Cardo Scala G4 Snow Powerset
Great in theory; not yet great in practice
I bought this set so that my wife and I could communicate on the road, and thought that the wired microphones would be better than the boom microphones for our full-face helmets. These are my findings so far:
1. Installation: pretty easy. I had to play with the microphone locations to optimize sound pick-up and speaker locations because they were interfering with my wife's ear and bending it when she wore her helmet (Shoei TR-Z).
2. Features: I've only tried the G4 to G4 communications, so cannot comment on the radio, phone or GPS pairing or MP3 connections.
3. Communications: This is the reason I bought these headsets, and... they mostly work. I have had several issues where they will be working fine and then all of a sudden my wife and I can no longer hear each other. We are never more than 300m apart, so I don't believe it is a distance issue: I am still trying to fiddle with settings to fix this. I find that you have to speak loudly and deliberately in order to get them to transmit voice between the units, and that means that casual conversations, like the types I was hoping to have (think in-car conversation) aren't really possible: you are always thinking about how you are going to say things clearly. The voice quality is usually pretty good (when it works), but it is more walkie-talkie quality than telephone quality: you must enunciate clearly to be understood.
Snowmobile vs Motorcycle?: In retrospect, I really wish I'd bought the motorcycle powerset instead of the snowmobile powerset. I bought this set because we have full-faced helmets and I did not want to deal with the solid boom getting in the way of putting my helmet on. The wired microphones on this set, however, have no wind shielding to them: I knew this, but didn't think much of it. Now whenever my wife has her visor open, even a little bit, I get a lot of wind noise being transmitted through the system, and it is very, very annoying. Closing the visor fixes this (but she doesn't get as much ventilation.)
Overall thoughts: I really wish I could have tried this before I bought it. I would send it back and exchange it, except that it was my Christmas gift (my wife let me choose what I wanted, order it and she paid for it... she's the best!) so I've had it for about 6 months before I was able to give it a proper test. I will likely try to buy a boom microphone kit for my wife's helmet to fix the wind noise issue.
June 8, 2012
Very useful, I recommend.
I prefer this model, snow, because of the wired mic. Better to fit in helmet (smaller than boom mic). Very useful, when using alone (you can answer cell phone) but, principaly , when we use it within a group. Increases security.
March 26, 2012
Works great with my arai and my wife's agv full face helmets glad I bought the wires mic instead of the boom one. The only issue I have with this system is that you cannot update the software on a Mac , but luckily I have an extra pc around so was still able to adjust settings and update
January 9, 2012
This is an Excellent for mortorcycle riding.
I'd highly recommend the G4. I make and receive calls a lot and it works so great that up to about 80 mph people can't even tell I'm riding. At 80-90 mph people hear a little wind but I don't feel comfortable driving that fast especially not on the phone. I'd say communication via phone, GPS, or with another unit is very clear (like they are next to you#. The only down fail is that when linked through a GPS, and the GPS talks or if you select on the GPS to look at the map you loose the music from the G4. I did find a trick and that is to make a fake phone call #like 777) & hang up then the music comes back.
All in all it is fantastic & I'd highly recommend it. It is horrible without it.
I don't know how I rode without it in the past.
It takes riding to a higher level of freedom & enjoyment!
December 1, 2011
Good choice for full face or flip-up helmets
My riding partner and I could not make the G4 microphone booms (on the motorcycle power set) work with a full face or flip-up helmet. We returned that set for the "snow mobile" G4 power set, which using a wired microphone that accommodates the full face and flip-up helmets much better.
May 26, 2011