When you hear “Helmet Communicator”, what comes to mind? Usually a large pair of headphones, a big boomed-mic that sticks out in front of your face, and wires dangling down to connect to whatever device you’re using. Fortunately for us, modern technology is increasing every year, and now the UClear Bluetooth Boom-less Helmet Communicator available to the public. It has so many unique features, and is “Military Technology”, so you know you’re not getting cheap Chinese junk. When I got asked to test out UClear’s HBC100 motorcycle communicator, I jumped on the opportunity because I love technology, and I figured YOU would want to see a real-life review on it. Now when going in to this, I was a little skeptical since I hadn’t dealt with helmet communicators before, and seeing that this was the world’s first “boom-less” system I didn’t know what to expect.
If you go back-to-back with other helmet communicators in its price range, there isn’t much of a comparison as far as capability and quality. Bluetooth is the way to go, and it is very easy to use. I like the voice activation features, once again making it completely hands-free (unless you want to change the volume). It’s not perfect, but it mainly depends on how well your phone is capable of picking up your voice.
I often stream music while commuting on my bike, and I can go directly from music to answering my phone without touching anything (phone call supersedes music is a built-in feature). I have not tried the rider-to-rider intercom yet, but I’m sure it’s just as good or better than every other part of the system I’ve tried. And last, but not least, it’s a boom-less microphone that derives from military technology. For real, the absolute only cord is the one going from the speakers to the communication box, which is also on the helmet so they will never get tangled.
No matter what helmet communicator you get, wind noise will always be a factor. That’s why it’s good to consider a higher quality helmet that blocks out noise better than less-expensive helmets. If you already bought a helmet and don’t want to upgrade yet, there’s a couple other options for cancelling wind noise. The easiest way is sticking one of these Wind Stopper Skirts on your helmet. It’s cheap, and will make your conversations/riding experiences much more enjoyable.
One final thing I think I should add since I like to know every little detail about high-buck products before throwing my hard-earned money out there… If I could, I would only ride during the day. However, since I started working second shift, I do a lot of day and night riding, which forces me to keep a clear visor on my helmet. This is why I use sunglasses during the day, and even safety glasses at night if it’s warm enough. Since the HBC100 speakers are installed in the ear cavities of a motorcycle helmet, it makes putting glasses on a little bit tougher, depending on the size of them. I don’t have a problem riding with glass for an hour or so, but if I were to go on a road trip, it would get annoying and my ears would be sore after. Ultimately, if you’re like me and ride days and nights, the best option is to buy a helmet that has a built-in sun-shield. Yes, you’re going to pay more for one, especially if it offers good wind blocking, but if you want to be able to see and hear I believe it will be well worth the price.
As far as dirt biking goes with this wireless communicator, it mainly depends on how loud your bike is. I would not recommend using it for motocross racing, unless you just like listening to some tunes to keep you calm and have a safe place to keep your media player. On the flip side, if you’re on a trail ride with some friends, having the HBC100 can be very useful. If someone goes down and/or gets hurt, the sooner the others know about it the better (every minute counts, especially if you’re out in the mountains).