REVIEWED: 10 Best Motorcycle Intercoms (& how to choose!) - 2024 update

REVIEWED: 10 Best Motorcycle Intercoms (& how to choose!)

Looking to discover the best motorcycle intercoms and bluetooth headsets to stay connected on your rides? We’ve independently reviewed the best motorbike intercom systems for long rides, groups, solo travel, budget and crystal clear music! Read on for more details…

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Want to learn more about how to choose the best motorbike bluetooth intercom for your needs? Read on!


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Are motorcycle intercoms worth it? My personal experience

I’ve ridden all over the UK and Europe and often toured with my husband and daughter. Whilst I enjoy the peace of exploring on my own, having motorcycle intercoms in our helmets allows us to chat as we ride, sharing the experience.

motorcycle intercom system
Motorcycle intercom inside my helmet

They’re a brilliant way of staying in touch with each other or a group of riders without needing hand signals or fast conversations at traffic lights, as well as pointing out potential dangers in case the other person hasn’t seen them yet.

Conversely, my daughter doesn’t want to chat with anyone whilst we’re riding. She just wants to listen to her music and watch the world go by (oh, the joys of being a pillion rider!) so, for her, audio quality and high-quality speakers are the most important things.

Personally, I don’t like listening to music as I ride, but I know many bikers do, so we’ve reviewed some intercom systems which have that option for you. You can even get ones which connect with your motorcycle sat nav and mobile devices in order to make phone calls whilst you’re riding. 

For me, I love having an intercom in my helmet. It’s fun to be able to chat to fellow riders, especially over a longer distance. The nice thing is that you can install an intercom or bluetooth headset into your helmet and then it’s there for when you need it, but you can turn it off when you want to relax and enjoy your riding experience alone. 

My motorcycle intercom-(at John o’Groats)

I currently use this intercom, as it fits neatly within my helmet. I’ve toured all over the UK and Europe with it and never had an issue:

Sena 10R  Low Profile Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

Sena 10r motorcycle intercom system
Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • Ultra-slim design- fits into the tightest of helmets
  • Easy to use while riding
  • Universal connectivity to other brands
  • Music sharing- you can listen to the same songs
  • Up to 10 hours talk time
  • Voice prompt
  • Second battery for extra long-life
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Handlebar remote can be annoying to use
  • User manual online only

The 10R is one of Sena’s ultra-low profile range and the slim, lightweight design does make a difference- especially when mounting it on the side of a motorcycle helmet; it looks and feels around half the thickness of the 10S.

EDITOR NOTE: This is what we now use on our motorcycle helmets, because it’s possible to fit them very discreetly. I have mine in the back of my pink motorcycle helmet, which takes a little getting used to if you’re used to it being on the side, but it’s still very easy to use.

This is my current helmet with the Sena 10r intercom fitted

The fit is universal for all helmets but make sure you get the placement right the first time, as the self-adhesive pads are strong (ask me how I know! 😬)

Decent-sized cut-outs on either end of the intercom module make it easy to access the various functions, in addition to slightly raised controls.

One of the things I love most about the 10R is the separate battery pack which you can attach to the back of the motorcycle helmet- it is possible to remove the lithium-polymer battery for recharging.

Connectivity is universal, allowing pairing with non-Sena devices and sharing comms with up to four other units.

Voice prompt allows you to take calls and the speed dial lets you load your three favourite numbers via the app. In addition, the rider can operate the 10R via a handlebar-mounted remote, which is available for purchase as part of a Bluetooth helmet kit or separately. I found this a bit clunky and annoying tbh, so I never use it.

Where to buy the Sena 10r motorcycle intercom system?

You can also buy the Sena 10r on Amazon:


Reviewing the best motorcycle intercoms- what we looked at

Obviously, there are many different types of intercom and motorcycle bluetooth headset options. Not all are designed to do ‘all the things’, but do a few things very very well. You need to choose what you want to achieve with the headset, and then buy the appropriate option. 

rider pillon intercom

We reviewed: 

  • How many other headsets it can pair with
  • Battery Life/ talk time
  • Weatherproofing- can it deal with rain or dust?
  • Range (how far you can get from the biker(s) you’re paired with)
  • Ease of use with bike gloves on
  • Noise
  • Charging time
  • Ease to change between motorcycle helmets (should you buy a new lid)

Helpful note: Be aware that some bluetooth motorcycle intercoms will only pair with others of the same brand. If you want to pair with anyone, look for an intercom offering universal connectivity. Also, make sure the communication system fits your motorcycle helmet: some are designed for a full-face helmet only.  


REVIEWED: The Best Motorcycle Intercom: all-rounder

Let’s face it, most of us don’t need three different types of intercom for different situations. We want one to ‘do it all’. Enter, the Cardo Packtalk Edge Mesh Intercom.

Cardo Packtalk Edge Mesh Intercom
Cardo Packtalk Edge Mesh Intercom
Preview Product Rating
PACKTALK EDGE - DUO PACKTALK EDGE – DUO 547 Reviews

This is a market leader in motorcycle intercoms for a reason- it’s really fricking good at pretty much everything.

One of the best things about the Cardo Packtalk Edge is its crystal-clear communication thanks to its Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) technology. Don’t worry- you don’t need to understand what a mesh network is to know it works with keeping you connected to other riders really well, even in large groups or challenging riding conditions, like twisty mountain roads.

You can use the mesh technology or choose to use the universal Bluetooth technology 5.2 to connect with riders using other intercom brands (assuming their allows it!). There is a rider-to-rider range of 1.6 km/ 1 mile and a maximum group range of 8 km/ 5 miles (max distance between the first and last rider in the group.)

Personally, I love the magnetic air mount- it’s really easy to fit and use (even with bike gloves on), and I tried REALLY hard to shake the unit loose and couldn’t do it.

It connects easily to your mobile phone and sat nav/ GPS device for music and instructions. They use something called ‘natural voice operation’ which works a little like Siri on your phone. You just say ‘Hey Cardo…’ followed by a command like ‘Call Mum’ and it does (although we did find this a little hit and miss, especially at higher speeds.

It has excellent sound quality due to the fantastic speakers and charges fast- 20 minutes of charge time gives around 2 hours of ride time and uses a USB-C charger, so you can always carry a powerbank for long rides PLUS all updates are done ‘over the air’. I was a bit worried about the ‘roller’ button as I thought it would be fiddly, but it was actually quite intuitive once you’d used it for a while.

If and when I need to upgrade my intercom, this will be the one I go for!

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • Up to 13 hour talk time
  • 2 channels for GPS and mobile connection at once
  • Universal Bluetooth and mesh connectivity
  • Slimmer than the Packtalk Bold
  • Strong air mount (magnetic)
  • Works with other bluetooth helmet systems
  • Up to 15 riders
  • Easy to set up
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • These are external, so not allowed for use on track
  • As with anything using voice commands, it’s not always as simple as it sounds!

Where to buy the Cardo Packtalk Edge?

You can also find it on Amazon:

Preview Product Rating
PACKTALK EDGE - DUO PACKTALK EDGE – DUO 547 Reviews

Other all-rounder intercom systems to consider:

Cardo Packtalk Neo Motorcycle Intercom: The Packtalk NEO is almost the same as the Packtalk Edge. The Neo is slightly cheaper, and has the old-style ‘click’ mount instead of the new air mount. The Edge also has 3 years of warranty, instead of the Neo’s 2. Both have similar connectivity and range, the same batteries and the same speakers, so if you are happy with the click mount and only 2 years warranty, save yourself some money and get the NEO.

Sena 50s Mesh 2.0 Intercom: This new intercom system is a step forward for Sena (who I’ve always been a fan of). It boasts easy One-Click-to-Connect Mesh Intercom connection and has great audio from both your mobile device phone and other riders (using Harmon Kardon speakers). We’ve not had the chance to review it thoroughly yet- but are looking forward to it!


motorcycling in Norway- everything you need to know to go motorbike touring in Norway
Us touring in Norway- wouldn’t have been the same without intercoms so we could talk easily.

The best motorcycle intercoms and bluetooth headsets for touring/ long rides

Planning a motorcycle tour or enjoy longer rides? Important things to consider when choosing a motorcycle intercom are:

  • battery life
  • range to other riders
  • interference/ noise quality

Our Previous Intercoms: Sena 10S Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

Best Motorcycle Intercom for touring & pairing with cameras!

Sena 10s

EDITOR’S REVIEW: We used these headsets for years and they were fantastic. (We only changed because they didn’t fit our new helmet type 😢)

The hands-free Sena 10S manages to pack an incredible number of features into a reasonably priced package. Its slimmer profile design reduces wind noise and features a single clamp connector to ensure it stays in place. The user-friendly interface is simple to use, even while riding.

The Sena 10S can keep you in touch with up to four other riders. It does this thanks to the ‘one-touch group intercom’ system with an impressive range of 1.6km.

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • Up to 12 hour talk time
  • 1.6km range
  • Works with other bluetooth helmet systems
  • Up to 5 riders (inc you)
  • Easy to set up
  • Can be used with GoPro/ Action camera
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Clamp system quite bulky
  • Heavy rainfall could interfere with the system.
  • These are external, so not good for use on track

Pairing to non-Sena communication systems is made easy by universal 4.1 connectivity. At the same time, a Smartphone app allows you to easily change settings and configuration.

It’s also possible to pair the Sena 10S with a suitably equipped GoPro or Sena Prism Bluetooth action camera. This feature allows it to record HD video using the system’s headset mic.

Where to buy the Sena 10s motorcycle intercom system?

You can also buy this intercom on Amazon


Other options to consider for motorcycle touring intercoms:

Other notable options for good touring intercoms or rider to pillion intercoms include:

  • Sena 20S EVO (the upgrade for the 10s, although it has also been replaced by the 50s). It’s easy to set up but there are a LOT of functions, so it can feel a bit complicated at first. But it has GREAT talk time (approx. 13 hours) and uses hands-free technology- and it’s now at a really good price due to newer models on the market.
  • Cardo Packtalk Edge Mesh Intercom. Our favourite all-rounder has incredible noise clarity and you can switch from mesh to bluetooth to connect to riders on other brands of intercom.

Motorcycling in Switzerland. Mountain pass between France and Switzerland. Sunny summer view of Route de la Forclaz roud. Great morning scene of Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe.

Best Motorcycle Intercoms for Multi/ Group Riders

If you often ride as a group and want to chat with your fellow riders, the key factors to consider when choosing a motorcycle intercom are:

  • number of other riders or bluetooth devices you can connect to
  • range to other riders
  • universal connectivity (or do you all have to be on the same brand of intercom?)

NOTE: We still recommend the newer Cardo Packtalk Edge or Neo as listed above for group rides because of the mesh network, but the options below are slightly cheaper now, so could be more cost-effective.

Cardo Packtalk Slim JBL Bluetooth Intercom

Best Motorcycle Intercom for Sound Quality

Cardo Packtalk Slim

If you often ride as part of a large group and sound quality is high on your list of priorities, the Cardo Packtalk Slim JBL intercom system is a great option.

Thanks to Cardo’s Dynamic Mesh-Technology, it’s possible to use up to 15 intercoms simultaneously, allowing everyone in the riding group to communicate. The standard operating range is around 1.2-km, which you can extend to over 7-km with six riders or more.

Thanks to Universal 4.1 connectivity, you can easily pair non-Cardo intercoms. According to Bluetooth motorcycle intercom review feedback, this is a major plus point for multi-rider communications.

The lithium battery boasts an impressive talk time of 13 hours. Meanwhile, a full charge should take around four hours. The wedge-like intercom module at its widest point is a mere 6.5-mm thick. It has three finger-width contoured control sections.  

These sections let you take or make calls and control most of the intercom’s functions manually. Primary functions are also possible via voice command.

The 40-mm JBL designed speakers rubber stamp Cardo’s commitment to high-quality sound. These speakers allow for the full enjoyment of the built-in FM, RDS radio or streamed Smartphone playlist.

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • 13 hour talk time
  • up to 15 riders connected
  • High quality speakers
  • Twin audio channels for mobile phones & GPS
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Voice activated microphone is wind noise sensitive
  • 4 hour charging time is longer than some other intercom systems
  • Expensive if you don’t need all the other features

Where to buy the Cardo Packtalk Slim motorcycle intercom system?

You can also buy the Cardo Slim here:


Cardo Packtalk Bold JBL Bluetooth Intercom Single Pack

Best Motorcycle Intercom for Group Chat

Cardo Packtalk Bold

The ‘Bold’ option of the Cardo is the previous version of the edge, although it was revolutionary for motorcycle intercom technology when it was first released.

Bulkier than the Cardo Slim, the Bold has an external aerial that fits flush when not in use. This feature, in theory, allows for a clearer signal. Just don’t forget to flick it up before riding, as it isn’t all that easy with gloved fingers.

Fitting the Bold is relatively straightforward. The baseplate secures the helmet with the intercom section clicking into place on top and you can charge the Bold on the go via your motorcycle’s power outlet or using a power bank.

Thanks to Universal 4.1 connectivity, using the multi-rider feature is easy, even with other brand intercoms. Better still, if anyone in your group stops (or gets lost!), reconnection is automatic once once they’re back in range. The intercom range is up to 1.6km / 1 miles, but can be extended up to 8.0km / 5 miles when only 6 riders are using it.

Voice commands, a built-in radio with auto search function and high-quality JBL speakers make the Cardo Bold one of the best motorcycle intercoms on the market.

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • 13 hour talk time
  • Rechargeable on the go
  • Auto-connect once back in range
  • Up to 15 riders- can share music
  • Fully Waterproof
  • Built in FM radio
  • Battery warning voice alerts
  • Two audio channels for mobile and GPS
  • Universal- can connect to other bluetooth helmet intercom systems
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Wind noise can be an issue
  • Can be fiddly to connect- doesn’t always happen first try
  • Aerial can be a pain to put up whilst riding if you forget

Where to buy the Cardo Packtalk bold motorcycle intercom system?

You can buy the Cardo Bold here:


Best budget motorcycle bluetooth intercom systems

If you want a cheaper intercom system and don’t want or need all the bells and whistles of the market leaders, here are some lower budget options for you.

Cardo Spirit HD Motorcycle Intercom

Best for solo riders

This is one of the best ‘budget’ motorcycle intercoms we’ve ever tried. It’s like all the other Cardo systems, but without the ‘extras’ you might not need.

The sound is really good, connectivity is fast and the profile is quite slim. The buttons can be complicated but once you remember what you need to press, it’s easy enough to use.

With two riders it has a range of up to 600m / 0.4mi and has universal connectivity, so can connect with any bluetooth headset brand. You change settings on the Cardo Connect app, which helps make it easier to use.

Where to buy the Cardo Spirit HD intercom

You can also buy it on Amazon:


Lexin G16 Motorcycle Bluetooth Intercom Multi-Rider

Best Mid-price Motorcycle Intercom Multi-Rider

No need to break the bank to enjoy top-of-the-range features for group bluetooth helmet intercoms. This system falls between the budget and top-shelf units when comparing price points.  

The Lexin G16 allows conversation for up to 16 riders with a claimed distance range of 2km. These impressive stats are thanks to the intercom’s Bluetooth 5.0. As a result, it is twice as fast and gives four times the range of the 4.2 version.

Thanks to Lexin’s universal pairing facility, connectivity to other brand intercoms is straightforward. Music sharing is only possible with other G16 units, so the fast streaming and built-in FM radio are primarily aimed at rider and pillion.

The sound quality is impressive, thanks to 40-mm HD speakers. What’s more, the unit’s advanced noise reduction software is clear up to a claimed 144-kph. The intercom is water and dustproof and features an integral LED light.

The LED is useful for night riding. It means you can instantly check out a potential issue without removing your helmet or finding a flashlight. The light facility will drain the battery, but there is power to spare with 15 hours of intercom talk or music streaming. The 2 hour recharge time is impressive.

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • 15 hour talk time
  • Up to 16 riders – range 2km
  • Universal- can connect to other bluetooth helmet intercom systems
  • Good noise reduction
  • LED light
  • Water/ dust proof- perfect for motorcycle touring
  • Recharges in 2 hours
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Music sharing only possible with other G16 units
  • Not as many features as some other brands
  • Lost connections must be manually re-added

FreedConn Motorcycle Bluetooth TCOMVB Communication System

Only just crossing into the three-figure price range for two headsets, the FreedConn offers excellent value for money. In the case of rider to pillion intercoms or if you often ride in a small group, this system should cover your needs.

Pairing to a pillion allows you full access to all the FreedConn’s features. What’s more,  you can link three riders together over a distance of 800m.

Advanced noise suppressing software gives good sound quality and the built-in stereo FM radio feature remains clear up to 120kph. In addition, FreedConn’s Audio Multitasking Technology allows you to listen to music and GPS prompts while taking a call. Moreover, it can switch manually between the three.

NOTE: manufacturer information is vague. There is no mention of universal 4.1 connectivity, so pairing with anything other than the same brand may be a problem.

The rechargeable lithium-polymer battery supplies around 10 hours of talk time and a charging time of around 3 hours. No battery charger is supplied but is rechargeable using a phone charger.

Motorcycle gear review- pros
  • Waterproof
  • Great value
  • 3 hours charge time
  • Can use phone, GPS and talk
Motorcycle gear review- cons
  • Only 10 hours talk time
  • No battery charger
  • May not be possible to link with non- brand devices
  • Short range

Other options for lower price intercom systems

You might also want to check out:

  • Sena 3S Plus: Great communications unit- easy to install and no big external unit on the side of your helmet! Connection to bike and phone is fast and easy.
  • Interphone U-com3 Bluetooth Intercom: Slim design and perfect for all weathers. Great for rider-pillion connection or another rider within 500m range. Also a good option for your spare helmet.
  • Sena 5R Lite: Bluetooth 5.1 intercom system with up to 8 hours talk time and great sound clarity, even at high speeds.


Commonly asked questions about motorcycle intercoms

rider pillon intercom

Still got questions about choosing the best motorbike bluetooth system for you? These might help:

Are motorcycle intercoms safe to use?

As long as the intercom/ bluetooth device is installed and used as intended, motorcycle intercoms are perfectly safe to use. If you’re paired up with other motorcycle riders, you need to be mindful of what they are doing when you talk to them- navigating a tricky junction might not be the best time (unless you’re point out a safety hazard!)

If you’re a solo rider making a phone call or listening to music, make sure it’s not so loud that you can’t hear the traffic around you, and that you’re not distracted whilst operating it (No Siri, I did NOT say “call mum…!”

Also, if you enjoy riding on track days, you’ll need to make sure your intercom system is either entirely within your helmet or can be removed- they won’t allow side of the helmet units on track in case it causes a problem should you come off your bike. 

How do motorcycle bluetooth intercoms work?

Early motorcycle intercoms were more or less an earphone lead connected to a mobile phone or sat-nav. Consequently, it was only possible to listen to or call via an inline microphone with limited communication. Furthermore, talking to the pillion required being physically wired to each other, making dismounting a syncronised affair (even funnier when you forgot…!)

Smartphones and Bluetooth wireless connectivity have revolutionised motorcycle intercom systems. Now, riders can make and take calls safely without touching their mobile phones and can enjoy wire-free rider to rider or pillion intercom communication.

The system can be a basic talk-only version or offer other features depending on the make and model. These may include separate volume controls, a built-in radio receiver and dual channels so you can talk on your phone while receiving GPS voice commands.


How do you talk to another motorcycle rider or pillion?

Motorbike bluetooth headsets make it easy to talk with another rider or pillion on the go.

Both parties need a bluetooth intercom system fitted into their helmet and these need to be paired BEFORE you set off- it’s not easy to do as you’re riding.

CAUTION: Some budget motorcycle intercoms can only pair with the same brand- so choose carefully.

Once paired, you’ll be able to hear each other. Most systems are ‘live’ all the time, so you can hear everything the other person says, when they say it.

Some systems can be set to only be ‘live’ when a button is pressed, and some (often used by motorcycle training schools) can be set to be one-way, so the trainee can hear the instructor but not the other way around.

It’s important to remember that range is a big factor. If you go too far from the other rider (hopefully you won’t be too far from your pillion!!!), you will lose connection and won’t be able to hear each other anymore. Some systems (like the Sena we use), will automatically re-connect when you’re back within range again. Others don’t.


What about bluetooth intercoms for group rides?

Ride in a group and Bluetooth will limit the distance and user number that it’s possible to connect. Multiple riders, spread over a larger geographic area, need a more powerful device that utilises Mesh technology, which gives greater coverage and connectivity.     

If you are riding in a group, make sure you have a motorcycle camera or helmet cam to record the fun!

Can you talk on the phone while riding?

You can. Better still, if your Smartphone or intercom has the relevant software, you can use voice commands to take and make a call or speed dial contacts.

Can I listen to music on my headset while riding?

Yes, and there’s more than one way to achieve this. You can either listen to the playlist on a Smartphone or tap into its FM radio mode. Meanwhile, some motorcycle intercoms offer a built-in FM radio feature with preset or roaming options.

Are all motorcycle intercoms compatible?

No. As you’ve seen in this review, not all helmet intercom systems can talk to each other. Also, not all intercoms are suitable to fit every motorbike helmet, so you’ll need to check the specs carefully before you buy. Usually, you’ll find it’s the cheaper systems which are restrictive.

What is the difference between Mesh and Bluetooth?

Mesh is the term for a different technology to bluetooth. It allows more riders to be connected on one system. Both the Sena and Cardo systems have this (Cardo call it DMC)

Do Sena intercom systems work with Cardo?

Yep. Both systems will work universally with other brands, so they will work with each other no problem.


We hope you found our review of the best motorcycle intercoms helpful. Here are some other posts you might enjoy:


Looking to discover the best motorcycle intercoms and bluetooth headsets so you can stay connected on your rides? You're in the right place- here we review 7 of the best motorbike helmet intercom systems for all situations and budgets.

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3 thoughts on “REVIEWED: 10 Best Motorcycle Intercoms (& how to choose!)”

  1. The Lexin FM motorcycle radio works great with our Bell full face road helmets. The sound is evident. I take advantage of earplugs and infrequently wish I could turn them up a touch, but mostly it’s fine. It takes a long time to know what the four buttons do; They’re multifunctional, so it is a bit sort of a memory test. Considering all of this, it is a great value.

    Reply
  2. Maybe you can try to use the ejeas motorcycle intercom, which is powerful and cheap.
    2-Way Communication It should be noted that EJEAS is a 2 person full-duplex motorcycle bluetooth intercom system, which supports up to 6 people connection but only 2 people can talk to each other at a time (the host can choose one of the 5 sub-devices). The maximum intercom range can reach up to 1200M.

    Reply
  3. Great roundup of the best motorcycle intercoms and Bluetooth headsets! As an avid motorcyclist, I’m always on the lookout for the best communication options while on the road. The Sena50s looks like a great option, thanks for including it in your list. I’ll have to check out the other picks as well. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

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