Cardo Packtalk Bold

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

  1. Cuchulainn

    Cuchulainn Y.Me Supporter

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    I actually find the voice quality of the Sena speakers to be much better than the JBL. I think they are maybe better optimized for voice, while the JBL is better optimized for music. A bit like the difference between race monitors that are better optimized for voice vs music monitors. Bass is certainly better with the JBL, the Sena reminds me a bit of an old joke regarding Bose. "No Highs, No Lows, it must be Bose." Sena is definitely more flat than JBL, but I feel they work well for voice comms.

    I highly suspect it is my wife's unit that is faulty. We have been through updates, resets, settings, etc. with Cardo. When none of that worked, they just ghosted us and stopped replying. They couldn't figure it out, so they didn't want to deal with it. But they would never send an RMA to take hers back to check it out or exchange it.

    The reason I suspect hers is that she can hear me far better than I can hear her. We have already tried different speakers and different mics, but no luck. The settings are the same, so I believe that pretty much leaves the unit.

    I am certainly not dumping money into a 3rd Cardo PTB to test my theory.

    As bad as I thought Sena's customer service was at times, Cardo seems to be trying their best to outdo them for poor service. I never had any problems with Sena in getting them to exchange a faulty unit, even one that was actually out of warranty. I contacted them just for possible repair assistance, but they just went ahead and exchanged it anyway. Like a year out of warranty too. :)

    Sena's biggest problem is they are slooooow in responding to warranty requests/issues. They aren't the only ones in the industry really bad about replying. Cardo is just as bad and I am finding out so is Mosko :)

    My only problem with the Sena units really was the waterproof issue and that they would sometimes cut out when wet and wouldn't work again until they dried out. A pain for sure, especially mid-trip. That said if Sena would come out with a fully WP unit I would dump these Cardo's in a New York minute :)

    Edit: I still may give the Sena 50R a try. It seemed to me that by far the most vulnerable area of the SMH-10/20S/20S Evo for water ingress was the job dial. The pushbuttons on the 50R may prove a better option. The Sena HD speakers I like.
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Have you put her Cardo on your helmet and vice versa? Shouldn't take a minute.
    Cuchulainn, jb882 and Sonny S. like this.
  3. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    The JBL presets might be mucking with voice quality if you have any of them on.
  4. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    This post pretty much validates the reason why I've yet to make a commitment to either Sena or Cardo. I'm hoping one of the less popular companies making communicators can step in here and fix what's broken with customer service, bad product, etc.

  5. jb882

    jb882 13HP of fury.

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    Sena's customer service is no prize either. They totally ghosted me on the issues my wife and i were having with our SRL units pairing and communicating with other units in the Sena range. I literally went back and forth with them for almost a year, tried everything they suggested including buying another unit to test with only to have them stop responding and refusing to respond to any subsequent requests. Its some of the worst CS i have experienced anywhere. They could not figure it out so it was easier to just close my support ticket and stop responding. They literally drove me to look at the competition because they were so incompetent.

    I wouldn't trust the 50r for waterproof either, I know someone that has drown one in a downpour and was denied a replacement. He was told you should not get it wet.... I have also heard of people drowning the SRL like the ones i have that are integrated into the helmet. It would not be a big trick to waterproof any of them, Sena just chooses not to and i think its a glaring design flaw for something designed to be used outdoors.

    I had a sonar unit on my boat that was built by Lowrance that was the same way, not waterproof, no ingress rating whatsoever. Its on a boat, its going to get wet... Duh....
  6. jb882

    jb882 13HP of fury.

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    That would be a great way to confirm or eliminate the head unit as the issue....
  7. Cuchulainn

    Cuchulainn Y.Me Supporter

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    Tried that today on a 250-mile ride. Hers is definitely worse than mine. This time she could only hear me about half the time and I could hear her 3/4. Neither one is great, but 3/4 is better than half :)

    Still not going to shell out the money for a replacement when (a) they are under warranty and Cardo is ghosting me on dealing with a warranty issue and (b) 3/4 still isn't worth the price of the unit.

    Something to consider. My wife never went for the JBL speakers and doesn't have the profiles loaded, but I do. I will try disabling/removing them. I have been using my BigEar earbuds lately anyway because they at least help me hear her a little better.

    Nope. They both seem to take the approach of "If we can't solve it we will ghost you."
    No Prize winners among the two of them. Unless there is a "razzie" award for poor customer service. It is debatable which one would win. Two sucks don't make a non-suck :)

    At least Sena tried to help you for over a year, Cardo ghosted me after a couple of weeks.
  8. River-Runner

    River-Runner Been here awhile

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    I had the opposite experience. Sena SRL in Shoei didn't allow us to hear music or communicate over 50MPH. We went to Cardo PTB and now we have no speed / sound limitations. We also find if listening to music or sirius, the mute function works as it is supposed to.

    I'd check your setting to make sure there is not a problem there.

    Good luck.
  9. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Does anyone know if the SRAK0033 audio kit has the same 40mm JBL speakers as the Cardo Bold Packtalk kit ? Finding exact information is impossible. Description says 32mm, then people replay to Amazon questions saying it's 40mm JBL.
    Want to add an audio kit to a second helmet.
    Thanks.
  10. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    If it's the same kit I bought a while ago, it's not the JBL speakers - it's the ones that come with the standard Palktalk pre-JBL.
  11. jb882

    jb882 13HP of fury.

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    I can confirm this, I just got one recently too and they are non jbl speakers. I ended up getting the add on 45mm jbl speakers for mine.
  12. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Well that stinks. Much difference in the speakers ?
  13. Air Force Vet

    Air Force Vet Been here awhile

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    I moved to the PTB from uClear last year. Although I really like the PTB, uClear sound was so much better. PTB has zero bass making everything sound tinny. I can live with it but expected a lot more from the JBLs.
  14. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    Yeah, I dont notice a huge difference generally. If you like the uclears speakers, you can use them with the PTB as long as they use a standard 3.5 coax input.
  15. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Long timer

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    Sonny - If you are looking for a speaker upgrade, I use U-Clear Pulse for my PTB JBL edition and found them to be an upgrade. None of the options are audiophile quality in my experience, but they are better than the stock JBLs, both in sound quality and loudness.

    I'd still like to find something that I don't need to run on max volume to penetrate my ear plugs, but the U-clears were a step up.
  16. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    Jennifer wants an audio kit for her spare helmet so she can just swap the head unit. I guess that's what it's called.
  17. daesimps

    daesimps Adventurer

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    I’ve asked Cardo via Facebook and Twitter about the issue with background music volume kicking in even if another unit is in DMC range but not actively talking.

    Their response through both methods was that it’s by design at the request of customers.

    I could be in the minority here, but I don’t think music volume should ever be linked to INTERCOM volume. I agree it should drop as a percentage of MUSIC volume when actively conversing with another unit, but not just when another unit is in DMC range, and definitely not as a percentage of INTERCOM volume. I’ve had it a few times where I’ve had to turn up the intercom to hear someone and then when the conversation is over and the music kicks back in as a percentage of intercom volume I’m deafened.
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  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    They did it on PURPOSE?

    I think they're listening to the wrong customer (singular) (because I can't imagine many people want this "feature").

    Slightly different volume topic: There's a slider for "Background music" found at Settings -> Audio settings -> Volume levels. I had thought that was how much the Cardo turns down the music volume when intercom is active. Doesn't work that way on mine. I turned that slider to 100% and my music volume increased some but it still partially mutes the same amount when someone speaks. My music volume when I'm in DMC range has improved, but it's still not what it should be. (I.e. should be whatever "full volume" is available and let me turn it down.)

    Who in the world wants to lose music volume when they're listening to someone else NOT talk? What does this slider actually do if it's not to control the music volume when music is in the background? It seems to control music volume when music is in the foreground. But there's another slider that controls music volume better.
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  19. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    For me, sliding that to full adjusts the volume back to normal at all times. It still dims when the intercom line activates, but less. Not ideal, but sufficient for me to be ok with the function.
  20. heatmizr

    heatmizr n00b-tastic

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    This is all harder and more mysterious than it should be. Lots of variables and settings...
    Sounds like a few of you have made progress with a couple of settings. I don't have all the answers, but here are some general tips:

    1- obviously all the firmware on all devices has to be up to date.

    2- verify that you have paired to your riding buddy in DMC mesh mode, not Bluetooth. You have to be in the right mode before you start pairing up. Look at the color of your flashing lights, blue is Bluetooth, green is DMC.

    3- there is a setting for auto-volume, try enabling or disabling that. I kind of think it's better turned off.

    4- If you've read this thread you know that there is supposedly a defect right now where the music volume is quieter than it ought to be when you're paired up in a group. Now I see above that they are saying that is intentional... I don't know the true story but that could be something that changes in the future.
    I got around this by cranking up the Volume on my paired Android phone. That did the trick for me.

    5- If voice controls are giving you problems, try speaking in a much lower volume than you have been. I was getting a little irritated at the lack of response and I noticed my volume was getting louder and louder, that didn't help. Once I spoke in a very normal or softer than normal voice, things started working better.
    If I think of more I will add it here...
    Somehow I've got mine working well for solo rides, and well enough for group rides. It does the job and I'm not going to mess with it. It's just a matter of finding the right combination of settings... That may take some trial and error, so don't give up on a new unit if it doesn't work the first or second try. Unfortunately the instructions are not totally clear and there's just too many different devices and other things that they can't take into account.
    Candubrain likes this.