How to choose the best Bluetooth Helmet for your road bike

Road Bikes

If you have spent any time riding motorcycles in the last few years, you will no doubt have noticed the ever increasing presence of Bluetooth technology. From Rider communicators and remote control systems, to cameras and entertainment, you can now enjoy it all while you get your knee down.

Along with the prolific rise in technology, there has also been an influx of so called, “Smart Helmets”. Smart helmets come fitted with Bluetooth technology as part of the design. Also, there are an ever increasing number of helmets that are Bluetooth compatible, or even have the option of a factory fitted system. Choice is great, but what makes a good Bluetooth Helmet, and what should you look out for when considering one for use on the road?

Important things to remember when buying a Bluetooth Helmet:

Perhaps your most important consideration when shopping for a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, is the reason you are buying a helmet in the first place. Safety. It is true that there are a lot of cool looking helmets, with manufacturers all offering amazing features for under $100.00. 

Most of these new generation helmets look pretty cool too. It doesn’t follow, that a helmet will fulfil its primary objective of saving your life or preventing serious injury, just because it looks like a storm troopers Sunday best.

Here are some top tips for buying a Bluetooth helmet for the road:

Set a reasonable budget.

A good helmet starts at $150+ and a good Bluetooth will start around $150.00. It is unreasonable to expect a product that can perform well for much under $150.

Check the safety standards.

Sub standard and counterfeit helmets pose a real risk to life. Do your homework. Check out the manufacturers website. Look for the expected safety standards to be met or exceeded. ECE, DOT and Snell are popular road helmet standards. ACU is the UK standard for road racing. A helmet with no rating or standard is probably best avoided. 

Speak the same language.

While Bluetooth remains the standard around which all motorcycle communicators are built, each manufacturer may have its own built in group “Mesh” system. If your mates are all using Sena or Cardo in this mode, you will have to sacrifice some functionality if you are not compatible to that system. You will be able to connect and listen in, but should you drop out of range, you will need to do a manual reconnect for example.

Factory Standard or Factory option?

With Bluetooth becoming so popular, some of the manufacturers have started manufacturing their own helmet ranges. These offer a good alternative to the regular manufacturers, but may come with their own challenges. Helmet fit is often a matter of personal taste. Whether you go with a new style of helmet from a Bluetooth manufacturer, or stick to your favourite brand is probably going to come down to the fit.

Most of the big names in helmet manufacturing are now partnered with on or more of the major Bluetooth manufacturers. If the idea of fitting a Bluetooth to your helmet fills you with dread, or you are more keen to find a dedicated, fitted system, you may wish to use the optional factory fitting as a route.

What will I get?

The minimum level of features include:

Rider to Pillion Communication.

(Standard feature)

Rider to Rider Communication.

(Standard feature)

Rider to Group Communication.

(Optional Feature ranging from 4 rider+)

FM Radio.

(Standard feature)

Multiple Source functionality.

(Optional Feature with Bluetooth – This can vary greatly and if listening to music whilst talking, or having GPS fed, whilst listening to music is important to you, research carefully).

Voice Command.

(Optional, and varied in degrees of function) 

Noise Reduction.

(Optional)

In conclusion:

Whether you are a road racing, touring or street bike enthusiast, there is a Bluetooth Helmet to suit you! By taking the time to research your options, you will be assured of comfort and safety, whilst adding a range of features and benefits. If you are keen to find out more, then check the guide for the 5 best Bluetooth helmets in 2019.

Have fun & keep the shiny side up!

About the Author Martin Varrand

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