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Old 03-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
AndyUCLEAR OP
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UCLEAR HBC100 Boomless Helmet Communicator

Hey guys,

I would like to pop my head in here and introduce myself and my company.
My name is Andy and I work for BITwave USA. We are launching the UCLEAR HBC100 Bluetooth Helmet Communicator.

This is the industry's first Boomless microphone helmet communicator. This is a Bluetooth Helmet Communication system that cancels environment noise while picking up on your voice.

We are diligently working to build our brand and create some buzz around our HBC100 Helmet Communicator. We are a small company (but growing quickly) and we are going to rely on sites like the ADVrider forum for product feedback and reviews.

You can check out our website at:
www.uclear-digital.com

or find us on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/UClear/196177683740467

or on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/UClear-HBC100-...0830080&sr=8-1

If any one has any questions, feel free to contact my at ahusted@wwex.com

Thanks
AndyUCLEAR
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
idabeemerboy
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Cool!

Looks cool...where can I see prices?
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
AndyUCLEAR OP
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Check the Amazon page above, or you'll find us on Amazon if you search for "uclear." The retail is $199.95!
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #4
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More Info

I discovered your BT Intercom on the new products page at Revzilla.com. Good place to sell them if the product stands up to its claims. Anthony at Revzilla rated your system as 'adequate at hiway speeds'. Not outstanding, just 'adequate'. Adequate is a relative term when it comes to helmet noise vs speaker volume. Hearing 50% wind rush against 50% music or conversation is fatiguing at best, annoying and frustrating at worse.

I have earbuds that have dB limiters at 90dB, and on the hiway at 80mph they are overwhelmed by wind noise (Bell Star helmet). I ride a 2006 Honda Interceptor with a Givi touring windscreen, not a Honda Goldwing with 'boy in a bubble' sound capability. At 90dB music through my earbuds sounds more like an annoying swarm of mosquitos than it does music.

Now I like the idea of a boomless system as much as the next guy, but I also know that earbuds beat speakers anyday of the week when it comes to sound volume and quality. Your technology might cancel out extraneous noises internally, meaning they won't pick up or transmit noise other than the users voice, but the human ear does not do this, especially inside a motorcycle helmet which amplifies wind noise in the riders unplugged ears.

Speakers would have to practically be against the ears for optimal sound performance. That's just not the case when you have to adhere them away from the ears against the inner shell of a helmet. If someone tells me they can hear their music loud and clear while cruising on the hiway at 80-90mph from a set of speakers mounted against their helmet shell I know they're lying, or they're sitting inside a car!

Any system would have to be painful to the ear in order to overcome the air gap in the helmet. I know you tout auto volume leveling on this system as well, but then if it is using a safe decibel level for the human ear (90dB or less) it's also not going to be very loud at speeds on the hiway. I highly doubt I could hear my phone playing music through your system at your claimed 137-145mph, let alone 80-90mph.

I know all about white noise and blue noise cancellation technologies, but again how can you overcome the air gap noise generated (speaker to ear gap) inside the helmet? You use that technology in your microphone so that yes, they hear my voice and not the motorcycle, but the speakers DO NOT generate noise cancelling waveforms that would cancel wind noise reaching my ear! Not that that tech is not out there, it's just not available in miniature yet.... sort of. Bose and a few others make noise cancelling earbuds, and they sell for close to $200 all by themselves!

I've seen you start a conversation on another forum (Concours) for riders, and I have to agree with their assesment - If WebBikeWorld gives you a rave review, then I would be inclined to purchase your product. But I also know that BIT Tech puts out some cheap-o BT Intercoms made in China and sold on Ebay, so that really hurts your street cred, IMO.

The unit looks solid, the the tech is solid, but I think it would be suitable at city speeds at best. Music's not enjoyable to a true audiophile unless it's clean, clear, and unencumbered by extraneous noise sources. Bose is one example of headphone and earphone tech that accomplishes this, but in miniature in a comm system such as yours and all the others out there it is, again, not yet a reality. If it were your system would be about $500 or more, not $200, and you'd use earbuds, not speakers.

What are the speaker specs as far as input and output sensitivity, and min/max output volume in decibels? Keeping in mind that normal conversation levels are about 45dB, if it can't produce about 100+ decibels output then it's going to be battling ambient helmet noise trying to reach my ears at an acceptable playback volume on the hiway.

I'm not shelling out $200 to find out I am right, only to find out I can't return them once mounted on a helmet with either the sticky or velcro options.

What say you in response to these arguments?

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Old 03-24-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
AndyUCLEAR OP
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wabbit45

Thank you for the very insightful and thought out comment. I appreciate your interest in our Helmet Communicator.

A couple of things, first BITwave is a high tech R&D company that does a lot of contract work for large organizations. UCLEAR is BITwave's consumer brand and the HBC100 Helmet Communicator is the first product to hit the consumer market.

You can buy the HBC100 on eBay new, however I would like to know where you found these "cheap-o BT Intercoms made in China" on eBay. You might have us confused with someone else.

Second, this is brand new technology and there's really nothing like it on the market. BITwave holds a number of patents on this audio communication technology. BITwave's audio technology was developed for the military to use in extreme noise environments on the battlefield.

The HBC100 uses Adaptive Beam Forming and Directional Microphone Array Technology which forms a virtual cone around the user's mouth and picks up on the user's voice. While the Adaptive noise suppression feature suppresses environment noise using multiple DSP based algorithms.
This technology eliminates the need for a boom-mic.
With that said, you can install the HBC100 on just about any helmet, 1/2 face, modular, or flip face helmets.

I suggest that you read the technology page at
http://www.uclear-digital.com/technology.html.

The technical volume specs on our products are voice 97.7 dBs and music 97 dBs. Louder speaker have potential to harm the user's hearing. The speakers are Hi-Fi Stereo 20-20.000 Hz and with AVRCP and A2DP Bluetooth profiles, you get CD quality sound.

Your right, these don't cancel noise the noise that you hear. The noise that you experience when your riding depends on personal conditions, ie your helmet, your bike, highway noise, ect. I also understand a lot of people wear ear plugs, I know I have from time to time.

The speakers typically are installed in the speaker pockets in your helmet, similar to other helmet communicators.

I understand this is new technology and a new product so I understand your reservations. We are working to garner street cred and proper reviews. :)

Keep the questions rolling
ahusted@wwex.com

Thanks
Andy

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:57 PM   #6
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Have not looked at your links but you asked for questions.... Can this tech be used with a with a vhf radio instead of a regular mike? Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Well, I'm sorry to say that I've taken my units back to Maxxim Honda in Allen, TX - great group of guys to work with.

I have to say, that I probably have not given this a fair shake. But, there were additional issues not previously mentioned... I wear hearing aids. I only mention that because these units when that close to my ears caused my aids to squeal which in turn was fed to my wife through the intercom. The fact that she could hear it and it would bother her ( I don't like it when I squeal either... and hear it) was one big factor in my returning the units.
Other than that, here's a summary of my experience,

I believe that I must've had one defective module since when trying out one unit when connected to my iPhone4 and making a call to my wife (while just in the house), she said she couldn't understand me. I tried adjusting the speaker/mic a little and calling again... not much difference. Then, I tried swapping out the module and it was an instant improvement... except for the fact that she said it did sound like I had my head in a bowl (expected - I use a SYMax II modular) it was very clear and plenty loud. It was at this point that she was able to hear the squeal from my hearing aids. And with it being that close to the mics, that pretty much sealed the fate for the UClear with us.

And so, I returned it. But, I decided to leave this "good" unit on my helmet anyway while making an hour drive so I could try it out at highway speed. I tried making several phone calls by using voice control, it failed to recognize the caller I was trying to reach each time. One time I connected to the wrong caller and they answered... I tried to explain that I had mistakenly called them... they could not hear me well at all, gave up, and hung up. But, I have to say, I could hear them fine even at highway speed.

I want to make one more comment, each time I tried to make a call through voice command, I could hear very clearly my iPhone's response to the person it recognized that I was calling... SO, with that being said, I have to say that audio streaming is probably very good quality.

I wish I could offer more feedback on this unit for you guys. Because, no doubt it's a fair amount of money to put down for something that's new. I will also say this, the Maxxim Honda dealer that I returned my unit to, said that I was the first return and to date, they had sold more than 25 units in the last 30 days or so.

Wabbit45:
As for what AndyUClear said in the private email, it was just some helpful suggestions to try out in order to improve the performance. He was helpful and willing to go the extra mile to get me fixed up, even providing me with contact info. I understand you skepticism. But, until you actually try the unit out yourself, you ought to lighten up a bit.

Andy
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:43 AM   #8
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afrazier

I am not trying to be mean. I'm simply stating a fact when I say you are not an ideal tester. Number one, you wear hearing aides. Number two, you wear hearing aides. Number three, well I think you know.

Of course it made your hearing aides squeal! The mic is right there next to your ears. They may be short throw uni-directional mics, but you're never going to be able to put on a set with mmics next to your ears! You need a boom setup, or you need to lower the sensitivity on your hearing aides so they don't feedback with your mics. That is, if you can adjust them. If not then you're only option is the boom setup. From all reviews I think the Sena is best, and they do offer earbuds instead of speakers.

Lastly, I don't consider the reply of a person's name back to you from your phone as a good judge of sound quality. When I say 'Call John' on my phone and it replies, or when I have the GPS on, the instructions are always louder than actual voice conversation on the phone. Put a set of earbuds on and try that at home and then liisten to the difference in the call quality versus the phone's automated responses.

In general, your review is for worthless. Be real. I'll lighten up when I hear someone give a decent review. That just ain't gonna happen though.

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Old 05-17-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
AndyUCLEAR OP
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http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...clear-hbc-100/
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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wabbit45,
Great comments and very to the point with nothing to dispute fact-wise. I totally agree with you about the earbuds. Have been through a zillion ways of trying to get speakers to work in helmets to no avail above city speeds. Many of us have expensive (more than $100, not those crappy ipod things) earbuds and are used to decent sound. I want a communication/intercom set that will let me plug them in and (when they break or I want a higher performing set) will allow me to exchange without cutting wires or buying a new radio set. I'll never buy any communication device again that doesn't allow me to use my own earbuds.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:39 AM   #11
wabbit45
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AndyUCLEAR - That review at WBB thusfar simply states they like the clarity of the system at a stand still with various levels of road noise. They did not, as yet, road test it as they have all their other units. They also go on to say that sound is 'on par' with other high end units they tested (Sena, Scala, Interphone). I will say they seem to give you the edge whe it comes to 'vocal' clarity, but again this was not during road testing at various speeds. They also say in other reviews that your range is the lowest since you do not incorporate an external antenna. SO, I am still not convinced - especially at $200 apiece.

kuri77 - The only choice for earbuds currently is the Sena model.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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This product sounds like exactly what I want, if it can live up to expectations.

I appreciate the comments from wabbit45, healthy skepticism is a good thing... BT headsets have been hyped for quite a while, and I've never been impressed with real world results.

I too will be watching this thread.

Any comments on this from the webbikeworld review:

Quote:
And nobody I have called, either when I was stopped, moving or going forward at high rates of speed, have been able to discern what I was doing at the time. All they got was crisp clear audio, even when my Schuberth C3 visor was fully open.
It sounds to me like the reviewer tested on bike at speed and had excellent results.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:26 PM   #13
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No sir, I dont wear ear plugs. I occasionally wear ear buds, but I dont really like that either. I like to hear whats going on around me and things in my ears bug me. So being able to hear navigation, music, xm radio, etc, in comfort (as in nothing in my ears) AND being able to hear stuff around me is right up my alley.

Again, everything is very clear and understandable, but bass response is obviously lacking in music. Crisp highs and nice mids make for a very clear phone listening experience, and that is my primary goal.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:04 AM   #14
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Anybody tried one with ear plugs??

edit: found a review on triumph675.net, guy noted a lot of problems. Buttons to small to work properly with gloves, volume just barely adequate, music drops out (loss of pairing perhaps). Sounds to me like it's not quite ready for prime time...

what I'd like is one that's just for music.. no mic... don't really need that and it's kinda a pain on flip up helmets.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #15
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I needs more than phone calls

Heres my situation. I commute to work daily and would like to receive calls on my Palm Pre cell phone, I understand it has blue tooth, but have never used it. BTW I have 0 experience with Blue Tooth. I aint gonna call anybody while riding, so outgoing calls are irrelevant. Also, I assume that a pillion would be able to communicate with the rider via the bike to bike feature as long as they have their own unit right?

Occasionally, I ride with touring riders who use CBs to communicate. I use a cobra hand held model with a simple wired headset and push to talk. Its clunky to set up and easy pull loose a wire or disable it in some other way. It works, but it's annoying.

I ride dual sport frequently with a different helmet, and there is less commonality with the DS riders, often we use UHF hand helds, but also the inexpensive GMRS/FRS radios available.

Ive avoided Blue tooth because it only deals with one issue, the phone. I rarely ride with a passenger. If I can get a solution for the phone and CB, Im willing to look at a different set up for the DS helmet. If I can get a solution for the dual sport as well, well that would be very welcome icing on the cake. How much of a solution can you offer? Thanks cr
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