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I have been interested in monitoring the upsurge in helmet intercom systems of late.

Where once the dedicated few would perchance be touring couples chatting merrily away on their coms whilst chugging along on their behemoths through the French Alps, times have certainly moved on. In fact, I recall my bother-in-law having a set attached to his Honda Gold Wing, whereby his wife would plug in her set somewhere on the rear of the bike. I always looked upon it as a distraction… a pillion nattering away. Now, I guess, you can drown out the wife or partner’s babbling by switching to music.

As you can guess, initially I was not a convert, seeing it as more important to concentrate on the road, possible hazards, and other road-user numpties rather than have the likes of Taylor Swift in yours ears. (Not that I would anyway, because I am probably the only person in the world who can’t stand her.)

Note the past tense of ‘was not a convert’. I t was not until I received a helmet from Sena with a dedicated coms unit that I started to get the point. The first time I wore it, I received a phone call from my daughter, and was, to be honest, shocked at the ease of use and the clarity of the system. Since then I have tried later versions of the units, and each time have been more impressed with the sound quality, particularly with the introduction of Harman Kardon.

Cardo

Having said that, the majority of bikers I know are happy to plug (excuse the pun) the benefits of Cardo systems. I haven’t tried one myself, so I am in no position to comment. However, I am happy to bring you news that there is a new one on the market. Hands-free and hassle-free, the new LS2 4X intercom uses voice control and Bluetooth® to make staying in touch on the road a breeze.

Co-developed with Cardo, and tailored specially for LS2 Helmets, it features sound by JBL, live intercom for up to four riders, Natural Voice Operation and more.

I gather this is a must-have for group rides and touring, as the 4X allows live chat with up to four fellow riders at a range of up to 1.2km. Auto-Reconnecting Bluetooth® means if someone separates from the group, they will automatically rejoin when they’re back in range, so there’s no stopping at the side of the road and fiddling with buttons to reconnect.

CardoQuick and easy to pair, the 4X will connect with a smartphone and GPS at the same time, so the user can make and receive calls, stream music and hear turn-by-turn directions simultaneously.

Truly hands-free, all this is done without ever having to press a button. Switching and selecting features, and controlling paired devices, can all be carried out with ‘Always On’ Natural Voice Operation; just say “Hey Cardo”, tell the 4X what you want, and it will do the rest.

Powerful 40mm high-definition speakers engineered by JBL mean that your favourite track, GPS instructions – and those from fellow riders – are all crystal-clear. They feature a specially-tuned music processor and three distinctive audio profiles.

For complete peace of mind, the 4X is, as you’d expect, fully weatherproof. The battery allows an impressive talk time of 13 hours, and it only takes two hours for a full recharge. Plus, if you need a quick top-up while on the road, just 20 minutes of charging provides two hours of talk time.

Software updates are also easy. They can either be done Over-the-Air in the Cardo Connect smartphone app, or via computer with the supplied USB type C cable.

The LS2 4X retails at £239.99 (including VAT) and is compatible with the Advant, Advant X, Advant X Carbon, Infinity II and Vector II helmets.

CardoInterestingly, and conveniently, selected LS2 helmet models are available with the 4X pre-installed, offering a significant cost saving as well as removing the need for fitting. As an example, the Advant X pre-fitted with the 4X retails at £429.99, a saving of over £100 compared to the price of purchasing the helmet and intercom separately (£299.99 + £239.99).

You can check out the pre-installed models and full specs of the LS2 INTERCOM 4X at ls2helmets.com

Gonzo

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