My next SHARK product! (Bluetooth Headset) - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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My next SHARK product! (Bluetooth Headset)

Hey all!

So, some of you know my wife has gotten sick of the way I ride or somethin' and has moved from the back of my bike to the front of a 2011 Honda. We have a wired intercom we used and kinda like being able to talk back and forth. Who needs hand signals or a jab in the side when you can just say "I'm gettin' kinda hungry what do you think about stopping?"

So we wanted to be able to do this bike to bike. Plan A was to get some handheld FRS radios and plug our helmet headset into them, along with PTT switches. But, we had some Amazon.com giftcards leftover from the wedding and noticed Shark makes a $100 stereo bluetooth headset PAIR that is SUPPOSED to work up to 1500 feet. It's not as long range as an FRS setup but it has the advantage of eliminating wires, and being constant both-direction communication (like a telephone), and no need for a push to talk switch. We ordered them, came in last week.

I expected cheap chinese knock off stuff. I mean, it kinda IS a chinese knock off (the instruction manual is hilarious. "Press this button for the is talking"). But I was genuinely impressed with these things. Most Bluetooth sets (as in two), run in the $400+ range.

Disclaimer: I do NOT have any experience with the more expensive units, only this "Shark Interphone", but I DO have experience with a Nady wired headset, a trusty beast we've been using for a year.

So for $100, you get two chargers (units charge with mini USB ports), two bluetooth units, a bag full of various mounts (all of which allow the unit itself to be quickly and easily released for charging) and two stereo headset/mic combinations (wired with a very short pigtail that hangs out of the side of the helmet to plug into the units). The headset and mounts are compatible with 3/4 or better helmets. Though, I'm not sure there are ANY bluetooth units that would work with a 1/2 helmet.

I am impressed. They play music through stereo and are pretty loud. First time using them I was riding up to meet my wife for lunch, bluetoothed to my phone just to try it out (I've got a stereo, but I figured I'd use that), and my wife called me. I was doing about 65, and for grins, went ahead and let it answer (you can either cancel a call, or it'll answer by itself). She had no idea I was on the bike, she said she could hear a little bit of wind noise but thought I was just sitting outside. I could hear her just fine. We were able to carry on a conversation while I was doing 65, not bad! Normally I wouldn't advocate a phone call on a motorcycle, but I was anxious to try it out.

Two up, it does great! We can hear each other clear up to 80 miles an hour. Now, at higher speeds we have to speak up, but it's actually LOUDER than our old Nady headset. The units are supposed to be completely waterproof (but, in this drought, I haven't tested it)

Have not yet field-tested the range. She isn't riding on the street yet (MSF this weekend!), so we haven't been able to try that out. I'll let ya all know when that happens if it works as we want it to, for bike to bike.

Here's a pic of what comes in the box (minus some of the mounts, this only shows the 'clamp' mounts that clamp to the outer shell of your helmet, not the stick-on or spring-clip ones that are also included):



Instructions are fairly useless but can be muddled through. But I was able to figure it out.

The BAD:

The mounts are kinda big, I could switch to the stick-on outside mount, but I like the security of the clamped on mount. The result though is it kind of gets in the way, putting your helmet on.

There is no way to play music through bluetooth AND communicate with the other unit.

The button configurations are kind of confusing and it's not terribly easy to use. It's unclear how to hang up phone calls, refuse them, not allow it to answer automatically (if possible), etc. Most of it is trial and error.

The chargers come with very short cords, and if I was to be picky, I would say that a low draw USB based charger could easily have two 'jacks' for the short included USB cables, there isn't a need to occupy two outlets to charge these things (but that's just nit-picking).

I'll comment on the range later. Their claim of being able to do 85 and still talk is holding true (behind a tall windshield, anyway, might be different for you shield-less folks), the once-and-done pairing system so far is true, have never had to re-pair the devices. If they are on, they are paired. BUT, I have my suspicions about ANYTHING based on BlueTooth technology with a 1,500 foot range.

-John

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quick update;

I was pleasantly surprised with the range. We've gone up to 1/4 of a mile apart and could still clearly communicate with one another, sounded like we could go further. Audio quality at speed doing bike to bike is great when you've got a windshield. Above 60 or so she has trouble hearing me without a windshield but I can hear her just fine. When she is on my bike with me we can hear each other clear up to 80+

Definitely comes recommended from me!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:10 PM
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Not wanting to hijack your thread but I've been looking for something for the girlfriend and I to use when we ride together. She rides with me and everything I've seen so far is outrageously priced. We both have half helmets. I'm not interested in something that connects with my phone. Just something that allows us to talk (with half helmets) while riding. I don't like throwing my money away so if anyone has any suggestions that would work for us I would appreciate it.

Sounds like you got a decent product for a good deal.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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You'll be hard pressed to find much of a selection for half helmets. The problem is, of course, there's nothing covering your ears but a thin strap! There is some stuff out there, but not much.

Two suggestions I've seen in the past (though, they both look goofy!)

1- mount the speakers 'inside out', though this will muffle some of the sound, take the Velcro, cut it down smaller, and Velcro the speakers to the outside of the straps (but still facing inward)

2- mount the speakers to your straps, and glue small pieces of foam to the speakers so that they aren't uncomfortable up against your ears (that's what most of the half helmet headsets are anyway)


With either of those solutions you could run that shark unit ($100) on a half helmet.

Are you completely against a 3/4 helmet? This time of year they are on sale everywhere and that'll open the door for more headset options. My good friend and his wife bought two 3/4 helmets for $50 each from a local dealer and a Scala Rider ($250/set) bluetooth setup. If you bought two $50 helmet and a $100 Bluetooth setup your still cheaper than any of the half helmet solutions I've seen.

Food for thought!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 05:33 PM
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Some years ago a good friend of mine and I found a setup at radio shack. It consisted of a battery powered part that clipped to your belt and had a cord that ran to the earpiece. The mic was inside the earpiece. It worked great. To talk you just pushed the button on the belt clip unit and speak. It did not have the boom mic that's available now. I have the full windshield on my nomad and there is very little wind noise.

I really like the half helmet so I would rather stick with that. I've searched online to see if there was anything like the units I used years ago. Never had a problem with it. Just like everything else these days, no one can leave well enough alone. Have to change and improve things constantly. Even if the old worked fine.

I just hope there is someone on this site that knows a good setup that works well with the half helmet. That way I'm not just throwing my money away on something that'll sit in the closet and collect dust.
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