Motorcyclists who love listening to music while riding appreciate earbuds. Now, there are helmets with Bluetooth technology that can also pipe music into your ears. But you may wonder why you need an all-in-one helmet that is most likely pricier when you can get earbuds. So stand Bluetooth motorcycle helmets worth buying?
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets may be worth buying if you need their different features. You can use a Bluetooth-integrated helmet to make and receive calls, listen to music, access GPS navigation, and communicate with other riders. All you have to do is connect it to your smartphone.
In this article, we’ll look at what Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are and their features. We will also discuss how they work and what to consider when buying one.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are designed with built-in Bluetooth technology. Thus, they enable wireless communication and connectivity while riding. With Bluetooth motorcycle helmets, you can connect to your smartphone, walkie-talkie, and other helmets for short-distance communications. You can also use GPS navigation and listen to music or FM radio.
Advantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets offer several benefits. They include:
1. Hands-free Communication Between Riding Groups:
Group members must communicate while on the road to pass vital information like meeting points and plan changes. Or they can also do less essential things like chatting with fellow riders during a long road trip.
With Bluetooth helmets, riders can communicate hands-free. They also allow you to talk without taking your eyes off the road or hands off the handlebar.
2. Rider-to-passenger Communication
Getting two Bluetooth motorcycle helmets helps you communicate well with your passenger while riding. You don’t have to shout words into the wind, which they may not even hear.
Bluetooth helmets can especially be helpful if the passenger is new to riding. You can instruct them during the ride or communicate other crucial information. If you are riding with a friend, it’s easy for both of you to chat when necessary without you turning back.
3. Listening to Music
Listening to music while riding can make you relax and make long rides more fun. While earphones offer the same benefit, Bluetooth motorcycle helmets work better. First, they pipe music into your ears without crushing the sound, making it less harmful to your ears.
They also offer easy controls for managing your audio. Hence, you don’t have to fumble with your phone while riding. Some Bluetooth headsets even support voice commands, allowing you to control your music.
4. Voice Command
As earlier said, most Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are compatible with voice command systems like Siri or Google Assistant. Hence, you can control your smartphone completely hands-free while riding.
You can also ask for weather updates or change music or radio channels without touching the screen. Or you could even make calls using voice commands, leading to fewer distractions while riding.
5. GPS Navigation Capabilities
Bluetooth helmets are compatible with GPS navigation systems. It allows you to ask for directions and know possible routes or find riders while riding. You can also navigate around traffic. With voice command enablement, you need not constantly stop to check the map or your phone for navigation.
6. Safety and Convenience
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are two-in-one devices, so you don’t have to buy a separate helmet and intercom. Bluetooth helmets also enhance safety while riding.
You can use the GPS navigation system to find your way when lost or to look for another rider. You could also call for help during an accident. Again, you get to focus more on the road because you don’t have to operate your phone manually, thanks to voice control.
Disadvantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
The cons of Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are:
1. Cost Considerations
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are more expensive than those without Bluetooth. Usually, the price range for regular helmets is $50 to $200. But helmets with integrated Bluetooth technology cost from $200 to $500.
The price gap isn’t much for low-end Bluetooth helmets, but a high-quality helmet will cost much more than regular ones. And for motorcyclists that may not use all the features Bluetooth helmets offer, the price may not be worth it.
2. Potential Distractions
One argument against using auxiliary devices while riding is the risk of getting distracted. Bluetooth helmets can make you focus less on the road and prevent you from practicing defensive riding. Listening to music and making phone calls can be distracting. Hence, Bluetooth helmets may be dangerous while riding.
But compared to manual helmets, Bluetooth helmets are still safer, thanks to their hands-free use. As a rider, it’s essential to use your Bluetooth helmet responsibly. Always keep the volume low enough to hear vehicle sounds and avoid lengthy or complicated conversations.
3. Battery Life
One problem you may face is the battery quality of this device. Bluetooth helmets use built-in batteries that last about 8 to 20 hours. And the battery life may be insufficient if you want to use it throughout the day.
More so, using multiple features simultaneously will still reduce battery use time. Carrying the charger around may also be inconvenient, and you may not find a charging point while on a motorcycle trip.
4. Limited Range
A Bluetooth motorcycle helmet can allow you to communicate over 500m to 1km. And while this range may be sufficient for most riders, sometimes you want to talk over long distances. For instance, group riders spread over a more extensive distance will need more coverage.
However, some advanced models offer mesh network technology, which can extend the communication range and connect more riders. But these models are often more expensive.
5. Technical Issues
Another issue you may face is technical problems. If your Bluetooth system is faulty, you can’t remove it from the helmet. Hence, you will need to send the helmet for repair, and if this is your only helmet, you may have to ride without it for a while.
Also, some Bluetooth helmets are not compatible with other helmet brands. Hence, you won’t be able to talk to other riders using a different helmet brand. To avoid this, ensure you buy one that’s compatible with any brand.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
After weighing the pros and cons of Bluetooth helmets, you may or may not favor them. If you think these helmets are worth buying, we’ve prepared this section for you. Below are some factors to consider when choosing a suitable Bluetooth motorcycle helmet:
If you have a budget, ensure you don’t spend outside your budget. Although more expensive helmets may have more features, often, an affordable one will work fine for you. But despite your budget, ensure you don’t go for low-quality helmets because the trade-off won’t be worth it in the long run.
2. Legality and Safety
Bluetooth helmets are not universally legal, so you must know the local laws in your region before buying one. Helmets are primarily worn for safety. Hence, you must ensure that your Bluetooth helmet meets the safety standard.
The safety standard differs from region to region. But usually, a safety sticker shows that the helmet meets the standard. Check to see if the helmet you are buying has the proper safety sticker. If you opt for a second-hand Bluetooth helmet, always ensure it has no cracks or structural damage. If it does, it means it’s no longer safe to wear.
While there are several features of the helmet, you may not need some. So it’s best to buy those with the features you need so you can reduce costs. Also, find out how many riders can connect to the intercom. Knowing this will help you choose based on your group size.
4. Brand Reputation and Reviews
While it’s crucial to consider your budget, you should also ensure the helmet is of good quality. That is why it’s good to consider the brand reputation. Read online reviews from sites and also customer reviews to know which brand is best. An excellent Bluetooth helmet to consider is the Sena Stryker Mesh Helmet.
5. Noise Filtering
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets with noise-cancellation features are a great option as they help reduce unwanted noise. But ensure that the helmet doesn’t also cancel out important sounds like sirens and car honks.
Alternatives to Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
If you disapprove of integrated Bluetooth helmets, you may want to consider other options. The following devices provide similar benefits:
A. Add-on Bluetooth Headsets
Add-on Bluetooth headsets can transform a regular helmet into a Bluetooth helmet. They function like Bluetooth helmets, only that they are stand-alone devices you add to your helmet.
Buying a helmet and an add-on Bluetooth headset costs more than buying a Bluetooth helmet. Plus, it’s more stressful building your Bluetooth helmet yourself.
But if you already own a regular helmet and you want a Bluetooth system in your helmet, add-on headsets are the most cost-effective way to do so. It’s cheaper than buying a new helmet when you already have one.
B. Wired Communication Systems
Wired communication systems include wired earphones and earbuds. Unlike Bluetooth headsets that support wireless connectivity, wired systems use cables. And the cables can cause discomfort and distract you while riding.
C. Smart Watches
You can pair your smartwatch with your phone to receive notifications and take calls. It also allows you to control your music and access GPS navigation. Luckily, some models support voice commands, allowing you to use them hands-free.
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets have an integrated Bluetooth system. Hence, you get both the function of a helmet and a Bluetooth intercom in one device. These smart helmets make riding more fun as you can listen to music and talk to fellow riders hands-free. You can also use GPS navigation to find a location.
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets cost more than regular helmets. But they are worth buying if you need a versatile helmet.