Cardo Scala Rider G9 Powerset
Mandatory but Difficult
We host motorcycle riding events and picked these up right before heading out on the fall NUT-U Epic which is a 1200 mile route in four days. Unfortunately, the unit would interrupt my music randomly to tell me, "Radio On" and then switch to the radio. Various other control issues, but when I shut it completely off and turned it back on it seemed to help. Being able to talk with my tail gunner was an incredible experience and mandatory to help our rides go smoothly. Although I don't know how I got along without these, the annoying control issues really made me despise the units. We've downloaded the software update and used them for a motorcycle escort after that. I couldn't use it to contact my tail gunner a few times and other times I could, but they could contact me. However, we were in a pretty bad rain and wind storm and he couldn't hear my higher pitched female voice over the background noise. My tail gunner has no issues with his headset, so now that our events are over I'll take it out to 'play' with it and see if perhaps it's a user issue rather than a technical issue.
One other note on the voice commands to use your phone; I couldn't get that to work at all. Maybe it's my female voice, or could be how I've named my contacts but it would never recognize who I was trying to call. However, when our motorcycle escort hit rain and we were running late for our hand-off, it was quite nice to be able to answer the phone when they called to ensure we were all right. However, being in the rain/wind storm it was quite difficult for us to hear each other. Emergency calls only for me from now on.
All of that being said, again I must state that these are mandatory if you're riding in a group. Once they work, they are quite handy and the range is fairly impressive. The rides we've just completed are pretty extreme, with rough canyons and horrific weather. I would buy these again, however I may want to exchange my personal headset should it continue to malfunction. Seeing how my tail gunner has no issues with his, I'd be inclined to think I happened to get a wanky unit and get it replaced.
October 7, 2013
Love it, but could be better
I use my Scala primarily for the bluetooth music so I can't really comment too much on the communication aspect. I have tried to use the comms a few time, but it's difficult to explain to a passenger how to use the system they've never seen.
Installation is relative simple, but it does take some time. I have mine mounted in my Arai Corsair V.
Music: It connects easily to bluetooth and the control are relatively simple to use with gloves on. The volume control is a problem. I would like to be able to turn the automatic volume control completely off. The total volume is too quiet. I wear a full face helmet and usually wear ear plugs as well. WIth ear plugs in it is difficult to hear the music at higher speed (highway not track). No problems without earplugs though.
Voice Activation is annoying, I finally just turned it off. Sounds like a good idea, but not if you cough too loud or say hello to someone and it starts trying to make a phone call.
I have received phone calls on the unit and it works reasonably well. The part I don't like is when you accidentally push the wrong button and it starts trying to make a call. Yes you are supposed to remain quiet and it will time out, but I have had wind noise somehow call the last person I called.
Overview: I love the unit! Streaming music and changing tracks it's great! I feel it could be improved greatly however.
September 26, 2013
Good product, poor instructions.
The Scalas are great fro bike to bike communication as well as GPS & music. However, the instructions to make that all happen are poor.
September 9, 2013
Don't buy this unless you just want to talk with one other person!
We purchased four of these for our 4 dual sport riders thinking that this would be an improvement over our helmet mounted, push-to-talk, FRS / GMRS based radios. We wanted the ability to communicate with other riders individually, but the main goal was to be able to contact all 3 other riders at once. Reading the marketing materials, this certainly seems possible:
* One + 8 Pairing: Communicate with up to eight other riders in full-duplex toggling mode
* Full Duplex: Full Duplex communication with up to 4 riders
The thing was, we could never get anything to work other than directly contacting one other buddy by name. (There were many issues with that as well, but I will try to stay focused on the main issue here). After much head (helmet) banging and finally a call to Cardo, now we know why - in short, you can't do any of the things the marketing would lead you to believe.
These radios basically have a single full-duplex channel with which you can communicate with *one* other radio some distance away. How do you get "Full Duplex communication with up to 4 riders" then? Well, each of the radios can also be bluetooth paired with another radio, assuming that other radio is a rider sitting on your bike with you. So basically, two couples touring on two bikes is going to work, nothing else will.
The One + 8 pairing is equally baffling - there is no way to talk to 8 other riders at once, or anything other than one other remote rider in fact. "full-duplex toggling mode" is marketspeak for "call somone, hang up when you are done, then call someone else". By the same logic a cell phone could be called "One + 4,000,000,000 Pairing: Communicate with up to four billion other riders in full-duplex toggling mode". Except that you can actually do conference calls on phones...
On top of all of this, the voice activated (and manual) connection to other riders is extremely slow and unreliable. It never happens faster than a few seconds and can take 10 seconds, or just fail altogether. A $10 FRS radio is far more reliable and you can warn people of hazards ahead instantly - the delays and lack of quick intercom / broadcast capability make these unusable for most applications.
August 26, 2013
We bought these 2 weeks before leaving on a trip to Mexico, easy to install and not to hard to set up. We've never had any bluetooth stuff so we found that to be neat.
On the Road coming down we were surprised how clear the volume was, even took a call while riding and had no problems on either end of the call.
Found that somtimes we wanted radio off or music off and it would not shut that feature off without a few try's, not that big of a deal.
The only thing that we thought this product would benefit from would be a radio search feature instead of 6 programed channels, but it may have it, we just haven't found it yet.
All in all great product that has now been weather tested, high speed wind noise approved, and I would recommed this product.
August 12, 2013
Durability - not really so good
First of all, this is towards the G4 Powerset that I purchased for myself and my wife. Never really used most of the G4 features but what I want to share is the durability issue with my set. It is still connected and looks pretty good but my issues have been with bike to bike communication with my wife. I have had my unit for some 30 months with just occasional use. Truthfully, not even weekly and sometimes not even monthly. The unit has always worked sometimes but never really consistently. Some rides with be without issue and others rides the dog gone thing would almost not work at all. And all I am talking about is just normal conversation. Talk a few sentences - no communication - re establish communication - a few sentences - no communication and on and on and on this way. It became a joke when we stopped and asked each other if we heard one another about just how much yelling we were doing to try and re establish communication. I actually really like this unit when it is working but truthfully - it has never worked enough to justify the cost. Support - re pair the unit - that all they said. I did not yell at them as much as I should have but I kind of wish I had. I want to buy another communication set but just can not see expending more money on the same product that did not provide satisfactory service in the first place or provide any suitable assistance.
July 6, 2013
This Product Is Great
I really am impressed with all this offers. Great communication set . I would highly recommend this to anyone. Thanks Revzilla !
July 1, 2013
Great sound quality
Last week we rode in 45 mph cross winds with 75mph gust. These headsets were a life saver. As a group we were able to talk our way through the experience. The battery life was good. As you can expect. we were very chatty and the units lasted about 6 hours. The next day the weather was perfect and the batteries lasted the entire day. I have not used the phone or played music yet.
April 15, 2013