Cardo Packtalk Bold

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by ubermick, May 8, 2018.

  1. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    Well, it seems that RevZilla really did get a shipment in... :D

    2018-05-18 11.12.34.jpg
    #41
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    Hopefully it's not a (negative) indicator of things to come, but it is clear that this package was opened and everything taken out at some point before it was sent to me.
    #42
  3. BruceWA

    BruceWA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    919
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Perhaps it was opened by me and returned??? :fpalm:fpalm

    Rub it in !!!!
    #43
  4. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    I took them both out and paired them each to my phone to verify basic operations. So far, so good.

    I installed the helmet clamp onto my Shoei RF1200. Kind of a pain, just because of the way the cheek pads have a plastic flange that inserts between the liner and shell, but, in the end, maybe that's better.

    I learned something about my Shoei. It has little fabric ear flaps that are partially covered by the lining and cheek pads in normal use. Those ear flaps pop right out and there is a round speaker cut out in the shell/lining behind each one. The ear flaps each have a round piece of foam on the back side that normally fills in that speaker cup.

    The 40mm speakers with the Bold are virtually a perfect press/friction fit into those speaker cups. However, I didn't notice that at first and I had put the speakers in on top of the ear flaps. Now, I have the ear flaps out and the speakers in the cups. But, I tried the helmet on both ways and I may go back to having the speakers on top. They just barely touched my ears that way. Now, they don't touch my ears at all. I have a feeling that I will need to redo them the other way in order to have them be sufficiently loud when I'm doing 80 MPH and wearing ear plugs. We'll see.

    My phone is a Galaxy Note 8 and it paired up with each of them, no problem. I was able to listen to music from Google Play, no problem.

    I installed the Cardo Connect app on my phone and tried each unit, one at a time, and the Connect app recognized each one. The default name is "PACKTALK BOLD". I changed each one to have its own name, so I'll know which one I connected to - if that ever matters.

    I could not find anything in the Connect app to allow me to see what firmware the units have installed or if there is any update. Maybe I'm supposed to use a different app for that? I'm assuming they came with the latest firmware and Connect will tell me if I ever connect to one and there is newer firmware available.

    At first, I thought the whole "hey cardo" thing didn't work at all. I have now realized that it does work. You just have to use exactly the correct command. "hey cardo, play music" does nothing. Not even an indication that it heard you and simply didn't recognize the command. I guess that's good to prevent it acting up if you are having a conversation with someone and happen to say something that sounds like it started with "hey cardo". I looked at the Quick Reference guide (or whatever they call it) that came with it and saw the specific commands. "hey cardo, music on" works just fine to make the Google Play music player on my phone resume playing.

    I also found that if I say "ok google" it routes that to my phone, which handles it just the same as if I was not using any kind of BT connection at all. So, I can put on my helmet, turn on the PackTalk, say "hey cardo music on" and it will unpause the Google Play player on my phone. Then, while the music is playing, I can say "ok google", pause to let the phone respond, then say "navigate to XYZ" and Google Maps will fire up, figure out where XYZ is (hopefully) and start navigating me there. When it plays navigation directions, it reduces the music volume, then brings the music volume back up automatically. But, I am pretty sure that last bit is a feature/function of the phone, not the PackTalk.

    Side note: I don't typically leave my music player running on my phone if I'm not using it. I'm not sure what the PackTalk would do if I said "hey cardo music on" and I didn't already have Google Play player running on the phone. But, I THINK what it does is start the PackTalk default music player. In my case, that means it starts playing the one and only MP3 on my phone that is outside of Google Play - some Samsung tune. My first thought was, "so, if I forget to start the Google Play player and load a playlist before I get going, I'm going to have to stop and pull my phone out? That's going to be annoying." Then I tested it and figured out that, if I don't have the player already running, I can say "ok google", pause, then "play xyz". In that case, the phone will start the Google Play player and start playing what I asked for. For my test, I gave it the name of a Google Play radio station I've been listening to and it started it up and started that station playing. Sweet! Once it's going, I can use the "hey cardo" commands to play/pause the music.

    What it does if you use some other music player, I have no idea. Can I configure the Cardo Connect app to use Google Play as its default music player? I have no idea, but I will try, at some point.

    I also noticed that if I had music playing and said "hey cardo mute audio", it would make the music almost inaudible - but, I could still hear it faintly, and the music kept playing (obviously).

    Lastly, I sat on my couch with my helmet on and made a phone call to try that out. My brother said that it sounded like I was talking on a handset, not a BT connection, and that it was actually kind of loud and turned his phone volume down 1 or 2 clicks from the setting he normally uses.

    All in all, very promising! I am looking forward to a maybe getting to go for a ride on Sunday and see how well the phone call noise cancelling works when I'm rolling 80 on the Interstate.

    I don't normally ride with others and none of the people I do occasionally ride with have a Cardo unti, so I don't know when I'll get to try out the actual intercom functionality. But, that's not really why I upgraded from my Sena SMH-10, so no big deal (to me).
    #44
    ACR, suprbst, MelissaToBeMe and 2 others like this.
  5. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,108
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    Nice one, @StuartV - keep us posted. As to this bit...

    THEN WHY DID YOU BUY A TWO PACK OF THEM?!?!? :imaposer
    #45
    TriTi likes this.
  6. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    Because I wanted to make sure there wasn't an extra one available for you to buy! (See: Stuart is a dick, above)

    :D

    Other, less important, reasons are: I'm hoping my g/f will start riding with me now that I have a bike suitable for carrying a passenger (vs my GSX-R1000). I want to be able to talk to her. Maybe I won't install a microphone in her helmet, though.... LOL ;)

    And, two, when I do long distance rides (think 20+ hours straight, in the saddle), I can take both units and keep one charging in the trunk or somewhere. When the one I'm using gets low on battery, I can just swap them and keep going without losing my comms/tunes.
    #46
  7. mosey.levy

    mosey.levy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,473
    Location:
    NYC
    No one i know has cardo so that’s out.

    We just did a 6 day trip with the 30Ks and it was really impressive. Mesh was seamless. Quality was there. Connecting was just pushing one button and we were all connected. Distance was great.

    Battery power when using mesh like that isn’t great. Always topped off battery during lunch. When using 30K as standalone Bluetooth it lasts as long as the 20S.
    #47
    TIGERRIDER007 and TriTi like this.
  8. BruceWA

    BruceWA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    919
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Excellent report, perhaps by the time mine arrive you’ll have even more to report. Thanks for the report.

    #48
  9. MelissaToBeMe

    MelissaToBeMe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    247
    Great report @StuartV , looking forward to learning more!
    #49
  10. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    I got to ride a little with my Bold today. Other than turn it on and off and hang up on phone calls, I did everything using voice commands.

    I couldn't figure out how to hang up a phone call using a voice command. I looked at the Help in the Connect app on my phone and it looks like there is not a voice command to do that. Normally, no big deal. But, I was sure trying to figure it out when I called my brother and got his voice mail. It wouldn't hang up automatically or from a voice command, so I finally had to press the correct button on the Bold to hang up.

    I tried various things while cruising at 80 MPH on I-66. Cardo commands (aka "hey cardo) worked very well for starting and stopping music. Google commands (aka "ok, google") worked perfectly for making phone calls. E.g. "ok google", pause, "call john smith mobile" worked perfectly for the two calls I made, to two different names (my brother and my g/f). It recognized the names correctly, even though I was going 80 MPH.

    Both my brother and g/f said they could hear me with no problem at all. They both said that, when I was talking, it sounded like I was on a HF (hands free) connection with the window down. But, they both said they could hear and understand me just fine. They could just tell that I was in/on a moving vehicle. When I stopped talking, they said it got so quiet that it sounded like I hit Mute on my phone.

    On my side, I was using the supplied speakers, pressed down into the speaker cups in my Shoei RF1200 helmet. I had my custom molded earplugs in. The volume on the Bold was not all the way up. When I turned it all the way up, it got a little louder, but also sounded like it was starting to distort a little bit. I turned it down 2 or 3 clicks and I could hear them just fine, mostly without any distortion. Given that I was wearing custom molded earplugs, I was perfectly happy with that.

    I also listened to streaming music between phone calls. The volume on that could have been louder. I had the media player volume on the phone all the way up and the Bold volume all the way up. I could hear it well enough to enjoy it. But, if I could have, I would have turned it up a little bit more.

    I am going to put the foam-backed ear flaps back in my helmet and mount the Bold speakers on top of those. That will position the speakers a fair bit closer to my ears. Just barely touching. That should make it a lot louder, I think.

    I have custom earmold speakers. I have not tried those yet. I've used them a LOT with my old Sena intercoms. I know those will work very well. But, I'm looking forward to having the supplied speakers mounted in the helmet so that, for casual rides near home, I can just throw my helmet on and not fiddle with my earmolds and stowing the cord for them. For running errands or popping out to lunch, I probably won't even put in my earplugs at all. Still being able to hear music and/or take calls, even if I'm just on a 10 minute ride, will be nice.

    I also used Google commands for navigation. "Ok, google", pause, "navigate to <a place name>" and it recognized the command, found the correct place and fired up navigation exactly correctly. It overlaid the navigation prompts into my ear on top of music and phone calls. It would make the music quieter while it was playing the navigation prompt. That was good. When it overlaid the prompt during a phone call, that could be annoying. But, I have had the exact same complaint when using my phone hands-free in my truck and using Maps for navigation while also talking on the phone. So, that's no knock of the Bold unit.

    The navigation stuff was extra nice because I was also using my new Honda Garage Perfect Squeeze phone mount and it held the phone in just the right spot on my handlebars, just below the speedo, so that I could see the map and turn instructions, too.

    The only thing I really want now is to figure out some way to work my phone's screen with my gloves on. OTOH, maybe it is good that I can't... It was definitely nice to be able to see the Caller Id on my phone when I had an incoming call.
    #50
  11. BruceWA

    BruceWA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    919
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Some excellent follow up to your previous review. I'll be waiting for more as will others no doubt. Will be pleased when my pre-ordered Dua Pack arrives. Keep up the work!!!
    #51
  12. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,108
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    Thanks, Stuart. I'm actually a bit disappointed to hear that the "Hey Cardo" commands have to be specific - I thought (based on their demo videos) that you could use various commands for something (ie, to turn on music I thought "Hey Cardo, play music" would have worked, along with "Hey Cardo, music on") which is the point of "natural voice". Wonder if a future firmware update will expand it.

    Rest of the review sounds promising, though. Looking forward to getting mine. C'moooooon Revzilla!
    #52
    BruceWA and StuartV like this.
  13. Travman

    Travman Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    StuartV, now that you’ve experienced both the Cardo and previous Sena on the bike, any opinion on sound volume and quality between the units.
    #53
  14. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    I never used the Sena with the supplied speakers. I have only used my Sena with my custom earmold speakers. If Sena had a helmet clamp setup that would let you easily switch back and forth, I would have used helmet speakers some of the time - as I am now, with the Cardo. So, I can't really compare them for volume and quality. All I can say is that, with custom earmold speakers, I believe either one will give plenty of volume and good quality. And, using the Cardo supplied speakers, with ear plugs in, I get adequate volume and quality. I am going to remount the Cardo speakers so they are a fair bit closer to my ears and then I think it will have more volume than I need (i.e. never need to run it turned all the way up - even with custom ear plugs in ). For quality, well, to me, I only expect really high quality when using my custom earmold speakers. Using helmet speakers while actually moving is always going to give relatively poor quality because of wind noise. And if you use ear plugs, they will attenuate different frequencies by different amounts, so the quality will still be, well, not necessarily poor, but not high.

    Regarding volume and quality of outgoing sound, I think I already covered that. Talking on the phone at 80MPH, my g/f says she can hear me 1000% better when I am using the Cardo.
    #54
  15. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,651
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    #55
  16. MelissaToBeMe

    MelissaToBeMe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    247
    Minute 1:05 :lurk
    #56
  17. Matteo92

    Matteo92 n00b

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Italia
    Hi guys, i want to buy a cardo packtalk bold but i want to ask those who already have one this: during a conversation where we are also listening to music, does the volume of the music always remain in the background or does it turn up and turn down while we are speaking? In case the volume remains always in the background, is it anyway high enough to make us listening clearly to music? Thanks!
    #57
  18. HAL 9000

    HAL 9000 2014 Yamaha FJR1300

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Oddometer:
    553
    Location:
    NC
    Listening to music during intercom works in DMC mode only (not Bluetooth). But the music plays at full volume when nobody is talking, and then turns down to be background music while conversation is going on.
    #58
  19. J-Dash

    J-Dash Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    506
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    I received my duo Packtalk Bold for my wife and I today, and I'm hoping someone can help answer a question for me.

    We installed them tonight and just finished testing them at home. So features worked as per the instructions with exception of music sharing in Bluetooth mode.

    We switched to Bluetooth mode and paired with each other just fine. However, it seems as if I can only listen to music and intercom be off, or I can connect via intercom to her and then my music is off. I can't figure out how to have music playing and still have a conversation with her (like the Sena 20s). Additionally, I held the top button down for 2 second, per the instructions, to share music and that never worked either.

    Any ideas?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    #59
  20. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    You might have to be in Mesh mode to do what you want. Any reason you are using Bluetooth mode instead?
    #60