Solo adventures are great, but riding as a group with your travel buddies has its own charm. You need to stay connected at all times, updating each other on routes or when one of you wants to stop for a break. However, with the loud engine sound, wind, and a helmet over your head, it can be difficult to communicate.
Therefore, presenting you the ultimate four-way motorcycle Bluetooth headset, the Cardo Freecom 4+ with an intercom to connect with your mates. Its partnership with JBL became the talk of the town, given the high-quality sound. But is it the right fit for you? To know, read this review which covers everything from features, benefits, the durability of the device. Have a look.
Headset weight: 1.2 ounces
Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 0.78 x 1.9 inches
Water Resistant: Yes
Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required (included)
Battery life: 13 hours
Range: ¾ miles/ 1.2 km
Pros and Cons
- Compatible with Android and iOS devices
- One week of battery life on standby mode, 13 hrs otherwise
- Supports voice commands
- Clear sound quality
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Built-in FM radio
- Intercom may randomly shut down at times
- Only supports 4 riders
The Cardo Freedom 4+ Bluetooth headset is a rider-to-rider intercom system that lets you connect with your travel buddies. When traveling as a group, it can be harder to keep track of each other. That is where the Cardo Bluetooth set comes in. The device intercom supports up to 4 riders and is compatible with all kinds of helmets. It can be bought either as a single or dual set.
The package includes a cradle, JBL speakers, and a microphone. You can install the cradle on the exterior of the helmet along with the Bluetooth set. It has a full installation kit with six velcro pads and a step-by-step guide. Following the proper instructions, the unit can be installed in around 30 minutes.
Freecom 4 Plus Bluetooth Headset – Features
Now that you have an overview and basic knowledge about the product specifications, let’s talk about its features in greater detail. Read on:
The Cardo Freecom 4+ is known for its cutting-edge design. It combines ergonomics and aerodynamics in a sleek unit. It has a razor-thin wheel and three buttons for easy access to the device even while wearing gloves. This includes the media, phone, and intercom button. The wheel lets you control the volume. With time, you’ll be able to distinguish between the buttons and use them without having to pull over. However, thanks to the voice command feature, you may not even need to use the buttons.
Press the media and phone buttons together to switch on the unit and also to switch it off when not in use. The device is more suitable for full-face and modular helmets. If you want to install it on an open-face helmet, you’ll need an open-face helmet kit. It is simple to install and blends in with the helmet, causing no discomfort when you put it on.
Voice commands are accepted by the headset, making it easier to use. All you have to say is “Hey, Cardo,” followed by any command, and it will be carried out. The device works with both Siri and Google. It has over 20 onboarding commands in multiple languages for the convenience of the user. Besides English, it supports Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Hebrew.
You can use the command to control volume, answer incoming calls, make calls, play/stop music, FM radio, etc. This allows you to keep your hands on the handlebars and keep riding. The feature is quite responsive, so you don’t have to repeat yourself or wait for it to go into action.
The device has Bluetooth 4.1, which supports two channels at the same time. It can be linked to a smartphone as well as a GPS device. You don’t have to pull over to make a call or navigate the route ahead with the Cardo 4+.
- Press the call button on the unit for five seconds and enable the Bluetooth device on your phone. Now search for the FREECOM 4+ and select. If prompted for a PIN or passcode, type 0000, and you are all set.
- To connect the second Bluetooth device, press the call button twice and follow the above-mentioned steps.
For the GPS device, after following the second Bluetooth device pairing steps, slide the wheel to left. It will activate GPS device pairing, and you can easily connect them.
The partnership with JBL has played a vital role in imparting premium audio quality to the device. The 40mm speakers are known for their audio clarity and are specifically designed to work inside a helmet. Even if you are riding at 65 miles per hour (105 km/hr), the sound quality doesn’t degrade. The noise cancellation feature muffles the sound of the wind, engine, and traffic.
You can listen to music, communicate with others via intercom, make phone calls, and use GPS voice navigation. It is an excellent choice for audiophiles who enjoy listening to music while on the go. Another advantage is that you can use your own earphones or buds by plugging them into the standard 3.5mm audio jack. However, the exceptional sound quality of the JBL speakers won’t let you switch.
With the intercom feature, you can connect with three of your travels. mates at once. It has a range of ¾ miles (1.2 kilometers) to tell them about the route change and in case you want to pull over for a break. You can merge any incoming call into an intercom call, so everyone has all the required information. The process of pairing can take up to 120 seconds here. The noise cancellation feature filters out any noise in the surroundings for clear message reception.
The range may be low around 500 meters when you are in areas with high disturbances. You may lose the range on the intercom, but the music and GPS are perfectly audible.
Cardo Freecom 4+ has a 600mah battery with 13 hours of life. If the device is in standby mode, it can last up to a week. It takes about four hours to charge, which is reasonable considering the amount of battery life it has. The best part is you can charge the device while you ride. Just plug it into a battery pack or 12-volt charger and turn it on to charge. It can also be charged via a portable power bank. You can connect the power bank with the MicroUSB ports on the unit for this.
The volume of the device is automatically adjusted based on your surroundings. You can also use the buttons on it to increase or decrease it as needed. However, make sure you don’t use it at high volume as it can be dangerous, especially in places with a lot of traffic.
Talking about compatibility, the Bluetooth headset can be connected to both android and iOS devices. You’ll have to download the Cardo Connect App to pair the phone and gain full remote control ability. The app is available on both the Google play store and App store. It gives you quick access to your smartphone and is quite easy to set up. The unit can also be connected to a non-cardo device easily. Press the intercom button for five seconds and then press the home button on the Freecom 4+. On the other device, start the mobile phone pairing and you are done.
You never know about the weather, especially when you are traveling to regions with excessive rainfall. However, the Cardo Freecom 4+ has an IP67 rating. This means the unit is waterproof, which protects it from sudden rains. Also, it is dustproof, so you don’t have to worry about it when the weather changes and high wind conditions.
A road trip with good music is always enjoyable. And what’s better than sharing it with your travel companions. You can share your playlist or radio station with them using the music sharing feature. Simply press the intercom button, and your intercom partners will be able to hear the songs you’re listening to as well.
Built-in FM radio
When on the road, you need to stay updated about the weather conditions, traffic reports, and even important news. The built-in FM radio will assist you in this, allowing you to stay prepared for what lies ahead. You can listen to music via radio stations on the FM. Merge it with an intercom, and your travel companions will be able to hear it too.
Given the features and design, it’s safe to say that the Cardo Freecom 4+ is a sturdy and reliable product. The price point is decent at $250 but is currently available on Amazon at $194. The price may or may not suit everyone, so we recommend you do a bit of research before making the purchase.
How to Install the Cardo Freecom 4+?
Here’s how you can install the Cardo Freecom 4 plus.
- Remove the liners and pads of the helmet to gain access to speaker locations, which is exactly opposite to your ear canal. Clean it with an alcohol pad.
- Place the velcro pads that will act as a base for the speakers.
- Attach the speaker with the shorter wire to the Velcro pad on the same side as the cradle, and the speaker with the longer wire to the Velcro pad on the opposite side.
- Now, connect the speaker wires to the cradle speaker connector by routing them toward the cradle.
Microphone installation (open face/modular helmets)
- Remove any pads at the helmet front at the same side as the cradle.
- Place the hybrid microphone opposite your mouth and take note of the boom’s position in relation to the helmet. Using the alcohol pad, clean this area.
- Attach both rectangular Velcro pads to the helmet rim, next to each other.
- Attach the hybrid microphone and clip to the Velcro pads, with the yellow arrow facing your mouth. For full-face helmets, attach the rectangular Velcro pad near the helmet rim, opposite to your mouth.
- Connect the cradle microphone connector to the microphone wire routed towards the cradle.
- Place the cradle on the helmet’s left side.
- Insert the cradle clamp between the helmet shell and padding and push all the way in. You can also use an adhesive plate to attach the cradle.
You can also refer to this instruction video on YouTube by Cardo to install the unit.
To sum it up, the Cardo Freecom 4+ is a reliable Bluetooth headset with premium features and benefits. It can make your ride smoother by connecting with other riders via intercom. The intercom might disconnect randomly sometimes but can be reconnected without any hassle. The JBL speakers are like icing on the cake, offering superior sound quality for easy communication.
The product is reasonably priced, and with discounts on websites like Amazon, it can be bought at a much lower price. The unit is durable and is a great buy if it suits your needs as a rider.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will the Freecom 4 Plus fit my helmet?
Yes, the Freecom 4+ will fit almost all helmet types, ranging from full face, open face, 3 /4 or dirt bike helmets. However, for the half helmets and ski helmets, you’ll have to purchase the Boom Microphone Cradle (half helmet kit) to install the unit. This kit is sold separately.
Do I need to have a smartphone for the Freecom 4 Plus to work?
No, the intercom and FM radio features of the Freecom 4 Plus unit do not require a smartphone. They are in-built in the system. You can connect the smartphone to stream music, GPS navigation, or access calls.