UCLEAR HBC100 Plus Bluetooth Communicator
Best of breed unit for this price-point
Tried a variety of units at or about this price profile in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the quality and feature expectations. Here is what I found about this unit, which I consider to be best-of-breed at this particular price profile/pricepoint.
The installation is incredibly easy and very straightforward. Pairing is as easy as pairing any Bluetooth device. Other units at this pricepoint that are similarly configured are also fairly easy to install but there are units (specifically those that have external/separate battery packs) that are much more complex (lots of wiring) and this is the only unit that has no wiring for a mic, simplifying installation significantly. That being said, the earpieces are a touch thicker but don't seem intrusively so - this varies by helmet and user. I've installed the HBC100 plus in two helmets and the earpieces were firmly ensconced in the small depressions within the helmet at the ear. Minimum of wires, very easy to install.
Operation is simple and even has some voice commands. On Android, seems to be connected to Google's Voice Command system, but it has its own internal voice command system as well to answer calls. Learning some of the commands on the buttons has a small learning curve but it's fairly intuitive - for most users it's simply music controls and some call controls like pickup/hangup and volume.
Voice quality is superior and noise cancellation is some kind of sorcery. For not having a wired mic to the mouth, voice quality is insanely good. Even if it did have a wired mic it would be insanely good. At this pricepoint I certainly didn't expect this level of voice quality. At speeds up to about 60mph it is remarkably clear. Will update with information about call quality at higher speeds after I make a call while going... faster.
Sound quality is very, very good. Bass is weak, but I wasn't exactly expecting bass drivers. Midrange is good, not overstated, highs are clear. Audiophiles might characterize the sound as slightly tinny due to the midrange attempting to make up for the lack of bass but it's more than acceptable and easily as good or better than competitor's products.
Very surprised by the quality of this product - or perhaps I should be more surprised by the lack of quality in the products by more popular brands. It lacks some of the features of the higher pricepoint models, and I didn't expect to get those features. I am very pleased with the quality and the experience of using this product. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend over competitor's products... and in fact have already done so. It may not have the 'brand' but it certainly has the technology and quality at a very reasonable price to overtake the competition. As always, YMMV.
January 16, 2016
After reading the great reviews here, I decided to purchase this unit over the Sena.
Purpose: Bluetooth my Note 4, which has Co-Pilot/Google Maps, XMSirius app, and the phone of course.
Helmets: ICON Battlescar Variant and Shoei GT Air
-Included speakers: I used these in the ICON only and I was not impressed. Even with the lower profile these speakers have (supposedly) over the Sena, they still buckled the tops of my ears when I put on the helmet and they created pressure points on my ears which became very irritating after about 30 minutes. I used a skull cap that went over my ears, to keep the top of my ears from folding on the speakers, which worked well, although the pressure points were still very uncomfortable. The speaker quality was also sub-par and too much treble, with no adjustment.
-Ear buds: These were used in the Shoei GT Air. I had planned a trip from the Atlanta area to central Florida and thought I would try the ear buds that can be purchased separately for this unit. They were more comfortable and had better sounds. although they are not as good as standard ear buds connected to my phone, and need some work to be comfortable.
-Battery life: I had no problem when just running around in my local area. These runs were usually an hour to an hour and a half in length. My trip to Florida was another story. On the way down, the battery crapped out in about 2 hours. On the way back, after charging again, they last for 2 hours and 21 minutes. Maybe I received a unit with bad battery life, but I am not impressed. I had no phone calls during either time and on the way back, I was only listening to the XM radio, with no GPS.
Conclusion: This unit is not ready for long road trips. I stopped at a CVS store and purchased a pair of Phillips Action ear buds, when the UClear died on the way home. They worked much better, with better bass and none of the shrillness of the UClear earbuds and speakers. I have no desire to talk to anyone when I am riding, so I did not test the phone call aspect of this unit.
December 1, 2015
Best boom less unit out there
I paired this with my phone and installed in my quest helmet in less than 20 min sitting at the kitchen table.
Have used it on the highway , in town and around the local housing area.
I give it all fives stars as for the money you cannot beat it.
No Boom which in a close fitting helmet is important to me .
Pairing it to my phone was childs playy and if you can connect anything bluetooth to your phone this is a snap.
Yes these are not super high sound Bose sound muffling headset but is well with in the standards of other in helmet speakers, Im comparing them to EdSets at the time and they were fine.
I recieved a call from my wife and she asked me where I was and couldnt tell I was going down the highway at 75 on my ST1300 soyes I had a windshield but it was a perfect clear to her.
I also tried it on my sportbike (ZX1400) and the quality was still good but the speaker did get drowned out over 65 or 70 with my Quest helmet.
Overall I would recommend these to a friend , in fact I have and the ylike thm also !!!
September 3, 2015
Disappointed. How so many good reviews?
I purchased a Uclear HBC 100 plus Bluetooth unit for my motorcycle helmet. I need help getting it to work correctly.
So far I am regretting my purchase. I had high hopes based on the reviews. Sound quality is decent enough. But instructions are very small and leave a lot to be desired. Cannot register the unit on the Uclear site. It rejects the input and gives an error message in Chinese. So no way to figure out why it is rejecting registration. I cannot find a customer service number where anyone answers a phone. So.... zero tech support. Then the very limited functionality of a $150 unit. This thing is worth about $20 bucks for the few things that it does... and poorly at that.
So far a list of things I need help with.
1. Bluetooth ALWAYS auto answers. Even when auto answer feature on the phone is switched off.
2. Bluetooth has only ONE ringtone. That means my personalized ringtones do not make the transfer to the unit. So I don't know who is calling.
3. Bluetooth won't let you turn on "announce caller" feature. Even when turned on, it doesn't make it to the BT unit. Only that one same ringtone. So who is calling me? I don't know and I can't make a decision whether or not to pick up unless I pull over and get my phone out to see who it is...... But the darned thing has already auto answered to someone I didn't want to talk to. Grrrrr.
4. I cannot ever start the music from the BT unit. No big deal, I'll start it before I leave on my ride. BUT If I manually pause music, I cannot restart it. I have to stop my bike, get out my phone and manually restart music. WTF?
5. Phone will not recognize ANY voice commands if moving even 10 mph. USELESS. I have to pull over to a dead stop and place a call. Then I can start riding again. Call quality during the ride is pretty good.... Even at higher speeds. Just can't initiate voice command. HJC IS-Max II helmet. Not the best helmet out there, but not junk.
6. If I hit a bump on the bike the sound coming out of the speakers skips.
7. So far I have not figured out how to determine how much battery life I have left. The directions don't address this. I just have to wait until it dies.
No that I am researching on Uclear website. Their answer to everything is "Update the firmware" ON YOUR PHONE. According to the website, there is never anything wrong with the BT.
I am sooooo disappointed. Not worth the effort. If you want something that you can take out of the box and start using. And use the features of the phone, but something else. This is worth about $20 bucks in it's present state.
July 16, 2015
Easy to install.
The unit is very easy to install but does require a bit of fine tuning to get the microphone to line up properly for best sound quality.
I had to return the original unit to the manufacturer who was extremely helpful and sent a replacement unit almost immediately. The replacement unit seems to work better, however, I have not had the opportunity to use it in the bike-to-bike mode, only to receive calls. Once I have a chance to pair the unit with other users I will be able to give it a fair assessment.
The sound quality for music is fair and more distracting than it's worth in my opinion.
June 22, 2015
Great communicator for the money, with some caveats...
Ease of install and the ability to easily move between helmets attracted me to the HBC100+. Most of the time it works well enough. My main complaint is if you're using earplugs, it doesn't get nearly loud enough - and yes, I know that sounds silly, but good earplugs will still allow you to hear while filtering out wind roar. Without plugs, these things get plenty loud, but combined with wind roar, that will = hearing damage in no time flat.
Anyway, as I said, it works fine most of the time. Now and then it inexplicably drops connection, almost always on the phone side of things. When I receive calls, the caller can't hear me and the unit doesn't respond to voice commands to pick up, but if I make the outbound call, it works perfectly. And yes, I've rebooted it and updated the firmware; no difference. It's just picky sometimes.
For music it works great all the time - my only ask would be that it be updated to accept voice commands for music, not just calls. If I hit a stretch of songs I don't like, it's kind of tiring to constantly reach up and double click the button to fast forward - I'd love to just say, "Next song."
This is a good buy if you don't want to spend double for other units out there - I would buy it again - the flexibility and relatively low expense to have other helmets ready for the unit makes it worthwhile. The other stuff I think are bugs that will be worked out in future versions.
June 22, 2015
Good Bluetooth system for modular helmets
Great system for modular helmets because there's no boom mic that sticks out. Great sound quality and the mics pick up your voice great. Downside is it's a little difficult to use with gloves on but everything else is great.
June 8, 2015
Music and phone calls sound good at any speed under 80 mph on my super tenere very easy to use even with gloves on once you learn the orientation of the buttons. total installation took me about 20 mins. i love this product and use it all the time.
May 24, 2015