Helmet Headset Blues - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 26
Helmet Headset Blues

Hey guys.

I'm completely depressed and unconvinced that any headset out there is worth the money.

Specifically my only requirements are a reasonable set of stereo (mono over 2 speakers is fine) speakers and a cable set that doesn't require a magic act to hide. Wireless is a possibility, but again, 2 speakers.

When my parent's place burned down a couple of years ago, I managed to adopt his old Motocom AB-lm setup. So I'm already familiar with the ugliness that is the Motocom. The helmet wires are too thick and too long. I'm not looking for style, but it goes without saying that a short cable setup is going to be more comfortable and last longer than a flapping in the wind setup. Not to mention the intercom box is like a giant octopus! Fat cables everywhere! Don't argue with me on this, each one of those cables terminates for "quick" release. They simply should have stuck female plugs in the intercom box itself, so you only had to plug in what you needed! Its clear that ham radio geeks (like my dad) designed this thing.

RF Limited and IMC both seem to carry the same lame speaker set with fat , long, uncomfortable cables hanging out the helmet. I'm not looking for audiophile quality at 100kmh. I'm just looking to hear GPS directions and the occasional FM radio, audiobook, or MP3 while riding long distances. This is while I have ear plugs in, so a single speaker setup will not do.

My wife rides with me on the back, but 2up intercom could be excused for a GOOD 1up setup.

PTT is a definite plus! I've got a Motorola FRS set and bike-to-bike with my father and brother on long trips would be great for coordinating pee & gas breaks. Hey, if I'm going to spend money and time on

So basically my helmet headset wish list is presumably everyone's wish list:

- Decent speakers that are audible with ear plugs in
- Wireless is fine as long as 2 speakers are used
- Audio in for GPS/FM/MP3/Whatever support
- Support for 2up headset a pro!
- PTT a pro!
- Wired octopus' need not apply

I'm on the fence as to whether I should try cobbling something together myself. There are a number of PTT aux line connectors out there, and I can find any number of qualified head phones to gut. The following site has little info on actually wiring up anything more than a speaker set in a helmet, BUT it references some great wind vs head phone math.

http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/moto...metradios.html

Any tips or personal stories to sooth my frustration and gear itch are welcome! Thanks!

- 2008 Versys: H&B Cage, Kona Throttle Lock, Fenda-Extenda, Givi Windscreen, Givi Monorack/V46, and Motorwerk Lowering Kit
- 2002 Ninja EX250-H13: Nothing! They don't make accessories for the H13...
under is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:28 PM
Member
 
eric's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 34
Since you wear earplugs, what about noise isolating earbuds headphones?

These are pricey, but there's a bunch of positive reviews on Amazon from motorcyclists: http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx
eric is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:40 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 5
try bluetooth

I am in the market for a communication set up right now and have been looking at these products

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...Bluetooth.aspx

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...id-Helmet.aspx

Check them out they might be what you need.
Durango-V is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 26
Good man! I was just reading up on this set:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r4/noise...ion-earphones/

Its a start of course. I've been avoiding ear plugs because they typically don't stay in when you pull a helmet on, or they dig into your ear canal after a while and can't take them out without pulling over. Oh, and you don't get a chance to try out $200 ear buds until after you pay for them.

I could always work out something with the PTT and a mic from the old Motocom set I've got, but I need to be certain about the headset.

I'll probably cave and go with earbuds, with some aux mic setup, but not without polling the internet for advice first. Thanks.

Edit: Oh and funnily enough, I was just reading this:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r4/phill...ing-earphones/

"Because one thing I can say about the Phillips earbuds is that they have very good sound reproduction -- again better, in my opinion, than the $139.00 Etymotic Research ER-6 earphones I own and which I think are way overrated."

- 2008 Versys: H&B Cage, Kona Throttle Lock, Fenda-Extenda, Givi Windscreen, Givi Monorack/V46, and Motorwerk Lowering Kit
- 2002 Ninja EX250-H13: Nothing! They don't make accessories for the H13...

Last edited by under; 04-16-2009 at 09:10 PM.
under is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 26
Durango-V: I checked out a bluetooth helmet last summer (can't remember the brand) and it wouldn't pair reliably. Returned it. The part that sucks with a helmet is it either works are a bluetooth helmet or just a helmet, and I already have a new one with a great integrated sun visor and anti-fog. (HJC anti-fog RULES!)

Thanks for the suggestion. The price on that Element helmet is great! Post your experience if you pick it up.

I had the Chatterbox at the top of my bluetooth list because it had a wired line in. (from what I remember) But I live in Canada, Chatterbox doesn't have any retailers here, and I'm tired dealing with the uncertainty of ordering across the border. (especially via UPS, do not get me started) Its still an option, but I'd like to sort out my options first.

- 2008 Versys: H&B Cage, Kona Throttle Lock, Fenda-Extenda, Givi Windscreen, Givi Monorack/V46, and Motorwerk Lowering Kit
- 2002 Ninja EX250-H13: Nothing! They don't make accessories for the H13...
under is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:28 PM
Super Moderator
 
Bear on a bicycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Converse, Tx
Posts: 4,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
Since you wear earplugs, what about noise isolating earbuds headphones?

These are pricey, but there's a bunch of positive reviews on Amazon from motorcyclists: http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx

I can personally attest to the AWESOMENESS of these babies! I've been using them for a couple of months & they're great! They do a fantastic job of blocking noise. Not sure how they'd work with a comm system, though.


http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2521





Bear on a bicycle is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:40 PM
Member
 
amir_zwara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 813
Cardo Scala... that's the way to go.
Awesome quality, weather proof, wireless, intercom, bike 2 bike, gps/mp3, bluetooth to the phone... it's got it all, and works superbly!
some great prices on ebay too!
http://www.cardowireless.com/scala_rider_teamset
http://www.cardowireless.com/MultiSet (this is the bike to bike version)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
amir_zwara is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:40 PM
Member
 
A2RON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 190
I've been using a Scala Rider Q2 FM bluetooth headset for the past 6 months. The new version has a MP3 input port to plug your iPod or other MP3 device into. Mine is the older version that doesn't have this.

The FM radio plays stereo loud enough to hear it in the helmet at highway speeds. On the communication side, like all the other bluetooth headsets I've tried (none motorcycle), there are the common issues with interference snap-crackle-pops and occasionally it won't answer an incoming call using the voice feature (I believe I've isolated it to a low battery causing this).

Things I like:

The main control unit is quick detachable, leaving the mount, boom mike and ear speakers in/on the helmet.

Call & sound quality is better than I expected in a full face helmet. I drive a Jeep and people can hear me better on the bike than when I'm in the Jeep.

Battery life between charges is good.

I can port music from my phone through the bluetooth, however the Scala doesn't support stereo bluetooth so its mono only.

The Scala can be used for cellphone, bike to bike with other Scala's, and to bluetooth GPS's (mono only), although I've only tried the cellphone connection.

Small helmet foot print (large unit-more wind noise! Remember its mounted ON your helmet)

Cost - was about US$ 150 when I bought it.

Things I don't like:

12 volt adapter is separate (comes with an AC wall charger) and anyway can't charge the unit while in use.

No stereo bluetooth support (at least on my version)

FM radio channel selection is frustrating at best.

FM radio quality degrades when my cellphones bluetooth is on (may just be my phone-I don't know).

Ear speakers, helmet mount, & boom mike are not detachable from each other.

Of the other units I've looked at (not tried in use) I still like the combination of features on the Scala the best, but its not perfect.

I've got a modular helmet and have slammed the boom mike between the face latches a couple of times (the boom has bite marks like a chewed pencil) but its still working so I give it thumbs up on durability.

I would like to buy the new version with the MP3 (wired) port and use this unit for a pillion rider-we will see.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

A2ron
Charleston, SC
A2RON is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:53 PM
Member
 
erxray62's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PITTSBURGH PA
Posts: 30
I Have The Scala Rider Teamset. It Works Great. The Quality Of Sound Isn't Anything Like The J&m Headsets That I Have For My Goldwing, But I Use The Teamset With My Gps, Cell Phone, Also When My Wife Goes With Me We Can Communicate Without Yelling At Eachother. For The Wife To Hear The Music Also You Have To Put The Driver Headset In Conference Call Mode And Then We Both Can Listen To Music. It Also Has Auto Volume Control On It That Works Well. I Think It Is Definitely Worth The Money. I Paid $200.00 Out The Door At A Local Retailer For The Pair.
erxray62 is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:54 PM
Member
 
amir_zwara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 813
A2ron, I have the mp3 version. It works well, still no stereo bluetooth, but I believe it is stereo for the mp3 player (plugin, can also be used for gps).
You can buy just the headset with the mp3 plugin for about 40 bucks or so online... so you don't have to get a whole new setup just for that option.

Also keep in mind, it is bluetooth compatible with phones, but as far as gps it is only bluetooth compatible with the zumo and rider.
So I just plug my go720 into the mp3 jack, and run my music off the gps unit.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
amir_zwara is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 10:15 PM
Member
 
amir_zwara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by erxray62 View Post
I Have The Scala Rider Teamset. It Works Great. The Quality Of Sound Isn't Anything Like The J&m Headsets That I Have For My Goldwing, But I Use The Teamset With My Gps, Cell Phone, Also When My Wife Goes With Me We Can Communicate Without Yelling At Eachother. For The Wife To Hear The Music Also You Have To Put The Driver Headset In Conference Call Mode And Then We Both Can Listen To Music. It Also Has Auto Volume Control On It That Works Well. I Think It Is Definitely Worth The Money. I Paid $200.00 Out The Door At A Local Retailer For The Pair.

I don't know about yours, but I have the teamset, and we (the gf and I) just plug two seperate mp3 players in (one in each headset) that way I don't have to listen to the crap she calls music...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
amir_zwara is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 09:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
My husband and I recently picked up the Scala Rider Q2 multiset with the MP3 input. When they work, they're great! And their customer service is excellent, but I' a bit worried about what happens when our 1 yr warranty is up.

Here's the story- after about 2 weeks from buying them, my unit would not turn on. We were on the road and called customer support. No problem, they overnighted us a new "teardrop" piece to a UPS store where we were going to be the next day. Picked it up..worked great. Then my husband's microphone quit working. He started sounding like he was far away, then it quit turning on by voice recognition. Once again, called Scala. No problem, they shipped us a new base with microphone (btw get the extra-long mics).
So all is good for now,and except for the hassle of trying to find UPS stores and ship while on the road, we're pleased with ours.

The only other downsides we could find:
as mentioned, you can only turn up mp3 devices by using the MP3's volume control
I wanted the built in FM radio so I could use an FM modulator and go wireless, I still can't get the cruddy radio to find the modulator
Which brings me to the next complaint..you can't just type in the radio stations, you hafto hold down the up and down buttons then try to guess which radio station it found.
And if you get a blue tooth dongle, then no one can talk to you cause the bluetooth takes precidence over everything.

as a note: I did put a slim piece of foam behind my ear pieces to bring them closer to my ears. This really helps the volume issue. Just make sure they can't touch your ears or they'll get really sore.
gypsyangel is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Member
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: western Massachusetts
Posts: 1,788
I gave up on in-helmet speakers and went for noise isolating earbuds.

The etymotics described above had great sound but after an hour they were torture, at least for me.

I picked up a set of Skull Candy Ink'd earbuds and for $15 they sound pretty darned good. A good choice if you want good enough sound, good enough sound isolation, and low cost.

On the advice of one of my ST buddies who is a professional classical musician, I tried these. These are fantastic, come with a large assortment of ear bud materials (rubber, silicone, foam...), and feature a very narrow speaker cone so they can fit inside your ear canal and block out extraneous noise. Very efficient, too, as I have the sound level on my zumo lower than with the other earbuds I've used. Unlike etymotics, which use disposable filters, you can clean the shure earbuds with a tool that comes with them.

Two thumbs up on these. Less expensive than many of the in-helmet speakers.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


[SIZE="1"]Ride. Good.


2003 ST1300ABS
2008 Versys
IBA 59868
Bones is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 03:28 PM
Super Moderator
 
Bear on a bicycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Converse, Tx
Posts: 4,695
My ER6i's have reusable, rubbery silicon filters.



Bear on a bicycle is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 05:50 PM
Member
 
amir_zwara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyangel View Post

as a note: I did put a slim piece of foam behind my ear pieces to bring them closer to my ears. This really helps the volume issue. Just make sure they can't touch your ears or they'll get really sore.
That is an excellent idea! Thank You...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
amir_zwara is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome