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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Product Review: Scala Rider Q2 Bluetooth Headset

In a word -- awesome!

I purchased the Cardo Scala Rider Q2 Teamset (I know, I know -- the name's bigger than the device..) to allow D2 and I to communicate while riding around town. Sure beats the heck out of yelling at each other over the engine noise and traffic. Besides, we both wear full face helmets, so really, yelling is just silly.

Cardo Scala Rider Q2
The Scala Rider system is basically a pair of Bluetooth-enabled headsets, each with a boom microphone. The devices attach easily to the outside of most any type of helmet, and allow you to communicate. Simple.

However, the Scala Rider is just frikken awesome at doing this simple task. The 2 units that make up the system are designated Primary and Secondary.

In our usage, I use the Primary device. It's connected wirelessly to my Garmin Nuvo 660 GPS, and is usually plugged into my iPhone. D2's device is, of course, paired to mine, and she too has hers plugged into her own iPhone.

So, when we're riding around, I can be listening to my own tunes, and D2 can call me with the push of a button to chat. There is a sort of rock-paper-scissors thing going on with the priority of the channels.
Chat interrupts music. Incoming phone calls can also interrupt music. Instructions for the GPS seems to trump the phone, but not chat.

From my end, I can call D2 by simply speaking loudly to activate the chat mode.

Oh yeah, there's also an FM radio built in. It's REALLY tricky to tune in the 6 station presets -- so much so, that I have the same presets as when I left Toronto. So unless I ride into a area where they're broadcasting on 88.1 or 99.1, I don't hear much radio.

Battery life on the units are excellent. I left Toronto without my charger, but didn't realize it until I got to Chicago 3 days later. I arranged for it to be sent in a care package to Atlanta - but I wouldn't be getting there for at least a week. So I started actively avoiding using the headset very much. When I finally got to Atlanta after 2 weeks on the road, it STILL wasn't dead. But I still begged the clerk at WOW International motorcycle shop (in Marietta, GA) to plug open of of the boxes they had for sale, and recharge my device.

All told I probably got over 40 hours of use before recharging.

These product reviews are for items I am actually carrying and using on this trip. Together we'll discover how good they really are out in the real world. Please feel free to post comments or ask questions below.

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