Interphone F 4 Intercom Review

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

  1. jussaral

    jussaral Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    29
    It happens to me 3 times in a row ... got a complete replacement kit then they only change the speaker set... Hope it won't happen a fourth time ... :eek1
  2. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Singapore
    I bought 2 sets in September 2010. Mounted them on HJC helmets.
    iPhone 4 are paired with them. No GPS as we use the iPhone apps.
    My F4 is used daily, extensively, it's always on when I ride to/from work. On WE it's sometimes used 6-10h a day for longer rides. My pillion's F4 is mainly used over WEs.

    Let's get rid of the bad stuff first:

    After 4-5 months of daily extensive use, my right speaker started to fail. At first it was just a glitch, but it became more and more annoying. The only way to get the stereo sound back was by playing with the thick wire going from the F4 bluetooth piece to the speakers. At first fiddling with it would solve the problem, but as time passed, it became worse. The left speaker gave up on me as well.. I'd be lucky if I get mono sound.

    I pulled out the whole set from my helmet, and checked that all the wires were not torn or folded or anything. They were in perfect condition from the outside. I made sure when I installed to not fold or press on any wire and the wires were running along the helmet so the pads or the holding/carrying of the helmet wouldn't impact them.

    After a few days of getting frustrated, I contacted the seller who directed me to BlueAnt. They've responded fairly quickly and are now processing my RMA.

    My second set, used by y pillion, is working flawlessly.

    The other bit about the F4 that was a negative for me, was the issue with the intercom shutting down the iPhone's music when a communication was started while music was playing. But I understand that this was fixed with the latest iPhone firmware, I'll read back the pages here to learn more.


    The good stuff :


    - Excellent audio quality: It's so good I didn't know what to do when the F4 gave up on me, and I started reading about mainly the SenaMH10 which look like a good contender. I still feel after reading reviews that the F4 audio quality isn't matched by other similar products. I listen to music all the time when I ride and I've tried other intercoms and none has ever matched the F4. Sounds like I have my earplug headset on.. Absolutely perfect.

    - Mic quality: let's put it this way, when i ride and pick up a call, people can't tell I'm on the bike. They hear me loud and clear and the mic is very easy to position and use. The arm is flexible without being too loose, and the boom is just the right size to not bother you when you ride and don;t use it.

    - Mounting and unmounting: Easy as pie to fix, and very durable. Exactly as easy as you'd ideally want it to be. I use the adhesive mount, and I've been riding on the highway, through torrential rains and it's still as sturdy as ever. The speakers are very slim so it's a breeze to position them behind the helmet padding and you don;t feel them at all.

    - Battery life:
    this is just amazing. I use it with the iphone, and the intercom and it lasts me at least 8-9h. sometimes 10-11 if I don't use the intercom much. I don't even turning it off on ride breaks because I know the battery will last me until the day is over. The charging is easy and if you have two sets, you get two chargers that can charge a total of 4 sets. You can put one at work and one at home and never run out of battery ! When the battery is starting to reach its limit, you'll hear a series of beeps. With the iPhone, this usually means i still get to listen to 20-30min of music before the F4 shuts down. You can't charge the F4 on the bike with the accessories given, but maybe someone managed to tweak the charger to hook it up to a USB plug or to their bike's battery ?

    - Waterproof: We've been riding in heavy rain and the set didn't get damaged.

    That's my short review after 6 months of use. I know it can be very painful to decide on which set to get, for me what sold it about the F4 was the audio quality and the waterproofness. I hope the above can help others make their choice :)
  3. bmwhd

    bmwhd God Bless Texas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,476
    Location:
    Texas
    My experience matches the previous post almost exactly. So far my replacement unit is spot on.

    They original (and perhaps current) design does have a weak spot in the wiring but other than that, these things rock.

    Also - I too have given up my old Garmin 2620 in favor of my iPhone 4 with Navigon app. My iPhone is Jailbroken and I use a custom app called VoiceActivator that lets you define custom voice commands. I can do everything I need without touching (or even looking at) the iPhone via the F4. If you've used an iPhone's voice commands, you know how finicky it can be but it has no trouble understanding me even at speed.
  4. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Singapore
    I'm gonna have a look at voiceactivation through the iPhone, the original voice control function is a pain to get the damn thing to pull the right out of my address book. I say "Kate" and the phone dials "Ann" - go figure..)

    What do you mean by the design being a weakness to the wiring ? Did BlueAnt change the F4 design recently ?

    And for the replacement, they're not replacing my bluetooth piece, just the Boom Mic Kit ( = mic, wire to bluetooth piece, wire to speakers, speakers). Was that the case for you too ?
  5. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,943
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I have had the F4 for about 10 months and they are shipping me my second replacement headset....right ear then left cut out....its a serious design flaw the conection is way to weak.

    Besides that its a good unit.
  6. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Singapore
    Following up on the above post, I am still waiting for my replacement part to be shipped. After 10 days of waiting, I emailed BlueAnt again to see what was the hold up.. They told me they are out of stock and are waiting for replacement parts to arrive at their warehouse.. They predicted they would arrive last week but still no news from them.

    It's been now a month since I first wrote to their customer service department. I don't know if they shipped the unit nor if they received the spare part. I'm disappointed by the lack of communication and I now fear the replacement unit will fail as well, seeing the feedback on this thread from people who changed speakers 2,3 or 5 times :eek1

    Should I switch to the Sena ?
  7. bmwhd

    bmwhd God Bless Texas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,476
    Location:
    Texas
    Did you buy direct from BlueAnt? I went through an online retailer that was much more responsive on the service request.
  8. AKBMW

    AKBMW Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    714
    didnt read the whole post.. Can you rub earbuds with the F4?
  9. Valentino Magoo

    Valentino Magoo Like a speeding slug

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,374
    Location:
    Faytown, Arkansas
    Did you finally get a replacement? Their web site now shows "out of stock" for their boom-mic kits, which is the source of the shorting-out problem. I have had my 2 blueants since they first came out in the US (Nov 2009). The units are still very loud and the battery life on both of my units is spectactular (not only on long trips, but I go months between charges for my short daily commute to work).

    I have had FOUR replacements of the boom mic kits, and the short is always in the wire where it comes out of the unit. I have yet to rip one of the old ones apart, but I think I am about there. It is sad such a great product has a relatively simple-to-fix but horrible flaw.
  10. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously??

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,136
    Location:
    SF. Bay Area
    STAY AWAY FROM THE F4

    I've used it for a couple long trips and when it works, I'm convinced it's the BEST unit............but they go bad and it blows having to deal with sending it in! I'm on my second set in under two years and BlueAnt is great at fixing them, they send me new units without charge.......but they just keep breaking!! I've had two broken speakers and one bad boom mic.

    Anyone know of another good comm unit??
  11. greybeard146

    greybeard146 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    out there, 'neath a starry sky...
    Just returned from a trip where me and a buddy ran a set that lasted all of 24hrs (acutal on-road use, approx. 6hrs) before the one unit's microphone died...got that replaced by a dealer near where we happened to be who replaced the whole microphone unit...off we go, and lo and behold, another 6hrs on-road riding later - with only one speaker functioning in my headset, plug 'em in to recharge overnight, and next morning, the other main unit (mine) is totally kaput! :huh

    Whilst they were functioning, they were great! But...mabye they'll get obvious inherent weaknesses and malfunctions fixed for the future Interphone 5... I hope so, 'cause a potentially great product is being damaged by the current lot - and I am a firm believer in bike-to-bike comms; they saved our bacon on more than one occasion. DG
  12. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,826
    Location:
    KNZY
    I had the original BlueAnt Interphone device and it worked well with a Motorola Razr for a few years, so with a good experience under my belt I purchased a pair of the F4 devices for me and the miss, no problem with the install in a Shoei Hornet DS and RF12, my wife's unit works brilliantly with her iPhone4.
    I have an issue with my F4 paired to my old Motorola Droid X and also with my new Droid Bionic, the problem is that I cannot answer or make calls, when in phone mode the sound comes thru the phone and not my headset, the system plays music just fine though.
    If I could get this sorted out I'd be very happy with this product.
  13. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    196
    Location:
    CA OR WA ID NV
    interphone f4 update...

    if you have defective boom mic kits you may wanna post it up at blueants facebook page...

    its what finally gotts this guy some action on getting warranty boom mics...

    j o

    Grandiose Delusionary commented on his own post on BlueAnt Wireless's wall.

    [​IMG]Grandiose Delusionary
    greetings blueant... i purchased 3 blueant interphone f4 motorcycle intercoms... these are the best moto intercoms available... they work perfectly... however i have not been able to use them for 6 months because the boom mic speaker kits have failed... i even bought 2 extra boom mic speaker kits for other helmets... all have failed... no audio to the right speakers and diminished audio to the left speakers... which makes the system inoperable... i have case numbers... i call tech support... they say im a priority... but they cant tell me when my warranty replacements will arrive... i have $700 into this system and i ave not been able to use it since may.... will a blueant representative please help me get the warranty replacements i am due so i can once again use this fine system...

    <button class="like_link stat_elem as_link" title="Like this item" type="submit" name="like" data-ft="{&quot;type&quot;:22}">Like</button> · <label class="uiLinkButton comment_link" title="Leave a comment"></label> · <a href="http://www.facebook.com/BlueAntWireless/posts/283655535001276"><abbr title="Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 8:07am" data-date="Tue, 22 Nov 2011 08:07:06 -0800" class="timestamp livetimestamp">5 hours ago</abbr>


      • [​IMG]BlueAnt Wireless Hi there - I am sorry you had this issue. We have been working hard trying to get replacement parts for this product and we have just gotten word that they should be inhouse this week. If you respond with your case numbers I can make sure yours get sent out by the end of the week. Thanks - Jeanette - BlueAnt Custoemr Service Manager<abbr title="Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 1:29pm" data-utime="1320787772">November 8 at 1:29pm</abbr> · <button class="stat_elem as_link cmnt_like_link" type="submit" name="like_comment_id[4054613]" value="4054613" title="Like this comment">Like</button>
      • [​IMG]<label class="deleteAction stat_elem UIImageBlock_Ext uiCloseButton" for="ueo27v_2"></label>Grandiose Delusionary greetings jeanette... here you go... i am due 7 warranty boom mic kits total... the case numbers are: 00020996, 00021795, 00023673, 00048720, 00060543, 00060542 & 00060545... please advise... thank you...<abbr title="Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 6:25pm" data-utime="1320805514">November 8 at 6:25pm</abbr> · <button class="stat_elem as_link cmnt_like_link" type="submit" name="like_comment_id[4055586]" value="4055586" title="Like this comment">Like</button>
      • [​IMG]BlueAnt Wireless Thanks!! I will make sure these get processed as soon as we get them in this week..<abbr title="Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 8:30am" data-utime="1320856215">November 9 at 8:30am</abbr> · <button class="stat_elem as_link cmnt_like_link" type="submit" name="like_comment_id[4058152]" value="4058152" title="Like this comment">Like</button>
      • [​IMG]<label class="deleteAction stat_elem UIImageBlock_Ext uiCloseButton" for="ueo27v_4"></label>Grandiose Delusionary greetings jeanette... update please... did you get the boom mic kits shipped to me...<abbr title="Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 8:07am" data-utime="1321978026" class="timestamp livetimestamp">5 hours ago</abbr> · <button class="stat_elem as_link cmnt_like_link" type="submit" name="like_comment_id[4125590]" value="4125590" title="Like this comment">Like</button>
  14. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    196
    Location:
    CA OR WA ID NV
    they sent me 6 boom mic speaker kits so im back to having sound from both left and right speakers instead of just left...

    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

    j o
  15. chief_lee_visceral

    chief_lee_visceral Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    431
    Location:
    Seattle
    Okay I have been using F4 paired with just the iPhone iOS 5.01 for a months. Works great aside from the wiring problem everyone else has had.

    I just got a Zumo 665. I cannot pair the phone to the F4 while the Zumo is paired as well so that I can play music on the phone instead of from the Zumo? I can understand why this might be so but wondered if it is an option.
  16. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,826
    Location:
    KNZY
    I have my Interphone F4 paired with a new Motorola Droid Bionic, the problem I have is that when a phone call comes in I cannot answer the call with the headset, the call goes thru the phone and not the headset, I can stream music perfectly and the F4 phone works perfectly when connected to my wives iPhone 4.

    I cannot place a call either, it sends the call thru the phone.

    I use to have a Droid X and the F4 had the same issue with that phone as the Bionic, I beleive it may be something to do with Motorola BT protocol settings.

    I called Blue Ant tech support and no help there, they also told me thay had never heard of the problem.

    Anybody else have this problem and have a workaround or fix?
  17. chief_lee_visceral

    chief_lee_visceral Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    431
    Location:
    Seattle
    Now my right speaker is out and I cannot get it back this time. I have two mic and left speaker and swapping them does not cure the problem. I think I am out of warranty now so does anyone have any insight into fixing this?
  18. long4daroad

    long4daroad Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Pincher Creek, AB, CAN.
    I loved mine for about a year until it totally quit working after a couple long days in the rain.

    I can't get any after-sales support because I don't have the receipt.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows how to contact the manufacturer...

    Is it even appropriate to ask this here? If not, please correct me, I'm dumb about forum etiquette, but really hoping for some guidance.

    Cheers.
  19. bmwhd

    bmwhd God Bless Texas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,476
    Location:
    Texas
    It's made by BlueAnt
  20. bmwhd

    bmwhd God Bless Texas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,476
    Location:
    Texas
    My second F4 has now experienced the dreaded open in the boom syndrom just like my first one. Granted, this is a daily use device that has a lot of miles on it but it's still disappointing. At least I can order a replacement now directly that's not too $$.

    I may switch to a G9 simply because it can pair with the Schuberth units my friends use.