[UPDATE: March 15, 2023: On March 9, 2023, Cardo Systems rounded out its Packtalk lineup with the entry-level Packtalk Custom. Though the product offers upgradeable packages in addition to its baseline features, it doesn't require a monthly or yearly subscription. Following the release, some consumers expressed confusion over the new pay-per-feature model, prompting Cardo Systems to issue a statement on March 14, 2023.

"Last week Cardo Systems launched the all-new Packtalk Custom. At $269, it’s by far the most affordable Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC)-enabled communicator we have ever created. It’s also the most cost-effective way for consumers to enjoy the superior performance and 15-person group networking benefits of the world’s best motorcycle Mesh technology.

We’ve received consumer questions and feedback revealing confusion, and misinformation, that Cardo Systems is moving to a monthly subscription model.

That is not the case. Our product platforms remain anchored in a singular price point, for a specific set of service features, and are not subject to, or reliant on, any monthly service fees.

The Packtalk Custom platform, from conception, is designed to offer a basic set of features with premium DMC mesh at an entry-level price point. Additional premium features can be activated for a short-term period of a single month, or longer-term if that’s what the consumer desires. This means that consumers have the ability to upgrade, short- or long-term, to additional features they may desire, without having to buy an entirely different product in order to do so. That said, the stock feature set includes all the essential functionality for most usage scenarios without needing to ever upgrade.

At Cardo Systems, we maintain an unwavering commitment to riders, providing the widest range of products and services on the market today, and simultaneously serving up the highest level of choice and flexibility to our customers. And that is the entire motivation for Packtalk Custom – to expand accessibility to DMC technology at a lower price point, while still enabling those Packtalk Custom users the flexibility to upgrade and enjoy a wider range of features, if and when they so desire."]

Original piece follows.

Cardo Systems upped the ante when it released the Packtalk Edge in March, 2022. The Texas-based brand’s new flagship communicator not only upgraded its Dynamic Mesh Communications (DMC) technology for simpler pairing but also refined its Natural Voice Operation engine.

While the Packtalk Edge wowed with top-end features, not all riders needed a suite of options at their disposal. To meet customers midway—in both features and pricepoint—Cardo introduced the Packtalk Neo in February, 2023. Now, the new Packtalk Custom puts the power in the user’s hands, enabling personalized upgrades with pay-per-feature packages.

“Packtalk Custom is a direct result of our team listening to our riders from around the world, as the Wants and Needs are extremely diverse” explained Cardo Systems CEO Alon Lumbroso. “We’re extremely proud to continue to drive the industry forward with new trailblazing innovations and industry-firsts like the Packtalk Custom.”

Similar to the Edge and Neo, the Custom comes standard with second-generation DMC, Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, and 40mm HD speakers. The comm unit still connects up to 15 riders (within a one-mile range), yields 13 hours of talk time, and offers over-the-air software updates. Those looking to protect their purchase will find solace in IP67 waterproofing and Cardo’s two-year warranty.

Though the Packtalk Custom provides the essentials, riders can round out the unit with the brand’s three-tiered upgrade system. The Silver package appeals to audiophiles with music sharing, sound profiles, and speed dialing, while the Gold collection adds Bluetooth intercom, universal connectivity intercom, and second mobile device connection to the lot. The Platinum package boasts all the features from the Silver and Gold options but also tosses Natural Voice Operation and Eco Mode into the mix.

As a baseline offering, the Packtalk Custom unit retails for $269. Should users spring for the upgradeable bundles, costs increase as follows:

  • Silver - $2.99 Monthly / $19.99 Yearly
  • Gold - $4.99 Monthly / $29.99 Yearly
  • Platinum - $6.99 Monthly / $39.99 Yearly

Cardo may have upped the ante when it launched the Packtalk Edge, but the Custom sets a new bar in comms customization.

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