Best Motorcycle Intercom System for 2021

Having an excellent motorcycle intercom system can be a great way to bridge the communication gap with another rider. Some intercom systems are so great that they sync with multiple riders, allowing entire families to bond as they ride.  

The Cardo Unisex trumps all others when compared pound for pound and is our recommended top pick. The table below shows how we arrived at that conclusion, based on front-running products from Cardo and its closest competitor Sena.

ProductRangeConnectionsBattery LifeUnique Feature
Cardo PACKTALK1.6 km1513 hoursSound quality
Sena 50S 1.6 km249 hoursLightweight

Detailed Reviews

Editor’s Pick – Cardo Unisex-Adult PACKTALK

Top Features

  • Dynamic Mesh Communication for long-range communication
  • iOS and Android compatible Connect App for full remote control ability
  • Universal Fitment that makes it compatible with  all helmet makes and models

The Cardo Unisex Packtalk comes out on top because it has multiple outstanding features. If you want the best sound quality that doesn’t change with increasing motorcycle speeds, then this is the Intercom for you. Made by JBL, the sound quality is truly unrivaled. You can also easily stream music, make/receive phone calls, and enjoy the best GPS navigation sound.

Its patented Dynamic Mesh Communication makes for accessible long-range communication that is stable for both small and large groups alike. The bonus; it is compatible with all types of helmets, with a special kit for even half helmets. Add its other exceptional features to the mix, and you have the best intercom system on which you can lay hands.

PROS

  • Long-range intercom connections of up to 1600 meters (1 mile)
  • Up to 15 people can connect simultaneously
  • Relatively long-lasting battery with up to 13 hours of talk time
  • Excellent sound quality and high performance
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
  • Safety enhancement due to natural voice activation through Siri and Google Assitant
  • Compatible with all helmet makes and models
  • Connects to all known Bluetooth headset brands
  • Water- and dustproof
  • Upgradable Firmware

CONS

  • Relatively expensive

User Reviews

Multiple users mention that they love the Cardo PACKTALK. Its battery life, comfortable fit, sound quality, effective noise cancellation, and voice recognition offer value for money. A few PACKTALK users complained about poor customer support.  

Runner up – Cardo Unisex-Adult FREECOM

Top Features

  • iOS and Android compatible Connect App for full remote control ability
  • Universal Fitment that makes it compatible with  all helmet makes and models
  • Powerful high-definition speakers and a specially-tuned audio processor

The Cardo FREECOM comes with an outstanding wind-noise reduction capability that is unique to some Cardo headsets. Its self-adjusting volume in response to ambient noise will blow most users away. The unit is fully iOS and Android compatible as it comes with a Cardo connect app that offers complete remote control.

The universal pairing capability allows for cross-brand intercom connections. The 40 mm HD speakers and the specially tuned audio processor, in addition, guarantee sound clarity. The unit is also compatible with all helmets with support for half helmets too through the Cardo Half Helmet Kit. 

PROS

  • Works within an 800 m range (half a mile)
  • Great wind-noise cancellation
  • Relatively long-lasting battery with up to 13 hours of talk time
  • Self-adjusting volume based on ambient noise
  • iOS and Android compatibility
  • Universal Fitment for all helmet compatibility
  • Universal pairing capability with other brands
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Upgradable Firmware

CONS

  • It supports only two riders

User Reviews

Most users found that the Cardo FREECOM system exceeded expectations. The sound and overall quality of the FREECOM is very high. The battery life also serves to increase the value of this particular choice.

Putting aside the fact that the system supports only two riders, a standout review mentioned the difficulty in obtaining a replacement. That was in a case where the system had a factory error on delivery.

Most Versatile – Sena 50S Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset

Top Features

  • Multi-Channel Open Mesh tech for communication with nearly limitless riders
  • Voice Activation through Siri and Google Digital Assistants
  • Super lightweight

The Sena 50S Headset is the true manifestation of the limits to which human tech can be pushed. Fancy, flexible, and highly efficient, the Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset is the epitome of necessary motorcycle intercom coverage. Its Mesh 2.0 Intercom effectively facilitates communication with riders within a 1.6 km radius (8 km / 5 miles if there are 6 riders at a 1 mile / 1.6 km interval); isn’t that amazing?

Its Multichannel Open Mesh guarantees communication with a nearly infinite number of riders, who can all switch between 9 channels. Yet, that is not even half of the mind-blowing feats that the Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset can achieve. Check them out and see for yourself!

PROS

  • Long-range communication capability of up to 1.6 km
  • Multiple rider simultaneous communication (riders connecting at 1.6 km intervals)
  • Special Group Mesh support of up to 24 private group participants
  • iOS and Android compatibility for the use of smartphone’s hands-free functionality
  • Upgraded HD speakers for superb audio quality (volume, bass & clarity)
  • Bluetooth connectivity for phone music access, calls, and GPS navigation
  • Automatic Firmware Upgrade through Wi-Fi connectivity

CONS

  • A bit costly

User Reviews

Multiple users found the Sena Headset easy to install, with outstanding sound quality and above-par battery life. Its noise cancellation, ease of use, and tech support were all above average.

Most Reliable – Sena 30K Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset

Top Features

  • Two Intercom Modes (Open Mesh and Group Mesh Intercom)
  • Extendable Mesh 2.0 Intercom range ( 8km) when six or more people connect
  • Advanced Noise control

The Sena 30K Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset is an excellent intercom system if you seek a reliable device that delivers on several fronts. Its Open Mesh Intercom allows for a nearly unlimited number of users, while the Group Mesh Intercom allows for groups of up to 24 users. Its communication range can be extended to 8 km when riders connect at 1.6 km intervals.

The Sena 30K Headset has an additional Bluetooth Intercom connection feature that allows for a 2 km range in open terrain. Any user can take pride in the Advanced Noise Control and the Radio Data System Alternate Frequencies (RDS AF) feature that facilitates its built-in FM Radio.

PROS

  • Advanced Noise Control
  • Two modes of Intercom Mesh (Group chat and Multiple rider support)
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) that implies high-quality audio signals
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • The connections need a relatively straight line of sight/open terrain

User Reviews

Many users found the Sena 30K Headset easy to connect and loved its extended battery use (at least 5 hrs). The loud and pretty clear audio made many users happy with the purchase.

The major complaints about the Sena 30K Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset were about its WiFi docking station. The Intercom system does not come with the latest firmware version, which limits its capabilities. Multiple users also complained that the required firmware upgrade process is strenuous.  

Budget Pick – Sena SMH5-FM-UNIV

Top Features

  • Crystal clear and natural sound quality
  • Road Trip Usage capability while charging
  • Individual audio control for each sound source

The Sena SMH5-FM-UNIV is the standout intercom system if you want a pocket-friendly option that still offers value. Its ability to connect through both WiFi and Bluetooth makes it appealing. The upgradeable firmware and use-while-charging capability, as you ride, make the Sena SMH5-FM-UNIV a valuable yet inexpensive device.

The intercom system is efficient enough for use during sports and exercise sessions, with extra USB connectivity functionality. As if that was not enough, its manufacturers were thoughtful enough to include individual volumes for each sound source.

PROS

  • Upgradable Firmware
  • Crystal clear and natural sound quality
  • Worth the low price
  • FM Radio & music support

CONS

  • Poor FM radio reception
  • FM Radio has to be turned off first for Intercom to work

User Reviews

The majority of the Sena SMH5-FM-UNIV intercom users were delighted by the product. Most users also enjoyed the FM radio capabilities, excellent sound quality battery life, and the system’s ease of installation.  

Nearly all those users also complained about its major disadvantage if you use it at maximum volume – not advised. The sound blast that comes out is too loud for everyday hearing comfort. The scenario is the same for when you are on the receiving end, and someone yells into it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cardo communicate with Sena?

Cardo headsets can effectively communicate with Sena.

Is Cardo better than Sena?

When you pit the two brands against each other, Cardo is better than Sena.

How we picked the best products for this article

When users choose a Motorcycle Intercom system, they want to trust that it will deliver on the promised features. The presence or lack of given features can make or break the decision to purchase an intercom system. The keynotes we considered to make our choices include:

The outstanding features

An intercom should have features that stand up for it and make its subsequent users happy with their usage. The device should address the reason why a user should choose it. If it has multiple features that lead to user satisfaction, as reviews will attest, it deserves mention.

Communication distance coverage

Once you head out onto the road, you need to know that you and your fellow riders will keep in touch. How far the intercom system covers is essential, so you ride within that distance to keep getting updates as needed.

Sound quality

Sound quality is very paramount since it ties to rider safety. Riders don’t strain to hear any sound, especially at high speeds. It is best if a rider hears everything clearly so there are no distractions and their eyes stay on the road. 

General performance

How does the intercom system measure up to all the features its manufacturers claim to have included? It is not uncommon for users to complain about a device that does not meet the user’s expectations. The problem arises when they base these expectations on what the manufacturer said, only to be disappointed.

Ease of installation and use

However great a motorcycle intercom system is, if users find it difficult to set up and use, this is negative. Any sophisticated device becomes useless the moment users fail to put that sophistication to use for their benefit.

Conclusion

A good motorcycle intercom will enhance the riding experience and make the road a safer place to be. It will cut back all the unnecessary shouting between riders, their passengers, and other riders.

Imagine enjoying the best of communication, music, and so much more at various speeds and distances! Be sure to consider all the factors mentioned above, so you get the choice right from this list.