Improve Your Bike Helmet—With a Bluetooth Headset


These days, I have been listening to voices. They inform me all types of helpful info, akin to the place to go and how one can get there. Don’t fret, all of this exactly stops once I take off my motorbike helmet. That is as a result of it is Bluetooth related, and I like that I can preserve my smartphone in my pocket whereas driving and get all my instructions straight to my ears. 

It is the very best improve I’ve ever made to my driving expertise. You must overlook about mounting your smartphone to your handlebars and make the improve too. Your sanity will thanks.

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Eyes Ahead, Ears Up

Ever since studying that smartphone cameras are being shaken aside resulting from vibrations when mounted to motorbike handlebars, I’ve had a concern of wrecking mine. I additionally typically do not like trying down at a display screen for navigational instructions whereas driving. Individuals can do a variety of silly issues behind the wheel of a automotive in a mere second. 

Name it defensive driving or no matter you want, I all the time need my eyes to be on the highway, particularly once 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 is dangerous sufficient in a small automotive. Multiply that a number of instances over once you’re on a bike.

I would somewhat get all my instructions by way of 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 is safer and makes driving quite a bit much less anxious.

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

At freeway pace, 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 possibly can hearken to music nicely sufficient to listen to it, however it’s not loud sufficient for a true-blue headbanger.

The Freecom 2X can be utilized by itself or linked to a different Freecom unit for those who like driving with a companion, and its half-mile vary will allow you to speak to one another with out fear. For those who experience in greater teams, you possibly can improve to the Freecom 4X ($216). It is the identical unit, however it helps you to hyperlink as much as 4 headsets throughout a variety of 0.75 miles.

The Finer Particulars

The Cardo Join app that pairs your smartphone with the headset works seamlessly, and I have not had any points with it on my iPhone. The Freecom 2X recharges through a USB-C connector, which is a pleasant, trendy 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 is 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, however it’s nothing a bit of willpower cannot remedy, even when the instructions aren’t nice.

Cardo offers you choices for mounting the headset itself to the facet of the helmet. There is a clip for those who’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 way of broiling East Coast summers and late-year frigid rain with none signal it may weaken and pop off.

For those who use GPS apps when you experience—who does not today?—contemplate wiring up your favourite helmet (or helmets) with a Bluetooth headset akin to this. The cellphone calls and the power to hearken to Spotify when you cruise are perks, however the true sweetness is retaining your self protected sufficient for one more day’s experience.

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