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Helmet with Built-In Radio

Paul27

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Who makes the best helmet with a built-in communication system? No aftermarket add-on Chatterbox stuff. Looking for something good, that works well. Time for new helmets for three of us, so we can talk while riding.
 

Timbre

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Nov 1, 2008
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I see you asked about a "built-in system", and not an add on type, but that might be very expensive, and the helmets quite heavy. Most backcountry riders look for a helmet that is around the 2 pound weight. WIth a built in system, you could be easily be more than twice that weight.

With a good add on system, you have the option to start with a very lightweight helmet, and then be able to move it to another helmet if an "upgrade" happens in the future.

Are you looking for completely wireless (Bluetooth) system?
Or will this be used for trail riding, where a "wired" system might be acceptable?
How far apart do you typically ride (bluetooth has its limits)?
Are you wanting to communicate actively as you are riding as in a voice activated system. or more of a PTT (push to talk) system?

We use a higher powered radio in the backpack, then a shoulder mic on the backpack strap. Of course we don't communicate much while we are riding, as the active type of riding we do do requires far too much concentration for us to do that. Plus we sometimes are a distance apart where a bluetooth built in system is not a viable option.

Cheers!
 

Paul27

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Thanks for your questions and advice Timbre!

Are you looking for completely wireless (Bluetooth) system? No preference.

Or will this be used for trail riding, where a "wired" system might be acceptable? Yes, to be used for trail riding and boon-docking.

How far apart do you typically ride (bluetooth has its limits)? Typically within sight, but can get half a mile apart. Would be nice to have a 2-mile range or more. What's the range of a bluetooth system?

Are you wanting to communicate actively as you are riding as in a voice-activated system. or more of a PTT (push to talk) system? Prefer voice activated, if it doesn't activate via engine or wind noise. Often it's not safe to push to talk while riding. Could slow down or stop to push a mic button.

We would like to communicate while riding. Things like: "Take the trail to the left." "Don't follow me, too many rocks / logs." "I'm stuck near the top." "Need to stop to defog / photo / map / pee." "Where are you?"
 

moab11

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I don't know of any helmets with built-in communication, not sure how that would work trying to get the necessary electronics inside the shell, while having enough foam and padding.

Most guys seem to prefer the BCA Link 2.0 radios in the back country, and you can plug in some headphones to hear better while riding. It is a PTT system with the mic clipped by your collar or backpack shoulder strap. A VOX system for them would be great.
 

Timbre

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Nov 1, 2008
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Thanks for your questions and advice Timbre!

Are you looking for completely wireless (Bluetooth) system? No preference.

Or will this be used for trail riding, where a "wired" system might be acceptable? Yes, to be used for trail riding and boon-docking.

How far apart do you typically ride (bluetooth has its limits)? Typically within sight, but can get half a mile apart. Would be nice to have a 2-mile range or more. What's the range of a bluetooth system?

Are you wanting to communicate actively as you are riding as in a voice-activated system. or more of a PTT (push to talk) system? Prefer voice activated, if it doesn't activate via engine or wind noise. Often it's not safe to push to talk while riding. Could slow down or stop to push a mic button.

We would like to communicate while riding. Things like: "Take the trail to the left." "Don't follow me, too many rocks / logs." "I'm stuck near the top." "Need to stop to defog / photo / map / pee." "Where are you?"
You are welcome!

I would recommend a regular two-way radio as they typically have a range of 2 miles or more, depending on the terrain, and are very affordable. FM radio waves like to travel in a straight line. I use the Baofeng radio but i also have a amateur radio license. There is some controversy on whether one actually needs a license to use these radios on the GMRS or FRS bands, so that is a whole other subject. To avoid this, you might check into a Midland or other brand of radio that has 2-pin connection. Then you can use the shoulder mic. It is very handy to be able to just reach over and key the mic (attached to the backpack strap) to alert a buddy of danger or flip him some crap if he is stuck :) Not that i have ever done that :-/

Bluetooth has a range of a few hundred yards, and less if out of line-of-sight.

The other radio is the BCA brand. In my opinion, they are WAY too expensive and aren't very reliable. Others love them though!

Voice activated can and does activate with wind or engine noise. There might be settings for mic sensitivity that might solve this issue.
 

Mafesto

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Sorry to derail, but this is somewhat relevant.
I would consider adding Bluetooth speakers in my hemetl. I would want handlebar or dash mounted volume and song selection controls.
Ideally a USB or micro SD reader.
 
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