|1. Sena 20S Evo||2. Sena 20S-01D||3. Cardo Scala Rider Freecom 2|
It has happened to all of us, hasn’t it? While trying to locate a friend’s house or a new cafe in the city, four friends on two separate bikes signalling through traffic eventually end up taking totally different turns and nobody really finds the route. Well, not anymore.
The advent of technology has meant that both finding the perfect route to your destination and interacting with fellow riders and passengers while doing so without having to take your eyes off the road is now possible. Here, we’re about to deal with interaction, and by interaction, we mean Motorcycle Intercoms.
Motorcycle Intercom systems can be mounted in a rider’s helmet to put an end to constant turning back and yelling at one another through horns and screeches. These gears come in a variety of types and prices, so if you’ve already made up your mind to buy one, plenty await you.
This excess in variety isn’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to investing your hard-earned money. The following is a buyer’s guide which will assist you in choosing the best motorcycle intercom suited to your needs.
From the factors to keep in mind while buying motorcycle intercoms to the top 10 systems according to our analysis, we’ve put it all on a platter. So let’s begin with starters.
What Are The Different Types Of Motorcycle Intercom Systems?
Innovation is the essence of technology. Once an idea is implemented, improvised techniques of applying that idea follow and the cycle of innovation continues. Let us now look at how the transformation in motorcycle intercoms panned out and what different types of systems there are for you to choose from.
1. Wired Intercoms
These are considered to be the most basic intercom systems for motorcycles. In these wired systems, wires attached to a central control box run to the riders and passengers. The central control box is where the battery and electronics are placed.
When it comes to efficiency and durability, these wired systems are definitely one of the best motorcycle communications system. Having said that, let us now delve into the pros and cons of wired intercom systems.
These wired intercom systems are immune to any sort of external disturbance, unlike their wireless counterparts, and are comparatively cheaper. Some of these wired systems can also be plugged into FRS/GMRS radios. Radios with voice activations work with wired intercoms too.
Although these wired intercoms score well when it comes to efficiency and affordability, they lag behind when it comes to comfort. These are designed solely for rider-passenger interaction and every time one of the two gets off the bike, wires need to be detached.
These cons mean that wireless intercoms have probably overtaken them in the race for the best motorcycle communicator.
2. Wireless Intercoms
The most technologically-advanced among motorcycle communication systems, Wireless Motorcycle Intercoms are considered by many as the best options available. They use various radio technologies like GMRS, FM, FRS and, of course, Bluetooth.
Among the services used by wireless intercoms, FM stands for Frequency Modulation and is no different than the FM Radio we listen to and are familiar with. The only change is in the frequency.
Wireless intercoms use a narrower frequency which aids in providing a clear sound devoid of any obstructions between transmitters and receivers.
FRS is the abbreviation for family radio service and is the same as GMRS in terms of the way it works. However, there’s one difference between the two – FRS does not work with long-distances, while GMRS does that efficiently.
The one drawback with these radio services is that they run on public frequencies which might lead you to being heard by people you do not know. So having private conversations on them isn’t advised.
3. Bluetooth Wireless Intercoms
These are the most popular and commonly used motorcycle intercoms today and work on the same principle as Bluetooth sharing on smartphones. All you need to do is pair your device with the person you’re riding alongside.
These provide ease of use when compared to other systems and allow you to have private conversations without worrying about eavesdropping.
The only major drawback when it comes to Bluetooth Wireless Intercoms is that they can be used only for short-range interaction.
Apart from that, these systems are very useful and fairly easy-to-use. Users can also listen to music and change it with a tap or even share music with their fellow riders.
The ease and fun quotients of these devices aid them in claiming the spot for the best motorcycle communication.
Now that we’re done with the different types of motorcycle intercom systems, let us outline the factors you should keep in mind while buying a motorcycle intercom system for yourself.
Factors To Keep In Mind While Buying the Best Motorcycle Intercoms
A lousy, hurried decision makes all the difference between a good and bad deal. Here, we’ve compiled a list of factors you need to consider while looking for the best motorcycle intercom that suits your needs.
1. Ease Of Use
Primarily for beginners, simple intercoms are advised. You will have to use this device while you’re riding your motorcycle and you wouldn’t want your concentration hindered by any complications. Also, make sure that you operate your intercom with the gloves on as it is unthinkable to take them off every time you want to change a song or answer a call.
Buyers usually get wooed by the complexity of some devices and tend to forget that the whole point of buying an intercom is being able to go on with your stuff without halting or getting your eyes off the road.
No matter what kind of an intercom you buy, simplicity and ease of use are factors to keep in mind, especially for beginners.
2. Capability of GPS
GPS capability has to be on your list of factors to keep in mind while buying a motorcycle intercom. These systems provide instructions verbally to riders and guide you to your attention with ease. They also reduce the risk you would face from a collision if you had to look into your screen for directions.
With intercom systems powered by bluetooth, riders can connect them to their devices and hear the instructions directly while riding. Do make sure if the intercom you’re considering has GPS before you decide to put your money on the table.
3. Does It Allow Numerous Connections?
While buying motorcycle intercoms, you should ideally look for options that provide numerous connections. Generally, they should provide up to 2 and 4 connections, but there are certain motorcycle intercoms that offer even 15 connections.
With the increase in the number of connections, prices also rise. So keep your budget in mind while looking for more connections with your motorcycle intercom. If multiple connections is what you’re looking for, you might have to spend a little more for your best motorcycle communication system.
4. Is It Weather Proof?
While you’re riding a motorcycle, there isn’t much you can do about the weather. If a heavy downpour begins, it is necessary that your intercom is immune to any damage. This means that buying a weather-proof is not only preferable but wiser.
Water-resistant and water-proof intercoms are different from one another. The water-resistant ones are cheaper and can provide limited protection from water, while the water-proof kind is completely immune to rainfall.
One can never guess with the weather. Hence, it becomes important to be prepared to a certain degree. When it comes to motorcycle intercoms, waterproof systems are indeed the solution.
5. Does It Provide Earplugs For Both Ears?
This factor depends entirely on personal preferences. Some people prefer single-ear intercoms while others like double-eared ones. There are pros and cons to both.
With double-eared headsets, you might not be able to listen to the sound of vehicles arriving behind you or horns being honked as vehicles try to overtake. This definitely counts as a safety hazard and not many people would advise you to do so. But for people who prefer better interaction, double-eared headset would be the better option.
Preferences matter the most when it comes to choosing the best motorcycle intercom for yourself as it is you who has to use the product eventually.
6. Does It Cancel Out Noise Efficiently?
The whole purpose of buying a motorcycle intercom is to communicate clearly with co-riders without having to take your eyes off the road. If, despite the headsets, you struggle to communicate owing to the noise of traffic, your money is all but wasted.
Before investing your hard-earned money, do check whether your pick is efficient enough when it comes to cancelling noise.
7. Does It Fit Your Budget?
Like any other deal, getting value for money and keeping your budget in consideration are paramount. Technological products are a tricky deal to strike, and you can definitely get confused owing to the vast number of options and might end up making the wrong choice and wasting your money.
Browse through multiple brands and types of motorcycle intercoms available. Read reviews and choose the one that suits your needs perfectly.
Often, we see people overspending even when their needs aren’t as demanding. Make sure you do not end up buying a product that is surplus to your needs.
Do not forget to read the best motorcycle intercom reviews before ordering for yourself.
8. Is It Line With The Range You Require?
Range is another vital factor to keep in mind before placing an order. Be clear about what usage you’ll put the intercom to. Browse systems that fit your magnitude of usage and range.
The choice you make determines whether you’ll love your purchase or regret carrying on with it. Intercom systems with longer range would cost higher and paying extra bucks for practically nothing would only make you question the thought of even buying an intercom system.
Give a check to the working and range of each and every option before landing on a conclusion. Discuss it with your rider friends, come to a decision together, and do not rush it.
Try contacting people you know who’ve previously bought any of these systems, discuss your usage plans, and see if they can help you calculate your decision. Only then should you come to a decision and place your bet on the intercom system that suits your needs and budget.
9. Quality Of Voice And Music
Once you are done with outlining your needs and setting up a limit to your budget, it is time to browse through the options that fit your preference and look for the best motorcycle intercom with good sound quality and noise cancelling.
The quality of the product you buy is what eventually determines whether you’ll regret or love it. Make sure of the quality, go through the specialities and shortcomings of every motorcycle intercom system that falls under your preferences, and take your time.
The decision is tough owing to the complexity of technological equipment and the sheer variety of the systems available.
If you wish to use your intercom only for interacting while riding, check out options with the best voice quality. If you are a music buff and like your tunes to accompany you on rides, check your options for music quality.
Find the best out of them, read reviews, and see what different aspects are various brands known for before you decide to buy one. If you know your needs, you’ll surely find the one system absolutely perfect for you.
But this would require a certain amount of research and awareness. Avoid overspending, but do not jeopardize the quality of the product for a few bucks. Remember that quality is paramount.
Now that we’ve outlined the factors to keep in mind while buying motorcycle intercoms, let us make the job easier for you by listing the top 10 options for you to go through. One of these might end up being just the one you need.
Top 10 Best Motorcycles Intercoms 2020
1. Sena 20S Evo
This remote control compatible motorcycle intercom weighs 2.08 ounces. It can surely make it to any list of the best motorcycle intercom. It is run by Bluetooth 4.1 and allows users audio multi-tasking and works with FM Radio.
With the exterior made of plastic and rubber, this system works efficiently when the distance is less than 2 kilometers. It would certainly be a great pick for you if your prime intent is to go on weekend rides with buddies to a nearby beach or something.
With advanced noise control options and an in-built SBC Codec, the talk-time in this intercom system after one full recharge goes up to 13 hours operated without any issues – definitely an option that deserves consideration.
Launched in May 2016, this product from the renowned intercom brand SENA runs on a lithium polymer battery delivered with the product. Give this one a thought if it suits your needs and fits your budget.
2. Sena 20S-01D Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1
Another one of Sena’s productions, this motorcycle intercom also runs on Bluetooth 4.1 and was launched in June 2014. It has performed well in the market on every front and requires two lithium ion batteries to function (which are shipped with the product).
The range for this device is also up to 2.0 km and works very efficiently even in noisy terrain. What sets this one apart from regular motorcycle intercoms is its motion sensor technology which allows you to connect with another device merely by shaking it.
Another speciality of this 20s model is that it allows you to listen to music while you interact with fellow riders or passengers without any fuss or interruption. Tune into your favorite radio station and enjoy your music without having to sacrifice interaction with fellow riders.
The Sena 20S-01D prides itself on HD audio quality coupled with one of the best ambient noise blocking systems. This one’s a must buy if your primary focus is noise cancelling and suppression.
3. Cardo Scala Rider Freecom 2 Duo
This system is both waterproof and dustproof and runs on Bluetooth 4.1. It provides a talk time of 13 hours when fully charged.
Among the best motorcycle intercom systems, the FREECOM 2 Duo requires two CR2 batteries to function, which are included with the order. It was launched in November 2016 and has been received well in the market ever since.
This product comes with a thorough and detailed user guide and is definitely among the best motorcycle communications system. Ever since its launch, the FREECOM 2 Duo has gained immense popularity among bikers owing to its advanced noise cancelling technology coupled with its simplicity.
While using this motorcycle intercom, you can tune into your favorite radio station and share the music with fellow riders and passengers. The FREECOM 2 Duo boasts great sound quality for both music and interaction.
This product cannot be used with half helmets, but another variant from the same series is designed just for that. This compatibility makes this motorcycle intercom a favorable buy if you’re looking for a hassle-free device.
4. Sena SMH10D-10 Motorcycle Intercom (Dual)
With a talktime of 12 hours and a standby period of 10 days, this model from Sena works efficiently to a distance of 900 metres in open terrain. Released before the first three picks, it runs on Bluetooth v3.0.
This Bluetooth motorcycle intercom requires 2.5 hours to get fully charged and is comparatively lighter, weighing only 60 grams. Its ease of use is also a prime factor that makes it such a wise buy.
While riding, you can easily switch between songs and interact with your buddies without jeopardizing your safety.
The SMH10D-10 prides itself on its music-sharing features (up to 980 yards) and lets you indulge in four-way intercom interaction. Its advanced noise control technology cancels all potential disturbances and aids in efficient working.
This motorcycle intercom from Sena surely deserves a look-through while searching for the best motorcycle intercom.
5. Yideng Helmet Interphone BT-52
Manufactured by Yideng, the BT-52 Walkie Talkie Headphone was launched in May 2016. This motorcycle intercom is water-resistant. With a range of 1000 metres, it supports high speeds of up to 120 km/h for riders who’re obsessed with speeding but do not like interruptions with their music and interaction while cruising.
The BT-52 model by Yideng is surprisingly easy to use and allows you to concentrate on the road while operating your intercom fairly easily. Riders are able to communicate up to a range of 1 KM and make voice calls without having to get their eyes off the road.
It requires a lithium polymer battery to function, which is again shipped with the product.
This motorcycle intercom operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency with a talk time of 8 hours and a standby time of 10 days on a full charge.
This product comes with a user’s guide to go through before you start using the motorcycle intercom system.
The BT-52 is a suitable pick if you are into the occasional speeding or prefer to cruise through instead. It surely deserves a spot among the best motorcycle communication system.
6. Sena SMH10R Motorcycle Intercom
Probably the most easy-to-use intercoms in this list, the Sena SMH10R is surely the most suitable pick for beginners. Launched in March 2013, it runs on Bluetooth 3.0 and is designed specifically for motorcycle riders.
It allows you to play, pause, and change songs as if you were using your iPod. Well below $200 USD, this one’s the most affordable and a suitable pick if you’re buying a motorcycle intercom for the first time.
Good for both long and medium ranges, the SMH10R also has the feature of voice prompt. The intercom allows four-way interaction and you can also merge your phone calls with it.
1 Lithium Polymer battery, which comes with the package, is required for it to function. With full charging, it has a standby time of 8 days and a talk time of 8 hours.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use motorcycle intercom, the SMH10R is arguably the best motorcycle intercom. Also, it can be mounted easily onto all kinds of helmets, which is another point in its favor.
7. Lexin 2pcs LX-B4M Motorcycle Intercom with FM Radio
Launched as recently as June 2018, the LEXIN LX-B4M has swiftly gained a lot of popularity among bikers. It is yet another easy-to-use intercom that lets you concentrate on the road while you play, pause and change your songs and interact with fellow riders or passengers.
It surely deserves a spot as the best motorcycle communication system and has gained immense popularity ever since its launch.
The Lexin LX-B4M requires one lithium ion battery to function and provides access to Siri and SVoice, which is a plus for Samsung and iPhone users. It has been designed in such a way that it comfortably fits most helmets and is easy to mount and dismount.
The Intercom is totally waterproof and can work efficiently in the worst weather conditions if fully charged. For speed freaks, this intercom functions well even at speeds of up to 120km/h and prides itself on great voice and music quality.
With a full charge, it runs for a standby time of 120 hours and allows 15 hours music and 8 hours of talk time.
The LX-B4M features advanced noise-cancelling technology designed to provide you with the best intercom experience even in the most noisy surroundings.
While looking for motorcycle intercom system that suits you perfectly, do give this one a proper thought.
8. Fodsports BT-S3 1000m Motorcycle Intercom
Manufactured by Fodsports, this one’s the cheapest among all in this list. A suitable buy for beginners and people with no prior experience of using a wireless motorcycle intercom, the Fodsports BT-S3 was launched in October 2018.
Armed with DSP echo cancellation coupled with advanced noise suppression, it guarantees crystal clear voice quality even in noisy terrain and while speeding.
This motorcycle intercom is fairly easy-to-use with simple features and lets you concentrate on the road while you operate the device.
With up to 300 hours of standby time, 6 hours of intercom talk time, and 10 hours of talk time while connected to a phone, the Fodsports BT-S3 is surely one of the best picks if you’re looking for a motorcycle intercom under $100 USD.
The intercom is both sunproof and waterproof and works efficiently up to a distance of 1000 metres. For its efficiency at an affordable price, this product is surely among the best motorcycle communicator.
Remember to not skip this Fodsports production while browsing for a motorcycle intercom well-suited to your needs and budget.
9. Sena SMH5-UNIV Motorcycle Intercom
The SMH5-UNIV requires Lithium Metal Batteries to function. It runs on Bluetooth 3.0 and prides itself on its ease of use coupled with a natural, crystal clear voice quality. In addition, it can be used while charging, which is quite amazing since almost all of us tend to forget charging our devices.
This motorcycle intercom has a separate volume controls for different audio sources, which makes it tremendously user-friendly.
The intercom allows up to four pairings and is great for rides on the outskirts of the city with your buddies. Its affordability and user-friendly nature make it suitable for beginners and those who don’t have to use motorcycle intercoms regularly.
This product is DOT-certified and is surely a possible pick while you’re browsing for the best motorcycle intercom which fits your budget and is in line with your needs.
It certainly isn’t the most advanced among Sena intercoms, but its simplicity has been attracting buyers ever since its launch. Do give this one enough thought lest you might regret missing on an affordable deal.
10. Gelaten BT-S3 Motorcycle Intercom
Another viable option if you’re looking for intercoms under $100 USD, the Gelaten BT-S3 was launched in December 2018. The intercom runs on two lithium ion batteries which are packaged with the product.
It uses duplex technology and two to three riders can easily interact with one another using this Bluetooth device.
The Gelaten BT-S3 requires 3 hours to get fully charged and has a standby time of 300 hours. The talk time with the intercom is 6 hours and when connected to a phone, it allows 8 hours with fully charged batteries.
Surely a viable option among the best motorcycle communications system, this intercom has performed well in the market ever since its launch.
The intercom allows voice prompt and is armed with advanced noise cancellation technology to give its users an interruption-free interaction. It cancels wind and engine noise efficiently and supports music with all the pause, play, and fast forward features.
Its easy-to-use nature gives you complete control of your intercom system while riding and takes nothing out of your concentration which ought to be on the road. The product also comes with a 1-year warranty in case of any technical problems that might occur.
A comprehensive motorcycle intercommunicator, the Gelaten BT-S3 is good for both beginners and people familiar with intercoms and Bluetooth headsets. Like the other nine, this one also deserves a check and would be a great buy if it suits your needs and fits into your budget (which it certainly does).
The above list was compiled by us to guide you through the utterly confusing process of finding the best motorcycle intercom available. All the products that made the list vary in features and most importantly in prices.
Some of them are advanced intercoms which beginners would find hard to operate while others are designed specifically for newbies and beginners owing to their ease of use.
Varying in their range, the version of Bluetooth, the technology used for noise cancelling, and so on, all of them were analysed thoroughly before being put in the top 10 list.
This list is a must read, no matter what you’re usage or budget is. It covers the best motorcycle intercom communication devices across different price categories.
Once you’re done with this guide, you can make a short list of intercoms that you think might be useful for you and won’t exceed your needs or budget. Make sure you keep in mind the variety of factors outlined by us, ranging from the price and GPS capability to the number of connections the intercom allows.
All these factors determine the difference between a good and bad deal when it comes to motorcycle intercoms.
Do not forget to give this comprehensive guide a thorough read before placing your order to avoid buying an unsuitable product.