Which Cardo to Buy? How to Choose a Motorcycle Headset

Which Cardo to Buy? How to Choose a Motorcycle Headset

Freecom 4 vs. Freecom 4x Vous lisez Which Cardo to Buy? How to Choose a Motorcycle Headset 6 minutes Suivant Cardo Packtalk Bold vs. EDGE: What's the Difference?

At Cardo Systems, we’re here to help pair you with the right device so that you get the most out of every single ride you take. All you have to do is answer the following questions and you’ll be guided to the right selection.

Who/How Many People Do You Want to Talk to?

The first question you need to ask yourself when searching for your new motorcycle communication device is this: Who, exactly, will you be communicating with via your headset? If you want to be able to talk to multiple riders during a rally or a group ride, we recommend either the Packtalk EDGE (up to 15 riders)  or the Freecom 4x (one to four riders). If you just want to talk to a single passenger and don’t need extra frills — like fancy speakers or voice control — the rider-to-passenger Spirit devices will be fine.  

Are You Going Short or Long Distances?

Most Bluetooth systems aren’t designed for long distance communication. You can easily fall out of range just by stepping into the other room. You need to make sure the device will stay connected as you navigate the road. It’s easy to get separated from your companions when merging with traffic or going through intersections. You will also need a headset with a long battery life so it doesn’t die halfway through your trip. 

Although all Cardo motorcycle communication devices are ideal for both long- and short-distance riding — each one offers a battery operation time of between 10 and 13 hours and can be charged while you ride — some of our devices are better-suited to touring than others. For example, the Packtalk EDGE feature cutting-edge Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC), which creates a more reliable, flexible network between group riders, allowing them to roam further without losing connection or affecting the quality of the audio. You may prefer the slimmer, lighter feel during longer rides.

How Important to You Is Sound?

Audio quality can be an afterthought when shopping for a communication system. You don’t really know how the device will sound until you get out on the road and try having a conversation or listening to your favorite song. But using an intercom system with bad audio kind of defeats the purpose of wearing a headset in the first place. You won’t be able to hear what the GPS or your friends are saying, making it nearly impossible to communicate. If you can’t make out the words, you might try to block out other sounds, which can take your focus away from your surroundings. Listening shouldn’t be a distraction. You should be able to hear every word without missing a beat.

The speakers on the device will tell you a lot about whether it provides quality audio. Most intercom manufacturers don’t specialize in audio, so it’s best to find a motorcycle Bluetooth headset with brand-name speakers. If the manufacturer fails to list the name of the company that made the speaker, you can safely assume the device doesn’t offer good audio. The speaker manufacturer should have a long reputation for making quality beats.

If you consider yourself an audiophile, or at least prefer a motorcycle headset that’s designed for jamming out, then you’re definitely going to want to consider the Packtalk EDGE, or Freecom 4+, as all of these devices feature high-definition JBL speakers for crisp, clear and premium sound, no matter if you’re facing particularly high winds, rain or loud traffic around you. These speakers are a must for riders who also happen to be major music lovers, but they also enhance listening to podcasts and talking on the phone, too.

Do You Want Voice Operation Functionality?

You shouldn’t have to manually reset your device every time you want to talk to your friends or look at the GPS. It’s important to keep your hands on the bars at all times. That’s why most riders prefer to use a hands-free headset. You can communicate with the device using just your voice.

Only Packtalk EDGE and Freecom 4+ devices come with natural voice operation, which means you can control the entire system without ever even having to press a single button. All you have to do is just say “Hey, Cardo” and the device will kick into gear and do the rest for you. This makes our higher-end devices, particularly the PACKTALK models, a bit more user-friendly and convenient on the road so we recommend them for daily riders and those who enjoy touring. Not only does this feature make the PACKTALK models easy to use, but the voice operation also provides enhanced safety to the rider since there’s no need to take your hands off the handlebars to control your device.

What’s Your Budget?

With options ranging from $389.95 for the full-featured Packtalk EDGE, all the way down to $99.95 for the Spirit, there are headsets available for virtually any budget. Naturally, the more economical models come at a compromise and have fewer features. For example, the Q-Solo does not offer rider-to-rider or rider-to-passenger communication. It is only designed for a single rider experience.

Does Your Preferred Device Suit Your Helmet?

You won’t be able to use your headset unless it’s compatible with your motorcycle helmet. The device should come with a secure mount that keeps it in place throughout your trip. All Cardo communication devices are universally compatible with the vast majority of modern helmets. 

The best Bluetooth motorcycle headsets are the ones that keep you safe. Getting to and from your destination safe and sound should be your first priority when shopping for a motorcycle Bluetooth headset. This includes being able to communicate with your companions and loved ones without taking your eyes off the road. The device should also hold up in every situation so you stay focused on what’s in front of you instead of looking down at your cell phone or GPS. Keep these tips in mind to find the perfect communication system for your needs.

Narrowing Down Your Search

At the end of the day, your search for the right motorcycle headset device really comes down to a few simple factors — who you’re talking to, how far you’re going and how much you want to spend. As long as you go with a Cardo Systems device, you can count on a seamless ride and quality communication no matter what!