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Cardo Packtalk Bold

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

  1. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    Looks like a good job on the mold. Thanks for taking the time and sharing. I'm going to check with the local high school if they need any small projects for their 3D printing.
    bmwroadsterca likes this.
  2. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    It should be pretty easy - but need a donor cover plate and someone that has a decent 3d scanner. I've been wanting to make such an adapter before getting a Neotec 2.
  3. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    I have a Neotec 2 and I used that compartment to hold the speaker connector, just cut a small slot to allow the cables through.
  4. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    My wife posed a question to me today that the manual didn't seem to answer. She apparently likes to sometimes sing when she's riding and listening to music, and her singing fucks with the voice commands on her bold. The manual tells how to use the volume knob to both block input to the mic AND turn the speakers down to minimum volume, but I can't figure out how to (if possible) just mute the mic?
  5. mrmagloo

    mrmagloo Been here awhile

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    Nice job bud!
    bmwroadsterca likes this.
  6. Kaiyo

    Kaiyo n00b

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    You can use okay Google without data for localf/device eg calling someone from your contact list, changing volume etc.
  7. Kaiyo

    Kaiyo n00b

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    I believe there's a setting to set Google assistant as the default voice assistant on the phone.
  8. freebird6

    freebird6 Been here awhile

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    I had to use that.... my PTB stopped charging. FOr some reason the Micro USB got spotty and then quit. They were very good about sending the replacement. Took a couple of weeks so I was happy the wife and I had no trips planned.
  9. ShawnKTM530EXC

    ShawnKTM530EXC Long timer

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    Shoot, 74 pages on the best motorcycle communication device? I guess I better start reading!
    KevinP65 likes this.
  10. mrmagloo

    mrmagloo Been here awhile

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    Well, I finally got a chance to get out on the open road and do a couple of hours at highway speed by myself. I thought overall, the technology was OK, but not up to my expectations - made a couple of calls, music muted, etc, and the Zumo XT prompts integrated nicely. Still waiting for my buddy to get his new helmet to get his installed to try the intercom performance.

    I will mention that for years, I've been using the Harley plug in set up, which was rock solid for music, navigation, and communication. Certainly not BT, but with the tuning I had and the aftermarket CB antenna, I could get a real mile or two pretty easily. But, being hardwired, there was no intermittent signal loss, etc, and the audio was pretty darned good though the bike audio system. The cons obviously was the omni-present cord, and the inability to communicate with those in our group running bikes without CB's. One of these guys suggested we give this new fangled tech a try and besides the cord cutting, I'm not very impressed.

    A couple of things I noticed is, I have my Zumo XT mounted on the Left side of the dash which is the stock location, which is brand new as well. This is obviously the same side as the Cardo is mounted on the helmet less than 2 foot away. I still ran into an unacceptable level of intermittent drop outs - with that little antenna up or down. If I turned my head to the left, it got worse. I was actually quite surprised, as the wireless ear buds I tried with the XT before I received the Cardo was perfect with zero dropouts, so it's definitely the Cardo, yes, running v5.7. Not sure what can be done to improve this, but not pleased there.

    The Hey Cardo commands were very hit or miss, even trying to maintain a normal, level voice. It's kind of odd that you don't get a prompt that says, it heard the Hey Cardo, but it didn't understand the command. You're just left there wondering what went wrong. Odd.

    Also, I have to say for supposed high end JBL speakers, my 13 year old helmet speakers with the other system sounds much richer and fuller. I was rather disappointed how tinny these things sounded with 320kb MP3's, even with the bass boost. I thought it was so poor, that I eventually just turned them way down just over the wind noise. I mean even my ear buds sound alot better, especially with the lows. Yes, I've tested moving the helmet to ensure the speaker is aligned to my ear, and even installed the extra spacer to get it closer, and no joy. I did give a split second thought about the $90 upgrade to the 45's, but I'm hearing that the difference is minimal at best, so it sounds like a waste of money. Imho, they really need to allow a custom EQ, beyond the Std, Bass Boost, and Voice, which is pretty limited.

    This is my first time using a BT system, but not very impressed. I'm also hearing that intercom range is greatly exaggerated, so I'm bracing myself there. Overall, seems like I'm giving up alot of audio performance to cut the cord. Yes, the DMC is a benefit that stands above, but that has yet to be tested. Hopefully that will be the saving grace.
  11. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    Are you using this with your Zumo or a phone for music etc? If a Zumo, did you sync as a phone or GPS? Inside my house, my JBL Edition Bold sounds pretty ok paired to my phone - listening to mainly bass heavy electronic. Continues to be fine on the road with earplugs in.

    GPS passthrough directions came in super low quality and crap sounding when I used one of those tho.
  12. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    Yep. I really miss how well the old Autocom systems performed. Just that damn cord..... so we traded the cord for a huge-ass brick that has to hang off the helmet. These Bluetooth systems are getting more expensive and complex, yet still pretty crappy overall performance and constraints by brand.
  13. mrmagloo

    mrmagloo Been here awhile

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    Well I followed the instructions to a 'T' per Cardo's instructions and videos, doing the Cell Phone (already paired the XT) as Phone #1 and the XT as Phone #2. That sequence is important for the priorities. I'm not sure however if I saw anything about spec'ing a 'quality' of the connection for each Phone input? Please expand on that if you can.

    Yes, the GPS prompts are not the best probably due to the low bit rate of the files. Anyway, I have tried using the Phone itself to feed the Cardo, and it is a little better, simply because I have a Moto Z4 that has the stick on JBL speaker with software that includes a bunch of profiles and is totally customizable. It is a little better, but then you loose the convenience of selecting the music right in front of you. Perhaps I'll give that a go for longer playlists, etc, but still.

    However, noteworthy, clearly Cardo got short changed with the 'audio enhancement' software with the speaker license. The Z4 software even has audio enhancement profiles like Panorama, etc, to provide different stage presence, etc. This actually works quite well.

    Exactly, I actually have a brand new spare set of the Autocom's and I was truly disappointed to recall that it's got the USB connection and not the 1/8. I was already thinking about swapping those in for a spin, but I don't feel like hacking them up. I may try to test some others, but it seems the problem may lay with the Cardo output, as I noticed distortion pretty quick. But still, how do tiny little BT ear buds perform so ridiculously better? Isn't not like there's a huge amp running those? I don't know.

    While Cardo talks down the benefit of BT 5.0 over 4.1, I have zero doubt that could probably help things, especially with the local BT input feed. These drop outs every 30 to 60 seconds are just not acceptable. But seems like alot of folks put up with this for some reason. Are you seeing the same?

    For now, definitely keeping the other helmet for my solo runs and leaving the Bold at home.

    Thanks guys.
  14. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    I have 0 drop out issues with my cardo(s). Occasionally I get some compression/track skipping, but that's on my $1100 iPhone marvel which has had borked audio issues since I got it (and I haven't bothered to get service yet due to store closures and all that). I hold my phone in my tankbag on my Africa Twin, and in my hand-warmer pocket on my VFR. No issues either way.

    Comparing the audio quality to my fully wireless Beats earpods, the speakers are a bit less great - but incredibly loud for the size with fairly minimal distortion considering. I don't doubt that earbuds would be better, but there's no way I could comfortably get buds in any of my helmets.

    I did notice that the Packtalk used to echo "Hey cardo" or "hey siri" back to me as I gave the command, before invoking it - that seems to have stopped working in one of the recent updates. OTOH, I generally put on a 3-4hr music album and don't bother with phonecalls/texts, so that doesn't really bother me.
  15. WQFTruckster

    WQFTruckster Adventure Engineer

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    I started noticing frequent music dropouts after updating the firmware to 5.7. Iphone 11 playing spotify. The music drops out randomly for a half second or so. Sometimes it will go a few minutes between dropouts, sometimes it does it several times a minute. Extremely annoying. Master reset and repairing did not help, and it never did this before the update...

    I also have a Garmin Zumo 660 connected and the audio quality for GPS directions has always been poor, but generally usable, from that device.
  16. mrmagloo

    mrmagloo Been here awhile

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    Well, like I said, I'm probably going to keep it, seeing the rest of the guys in our crew picked them based on one guy claiming they were the best. However, you would just think that the audio would at least be as good as 13 year old stuff that I'm comparing the Bold to. I just shutter to think if the Bold sounds alot better than the high end Sena, that must surely be horrible. Just sad to learn that to cut the cord and jump to BT, you have to give so much up in sound quality. Wasn't prepared for that I guess. Hopefully, v5.8 resolves the dropouts.
  17. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    Have you tried headphones from your Bold & a phone as the source? Like I said, the BT through the Bold seems just like normal wireless quality to me.
  18. Juan Loboe

    Juan Loboe Long timer

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    The JBL 45’s beat My ‘12 Ultra’s with the Harley sound system via the helmet headset with yo-yo cord.

    Audiophiles might not be impressed. In-ear might be better.

    A friend uses in-ear. He is constantly having to fiddle with cords. He also uses a modular helmet and has had problems with the mic, too. Frustrating for him.

    I use the Pack Talk Bold with a Shoei RF-1200 and the JBL’s and stick-on mic. It works pretty well, all things considered.

    Android is my phone of choice. Calls are easy and clear. Sirius and Google Play Music work fine. I can’t change Sirius channels, of course...or switch between the two. Perhaps one day...
  19. mrmagloo

    mrmagloo Been here awhile

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    I have only tried BT from the XT to my ear buds - sounds great, nice full sound, no dropouts. I have tried running BT audio from the XT to the Cardio 40's and its pretty thin, even using bass boost. I have tried running BT audio from my phone to the Cardio and it is a little better, simply due to the better sound processing and EQ capabilities, but not much. Still sounds like a cheap transistor radio. All MP3 samples are 320K, ripped from CD, so they are top quality for MP3. Same source material on the Harley Audio sounds fantastic, which I have seriously upgraded with big amp/speaks.

    Again, what I'm comparing the Bold to is the plug-in Harley helmet speaker set up I have been using for the last 13 years that sounds considerably better. They did have the upgraded speakers. Same set up Scooter above has, and he had the same impression. Again, the situation simply is, I just was expecting to at least get the same or better, and this is clearly not as good. Might just be the nature of the beast, but I will be doing some further tests. One of which is to plug some wired ear buds into the Cardo and see how those sound. That would be an interesting test. I am also going to remove the speaker boosts and move the speakers away from my ear and give that a whirl.

    That said, I think Juan is the first guy I've read that seems to suggest the 45's might be worthwhile. Seems every review I've seen suggest at $90 they are a waste of money. Even the Cardo rep said the difference between the 40's and the 45's was minimal, so at that point I wrote them off. I wonder if Juan had used the 40's first?
  20. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    Oh - a silly question maybe, but did you make sure the output volume on your Zumo / phone was dialed up to full?

    Edit: Bass Boost sounds TERRIBLE. On Normal, the bass is a bit lacking, but mids and highs are pretty decent. I'd say overall sound quality in my Arai VX Pro 4 where the speakers aren't right up against my ears is better then the AirPods Pros I had at one point, with a decent soundstage. Not quite as crunchy with the solid bass of my Beats as I noted, but pretty good. The biggest difference I noticed between the JBL speakers and the normal (original Bold) ones wasn't really any quality difference I could tell with earplugs in, but that the JBLs would get up to max volume with wind noise and not distort.