Cardo, JBL team up to build comm unit upgrade

Cardo and speaker manufacturer JBL have teamed up to build an upgrade kit for motorcycle comm units that should improve on the infamously crappy sound that comes from most in-helmet systems.

Over past years, we’ve tested several different helmet communicator systems from Cardo, Sena and Uclear. While they’ve all had their place, making in-town communications much easier and taking the edge off monotonous highway rides, they’ve universally had sucky bass sound, and tend to be too quiet to be heard well at brisk speeds on the highway. Every other aspect of comm system design has improved; they’re less intrusive, easier to configure, easier to connect, easier to control, but the sound is still crap.

Cardo is hoping to change that, with a new add-on kit built in conjunction with JBL. JBL already has a deal to build the speakers for some Cardo units, but that does nothing for people who bought a previous Cardo model.

So, Cardo is also bringing out a speaker kit (a pair of speakers, some sticky pads, some foam speaker covers) that’s designed to install into older Cardo units. It will also fit competing brands which have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The speakers are 45 mm in diameter, with a 42 mm base, and are supposed to fit into most modern motorcycle helmets. They’re supposed to offer more bass, and for certain compatible Cardo comm systems (Packtalk variants, Smartpack & SmartH), the owner can update their firmware and select one of three sound profiles (Standard, Bass Boost, and Vocal).

The sound is supposed to be better, but what about the volume? Errr, there’s nothing on the speaker pack website about that. However, when we get a chance, we’ll find out for ourselves, and report back to you on this one. We understand these sets are supposed to ship soon, at an introductory price of $89 USD.

2 thoughts on “Cardo, JBL team up to build comm unit upgrade”

  1. Nothing compares to the sound quality of earbuds. Just make sure to get slim ones that will not come out when you put your helmet on. Provides hearing protection too.

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