In an earlier thread about cheap intercoms I stated I had ordered the Motorola HS830 Motorcycle Headsets..
Here is what they look like on and off the helmets. (images shamelessly borrowed from somewhere on the web)
Purchased from OEM Universe
I have no problems with OEM Universe, I ordered on Sunday Morning, they shipped from California on Monday and I recieved them today in OKC on Thursday
Price 37.67 each plus 13.83 shipping, total 89.17. (this was one of the best prices I found, plenty on ebay and plenty of other sites selling them for up to 4 times as much, your price may vary) I used this company so (1) I could use Google Checkout which worked out very well and the shipping company does not and will never know my credit card number and (2) this company had very good feedback.
It takes two hours to fully charge the modules, which remove from the headsets for charging. It is a standard motorola charger, I believe a 12v travel charger will work but have not tried it. You will not be able to use it during charging.
Instructions included with the units consisted solely of a xeroxed sheet explaining how to pair a single unit to a blue tooth phone. This was not a surprise as the site clearly stated that instructions were not included but could be found at the motorola site. (and being a man I have no need for instructions!)
Outside of the charging it took 15 minutes to install on each helmet. It could be done in 5 but I was being anal. Your times may vary. There is no included alcohol cleaning pad to make sure the helmet is clean. (my wife being a woman miracously came up with alcohol and cotton balls so all was good)
Unbeknownst to me, pairing bluetooth devices is not a manly past time. So I had to go to motorola's site to figure out how to pair the two. The secret is that one a/b switch must be on a and one must be on b. To any non men reading this I must point out that this is absolutely woman logic. Two items that talk to each other in a man's world should be on the same channel.
So how does it work.....
We conducted an extremely detailed scientific study to determine the effectiveness of the units.
First we put on our helmets and fiddled with volume then looking at each other started talking. We could hear each other plain as day. It was so clear that at first we didn't think they were working. No hiss, crackle, distortion or static.
So to continue in our experiment I went in the next room. Still very clear. They are amazing. To be fair they are amazing walking around the apartment without outside interference at this point.
The mattress mate being the wife that she is suggested I go outside. Now it was raining and cold and I believe that she just wanted me to be uncomfortable but I couldn't express that belief because I know she would tell me I was being a whiny man so I went outside in my socks wearing a helmet and started talking to the door. I hope no one saw me.
Short story is yes you can talk through a steel door in the rain to your wife as long as both of you are wearing helmets with these headsets. For those whose passengers are separated by a steel door be sure to tell them to stay within about twenty feet of you. With no door between the riders range is about 30 to 35 feet. (all distances are approximate) Past these ranges volume just drops.
I mentioned it was cold and wet didn't I? Well just for the troopers here I fired up the bike and took a quick ride with the wife. QUICK! by quick I mean a very short ride. Just around the block I can verify that up to the mind numbing, eyeball flattening speeds of about 35mph they are awesome. I promise to at least double those speeds this weekend but up to 35ish there are zero issues with sound quality (mono as there is only one speaker). There are no wind noises, there are no engine noises. Just clear speach.
Strangeness talking to the passenger in a normal voice at speed. You have trained yourself your entire life to look at the person who you are talking to. You will find yourself trying to look over your shoulder at the lovely person behind you. If your lovely person is like my lovely person, she will slap you upside your helmet and yell in your left ear in a not so lovely voice to look where you are going. Please keep this in mind if you choose to get any intercom system. Her not so lovely voice can be loud when the speaker is next to your ear.
On to the cons now.
- In intercom mode both headsets are constantly on. Expected time is 5 hours regardless of the amount of talking. Hooked to a phone you can expect up to 100 hours of standby, and five hours of actual calls.
- Two hour charge time
-While on the helmet I can only figure out how to use the volume up and down buttons. If one of you is pissed at the other I don't think you can turn them off. So don't piss the other one off.
-I wear glasses, it made it more difficult to get glasses on, there is another half inch of stuff on one side, while this is in the depression of the helmet it does make it a bit more of a chore to get them on.
-Both of our ears caught the speaker and tried to fold over. Easy to fix and I am sure that it will become second nature to dodge it, put the helmet on at an angle or hold your ear with a finger or something. Initially however it is a bit annoying.
We will take a ride this weekend to try highway speeds and expected 20mph+ crosswinds. Will update this thread then