Extended left arm and left arm hanging down at the elbow are among some of the weird signs bike riders use to communicate with each other when on the move. They were life-savers back in the days when talking over the many decibels of car honks, traffic noise, tires’ roar was one heck of a task. You could either drive or shout at the top of your lungs to talk to the other rider.
However, they weren’t entirely practical. Your signals could have been blocked by cars, the other motorist may not remember what the message meant or may not even recognize that you are signaling something. Backpacks were another big problem in such cases. Moreover, extending your arms isn’t safe on a busy road or a fast track. It may cost you an arm or a leg, and the other person a lot more as they can be distracted by your signals. So what to do?
Thankfully, with many other technological advancements, some people also shed light on this critical issue and came up with the ideas of a helmet communication system. Initially, as Bluetooth and later as dedicated helmet communication units, these devices came as real saviors for riders. They form secure and efficient connections between the riders at certain distances.
Today there are several manufacturers, producing and innovating, such devices to fill any possible communication gap between the riders on the track. One of the most popular manufacturers is the USA-based company, Cardo. Cardo launched some of the products, including the world’s first Bluetooth headset. Here is a list of five amazing ATV helmet communication systems the company had released over the years. All of them are highly rated and among the best sellers on Amazon.
- Top 4 Helmet Communication Systems by Cardo
Top 4 Helmet Communication Systems by Cardo
1. Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK BOLD – Best Value For Your Money
With Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK BOLD, you do not only talk to your ride partners but also your communication device. It has the intelligence technology to recognize your commands like Siri or Alexa. This technology saves you from controlling the device with buttons or wheels that are super frustrating and risky with gloves on while on the track. So for a safe, secure, and effective communication, Cardo came up with the voice recognition element. All you have to do is say ‘hey Cardo’ or ‘hi Siri,’ and it will activate your virtual jinni in seconds.
The PACKTALK adjusts the device’s volume based on the external noise level. This feature saves you from the annoying noises in between the communication, and you do not have to wait for those disturbances to vanish before listening or speaking further. One thing it guarantees is on-spot voice transmission with good quality sound. Weather resistance is another fantastic element of the device. Be it rain, thunder, snow, or scorching sun; your device will always be there for you.
One of the most remarkable factors is the vast connectivity you get to enjoy with this device. Boarded with the Mesh Communication technology, you can enjoy the same high-quality audio signals if you are on a pillion ride or out with a group of fifteen people. Not just that, but it also offers the most extended connectivity range. You can connect with your partners as far as 1600 meters under the most optimal condition, but in practical situations, you can only reach up to 1000 meters, which is not too bad either.
With all these fantastic features, you also get some entertainment. Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK BOLD manages your intercom, conversation calls, radio, and music. So if you do not have anybody to talk to, you can listen to your favorite soundtracks.
Did you know you can control the whole device and all that it carries with one mobile app? Well, now you know it. Download the Cardo Connect app and get started right away!
2. Cardo PACKTALK BOLD Sound by JBL – Best Large Groups Of Riders
The one thing that differentiates this model from the previous one is the JBL speakers. They are a new edition to the device, giving it amazing audio quality. The JBL speakers are more significant than the regular speakers and hence offer better sound.
With the PACKTALK technology, you can command your device through your voice without having to deal with the control buttons when riding, which is practically an excellent feature. Without this feature, it can be troublesome to find the right buttons and to click them as many times as required to give it a specific command. You may not know if you are clicking the right button since you cannot see them. It is also not easy to remember the number of times you need to push each button to get the work done. The PACTALK saves you from all of that.
The mesh communication system allows you to connect to up to 15 riders at a time, which means a large group can stay connected throughout the ride. Moreover, unlike Bluetooth, DMC does not affect an existing group upon the addition or elimination of riders. So even if a rider leaves the group, the others stay connected. The connectivity range is to be 1600 meter, but that’s not entirely practical. The maximum variety of this device can offer around 1000 meters.
The device is made dustproof and waterproof, which offers you secure service in almost every weather condition. This feature increases durability and keeps you tension-free. It further features better microphone options, volume adjustment, and FM radio.
3. Cardo FREECOM 4+ Communication System with JBL – Best For Small Groups
Cardo FREECOM 4+ is an excellent choice for small groups that do not need more than four-way communication. The PACKTALK series features DMC technology for more comprehensive connectivity, whereas the FREECOM 4+ series is for smaller groups. This model costs you less but offers the same excellence as the other models.
Although the numbers of connections are less on this model, the range of connectivity is still quite full. You can connect with your partners within a radius of 1200 meters, which is 200 meters more than the previous models. Another noticeable feature is the versatility of the device. Its clip can fit it on almost every helmet. This feature saves you from the trouble of buying a specific mask, especially for the device, as is the case with many other manufacturers.
With the Natural Voice Operation, the device has no trouble recognizing your voice. All you have to say is ‘Hey Cardo,’ just like addressing Siri. To make it more comfortable, Cardo has installed ways to connect to Siri and Ok Google too. So if you find ‘Hey Cardo’ uncomfortable or new, you can switch to the older and more comfortable voice commands.
Despite the lower cost, Cardo FREECOM 4+ also features JBL speakers for the perfect sound quality. They cut out all the external voices and give you loud and clear audio transmission. Since they are attached to the interior of the helmet, they are safe and do not require maintenance. To reduce the overall maintenance of the device, Cardo has made the device dustproof and waterproof. These features ensure durability and better performance, as well.
The customizable volume setup and the built-in FM, along with the 13 hours battery life, make the device an excellent value for your money. However, you might find the user manual a little confusing, but the application is quite simple and easy.
4. Cardo Unisex Adult Freecom 1 – Best For Solo Riders
With its super sleek design and aerodynamic structure, the Cardo Unisex Adult Freecom 1 is the perfect choice for solo riders. It has a width of about 16mm, making it one of the thinnest communication headsets. Plus, it can easily fit on almost every type of helmet, which is a significant relief.
Moreover, the device is weather-friendly, which means it stays unaffected by even the harshest weather conditions. Such a protected build enhances security as it reduces your chances of losing connection or affecting the device’s performance.
The JBL speakers offer the perfect sound quality, cutting out external noise to let you enjoy your music and call load and clear. With the customizable volume feature, you can easily adjust the voice according to the external voice level.
The Freecom 1 also features voice recognition for calls. So you can easily make or receive a call without having to take your hands off the bike’s handles. However, it does not feature advanced PACKTALK technology. So you cannot command the device for every function.
Thirteen hours of battery life is a long time for the device to survive. It ensures a smooth ride without fretting over the battery use-up. The mobile application is also quite easy, and you do not need to be much tech-savvy to understand what’s happening. The user manual, however, is still the same –horrible.
The highly professional and dedicated Cardo team never fails to amaze its users. They have always come up with great products and continue to do so. Some of the best products are listed above. They are all perfect in their categories and offer a lot more efficient than other similar products.
Freecom 1 is a perfect choice if you are a solo rider and enjoy solidarity. It is also the most affordable choice. However, if you move in a pack, then Cardo PACKTALK BOLD Sound by JBL is a highly considerable choice. It features PACKTALK as well as DMC but carries the heftiest price tag. So if you cannot afford it, you can enjoy all its glory in Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK BOLD. This model not only offers advanced features but also is super affordable. Hence, it serves to be the best value for your money.
Freecom 4+ is an excellent option for smaller groups. If you already have a communication system, but it doesn’t fit on your helmet, the Cardo Audio and Microphone Kit are here to save you from spending a wholesome amount on an entirely new device.