There is nothing to compare with the sense of freedom you get when you are on a motorcycle. But riding a motorcycle has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to staying in touch with your buddies. In a car, you can chat easily and enjoy listening to music. But when you are on a bike, it is next to impossible to hear anything over the wind. Plus you need to keep your helmet on to stay safe.
Well, there is a solution—and that is motorcycle Bluetooth headsets!
Thinking of buying a motorcycle Bluetooth headset, but not sure which communication system is best? The product comparison table below gives you an excellent starting point for your research.
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Still not sure what you need to look for in a quality motorcycle Bluetooth headset? Read on to learn everything you need to know to make the perfect selection.
What is a Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset?
A motorcycle Bluetooth headset is an intercom system which you can use while you are on the road. With it, you can communicate with your fellow riders even in loud, windy conditions, all without removing your helmet.
How does it work?
Motorcycle Bluetooth headsets work through the use of short-range wireless networking technology. Chances are good that you are already somewhat familiar with Bluetooth technology, because it is likely installed already on your desktop, laptop or mobile device.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset
How many riders will be in your group?
This is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself right off the top. There are two reasons you need to take this consideration into account right from the off. First of all, you need to make sure that you are choosing a headset which allows you to connect as many units as you need for your group. Secondly, it is important because you need to know how large your group is to determine how much range you need. For smaller groups, 500 yards is generally sufficient. But for larger groups, you might need around 1,000 yards. br>
Where will you be riding?
This is important for couple of reasons. Firstly, it connects to the range consideration again. If you will usually be riding in open settings which are uninstructed, you will not need nearly as much range as you would if you will regularly be traveling through cities. Secondly, if you will be traveling in environments where you may encounter a lot of rain, you should be looking for some degree of water resistance. You certainly do not want your headset to short out because of a few raindrops. br>
How do you prefer to install your headset?
There are two different methods for installation which are common with motorcycle Bluetooth headsets. The first is to use 3M double-sided tape to stick the device onto your helmet. The second is to clamp the intercom in place. Most people prefer the clamp-on devices, which are the most common.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For
As already discussed, range is extremely important, and should probably be your first consideration. These days, you will find that even headsets with a fairly long range are not that expensive. So this is an area where you probably will not need to compromise.
Support for multiple riders
There was a time (which you may remember) when you could only connect two motorcycle Bluetooth headsets to each other. Thankfully, the technology has progressed to the point where you can now network between a large group of riders. Still, all systems have their limitations, so you should check to make sure that the intercom system you are choosing will be able to support everybody in your group.
Voice prompts allow you to operate your headset hands-free. This is an important convenience and safety feature. You can focus on the road and keep both hands on the handlebars.
This is a feature which allows you not only to listen to music while you’re on the road, but to share your music with your fellow riders.
One advanced feature you can look for when you’re shopping for a motorcycle Bluetooth headset is a camera. You will pay extra for this, but if you enjoy recording your adventures on the road, a camera can be an amazing feature. Some systems even allow you to capture time lapse footage or mix music and narration on the fly. This doesn’t just save you time on post-production later, it also allows you to capture the moment more authentically.
GPS is one of the most useful features you can find on a motorcycle Bluetooth headset. Not only will this prevent you from getting lost, but you can use it while you were on the road and communicate with your buddies. This prevents you from having to pull over all the time to discuss directions.
This is one of the most important features to evaluate when you are going to purchase an intercom system for your motorcycle adventures. It takes excellent sound quality and noise cancellation to dampen all the interfering noise from your environment (wind, rain, traffic, etc.). Just as important as crystal-clear output is sound which is loud enough. So also check to make sure that the volume is going to be adequate for your needs.
Connectivity for cell phones
Another great feature to shop for is cell phone connectivity. This allows you to access your phone’s features while you are on the road. This feature is best paired with hands-free operation.
You now know the most important features to shop for in motorcycle Bluetooth headsets. Technology has really evolved since the days when you could only connect one pair of headsets to each other. You can now stay in contact with a large or small group and use your other devices without compromising your safety on the road.
Sena 20S-01: Great For Music
If the main thing you’ll use your headset for is music, get the Sena 20S. The audio equipment on the Sena 20S is superb. Even the bass sounds pretty good. This is the best Sena motorcycle headset. However, it’s also quite expensive.
- Super long battery life. Like the SMH10D, this headset won’t lose its charge if you ride all day long.
- The speakers and mic are excellent. If you love music, there is no other option.
- Easy to use. Sena’s YouTube setup videos show you exactly how to install the headset.
- Voice commands. The voice command system is quite efficient. It doesn’t usually misunderstand you when you try to tell it to do something.
- Chat with your riding buddies. The universal Intercom system allows you to converse with other riders. Its 2 kilometer range is quite impressive.
- Built-in FM radio. If you get bored of listening to your downloaded music or if you want to hear the news instead, just flip on the radio.
- Stylish design. This headset’s round, futuristic shape is quite appealing.
- The Sena app doesn’t have many features and it’s quite buggy.
- The 20S is a bit expensive compared to other motorcycle headsets.
Sena SMH10D-11: Choose Whatever Style Mic Suits You the Best
Do you prefer to use a boom mic or a wired microphone when you ride your motorcycle? If you don’t know for sure, get the Sena’s SMH10D. It allows you to choose the type of microphone you want to use. Both the wired and the boom mic work pretty well. It’s up to you to decide which style suits you the best.
- Choose a boom mic or a wired mic. The boom mic is surprisingly quiet thanks to the built-in noise cancellation feature. But if you prefer to switch to a wired mic, you can.
- Support for non-Bluetooth mp3 players and phones. If you have an older mp3 player that requires a wire, you can use it with this device.
- Crystal clear communication. The person on the other end of the phone call will never guess you’re riding a motorcycle unless you tell them.
- Great battery life. One charge lasts 8 to 13 hours.
- Comfortable and compact. No need to unplug every time you take your helmet off.
- Supports group chat. This bluetooth device is compatible with the universal intercom standard. Even if your buddies have a different headset, you can still chat with them as you ride.
- Can be used with full and half helmets. This headset is compatible with a wide array of different helmet styles.
- It’s not so good for music because the bass sounds thin.
- Like the Sena 20S, the SMH10D is also a bit pricey.
Sena SMH5D-02: a Durable, “No Frills” Motorcycle Headset
If all you want is a basic bluetooth headset for your motorcycle helmet, go with Sena’s SMH5D. It’s not as expensive and it doesn’t have as many features. However, it’s more durable than other Sena headsets because it doesn’t have as many parts that can snap off and break.
- Easy to use. This headset’s interface is even easier to use than Sena’s other motorcycle headsets because it doesn’t have quite as many features.
- Good battery life. The battery on the SMH5D isn’t quite as awesome as the one on the SMH10, but it’s still quite good. One charge lasts 6 to 8 hours.
- Audio is clear. At high speeds the audio distorts a bit. But if you’re going fast you should probably focus on the road anyway.
- Reasonable price. This product is cheap compared to other headsets that are designed to be used with a motorcycle helmet.
- Rugged. Because this headset features fewer pins and tiny plastic pieces, it’s less likely to break.
- Rider to passenger coms. The intercom range isn’t long enough to communicate with other riders, but you can still chat with a passenger.
- Sena brand name. Sena supports all their products with outstanding customer outreach and a comprehensive warranty.
- Music sounds okay, but not great.
- You have to unplug your microphone every time you take your helmet off.