Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blueant F4 Interphone


I’ve been running this Blueant system in my helmet for a little over a year now and figured it was enough time to put up my little review of how it has worked for me and my ways of fitting it to my helmet. DSC00289

My two Huge reason for getting this was to have a way for the wife to call me when I disappear for a 12+ hour bike ride when I’m sure she thinking I’m dead in a ditch. The other is when my kids are on the back we have a way to talk and make sure they are not falling asleep.

Let’s start with the phone deal and the first thing I have to say it’s pointless to own this if your phone doesn’t have voice dialing because if you don’t you can only answer but would have to pull over to call. Well sane riders would pull over to dial and I have seen riders holding the phone to there heads before going down the street!!

Right now by phone is a blackberry curve and works perfectly with the f4. Syncing was flawless and connects every time the f4 is turned on. That big round button is magical in how many things it can do. With the unit off push and hold till the led blinks red and blue and its ready for your phone to discover. Once your synced you push the button once quick and it asks for a command and I say “call Home” and it will give you three names with the closest match and the curve 90% of the time gets  it right first try. When your chatting on the phone it’s really mazing how well you can hear. Running down the highway at 70mph on the zx10 (head in the wind) and I can clearly hear with the volume at halfway. Also the people I’m talking to can’t tell I’m on the bike and at first don’t believe me when I say I’m doing so. The volume is also speed sensitive so when at 70mph it was a good volume it would be way too loud at a stop sign and the unit brings it down properly. If someone calls you, well you just say hello and the unit answers. If you want to hang up just simply push the round button once quickly.

The other nice part of this my phone can play all my itunes in stereo at least the ones that are not under some itunes protection. Hit the big button twice quickly and you have music and the volume is also speed sensitive, With the music playing is the only really time you notice the volume going up and down with speed. To skip a song hold the plus button for three seconds and release and the next song plays. The negative button works the same way to start a song over or go back a song.  Also if you get a call the music pauses and when the call ends the music resumes. I know this was a complaint with the older iphones and they didn’t have voice dialing.

Now my favorite part, rider to passenger. Sync up is right on the money per the instructions but when turning the units on they don’t automatically connect so you just hold the big button for three seconds and they link through bluetooth. Sound quality it perfect and just like talking on the phone. When a phone call comes in it drops the passenger f4 and connects the call. The down side to this is my young  passenger has no clue I took a call. This has led to my 11 year old drama queen to freaking out with wild finger poking to my shoulder the first few times.

Battery life is very good for intercom mode at about 13-14 hours. I’ve never ran the unit solely in phone but I would think battery life would be higher then intercom mode. Playing music does bring the battery down to 5-6 hours as expected .

The only flaw I have had happen and what is all over the web is the cable quality right where it plugs in to the unit. For me the right speaker went out and if I moved the cable slightly it would work. I had no sharp bends in the cable and always treated it right. This was the flat mic piece that I bought as a accessory so I went back to the boom piece and after a year it still works perfectly along with my kids helmet.




The other reason for this review happening now is I really needed new cheek pads and something I really recommend if you helmet is a few years old but not expired.


One way to hold your lid to work on it is a big roll of tape.


Pretty beat out pad compared to the left.


Left speaker unit in the old cheek pad. With my kids hjc helmet they have pockets in the cheek liner to slide the speakers into and not as intrusive as the arai lid.



Left unit free of the cheek pad.


The mic hole is so very important to have directly pointed at your mouth.



You can see old VS new and where to put the Velcro pad.


Here is where the fine tuning begins with speaker height and direction to your ear. This can take some time to get right. It’s easy to get the sound right but comfort is different. Once your at speed the helmet is slightly different on your head and the wind is buffing. I had to move the left speaker a few times throughout the summer as it would hurt the cartilage on my ear. You just need to take the helmet off and reach in and move it a millimeter or so. 


Boom mic coming out the front bottom of the pad.


Pad cover back on and wires routed nicely.


Right speaker in and a lot simpler then the left. DSC00292

Right speaker connector.


mic about where it should be.


Me jamming to some tunes………………

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