If you’ve ridden a bike for years, then you already know that nothing can really compare to the sense of freedom you’ll enjoy when you’re zipping down the highway or traveling cross-country. But there are a few drawbacks when it comes to riding a bike. As an example, you’re very limited in terms of communication since you have to focus on the road and keep your hands on the handlebars at all times.
When you’re in the car, you can drive with one hand on the wheel, and answer your phone with the other. You can also enjoy your favorite tunes and talk with friends. But on a motorcycle, you’re somewhat isolated, even if you’re traveling with a group of your pals.
Using the best motorcycle Bluetooth headset can change all of that. This device will allow you to communicate with your riding buddies, answer phone calls, listen to music, listen to the radio, and more. Basically, this headset will change how you ride.
I’ve reviewed several of the leading models on the market, but only six sets have made it onto my “best of” list. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart, which lists the similarities and differences between each of these best-sellers, which will give you a clear idea of the features each set has to offer, in order to help you narrow down your choices and find a set that will work for you, your riding needs, and your budget.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists the top headsets available, how they rated and the differences and similarities between each model.
Bluetooth Headsets Comparison Chart
|Cardo FREECOM 4 PLUS||0.3 miles||4|
|Cardo Scala Rider||0.75 miles||4|
|Fodsports M1S Pro||1.2 miles||8|
|Sena 20S Evo||1.2 miles||8|
|Sena 20S-01D||1.2 miles||8|
|Cardo Scala PACKTALK||1 mile||15|
Best Overall-Cardo FREECOM 4 PLUS – 4-Way Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
The Freecom 4 Plus is Cardo’s top-selling Bluetooth headset for many reasons. It comes loaded with all the right features including an intercom system that allows you to communicate with up to four users, in addition to built-in FM radio, and top of the line JBL speakers for ultimate sound quality and clarity.
Voice command controls will allow you to use simple voice prompts to access your contacts list, make phone calls, reject incoming calls, and more. If you love riding around listening to your favorite tunes, then you’ll love the music streaming feature that also allows you to share your music with the other riders connected to your intercom system.
Pair the headset with your phone and use GPS navigation, so you’ll never get lost on the road again. This feature can also be streamed to the other riders connected to your intercom system. As you can see, this model is very versatile and packed with some great features that are designed to keep you safe on the road, why enhancing your riding experience.
Most Versatile- Cardo Scala rider FREECOM 4 Duo – FRC40102
The Scala Rider by Cardo offers better than average range, and crystal clear intercom quality. This model comes with FM radio, voice commands that allow you to switch to the intercom feature, answer calls, reject calls, and dial.
You can also access OK Google or Siri, using basic voice prompts. You can listen to your music library or tune into one of your favorite radio stations and catch the latest news, traffic information, and weather reports.
The headset is dustproof, so it can handle high wind conditions when you’re driving through flying dirt and debris. It’s also waterproof, which means it can handle light to heavy rainfall.
The lightweight, ergonomic design allows you to wear the headset all day long in total comfort. Versatile, beginner-friendly, and equipped with all the right safety features, it comes as no surprise that this model is one of Cardo’s best-sellers.
Best Value- Fodsports M1S Pro Helmet Communication System Headset
Fodsports introduced its latest communication system and I was blown away by its intuitive design, voice command controls, and excellent noise-canceling features. Unlike higher-priced, competing systems, this affordable model allows you to connect to up to seven other riders via the intercom system. It offers 4.1 Bluetooth connectivity, which offers a more stable connection and allows you to connect your headset to a variety of Bluetooth enabled devices.
It offers a range of 1.2 miles, and a maximum bike to bike communication range of 0.3 miles, which is better than average, especially compared to other models in this price range. It also comes with both a soft mic and a hard mic, so you can choose the right mic, based on the type of helmet you have.
Want to stream your music library and listen while you ride? Now you can. You can also share your music with the other riders in your group, via the intercom chat feature.
Multitasking Model- Sena 20S Evo Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
The 20S Evo by Sena is a Bluetooth enabled headset for your helmet that allows you to communicate with friends, family, and your riding buddies, all without taking your hands off the handlebars. This model comes with voice commands that will allow you to activate the intercom system, answer or reject phone calls, and more. With the built-in FM radio, you can listen to your favorite stations, or stay up to date with current traffic conditions, weather reports, and the latest news.
The system allows you to connect with up to seven other riders and features a communication range of 1.2 miles. This headset is a true multitasker and one that allows you to use GPS, stream music, and talk on the intercom or take a phone call, all at the same time. You can also share GPS directions, playlists, or stream FM radio with the other members of your group, via the intercom feature.
Beginner-Friendly- Sena 20S-01D Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System
This is another model by Sena that made it to my top six list. This model features the latest in Bluetooth technology. Equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, you can connect the headset to a wide variety of Bluetooth enabled devices including Mp3 players, smartphones, tablets, and more. The intercom feature will allow you to connect with up to seven other riders, so you can remain in close contact with your buddies at all times.
The Sena app will allow you to easily adjust the headset’s settings and features, with just the click of a button. The headset itself is very beginner-friendly and allows you to listen to FM radio stations, program your favorites via the preset option, and stream it through the intercom system to share your music with your entire crew.
Biggest Intercom System- Cardo Scala rider PACKTALK Duo-Bluetooth
Cardo has gained a reputation in the industry as one of the best headset manufacturers. They offer a wide variety of models to choose from, but their latest headset is perfect for the rider who is looking for a model that can allow them to keep in touch with a larger group of riders.
The Packtalk headset by Cardo offers the biggest and best group intercom system on the market. Users can connect with up to fourteen other riders, for a total of fifteen users per intercom chat. But that’s not all. You can also listen to your favorite FM radio stations, and take advantage of the preset option and program your go-to stations for faster access.
The headset itself features a range of one mile and comes with voice control commands that allow you to activate the intercom, radio, answer a call, reject a call, or access your contacts to make a call, with the use of simple voice prompts. The system itself is very reliable, so you won’t run into any connection issues, static, or poor sound quality.
Motorcycle Bluetooth Headsets Buyer’s Guide
Some riders would never dream of using a headset since some believe that it defeats the whole purpose of riding and getting away from it all. But if you’re on a long trip or you need to remain accessible to your spouse and the kids, then this headset is a must.
It also allows you to remain in close contact with your other rider buddies, making it much easier to answer questions, follow direction changes, or make a pit stop when needed, and all without having to pull off to the side of the road, which can be very dangerous if you’re traveling through a heavily populated area or on a busy highway.
While these headsets aren’t for everyone, once you give one a try and realize how convenient they are and how they can further enhance you’re riding experience, you’ll never hop on your bike without one.
The Digital Age
These days, we’re more digitally connected than ever before. We stay online even if we’re on the road, at the office, or at home. Because of this, leaving our phones behind when we’re on the road just isn’t an option. But talking on the phone while you ride isn’t exactly safe. That’s where these headsets come in.
Life On the Road
Of course, when we ride we do it because we enjoy the freedom, the speed, the wind in our hair, and the fact that we’re leaving our busy home life and work-life behind. But there are some instances in which you’ll want to stay connected to your friends and family around the clock.
If you don’t want to remain in constant contact with people while you ride, then you should still have one on hand in the event of an emergency. If your spouse is pregnant, you have children, or you’re dealing with an ill loved one, there are just some phone calls you can’t miss.
Aside from that, it’s also important that your family has around-the-clock access to you to ensure that you’re safe especially if you’re traveling across the country.
These communication devices are specifically designed with the motorcycle rider in mind and they provide the perfect solution and one that allows you to stay in touch. In the past, Bluetooth communication devices weren’t the most reliable. Today’s models offer a solid connection that can really enhance your riding experience. They can keep you connected and safe while still allowing you to enjoy that level of freedom you’re looking for.
In this buyer’s guide, I’ll go over what these devices can really do, how you can get the most out of Bluetooth connectivity, what features they have to offer, and what you can expect concerning performance, quality, capability, and range.
If you’re considering buying a headset but you’re not sure how they work or which system offers the best connectivity, I’ll go over the features these Innovative devices have to offer, what to look for to ensure you’re using a reliable model, and what you can expect concerning performance and range.
To Learn more about riding in low and bright light conditions and how to stay safe, click here to read my article on the importance of motorcycle helmet visors and how to choose the right visor for you.
How it Works
These headsets operate as a sort of intercom system that you can use when you’re on the road. But it can do so much more. It will also allow you to answer phone calls, listen to music, or speak with friends and family, even in a loud environment, thanks to its noise-canceling feature, and all without having to remove your helmet or take your hands off the handlebars.
Essentially, this type of device is the only way you can speak with your friends and family when you’re riding unless you want to pull over and answer your phone. The ability to communicate while you’re riding is a huge selling point, especially if you’re traveling across the country and want to stay in touch with family, friends, and the other members in your group.
These devices operate via short-range Wireless networking technology. Most people are familiar with Bluetooth technology and how it works since its usually already installed in mobile devices, laptops, and PCs. It works the same way in headset form, which means you will need to keep your smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled device close at hand in order for the headset to work properly.
How many people do you plan on traveling with? This is an important question to ask since you want a device that can accommodate several users chatting at once using the intercom or group chat feature.
This feature allows you to closely communicate with the other members in your group without using your phone. Of course, if you have a large group, then the system’s range capabilities will also be important.
As an example, if you’re only traveling with one or two other buddies, then a model without a long range should work out fine. However, if you’re traveling with several members in your party, then you need a model that’s equipped with long range capabilities.
For more information on group travel, stop by and read my article on how to secure your helmet to your motorcycle with a holder. This information will come in handy if you need to bring along a spare helmet during your trip.
Where you’ll be riding can also be very important. Of course, this also has to do with the range capabilities. If you’re mainly going to be riding out across flat terrain, then you won’t need as much range as you would if you were traveling through an urban setting such as a major city or mountain ranges. Additionally, if you’re riding in an area that’s prone to heavy rainfall, then you’ll want to find a headset that offers a certain level of water resistance.
These headsets are available in a couple of different styles. This has to do with the method you’ll use to install the headset in your helmet. The first option is the 3M adhesive mounting style, which will stick to your helmet with tape.
The other design option involves clamping the headset securely in place. The most common style is the clamp-on version and it’s also the most secure. You can choose the adhesive option if you ride around casually, but for a long-distance trip, you’re going to want to go with a more durable, secure design.
As I briefly touched on earlier, the range capabilities of the headset will be crucial and should be one of the first important features that you pay attention to. Most modern models will offer better than average range at a reasonable price. Typically, you’ll find models offering a 500 to 1000 yard range.
If you’re purchasing a high-priced model that offers ultimate range, then you’ll need to learn how to lock your helmet to your motorcycle, to prevent theft should you decide to take a break and grab a bite to eat or pull over at a rest stop to stretch your legs.
Headsets that offer voice command capabilities will allow you to answer calls, switch tracks, forward calls, or communicate in a conversation, hands-free. Since riding with both of your hands on the handlebars is crucial to your safety on the road, then this is also another top feature you should pay close attention to.
Nothing is better than driving down a country road and listening to your favorite music. However, some models will not only allow you to stream music via your phone but they will also allow you to share your tunes with the other members in your group. You can also choose to switch off the intercom function and listen to your music in total privacy.
While it’s not common, some models will also come equipped with a camera. Of course, headsets with this feature will come with a higher price tag but they’ll allow you to record some of your adventures on the road. Some models when even allow a rider to add music to the mix or capture time-lapse footage.
If you’re someone who constantly struggles with directions, you have a fear of getting lost, or you’re traveling to a far-off new place, then a headset that supports GPS navigation is a must. GPS is probably the best feature these headsets have to offer and by far the most useful.
Not only will GPS prevent you from losing your way, but it can also be used even when you’re on a group chat with your friends. The sharing features allows everyone in your group to follow along to the GPS instructions, which will prevent anyone from having to pull off to the side of the road to coordinate the journey.
Sound quality matters. A high-quality headset will come equipped with noise cancellation capabilities and should offer excellent sound quality.
Noise-cancellation is used to dampen any type of interfering noise from your surrounding environment including the sound of other bikes, your bike, vehicles on the road, wind, and more. This will allow you to hear your music, phone calls, or if one of your riding buddies activates the group communication feature.
Cell phone connectivity is a feature that will allow you to access any features on your smartphone while you’re riding. Of course, this feature is best suited for models that offer hands-free operation.
Most models are compatible with both iOS and Android phones. However, some headsets will only work with a specific operating system. Before you buy, make sure the model you’re interested in is compatible with your smartphone.
These devices are battery-powered. If you’re looking for a model you can wear when you’re riding around town and running errands then battery life won’t be quite as important as if you are searching for a headset you can take with you on your next trip riding across the state. When you’re shopping around for a new headset make sure it offers the type of battery life you need based on how long you’ll ride a day.
As an example, if you’re heading out for a trip across the country than you’ll want a model that offers at least 8 hours of battery life between charges. Typically, it’s common to find models in a low price bracket that will offer a minimum of 5 hours.
Higher-priced models can offer as many as 25 hours between charges. Keep in mind, battery life can also be dependent on the functions you use. As an example, if you’re using a headset to stream music this will definitely drain the juice from your headsets at a faster rate than if you’re only relying on the headset to communicate with your group or answer phone calls.
Look for a model that allows you to charge it via USB cord inside of a standard cord. This is because it’s a more convenient way to charge your headset, especially if you’re spending a lot of time on the road.
Look for a headset that features easy to access controls, if it doesn’t offer hands-free operation. The controls should be simple and should allow you to adjust the volume for music and calls automatically with a press of a button.
The Main Benefits
You don’t have to ride with a large group of friends to enjoy the benefits of this type of communication system. If you’ve been riding for years, then you know how difficult it can be to communicate with your passenger.
- With a headset, you don’t want to have to yell to speak directly to your riding partner or pull off to the side of the road. Instead, you and your passenger can speak at a normal volume to communicate.
- Streaming music while you ride can make your trip an even more enjoyable experience. You and your friends can take turns streaming your favorite playlists, or you can switch off the group chat feature and listen to your music in total privacy.
- With one of these headsets, you’ll always know where you’re going. While most smartphones come equipped with this feature, with a headset, you can simply listen to the driving instructions, so you won’t have to pull off to the side of the road to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
- If the headset you purchase comes equipped with voice activation, then you can access your contacts to make a call, hands-free.
- You can also stay in contact with all of your fellow riders, something that can be tricky to do if you only have your smartphone and you’re trying to navigate through traffic. If your headset comes with a decent range, you can also get a heads up from other riders regarding traffic detours, accidents, and weather conditions.
Finding the best motorcycle Bluetooth headset will be an important tool that you’ll find yourself relying on often on your next riding adventure. Remember you need a model that offers an excellent range, a reliable performance, and noise cancellation. Voice command capabilities, simple controls, and group chat functionality are also important.
These devices are designed to help keep you safe on the road and allow you to focus on the ride, instead of constantly reaching for your phone or having to pull over to search for directions or make a call. A headset is a great tool to have and should be one that you can rely on for your next cross-country trip.
I hope my guide and my reviews of some of the leading models on the market have helped you to learn more about how these devices work, what features to look for, and Which models have what it takes to keep you safe and in constant contact with family and friends, while you ride.