Why You Need an Intercom System on Your Ride

Note: This article was updated on June 27, 2024, to provide the latest insights and recommendations.

Why You Need an Intercom System on Your Ride

Ever thought, "I don’t want anyone talking to me while I'm riding"? Think again. These systems do more than chat.

Commonly referred to as "communication systems" or "intercom systems," these gadgets are a game-changer for motorcyclists. They let you stream music or take phone calls for a fraction of the price of a full-blown stereo system. With speakers installed right by your ears, you get exceptional music quality without battling helmet noise. Plus, these helmet headsets include a microphone, so you can do more than just listen.

Real-World Scenarios: Why Take Calls on the Road?

Picture this: You've left work early and your boss calls. Thanks to your helmet headset, you're back to work before they even know you’ve left. Or, shift to the lowest gear and ride hard, filling their ears with the sweet sound of freedom. Either way, you've got the upper hand.

The Ultimate Tool for Safety and Fun

For those not riding solo, these systems offer more than just music and phone calls. Communication is key for safety. Sure, we can use hand signals, but nothing beats being able to talk back and forth. Here’s why it matters:

  • Spotting Hazards: Alert fellow riders about potential dangers on the road.
  • Coordinating Turns: Announce upcoming turns or changes in traffic flow.
  • Cager Complaints: Share your frustrations about other drivers.
  • Speed Checks: Keep an eye out for cops and ensure everyone’s riding at a safe speed.

Basic vs. Advanced Intercom Systems

Basic intercoms work for communication between rider and passenger via a short Bluetooth connection. These are perfect for bikers on a budget, starting as low as $99.

Must-Have Features for Your Motorcycle Intercom

All Sena and Cardo systems offer:

  • Phone Pairing: For calls and music.
  • GPS Connection: Use your phone’s GPS or a dedicated device.
  • Passenger Pairing: Communicate with at least one passenger.

Preferred features that aren’t universal include:

  • Active Noise Cancellation: Cut out wind noise for clear communication.
  • Premium Speakers: Branded JBL or H&K speakers for top-notch music.
  • FM Radio: For those who prefer not to stream music.
  • Voice Commands: Keep your hands on the bars and eyes on the road.
  • Audio Multitasking: Maintain communication while listening to music. Each rider can play their own music—no need to all listen to Taylor Swift.
  • Mesh Communication: For a stronger, faster, and easier communication experience.

Bluetooth vs. Mesh: Which One Is Right for You?

You may be wondering, what is Mesh, and how does it compare to the standard Bluetooth connection?

  • Bluetooth:
    • Pairs riders in a daisy chain.
    • Simple for two riders but complex for groups of three or more.
    • Requires staying close to maintain the connection and re-pairing if disconnected.
  • Mesh:
    • Pairs up to 15 (or 24 depending on brand) riders almost instantly.
    • No particular order needed; each rider is connected like a spider web.
    • Maintains connection over a 5-mile range (1 mile max between individuals).
    • Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) allows riders to change positions, exit, or re-enter the group without re-pairing.

In all seriousness, ride safe and enjoy the road. Eagle Leather does not condone rev-bombing your boss on the phone…

We hope this answers many of your questions about communication systems. Did we miss something? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments!

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