Cardo Packtalk Bold with JBL speakers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Drif10, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. dr. jones

    dr. jones Been here awhile Supporter

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    agreed 100%. i gave up speakers years ago. i had always worn earplugs anyway (good for the ears), so it just made sense to incorporate the the speaker there. the wires can be a hassle, but worth it (to me) as they are much clearer/louder. i can listen to spoken word, music, phone, whatever without missing anything. i never found a helmet speaker that could do that well, especially at highway speeds.
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  2. AustinRT

    AustinRT Been here awhile

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    Moosehog, I had the same problem with Freecom units. After talking with Cardo they suggested I play with the placement of the speakers in my helmet. That worked to get the sound to my ear better and solved the volume problem. Ultimately i had problems with the speaker touching my ear after days of all day riding. Just plain painful so i switched to earphones. That was better. Now i dont even use the units if solo. Try playing with speaker placement. Even a slight movement can make a big difference. Moving your helmet back and forth may give a clue to finding the sweet spot.
    #22
  3. NyNe

    NyNe n00b

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    Do you mean that you're using earbuds with a Cardo that has a 3.5mm jack? (just wanting to confirm). That sounds like a good idea if it's doable.

    I just ordered from Cardo's website and it the page did show that JBL audio should be included with 2019 models but the order process did not indicate anything about the JBL audio.
    #23
  4. dr. jones

    dr. jones Been here awhile Supporter

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    i currently have a Sena 20S which has a 3.5 jack incorporated in the mount - a nice feature. i've pre-ordered the Cardo Freecom 4+ (ships in March?) which will require me to plug my earbuds directly into the 3.5 speaker port (replacing the speakers), or via a splitter so that earbuds and speakers are both active - gonna feel that out when i get the unit.

    honestly, i wish the speakers on these units were good enough to replace the earbuds. i'll always were earplugs, regardless, but the wires on the earbuds can be a pain when you put on/off the helmet.
    #24
  5. SpartanDen

    SpartanDen n00b

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    I just received the packtalk bold last week and it does have the jbl speakers. but seeing as I wear half helmet, I plan to wear earbuds. I travel with an Ipod and use earbuds. I figure I will continue. The unit does work with them and seems fine. But won't know how actually works until get the bike out in the spring
    #25
  6. NyNe

    NyNe n00b

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    Awesome! Thanks for the replies! I think I'm going to get a headphone splitter and wire up the included speakers to be always plugged in but also have the option to plug in ear buds.

    Now I need to find a new helmet (my current helmet isn't quite right for my head shape and leads to fatigue). My wife had an icon and loves it, but I haven't found the right one yet.
    #26
  7. CharlesH

    CharlesH Support those who support you.

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    Are JBL speakers worth $33 more than the version without it?
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  8. NyNe

    NyNe n00b

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    I received mine (the Packtalk Slim + JBL) and this is my first helmet communicator I've ever owned so I don't have anything to compare to, but it does sound good so far. I haven't gone on my first ride with it, just worn it in the car to test. I have always been a fan of JBL as a brand and not because I gush over their name but because I've taken the time to compare their products (other products they make) to their competitors and JBL has always been a top performer, so I had faith that they would do a good job with the motorcycle communicator speakers.
    #28
  9. Traxx

    Traxx Been here awhile

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    Hopefully I will recieve the Packtalk Slim JBL today. I will be able to test it some tomorrow on the bike.
    #29
  10. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    If the JBL speakers are anything like the normal ones, they needed a few hours of “burn in” like most decent audio gear before they were able to perform at full volume. Considering that I wear NRR33 foamies and can still hear my punchier music inside of my XD4 & Defiant-X with no issues, I can’t imagine the JBL speakers would be any worse.

    Certainly wouldn’t be expecting miracles though - wear earbuds for the best sound quality for sure.
    #30
  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH Support those who support you.

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    Got my order in for Bold with JBL. Looking forward to all the things it offers!
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  12. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Good speakers do make a huge difference. My old G9X has had JBL speakers since I first bought it. They were pulled out of a pair of JBL headphones I found at Marshalls for under $20.

    A few minutes with a soldering iron and hot melt glue gun was all it took. I even kept the earphone padding since it fit inside my helmet pockets and helps with sound. There is no real magic to upgrading the speakers.

    But I am glad they are finally selling them with something besides their old throwaway crap since I am planning to upgrade to a Packtalk this year. At least I want have to roll my own again.

    IMG_20190303_200142647[1].jpg
    #32
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  13. Antikid

    Antikid Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm in need of a new set. My G4 has treated me well over the years, but is finally giving up. I have soldered the batteries back once,
    and it disconnects randomly. looking at the newest stuff and the freecom 4+ seems to be what I would need.

    Any reason to go bold or slim over the freecom when I rarely (over the past 5 years, maybe 3 times...) connect with others, except my passenger.

    revzilla has freecom 4+ for ~405$ shipped later this month, amazon is $443. Any other places with better pricing? I thought there used to be a vendor selling cardo here.
    #33
  14. thelastfoiter

    thelastfoiter I like the gear as much as the motorcycles...

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    I tried this with Bose Noise-cancelling earbuds, as well as regular iems. Is everyone on this forum deaf that recommends this???

    Seriously, I've tried it with Shoei Neotec, Neotec II, and Schuberth E1 and my ears were in PAIN from a long freeway stint without actual hearing protection. If you still have good ears, DO NOT USE EARBUDS you need proper hearing protection!!!
    #34
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  15. Travman

    Travman Been here awhile

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    I ordered a the Freecom 4+ because I also rarely connect to others on group rides and I liked the form factor better than the Bold.
    #35
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  16. dr. jones

    dr. jones Been here awhile Supporter

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    WHAT?

    haha, no seriously - i've always used the diy ear mold kits (like this) and embedded a decent set of earbuds. i find the audio quality from this type of setup much better than any helmet speaker setup. and as i'm gonna use ear protection anyway, i figure i may as well get the speakers in there too.
    #36
  17. thelastfoiter

    thelastfoiter I like the gear as much as the motorcycles...

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    I'm definitely open to trying it again, but those have pretty mediocre reviews - the idea makes sense though. It really works for you though? How is it off-road? I'd imagine they'd fall out more than speakers in your helmet with no wires...
    #37
  18. Antikid

    Antikid Been here awhile Supporter

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    I went ahead and ordered the freecom 4+.

    We use earplugs and even with the old shitty cardo speakers, you can still hear and enjoy music, and talk to each other. Without the earplugs, you can't hear anything.
    Hoping the JBL speakers are much better!
    #38
  19. dr. jones

    dr. jones Been here awhile Supporter

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    there are a few variations on this product - some better than others, they come and go on amazon. long ago we had a local guy that made custom plugs with a similar, though better quality, "gel". i've never been able to find that same material and he's no longer in business (i assume). regardless, i've used the product shown and it's decent, though there are some tricks to getting it right - how far to push into the ear when setting, and drilling a hole from the earbud to your canal, etc.. i'd recommend buying 2 sets in case the first try doesn't go so well.

    as for falling out, nope - never. the foam conforms to your ear canal and makes a good seal (if done properly). and, of course, if you wear a full-face or even 3/4 helmet, your ears are covered, so falling out would be next to impossible. occasionally, they may come loose when putting the helmet on, but only when they are not inserted properly. i suppose the model helmet and fit would be a factor as well.

    anyway, i've used this product and setup for many years with the only complaint being the wires that hang out. i wind them around so as not to flap in the wind and get tangled. other than that, i'm very happy with the setup. for the price ($10 + earbuds) i consider them a great bang-for-buck, and, as you say, smart move to protect your hearing.
    #39
  20. skylerhager1

    skylerhager1 Been here awhile

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    Is the packtalk a better product than the Sena 20s? I'll admit, if more than 2 people are on, my 20s is fuzzy as heck and not even worth connecting because the quality is so bad. Range is terrible too. Not very impressed with much about the 20s. Looking for input and possible upgrade to the Cardo/JBL system if y'all have had better experience.
    #40