Even when you are out solo on the highway on your motorcycle, it’s always a great idea to have a communications system that you and your buddies can use so that you can talk to each other without having to pull over. There was a time that this meant a complicated, military-style hand signal system that bikers used. This is where a dedicated Bluetooth motorcycle helmet really shines. This is a great hands-free device that you can use to quickly communicate the need for a stop, chat with your fellow motorcycle buddies, and ensure that you don’t have to dangerously try to use your phone to talk. The best Bluetooth motorcycle helmets will be safe, easy to use, and fit well.
What to Look for
Just like any other kind of motorcycle helmet, you’ll need to ensure that a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet can protect your head while you ride. With this in mind, safety ratings are some of the best motorcycle helmet metrics that you can find for safety. There are three organizations that measure a helmet’s safety rating; the ECE22.02, which is known as the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe; The U.S. Department of Transportation; and Shell2010, which was formed as a result of the death of professional racer, Pete Shell, who died of head injuries during a race.
A Proper Fit
In addition to your new helmet’s Bluetooth functionality and safety ratings, it’s absolutely imperative that the helmet fits your head comfortably. Each rider’s head is shaped differently and has a different size, so before you select a helmet that has Bluetooth functionality, ensure that it will fit your specific type of skull. If you have an opportunity to try out a helmet in person, use your fingers while the helmet is on your head. Run them on the inside surface so that you can find any areas of the helmet that don’t quite fit snugly enough.
If you can’t live-sample a new helmet, you’ll have to measure your dome so that you can ensure that the helmet fits perfectly. As a general rule of thumb, most use a measuring system so that you can get a pretty good idea of the fit of a particular helmet. When searching online, if a helmet doesn’t conform to traditional measuring systems, you’ll see that in the comments section for sure.
Strap or Retention System
This is just the method that your new motorcycle helmet will use to stay on top of your head. Most products use a simple chin strap, which works well to ensure that your helmet stays on your head during high velocities or in the unfortunate situation of an accident.
The Personal Area Network for a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet is the range between the broadcast device and the Bluetooth helmet. This is usually a relatively small range, so if you are using your helmet to listen to MP3s or from a streaming service like Pandora or Spotify, you’ll need to have your phone or another device within a certain yardage. The PAN for an average Bluetooth helmet can range greatly. Some devices can only communicate for ranges as little as 33 feet, while others can communicate for extended ranges as great as 2,300 feet or so.
GPS Turn-By-Turn Navigation
One of the best benefits of this system is its ability to connect to applications like Google Maps and Waze. With Bluetooth navigation, you’ll be able to hear turn-by-turn instructions on how to get to your destination, which is very convenient when you are going to new places.
This is very convenient. You’ll be able to talk to your buddies and establish directions, whether a biker needs to make a stop or even just chit chat. Range is a factor, but in general, you should easily be able to use your helmet like a walkie talkie. Additionally, you can simply receive Bluetooth phone communications from your phone as well, which will greatly increase the range, though phone rates will apply.
Access to Music
Riding is an entertaining experience in itself, but sometimes you might want to listen to some tunes from Spotify, Pandora, or just your MP3 playing app. With a Bluetooth helmet, this is very easy; simply pair up your host device with your helmet and listen through the helmet’s built-in speakers. With this in mind, also look for a helmet that has a good set of speakers so that you audiophiles can get a great overall sound experience.
Best Design Feature
IV2 Helmet + Bluetooth Combo: Model 953 Dual Visor, Modular/Flip-Up High-Performance Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit
This helmet converts from full-face to open-face with the press of a single button.
ILM Bluetooth Integrated Modular Flip up Full Face Motorcycle Helmet Sun Shield Mp3 Intercom
This helmet has an intercom system that has a 1,000-foot range.
Hawk H-66 Glossy Black Dual-Visor Modular Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth – Large
You can use your riding gloves with the controls of this helmet.
VCAN Blinc 136 Full Face Helmet with Dark Angel Graphics (Flat Black, Large)
This has a full 30 hours of continuous talk.
HJC CL-MAXBT II Atomic Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet (MC-5, Small)
This helmet has great UV protection so that you will be able to see, even in bright situations.
AVE A-13 A-Fire Open Face Motorcycle Helmet with Integrated Bluetooth and Drop Down Sun Visor
This is an open face model, which is perfect for those who prefer this type of motorcycle helmet.
IV2 Helmet + Bluetooth Combo: Model 936 Modular/Flip-Up High-Performance Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit
This is one of the most attractive helmets that has Bluetooth functionality. It comes in a shiny metallic wine red finish.
1) IV2 Helmet + Bluetooth Combo: Model 953 Dual Visor, Modular/Flip-Up High-Performance Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit
The first product in our guide is the IV2 Model 953. We really loved the futuristic styling on this helmet. It has several angular planes that really add a “cutting-edge” feel to the helmet itself. We also loved exactly how convertible this helmet is; with the touch of a button, you can flip up the helmet so that it goes from full-face to an open-face model.
While you have to install the Bluetooth unit, it’s relatively easy to do, and it’s easy to control without using your hands. You can also use the SENA SMH5 headset and intercom to wirelessly communicate with your friends. This Bluetooth unit will allow you to pair with up to four additional headsets, which makes communication between bikers very easy.
2) ILM Bluetooth Integrated Modular Flip up Full Face Motorcycle Helmet Sun Shield Mp3 Intercom
We really loved the stylish shaping of this helmet. It has some nice angles and rounded curves that make it look very modern. It also has a very reasonable amount of talk time; with the helmet, you should be able to talk for eight hours on a single charge, and keep a charge for 110 hours on standby mode. Additionally, you’ll also be able to answer incoming calls with a one-touch function. We found this to be very convenient, especially when you are navigating traffic.
One of the best features of this helmet, in our estimation, is its ability to use DSP noise and echo cancellation tech. When you are out riding your motorcycle, it’s a bit hard to hear sound, even through your helmet speakers. The speakers on this helmet actively cancel incoming noise making Bluetooth calls and music sound much easier to hear.
3) Hawk H-66 Glossy Black Dual-Visor Modular Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth – Large
Our third pick is a great option for those who often find themselves biking in difficult weather. The controls for this helmet’s Bluetooth system are usable through a single button that’s water proof and able to be used easily, even if you are wearing riding gloves. Design-wise, this is a very sleek and stylish helmet that will look good with any motorcycle. There is a drop-down anti-scratch visor that will protect you from road debris and dust.
Additionally, we found the sound quality to be excellent; it has a dual stereo speaker setup that provides crisp tones in all of the spectrums of sound. The only weakness we found is that the speakers are on the chin strap, which can make them a bit hard to hear when you are under speed. This is only a weakness that happens at very high speeds though.
4) VCAN Blinc 136 Full Face Helmet with Dark Angel Graphics (Flat Black, Large)
If you like a motorcycle helmet with sweet art designs, then this product will work great for your needs. The external design features wings, skulls, and stars, which make for a very interesting and cool-looking general aesthetic.
Looks aside, the helmet also has some great overall functionality. It will easily connect to your Android or iPhone so that you can make hands-free calling, listen to music, or get directions from a dedicated GPS app. We really were amazed at the performance of this product when it comes to overall talk time; with this helmet, you’ll have a full 30 hours of continuous talk time and over 600 hours of standby time, which means that you’ll be able to use it for a long time before recharges.
5) HJC CL-MAXBT II Atomic Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet (MC-5, Small)
Despite having mechanical components, this helmet is very light and only weighs about five pounds. The manufacturers were able to do this without sacrificing safety by crafting it out of a polycarbonate shell that has been injection molded. In addition to this lightweight construction, the helmet itself has a great design that features speed lines and swirls for a really good-looking helmet.
While this isn’t a model that comes with an actual Bluetooth device, this unit has cavities for the speakers and the Bluetooth unit, which significantly cuts the initial cost of the device. Additionally, the helmet also provides a great level of UV protection so that glare and bright sunlight won’t make your ride any less safe.
6) IV2 Helmet + Bluetooth Combo: Model 936 Modular/Flip-Up High-Performance Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit
Our final product is also the helmet that is one of our favorites when it comes to raw aesthetic design. The wine red coloration is metallic, which adds a lot of speediness to the design of this motorcycle helmet. You can purchase this helmet in a Bluetooth-less design, but for $189.95, buying it with the Bluetooth included is a pretty good price.
In addition to this, the Bluetooth system is the 3.0 variety, which offers more range and less signal degradation than the 2.0 system. You can also pair up with up to four other Bluetooth helmets so that you can easily have a means to quickly talk with your biker buddies. When you use it in this way, you’ll have an active range of up to 400 meters or 430 yards, which is usually more than enough to communicate clearly. During our tests, each conversation came in with a high level of sound quality and the stereo speakers seem to be pretty functional as well.
When you want to lift up the visor, this Bluetooth-enabled helmet also quickly converts into an open-face design with the touch of a single button.
Having a safe helmet that you can use to communicate, listen to some tunes, and get directions is an amazing experience. Each of the products that we’ve reviewed today has all of the features that you’ll need for a great ride. If we had to select a specific helmet out of the reviewed items as the “Best Pick,” we’d pick the ILM Bluetooth helmet. This helmet has a great noise cancellation technology that makes sound easy to hear even when there’s a lot of wind or you are going at high velocities.
The best bang for your buck helmet is the HJC CL-MAXBT II Atomic Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet. For a relatively low price, you get a modular design, great UV protection, and great fit for most heads. Unfortunately, you have to install your Bluetooth unit for this helmet, but this is a really easy process with this particular model of motorcycle helmet.