Bluetooth headsets can get fairly pricey. The Sena SMH10R is one of the most popular units on the market and has a list price of $219.00, which can be had on sale for $164.25 (see the link). That is still a lot of dough, especially if you don’t know if a Bluetooth Headset is something you will use a lot. I was in that boat, not knowing if it would be something I would make use of or not, so went with the Dynamic Innovations Evolution V1 for $99.
- Maximum talking range 500m between two riders, real two-way, Range Extended in Open Area and with Adjustable Antenna
- Up to 7 hours talking time
- Advanced A2DP & EDR Bluetooth profile
- VOX - Voice Dialing and Voice Commands, Voice Texting Etc.
- Use Siri and Other Voice Commands on Phones (Iphone, Blackberry, Android)
- Stereo music/audio function (transmits from A2DP enabled cellphone/MP3/GPS)
- Wind noise DSP cancellation
- FM Radio Built In
- MP3 Music Can Be Played Either Wirelessly Through Bluetooth or Through Included Audio Cable (Plug In)
- Adjustable Antenna to Increase Intercom Range
- Up to 40 hours of standby time
- UP to 10 hours battery life when listening to music
- Charge time 3hrs
- Installs on any Full Face, 3/4 or 1/2 Helmet
- Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Technology for wind noise cancellation
- Excellent performance at speeds up to the legal limit with a full face helmet
- Easily mounts to all full face and open face helmets
- All weather, rain and snow resistance
- Removable headset unit from the helmet
Installation is pretty straightforward and directions are included. The speakers install with stick on Velcro pads and the wires and mic are routed through the helmet between the shell and padding. The installation in my Scorpion EXO 1100 (Helmet Review Here) went well with no issues. The installation in my friends Icon Airmada went just as fast, however the helmet’s ear cutouts were not as deep and the speakers tend to press against your ears more, so consider a proper touring helmet like the EXO 1100 if you want a Bluetooth headset.
The headset is fairly simple to use once you get the hang of it. It pairs just like any other device to your phone. Once paired, it takes a few tries to get the hang of the operation, but it is fairly straight forward. There are only 5 buttons on the device, so double clicking, triple clicking, and holding in the buttons perform different tasks. Once you start using it and get used to your normally used functions it comes pretty natural. The buttons can easily be located and pressed when wearing gloves. I have ridden through hard downpours with no issues.
After 2 years of regular use including 2 extended trips, the battery life has not degraded very much and the unit still charges up at the same rate as when it was new. The USB port has become a bit finicky over time but everything is working as it should.
- Easy to install
- Music volume is great (tip make sure your device is turned up)
- At high speeds, incoming conversation from the fellow rider can be hard to hear
- USB plug in can be sensitive
My riding partner or group tends to get along just fine with hand signals. In fact, being on the open road with just your thoughts is a part of riding that most of us love. Sometimes technology is so intrusive it takes away from the experience, the scenery and the adventure. This is why I was not 100% sold on a Bluetooth Headset at first. After getting the Evolution and riding with it for 2 years, I can say for sure I will always own one, but not for the communication feature. In fact, I shut my phone’s mobile network off when riding to avoid incoming calls and my normal riding partner does not tend to wear his much at all. The sole reason I love having this unit so much is the ability to listen to music without having headphones jammed in my helmet. First of all they are uncomfortable and second they are a big pain in the ass to keep in your ears when you are trying to get your helmet on. Not to mention the cord, this inevitably gets caught on something and pulls an earbud out.
So if you are thinking about getting a Bluetooth headset but don’t want to spend a ton of cash take a look at the Evolution V1 for under $100 here. It can be had for the same price as a quality earbud which you will eventually loose, so even if you do not fully utilize its capabilities, it is a good buy.
Click here for other Bluetooth Headsets currently on sale.