Interphone F 4 Intercom Review

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by owrstrich, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    Sorry to be anal about this, but I'm not familiar with VOX.

    So if I'm listening to my music and my passenger is listening to her music, how do I know when she wants to speak to me? Can she just push her intercom button and it overrides my music? If I'm reading the above correctly, I would hear some sort of acoustic sound, then press my MFB to go to intercom mode and speak to my passenger?

    Thanks in advance for the detailed replies - this may be a better solution than the Scala after all. I particularly like that it is fully waterproof.
    #41
  2. bmwhd

    bmwhd God Bless Texas

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    Never mind, VOX apparently only works for phone calls.

    For intercom sessions, the way it works is that once you have paired your two F4 units (rider/passenger), either of you can initiate an intercom session by pressing the MFB and holding it for 3 seconds. So in your scenario she would press and hold her MFB for 3 seconds, you'll both hear a beep, your music will pause and then you will hear her talking and you can talk back (full duplex). Unlike an incoming phone call, I don't believe there is a way for you to 'reject' an intercom session initiated by her.
    #42
  3. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    This has been the biggest negative about the F4 that I read when I read the manual. My wife and I currently have the Scala Q2's and although we tend to "manually connect" if we are going to be talking for a while, its nice to have the option to open a conversation via Vox just to say something. My biggest concern with the F4 is the fact that you have to actually hold the MFB button down for 3 seconds to establish a conversation. I would have been more eager to over look the no Vox on the F4 if it was just a quick button tap on the MFB like it is on the Scala's, but I think having to hold it down for 3 seconds really shows they put the bike to bike communication behind the phone priority. IIRC, if you don't hold the MFB button down long enough, it tries to establish a voice call on your cell. I just think that would be super annoying if you screwed up when you really wanted to quickly relay something to your riding partner and instead of opening a conversation, you get the voice dial on your phone! :baldy

    I guess I'd have to try it real world to see, but I think the potential is definitely there to be a super annoying quirk.
    #43
  4. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    Thank you for the explanation, and agree the details are important in these cases.

    Lots to think about ...
    #44
  5. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    One last question - if I have the GPS connected to Phone, and Iphone (for music) connected to Music, and the Interom synched to another F4,

    Will the GPS interrupt the music to give me directions?

    i realize the manual that was posyed says the two cannot work at the same time - but that is not the same as telling me that the GPS will interrupt the music. On another thread someone posted that the GPS will not interrupt the music in this configuration.

    Can anyone clarify?

    Again - this is with the music not synched through the GPS, but synched through the F4.
    #45
  6. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

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    the intercom is not vox... its full duplex...

    rode another 12 hours yesterday with the f4s in full duplex intercom mode the whole time except for about an hour at lunch... the batteries were still alive with no signs of going dead... the intercom is still loud and clear...

    about the intercom... here is real world... you turn on the f4s and they pair automatically since they have been paired before... note... they are now paired in stand by...

    we press the button to start the intercom mode... now its full duplex intercom... at least until i press the button to stop the intercom and go back to stand by...

    when we start the intercom mode we leave it there all day except at lunch... i talk... she talks... no delay... no voice activation... its always on...

    at lunch... to preserve battery life... we press the button to start stand by mode...

    we could easily tun them off but... why... they dont suck no juice in standby...

    after lunch we start the intercom again for the rest of the day...

    there you go... you dont have to f with the intercom button but once or twice a day...

    as for the other questions... we are just using the intercom right now... sorry... cant answer your other questions...

    j o
    #46
  7. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Thanks for the review. It sounds like they have an awesome battery life which is great. That's definitely very important when on a long trip to have the batteries last all day long.

    I don't think my wife and I could stay "manually connected in intercom" on the Q2's all day and not kill the batteries. The days we cut it close on our trips with the batteries going dead, we had spent multiple hours on intercom and talking quite a bit.

    As far as only manually entering intercom only twice a day, that might work for some people, but that's not really how my wife and I use our intercom devices in the real world. For one, when you are on the intercom, you can't listen to music through the device and we both enjoy our music. When we are on a long multi-day trip, we tend to connect on the intercom's as we enter towns to check in on the other person, see if we need to stop, etc, but once back in the open road, the intercom's go off and we go to our individual music. We may pipe off and say something now and then if its something that quickly needs the other person's attention and that's where I think biggest issue with actually holding the button down will come into play. The Q2's allow you to activate the intercom via VOX and while connecting through this mode, they'll only stay connected for 30 seconds after the last person stops talking. So I can pipe up and say something, she answers and then if we both go silent for 30 seconds, the intercom turns off and we go back to our music and neither one of us had to actually touch the units and its fairly quick and painless. The good thing about no VOX on the F4's is we wouldn't have to explain to the other person when you accidentally sneeze and the intercom turns on! (Sorry honey, I sneezed) :rofl

    We do stay manually connected for hours at a time if we enter like a National park or somewhere where we want to talk a lot and that is nice having that full duplex and one of the biggest reasons I love these BT connecting type devices. That's just something you can't get with an FRS/CB type device. Like I said, I definitely glad to see the F4 can last all day doing this as that has been a weak point on the Q2's.

    It looks like its a give and take trade and just one of those things to look at. I think if Interphone had just reversed the button role button things this would be a non issue for me. I think they should have made the intercom come on with only a quick tap of the button and then holding down the button longer to initiate a phone call instead of the opposite way it is now. I would have no problem holding down the button for a few seconds to make a phone call since I really don't do that nearly as often as initiating an intercom call.
    #47
  8. beachamb21

    beachamb21 n00b

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    I got my F4 and like it a lot. They have em at MrHit.com for $179.99 and the Dual Package is $349.99. Just wanted to share the good deal.
    #48
  9. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

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    we goots about 14 thousand miles on the interphone f 4 units so far... still waterproof... still good sound with no lack of volume up to 95 mph...

    we have come to expect dawn to dusk battery life... the batteries are shutting down after 14 hours of continuous full duplex intercom...

    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

    j o
    #49
  10. Avocet

    Avocet Been here awhile

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    I'm interested in getting a pair of the Interphone F4 intercoms. I'll need to install them in Shoei Multitech helmets. The cheek pads of these helmets are removable, so it should be easy to install the speakers, but how have those of you who have installed F4s in Multitech helmets run the wire for the second speaker from one side of the helmet to the other? Were you able to position the jack that is in the wire that runs from one speaker to the other in such a way that you can't feel it when you wear the helmet?
    Thanks.
    #50
  11. Chel_in_IL

    Chel_in_IL Been here awhile

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    I just installed this unit in my new Multitec helmet today. You can tuck the wire under the trim at the bottom of the helmet, then hide the rest of the wiring behind the cheek pads.

    The only part I grimaced at initially was sliding the mounting plate into the helmet liner. You have to pull the styrofoam away from the shell and then slide the mounting plate down in the crevice. Sounds worse than it is.

    I think I need to adjust the placement of the helmet speakers in the ear cavities. The sound is fine when not using earplugs, but with earplugs it is too quiet to be audible while riding. My old J&M system sounded fine, but the helmet speakers were constructed differently and seemed to fill the ear cavities of my old helmet (Nolan N102) differently. Reviews I have read online (here and elsewhere) indicate the sound was fine with earplugs.

    Michelle
    #51
  12. RichardU

    RichardU Let's Ride

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    It is fine with earplugs, if the speakers are in the right place. I had to cut out a bit of styrofoam so I could move the speakers to the right place.
    #52
  13. Chel_in_IL

    Chel_in_IL Been here awhile

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    Shhh, don't say that too loud. I got a good price used on this unit from my brother, as he said he couldn't hear it well enough on his Multitec. ;)

    I know I can make them sound better, just will take some fiddlin'.
    #53
  14. Valentino Magoo

    Valentino Magoo Like a speeding slug

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    I wrote the "bugman" review on Amazon that DirtMerchant referred to back on March 13 in this thread. I wrote a full review on another site when I first bought my F4's back in 2009: http://majestyusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6252
    The initial review that started this thread was right on (and more entertaining to read than mine).

    To clear up the iPhone problem (it has NOT been resolved):

    If you are listening to music on your iPhone 3G and a phone call comes in, the music is paused, you complete your phone call, and your music resumes. All good.

    However, IF you are listening to music and an INTERCOM call comes in from your riding buddy, your music is not paused and, worst of all, the music does not return to you (only way to get it back is to take out the iPhone, close the iPod app (by opening Safari or something), then reopening the iPod app). Obviously, that means stopping the bike. This sucks.

    If you have an iPhone 3GS you can get around stopping because you can voice-command the iPhone to open another app and then reopen music.

    The lack of AVRCP standard application on the iPhone prevents you using the "FF and REW" buttons on the F4 with either iPhone 3G or 3Gs. This is a minor annoyance. I often use Pandora (via the internet) when riding, and it does stink to listen to a song you don't like, but I can get over it.

    The InterPhone "official fix" us to make you buy a BlueAnt iLink adapter is stupid, as it plugs into the bottom of your iPhone (eliminates charging possibility while riding), and creates a SECOND bluetooth transmitter for the iPhone (one built in, and one from the iLink). While it works (music stays playing and resumes after you receive an intercom call), your iPhone will run out of battery REALLY fast because it is running a 2nd hardware bluetooth transmitter.

    The InterPhone folks could create an easy fix (the system needs to send the same "STOP" signal that it does when a phone call comes in), but they did not do that yet (I've begged 'em for it). The bad thing for current F4 users is that he F4 does not have an upgradable firmware like many of their other products.

    Don't get me wrong, I still love the units. They work as advertised other than this major glitch for iPhone 3G users. I just make sure I am the one to initiate all the intercom calls (I stop my music first), as my riding buddy has an iPhone 3Gs, and he can voice-command his way back to music.
    #54
  15. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv € Fl Keys Fishing Guide €

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    So far so good with mine. Although the music on my Ipod is not stopped when my (nokia) phone rings and I miss calls..:baldy
    I use a Sony BT dongle for the Ipod, so I'll fiddle with it some more but the sound quality is really good. Most folks don't know I am on a bike when they call....(yeah, yeah, I know but I pull over peeps :deal )
    #55
  16. Megs

    Megs Trying to stay upright

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    Hi there guys, I'm sure there are some smart people out there to help me with a problem I have with the above mentioned devices. Are they bloody compatible and if so how do I sync them. Cheers Megs
    #56
  17. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

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    had a failure yesterday...

    while out riding yesterday i lost the sound to my right ear... and my left ear sound went form really good to really tinny...

    i thought it was the right ear jack connector or the right ear wire... but a process of elimination has led me to the usb plug and wire that plugs into the interphone... i could wiggle the wire and it would go from left ear tinny and no right ear sound to right ear tinny with no left ear sound... then nothing... now i have no sound to either speaker... i swapped out interphones from helmet to helmet and both are working... its gotta be the usb plug and wire...

    [​IMG]

    we shall see how interphone handles this...

    more later...

    j o


    update... called the blueants service line... worked my way up form the 1st contact to the boss man... the 1st contact was reading the script... had to have warranty rma + the old unit back + and the whole shebang... the boss man simply fedexed a new boom mic kit to our next hotel no questions asked...

    it was there upon arrival... swapped it out... all is well... they didnt want the old parts back... went on faith... yeeeeeehaaaaaa...

    1 unit is still is going dead after 13 hours of continuous intercom activation... gonna start deactivating the intercom at lunch is guess...

    j o
    #57
  18. RichardU

    RichardU Let's Ride

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    I've found it's quite easy to carry a 12v usb power source, plug it into the bike and charge units during lunch.

    Thanks for the update.
    #58
  19. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

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    Got them on sale today: $149.99!
    Free USPS shipping...

    Ordered me one.

    Plan to use with Android phone and ipod. No bluetooth gps yet...:lol3


    Lance
    #59
  20. foilingfool2

    foilingfool2 n00b

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    Forgive my confusion/ignorance, but I am somewhat new to bluetooth as a motorcycle communications solution. I currently ride a goldwing, and use the wired system that is built in. I ride 90% 2-up, and the wife and I leave the intercom on at all times (mic is always open / full duplex). I have a zumo665 and it is wired into the goldwing aux port, so I get gps directions/xm/mp3 from the Zumo. When the Zumo is playing XM radio, we hear it in our helmets, yet, since the intercom is also on/engaged, we can talk too, assuming we talk louder than the XM signal so we can actually hear each other.

    Now, on to the bluetooth systems. The F4 manual seems to indicate that the intercom cannot be used at the same time as a musical device? Sounds like the way we use our current wired system cannot be done on the wireless system? Again, I want a full duplex open mic for intercom at all times, and I will sometimes have the Zumo playing XM or MP3s at the same time.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    #60