Which motorcycle Bluetooth headset is best?
Bluetooth connectivity has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years, with Bluetooth 5.0 providing improved data capacity, transfer speeds and range. The best motorcycle Bluetooth headsets, like the Sena 50R-01, use the latest in wireless technology and have greatly improved performance compared to previous-generation models. Unlike integrated Bluetooth helmets, these headsets attach to a regular helmet to provide wireless communication, music, GPS and more.
What to know before you buy a motorcycle Bluetooth headset
Your safety on the road should be your first consideration whenever you buy a new motorcycle accessory. Check that your headset is a good fit for your style of helmet and all wiring and earpieces are secured and comfortably positioned before you travel. If you prefer the idea of an integrated model, the BestReviews Bluetooth motorcycle helmet buyer’s guide has a selection that is DOT certified as safe to use. Above all, ensure that your headset does not interfere with your riding ability and that speaker volumes do not impede your awareness of ambient traffic noise.
While most high-end motorcycle Bluetooth headsets feature cross-brand compatibility, sadly, this is not always the case, especially with some older or low-to-midrange models. Compatibility is crucial if you primarily use the headset for communicating with multiple other riders. If you know the makes and models of your friends’ Bluetooth headsets or helmets, then a quick Google search should tell you whether or not your favored model will work with theirs.
As with all rechargeable products, motorcycle Bluetooth headsets must find the right balance between functionality and longevity. Talk time is the yardstick by which performance is usually measured, and this can range from 8-20 hours for a good quality headset. Standby time is also an important factor and this has a great variance, with battery life ranging from approximately 200 to an impressive 1,000 hours while not in use.
What to look for in a quality motorcycle Bluetooth headset
Digital technology has opened up new possibilities for motorcyclists, and nowadays, it’s commonplace to listen to various media while on the road, provided the law allows it. As a result, motorcycle Bluetooth headsets provide excellent sound quality over a wide frequency spectrum, with some incorporating speakers by top brands, such as JBL.
Most motorcycle Bluetooth headsets work with a companion smartphone app’s GPS to offer you in-ear navigation as you ride. Not only is this a highly convenient means of warning you of upcoming turns, traffic and diversions, but it is also far safer than reading the map on your screen while in motion. Many also have voice command functionality, so you can operate many features without taking your hands off the handlebars.
The distance over which two riders can communicate is one of the biggest advancements that has come about since Bluetooth 5.0. A range of between 0.5 and 1 mile is now commonplace in midrange motorcycle Bluetooth headsets. Since the introduction of Mesh network technology in higher-end models, some headsets can communicate over an astounding 5 miles.
How much you can expect to spend on a motorcycle Bluetooth headset
You can expect to pay $100 or less for an entry-level headset. Higher-quality models will set you back $100-$200, while a premium model with Mesh technology and high-end features will cost upwards of $200.
Motorcycle Bluetooth headset FAQ
Will a motorcycle Bluetooth headset affect my helmet’s performance?
A. A well-fitted headset will not affect the integrity of a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet in the event of an accident. Wind resistance over the control panel is minimal. However, you should keep the volume at a level where you can still hear surrounding traffic through your helmet.
Is a motorcycle Bluetooth headset easy to install?
A. Installation is relatively easy, and you can complete it with basic tools. The control panel clamps around the outside and inside the helmet’s shell and screws into place. However, the microphone and speakers can be a little tricky to fit as you must remove some cheek padding to run the cables into place. Many modern helmets come with a recess built in to accommodate speakers, making the task far easier.
What’s the best motorcycle Bluetooth headset to buy?
Top motorcycle Bluetooth headset
What you need to know: The flagship headset from this leading brand offers Mesh 2.0 technology, universal pairing and seamless hands-free functionality.
What you’ll love: This motorcycle Bluetooth headset provides up to 5 miles of range, and you can activate most of its functions with voice commands. You can communicate with up to 24 other riders and select from 9 channels upon which to chat.
What you should consider: This is not the loudest headset for playing music, but we see this as more of a safety feature than a failing on Sena’s part.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top motorcycle Bluetooth headset for the money
What you need to know: The Freecom 2 Plus is the perfect solution if you and a friend simply want to chat on a ride, with solid construction and impressive features.
What you’ll love: This unit is fully waterproof, and its intercom offers up to 800 meters of range, with excellent wind-noise reduction. The audio quality is excellent, and the accompanying iOS or Android app is easy to navigate.
What you should consider: This unit requires a separate extension kit if used with a half-helmet.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The 20S Evo is redesigned with a fixed type, shark fin antenna design to improve motorcycle intercom stability while securing the intercom distance. The updates to the hardware allow robust general performance updates on the go.
What you’ll love: Enjoy HD-quality audio, GPS and take calls with its seamless Advanced Noise Control feature. The innovative headset for motorcycles allows you to talk up to seven riders at distances up to 2 km away.
What you should consider: Compared to the Sena 30K, which uses mesh intercom technology to allow limitless users to connect in public mode and up to 15 in private mode, the Sena 20S Evo relies on Bluetooth for connecting up to 7-8 riders.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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