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Old 09-17-2013, 07:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review Cardo BK-1 Communication System

Cardo Duo for bicycling , company also makes sets for motorcycles.
Iíve used cheap $30 Uniden from target, but picked up too much interference from others. Last season the wife and I used the Cardo Duo BK1 for bicycling and loved it. There are a couple of other types of these devices posted in this forum. I hope it doesnít sound too much like a commercial. The unit was borrower from a biking friend and not a free to keep demo.

Full Duplex
Voice activation

Limited Pairing
Line of Sight
Need a Helmet to mount

Type of riding that we do Ė Groomers, some tree, no park. We donít use headphones or listen to music while riding. Crowed resort with good AT&T coverage.

Setup Ė They were already paired. These are over the ear headset which Velcro to your helmet. The brains of the unit, has a mount that you can use Velcro strap to strap to your helmet and is easily removable. You need vents on your helmet to run the strap through. Pairing to the iphones worked as documented.

Sound - We used in voice activation mode rather than push a button to activate it. Iíve used these on a bike going over 30 mph and they donít pick up wind noise but they do pick up noise when snow boarding. Iím not sure if it is the microphone that blocks the wind of it is some type of noise cancelling technology. This does pickup noise when snowboarding. The noise isnít too much that it prevents a conversation but it there is backround noise. We arenít having a full conversation with it but it is nice to say going left, ice patch, rocks, CLIFF! , or donít go this way! I did have a conversation with someone in a distant call center while coming down the slope and at the end of the run, I asked him. ď I know you heard a lot of back round noise, but were you able to hear me the whole time?Ē I confirmed it by asking him to read back numbers that I gave him. Weíve also used it while on different chairs of a lift. The units turn off the mic after a certain amount of time , the noise keeps it active which I liked. There are two wired ear pieces, but we only used the one with the mic.

I also tested it to stream Pandora and interrupt it with a conversation and phone call and it worked at expected. Voice commands to the phone also worked such as dialing or sending a text message via voice recognition.

There is a digital delay like when you talk cellphone to cellphone and it is full duplex. We became accustomed to say ďgot itĒ just to confirm the message was heard. I’d say the overall quality is excellent and better than the quality of a phone call in a car with an open window.

Range Ė Hundreds of feet with clear line of sight, greatly reduced in the trees. This is using their radio technology. We also connected via cell phone to cell phone via bluetooth, which basically covered the resort and is free with mobile to mobile minutes.

Charging is USB and it is a really small plug, but I donít know if it is a propriety plug.

People would wave at me and try to photo bomb my camera until they realize it is not a camera.

I did run into a weird issue where one unit was on mute. I looked up how to reset the unit. I reset the unit and paired it up again.

This isnít designed to be used with a bunch of other units like a walkie talkie

I fear doing a header into powder and losing the unit.

If you have ever been on a conference call where someone doesnít mute their phone while in a car, you can understand why it is only paired to one unit. If multiple units were trying to broadcast background noise, it would be very poor quality.

Since they are for bikes, they are not seasonal, so donít expect to find them on clearance sale prices, but I think they are worth it, especially if you road or mountain bike. I think they are also good for communicating for filming.

Sorry in advance of any grammatical error

Communication Devices
Sena Bluetooth
Cardo Systems, Inc

Last edited by edlo; 09-17-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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