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Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

RTL

Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
579
Location
Keithville, LA
I bought three of these for my wife, son and I. While they may not have all of the "bells and whistles" of the much more expensive units out there we find they more than meet our needs. Bike to bike talk range is not very long so that is one shortcoming. FM radio works well as does Bluetooth connect to phone. At first I thought it did not have enough volume but since I repositioned the speakers it is more than loud enough (I ride with ear plugs in). Charge lasts more than 6 hours (longest continuous run so far). Fairly easy to use but I do better manipulating the buttons without gloves.
 

JT

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Elgin
I have bought a few items from Gearbest. They are reliable, but shipping will take a while. :-(
 
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Harmaston, TX
I bought three of these for my wife, son and I. While they may not have all of the "bells and whistles" of the much more expensive units out there we find they more than meet our needs. Bike to bike talk range is not very long so that is one shortcoming. FM radio works well as does Bluetooth connect to phone. At first I thought it did not have enough volume but since I repositioned the speakers it is more than loud enough (I ride with ear plugs in). Charge lasts more than 6 hours (longest continuous run so far). Fairly easy to use but I do better manipulating the buttons without gloves.
Thanks for posting. If your findings above are true for me then that's all that I'll ever need. $27 well spent.

_
 

RTL

Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
579
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Keithville, LA
A little more info. We have been using these for around 4 months and so far so good. My son rides and uses his the most and no problems yet. I like the Bluetooth connect to my phone music files. I do not know if this unit will pair with another brand as we have never tried that. Another note is we have not used or owned any other brand/make to compare these to.
 

bwdmax

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Oct 20, 2010
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Victoria
I bought three of these for my wife, son and I. While they may not have all of the "bells and whistles" of the much more expensive units out there we find they more than meet our needs. Bike to bike talk range is not very long so that is one shortcoming. FM radio works well as does Bluetooth connect to phone. At first I thought it did not have enough volume but since I repositioned the speakers it is more than loud enough (I ride with ear plugs in). Charge lasts more than 6 hours (longest continuous run so far). Fairly easy to use but I do better manipulating the buttons without gloves.
Sounds promising. I purchased a pair yesterday. The main goal is to be able to talk to the wife or kids when riding two up.

I'll post up a review when I get them in hand and test them. I will take one for the team and try to pair mine with JMZ's Sena 20s. I can always just ride out of range if need be.:rofl:
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
365
Location
Austin, TX
Hmm, enticing... But a few questions... Do these use a standard micro USB cable for charging? What is the 3.5mm audio jack for? (assuming this is wired audio IN)...

Is the headset using the USB port or something else?

Can these be charged while in use? (If the headset is a usb plug and thats the charging port, im sure this is NO)...
 

RTL

Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
579
Location
Keithville, LA
Not a standard micro USB, comes with its own charging cable that is usb on one end and the other end usb mini b 8 pin flat. Speakers and mic plug in to the same port (USB mini) that is used to charge the unit so it cannot be used when being charged. 3.5 jack is an aux port to direct connect a music source such as an ipod or phone.
 
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RTL

Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
579
Location
Keithville, LA
New record battery life test. Did a 10 hour ride listening to fm radio and music on my phone the whole time. No intercomm use as I was riding alone.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,178
Location
Harmaston, TX
Received mine today, two weeks and two day shipping not terrible.

First thoughts:
solid unit, good quality.
paired easily with my cell phone. A couple pops and cracks when selecting function but once in use go completely away. Sound quality is good, volume adjusts on unit, was told voice quality good as well. Navigated a bank voice prompt phone menu without issue. Redial button works.

Music streaming simple and no frills. You can change tracks via the units buttons but sound volume only controlled from phone. Sound is good but extreme lack of bass compared to my custom molded ear buds. Normal listening level are fine though.

FM radio has great clear reception even inside the house. No volume control whatsoever though. Default level is just about right for me so no big complaint. If you like low volume elevator background music you might not be happy.

Will update again once I place some phone calls while riding, check battery life and test the pairing with other units and intercom.

_
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,178
Location
Harmaston, TX
Some reference photos below.

Found out this morning that Google voice comnands work flawlessly. Place a phone call by contact name in my address book, start navigation to a contact with saved address or any spoken address. Open text message app, compose, address and send with verbal comnands only. Also can open PTT messenging app and compose/listen but need to use phone screen to start/stop messages with a single touch.

20170309_103948_zpsyq2epwds.jpg



20170309_103926_zpsxfshcpjc.jpg



20170309_104002_zpsgeckrprq.jpg


_
 

Tourmeister

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I want to know how it works at speeds in the 60-80pmh range in terms of how well you can hear it and how well the voice control work, especially if you wear ear plugs while using it (like the cheap foam 30 db ear plug you buy in the mega packs).
 

JMZ

Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
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Location
Gonzales , TX
I could hear bullet very clear today. It was just like he was inside talking on his cell phone. He was washing dishes with his helmet on.

Signatures? We don't need no stinking signatures!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,178
Location
Harmaston, TX
I want to know how it works at speeds in the 60-80pmh range in terms of how well you can hear it and how well the voice control work, especially if you wear ear plugs while using it (like the cheap foam 30 db ear plug you buy in the mega packs).
My road trip got postponed so will be a week or more before I get to test out real world conditions and intercom. Probably Gary will have received his before then and have a ride review posted.

_
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
2,860
Location
McKinney, Texas
I have not used mine as an intercom yet, but I paired it with my phone and have used it on my gold wing up to 110mph and was able to hear the music just fine. I did have to space the speakers out to get them closer to my ears otherwise it wasn't loud enough with the foam earplugs. I alway use ear plugs when I ride and as stated at 110mph with ear plugs I could hear the music fine once I spaced them out (small foam spacers velcroed between the speakers and the inside of the helmet. The only thing I don't like, is when you turn the units off, you push and hold the power switch for 3 seconds and the unit beeps, if you let go of the power button after the first beep, it erases all pairings, you MUST keep pushing the power button until a second double beep sounds and then the units turn off without losing the pairing. It's a small thing but I have managed to erase the pairing 3 or 4 times in the first week. They seem to work well on short rides up to 60mph with ear plugs, but I haven't been any faster when riding with my wife on her motorbike (dirt bike) but we hope to go on a couple of road rides in the next few weeks and will see how well they work above 60mph.
 

RTL

Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
579
Location
Keithville, LA
I have two helmets, an open face and full face. With the full face the intercom feature works quite well up to over 70 mph communicating with my son also using a full face helmet. The microphone mount is not well designed for full face helmets but you can make it work. The microphone mounting works very well with the open face helmet but as speed increases wind noise intrudes on intercom function. If I slow down to 50-60 or so the intercom is usable riding behind a windshield.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
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Location
Elgin
I just bought one. Not so much for the com, but for the music. Riding with ear phones tends to make mine ears hurt after a while. Maybe this will be better. Wished they had replaceable batteries. That way you could change them out once they die.
 

TX_northstar

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May 9, 2008
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Denton County, TX
Thanks for sharing... looking for an inexpensive option for riding 2-up with my daughter. Has anyone paired/communicated with other brands yet?
 
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Joined
Sep 4, 2009
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Arlington
I just bought one. Not so much for the com, but for the music. Riding with ear phones tends to make mine ears hurt after a while. Maybe this will be better. Wished they had replaceable batteries. That way you could change them out once they die.
I'll be curious to hear about sound quality. I have a set of noise blocking buds that sound wonderful as long as they are properly placed. The problem, of course, is getting the buds in, then getting the helmet on, then closing the visor, and keeping that proper placement.

Please let me know how they sound, after you've had a few rides with them.
 
Joined
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Elgin
I'll be curious to hear about sound quality. I have a set of noise blocking buds that sound wonderful as long as they are properly placed. The problem, of course, is getting the buds in, then getting the helmet on, then closing the visor, and keeping that proper placement.

Please let me know how they sound, after you've had a few rides with them.
Hey Tim,
I usually wear the same type buds. I just went to Houston from Elgin and back with regular foam ear plugs and this system. It's ok. I mean for the money spent it's great, but the MP3 volume is low. But really any higher and you wouldn't be able to hear a car horn.

Placement in the helmet is key. These speakers are thicker than I thought and pushed on my ears and after an hour and a half I could feel them. I moved them a little and were fine.

But like the ear buds, after 4 hrs of riding with the foam in my ears, I was ready to take those out too.

For the price I'd give them an 8 out of 10. Made two calls, one out and one to me. I'd say calling is about a 6. But to be fair, it was really windy today.

I got it so I could drop the ear buds. But in the end my ears feel the same regardless.:giveup:
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
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McKinney, Texas
I have to say I am really pleased with this system. My wife and I went for a 4 hour ride with speeds between 70 & 90 and we had no problems at all to communicate between the 2 bikes. They are really easy to use, have sufficient volume and the batteries have lasted 5 hours without going flat. For $30 each you cannot fault them, I just bought 2 more, they really are excellent.
 

RTL

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Jan 26, 2007
Messages
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Location
Keithville, LA
For $30 each you cannot fault them, I just bought 2 more, they really are excellent.
Kinda begs the question, why are the others so pricey? While they may be somewhat better or have more bells and whistles they are certainly not 6 times the price better!
 
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DSV, thanks for that info. I'll definitely keep these in mind if I choose to go this direction.

RTL, who knows how prices are set? If the speakers in the $120 units have substantially better quality than these - i.e. more volume, robust bass, full and balanced sound when listening to music - that certainly makes a difference. If the Bluetooth is substantially better - i.e. links easily every time, doesn't frequently break up like those $12 Bluetooth converters for your car - then the more expensive version is worth it to somebody who places a high value on those things.

If the difference is not discernible, or only slightly discernible, then you have a good point, and it comes down to marketing. Or if you're one of those people who don't notice the difference between a jambox and a Klipsch speaker, why pay the big bucks? That's why we have so many options. God bless America.
 
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Kinda begs the question, why are the others so pricey? While they may be somewhat better or have more bells and whistles they are certainly not 6 times the price better!
Similar to how I can go to the local parts store and buy something for $5-$10 + 8% sales tax or order it online for 99 cents total shipped to my door from China. Then take that exact envelope from China and mail it 5 miles across town and cheapest shipping method alone costs you $3.50.

_
 

TWTim

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Kinda begs the question, why are the others so pricey? While they may be somewhat better or have more bells and whistles they are certainly not 6 times the price better!
I definitely agree that Senas are overpriced. But to be fair, if you look at the total number of advantages a Sena 20 has when compared to these knockoffs, there really is no comparison. The range is far better, the sound quality is topnotch, and the Sena supports tons of intercom connections at once, instead of just one at a time like the copycat.
 

JMZ

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Nov 15, 2005
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Gonzales , TX
Silverbullet and I will test out the cheapo and the sena 20`s at the end of April . I gave 375.00 for a new pair and Im very happy with them so far .
 
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I definitely agree that Senas are overpriced. But to be fair, if you look at the total number of advantages a Sena 20 has when compared to these knockoffs, there really is no comparison. The range is far better, the sound quality is topnotch, and the Sena supports tons of intercom connections at once, instead of just one at a time like the copycat.
These cheap $30 units claim that you can sync upto 4 units together which is the same as my sena 10's!! I agree the Sena's are probably better quality so we we will use those on our road bikes, but for our dirt bikes where range and quality doesn't matter, we are loving these cheap units, and almost anyone can afford $30 if they want to get a unit and ride with us and speak with us on DS rides!! As mentioned, I have no idea how well these cheap units play with other intercoms, my wife and I will always be using the same units (sena for road & the cheap units for DS & Dirt).

Gary
 

TWTim

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These cheap $30 units claim that you can sync upto 4 units together which is the same as my sena 10's!!
The one originally linked will supposedly do three, but as I understand it, you can only talk to one person at a time. The Sena 30K will reportedly do up to 16 simultaneous connections at once. Otherwise, yes, I totally understand where you're coming from on some of your other points.

;)
 

JMZ

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Gonzales , TX
Just tried to link my sena 20 with bwdmax`s cheapo and it didnt work. BUT, we didnt have much time to try and figure it out and it might have been something really simple preventing us from linking up.
 
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Just tried to link my sena 20 with bwdmax`s cheapo and it didnt work. BUT, we didnt have much time to try and figure it out and it might have been something really simple preventing us from linking up.
Went back to Gearbest's site and read their customer asked questions. Only 5 or 6 down the list found this:
By Marsh Miranda Mar-01/2017 09:03:58
Question:
Can this connect to scala or sena?
Reply::
Hi Marsh,

Sorry, it can not connect to scala or sena.



Looks like I don't have to turn my BT off when riding with JMZ after all. Lol

In all honesty it would have been a nice feature to control at my option. But I really bought mine for emergency and business critical phone use only. Time will tell if using this unit will sell me on upgrading later.

For the group rides you'll need to break up into subgroups if you want to communicate. "Skinny and Fats", as in your wallets after purchasing the BT unit.

_
 
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Harmaston, TX
New record battery life test. Did a 10 hour ride listening to fm radio and music on my phone the whole time. No intercomm use as I was riding alone.
I got 9 hrs and 50 minutes of continuous mixed use today (no standby in that time). Phone, text, FM and mp3.

_
 
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Apr 22, 2011
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McKinney, Texas
My wife and I went on a DS ride at the weekend with 7 other riders and after 7 hours and 30 minutes of continuous use it started to beep low battery and turned off, so I will assume a limit of 7 hours use for future rides. This is the best gear intercom, not the Sena.

Gary
 

RTL

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Jan 26, 2007
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Keithville, LA
Thrasherg were y'all using the intercom feature for the 7.5 hours? Maybe the intercom uses more power than the radio or music streaming?
 
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Thrasherg were y'all using the intercom feature for the 7.5 hours? Maybe the intercom uses more power than the radio or music streaming?
We were ONLY using the intercom function for the full 7.5 hours, we turned them on at 7:30am in Intercom mode and never touched them until they turned off shortly after 3:00pm. We where talking almost all the time we were riding, to point out things to look at or discuss issues other riders were having.

Gary
 

RTL

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Messages
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Keithville, LA
That's still not bad battery life. Only drawback is the charge port is the speaker/mic port so we can't charge and continue to use at the same time. Oh well for $30 what can one expect?
 

Tourmeister

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:tab As a comparison, my daughter and I did a trip last fall and used a pair of Sena 20S. They were on and connected from 8:30am to about 6:30pm every day. We talked a LOT every day during the rides. She would also listen to music from her iPhone. We never had any low battery issues other than the very first day because I forgot to charge mine before leaving home. They can be used/charged at the same time if you have a suitable outlet on your bike, but we never needed it. At the end of each day, I would grab both and plug them in before we went to get dinner. They were usually fully charged by the time we went to bed 3-4 hours later.

:tab On local rides, it has been the same. So long as I remember to charge them the night before, the battery has always lasted the entire day no matter how much we have used them.

:tab Since we wear ear plugs, we usually operate them at full volume all the time. Not sure how much that might affect battery life on any of these kinds of units.
 
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