Product test – Cardo Packtalk bold

By Zabel Bourbeau Posted on


As motorcyclists, it’s not always easy to communicate while riding. There may even be security issues when, for example, someone has to stop for an emergency. And how many times have I been thinking that I must tell him or her this or that at the next stop, and then totally forget about it when we eventually stop kilometres later? Normally, I’m not too much into gadgets, but I do know that some techno accessories can be very useful for motorcycle riding. In the context of my work as a motorcycle tour guide, a communication system appears to be a must, so I tested this one.

As soon as I received the cute little box, I opened it as if it were a small treasure chest. They really took care of the packaging and it makes you feel confident that the product inside is as nice and well designed. After reading the short installation and user guide, I put the earpieces and microphone in place and out we go with my son.

There are two ways to install the system. You can use the metal clip method, which allows you to move the system from one helmet to another if needed. If you want a permanent installation, or if the clip can’t be installed on your specific helmet, you can stick the unit to the side of your helmet. My son went for the clip, attached to the peak of his motocross helmet.

The Cardo PackTalk Bold is specifically designed for groups of riders: it allows two to 15 pilots to be connected at the same time. This “Mesh DMC” system also has another important feature: if you have to leave the group for a quick stop, you won’t lose the connection and you’ll be able to get right back in communication with the group as soon as you catch up.

No matter the weather conditions, the Cardo keeps working. With its Siri-style voice command, you simply say “Hey Cardo” to wake the system up and then ask whatever you want! Since 2019, renowned JBL audio manufacturer takes care of the sound quality and you will be pleased.

Cardo says the range of the PackTalk Bold is 1,600 metres in optimal conditions. In real life, you are more likely to get around 1,000 metres, which still makes this system one of the most efficient and powerful on the market. The sound quality stays the same as distance increases; the communication is cut altogether when you are too far.

The PackTalk allows you to listen to your music and radio, and use your phone. The volume automatically adjusts according to ambient noise, so the sound is always at its best no matter the conditions. Battery life is 13 hours, so you can ride for two days on a single charge. You can also recharge the battery while riding.

The PackTalk is designed to be installed on all types of helmets. I tried it on a jet and a motocross helmet. For best results with an integral helmet, install the wired microphone close to the mouth. The wind on the hybrid microphone may affect the sound quality for your listener; on a windy day, I sometimes had to put my hand in front of the microphone to be heard clearly.

The warranty is two years starting from the date of purchase. The Cardo Connect application delivers user-friendly connectivity and allows you to change language when talking or listening to the Cardo Lady. You can also connect with systems from other makers. Replacement parts are available.

The whole system is easy to use, but I suggest that you first start with the basic functions and take it from there; you’ll be in for nice surprises! The PackTalk improves and optimizes motorcycle group riding and I would not go out without it now! Drive safely.

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