A lot of us have road bikes as well as dirt bikes. By reviewing the latest technology in best bluetooth helmets, and featuring a range of road bike products, we will attract a whole new audience. Some of those riders will have an interest in dirt bikes, and may join our community too.
Joking aside, there is a lot of cross pollination in the racing world. You will find many Moto Gp, World Superbike and American Superbike riders training on, and enjoying Motocross bikes. You will also find many Motocross, Enduro and Extreme MX riders enjoying a track day on their favourite road bike. So in the interests of diversity, here is our top 5 Best Bluetooth helmets for road motorcycles.
One of the reasons that this article is important, is that I want to understand who our readers are. With this information I can best develop the site to benefit you the reader. It has become apparent through my recent research on Bluetooth products, that the Off road world is lagging when it comes to this technology. Products are definitely biased towards road and adventure bikes. Is that because we don’t want the technology? Maybe it is because the key manufacturers have not spotted the need?
With this article, you can not only compare some good products, but you can help shape the future of off-road riding. Read on and find out which Top 5 Best Bluetooth Helmets are available for road or track use in 2020.
Top 5 Best Bluetooth Helmets for your Road Bike 2020
1. Nexx – SX100
Nexx have been making helmets for about 18 years. They are one of the last remaining European factories in existence. All of their products are designed and manufactured in Portugal. They are extremely proud of this fact and rightly so. Helmets are a competitive market place. Many manufacturers outsource to eastern factories, and retail their products for a fraction of the cost. Nexx sits in that vulnerable space in-between the industry giants and the cheap and cheerful.
Nexx helmets are not cheap. They are very reasonably priced. They are cheerful though. A glance around the company website reveals a bold and colourful range of products. This is a courageous move from Nexx. Most riders have a favourite brand. Shoei, Arai, Bell, HJC and the like, all have a fiercely loyal following. The lower end of the market are happy to buy a helmet purely on price. For Nexx to stick to European manufacturing, supporting their local economy and keeping everything under one roof is no easy task.
What makes Nexx bluetooth helmets stand out?
Design is one of the key focus areas for Nexx. Their range is contemporary, and their designs stand up against the more established Japanese, US and Italian factories.
In addition to the designs, Nexx have spent a lot of money developing their own technologies to rival the big competition. This investment has paid off, with many reviewers and industry experts citing them as a premium manufacturer.
Nexx use premium materials and have also aligned themselves with the right partners to complete the picture. Pinlock ™ and Sena both appear as contributors to the Nexx range. It is Sena who we are particularly interested in for this comparison, as they provide the Bluetooth System for the SX100.
The first thing to note here is that the SX100 is an entry level helmet for the brand. If you are new to Nexx, this is the baby of the family. Nexx helmets get far more technical and exotic in both materials and design, the further you go up the range. Take some time to look at their other products too!
The SX100 is a thermoplastic shell, DOT rated, and comes in a range of 6 designs. At 1550 grammes in a small, it is not the lightest helmet available, but it is in line with its competition.
Venting is simple but effective. There is a chin vent and another in the centre of the head on top. These are easily operate with a gloved hand. Both vents feed one exhaust port on the back of the head which is permanently open. The system is basic, but it works. You will find a steady stream of cool air coming in, and warm air is pushed out.
As mentioned, the SX100 is Pinlock ™ ready. You will need to purchase the Pinlock ™ separately. The visor is scratch proof and optically correct. Nexx have done well to keep the quality up here. Many manufacturers will scrimp here and ruin a helmet. The SX100 does come with an internal sun visor, which, like them or loathe them, offers an easy solution to changing light conditions. Again, Nexx show their worth by making sure this visor filters out 99% of harmful UV light and that it is also optically correct. Well done Nexx. Finally, Nexx have a good visor clip in system. It is easy to operate and so changing visors is quick and easy.
Another area where Nexx have spent some time, is around the neck. There is a substantial neck curtain which really keeps out the wind and the noise at speed. The helmet is comfortable to wear for extended periods and will appeal to both leisure and track day riders.
Finally, the SX100 is factory prepared to accept the Nexx X-Com system which has been developed with Sena.
SX100 with X-com; Bluetooth features:
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 900M range
- Multi channel volume control so you can balance one source against another
- Multi rider conferencing
- Music Sharing
- Audio Booster
- Voice Commands
- A simple two button control
- FM radio
The Sena Unit is reliable and highly specced. It will add around $160 to the price of any Nexx Helmet. With the SX100 you get a great all round package, including Bluetooth for under $400.00. If you want a higher spec helmet, check out the rest of the Nexx range.
2. Sena – Momentum (with 20s capability)
Sena are a Korean company, primarily tech focussed and primarily known for their hugely popular range of Bluetooth communication devices. It makes sense that at some point a company who make Bluetooth communication, would diversify into helmets. The question is, are their helmets able to compete against the more established brands? Let’s start with the helmet itself.
What makes Sena Bluetooth helmets stand out?
The Momentum came out a few years ago, and is a fibreglass composite shell, DOT rated and a very simplistic minimal design. The weight of the helmet is actually on a par with the Nexx, BEFORE you fit the Sena to it. At just under 1500 grammes, it is very light for what you are getting. Another thing to note here, is that the Sena Helmet is fully waterproof, rather than just water resistant like its stand alone units.
Sena Momentum Review
The Sena has a very specific fit. Because they have incorporated the Bluetooth speakers and Bluetooth headphones into the lining, there is not the customary adjustable cheek pads you would find on a regular helmet. That said, what you do get is an extremely secure fit, with a tight neck roll and firm hold. You can remove liners to allow washing, but the structure of the cheek pads stays intact. Safety is enhanced with a multi density EPS liner to soak up impact and reduce the risk of concussion.
The Visor system is Pinlock ™ ready, UV and scratch resistant and comes with Sena’s own quick release and locking system. It is worth mentioning here that Sena have designed their best bluetooth helmets from the ground up, rather than badging someone else’s design.
The Momentum can be controlled via a smartphone App which makes programming and personalising a lot easier. The battery life is impressive and can be upgraded with an optional oversize battery, which is not that much heavier, and will extend battery life to 27 hours!
The momentum light is a comfortable helmet to wear. The tight fit design keeps outside noise down to a minimum and enhances the Bluetooth experience. As a helmet is does the job well and you are hard pressed to improve on the Bluetooth/Helmet integration that the Momentum offers. Purists may prefer to add Bluetooth to their favourite helmet, but expect to pay $250+ more if you go that root.
Venting is OK. If there is any area which betrays the DNA of the helmet, it is probably the venting. It is not complex. It does work though, and that is what counts. If you are a demanding rider, who wants absolute perfection in every part of the helmet, you may decide that the integrated offering is not the best route for you.
Sena Momentum Bluetooth features:
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Bespoke fitted speakers and mic
- Noise control
- Audio Multi-tasking
- 8 way rider intercom
- Voice command
- Remote Control Capability
- Smart Phone App
- FM Radio
All in all, the Sena Momentum is a leap forward in integrated Bluetooth or SMART helmet design. The Momentum comes in various combinations should you want less rider connectivity, or increased features such as built in camera.
If you want to find out more about the Bluetooth System on this helmet you can read our review of the Sena 20s Bluetooth system here
3. Icon–Airflite including the Optional Sena based Comms
Hailing from Oregon, USA, Icon have been building their distinctive helmets for around 12 years. As another relative newcomer, they hit the market place with bold and uncompromising designs. Their pitch is very similar to Nexx. Designed by riders, for riders the Icon range is out to impress. You will either love them or hate them.
There is no doubt that the Icon range is different. The Airflite featured here, would not look out of place in an Alien movie. So, how do these futuristic, droid like lids shape up?
What makes Icon Bluetooth Helmets Stand Out?
Although the Icon Airflite may look like it is not taking things too seriously, the helmets are in fact incredibly well designed. As well as having all of the safety features and options you would expect from any leading brand, Icon have developed their own technologies to ensure you will not be compromising in any way. Every part of an Icon helmet has been thought out. There is a quality feel that you expect from a leading manufacturer. Between Nexx and Icon, there are evidently two new kids on the block. Both are turning heads for all of the right reasons.
Icon Airflite Review:
Lets deal with the looks. Straight out of the box, the Airflite is going to grab you. The unique full face shield will either make you purr with delight or scream with horror. Either way, it is going to get a reaction. I like it. I like it a lot! The way in which the Shield (Visor if you are from the UK), drops over the chin section, creates a super futuristic vibe which is like nothing else on the market. The shield comes in a whole host of funky colours should you wish to enhance that alien look. The Airflite is based around the more race focussed models in the Icon range. However, it is useable as an everyday lid.
The Airflite has really good venting, and is light and airy to wear in that sense. Twin top-vents and the well highlighted chin vent feed the exhausts. Cool air is plentiful and the clever design quickly exhausts hot and moist air through the passive rear ducts. The chin vent offers three positions; Closed, onto the inner of the shield (visor) or into the face. No problems here. The Airflite is not a light helmet though. 1700Gms is quite a chunky lid by anyone’s standards, and is quite a weight for a polycarbonate shell. If you want to ride extended distances, or have a neck issue, bear this in mind.
The Airflite has a neat inner sun visor, which locates into place easily. Both the Sun visor and shield are optically correct and UV protective. Liners are made from Icons own Hydra Dry material which wicks and are totally washable. Multi absorption EPS and DOT/ECE rating keep things tidy in the safety department.
Icon RAU Bluetooth Communicator Specification:
The RAU is another Sena derivative and so quality is assured. The Bluetooth specs are as follows:
- Bluetooth™ v4.1
- intercom up to 1.2 Kilometres.
- Four-way Intercom,
- Group intercom
- Audio Overlay
- Music Sharing
- Voice Prompts
- Advanced Noise Control™
- Supports Charging on road trips
- Water resistant
- Built-in FM radio
- Smartphone App
- Optional Sena remote control support
All in all the Icon Airflite is a mean looking beast. It offers good all round features and with the specially developed RAU unit, will give maximum Bluetooth capability. It may be the weight that swings your decision in the end, although if you have a wide fitting in the head, then you may struggle also. Try on before you buy, or look for a free shipping deal to make doubly sure. Whatever you decide, this is one of the coolest looking road helmets that I have seen in a while.
4. Shoei–Neotec 2 – PLUS the Optional Sena SRL Bluetooth
Shoei is a company famous for its uncompromising standards. Their helmets are amongst the lightest on the market and the brand sits at the premium end of the Helmet market. One of the big Japanese manufacturers, they have a huge and very loyal following. You can feel the quality with a Shoei helmet, straight out of the box.
What makes a Shoei helmet stand out?
The construction of a Shoei is based on their exclusive Multi-Ply Matrix AIM+ Shell construction. Combine this with the proprietary, Shoei Motion Energy Distribution System [M.E.D.S.], and their helmets are understandably some of the safest models available. Shoei’s proprietary AIM+ is a technology which combines fibreglass with organic fibres. This composite produces a helmet so hard, it can only be cut with a laser.
Every Shoei helmet is designed to absorb and distribute the force of an impact in a safe and efficient way. They are also very comfortable with the Shoei 3D Max-Dry system working with the air flow to pull sweat away from the head and face 2X faster than conventional nylon.
With any Shoei model you can opt for a 7-year guarantee, which I think says it all.
Shoei Neotech 2 Review:
The Neotec 2 is a modular helmet. This means that the full face front will flip open to create an open face helmet. This is a popular design amongst touring and road riders alike. The Neotec 2 comes with the Sena 20s Evo as a factory fitted option and so qualifies as one of the top 5 offerings in our integrated Best Bluetooth helmets for road bikes.
The original Neotec was a winner. The Neotec 2 sharpened the overall design and refreshed the looks, bringing a more stylish and aerodynamic product. With the option of having the Sena fitted at the factory, you end up with one of the best touring, road combinations money can buy… Which at a shade under $1000 is a a good job. However, quality is assured and if high end is your thing, then you will struggle to beat this package.
Whether you are touring, commuting or leisure riding, the Neotec is a contender. Be aware though, the Shoei comes in at 1800 Grammes. Neck workout anyone?
Venting, mechanisms and safety features are simply the best you will find. At this kind of money, nothing is left to chance. Pinlock ™ is not only fitted as a standard, but of course, you get the pinlock ™ screen too. The closure mechanism is super swish, and with the interior lining ad neck curtain having been completely re-shaped the Neotec is far quieter and more wind resistant than its predecessor.
Sena / Shoei Combination unit features:
Again we are essentially looking at the 20S, so your Bluetooth is also top end. Rather than repeat the specifications on the page, why not click here and read up in detail on the 20S (link to our original Bluetooth communicators article)
Possibly the Rolls Royce combination of products, and maybe beyond the budget of most casual riders, the Neotec/Sena represents the high end of the Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets.
5. Shuberth– R2 – PLUS the Optional Sena Bluetooth
Schuberth have been building their best bluetooth helmets in Germany for around 70 years. They are renowned for building quiet and comfortable helmets at the premium end of the market. They have teamed up with Sena (again) to bring you the R2 Road Helmet with full Bluetooth Capability. More on this later.
What Makes Shuberth Helmets Stand Out?
Comfort, quiet and build quality are the order of the day here. Hand built, and with clinical attention to detail throughout the process, if you are investing your money at this end you are unlikely to be disappointed.
With decades of competitive research and development across multiple disciplines, each helmet carries the DNA from some of the most competitive and demanding motor sports.
The Shoei carries its quality in the weight. The Schuberth demonstrates the how design and planning can deliver a fully loaded lid for a little over 1300 Grammes! It is SUPER light for a product that is not only one among the safest, but has the Bluetooth fitted at the factory.
As you would expect, Schuberth have developed all of the safety and comfort features to the highest possible standard. You will get UV and Pinlock ™ Shield, with anti scratch, outstanding venting, Multiple layer EPS and a high tech shell composition. All of this is finished off with extremely comfortable and fully washable interior wicking fabric, and of course the Bluetooth itself. Remember though, this helmet does all of this at a ridiculously light weight!
Schuberth Bluetooth Functionality:
Whilst the Schuberth R2 has the Sena 20S Bluetooth System speakers built in, the actual guts of the unit are the 10U. This means that it has slightly different functionality to the Shoei helmet. The R2 comes with SC1 from SENA,
- HD Voice
- Audio source priority function
- Advanced Noise Control™
- 4-way intercom,
- 14 hours talk time,
- audio multitasking,
- music sharing,
- FM radio.
- The R2 Carbon represents the top end of full face road helmets, with integrated Bluetooth.
So that is our first venture into Road helmets and technology. Ia m sure many of you will have a road bike. If you arrived here as a road bike rider and you haven’t thought about Dirt bike riding, why not have a look around the site and whet your appetite, maybe even check our review about the best dirt bike helmets in 2020!
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Look out for another article soon. A share and a like is always appreciated. Whatever you are riding, have fun!