A comms system is simply one of those things you never thought you’d need, but once you’ve tried, you’ll never want to ride without. I’ll have to admit that there was a time I was against the use of comms systems in my helmet, as I wanted to preserve the raw, free, and disconnected nature of motorcycling. However, when more of my friends started riding, we needed to find a way to be able to effectively communicate while on our bikes.
For the past several years now, even when I ride alone, I keep my comms system live, be it for music, or just so I hear notifications on my phone while I’m on the go. Now, an intercom system is also extremely useful when applied strictly to the urban setting. Particularly in Europe and Asia, where last-mile delivery services tend to be handled by delivery personnel aboard scooters, being able to make and answer phone calls while on the go is an essential part of the job. Even for professionals who use their two-wheelers to commute, staying connected is sometimes essential, depending on your field of work.
Sena is best known for its wide range of motorcycle-specific communicators which are applicable to a vast range of budgets. It also has a few smart helmets in its repertoire, meaning lids which come outfitted with a communicator out of the box. It recently added a new one in the form of the Outstar S, and it’s dedicated to commuters and urban riders. It takes the form of a Jet helmet, so it’s perfect for scooter riders for use around town. A Bluetooth communication system is integrated seamlessly into the helmet, and features speakers and a microphone concealed within the helmet’s liner.
It features Bluetooth 5.0 tech, meaning it can connect to other users within a range of up to 900 meters, and even comes with automatic volume and noise control. Sena claims that the Outstar S returns 12 hours of intercom talk time on single charge, and takes just 2.5 hours to charge. Controls are integrated into the left side of the helmet, and consist of just three buttons, making them intuitive and easy to use while on the go.
As for features, the Outstar S gets a clear, anti-scratch, and anti-fog visor as well as a drop-down sun visor. An adequate ventilation system is designed to keep your head cool even on the hottest of days. It consists of two air inlets on the forehead, and two heat extractors at the back. It features a polycarbonate shell, a removable liner, and a ratchet-style quick-release buckle. Overall, it garners an ECE safety rating, and even comes with a five-year warranty on the helmet and two years for the electronics. It’s available in sizes ranging from S to XL, and retails at an affordable 259 Euros, or around $293 USD.