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Old 10-23-2008, 08:51 AM   #4
HowlingMad
drags knuckles
 
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Cranberry Country, MA
Oddometer: 1,347
Quote:
Originally Posted by akadvntr
Looking forward to the review of your Blueant gear when you get time.
I will cross post this in the current BlueAnt equipment forum as well.

Blue Ant Interphone

Pros:
  • Works well, clear communication for us up to about 55 mph (largely dependent on wind noise, helmet type, etc)
  • Easy setup - in less than 20 min total, (install, read manual, connect) you can be up and running with little other adjustments
  • Ease of Use - Hardware stays on helmet, no other cables, nothing to attach to the motorcycle
  • Ideal solution for rental bikes. We've used this abroad and it's ideal if you're already bringing your own helmet. The charger even works at 110 or 220 volts.
  • Good ergonomics - the buttons are well placed and easy to feel with a glove on.
  • Warranty Claims - Both headsets will be covered under warranty, although it seems to take just over a month for the replacement to arrive.
Cons:
  • Cables - I'm on my second headset already in less than one year. Although I do a fair amount of riding, this is less than what I think we should expect from a product.
  • Line of Sight - a limitation of Bluetooth more than the product, but these devices have a good range as long as you have line of sight with others. Off road situations usually don't offer this and that's when I feel I need the device the most to confirm my wife is still upright.
  • Battery Life - We typically get about 5-6 hours of battery life, but we've learned to work around it by turning on and off. A PTT switch would make this much easier to cope with, although it would make it more complex and probably more difficult with Bluetooth.
  • No on-board charging. Although they sell a car charger, you cannot be using the device while it's charging, something that seems poorly thought out.
  • Poor Customer service - While on this two month trip, the second headset failed and the headquarters in San Francisco was unable to help me other than direct me to a reseller. (fine) They pointed me to several retailers, none of whom carried the Interphone. I called back again later hoping to get someone else who would understand and assist, but received the same process. They only seem to know who carries BlueAnt devices, but not a specific device. Given the bulk of their products appear do not appear to be moto related, this results in a wild goose chase. Long story short, after a 2-3 hours of phone calls, there is only one supplier in the US for aftermarket products. They could have saved me this time with a tad more training.
  • Lack of US/Global suppliers - There appears to be only one US supplier for the headset booms in NYC, and they are currently out of stock on this product with no ETA for a replacement. I've tried calling them (MobileCityOnline.com) twice and waited on hold for 7-10 minutes before being dumped into voicemail. After speaking again with BlueAnt, they confirmed that I have no other options except this one vendor to deal with.
Overall
Good product for short trips (two weeks or less) and ideal for vacations with rented bikes, but lack of suppliers, company support and powered options removes this as a viable option for extended travel or anywhere you are truly dependent on the hardware. I will pruchase an Autocom for future trips and leave these on the shelf for hired bikes. I am disapointed with the company more than the hardware, something that could be fixed.
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HowlingMad screwed with this post 10-23-2008 at 09:05 AM
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