An increasing number of manufacturers are making their bikes Bluetooth-compatible, allowing new owners to pair up their smartphone, get notifications and even turn-by-turn navigation instructions. The same applies to helmets—the fad for smart helmets is on the rise and feature fancy systems such as heads up display and cameras. For the rest of us not willing to cough up the money for a brand-new bike or a not-so-cheap high-tech helmet (some of which haven’t even hit the market yet), we are lucky enough to have an increasing number of options popping on the market. From little navigation modules to helmet speakers, it’s easy to make your standard helmet a little smarter thanks to aftermarket systems. Cardo specializes in helmet headsets and microphones systems and has recently upped its game with its new Freecom+ lineup.
The company showed its latest technology in Milan, back in November. What’s new? A new, slimmer design, as well as voice commands and JBL audio.The lineup is split into three levels of technology. All three use Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity that allows the device(s) to be paired with a smartphone and/or a GPS. The headset allows the rider to take, make or reject calls and even stream music. Of course, the devices are waterproof and dustproof so you don’t have to worry about your helmet going under the rain. They can also be controlled and set up via the Cardo Connect smartphone app and are both Apple and Android compatible. The slim profile of the devices makes them look like a component of the helmet they are fitted on—you won’t look like an early 2000s convertible-driving real estate agent.
The Freecom 1+ is the entry-level module with single-rider and rider-to-passenger functionality—you have the option of listening or not to what your passenger has to say. The Freecom 2+ solves (most) communication problems by enabling rider-to-rider com, which means any 2 riders equipped with a Freecom 2+ device and located within a 0.3-mile radius from on another can communicated with each other—this eliminates the need for fancy military-like hand movements. Thanks to its universal connectivity, the device can be paired with any other Bluetooth-enabled device. As for the Freecom 4+, you get the Cadillac of headsets with JBL high definition audio, as well as voice-commands (“Hey Cardo!”).
The new collection of next-generation Cardo headsets is now available starting at $139.49 for the Freecom 1+.