Sena! Cardo! Chatterbox! UCLEAR! There are a lot of different helmet-to-helmet communication sets out there, but up until recently, most of them weren’t compatible with each other.
On the micro level, this wasn’t such a big deal; if a rider/pillion couple wanted to buy headsets, chances are they’d buy the same one anyway. However, if you made new riding buddies, or wanted to communicate with other riders at rallies or group rides like the Ride for Dad, then you had to have communications systems from the same brand if you wanted to talk. Otherwise, you were stuck using the old CB systems found on big old touring bikes.
That’s not to say some communication systems wouldn’t work with other manufacturers, but it was far from the rule, and not something anybody seemed interested in providing to the market.
It seems this is about to change, though. Earlier this week, UCLEAR released a firmware update that allows users to pair their system with another brand’s communicator. Details are slim at this stage, and we don’t know how well it works, but it certainly changes the market.
UCLEAR isn’t the only manufacturer working on this, either; Sena also announced a similar plan last year, and if you can believe the chatter online, it seems Cardo might have been co-operating with them on it – but that’s just a rumour. In any case, Sena announced this firmware update for their units, that allows several of their models to communicate with other manufacturer’s headsets.
You can read more about Sena’s firmware update here.