UClear Bluetooth Helmet Communicator Boomless HBC100 Review

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.

HBC100 Bluetooth Communicator

Talk On-The-Fly

That’s right, you can answer, talk, and even call people on your cell phone while riding, without even having to touch it! It’s easy to use, even if you’re listening to music through your phone. Just pause the music and hold the volume buttons down for a couple seconds to activate the voice command. The capabilities are whatever your phone supports!

No More Boom-Stick!

Uclear’s HBC100 is the first boom-less helmet communicator on the market. What’s better about not having a boom? For one, it takes up much less space in your helmet (especially if you have a full-face), there’s nothing to hit your mouth on, and Uclear’s military technology helps cancel out wind-noise at well over 100MPH.

Bluetooth – The New Wireless

Do you remember the days of having umpteen cords just for a couple of speakers? Fortunately for you, those days are long gone… Bluetooth is the way to go now, and it’s easier than ever to use it. Just turn the communicator on, hold down the volume buttons for a few seconds, then turn your phone’s Bluetooth on and the HBC100 will show up on the available devices. Press ‘connect’ and you’re done! No more cords dangling down through your clothes that can get caught on things and ripped off. Once you’ve synced your phone, next time you just turn Bluetooth on and it will automatically sync when the communicator is turned on.

Sound Quality?

If you can’t hear the person on the other end of the conversation, what’s the point of having a communicator? Based on some outside variables (more on that in a bit), the Uclear HBC100 sound quality is surprisingly good. If you’re just having a conversation through via Bluetooth  it’s just as good as using your phone for you and the person on the other side. Wind noise was not an issue. Even going 70mph on a naked street bike, the wind was hardly noticeable. In fact, you can often hear the bike humming through the gears just as much as the wind.

Isn’t Wind A Factor?

Didn’t we just go over this? Yes and no. Yes, wind is always a factor. Does it affect the sound quality? No, not with the UClear. Where wind comes into play with a helmet communicator is how well the rider can hear. If you’re cruising down the freeway at 70mph or more with no wind protection, it’s going to be pretty hard to understand what the other person is saying. Or if you’re listening to music, it’s pretty much useless. That’s why it’s best to have a full-face helmet that is good at blocking wind noise. Not only will it be hard to have a conversation with the constant noise of wind rushing past your ears, but it’s just plain noisy and annoying. Unfortunately, I’m still using a cheaper motorcycle helmet that doesn’t offer many luxuries. If you’re going to be using a helmet communicator, just keep in mind that a quality helmet is just as important.

What’s Hot?

  • Boom-less microphone
  • Voice activation answering and calling
  • Stream music wireless through bluetooth
  • Rider intercom with other riders in your group
  • Boom-less Microphone with Active Noise Cancellation (effective to 147 mph)
  • Can sync with up to two devices simultaneously via bluetooth (e.g. mp3 player and phone)
  • Battery life (10-15 hours)

What’s Not?

  • Music isn’t the greatest quality because of wind noise
  • Glasses are more difficult to get on
  • Speaker velcro glue isn’t perfect

What Other Consumers Are Saying:

  • It doesn’t get better than this
  • Top bluetooth headset
  • Best Helmet Communicator Ever!
  • Great product for the price
  • No more wires!
  • An Impressive & Functional Product

Overall Impression…

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).

Technology is getting better and cheaper these days. Right now, this helmet communicator is hard to beat at its price. For more specs and reviews, or to Buy My UClear HBC Bluetooth HERE!

-Tom Stark

 

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