Motorcycle helmets are meant to bring you safety and peace from blaring horns. But there’s a thing as too much silence. Bluetooth helmets allow you to fill these silences with music, conversation and more. People have the attention span of cocker spaniels these days. We need to be on the move, connected to our folks, our office.
We need to dictate a chocolate pie recipe or listen to the latest Ed Sheeran song. Bluetooth motorcycle helmets enable us to make calls, listen to music or audiobooks and get GPS navigation directions from our smartphones or Mp3 players. All this can be managed with a few button presses and wireless activity. You can keep both your hands driving your motorcycle. Bluetooth has certainly reduced casualities from negligent driving.
We have our own best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet list. However, here are a few pointers on how to get it right:
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- Bolt-on or Built in
There are two ways to operate Bluetooth connectivity in motorcycle helmets. One method is to buy helmets with integrated Bluetooth. All the necessary circuitry and speakers for Bluetooth are built into the lid by manufacturers in this case. Examples are BILT Techno and O’Neal Commander.
Another way is to buy a regular helmet and add Bluetooth headset assembly to it. The arrangement can be clamped to the side of the helmet. Wires will run through the inner liner and speakers can go near the ears. Sena 20s motorcycle communication system is one such product. If the assembly is done right, you will have clear audibility and intelligible conversation will be heard on the other end of the call.
Built-in Bluetooth motorcycle helmets have the advantage of being cheaper usually. Plus there is no need for you to educate yourself about wire cutter and clamps. Bolt-on GPS allows you the flexibility to ditch the Bluetooth if you are in a mood to disconnect. If you do not want to upgrade your existing helmet but still want Bluetooth, this bolt-on arrangement will be more economical.
- Bluetooth Range
Although wireless, Bluetooth still has an invisible leash. Bluetooth range will lie between 30 to 330 feet. You must make sure that the range of Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet will suffice to reach your smart phone. In most cases, helmets are not likely to be too far from your phone or Mp3 player if they are on your person.
Most Bluetooth helmets also have Intercom facility. This can be used to communicate with fellow riders if you are travelling as a group. Range is especially important here because distance between two motorcycles can increase in crowded areas or because of individual paces. Also check the user reviews to find how well Bluetooth connectivity handles physical obstacles. In urban areas with lot of buildings the Bluetooth connection of intercom can get disrupted. Check whether it reconnects automatically once the connection has dropped.
- Wind noise
The most irksome enemy of any Bluetooth motorcycle helmet (or helmets in general) is wind noise and buffeting. When you ride against the wind at 80 mph, it will hit you sharp and hard. That is will rock the helmet and your skull along with it. Annoying as it is, it will also create so much noise inside your lid that you might have trouble listening to the audio from the helmet speakers.
Helmets from reputed brands try to build an aerodynamic architecture that can minimize this rocking and noise. A good Bluetooth motorcycle helmet will prevent these at highway speeds allowing comprehensible conversation for both parties on a phone call or other audio. User reviews are the best means to find the true capability of a Bluetooth lid in this area.
- Size and fit
This is an important consideration in any helmet buying expedition. Sizing help can be checked from the website of the brand you are purchasing from. If you go and buy the Bluetooth motorcycle helmet personally, ask the sales personnel to help you put it on correctly. Helmets which come in different shell sizes are more likely to fit right. Also check the shell shape. These days helmets are available in the traditional round shape as well as intermediate oval. s
You might have to ride your motorcycle come hale or storm. If the a little water can ruin your Bluetooth motorcycle helmet then it is water down the drain. Check that the integrated helmet or the bolt-on Bluetooth headset that you buy is waterproof. Integrated Bluetooth helmets will work mostly but Bluetooth headsets need to be checked for this feature.
When looking for a high-end feature like Bluetooth, brand value can be taken into account. Good brands are more likely to have a well-integrated and coherent Bluetooth system than lesser-known brands. But exceptions are known to exist.