UCLEAR HBC200 Force Bluetooth Communicator - Single Pack
Works very well for my uses.
Maybe I need more friends. Maybe I just don't like being with people. Who knows. But the vast majority of my miles are solo, so I've never had any desire for an intercom.
So why am I reviewing this?
Because I use it as a bluetooth link to my cell phone and GPS and my experience with those uses has been fantastic.
For a while, I never had any means to be contacted when on the road. A stop at a pay phone or using the motel's phone was my way to stay in touch - if I wanted.
Well, the wife likes to be able to know I'm OK when she wants. So, I carried a cell phone. But I'd only look at it when I was stopped - if I remembered. This did not lead to happy wife, so I did not have happy life....
Then came along bluetooth and those idiotic ear pieces. Took me a while, but I found one that would work with a helmet and plugged my ear well enough to work as an earplug. I'd have to pull over to talk, but at least I knew when she called. And to her credit, she did not call as often as I feared.
I also started to use a GPS that routed and became good at plotting routes to desired locations and roads. What I wasn't good at was checking the screen and tended to miss turns. Which, when you are in the middle of nowhere tends to mean you missed something you wanted to see.
About a year ago, I got a new helmet which fit even closer than the last one. This made getting the earpiece to stay put even harder as the helmet went on. I also got a new GPS (Garmin Monterra - nice unit) that had bluetooth, but I could not pair both the phone and the GPS at the same time.
So, I started looking for helmet speakers that could do the job. I liked the UClear for the lack of a microphone wire. Would make the installation much easier. Reviews seemed good, could pair with both devices, and the mount would not be permanent.
When I got the headset, I was initially upset as the speakers were too thick to mount in my helmet. They touched my ears! But I was able to use a razor knife to cut out the hard plastic lining that sat over the protective foam which recessed the speakers enough to clear my ears. Didn't have to remove any foam, so there should not be any loss of protection. The best part is that I was able to cut such a form fitting pocket that the speakers look like they were built into the helmet.
The wires laid easily behind the liner with just enough of a pigtail to attach to the exterior unit. Clipping the control to the lower lip of the helmet took some work due to the way the neck roll was designed, but it worked out.
The UClear paired with my phone and GPS with no issues. When you turn on the UClear, you get a tone as each device connects.
Even with 25db ear plugs in, the audio is nice and clear. GPS directions and can easily carry on a phone conversation. I do not place calls when in motion, but answering only requires a press of the large button on the UClear.
On longer trips where time passes without GPS directions, the device does shut off, but it plays a tone before so that you know it is happening. If I were to play music, that would not happen, but I don't ride with music. There might also be an issue with the music blocking the GPS directions too. Never tried, so I don't know.
I have no problem with the headset lasting a full day on the road. Easy enough to recharge, but don't lose the cable as I can not get a standard micro USB to work. I made sure to put a tag on the cable so that I know exactly which one is for the headset.
When commuting during the week, I run about 60 minutes a day and the headset lasts the week on a charge. Even with some after-work errands, I have not had the device run out of charge for the daily use.
While I have no other communicator style system to compare against, compared to the earpiece I was using, the audio is MUCH clearer and talking on the phone is dramatically better. I no longer have to stop for people to understand what I'm saying.
March 12, 2015
Beats the SMH10 by Far!
I come from a 2 years experience with a pair of SENA SMH10. I had some serious issues with the Sena; I would say it is useless in an open-face and I personally consider a microphone in a closed helmet dangerous for the teeth in case of a crash. Lately I switched to a modular Lazer Carbon helmet; what a beauty I would say but, I would need an intercom system that meets my needs. So I went for the HC200. I first installed it in literally 5 minutes, then charged and upgraded the firmware to the latest available release. The night I installed it I did not have the chance to test it but the following day had a group ride. While riding I was listening to music from my Xperia Z3 and suddenly someone called. Inside my helmet I said "Hello" and it picked up. My brother was talking to me from Paris and he could not believe I was riding! He said the sound clarity is even better than talking directly through the Z3; he could not even hear the KTM 1190 engine revz!
So in short, give it a try and be amazed!
March 5, 2015
works well and very cool
before pairing to bluetooth devices, I recommend updating the firmware. I could not connect other devices other than Uclear until I updated the firmware. Love the boom less feature and sound clarity is just fine. However, I do not listen to music while riding and only use this as a communication device and sometimes to answer phone calls.
January 14, 2015
Low on bass, but well worth in the advantages.
The install was clear and easy; haven't finished running the wires in its fixed position because I will have to use the dremel to do so on my Shoei RF-1200, or used the permanent adhesive part because I wanted to test the different positions of the unit. Other than that, this is awesome and easy to use. A little weird trying to make calls on the move but then again, I probably should be.
November 24, 2014
So I bought the Uclear HBC200 a few weeks ago after months of researching different options. I have to say, the install was beyond easy. I have an HJC RPHA MAX helmet and these speakers fit perfectly in the cutout area. Clipping the unit itself to the helmet was easy as well. The only thing that was slightly aggravating was not the physical install but the updating of the firmware. Not that I had to, I actually used it as is for a while before doing so, but I figured why not update. It might make you want to slam your head in to the wall.
As for the performance, I've gotten up to 70 mph on my bike and the sound was still loud and crisp. I don't feel like I'm ever lacking any volume while riding. The simplicity of just three buttons make it easy to use as well while riding and even with gloves on. A great feature I like is that when someone calls you, you only need to say "pick up" and the unit will answer. There are a few other hands free commands, but I have yet to try those out. Talking while riding at 60mph, I did have to speak a little louder than I normally would, but those on the other end of the line said I did not sound like I was shouting or talking loudly and they also could not tell that I was riding.
While 200.00+ for a unit may seem pricey, it is well worth the investment. I use an Apple Iphone 5s and it pairs easy and I have had no problems with it disconnecting or losing signal. Should something come up later on that I do not like, I will try and update this review.
November 19, 2014
Absolutely love this thing
The only problem I have is the speakers are to big for a Shoie helment rf 1100 and 1200
September 15, 2014
Music sound quality is poor and finding the correct spot to get the buttons to work properly was difficult at times.
I purchased this based on a recommendation from another rider. I found the sound quality of the speakers to be poor, there was no bass to speak of, which made listening to music very annoying. It worked fine with my Iphone and google maps but I had to turn off the music because I either couldn't hear the song or the high pitch became annoying. I purchased this through Amazon and have returned it.
June 16, 2014
I keep telling the voices in my head to leave me alone as I am on the phone.
Lets face it on a long trip with your bike and no one to talk to but yourself, we can get a little bored (or as I like to call it stark raving mad). The Uclear HBC200 is the perfect solution to that problem. I installed this into a Scorpion Exo helmet, and although the the speakers were hard to fit the rest of the instalation was easy. I love the idea of no boom in my helmet. I mean, come on, i can hardly fit my head in there much less accessories. From the first call I was shocked, I had to tell the person on the other end that I was on my bike, to which they replied no way. I am in 4th gear on the interstate going 75 MPH and they had no idea. That is amazing. This is one of those product you just have to try it to believe it. Now that I have the HBC200 I listen to music on the way to work and talk on the phone on the way home. What else is there to say except I love this thing.
June 16, 2014