Not every motorcycle enthusiasts out there are sold on the idea that they should use wireless technology when it comes to headphones. If you are still considering what motorcycle wireless headphones can do for you, this is the best place to learn more about it.
Have you remembered the old days of the 2-up motorcycle touring? This was the time when the 2-wheel audio system was still the trend wherein hollering, and hand signals were the norm for the intercom. How about with GPS guidance, radar detectors, music or for communications? This was unthinkable before. But then when the 55mph speed limit came, where various creative individuals began introducing the small 23-channel CB radio for their Vetter Windjammers, utilized hand-held microphones and even listened to the tiny integral speaker for some radio tunes. As time passed by, they got even more creative.
They started adapting earbuds for their CB and even worn them within the helmet to improve the audio quality while they were driving at higher speeds, especially under the windiest conditions. But that was the limit of their creativity at that time. Bike-to-bike and intercom communications still used hollering and hand signals. But that was still acceptable to them at that time, as long as their long distance driving was solo, not without a buddy or riding passenger.
The other biker folks possessed more electrical skills, knowledge and the determination. They sometimes rode with passengers in groups; they began developing for methods that integrate small microphones and speakers into the helmets in the same way that Aviator helmets were made. And in the same way that they were integrated into it, the electronics on the helmets were connected with the audio devices using wires. Even though there are helmet headsets available as described like the Aviator headsets do, the way they are connected have gotten more complex, varied and useful. The basic concept of the microphone and speakers have remained unchanged – wherein they are integrated into the helmet and then connected to the audio devices of the bike by wire. This has only changed recently with an introduction of a specific technology.
Those who have grown up among the biker community and have been using audio-equipped bikes while riding has gotten used with the wired headphones. For such a community, they are comfortable and familiar with how they are used and with it alone and how they are used with it for many years; it can cause them to reject the new technology. Aside from this reason, wired headphones are very simple for them – all they need is just plug it in the front or the rear audio plugs. There is no need for them to think about linking the transmitters. It doesn’t matter which OEM device that is operated by the audio controls of the bike like the CB, stereo or intercom can ever be heard or even get operated by both the passenger and the rider.
Although it requires the integration of special products, the aftermarket products like radar detectors and cell phones may need to be wired onto the audio system for it to function, but only when the bike itself was originally equipped with such devices. Some companies have manufactured motorcycle headphones in different quality, and price levels, not to mention their repair parts were easily accessible.
When Bluetooth® was introduced into the world; people have witnessed the number of companies that have developed wireless headphones that are integrated into motorcycle helmets. Its early attempts were obviously primitive, wherein the systems could only pair up with one device at a time. There wasn’t any intercom feature except the wired connection to the helmet of the passenger. Other systems integrated with the Bluetooth® technology were developed for communication with rider-to-passenger or bike-to-bike connection without any ability in connecting with other devices. But this is assuming that one can even find other devices equipped with Bluetooth® technology. The compatibility of the systems was required, too.
Today, a lot of GPS units and many other mobile technologies are either enabled with Bluetooth®, or it can be done by plugging some “dongle” in the 3.5mm headphone output jack of the device and the headphones themselves can be paired with each other together with other devices at the same time. Unlike with the wired headphones, the repair parts of the Bluetooth® devices are not easy to come by. This means that they are not usually sold separately and the repair services for it are not available all the time. The main convenience of having a Bluetooth® powered technology is that you don’t need to worry about the connection wires or cables swinging around while driving your bike. But when your device suffers electronic failure right on the road, then you will have to accept the situation and wait for someone to repair it for you. The worse that can happen is when the unit runs out of warranty; it is highly likely that you will need to buy a new one.
So should you purchase one?
Should you choose a wired headphone or a wireless one? If you ask experts, the conclusion that they’ve got after asking several bikers in the community, the answer entirely depends on your needs.
The wired headphones do not have an internal power source, while the units with Bluetooth® technology comes with rechargeable batteries that have a pretty much useful life that lasts between 10 and 15 hours in between charges.
As with audio quality, there is a distinct difference between Bluetooth® and Wired. The Bluetooth technology itself has a difference from one model to another and even comparing between brands. You will often find specific brands that have excellent voice reproduction, while others are excellent in music and voice quality. The newest Bluetooth 4.1 technology promises better connection and audio quality, which is found in the best motorcycle wireless headphones brand in the market.
In the end, whatever is comfortable for the user is what they should decide it on.