Motorcycle helmet comm systems have come a long way in their functionality in recent years, but when you look at it, you’re spending a lot of money for a piece of technology that’s tied to a specific helmet, and doesn’t do you any good when you’re off the bike. Now, MPlus is trying to change that.
MPlus is a company from Hong Kong that’s working on a new motorcycle communication system that’s intended to be worn as a collar around your neck, as opposed to the standard helmet-mounted configuration. There’s a set of noise-cancelling earbuds that reach upward into your helmet, with mic built into the collar. There’s also an optional boom mic that extends to the front of your face.
The idea is that you can wear the MPlus system with any helmet, or, when you get off the bike, you can wear it like a standard set of headphones.
It’s a good idea, because not only does it give you a set of earphones that you can enjoy all the time, not just when you’re riding, but the design (if it works) will also overcome the usual problem with in-helmet communication systems. Wear earplugs, and you’ve got to crank the volume on your Sena/Cardo/UClear, or you can’t hear music (and you can forget about any bass at all). Don’t wear earplugs, and the music will sound better, but you’ll eventually go deaf from wind noise.
With the MPlus design, the noise cancellation will allow you to run your in-ear music much quieter, and also cut down on wind noise. Win, win! MPlus has designed five levels of noise cancellation into the system, allowing you to choose how much outside noise you wish to hear.
You’d think a design like this would be a no-brainer, but although some helmet companies are working on noise-canceling helmets, this is the first communication system we’ve seen with the technology built in (not saying others don’t exist, but if they do, we haven’t seen them). The MPlus does have the downside of limited range when compared to other headsets. It’s only supposed to communicate over 150 meters, although that’s fine for rider-to-passenger chatting.
Right now, MPlus is raising money on Kickstarter, with their campaign ending December 13. Kickstarter pledges can get you the system for $159 US, instead of the $299 US price tag when released. For more details on pricing, availability and other questions, visit Kickstarter.