Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet of 2017 – Choose Wisely, Ride Safely!
For those who have taken at least one long motorcycle ride in their life, there is no need to explain the feeling of freedom and pure enjoyment in burning miles on these powerful machines. Most motorcyclists like to be and ride solo, that is the whole point, but they all sooner or later feel the need to talk to someone. New technologies allow them to do that without even taking a break from the ride.
As most of the technology in our time, motorcycle helmet technology has developed very rapidly in the last decade or so, and we now witness the innovations that are very useful, efficient and rather affordable. One of those technologies is a communication system which utilizes Bluetooth technology and is designed for motorcycle helmets.
It can be found in the form of helmet accessories, such as helmet headphones or earbuds with clamp-on systems or adhesives, but can also be incorporated into the helmet - which is surely a more convenient option. “All-inclusive” helmets are ready to go right out of the box; they can be simply paired to a smartphone, and you are ready to pilot your motorcycle out for a ride without missing out on anything important.
Consequently, we have decided to find five best Bluetooth helmets currently on the market and test and review them for you. If you read the following text, you will be able to make an informed decision before buying one - and you do have to buy one as soon as possible that is sure!
Why Buy a Bluetooth Helmet?
The primary reason you should buy a Bluetooth helmet is that it will make life on two wheels somewhat easier. Thanks to modern helmets designed with an incorporated Bluetooth feature, riders can now stay connected with their family, friends or fellow riders in a whole new way. Moreover, they can enjoy their favorite music, listen to the GPS turn by turn directions, and even share the scenery of their ride with anyone in the world. Here is a short list of advantages:
You can always stay in touch with the people you love
As we have already stated, the Bluetooth technology in helmets allows you to wirelessly connect to any cell phone that features the same technology (most do) but also with nearby fellow riders by speaking into an integrated microphone. You can choose an integrated system or the one you attach to the helmet. In any case, the hands-free setup allows for making and receiving calls with the minimal negative
You will never get lost and will always know exactly where to go
Bluetooth helmets operate under GPS navigation control which is highly convenient when you visit places for the first time and are not quite sure where you should go. You will never have to interrupt your ride to ask for directions anymore, an in-ear guide will inform you of all the turns you should take to reach your destination with no time wasted. Modern versions of GPS devices will even allow you to interact the voice prompt system through the helmet speakers, meaning you do not have to take your hands off the motorcycle. The GPS feature is especially convenient for riders who like to go off-road often, as they are most likely to get stranded.
You can listen to your favorite music and make your ride even more enjoyable
Although this was already possible with the conventional helmets as well, you had to buy an additional radio device to enjoy your favorite music. The noise of the motor engine, other vehicles on the road or even the wind would interfere with the sound of the music, with Bluetooth helmets this is usually not a problem anymore as most feature surround speakers and noise cancellation. Furthermore, the Bluetooth allows you to pair up your helmet with your mobile phone or an MP3 player and experience clear digital sound no matter where you are.
Moreover, as any helmet, Bluetooth helmet is designed to keep you safe and preserve your life in dangerous situations that are very common on the open road. The Bluetooth technology is just a great bonus!
Things You Should Consider When Buying a Bluetooth Helmet
Choosing the Bluetooth helmet will, most of the time, come down to your personal preferences and the design, but there are some things you should not make compromises with. These are things you should consider:
A good Bluetooth device must offer at least 500 feet range for optimal results. The most important aspects you should consider though are its connectivity and compatibility with other devices, especially cell phones. First of all, check if the device is compatible with the phone you are currently using. However, it is best to opt for universal Bluetooth devices as you never know when you will have to change your phone. Consider additional features, such as noise cancellation and voice controls; if they do not add much to the price and you can afford them, you should definitely go for it.
We recommend that you choose hands-free controls, although the best option would be to control everything by using your voice only. However, voice control can come a bit expensive if you are on a tight budget. Whatever you choose, make sure that you can control the volume of the music, as many helmets do not have that option which is especially important for music enthusiasts. Standard controls allow you to answer calls, switch from talking to listening and vice versa, and shuffle the music.
Paint and material quality
It seems unimportant, but it certainly influences the overall quality of your helmet. The paint should be able to take normal wear and tear, not fade in the sun or chip easily. Metallic paint with the double lacquer features all this and looks great too, which makes it a popular option.The material of the outer shell must be strong, layer designed, durable and able to withstand a crash. It has to be abrasion-resistant but also lightweight. Most of the time manufacturers use plastic or fiberglass composites, but more expensive helmets also use Kevlar or carbon fiber. The interior foam lining has to be able to absorb and disperse energy and guarantee that your head stays safe. It is usually a thick layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam which is rigid and lightweight. Some designs include dual-foam liners too.
Normally, all helmets are waterproof on the outside and keep your head dry too, but when Bluetooth technology is incorporated it is highly important that they be waterproof inside too. If not, normal sweating and condensation that occur inside the helmet can cause serious damage.
Five Currently Best Bluetooth Helmets Reviewed
Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet - designed to accommodate the Bell Sena SMH10 and Cardo Scala Rider Q1/Q3 Bluetooth stereo headset and intercom
Bell Qualifier DLX helmet is Bluetooth compatible which means that you do not receive a Bluetooth unit with the helmet but need to buy clamp kit separately instead. The instructions include a list of compatible models, and if you already own a Bluetooth or have a particular model or brand in mind, you should check this list first. Basically, there is a little door on the side of the helmet that you can open and easily install a communication system into.
The helmet is lightweight and features polycarbonate shell. It comes with a transitions adaptive shield which is certainly one of its best features, and we have ended up using this visor almost exclusively. It adjusts to the light conditions rather quickly and allows you to see good even in tunnels with lights.
The helmet is comfortable, fits snugly (be careful to choose an appropriate size though) and has good venting, which makes it convenient for rides on hot days. The helmet also includes an adjustable ventilation system that will keep you cool and add to overall comfort. On the downside, the ventilation comes with a price as the upper two vents produce quite a noise. Generally, the noise is the biggest problem of this Bluetooth helmet.
- Removable/washable interior
- Anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV protected shield
- Five-year warranty
We do not like:
- Rather noisy
- A bit expensive considering the extra cost of the Bluetooth clamp kit
TORC T27 Helmet - comes with an incorporated Bluetooth device and speakers
TORC T27 Helmet comes with a pre-installed Bluetooth unit, charger, and a bag, so there is no need for any additional purchase. The instructions are detailed, and the Bluetooth helmet is fairly easy to use. You can choose the appropriate size and preferred color, but bear in mind that helmets are a bit larger than other models in the same size.
The material of the shell is a thermoplastic alloy, and the inside liner can be removed for washing which is quite convenient. The helmet is lightweight and well ventilated and all the vents open and close firmly and securely. Even at high speed, this helmet is quite quiet and makes both wind and road noise tolerable.
The integrated Bluetooth performs well, and the controls are easily accessible; it works between bikes at a reasonable distance. You can both make calls and listen to the music and even adjust the volume, quite satisfactory for the price. The only major drawback is that you can hardly hear any sound from the earphones at highway speeds, but for the speed of up to 50mph the sound is acceptable.
- The sliding lever system for the drop down visor
- Good airflow
- Easily accessible controls
- Good price and quality ratio
We do not like:
- The chin strap - it is thin and easily twisted
- Sound is bad at highway speeds
HJC CL-MAXBT II Helmet – a Bluetooth-ready helmet with integrated recess and cavities for interior speakers designed to fit a Chatterbox XBi2H-Plus.
HJC CL-MAXBT II Helmet is another helmet that is Bluetooth ready but does not include the actual Bluetooth unit meaning that you have to buy one separately. Another downside is that it will fit only a Chatterbox XBi2H-Plus unit for which it has been designed, while other units can be used but will not utilize the port that is built into the helmet. The XBi2H-Plus is a rather expensive unit, so bear that in mind if you are on a controlled budget.
The shell is made from Polycarbonate and is rather lightweight. There are numerous sizes to choose from, but in our experience, the helmet runs a bit small, and you should consider going up one size. The ventilation system functions well, and you can even feel the stream of air around your head; the interior is washable. The helmet comes with no visor; only the face-shield is included.
The Bluetooth unit, once installed, interfaces amazingly well with the helmet. We have made phone calls with this helmet at speeds higher than 50mph, and we could both hear and be heard by people on the other end. The music is also of decent quality, maybe lacking some bass.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Well ventilated, suitable for warmer climates
We do not like:
- An inner visor is not included
- A compatible Bluetooth unit is quite expensive
ILM 953 Bluetooth Helmet - comes with integrated Bluetooth® 2.0 technology and two built-in speakers with full stereo sound.
ILM 953 Helmet comes with an integrated Bluetooth® 2.0 Technology – you can connect to your phone or mp3 player without additional purchases. It includes an intercom function for communication with your fellow drivers but do mind that it probably will not work with other brands. It is reasonably priced, even for those on a tight budget, considering all the features included. It comes in three colors and three true-fit sizes to choose from.
Bluetooth functions well it is easy to use although the controls could have been a bit more user-friendly. The instructions are poorly written, but once you figure out the basics, you are good to go. The sound is crystal clear as long as you keep the volume below the maximum and do not exceed the 60mph speed. Microphone quality is satisfactory with DSP Echo Cancellation and Noise Suppression Technology; you can expect up to eight hours talk time. The helmet also features FM tuner and GPS navigation audio.
The helmet is sturdy, provides good wind protection and adjustable ventilation, but the wind and road noise might be a bit overwhelming at high speeds. The inner liner is made from microfiber and fully washable.
- The high quality of the integrated Bluetooth technology
- Clear sound, NST technology
- GPS feature
We do not like:
- Intercom limited compatibility
- Poorly written instructions
- Noticeable wind noise
Torc T14B Helmet - the Blinc Bluetooth integrated version of the MAKO T14.
Torc T14B Helmet is yet another Bluetooth integrated helmet which also features an intercom function that you can use to communicate with other drivers. It comes in four different designs you can choose from and six different sizes that are true to size and thus allow you to find the best fit possible by simply following the size chart.
The helmet features a dual density EPS system and laser contoured liner padding for extra comfort. The wind noise is tolerable at lower speeds but can be a bit overwhelming and overpower audio at high speed. The ventilation, on the other hand, functions much better at speeds exceeding 60mph. The optically correct flat panel shield and the sun visor operate smoothly. The visor locks in both up and down position.
As far as the integrated Bluetooth is concerned, we have found it to be functional but not perfect. There is no manual on how to operate the unit. Once you figure it out, it is fairly easy. The speakers give out a decent sound, lacking some bass, but quite acceptable for the price.
The max volume is loud enough but can create some distortion. On the downside the microphone is inadequate as the person at the other end can barely understand you due to interference and droning if you talk and ride at the same time- and that is the point, right?
- Reasonably priced
- Optically correct flat panel shield
- Well designed
We do not like:
- Wind noise at high speed
- Microphone quality
And the Best Bluetooth Helmet Is…
TORC T27 Helmet, as it balances price, quality, and performance quite well. It has everything you need pre-installed, and everything functions well- what else could you wish for?
All of the Bluetooth helmets reviewed would not disappoint you either, so be sure to make your choice quickly and enjoy safe riding!