Chatterbox XBi2-H Wireless Intercom
Microphone comfort lacking
I bought this unit primarily to be able to hear my iPhone-based GPS instructions while riding. I also like to stream music on longer rides. These activities do not require the microphone, which, for me, does not fit well inside my full face helmet at the same time as my face! I could jam the mic between my mouth and the front of the helmet to talk, but that's not what I had in mind when I bought the bluetooth-resdy HJC helmet and this recommended chatterbox.
Check the fit with your helmet and your face before you buy.
February 4, 2013
Bottom Line: Great integration, rider to rider comm., and Bluetooth functionality.
I haven't been able to put this unit through all of the paces of motorcycle riding; however, installation was fairly easy and I would recommend watching the youtube videos posted by ChaterBox before hand to gain some idea of the installation process.
The unit was easy to pair with another unit, phone, and iPod touch. In testing the phone function, I was a little unimpressed with it because there is an echo on both ends of a call.
One really cool feature is that there is a hierarchy for the Bluetooth units. If you have music playing and another rider wants to talk or a call comes in, the unit mutes the music and resumes it after.
The integration of it with my Sy-Maxx III by HJC is great. The profile is slim and adds little bulk to the side of the helmet. The microphone is a tad bulky and makes occasional contact with my lips/chin but it's tolerable.
I ride an old and loud '72 CB750 so once riding season starts up again I can see how well its stands up to the noise of a 4 into 1 exhaust.
December 31, 2012
XBI2-H Problem solved
I ordered the HJC modular helmet and an XBI2-H bluetooth unit. The unit and the helmet did not work. After a couple of calls to Revzilla and their calls to the manufacturer, it was determined that the HJC helmet cradle was faulty. Revzilla went out of their way to make this right (Jason Thanks!!) by replacing both. When I received the replacement helmet and bluetooth unit, the unit still did not work. I took a close look at it and figured out that the back tabs of the unit were not allowing it to make contact with the helmet cradle. Using a fingernail clipper, I cut off the tabs, installed it and it worked just fine.
Some may say that this should not have happened in the first place but these things happened. As a courtesy and for my troubles, Revzilla gave me a free bluetooth unit which I will use on my wife's helmet.
Bottom line, Revzilla did their best and for that they get 5***** They know how to take care of the clients. As far as the products go, the helmet is FANTASTIC and the XBI2-H bluetooth unit (after the minor modification) work very well. I have compared them to other brands and they cannot be matched.
July 2, 2012
One of the best accessories I've added to my riding!
I have had no issues with my xbi2. My buddy and I have them and love the communication advantage. We both have them paired up with our Android phones for both calls and music. Sound does suffer at highway speeds and callers complain of echo, but benefits far outweigh disadvantages. I would recommend to anyone that wants to be able to listen to music or communicate with other riders. Can easily go 6 hours of steady music and talking.
June 19, 2012
Poor Product, despite good tech support.
This Chatterbox product does not work. A friend and I bought these. One hour with tech support, they had us send them in. Returned two brand new sets. Hard to sync, overly complex controls. Once it is finally set up, can not hear when buddy is just a few yards ahead on highway. Their tech support really did everything possible, but the product simple needs a lot of work. I wish it worked, because it integrates nicely in my HJC Full Face.
June 2, 2012
good idea, poor execution
Note that I have this installed in an HJC CL-Max, not an IS-Max BT. They're very similar helmets, both designed to fit this model of chatterbox.
The first thing I noticed is that, while pairing the thing with your phone is easy, pairing one Chatterbox to another for intercom communications is quite difficult, and is very fickle. I ALWAYS have to dig up the instruction manual when I want to use the intercom feature. Additionally, the sound quality is terrible. Most of the time you can barely understand what's being said even at max volume while sitting still, not to mention while you're moving, which makes it pretty much inaudible.
Installation was pretty painless, though. Pull out the liners, follow directions, takes about 20 minutes max.
Additionally, answering/making phone calls on it is incredibly wonky. The power button for the device also operates as the "make/answer call" button. This sounds OK, until you turn the device on... and it calls your most recently dialed contact when it pairs with your phone. VERY annoying for both you and your friend or whatever. You actually have to put it into "pairing mode" every time you use it or it will call someone like I just said.
overall I call the Chatterbox an example of a good idea with poor execution. I wish it worked like I thought it would, but it's too quiet, too hard to setup, and has too many annoying "features" (AKA bugs) to be and effective form of communication.
March 12, 2012