Best Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset Of 2018

Imagine being on a date and having your hands tied behind your back. Not having a motorcycle Bluetooth headset while on a ride is just as frustrating and limiting.

Searching through reviews for the perfect headset can be daunting, though, and choosing where to start is never easy.

Fortunately, this article has everything you need in one place: features to look for, important considerations, winners in every category, and the ultimate choice in a headset.

Features To Look For in a Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset

In order to get started shopping, riders need to consider these options in headsets:

Does the Headset Cancel Competing Noise? Does It Have Great Audio Quality?

Noise competition is a biggie for many people, especially when their biggest reason for purchasing a motorcycle Bluetooth headset is to listen to music or communicate with their passenger or friends they ride with.

Riders don't want wind noise. They also don't want their music to be drowned out the faster they go. For those who make lots of phone calls, it may be important that the caller not be able to tell they are on a ride.

Buyers must look for a model that turns up the volume automatically as they speed up, like the Cardo Qz Scala Rider.

Sena makes the 20S-01 communication system that minimizes the background noise and while it is expensive, the audio quality is great.

Speaking of audio quality, something to consider when making a purchase decision is whether a rider wants their music to dim during intercom communications or just cut out altogether. For some it may be distracting to talk with background music, especially if the auto-dim isn't low enough to hear their partner well.

For others, having their music cut out every time a rider speaks would get annoying quickly.

How does the music sound? The Outdoor Tech OT0032 Chips have excellent quality speakers. The helmet must have pouches to hold the thin speakers, but the sound quality is unrivaled. Before purchasing a set of speakers (without intercom capabilities) consider the state laws surrounding headsets riders should make sure having an earbud or similar device isn't illegal in their state.

One other audio option that riders sometimes want is FM radio. Sometimes streaming just doesn't work in a dead zone, and sometimes riders want the option to have someone else choose the music.

Whatever the reason, many of these headsets (like the Sena 20S) come with FM radio capability.

These are all considerations when thinking about the noise competition and the audio quality in a motorcycle Bluetooth headset.

How Easy to Use Are the Controls?

Because motorcyclists' gloves are bulky and difficult to perform fine motor movements in, buyers must consider the controls on a motorcycle Bluetooth headset and how well they can manipulate them while wearing gloves.

Some headsets, like models made by Cardo, have small buttons that are hard to press with any accuracy during a ride. Riders must keep in mind these headsets attach to a helmet, and they can't look at the buttons but must do it by feel. However, Cardo headsets feature a voice-activated technology. It means riders can answer phone calls without even touching one of the said tiny buttons.

A headset like the Sena SMH10-11 has what they call a "Jog Dial," making it super easy to use while riding. This one has the added benefit of being more cost-effective than the 20S-01 4.1, while maintaining similar features.

The Outdoor Tech OT0032 Chips have a large button, easily controlled while wearing riding gloves.

The Lexin LX-R6 has very small buttons which are hard to distinguish while wearing gloves.

Ultimately, buyers may want to bring their gloves when feeling the controls of different headset models in the store.

How Is the Battery?

For riders who frequently make scenic drives and long trips, the battery life is an important feature of any motorcycle Bluetooth headset.

Riders planning long days on the road should consider a model like the Lexin LX-B2 MotoF?n, which comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 8 hours. It also holds a charge for up to five days in standby mode.

The Cardo Qz Scala Rider has a talk time of 10 hours and up to a week on standby. The Outdoor Tech OT0032, a set of speakers that also allow for handsfree calls (no intercom communication between riders) also has 10 hours of battery life.

Coming in at 15 hours, the Lexin 2x B4FM boasts an impressive battery life.

The Sena 10S-01 can charge while in use, making it ideal for long trips.

Is the Headset Long Range?

Ratings for distance are in excellent conditions, something to keep in mind when shopping. If a rider has a clear straight ahead to the next rider, the range will be longer than around a curve or other vehicles.

Another great pro of the Sena 20S is that it can reach up to 1.5 miles. This means a rider ahead can signal the riders behind of upcoming dangers or obstacles. Additionally, if riders get separated, they are able to find each other easily.

What Kind of Group Is the Headset For?

Riding a motorcycle is great exercise, but for some, it's no fun doing it alone.

Riders who like big groups and want to be connected to everyone will need a different headset than partner riders. Headsets like the Bluefire 3.0 Communication System can multi-pair with up to 3 riders.

If there are only a few on the trip, this would be perfect. However, if a rider likes to communicate with a group, they might try the Lexin LX-R6, which pairs up to six riders at a time.

And for even larger group rides, the Bibene M1-S BlueRider supports up to 8 riders. Riders can get everyone together for a ride and never worry about losing contact with this model!

Other Important Considerations

Of course there are more features than the main ones above. For instance, riders may ride in the rain a lot, or desire a specific design for their headset. Riders can also consider these options:

Is the Device Waterproof?

Riders may be concerned with water damaging their Bluetooth headsets. Nearly all the headsets on the market today are waterproof, or at least water resistant. They also maintain their audio quality in heavy rain.

While some riders choose to reach up and remove their Bluetooth headset in the rain (easy to detach and slip in a pocket), that isn't usually necessary.

Does It Blend In Well?

Some riders are concerned with how their Bluetooth devices look when they are attached to their helmets. Most headsets are not big and bulky, but the Sena SMH10R Low Profile headset is particularly sleek and fits flatter against the helmet than most.

Can It Record Conversations on GoPro (Helmet Cam)?

Using a helmet cam as extra insurance is par for the course these days, but does it integrate with a rider's motorcycle Bluetooth headset?

The Sena SMH10 does. It allows riders to pair with the Sena GoPro pack, and with the devices paired together, accommodates the recording voiceovers through Bluetooth while filming.

Does the Headset Pair with Other Brands?

The Sena 10S-01 connects with other non-Sena brands of motorcycle Bluetooth headsets.

Is It Difficult to Pair?

The Sena 20S uses a motion sensor to pair devices. Riders pair quickly by shaking their devices.

The Lexin LX-R6 and the Buyee GPS Interphone also boast of easy installation processes.

Sena brand headsets have accompanying Youtube videos to help with installation and pairing. Riders looking for easiest to use options can check them out for visual help with the whole process, or just the small details they have trouble with.

Is It Effective with a Chin Strap?

Chin straps are designed to keep the motorcycle helmet on the rider's head and must be used properly in order to avoid injury during a crash.

A rider must consider whether a motorcycle Bluetooth headset can be attached safely to a helmet, without getting in the way of the safety gear.

Most headsets can be attached without rendering the safety strap unusable or altering the fit. To be safe, riders should check before making their purchases.

How Is The Customer Service?

Cardo and Sena both rank high for customer service. If a rider happens to have an issue with their device, they are able to call in and get the assistance they need. Both go the extra mile for their customers.

8 Best Motorcycle Bluetooth Headsets to Consider

Overall, there are eight main categories of important features, and winners in each one.

Best Price

The Freedconn Tcom-SC headset is one of the cheapest options on the market. It has other features, like its water resistance, pairing with up to three riders, and clear audio up to 75 miles an hour, but the main attraction for this headset is its affordability. If a rider has a low budget, this would be a great choice for them.

Easiest to Use

The Sena SMH10-11 has a jog dial, which riders find very easy to use. Wearing gloves wouldn't make a difference while wearing this headset.

Battery Life

The Lexin 2x B4FM is leagues ahead of the other headsets when it comes to battery time. With a total time of up to 15 hours, for long trips, this headset is the way to go.

Longest Range

The Sena 20S can reach up to 1.5 miles in perfect conditions. A clear winner, this long-range headset is great for the open road.

Most Features

The Sena 20S has a slew of favorite features that are essential for any ride. The incredible battery life, excellent audio quality (speakers and microphone are fantastic), and universal intercom communication system (pair with any headset, even non-Sena brand ones) are the favorite features, but that's not all.

There is also an FM radio built into the headset, along with great voice commands so riders won't have to repeat themselves and won't be misunderstood. This model also has a very long range (see category above).

Best BlueTooth Technology

The Sena 20S-01 uses advanced 4.1 Bluetooth technology, and it was the first on the market to use audio multitasking. This means a rider can listen to music, talk on the intercom, and receive audio GPS directions, all at the same time.

An app doesn't have to pause audio in order to allow another to interrupt. This headset makes multitasking seamless.

Clearest Audio

The best motorcycle Bluetooth headset to use for music is the Outdoor Tech OT0032 Chips have the best sound because they are technically a set of speakers. If sound quality is the most important to a rider, and music is high priority, then this is the way to go.

Riders must keep in mind that a helmet needs pouches to hold the small speakers, but these can be used to make phone calls as well. This headset has no intercom capabilities between riders.

Large buttons make these easy to manipulate as well, no matter how thick the gloves a rider wears.

The Iasus Xsound 3 High Def probably has better audio and also requires ear pouches, but the volume has to be controlled on the original device, not on the earpiece. Safety is more of a priority in this instance, so the Outdoor Tech Chips win this category.

Most Rider Pairing

The Bibene M1-S BlueRider is a clear winner for the most rider pairings. With 8 possible communicators on the line, this headset is ideal for riders who take mostly group rides.

Best Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset of 2018

Without further ado, here is the best motorcycle Bluetooth headset of 2018: the Sena 20S-01. Coming in first in four of the eight categories above (Easiest to Use, Longest Range, Most Features, and Best Bluetooth Technology), it's not hard to guess this headset gives riders the best of every world.

This motorcycle Bluetooth headset model is not the most cost-effective option out there, but if the old adage "You get what you pay for" is true, spending a little more for a lot of extras is the peace of mind every rider needs.

Let us know what you think of the Sena 20S-01! What model headset do you have? Would you recommend it?

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