I picked up a Protec Freecarve audio and am not loving it. Not enough ventilation and the audio is just sub par.
Ive narrowed it down to these two helmets to switch to
It is very difficult to find a Bern dealer in Southern CA, but this seems like an excellent lightweight helmet. I like the styling, but who knows on the audio. No mute button so that is a bummer.
The Holt is well reviewed, has SkullCandy audio which is hit or miss, does have a big mute button which I dig.
Anyone have experiences with either, or thoughts? Thanks!
I can't speak on the Pro Tec but I have this years Skullcandy Holt... As far as helmets are concerned it's a decent helmet: fit, venting, weight, construction etc.. Fits my Smith goggles great! The ear pads are comfy which on some audio helmets are not.
The Hustle is a better helmet IMO and is lighter and has a vent that can be opened/closed at will where the Holt uses removable plugs. They make a Skullcandy Hustle as well. The only difference in the 2 audio wise is the Holt is a Skullcandy "single" shot and the Hustle is the "double" meaning it can be plugged into mp3 and cell phone at the same time and has a mic. I am pretty sure the speakers used in them are identical but I can't say 100% for sure. I want to get a regular Hustle and swap my Holt's audio into it. Personally, the double shot is cool but I don't think I would really use it.
As far as the audio system here is my take. Helmet audio in general is going to allow you to hear the surrounding sounds much better then buds/dj phones. One of the downsides are those surrounding sounds also take away from the volume of the audio. With that in mind the audio sounds good and live-able but not great or as good as it should be. In a noisy area I have to crank it all the way up and still on some mp3's it's not loud enough. When you try the helmet at home in your room it sounds great and gets loud as hell and rocks out. It was deceiving to me at first as I thought it was amazing at home. Then after riding with it 10+ times it's only, ehhhh. On a chairlift it doesn't get loud enough to drown out the foreigners or Texans which kind of sucks.
The cable that goes to the helmet from your mp3 player sucks. The connection cuts out when it spins etc. Where it connects to the helmet its not really reinforced so you have to line up the ear pad hole with the actual jack in the pad. I found a certain way to route the cable where it uses one of the ear pad straps to hold the cable in. This keeps it to only cutting out every now and again. Before this just hooking the cable on the helmet and plugging it in the damn thing cut out so much it was un-bearable. The volume wheel is super sensitive and to small to work with gloves on. The mute button however is big enough but its so sensitive and does weird things. I am not convinced the mute button is not a big part of the cutout problem!
I like having an audio helmet but I don't use the audio unless im riding alone. I wish they would make it better though with a little bit louder sound like my Skullcandy GI's or FMJ's. It would be really easy too! I tried quite a few audio helmets at local shops and I do like the Smith/Skullcandy setup in comparison to some others.