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Thread: Cardo PackTalk Bold - Not a favorable opinion

  1. #1
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    Angry Cardo PackTalk Bold - Not a favorable opinion

    I was using Sena SMH10's for the past 6 years or so and was fairly happy with them but was spending more time with a pillion and wanted to be able to have an open intercom while sharing music which the Sena did not do. I had also recently added a Garmin to the mix and found it interrupted our Intercom conversation. After doing extensive research I found the Packtalk bold would do all of these, or so Cardo says in the advertising. The Packtalk Bold is a very nice system for groups of riders, without Pillions. When adding a pillion the system fails completely.
    - The system is supposed to share music while intercom is active and available in DMC mode. This was done as an update so it is not in the manual however Cardo has a video on it. This does not work because of back ground noise activating the intercom which cuts the sound level of music and adds some not nice crackling noises. Cardo support has been of no help with this issue, they stated to set background music to 100% via the app which was already done on both units. Mic Sensitivity is also set to the lowest setting and we have tried both "intelligent" noise cancelling on and off, its better with is on. I have ordered some larger wind socks from Cardo but have not had a chance to try them yet. But they do look and taste awful as they are so large one cannot get them away from the face inside the helmets. I think the issue with this is how quiet our helmets are so the slightest exterior sound or wind noise activates the intercom. We are using the Schuberth C3 Pro and AGV Carbon along with being behind a Quiet ride screen on R1200RT so its pretty quiet which seems so confuse the Cardo Units. I think if there was constant background noise the system would be less inclined to think we were trying to talk every time it hears a little noise. You can share music while in Bluetooth mode instead of DMC however not while intercom is open.
    - The GPS always interrupts intercom. The manual and app say you can set priorities so that the intercom will be higher than the GPS this is completely untrue and has been stated by Cardo tech support to be untrue. GPS is always the 1st priority and cannot be heard at same time as any other inputs, this is regardless of pairing as GPS or just another Bluetooth device. This would not be so bad if the Pillion knew no one was listening to them or if the system didn't take so long to go back to intercom but there is a good 4 seconds of silence between spoken directions from GPS and reactivation of the intercom. The system also beeps when reconnecting, this would be great if it did it when interrupting but doing it upon reconnecting is useless if passenger had no idea they had been muted.
    - When reading up on this system it sounded like it was capable of having intercom open while sharing music and being able to have GPS not interrupt but give directions at the same time with channel open to all three inputs (Bluetooth mixing). It does not do that.
    I have been disconnecting the Garmin Bluetooth when a have a passenger and relying on visual which of course is dangerous to look at thee GPS while underway so as not to be completely frustrated every time the Garmin tells me 4 times to take the next right or my favorite continue on route interrupting conversation and music and beeping away. I wouldn't think that emulating being in a car having music playing while talking while GPS is announcing directions would be all that hard.
    In the end I have spent $423.99 for the same exact system I already had that was paid for years ago, albeit with better bass and sound quality, due to the amount of time it took to try these systems tried out and get in touch with Cardo Tech support the return window has long since passed. I am writing this to help prevent others from falling for the same false advertising as I did. It is a very nice system and has very good sound quality however not nearly worth the $$ it touted a lot of claims that it simply is not capable of and what it does do it does not do well. If you want a system to ride in a group without a pillion this is great however if you have a passenger keep looking.

  2. #2
    My pillion has her own music to listen to, either bluetoothed to an mp3 or their phone. Comms between the two helmets are as expected while they listen to their own music choices and I listen to mine.

    btw, I've been using PTB's coming into my 3rd season with them. I've looked at their new "edge" unit as an upgrade, for the added features, not interested over the system in play now. Easy to pair devices with the PTB, where Sena's can be difficult at times [ taking several tries sometimes ].

    Cardo and Sena have always over extended their range between riders. Neither the Sena 20s nor the PTB reach a mile, even in a straight line of sight situation. More like 1/2 mile at best, which is fine, but not as either tout in their literature.

    and I don't want the Nav unit to talk to me, nor want the phone answering feature while riding. All features I could care less to use. The units are waterproof where the Sena isn't [ but my 20s has been through some torrential rain days and never failed ].
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  3. #3
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    Why would you want the intercom active all the time? That would be a serious battery drain. On my freecom 4+ I say call intercom and the intercom turns on usually we say what we have to say and manually turn it off. Or the intercom turns itself off after silence. As far as music share; we both have our own phones.

    I do find the gps instruction thing you mentioned annoying. However, I mostly have voice instructions off unless where needed. I wish it wouldn't take so long to turn itercom back on and give notice to the passenger that gps is on! My wife just keeps talking lol.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by oscs View Post
    Why would you want the intercom active all the time? That would be a serious battery drain. On my freecom 4+ I say call intercom and the intercom turns on usually we say what we have to say and manually turn it off. Or the intercom turns itself off after silence. As far as music share; we both have our own phones.

    I do find the gps instruction thing you mentioned annoying. However, I mostly have voice instructions off unless where needed. I wish it wouldn't take so long to turn itercom back on and give notice to the passenger that gps is on! My wife just keeps talking lol.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
    In DMC mode while sharing music the Intercom is always active, no button pushing required just speak and it realizes you are talking and opens the channel whereas the Sena was either Intercom or Music sharing couldn't have both at the same time. In DMC mode the intercom is always active unless you mute the mic. We like to chat as we ride talk about what we see or communicate a turn etc. which it does quite well so long as you are not sharing music or getting GPS instructions. There is a slight delay using DMC due to the open channel system, if you use the intercom where you can see each other its like watching Chinese theater. Also at a stop with modular helmets open when you can hear voice and intercom there is a very odd echo effect from this delay.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsd View Post
    In DMC mode while sharing music the Intercom is always active, no button pushing required just speak and it realizes you are talking and opens the channel whereas the Sena was either Intercom or Music sharing couldn't have both at the same time. In DMC mode the intercom is always active unless you mute the mic. We like to chat as we ride talk about what we see or communicate a turn etc. which it does quite well so long as you are not sharing music or getting GPS instructions. There is a slight delay using DMC due to the open channel system, if you use the intercom where you can see each other its like watching Chinese theater. Also at a stop with modular helmets open when you can hear voice and intercom there is a very odd echo effect from this delay.
    Gotcha sorry, I didn't catch dmc part! That's weird on the "Chinese Theater" thing. The freecom 4+ intercom doesn't have a delay! You would think the intercoms would be the same between the different models.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscs View Post
    Gotcha sorry, I didn't catch dmc part! That's weird on the "Chinese Theater" thing. The freecom 4+ intercom doesn't have a delay! You would think the intercoms would be the same between the different models.
    Are you in DMC or Bluetooth mode? I have not tried it in Bluetooth to see if its the same delay but I assume its a DMC thing.

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