Cardo G4 Powerset
It works well here in California, but not so well in Baja.
July 12, 2012
Really love the Cardo G4 Powerset
Originally we had purchased a bluetooth communicator from a different manufacturer. It was difficult to use and connection was hit and miss.
Finally we decided to get the Cardo G4 system. WOW! what a difference! you turn it on and it connects immediately. we never have to resync. Clarity is also very good and it works well with my iPhone.
I would say I only have two complaints. I wish I could listen to my iPhone music stream and have my GPS connected at the same time. So far I haven't found any system that can do this. The second complaint is there can be a little delay when speaking with my wife and we find ourselves saying, "are you there?".
Other than that I couldn't be happier with this system.
June 23, 2012
G4 easy to set up
I have not used all the features but the intercom worked good. It was great to have on our trip. Four us used them all day long with no drop in power. Revzilla had the best price and shipping as usual. I needed them quick and Revzilla came through. Thank you.REVZILLA
June 4, 2012
I've been shopping around for a communication systeme for a while and this is exactly what i was looking for, easy to install, easy to use and very good product. Now i can ride with my wife on the other bike and talk with her at the same time. Good for long distance ride, listen to music and the GPS . I recommend this product to anyone. I wish they would come up with a half helmet bracket soon.
May 28, 2012
Great setup for 2-up riding
G4 works very well, no issues. It was easy to set up and availability of inexpensive mounting hardware makes it easy to transfer between helmets.
The only downside - speakers are a bit large for my Suomy, but worked well in Arai, HJC, and Scorpion. Smaller speakers and / or option to plug in own headphones would be nice for some helmets.
May 7, 2012
Sending it back, quite disappointed
I had high hopes for this system. I installed the headsets on two helmets and they were already paired from the factory. It took a few tries to get optimal speaker placement but shortly enough my girlfriend and I were talking to each other with ease. All was good. I paired up my iPhone quickly and easily, things were going great, so I took an extended ride to listen to some music and this is where my perception began to go downhill a bit.
Perhaps I'm overly fussy, but the sound quality of the music was pretty much awful. The speakers were tinny and distorted, with generally bad transmission quality over Bluetooth. I understand speakers are going to be fairly tinny due to their size but even with better speakers, the sound quality would have been marginal due to the way the audio was delivered to the headset. I could basically only tell what song I was listening to based on the high frequencies of cymbals and the occasional bright melodic sounds - midrange and bass were completely absent. Strike 1.
The next time I went out with the headset for an extended ride, I brought my girlfriend along and we attempted to communicate. Things were going fairly well at low speeds and we were talking without too much issue, only having to repeat ourselves every other sentence. We then got on the highway and couldn't hear each other at all due to the poor sound quality. The wind noise was intense when we weren't talking (inside full faced helmets behind a huge windshield) and when we were talking, the volume was too low despite being at the maximum and talking directly into the microphones. To make things worse after a short period of time the system had gone into a non-transmission mode so we weren't listening to each other's wind noise - not an issue normally but unfortunately it would not wake up when we spoke or even yelled into the microphone. We got off the highway and tried to talk on lower speed roads again and timed how long it took before the system reactivated itself on its own (they were turned on). It took over 5 minutes most of the time. That's right, it took over 5 minutes of constant talking/yelling into the microphone before the voice activated system activated itself again. It also shuts itself off after 30 seconds of inactivity so reliability of voice activated communication was pretty much nil. (an important feature for a voice communication system, no?). My girlfriend's right speaker also stopped working on its own during the same trip. Strike 2.
I broke out the manual and discovered you can press a button to re-initiate communication to the other rider when voice activated isn't working and it would reconnect after 1-10 seconds or so after pressing the button. 1 second is OK, but 10 seconds was not ideal (in the same room, not moving, antennas up). It still offered hope of a solution for communications so I thought I'd give the system another chance on an extended ride. I began by listening to some music for 4-5 hours as I rode. All was good in high frequency only land, providing a bit of entertainment on a boring interstate. Unfortunately my right speaker started cutting in and out on its own and made listening to music unbearable. I figured this could have perhaps been a battery issue after hours of continuous use so I turned the music off for the remainder of my ride and forgot about things until the return journey. I had a freshly charged headset for the way back and music had been playing for maybe 30 minutes and the right speaker began cutting out again. Infuriated, I pulled over to the side of the road and began troubleshooting. I rebooted my phone, rebooted the headset and I was only able to re-engage the right speaker by pushing/pulling on the wire in certain ways, meaning I almost certainly had a wire break after 2 weeks of light use. The wire was gently fed through the helmet and not exposed to any impact/pulling at all! It seemed that both headsets already had broken right speakers after a handful of uses. I resigned myself to no music for the return journey and was left very frustrated and let down.
Getting home I contacted Revzilla who were helpful and mentioned this was likely a software issue (!). I had already upgraded the units to the latest available firmware on a windows PC I was able to borrow (sorry Mac users, Cardo doesn't support you). I reset the units to factory default as per the suggestion and lo and behold music began playing in both headphones again. I was moderately bewildered as to what I did wrong and wondered how often this would be happening in the future on the road. Regardless, I felt like I had achieved some sort of success except not even 1 minute later, the right headphone began cutting out again. I was sitting motionless on my living room couch. Strike 3.
Bang for the buck gets 1 star out of 5 due to the fact that this is an expensive product compared to most competitors, yet seems to be made with very poor wires and doesn't work for voice activated communications. It would only cost Cardo a few cents per headset to go with better quality wires. Even cheap headphones don't break as easily as this multi-hundred dollar headsets. You can't trust this system will link up with the other headset quickly so communicating something you see at the side of the road to the other rider is just not going to happen since you'll only be able to tell them about it 5 minutes after you've passed it... if you ever get to tell them about it at all through the headset. Not good for emergencies.
Ease of install gets 3 stars as it wasn't too difficult to get things in place but it wasn't easy to get a reliable installation. I was delicate with this thing and the wires still broke anyways. In contrast, I abuse my headphones by going for runs, winding/wrapping them up in a case and after years of use like this they still function properly. Broken wires really should not be an issue for an application like a motorcycle.
Durability gets 1 star due to the wiring issues. You can't use a headset that doesn't have working speakers. Pretty major flaw.
Sound clarity gets 2 stars as I was actually able to discern what music I was listening to, but it was generally distorted and tinny. The noise cancellation at highway speeds was not good and you simply couldn't communicate with the other rider.
Ease of use gets 1 star because the main feature - voice activated communications - doesn't work most of the time. The buttons don't offer much feedback through gloves so you don't fully know what you're pressing until you memorize everything. Charging the units through USB has a fairly stiff connection which does take practice to insert the cord successfully. The manual has a confusing layout (coming from someone whose job is technical support) and you're relying on a flashing light as your only indication a setting has taken place when configuring the unit from the outside. Oh, and if you're using a Mac, you can't change any of the settings via USB.
Unfortunately it's not just the broken headset wiring that's turned me off of this system. The voice activated communication just doesn't work like it should which is a major flaw in the first place. I will be returning this for refund as a defective product thanks to Revzilla's great service.
May 3, 2012
This product has important issues
This product is good in its purpose. Have great quality and is easy to manipulate.
April 30, 2012
Unit sound good, easy to setup/use
This is my first intercom purchase and was able to test it out during an overnight ride with my son. First thing after receiving the unit was to do the update, very easy to do. The only thing we have noticed is after turning the unit on my headset responds "Rider A connected" you have to press the "A" button and the second radio becomes active. The ear piece placement is a little critical, if it is above or below the ear you will notice a drop in loudness. So it took a little bit to get the right placement and worked great. Others that have reviewed this unit complain about the "quality" of their music over the ear pieces. It will not give you that nice "stereo" sound like in a regular headset. If you're looking for that, then you will not like what you hear. The best I can describe is the audio sounds like the intercom on a commercial flight or something close. It is clear and the unit has a lot of volume to give, so hearing your riding partner/s will not be an issue. We put the unit to the test on xmit/receive. We were in the hills of Southern KY and the best we could get out of the radio was about 1/2 of a mile. I am going to guess the 1 mile range will have to be level ground, line of sight for it to operate properly. The mic picks up great and you will not believe the amount of noise cancellation, you cannot tell you're riding when you talk. Virtually all wind noise is gone. I set the the VOX to max and the AGC to MID and place the mic as close to your mouth as you can... The buttons are easy to use, just got to get used to where they are. As far as the FM radio is concerned...I have not been able to pick up stations in my local area, about 10 miles from the xmtr site, so I am not too disappointed in that. You can only cram so much into that little space... Only thing I would suggest is while you map out your route, look at the towns that you will be either close to or riding through and check the radio station listings for their frequency and preset your radio. There are 6 presets only, so you cannot scan or seek with the tuner. The only thing we haven't done is setup Bluetooth, it's not that there is a problem doing it...it's just we did not want to. We perfer just to talk while we're riding which makes the trip much more enjoyable. If you are looking for that first intercom or looking to replace an existing one, you can't go wrong with this unit..trust me!
April 23, 2012