BLUETOOTH HELMETS … are not created equal. This is especially the case for those focused on the motorcycle market. If you are currently looking around for the best bluetooth helmets for your motorcycle, you must consider the following features when reviewing different models –
- EASE OF USE – the ability to freely converse with your fellow riders without fumbling for small dials or buttons
- VOICE CONTROL – integrated technology using voice control for phone calls, GPS directions and applications
- DEVICE COMPATIBILITY – ability to connect to computer technology to transmit your trip to family and friends
- COVERAGE – consider range, number of riders and devices it can be paired with
- BATTERY TIME – talking time and standby time
- WEIGHT – a bluetooth system adds extra weight
- VENTILATION – the communications system can warm up the helmet interior, ventilation must perform well
Below are the reviews for the Top 8 Bluetooth Helmets.
Note … some bluetooth helmets are purpose built for specific bluetooth communication units, however they do not come standard with the system included. The communications system is an extra cost.
To kick off our Bluetooth Helmet reviews, we are going to start with the HJC IS-MAX Bluetooth helmet. If you are at all familiar with HJC, you know that they make premium lightweight helmets. This one is no different in that shell is made from a polycarbonate composite material which is light, aerodynamic and has excellent road visibility due to the big eye port. When it comes to safety and impact absorption, the EPS liner has multiple density layers. The Bluetooth component is ready with an exterior module recess and interior speaker cavities. Although the Bluetooth comms system (ChatterBox XBi2-H Bluetooth Intercom) is an extra cost, the built-in recess pocket with panel cover allows the XBi2-H unit to integrate smoothly with the IS-MAX helmet, supporting the ergonomic design of this helmet. HJC have incorporated the ACS Advanced Channeling ventilation system into the IS-MAX which means the multi stage intake vents in conjunction with the rear exit vents provide quality air flow through the helmet. Similarly, the chin bar intake vent minimizes shield fogging by flowing air over the shield interior. Like with most good helmets, the inner lining is removable and washable with a moisture wicking and odor free interior. This is a decent HJC Bluetooth helmet which comes at an affordable price.
- This modular helmet comes Bluetooth ready
- Good price and quality
- Premium shell and fits well due to inclusion of CAD technology
- Flip-up chin bar makes communicating very easy
- Ventilation is excellent
- QuickSlide Shield (Pinlock-ready) replacement system makes it easy to remove and replace the shield – tool-free
- Rating 4.5 / 5
- The Bluetooth comms system is an add-on cost
- Like with some modulars, it can be noisy when travelling at higher at speeds
- Some complaints about the SunShield visor system although it deploys and retracts quickly, some riders prefer to wear their own and this visor minimizes space to do that
The O’Neal Commander Full Face Hi-Viz Bluetooth helmet shell is made from ABS and poly carbon and carries DOT and EVE approval. The EPS foam liner is multi-piece and multi-density – which means it further enhances the impact absorption rating of the Commander. It is a long oval head shape shell and runs true to the sizing chart. It, like many other fully kitted out Bluetooth helmets, has a lower physical profile due to the Bluetooth communications system being fully integrated into the helmet. With the unit being recessed further into the shell, it makes the unit more stable and easier to operate, and doesn’t buffer as much at higher speeds. The Bluetooth 2.0 technology platform is the Blinc Bluetooth system run by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. This battery must be charged up before you can get good use of the comms system. Once the battery is charged, it is then ready to be synced to a GPS, cell phone, mp3 player or another helmet. It has an optically correct face shield with an inbuilt spring loaded sunshield which deploys easily using an external lever. The removal and replacement of the external shield is simple by using the quick release system.
Another plus is the eye-ports gasket – it seals well which means that exterior noise is reduced. Important with a integrated communications system helmet is the need to have it vent well, and this helmet does just that. The O’Neal Commander’s adjustable vents at the crown work well with exhaust vent ports that are integrated into the spoiler . This works by drawing cool air into the helmet and extract hot air out. There is also an adjustable vent on the chin bar to reduce shield fog. Not such an easy feat to accomplish with a integrated communications system, but O’Neal have done it well with the Commander. The cheek pads are pronounced near the eye port and extend to the top of the forehead inner liner are specifically designed to enhance the communications system sound and reduce external noise.
- Quiet helmet which enhances the sound from the Bluetooth 2.0 comms system
- 10 hours of talk time, 130 hours of standby
- 2 high quality stereo speakers
- 1 touch control for making, answering or rejecting calls
- fully removable and washable cheek pads and inner liner
- FCC approved
- Lightweight for a fully integrated communications helmet
- Rating 4 / 5
- Can only be synced with 1 other helmet and that helmet must be within 10 yards of the base helmet
- Sunshield on the helmet has been known to get stuck
- Face shield can get foggy
- The alert noise that first comes through the speakers when first turned on is extremely LOUD – do this BEFORE putting it on your head
Schuberth, like a few other top premium motorcycle helmet companies, have built a wind tunnel as part of their helmet research and development facilities. The Schuberth S2 has benefited from countless hours of designing, experimenting and testing in the respective acoustic-wind tunnel. The quality of the Schuberth S2 can be found starting with the lightweight Triple Max Shell which is available in 2 sizes. Providing superior ventilation, this helmet which exceeds ECE and DOT standards is made as a consequence of the glass fibers taken to a high temperature, special resin added and then pressurized so that the finished product has superior strength. The EPS foam is the result of many layers of foam compacted together to optimize absorption shock. The SRCS Bluetooth communication system (added cost) is supported by the Bluetooth Receiver Antenna and the integrated 31 inch FM antennae – which greatly improves reception and and range for the fully integrated system.Further enhancements are derived by what is termed ‘the absolute quietness’ of the Schubeth S2.
The aerodynamic features that reduce drag and lift promote noise reduction, and further comfort for the rider. Other features include the Anti-Roll-Off System (AROS) which is a signature Schuberth safety feature ensuring the helmet cannot rotate off the head from behind, and the chin strap is closed and adjusted accordingly. The S2 comes with a PinLock face shield, a drop-down visor, COOLMAX interior which can be removed and washed. The Schuberth S2 is one of the highest quality, lightest and strongest helmets on the market.
- Superior designed helmet shell and extremely strong
- Interchangeable comfort cheek and liner pads
- COOLMAX removable interior
- PinLock face shield – condensation free visibility
- Exceeds DOT and ECE standards
- AROS safety system
- Rating 4.1 / 5
- This is a top-end expensive helmet
- The Bluetooth SRCS Communications system is extra
- Clear face shield included as the standard
The Sharktooth 2.1 Bluetooth Communication system is suited to Shark helmets and caters for a maximum of 8 paired devices. The helmet is the add-on cost, but we thought it worthwhile to look at signature Bluetooth systems for specific helmet brands. This Sharktooth 2.1 hands free system enables an alert when the device is connected to another device. This system is built with a VOX command which means you can accept or reject a call coming in by simply using your voice to state what you want. Think Suri in smartphones – same feature. It includes stereo music streaming, digital volume control, voice recognition dialling and up to 10 hours talking time- whether that be mobile, intercom conversation or streaming music. As for the standby time, it is a luxury at 700 hours per month. If you find yourself picking up speed whilst using the Sharktooth 2.1, there is an automatic volume adjustment to surrounding ambient noise and speed levels. If the outside noise gets louder, the volume of the comms system will adjust automatically so that you don’t miss a beat. Although this Bluetooth system is made with Shark helmets in mind, Shark have made them compatible with most other helmets on the market – and they are very easy to install.
The battery lasts about 4 hours and you can connect with fellow riders up to 400 meters with the intercom and 10 meters with phone range. This is what we would call a premium Bluetooth Comms system, and if you have a Shark helmet, this is a great match-up if you’re in the market.
- This Bluetooth system is easy to install and compatible with most other helmet brands
- 700 hours standby time per month
- Full DSP noise reduction
- Easy to locate multi-point features
- Voice controlled features- calls (receiving and making)
- Music streaming to other connected riders
- Rating 4.0 / 5
- We’ve heard of riders not being able to hear music when they were moving at speed – could be the helmet or their installation – or simply the Sharktooth 2.1 system
- If you are not using a Shark helmet, there may be no Shark slit to easy accommodate the Bluetooth being mounted
- Difficult to use the command function with gloves on
- Audio levels in the ears can vary after a while
HJC is a popular brand when it comes to modulars. The HJC IS-MAX Sprint has the added bonus of being a Bluetooth helmet. This particular model is made from a lightweight polycarbonate composite shell and has a multiple density EPS liner. The XBi2-H wireless unit is integrated with the HJC helmet making it more aerodynamic with a reduced physical profile. Thus minimizing wind resistance, buffeting and providing surprisingly good ventilation. The multi stage air vents work with the rear vents to bring in cool air and suck warm moist air out the back. A vent at the chin bar promotes further air circulation across the HJ-17 shield reducing fog. The optically correct shield offers 95% UV protection and employs the QuickShield replacement system – quick and simple to remove and replace – with no tools required. The eye ports on the HJC IS-MAX Sprint are larger than normal, providing greater visibility when compared to other modulars on the market. A sunshield visor is included offering 3 different stage positions -with easy deployment and retraction.
As with most modulars these days, the Silvercool liner and inner padding is removable and washable. This helmet meets DOT standards.
- Lightweight and made from polycarbonate composite shell which is DOT certified
- Multiple density EPS lines – for impact absorption
- ACS Advanced Channeling Ventilation System
- Multiple optional Face shields and Sun shields available + QuickSlide shield system – no tools required
- Nylon Strap-Retention band
- Rating 4.8 / 5
- The size chart can run small with this model – try on a few sizes before making your final selection
- Shaded visor is very light, preferences for it to be darker tint
- A breath box and a Quick-release chin strap would be an advantage
The Vega Summit 3.0 Modular helmet is at the more affordable end of the market when it comes to Bluetooth helmets. The Bluetooth Communications System, is an add-on, allowing wireless syncing to most Bluetooth enabled cell phones, MP3 players and GPS devices. With this helmet, you have the option to buy the helmet with the recommended pre-installed Bluetooth Comms system OR you can order the Bluetooth kit separately and install it yourself. (The BT kit is called the Summit V-Comm). It meets DOT and ECE standards and is made out of a light thermoplastic shell. The ventilation in this helmet is good with a brow vent at the crown which is a stage vent allowing the air to come in through the vent and exhaust out any of the back 3 vents. There is an integrated spoiler at the back which supports the venturi affect – which results in the pressure behind the helmet pulling cool air in through the front and sucking warm moist air out the back vents. There is a chin vent prevents the shield from fogging up inside, and comes in a range of colors, including tints, smoked, anti-fog options and mirrored version.
The shield is optically correct and with a slight amount of effort, can be popped out without tools. A smoked tinted interior drop-down sunshield is included and can be operated with gloves on via side levers. The Vega Summits’ modular cheek bar locks up into the up position and cannot easily move between both stages without human intervention. The inside liners and cheek pads(made using wicking fiber) can be removed and washed. This is a good helmet for your money, especially with the Bluetooth capability.
- An affordably priced Bluetooth enabled helmet
- Can buy with Bluetooth pre-installed or buy both the helmet and kit separately and install yourself
- DOT and ECE certified
- Large range of colors, tints, and options for face shield
- Built in sun visor
- Liners are interchangeable for custom fit within the size range
- Modular design allows for convenient one-handed operation – easy to put on and get off with gloves
- Adjustable 2 – stage chin vent – reduces fogging
- Rating 4.1 / 5
- The Bluetooth Coms System (V-Com) is extra
- If using an alternative Bluetooth Coms set, the holes for the speakers are small – be sure to check this before you invest in speakers or the helmet
- A few negative comments about the shell composition – suggesting that it doesn’t feel that strong
- A little noisy
- Vents are weak – not much airflow
The BiLT Techno Bluetooth helmet is one of the most technologically advanced helmets that BiLT has produced. The shell is made from an injection molded polycarbonate shell meeting DOT standards. The integrated DWO-3 Bluetooth system provides mobile phone communications, can be synced with Bluetooth enabled devices (eg. MP3 player), paired with other Techno helmets for intercom communications, and provide GPS navigation instructions. The ventilation on this helmet is good including the chin mounted air flow vents that can be opened or closed. There are also the rear mesh exhaust vents that assists air being pulled into the front whilst warm air is being sucked out the back. The face shield has quick release and a clear locking function. The modular flip up design is comprised of a metal to metal latching system. This seems to be a helmet quite a lot of riders choose as their helmet for colder temperatures or Winter riding. We would consider the BiLT Techno a reasonable helmet for the price.
- A affordable helmet for a Bluetooth enabled, DOT certified helmet
- Integrated DWO-3 Bluetooth communications system
- Easy to switch between bike-to-bike intercom and music
- The air vents are easy to operate
- Repeated reviews stating the helmet is a comfortable fit
- Controls are easy to operate with gloves on
- Rating 3.9 / 5
- Some debate here with the sound, whilst some riders claim that the speakers are great, others have stated that due to their small size, it is hard to hear what other riders are saying over the intercom at any speeds above 80mph
- Bit noisy
- Ventilation could be improved – visor fogs up easily
- Higher physical profile than other Bluetooth helmets – noisy and more buffeting
The Torc Coupe Bluetooth Adult Prodigy T-10B helmet is made from a lightweight advanced ABS shell and is DOT approved. It includes the Blinc hands free Bluetooth communication system which enables rider to make and take calls from a Bluetooth phone, sync to MP3 player and GPS nav units. Incoming calls overrides rider intercom, music and nav directions – which can be a help or a hindrance, depending on your preference. The intercom distance is reasonable at a 100 foot distance, with talk time at 8 hours and standby at 150 hours. The Bluetooth is powered by a lithium battery and is stated to be weather resistant – which is different from ‘waterproof’. The inner lining and cheek pads are removable and washable. The Torc Coupe is a reasonable helmet, but there is not a lot of feedback on this one at this time.
- A solid helmet and at a price point that is reasonable for a Bluetooth helmet
- Lightweight advanced ABS shell
- Chin and crown vents are adjustable
- Quick release, fog and scratch resistant shield
- Multi- pairing capability with Bluetooth phones, GPS, MP3 player
- Incoming calls overrides all other functions in progress as opposed to allowing the rider to have the choice to take or ignore a call.
- Not a lot of riders have chosen this helmet, and provided feedback – it could be that it is a lesser known brand or that it does not have the features that most riders like
There are generally 2 types of Bluetooth helmets, those that have a Bluetooth communications system already pre-installed, and those that are Bluetooth compatible. The later type generally come with a suggested Bluetooth communications systems recommended for their specific helmet. One of the most common mistakes made by riders installing Bluetooth helmets is the actual installation of the communications system.
If you are intent on installing the Bluetooth system yourself, we suggest you go over the process with the company you bought the helmet from first. Then back this up with research – watch a lot of youtube or ‘motorcycle-shops’ online videos that show step-by-step instructions of how to install the kit.
A key to this research is watch the installation of the Bluetooth system you have chosen with the specific helmet you want to install the system into. A different helmet will have different size speaker cavities, different EPS system and ventilation channels – which means you will not be following like-for-like instructions. Good luck if you choose to install yourself, and if you want more information on different sorts of Bluetooth communications systems, check out our review on Bluetooth Headsets.
Full Face Helmets
There are many great full face helmets available that provide full face protection, and some now offer unique support to the neck region. Because these helmets provide full coverage, advanced technology and systems in ventilation, have made certain full face helmets the most […read more…]