the PLAY button on the Garmin to get the music to restart.) Even at 70+, she has no trouble hearing me talking. Did a six hour ride today and never lost power or volume. I stand by my earlier recommendation. And once the riding season is over, I may send the head unit back for the update but really see no need at this point except that it will be the 'latest and greatest'.

    Ok, I know I said my last post was my last on this subject. However, ... I decided to go to a full faced helmet. Getting another Arai was a must. I went to several shops, trying on different ones and settled on a Profile. I remembered seeing on the J&M website (http://www.jmcorp.com) they now sell helmets with their bluetooth setup installed. I gave 'em a call to discuss and get a price. I originally did not go with J&M because their price was pretty high ($299.99) but more because their return policy on the bluetooth setup is pretty strict. Essentially, you buy, you own it. While I was talking with the J&M rep, he made sure I understood this policy. But, he also told me several of the folks at J&M are using the bluetooth setup with no issues. Anyway, I was quoted a price of a Arai Profile in 3X, with their bluetooth rig installed by them, and shipped to me all for $699.99. Quick math: Profile MSRP $535. J&M Bluetooth $300 = $835 not counting installation and shipping. My price $700. I installed a Chatterbox in my Arai Classic; what a pain. And it did not look good when I finished. (I returned that thing due to lack of volume.) Well, I have been using the J&M for a week now. It pairs up easily to my Garmin 765T and to my Samsung Rogue with no problems at all. The sound quality is superb. Plus, this thing has enough available volume to blow the helmet off. And the professional installation is just that, a professional job. The only wires viewable are the ones that run from the head unit to the helmet padding; maybe a 1/2". You cannot see the speakers at all. The mic is installed in the chin bar and again, no wires. A first class installation. I did 5 hours today, with the J&M on the entire time, listening to tunes from the Garmin and my cell phone. (I have also paired it up to my iPod Touch. Works like a champ.) It performed flawlessly and NO WIRES. I will order a spare battery (yes, you can change the batter on the J&M) and the lighter plug adapter (just in case I need to charge it or power it from Hilda) on Monday. This really is my final post on this subject. Oh, one last thing - they shipped Fedex Ground. This was very inconvenient for me. On my next order, I will ask for Fedex Express.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

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