Bluetooth communication adds a whole new dimension to the motorcycle riding experience. In-helmet Bluetooth offers rider-to-rider intercom, cell phone calling and high-fidelity stereo music.
In reviewing the 7 Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets we will give the highlights and select one that will be named our “Editor’s Choice”.
First, we will take a look at the motorcycle helmet with bluetooth built in with highest customer ratings in the marketplace along with details of each.
Then we’ll offer some background and technical information that’s helpful in choosing the right helmet for your needs and preferences in our Buyers Guide section. Also see our review of the best non-Bluetooth helmets here.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
- O’Neal Commander Integrated Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
- Bilt Techno 2.0 Integrated Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
- ILM Integrated Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet
- IV2 936 Modular Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit
- Torc T14B Integrated Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
- Origine O528B Pilota 3/4 Helmet with Blinc Bluetooth
- FreedConn Modular Helmet with Built-in Bluetooth
First lets take a look the the helmets, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you. Here’s a feature overview of my top 3 overall picks with full reviews and our guide below.
The Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
The O’Neal brand may be best know for flashy motocross ads and performance accessory products aimed at the super hip. But in this street bike helmet design with integrated Bluetooth they back up the flash and hype with an overall impressive product for the price range reviewed.
Using Bluetooth 3.0 technology and a patented Bluetooth transmitter and user interface called BLINC we found this helmet to be the best performer as well as most intuitive and responsive.
BLINC was conceived to make Bluetooth intuitive even when only a single button is available to the user. Even while wearing riding gloves the BLINC transmitter/receiver is easy to activate.
Overall, the O’Neal Commander is an excellent quality and stylish helmet and in my opinion one of the best motorcycle helmets with bluetooth built-in.
Even without Bluetooth integration it would make a fantastic helmet. Therefore, the Commander gets our top honors with “Editor’s Choice.”
Features of the O’Neal Commander:
- 118 feet separation for rider-to-rider intercom
- Voice commands
- Call answering and rejecting
- Phone call overrides intercom
- Quality sound for music from MP3 / Smartphone
- Navigation audio
- 10 hours talk time and 130 hours standby time
O’Neal Commander User Manual (PDF): http://www.oneal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Commander-Manual-2014-updated-sm.pdf
A house-brand for motorcycle retail outlets, Bilt helmets have great features and options. If there’s a new functionality or must-have gadget you can be assured a Bilt brand helmet will be offering it early on.
As a “value-line” brand Bilt can be lacking in overall helmet construction quality. I have personally owned (3) Bilt helmets. One lost its rubber base gasket.
Another had its visor screws back out. But, overall for the price Bilt helmets offer good value and the issues I’ve had were all fixable.
The Bilt Techno 2.0 uses the Sena DWO-5 Universal Bluetooth 3.0 communicator. And it is nicely integrated – nearly hidden. This helmet has very good performance characteristics and one of the top rated bluetooth motorcycle helmets available.
Features of the Bilt Techno 2.0:
- 8 hour talk time with 7 day stand-by time
- Universal intercom protocol works across all brands
- Smartphone music sharing through the Bluetooth stereo headset
- Hands free mobile phone communication
- Intercom-rider to rider, 400m rider passenger
- Interchangeable sun shield / retractable visor
Features of the ILM Integrated Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet:
- Freedconn Bluetooth® 2.0 Technology. (8) Hrs Talking Time and 100+ Hours of Stby
- Removeable Micro-fiber Lining and Variable Air Vents
- 1-Touch Control for Call Answer, Divert and Redial. Calls Interupt Intercom, Music and Nav
- Up to (1000) Ft. Companion Intercom. Left and right Speakers with Stereo Quality.
- D.S.P. Echo Cancel and Noise Suppression
- Meets E.C.E. and D.O.T Certified Safety Standards
For an integrated Bluetooth modular-style helmet the ILM Integrated Bluetooth Modular Motorcycle Helmet is a fantastic value. The helmet-specific characteristics are totally impresssive and Freedconn makes a decent mobile, sport-oriented Bluetooth unit.
The overall usability fell down slightly with Freedcon’s button-and-dial interface. It wasn’t quite as user-friendly as BLINC and SENA units. Nonetheless we wanted to get one or two modular helmets into the review, and the ILM comes in at #3 overall.
Also, keep in mind that an advertised 1000 ft. of Bluetooth range is a pretty tall order. When you factor in line-of-site limitations from curves, elevation changes and even traffic, you find that Bluetooth has its limitations.
Your ultimate results will vary with physical conditions and the quality of the other transmitter.
Another modular motorcycle helmet (flip-up fullface to open-face) with Bluetooth we really liked is the latest model of IV2, the model 936. Note that this is the only helmet in the review which is sold as a combo.
In this case the the buyer installs the included SENA SMH5 Bluetooth unit into the Bluetooth-ready IV2 936 helmet. It’s not a difficult install.
But ultimately a “non-integrated” approach looks – well just what it is – retrofitted. So the Bluetooth unit is more pronounced in size.
The IV2 936 is a really nice helmet and the SENA SMH5 Bluetooth is an industry standard for “add-on” communications. So depending on your priorities this combo may be just fine for your needs.
Features of the IV2 936 Modular Motorcycle Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit:
- IV2 High Performance Modular Unisex Adult Helmet
- One button, one-hand Flip-up System Converts helmet from Full-face to Open-face
- Glove-friendly and waterproof controls
- EPS Impact Absorption Inner Liner
- Fully Removable and Washable Interior
- Advanced lightweight durable shell – Advanced Thermoplastic Shell Technology
- Easy To Use Anti-scratch Face Shield/Visor
- Stainless Steel Dual D-Rings Strap with button
- DOT Certified(non-removable graphic on the back)
- Comes with a Cloth Helmet Bag New In Box
- Bluetooth 3.0 intercom reception for approximately 400 meters (1200 feet)
- Rider-to-rider Intercom
- Music access via all Bluetooth devices
- Dual Bluetooth pairing for a second mobile phones
- Verbal prompting
Colors Available: Gloss Black, Matte Black, Metallic Wine Red
Also Available: IV2 Model 953 Race Style Modular Helmet
The Torc T14B (Mako) is another option for those who prefer full-face over modular-style helmets. And the Torc is equipped with the same BLINC 3.0 Bluetooth that the O’Neal Commander utilizes.
The Torc helmets have gotten favorable reviews for quality of construction and also for highway noise suppression. As a full-face with Bluetooth option the Torc T14B made it into our top 5 list.
Features of the Torc T14B Integrated Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet:
- Factory-integrated BLINC Bluetooth w/ dual speakers
- Removable and washable soft comfort liner
- Smooth Lock drop down visor system
- Graphics designs
- ECE and DOT Certified
The Origine O528B Pilota is unlike any other helmet in our 2017 review. It’s a high quality option for those who prefer to wear a ¾ – type of helmet. These are popular in the scooter and commuter bike rider category. And the Pilota is an especially Euro-stylish model very popular with the Triumph and Moto Guzzi street crowd.
The Origine Pilota is equipped with the same BLINC 3.0 Bluetooth that other poplular helmets utilize. The only caveat with ¾ helmets using Bluetooth is wind noise to the microphone. It can be utilized but at higher speeds we found some significant wind noise competing for the rider’s spoken voice. Otherwise, listening on the in-helmet speakers is similar in performance to full-face helmets.
Features of the Origine O528B Pilota ¾ Helmet with Blinc Bluetooth:
- Integrated Blinc Bluetooth module
- Italian-designed Euro-style
- Standard D-ring fasteners
- Bubble-style flip face shield with locking screws
- EME and DOT-approved
Here’s another option for those looking for factory-integrated Bluetooth in a full-face modular helmet. One great feature of the FreedConn unit is its extended range of operation. Riders can communicate up to 500 meters making its range better than most all other helmets reviewed. Also, it’s possible to pair 3 riders together for a group ride.
The usability of the FreedConn unit is good. It benefits from a jog wheel and a multi-function button that are easy to access even with riding gloves.
- Freedconn Bluetooth is built-in allowing you to keep you in touch with up to 2 other riders.
- Universal Bluetooth Connectivity 3.0 keeps you connected with intercom, cellphone, GPS and music player simultaneously
- Lightweight ABS shell with ventilation makes for comfort and convenience. (Helmet weight 4 lbs.)
- Cheek pads and helmet liner are removable and easy to clean
How to Choose the Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
- What is Bluetooth Technology?
- Why is Bluetooth Technology Fit for Helmets?
- Available Bluetooth Helmet Options
- Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
- Advantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
- Disadvantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
- Future Expectations
Bluetooth communications have revolutionized the way we interact with our smartphones and other personal electronics. Simultaneously, road safety concerns, as well as traffic laws, have made hands-free communicating a necessity when driving automobiles. Therefore, and even moreso, the need for reliable hands-free interaction with electronics on motorcycles is abundantly necessary.
Those who choose to use a smartphone or music player while riding are adding a significant dimension to the riding experience. Therefore we hope that this review of the latest designs of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets to interface with such devices will be helpful to those riders who are seeking convenience, entertainment, and most of all – safety.
Because wireless communications haven’t become popular for motocross and dual-sport riding at the time of this writing our review focuses on fixed and modular full-face helmets with factory built-in (integrated) Bluetooth for street, sport and sport touring.
Since the first motorcycle law was enacted in 1966, helmets have evolved in terms of their: design, use, shape, weight, material and effectiveness. With this law in place there emerged a lot of different brands that focused on the design and production of helmets.
In recent years, one of the technological advancements that many brands have integrated into motorcycle helmets is Bluetooth technology. This technology’s key focus is to enhance communication. In today’s era, there are many devices that have become essential to our everyday life, one of them being the Smartphone.
A recent trend is the use of these communication and entertainment devices to make calls, text, and listen to music, while riding a motorbike. If your eyes are constantly on your Smartphone, GPS navigation system or any other device, your focus on the road becomes distracted. This creates room potential accidents, which can ultimately lead to loss of life.
However, having Bluetooth technology directly embedded into your helmet reduces distractions enabling you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handle bars. In short, Bluetooth technology is a life saver. With so many types of helmets in the market, you may find it challenging to choose one that suites your needs.
But don’t worry; we have taken the time to do some research and created a guide that highlights the main features you should focus on when selecting your Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet. From reading our guide you will learn the following:
What is Bluetooth Technology?
Originally, Bluetooth technology was developed by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994 to “replace-wires” or wireless communication protocol for short range devices that had low power consumption.
By definition, Bluetooth refers to the short-range and wireless interconnection between two compatible devices via wave signals.
Though a relatively new technology, over the years, it eventually found its place in the motorcycle industry, where it is now widely used and appreciated. Since it relies on radio frequency, it achieves the best results when a clear line of sight is established.
Why is Bluetooth Technology Fit for Motorcycle Helmets?
Bluetooth technology facilitates clear communication, operates effectively, is safe (it does not emit too much radiation), easy to use and consume less power. These features have seen it replace older forms of short range communication such as NFC (Near Field Communication).
For motorbike riders, having a Bluetooth helmet means that you are able to stay connected in a number of ways. Besides listening to your favorite MP3s or favorite radio station, you can easily make and pick calls or even conduct clear conversations with your travelling buddies using the two-way communication feature, as long as they are within the required range.
Available Bluetooth Helmet Options
Bluetooth capable helmets are available in two major options. One option involves buying a helmet that has the Bluetooth equipment already preinstalled while the other is to buy a uniquely designed Bluetooth device that can work and fit perfectly in any helmet. The later allows for flexibility since you will be able to comfortably change Bluetooth components to your own liking.
Generally, the Bluetooth component should be compatible with the latest technological derives which include: MP3 players, video game consoles, navigation systems (GPS systems), Smartphones and laptops. To use these devices with the chosen helmet, however, they must be within acceptable range.
Majority of helmet-compatible Bluetooth devices have a flexible boom microphone and can be fitted into either open face of flip up helmets. For full face helmets, there are a variety of microphones that work perfectly with them. As the Bluetooth devices have to be powered, most use durable, rechargeable lithium batteries. The durability of these batteries allows you to use the helmets for longer periods without the need to frequently recharge.
Pre-installed Bluetooth Helmets
These helmets are designed to accommodate Bluetooth hardware when being manufactured. As Bluetooth equipment integration is considered during their design, they have an amazing look and perform well. Their great look results from the uncomplicated installation of the Bluetooth equipment.
These helmets are recommended for beginners as they are ready for use right after being picked off the shelf. Furthermore, they are highly effective and convenient to use. However, they are not pocket friendly as compared to the alternative.
Bluetooth Compatible Helmets
This is the best option if you want to embed a Bluetooth set to a helmet that you have comfortably worn for sometime but lacks Bluetooth capability. With these helmets, installation of the Bluetooth device can take a number of forms. Sometimes screws are used to hold the device in place, other times clips are used to attach devices conveniently to the side of the helmet and sometimes they have to be conservatively installed.
Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
Price is a factor that cannot be ignored when buying almost any product. Having a clear budget range of how much you intend to spend on a helmet will prevent you from over spending. For Bluetooth helmets, the material used Bluetooth device specifications and safety features that have been put in the helmet play a huge part in determining the price.
Another determining factor is whether the Bluetooth component comes pre-installed in the helmet or whether you have to fit the components yourself. For example if you have a compatible helmet, buying and installing a separate Bluetooth motorcycle intercom can help you save some money.
Bluetooth devices have a relatively small operation range in contrast to shortwave radios, satellites and other communication devices. In general, the receiving or transmitting device must be within a particular range from your Bluetooth helmet for clear communication to take place.
For example, a cyclist who is using their Smartphone his music listening device will need to have it relatively close to him (e.g. in their pocket) for a proper connection to be established.
The same applies for a cyclist who uses his/her helmet to communicate with his fellow cyclists on the road (in such a case the helmets functions the same way a walkie-talkie would).
Depending on how you intend to use your Bluetooth helmet, it is important to find out the maximum communication range in order to make the right choice.
The amount of microwaves emitted by a Bluetooth device is considered to be less than or comparable to that emitted by the average phone. To prevent exposure to these waves, the Bluetooth device in helmets is usually located on the outer part of the helmet.
As an alternative to traditional phones, which are held very close to the face, you can choose to use helmets if exposure to dangerous waves of radiation is something that concerns you. If you already happen to use a mobile phone, such fears are unfounded.
New or Second Hand
If your pockets are not deep enough, there is always the option of buying second hand Bluetooth motorcycle helmets, as long as they are fully functioning. This not only saves you money but also gives you the opportunity to try out a few helmets before making a final decision on which helmet fits your needs best.
Advantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
The freedom provided by a Bluetooth device is the key benefit to cyclists. These devices easily connect to almost all modern communicating and media devices. Besides, they operate wirelessly using power from rechargeable batteries. In addition, these devices are usually small in size making it convenient to carry them around.
Despite the fact that this technology was originally intended for use in mobile phones and microphones, its flexibility has seen it integrated into other modern devices as well. Such devices include: GPS systems, MP3 players, computers, video games, and cameras. Motorcyclists have not been left behind as well, they have benefitted in the following ways:
Ease of Communication
The communication aspect of Bluetooth motorcycle helmets has also proven to be very beneficial to bikers. The majority of modern day mobile phones can effortlessly connect via Bluetooth. If you are an iPhone user, you may be required to place a small dongle to facilitate communication with a Bluetooth headset.
Answering, conversing and rejecting calls have been made hands free when Bluetooth technology was introduced into the motorcycle industry. This hands free feature reduces the risk of causing road accidents.
Furthermore, a variety of motorcycle helmets allow you to communicate wirelessly with your family and friends by simply speaking into your helmet mic, as long all your helmets support the two or multi-line communication function.
At times this may require that you buy a set that matches in order to enable flawless functionality of this feature. As Bluetooth communication is dependent on maintaining a certain range or a clear line of sight, remaining within this range is essential for effective communication.
GPS System Handling
For cyclists, GPS navigation control has been made easier by Bluetooth technology. By connecting the cyclist’s Bluetooth motorcycle helmet to a compatible GPS system, the cyclist can listen to real-time navigation directions without shifting their focus from the road. This means that previous habits such as having to stop by the road to ask for directions or to examine a map are long gone.
Despite the fact that GPS systems designed for use in the motorcycle industry have been around for some time, cyclists previously were not able to effectively use them device due to the poor audibility in areas with traffic congestion, wind and other environmental noise.
However, with Bluetooth technology these problems have been solved. Bikers are now able to receive loud and clear navigation directions through their helmet’s headset. In addition, depending on the GPS system in use, the cyclist can give voice commands through the helmet’s mouthpiece while still maintaining their focus on the road.
Ease of enjoying your favorite music
Everybody loves music. Being able to effortlessly connect your MP3 players or Smartphone to your Bluetooth helmet allows you to wirelessly listen to your favorite music.
Disadvantages of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
There are only a few disadvantages of using Bluetooth motorcycle helmets. For instance, these helmets may not appeal to riders who already have a favorite helmet which they feel they can’t ride without. For such riders, it’s advisable to fit the Bluetooth headset to their favorite helmet themselves.
Another disadvantage is that depending on the particular headset that you use, the clarity of the Bluetooth device may begin to suffer when you accelerate and cruise at over 70 mph.
Lastly, as Bluetooth technology depends on a line of sight, it may be difficult to maintain communication with your peers over long distances using either two-way or multi-line communication.
Best Bluetooth Helmet Brands
Some of the brands that exist in the market today include: O’Neal, HJC, Bilt, IV2 and Shoei. Most of these brands offer almost similar or slightly different features that designed to satisfy the needs of cyclists.
Bluetooth motorcycle helmets allow motorcyclists to carry on a two-way conversation with fellow cyclists while maintaining their focus on the road as well as listen to their favorite music wirelessly.
The hands free feature that is made possible by Bluetooth technology has enhanced the focus of cyclists on the road and as a result reduced the chances of road accidents occurring.
For example, the two-way communication feature used to communicate with other cyclists is safer than communication over the cell phone. The compatibility of motorbike GPS systems with Bluetooth helmets allows for voice input through the helmet’s microphone as well as receiving of directions through the ear piece.
Bluetooth helmets that are currently available in the market are capable of connecting with many electronic devices. Besides their wireless and effective connection, they also have a crystal clear reception. The safety provided by Bluetooth devices is similar to that of mobile phones with regards to the amount of radiation emitted.
The rapid Bluetooth advancements that have taken place in the recent years only prove that this technology will give motorcyclist an even better experience in future. Probably one such experience is an increase in the range that a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet can operate.
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best bluetooth motorcycle helmet to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a helmet I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
Have fun and be safe out there!