Though riding a motorcycle is already one of the best feelings around, the experience is so much better when you can talk in real time to your friends who are also out cruising with you.
Not to forget also that with a Bluetooth communications unit mounted to your helmet you can take phone calls and also listen to your favourite music!
So how do Bluetooth intercoms actually work…
Bluetooth intercoms for motorcycle riders work by linking to each other using Bluetooth networking technology, with a unit that includes speakers and a microphone being installed on each rider’s helmet. This series of links between each rider helps to strengthen each units’ connections for the best quality.
Bluetooth motorcycle intercom systems are defined as digital wireless communication systems. They work on short-range networking technology with radio waves for transmission that utilize two main forms of connection; daisy-chain, or dynamic mesh systems.
These intercoms let you communicate with other riders within a motorcycle group.
Alternatively, you could also talk connect your Bluetooth unit to your phone to with speak friends and family or listen to your favorite songs as you cruise.
The range of these units can vary significantly depending on the type of Bluetooth system the device comes with.
Bluetooth intercom systems for motorcycles are typically used for the following reasons:
- To communicate with fellow riders in your group – for example to point out something super memorable on your ride or to alert to dangers;
- To communicate with your pillion passenger;
- To make calls on your cell phone that’s connected via Bluetooth to your motorcycle Bluetooth intercom unit;
- To stream music from your intercom unit, either via Bluetooth connection to your phone or via a built in radio receiver;
The two commonly used types of Bluetooth network ‘systems’ are daisy-chain and dynamic-mesh systems.
A daisy-chain system is one in which multiple Bluetooth intercom units are connected together in a sequence. These are linear pairings that are formed between intercoms for group communication.
Often, the most traditional intercoms would consist of “daisy-chain” systems.
Each rider in these networks is paired with another. These riders are then connected to someone else, and so on.
These linkages serve as bridges between each headset. Hence, a connection must be maintained for the group to smoothly communicate.
Within a smaller group, this would typically be between 4 riders.
However, this limit would have to increase over longer distances. Otherwise, the link would be considered out of range, and communication between other devices would drop.
Due to this, this relatively short-range Bluetooth communication system is prone to breaking down.
Though it may work fine with four riders together, if a single rider leaves that network, it could destroy the whole means of communication.
These groups would then have to stop and connect again to continue communication.
A dynamic mesh Bluetooth system is one in which a network is made up of many different connections between each unit, with each unit acting as its own hub with connections to all other available units that have access to the same network.
Overall a dynamic mesh communication system makes up for all of the daisy-chain’s flaws and is considered the future of Bluetooth communication and intercoms.
These systems work by connecting ALL riders to each other at the same time within a given range.
This way, if a rider ever leaves a pack, it wouldn’t break everyone’s connection.
There are situations where a small group might break away from the pack and need to rejoin when they’re back in the same area or range of the network, however, the whole means of communication would never depend on just one individual.
Dynamic-mesh technology also has the advantage of network range and it can maintain connections between other dynamic-mesh Bluetooth units from over a mile away.
On average they can even hold up to fifteen riders per group, with some newer models even managing 24.
If you’re looking for increased security, you can also often set a passwords for your network on a Dynamic Mesh system.
This would make it so that no strangers can listen to your personal conversations.
Early Bluetooth intercom systems were limited to around 40 feet in range however the newer dynamic mesh technology systems can extend for up to a mile on some units.
What’s better with Dynamic Mesh systems is that they work by piggybacking an admin signal and having it jump from rider to rider.
As a result, this implies that some advanced models can have a hefty 5 miles between front and rear riders.
If you’re looking for Bluetooth intercom suggestions, the following are a few of our favorites that are standing the test of time:
Cardo made one of the first Bluetooth intercoms on the market. Their Cardo Packtalk Bold contains all of the latest technology and is comparable to brands like Sena.
Its advantages include having dynamic mesh communication for managing up to 15 riders at a time at a range between units of one mile.
Its audio systems are among the best with 40mm wide DP speakers with Smart audio mixing.
If you’re looking for a beginner intercom while on a budget, Fodsports BT-S3 is marketed for just that.
This intercom comes with all the latest technology while sticking to a small budget to cover only the necessary performance or functions.
Having made 120,000 units in the past, this model has tested really well on the global market for users across the United States and Europe.
Its benefits include durable battery life, superb audio quality and volume, a glove-friendly interface, and a Hands-free function using voice commands like Google or Siri.
On a similar note there’s also a cheaper version from the same brand called the BT-S2 which has only slightly less sound quality and features and you may feel that you get better bang for your buck with this option.
Considered one the leading brands in communicative technology between riders, Sena introduced their 50 series in 2020.
They both come with outstanding audio performance, water-resistant ratings, and importantly the 50S has glove-friendly features.
Impressively these particular units can allow you to create a private group of up to 24 riders over a range of five miles with a minimum of six riders for a 1-mile interval.
To top it all off, they give you nine different channels which allows you to switch between frequencies to converse with multiple groups in the same network.
Bluetooth 5 technology is also supported which has substantially increased range and speed capabilities.
If you’re a fan of music and want to listen to the same song with your motorcycle companions, this unit might be the right choice.
The M1-S Plus comes with the pros of high-fidelity audio quality, built-in FM radio, water and dust resistance, and interchangeable soft-wired and boom mics. You can also mute or unmute at any time while connecting to up to 7 other riders.