The 5 Best Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets With Bluetooth

The mind finds ways to link things in the most creative of ways.

I’ll explain.

The (original) Mass Effect trilogy is one of the most critically acclaimed video game series of all time. The cinematic visuals, fantastic narrative, incredible storyline and some of the greatest video game characters make it so.

This article is not about the video game, but one of the helmets in the video game that I remembered when researching intercom technology.

You see, the main character who you play as goes by the name of Commander Shepard. He starts the game with this suit of armor called the N7 armor. The function of the N7 helmet is to protect his head against harsh weather conditions and relay information to his teammates as they advance to the objective to complete their mission.

The Codex (the name of the device serving as the in-game Wikipedia) describes the helmet of the armor as:

A dual layer of fabric armor and kinetic padding within a lightweight ablative ceramic shell. Comes standard with a suite of communication, navigation, and battlefield awareness software.

This description, with some of the words replaced, matches that of the full-face motorcycle helmets with Bluetooth featured in this article.

Why Bluetooth Helmets Make Riding So Much Better

Bluetooth helmets come with privileges that allow you to enjoy riding in ways you never thought possible.

Now, unlike N7 helmets, Bluetooth helmets don’t come with an indefinite supply of oxygen and the ability to keep your cerebrospinal fluids stable while you travel at speeds faster than light (at least not most of them).

But they help you in the following ways:

You don’t have to pull over every time you want directions

Photo by divaap on Unsplash

Imagine this: 

You’re riding around aimlessly alone, to your friend’s place. This is a part of your city you’ve never been to. It’s full of people, U-turns, and no places to park. And there are cars and trucks everywhere around you.

Now imagine dropping that same friend while he sits behind you.

By virtue of living there, he knows each and every nook and cranny of the neighborhood. The best pizza. The best bar. A hole-in-the-wall with the best well-done steaks (or medium-rare, however you like your steaks).

Not only do you not worry about directions, you now have directions to some of the best food in your friend’s locale. 

Having a Bluetooth helmet is like having that friend behind you. No matter where you ride. At all times.

And not only are the directions being relayed to you chopped by the wind- you get them with crisp sound quality from a surround system.

Group rides are the best they can be

Photo by Zakaria Zayane on Unsplash

Riding in a group is something else if you have the right people around you. 

The safety net of knowing that your group’s got your back. The camaraderie you have during rest breaks. All while you collectively take in breathtakingly gorgeous sights on the way. 

But it can be kind of a double-edged sword. Because there’s a lot involved that is subject to unpredictable circumstances.

More often than not, you’re going to be riding in dynamic formation with positions that interchange. If one of you needs to pull over, so does the rest of the group. And god forbid some of you ride with so much distance in between that the rest of you don’t know when you’ve taken the wrong turn- until it’s too late.

A Bluetooth helmet takes care of all of the above. All you need to do is speak.
Intercoms provide a shared channel for anywhere from 2 to over 16 riders, at a distance of anywhere from 300 metres to over 2 kilometres. Channels with crisp, high quality Bluetooth profiles.

In a lot of ways, it’s a watered down smartphone

With a Bluetooth helmet, you can answer phone calls. You can text hands-free with voice assist. You can listen to music from random playlists on Spotify or listen to Joe Rogan go on about chimpanzees for 20 minutes. Hell, you can blast Danger Zone at 9000rpm in 3rd gear while pretending you’re in a F14 with Maverick and Goose (remember that one scene from Top Gun?)

And you can accomplish all of this by just pushing a couple buttons. 

You’ll be saving a significant amount of money

A full-face helmet of high quality will set you back anywhere from $250 to above $450. A high-quality intercom unit will cost anywhere from $200 to $350. That is between $700 and $800 on average.

But most Bluetooth helmets cost between $400 and $600- you’re saving around $150 per purchase on average. Which is a foolish amount of money that you’d be wasting on an investment with a price tag that is already heft.

5 Of The Best Bluetooth Helmets

Now, Bluetooth helmets vary at least as much as the intercom tech they come with. 

Which means you have a myriad of options- but you also need to know what to look for.

There are a lot of aspects to Bluetooth helmets that make them so diverse, some of which that define them being:

  1. The Helmet Certification (D.O.T, Snell, ECE, et al)
  2. The Helmet Comfort/ Ventilation 
  3. How Secure The Helmet Is
  4. The Fit Of The Helmet
  5. The Bluetooth Version/ Profile The Intercom Comes With
    There are different types of Bluetooth profiles:
  • HSP (Handset Profile): Provides the basic functionalities needed for a handset (cell phone) to communicate with a headset.
  • HFP (Hands Free Profile): Has somewhat of an extended functionality to HSP and was originally intended to control a cell phone from a stationary, in-car, hands-free unit. 
  • A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile): Allows for the transmitting of stereo audio signals (with much better quality than the mono encoding used for HSP and HFP). 
  • AVRCP (Audio / Video Remote Control Profile): Sends commands (e.g. Skip Forward, Pause, Play) from a controller (e.g. stereo headset) to a target device (e.g. PC with Media Player).
  1. The Range Of/ Maximum Number Of Participants In The Intercom 
  2. The Talk/ Charge Time

For your sake, we’ve compiled a list of 5 helmets, based on the criteria listed above.

And while not ranked in any particular order, their strengths are all across the board- and there’s at least one helmet for everyone.

1. Sena Momentum

Sena Momentum Helmet - Black - front

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Manufactured by one of the most iconic brands in the intercom industry, our first entry features a helmet that does an incredible job of integrating Bluetooth technology with a helmet primed for function and utility.

The Momentum is the Korean brand’s first entry in the helmet area- and one of the best.

If you’re looking for a helmet where each and every part is integrated to a degree of near perfection, the Sena Momentum is going to make you very happy.

Helmet Certification

The helmet has both a D.O.T and an ECE certification.

Which means that the helmet’s standard of safety is so high that it meets those set by most racing organizations.

Helmet Design

The shell is composed of composite fiberglass- which is a derivative of glass fiber, and a material that is stronger than most metals of the same weight. 

The pinlock ready visor is both scratch and UV resistant, with a mechanism that is powered by a quick release system.

The interior is designed to be as airy as possible, with a breath deflector, exhaust port and ventilation on the top and chin of the helmet. The liner on the interior is composed of multiple layers of expanded polystyrene, for added density. A neck roll is present as well.

The Momentum comes with provisions to secure the helmet to your head as tightly as required, with a double D-ring fastener. The only drawback of the latter is that you’ll have to remove your gloves to loosen it. A chin strap  is present as well, for added reinforcement.

Intercom 

The Sena Momentum comes with Bluetooth 4.1, and all 4 Bluetooth profiles of HSP, HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP. You’re going to have no qualms with this setup.

The range of connectivity goes up to 1 mile (1.6 km) in open terrain, and the shared channel can accommodate up to 8 riders.

With advanced noise control, the sound system filters almost all unnecessary background noise out. You’ll have no trouble listening.

Talk Time: 20 hours

Charging time: 2.5 hours

2. Bell Qualifier DLX Blackout Helmet

Bell Qualifier DLX

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Very few brands are as renowned as Bell is for their approach to value-for-money products.

A massive improvement over the original, the Qualifier DLX is no exception. For a sub-$250 helmet, this is about the best you will get.

Keep in mind: this helmet doesn’t come with built in Bluetooth technology. But the helmet can be easily fit with specially customized intercoms like the Sena SMH.

Helmet Certification

The helmet has both a D.O.T and an ECE certification.

Which means that the helmet’s standard of safety is so high that it meets those set by most racing organizations.

Helmet Design

The shell is composed of polycarbonate, a polymer widely used in security components for its high impact resistance. The absence of a transition lens (one of the reasons for such an affordable price for a helmet of this quality) is to be noted from the regular DLX, and it’s been replaced with both a clear and dark face shield.

The shield is fog, scratch and UV resistant. The Clickrelease feature allows you to replace the shield easily. Without tools.

The interior is designed to be as airy as possible, with a breath deflector, exhaust port and an adjustable ventilation system(handy in cold weather). A padded wind collar blocks most wind noise. Padded cheek pads are present as well. 

For security, the Qualifier DLX comes with a chin strap and a double D-ring closure.

3. Bilt Techno 2.0 Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

Bilt Techno white

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For such an affordable price point, the Techno 2.0 packs a tremendous amount of punch.

For first-timers, in particular, this helmet is perfect to dip your toes in the water with, before you jump in. 

But keep in mind that this is a budget Bluetooth helmet. So even though the helmet is still one of the best Bluetooth helmets, the price tag inherently puts restrictions on some parts of the Techno 2.0 that don’t exist for helmets like the Sena Momentum or Klim Krios.

Helmet Certification

The helmet has a D.O.T certification. Which is more than sufficient for touring/ commuting purposes on all US roads.

Helmet Design

The shell is composed of polycarbonate, which is a polymer widely used in security components due to its high impact resistance.

A face shield with four positive detents are present. You’ll find a quick release locking system on the exterior of the helmet, to the left of the shield. A gasket present at the bottom will help get rid of all dust and debris. A spring-loaded internal visor with a dark tint is poised on the inside, which you can retract at any time by toggling it from the inside.

The interior of the helmet is shaped like an oval- quite a bit longer from top to bottom than it is side to side. And you’ll find a fully removable liner on the inside.

For ventilation, there are three active vents in total- two on the top and one on the chin, in addition to an exhaust vent placed at the back of the helmet. A removable breath guard and chin curtains are present as well.

For stability, a spoiler is present in the back of the helmet to help balance the centrifugal force of the helmet. Even as you lean in as your motorcycle powers through the curves on the road, you’ll barely notice any shift in the weight of the helmet.

A chin strap with a double D-ring fastener is present (the only drawback of the latter is that you’ll have to remove your gloves to loosen it).

Intercom

The intercom is powered by the Sena DWO-5 v3.0 System, which comes with Bluetooth 3.0.

The range of connectivity goes up to 0.25 miles (400 meters) in open terrain and can support up to 4 riders.

Talk Time: 8 hours

Charging time: 2.5 hours

4. Klim Krios Sena 10U

Klim Krios with Sena support

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The perfect cross between adventure helmets and touring helmets, the Klim Krios helmet is both extremely lightweight and extremely tough. The badassery of the helmet coexists with the duality represented by the best of Bluetooth technology and the best of aerodynamic design.

The unique pieces that fit together to somehow make the perfect puzzle place this helmet in the upper echelon of not just Bluetooth helmets but helmets in general.

Helmet Certification

The helmet has both a D.O.T and an ECE certification.

Which means that the helmet’s standard of safety is so high that it meets those set by most racing organizations.

Helmet Design

The shell is composed of industrial grade carbon-fibre- a fiber widely renowned for its high stiffness, high tensile strength and low weight. It also features a carbon weave.

The anti-scratch face shield is composed of polycarbonate and has a pinlock-ready quick release feature. A visor system requiring only a simple, 90 degree quarter-turn is present too. Both the visor and the spoiler add to the aerodynamic ergonomics.

The cheek pads are made of Klimatech fabric, which is sweat wicking, moisture wicking, antimicrobial and antibacterial. The cheek pads are contoured so they stick to your face.

For ventilation, there are 4 intake vents on the top, and 4 passive vents present on the chin. In addition to which there are 4 passive exhaust vents placed beneath the spoiler. 

For stability, the aforementioned spoiler is placed on the back of the helmet at an almost perfect position with respect to the peak of the helmet, for maximum stability. Regardless of how fast you go while riding, you’ll never notice the helmet tip over.

The chin strap is so long (but not so long that it gets annoying) that you don’t actually have to remove it to take your helmet off. The chin curtain is riveted into place. 

Intercom

Klim Krios intercom close-up

Klim worked with Sena to make a proprietary Sena 10U intercom for this unit, which you can also buy pre-installed.

The intercom features Bluetooth 4.0.

The range of connectivity goes up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) in open terrain and can support up to 4 riders.

Additional key features include music sharing, built-in FM radio tuner, Advanced Noise Control, an included wireless remote control as well as intuitive voice prompts and voice commands.

Talk Time: 10 hours

Charging time: 2.5 hours

5. ILM 953 Modular Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

ILM 953 helmet

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Unlike the other helmets on this list, the ILM 953 is a modular helmet- you can flip both the chin bar and visor up (which is why modular helmets resemble a cross between a full face and an open face helmet).

The most affordable Bluetooth enabled helmet on this list by far (the Bell Qualifier doesn’t count because it doesn’t come with an in-built Bluetooth system), the ILM 953 has to compromise on some things- albeit things which are justified due to this being a budget Bluetooth helmet.

Many of these things have to do with the intercom technology- unlike the other helmets featured on this list, the Bluetooth is not provided by an established intercom brand like Sena, but ILM themselves.

Helmet Certification

The helmet has both a D.O.T and an ECE certification.

This means that the helmet’s standard of safety is so high that it meets those set by most racing organizations.

Helmet Design

The shell is composed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene- a tough, lightweight material with the highest calibre for budget materials.

Both the visor and face shield are replaceable. The easy to use drop-down inner sun shield makes it easy to transition from sun to shade.

The inner lining is composed of multi-density liners.

For ventilation, the helmet comes with 3 adjustable air intake vents for proper ventilation, present on the chin and crown.

A removable chin curtain is present as well.

Intercom

As mentioned above, the intercom does not feature technology by Sena or its equivalents like Cardo- so you’re going to have to have some patience dealing with the Bluetooth connectivity if you’re used to greener pastures. That being said, it’s not unusable either.

The intercom features Bluetooth 3.0.

The range of connectivity goes up to barely 300 feet (~100 meters) in open terrain, and can only support up to 2 riders. Understandably, a lot of you are going to find this limiting.

Talk Time: 8 hours

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