Over the past two years, I have had a number of long journeys on the bike. Â Most riders take comfort in the solace of taking a 2-wheeled journey. Â You are uncontactable. Â In the moment. Â Focussed on the task at hand. Â Selfish (it’s my life.. I want to keep it) and in control. Â I love it. Â But as the trips get longer, Â access to good technology becomes more and more important. Â I started with Tom Tom for my iPhone, and then spent months looking for a good iPhone Motorbike mount. Â Having solved that I was simply using in-ear headphones under my helmet. Â Useful, but arkward.
As some of the trips have been work related, pulling in every hour or so to check voicemail and mail was becoming more and more of a nuisance. Â So I began to do my homework on an in-helmet bluetooth system. Â This week, anÂ Interfone F4 was purchased. Â It is a bluetooth in-helmet communications tool.
There are two parts to the helmet construction. Â Fitting the earphones and mic snugly in the helmet. Â Then fitting a mount piece for the Interfone on the side of the helmet. Â This takes some time to do right. Â With my Shoei Helmet, it also requires small incisions in the padding to get the cable neatly out of the helmet to the mount. Â My brilliant local stockists, Belfast Honda, fitted it for me, free of charge. Â After that part is done, the rest is geeky, and quite straightforward.
First charge of the interfone kit is overnight. Â After that you get approx 5-7 hours of usage. Â Subsequent charges are only three hours. Â I paired with my iPhone4 and immediately get call control, voice control, voice answer and volume control through my helmet. Â As the iPhone4 supports A2DP by default I also get stereo music and sat nav commands as I go. Â To make this work on earlier iPhones, you need to buy the bluetooth adapter.
Not only that, but this device can pair with multiple bluetooth devices concurrently. Â It can also do exactly what I needed. Â Pair with two phones simultaneously. Â My work phone (Blackberry) and my UK work phone/iPod/Sat Nav (iPhone) are both connected.
The sound quality is good on the device, and I can make/take calls up to 60mph (100kph) easily. Â After that, helmet noise gets in the way a bit, although I do think my Arai is a tad noisy. Â There are some limitations on the dual-device support though. Â It seems that when my blackberry gets a call, it takes over the A2DP status from the iPhone, so I lose music and Sat Nav instructions until I disconnect the berry. Â I need more time to play to find a workaround and play with all the other functions. Â After my next long run, I will give a verdict.
Let me know if you want images of the device fitted.