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 AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Intercom and Communications System

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Intercom Review

AKE Electronics PowerCom ROGER One Intercom System
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com

In This Series: 

More:  Owner Comments (Below)  |  wBW Motorcycle Intercoms Home  |  wBW Reviews Home

Summary:  The AKE Electronics PowerCom ROGER One system works, period. It is a pure communications device for those who want or need to stay in touch. If requirements or budget are modest, this is all one might ever really need.

While the wired environment allows for a single radio (FRS/GMRS/CB) or mobile phone device to be connected, exploiting the (optional) Bluetooth capabilities can provide enhanced functionality, and versatility, without significantly increasing the investment.

An important feature is that all PowerCom systems and accessories will work with one another (appreciating that not all features are available on all systems). In researching the PowerCom products, including this system it is clear that AKE really understands the communications market and that it has worked diligently to eliminate compatibility issues.

Thus the unknown has now become the known. If this middle-placed system is any indicator of what can be expected of the upper-end systems, the road ahead is anxiously awaited.


Part One: The PowerCom ROGER One System

An Introduction to AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Intercom Systems
AKE Electronics produces telecommunication and radio technology equipment, and motorcycle communication systems are their primary product. The German company's tagline is “Good things will become even better.”

In 2007 the company completely revised its motorbike communication systems with a new range of intercoms and other products. With 25 years of experience in the field, the AKE offerings reflects this experience, resulting in a well thought out, comprehensive lineup.

AKE Electronics is similar to many other manufacturers; they design, build and market an array of individual motorcycle intercom systems, each with their own features and capabilities. What distinguishes the company is the fact that the AKE motorcycle communication systems and accessories all fit, work and play together, and they can even be connected with other equipment as well, providing an integrated system for riders and passengers.

According to company information (some of which was translated from German), the systems manufactured by AKE Electronics are marketed under three major groupings or series: PowerCom Motorbike Communication Systems; "Fit-for-Motorbike" hands-free equipment, identified by the unique ‘10’ designator; and Motorbike Communication Systems FOR 2.

The PowerCom product range is a series of systems that provide full duplex communications (rider to rider or rider to intercom), stereo audio, navigation by voice features, two-way radio and mobile phone hands-free interfaces, driver/rider security settings, priority signal management, and much more.

A host of compatible accessories make up a large part of the comprehensive AKE offering. These include "HighVoice" and "HighSound" helmet kits, helmet accessories, Bluetooth components and PowerCom function devices for PTT, iVOX, MUTE, etc, and control interfaces to connecting portable players (iPod), Sony and Blaupunkt radios, Garmin and TomTom GPS and other devices.

Rounding out the accessory list is a long list of cables and fittings for both system components and to connect peripherals. Between the major components and the accessories, just about any configuration requirements can be met, allowing a very tailored or extremely flexible system to be put into use for two wheels, four wheels or otherwise.

The primary objective of all AKE systems is to provide, “a stress free communications environment”. This is done in a variety of ways -- hands-free radio communications, access to music and information sources via peripherals, interfaces with voice-capable navigation systems, mobile phone access, and documenting or capturing information by audio or visual means.

As a whole, the PowerCom list of products can be somewhat daunting at first. But in viewing the well-organized information on the website or print media, offerings under the various functional categories can be quickly matched up to user requirements, desires and of course, budget.

Goals for This Review
For this initial evaluation of PowerCom products the goal was to assemble a base set of components that represented the product line.

Another goal is to provide as much functional and technical information as possible, based on published or provided media and as verified from data generated during the evaluation.

AKE products have been available in Europe for some time, directly from their website and from selected dealers in various countries.

But the brand and its products are not well known to many in North America. However, with the establishment of a North American presence (see summary table below), this is bound to change.

Planning and Preparation
After several weeks of coordination were completed with company representatives, a well-wrapped box was received from AKE in Germany. In the box was a ROGER One system kit, along with complementary accessories for use with the ROGER One.

A number of personal devices were used to support this evaluation, all of which are identified in a separate Technical Section at the end of the article.

Other than the requirement to return the equipment, no other conditions were stipulated by AKE. This evaluation is based solely on data produced and information forged during the evaluation activity that took place from mid-December 2007 to mid-March 2008.

An initial inventory check, deemed prudent as the box had obviously been opened at least twice on its journey across the pond, revealed a missing 100-240V AC to DC charger unit, normally part of the Bluetooth kit, needed to charge the Bluetooth module battery. A n email to the AKE contact resulted in a replacement charger being received the following week.

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Communications System - ROGER One Control Module
AKE PowerCom ROGER One Control Module

A Component Listing
To help understand how all the evaluated bits-n-pieces fit and work together, a simple bullet view of the supplied components is shown below.

ROGER One Motorbike Communication System

  ▪ Control Module

Helmet Set PowerCom HighVoice

  ▪ Set of high-quality dynamic transducers, 300 to 5,000Hz

  ▪ Dynamic transducer microphone, noise compensated

Helmet Set PowerCom HighSound

  Set of high-quality dynamic transducers, 30 to 20,000Hz

  ▪ Dynamic transducer microphone, noise reduced electret

Interface Cables

  ▪ Radio adapter cable, PMR/FRS, dual plug, 2.5mm & 3.5mm

  ▪ Radio adapter cable, Kenwood, single plug, 3.5mm

  ▪ Radio adapter cable, CB, four pin round connector

PowerCom Operating Device Interface Assembly

Helmet Set Bluetooth 101 and PB-HC2 Bundle

  ▪ PowerCom Bluetooth Helmet Module

  ▪ Rechargeable Li-ion 120mAh, removable/replaceable battery

  ▪ Rechargeable Li-ion 750mAh, removable/replaceable battery

  ▪ Set of high-quality dynamic transducers, 300 to 5,000Hz

  ▪ Dynamic transducer microphone, noise reduced

  ▪ Bluetooth Helmet Connector ModulePB-HC2

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Communications System - AKE Bluetooth Intercom
AKE Bluetooth Intercom Set

The Heart of the System
The ROGER One control module is the processing and distribution core of the system. As a product offering it sits smack dab in the middle of seven current PowerCom systems. As its focus is on providing basic communications, it is not an all singing, all dancing system. What it does represent is a good middle ground offering, especially for those whose priority is staying in touch.

Specific features allow the ROGER One to automatically recognize activity of a connected two-way radio while also providing automatic volume control (AVC) depending on the noise levels present. Either automatic voice control or manual push-to-talk (PTT) control is possible.

A new feature, the iVOX supplement, previously only available on the top-end INNOVA or ON TOUR systems is now part of the ROGER One system. When used with the bundled iVOX activator plug or with the optional PowerCom operating device, iVOX provides intelligent voice control by its sensing and switching capability.

The simply packaged kit provides the following: control module, a two piece five wire power harness, the iVOX Activator plug, a set of installation and operating instructions in German and English and sundry items for installation (a large pad of Velcro for mounting purposes, two adhesive cable strain reliefs, and five long and two short nylon ties).

All PowerCom modules utilize the same sturdy brushed-aluminum weatherproof housing that measures a svelte 150mm x 70mm x 20mm (6 x 2.5 x ¾ in). Facing up, five connection cable leads exit the right side while five adjustable ‘trimmers’ or variable controls dominate the front edge. The left end is stamped with brand, plant and serial number information.

The ROGER One has connection leads for:

• Headset – large DIN plug, marked (D)
• Mobile phone or a mobile radio – small DIN plug, marked (F)
• Passenger intercom - large DIN plug, not marked
• Remote – small DIN plug, marked (R), used by:
  - The iVOX Activator plug
  - The PowerCom Bluetooth Helmet Connector dongle or the PowerCom Operating Device Interface
• Power cable lead/harness assembly.

Getting the ROGER One control module installed on a motorcycle and ready for use was simple. After testing the components on the work bench using a buffered 12V power supply, the harness was installed on a BMW R1200GS Adventure. With the instructions read and the Sargent seat removed for easy access to the battery, the whole installation was done in fifteen minutes.

While the two piece power harness is easy to use and install, the ROGER One system was not permanently mounted during this evaluation and used on multiple motorcycles. In a scenario where a user has multiple motorcycles or platforms, or where portability is desired, using the large weatherproof DIN connectors for the power harness would be ideal.

During this evaluation three platforms were used: the static environment, the R1200GS Adventure, as it regularly gets pulled out on warmer days when the roads are (relatively) clear of snow; and, the Versys as it made the trip (via trailer) to Florida and Daytona for Speed Week.

Three helmets were used for the headsets: the Nolan 102 Flip, the day to day favourite; and, two ARAI units, the Corsair and the XD. As it sits in between the two ARAI in terms of overall comfort and noise levels, the Nolan ended up being the primary headset platform with all three headsets installed in it at various stages of the evaluation.

The Stage is Set
The ROGER One evaluation should have been straight forward. But with further research and in getting more familiar with everything that had been shipped as accessories, there seemed to be merit in seeing just what (else) this basic system could really do.

Accordingly, while much of this evaluation is based on identified features validated by data collected and activities conducted for this evaluation, a few undocumented features were found that just had to be detailed, most of which will be addressed in PART TWO of this submission.

Audio Basics
Without good audio input and output, the best communication systems in the world are at best, just pieces of equipment. AKE has addressed this requirement fully in providing different headsets (all stereo) and high-performance microphones to meet specific user needs.

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Communications System - HighVoice Headset Speakers
AKE PowerCom HighVoice Headset

PowerCom HighVoice Headset
This full face helmet headset is intended for use where speech is the dominate audio. As such, a high quality set of loudspeakers (300 to 5,000Hz frequency response) along with a wind noise compensating close-voice microphone are provided, all meant to optimize voice transmissions and provide clear audio.

This kit comprises: a combination connection harness and flex cable connector with a large DIN plug on one end and two flat mini-connectors on the other (three pin for headset and two pin for microphone) and a stereo loudspeaker set with a thin two wire lead between the two speakers.

Rounding out the kit is a dynamic transducer microphone, and mounting items (cable ties, adhesive strain relief pad) and installation/use instructions in German and English.

All kit components are simple in design, well made and weatherproof. The wiring and flat connectors are very thin and lightweight, facilitating helmet installation. When mounted properly, everything is safely tucked away or secured with the strain reliefs.

The robust and flexible spiral headset connection cord provides a sturdy weatherproof connection to the main control module. Elevated alignment marks on each DIN plug make connecting them an easy thing, even with gloves on. Measuring 50 cm (19 in) in relaxed mode, the spiral cable can be stretched out to a generous 200 cm (79 in).

Installing the HighVoice headset into the Nolan revealed just how large the kit microphone is. Measuring 50mm x 40mm (2.0 x 1.5in), the foam and plastic shell takes up a fair amount of real estate, even when compressed together (allowed, per the instructions).

With the Nolan, two options were available to correctly install the microphone component – the optional mini-spiral cord kit or the Boom Microphone (PBM 1) kit. The mini-spiral cord extension was installed first, with the boom microphone setup installed later.

The only issue with the spiral extension cord kit is that there is a fair amount of wire to ‘hide’ or secure. Unsnapping the inner liner piece allowed wiring to be routed safety out of the way, especially from the side latches. Only the coiled section of the extension cord should be allowed to swing freely -- it provides the necessary extension when the front piece is fully opened.

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Communications System - HighSound Headset Speakers
AKE PowerCom HighSound Headset

Audio Luxury: HighSound Headset
This headset kit can be used for full face, flip-up or open–face helmets. Designed to provide optimal music and speech audio under all conditions, the HighSound speakers have far more frequency range, 30 to 20,000Hz than the HighVoice set (300 to 5,000Hz).

The speakers are thicker and have additional foam backing as well, providing more ‘depth’ and thus resonance space for better stereo sound and bass playback. As with all helmet speaker sets, proper location and mounting is important, so that audio output is optimized. The placement test and alignment instructions found in the Operating Instruction, is ‘sound’ advice.

Packaging of this kit differs from the HighVoice package in that the microphone and headset mini-connectors are mated to a short harness cable measuring 21 cm (8 in). This short helmet harness is then plugged into the provided extension flex cable that can be stretched from 50 to 200 cm (19 to 79 in), to bridge the headset and the control module.

Are We Ready?
With power to the main module, activating the system is simple. The helmet headset spiral cable is connected to the ROGER One control module via the large DIN plugs, marked (D) on both cables. Line up the raised marks on each plug and push them together. If power is good, an audible power click is heard in the headset, verifying that the system is powered up.

For a standard (basic) installation, the control module is automatically powered up when the headset cable is connected, and powered down when it is disconnected. In the event that none of the other power switching options are active this function prevents the unit from staying on and draining the battery if a direct connection is used to power the system.

AKE clearly states that the best performance is obtained from using a totally wired system; a point well made and acknowledged, even with all the wireless technology advances available to consumers today.

Outside of the initial power click and any clicks generated when devices are connected, the system is virtually silent. There is only the slightest hint of white noise in the headset, whether the system is running off a buffered 12V power supply or on a motorcycle. The active power and noise suppression features really work.

As the ROGER One is the basic communication system, there is no provision for an additional wired plug-in audio (music) source on this model. However, music or other audio could possibly be streamed in via any compatible mobile device connection, wirelessly, right?

Device Connectivity
Accessory interface cables for portable radios and CB units were provided to allow a range of radio devices to be connected:

  • Double jack cable with 2.5mm (microphone) and 3.5mm (speaker) plugs (both double pole), for use on many LPD (Low Power Devices) and PMR (Personal Mobile Radio) devices used in Europe, some Family Radio Service (FRS) devices found in North America and, many hand-held Citizen Band (CB) transceivers.

  • Single jack cable with a 2.5mm plug (three pole) - identified for use with a Kenwood two-way (FRS-based) radio, although it should be compatible with other popular FRS radios on the market in North America.

  • CB Radio cable with 3.5mm (two pole) and four-pin round thread connector as used on many popular desktop or vehicle mount CB units

Finding compatible radios in the local area proved difficult. To expedite evaluation of the system, a second parcel received from AKE contained a pair of alan456R PMR446 radios, a popular European device, just what was needed to get going.

During the trip to Florida a set of Midland GXT735 X-TRA TALK North American compliant RS/GMRS radios as well as two Radio Shack hand-held CB radios (Cat No. 21-1679) were procured. Both sets were successfully used with the ROGER One using the dual-plug interface cable.

Electronics Connected to the AKE PowerCom System for This Evaluation
Radio Shack CB Transceivers Midland GMRS FRS Radios Midland CB Radio Garmin Zumo 550 BMW Navigator III+ Alan 456R PMR446 Radios
Radio Shack Transceivers Midland GMRS FRS Radios Midland CB Radio Garmin Zumo 550 BMW Navigator III+ Alan 456R PMR446 Radios

In the Real World
Measuring and assessing how well a system does, or does not perform must ultimately be done in a realistic (live) environment. Due to large amounts of white stuff outside, initial evaluations were done in a controlled environment (inside and outside between snow banks).

The Speed Week sojourn served to generate a large amount of test data for evaluation purposes. Riding and using the system on a daily basis is the only way to really assess reliability and performance of any specific system and peripherals.

Without hesitation it can be stated that the AKE PowerCom ROGER One system and every accessory goes together and works together, period.

The wired world is quiet and secure. System components connect easily as do peripheral devices via the respective interface cable. Whether on iVOX or PTT the switching is fast and clarity remains superb. System performance is optimized as all data is moved through a common switch with attenuation provided by the discrete tunable controls.

iVOX – stands for intelligent VOX-control. This feature provides a continuously compensated response threshold based on sampling of the surrounding noise. Extensive voice recognition distinguishes between surrounding noise and the spoken word, and switching or response delays of the mobile device (i.e., radio) is electronically compensated for by the iVOX.

Bottom line, no words are lost, it just plain works. Static tests with the alan456R devices, and real-world testing using the Midland GMRS/FRS radios or the Radio Shack CB transceivers proved that the system provides fast, crisp and clear communications at any time.

AKE PowerCom Motorcycle Intercom - iVox Actuator Assembly
PowerCom Operating Device (L) and the iVox Activator Module

A Little Goodie
Acknowledging that the iVOX function really works well, really well, the optional PowerCom Operating Device was also put through its paces. In essence a mini-control, the module is meant to be installed in an easy to reach and safe spot on the motorcycle (for left-hand control).

Connected to the mini-DIN (R) lead this little black box provides switching for: push-to-talk (PTT) or intelligent voice control (iVOX); muting (MUT) of any stereo audio signal to the rider (but not the passenger); and, enter (ENT), a button to answer and end a call, as allowed with a mobile phone.

Although the iVOX feature is very hard to defeat in any environment, thanks in part to its intelligent switching features and its ability to be adjusted or ‘tuned’ at the module, for those who want, or need, a positive switched environment, the operating device module is the answer.

Unlike some other control modules found with various accessory kits, the AKE item is small enough to be mounted on or near most left hand control modules and the included 200cm (79in) extension cable can be discretely routed or permanently installed out of the way.

Togetherness
Every PowerCom system includes the Intercom capability. Unlike some other intercom systems that provide limited access, this intercom allows the second individual to initiate external communication sessions as well, all in full duplex mode.

A second Nolan 102 Flip had a HighVoice headset kit installed in it. When the second helmet was connected via its flex cable, a small connection click was heard and the intercom became active. It is also VOX based and extremely fast. Intercom volume and threshold adjustments can be made by using the applicable ‘trimmers’ on the control module.

With the PowerCom operating device plugged into the DIN ‘F”, there is no change in the rider and intercom configuration, except that if the PTT mode has been selected, that button has to be pushed before any external sessions can be initiated by the rider or intercom user.

Conclusion: Part One
As supplied and subsequently configured, the system performed without fail. As long as the peripheral radio or mobile phone devices were connected, communications were available under a wide range of riding conditions.

The iVOX feature is amazing -- it even coped with the noise levels experienced on Speedway Boulevard at the peak of Bike Week. The discrete trimmer controls allow critical input/output levels to be adjusted quickly.

Components are well made; connectors are simple and appear robust enough to survive the long haul and prolonged use; and, flex and extension cables allow almost any installation configuration on virtually any motorcycle, or other platform.

Outside of a faulty headset flex cable, easily replaced from a spare unit, nothing broke or failed to perform as advertised. Connections are securely made by the DIN plugs, while MOSSCAP end-caps and connection seals keep the elements out.

The ROGER One wired world is good. As a simple and reliable system for rider and intercom user, it is highly recommended. But, if a bit more versatility is desired, venturing into the wireless world is required. Fortunately, that ground has been covered, so stay tuned for Part 2!

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Suggested Retail Price: (Unconfirmed) ROGER One basic kit, ~ $425.00 USD, PowerCom Bluetooth Helmet Set 101 - $304.50 USD; HighVoice Headset (full-face kit) - $139.70 USD; HighSound Headset (recommended kit) - $218.18 USD.
Colour:  Matte Black Made In:  Germany
Review Date:  April 2008  Certifications:  FCC, IC, CE and Bluetooth Standards  NOTE:  Pricing may fluctuate depending upon the vagaries of currency valuations.
NOTE:  The webBikeWorld intercom evaluators always wear properly fitted ear plugs while riding during the intercom evaluations and this is reflected in thee opinions on sound quality and speaker volume. Your experience may and probably will differ. Always wear high-quality, correctly fitted ear plugs when riding a motorcycle (more).

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2013. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld® Site Info page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

Your Comments and Feedback

Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details).  Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.

From "I.F." (1/09):  " Could you clarify couple of things about AKE PowerCom system?

1. Does PB-HC2 Bluetooth module which pairs with Bluetooth helmet headset supports A2DP protocol? According to the comments on your  website, it does NOT, but the author of this AKE review claims that it does.

Because to me it's a very important feature, I need to be 100% sure.

 2. I'd like to use my ER6i earbuds on highways, thus I need be able to disable AVC (automatic volume control) of PowerCom. Because when using earbuds there is no need to change the volume level at high speed. Is there any easy way to enable/disable AVC?"

HBC's Response:  Based on information collected during my original assessment, and in a couple of emails from the AKE representative, but not from their Tech Support, following information/responses provided:

1. Based on the specifications of the original components evaluated, including the PB-HC2 BT module, and in a recent email (Jan 09) from an AKE representative in DE, A2DP has not yet been implemented, but it is coming.

Having read the article quoted from (Oct 07), stereo would have been provided but only in a wired environment, which I know was used, along with the BT dongles during that evaluation.

A2DP functionality is something that I have followed since the release of Bluetooth version 2.0 and even in late 2007, I had not found any A2DP BT motorcycle communication headsets on the market or at least publicly available. Based on all information known to me, I would have to say that it was very unlikely if the PB-HC2 used for that evaluation was A2DP compliant - I know the BT dongles we had were not.

Regarding noise levels and audio break-up, it is very important to make sure that all the respective inputs are balanced so as to not overload the input circuits (this is quite common) and if provided, as most of the Powercom systems do, both the i-VOX or VOX circuitry along with the road noise compensation controls need to be tuned.

This can only be done by the user, on the specific motorcycle, under typical conditions. It took me two to three days of subtle adjustments to get the INNOVA 'tuned' just right, but once set, it was virtually noise-free and all signals were clear (wired environment), and the BT connection was almost as good, albeit as a mono stream.

As a final point on A2DP, I have sent another email to both the representative and AKE technical support and if I get any further information regarding A2DP compliance, etc, I will make sure it gets posted.

With A2DP the standard for so many current and coming-to-market BT systems or with the ability to use a simple A2DP BT dongle, the delay from AKE is somewhat puzzling.

2. On most of the Powercom sytems there is no real way to disable the AGC (or AVC feature) of the system as it is a programmed function and to the best of my knowledge, there is no external setting to turn it completely off.

However, if I remember correctly, the volume control trimmer should allow some adjustment to a minimum start level and as the AVC compensates for increased ambient noise levels, the resultant volume might be lower than if the system was in its default trimmer setting - cannot confirm now as the equipment had to be returned and I can only work from my notes and posted information.

On a related note, how are you going to use your ER6i earbuds with the system?  I had asked once and was told there was not (yet) an interface adapter for a standard 3.5mm or 2.5mm stereo headset jack and all the identified outputs on the Powercom systems are mini-din connectors.

But I also know that a couple suppliers state they have in-ear adapters for most systems on the market - it would be good to know if this is what you are planning on doing, or coming up with a custom workaround (not hard using pin-outs).


From "J":  "I read through all the write-up on this new intercom device with headset...sounds exciting...especially the headset. As a suggestion, you might want to mention what each setup is aiming for before you go into the details, i.e., Zumo Bluetooth to headset, phone Bluetooth to Zumo, hardwired connection to FRS, helmets Bluetooth to each other (or each to the intercom box). Diagrams work nicely too!

All the discussion of pairing is nice and understandable considering all the past problems, but one setup which the Zumo users are crying for was not discussed.

As you may know, one of the major drawbacks of the Zumo 550 is the inability to stream "stereo" audio over Bluetooth. What we need is a "device" that will take the Zumo "hardwired" stereo audio out and mic inputs and Bluetooth them to the headset. It seems from the review that the headset described would be ideal for this.

What is not clear and probably was not tested is whether the intercom box itself can provide the bidirectional...stereo out of Zumo to include MP3, phone audio, GPS audio and phone "Bluetoothed" out of the headset back through the intercom box...to the Zumo. In short, a Bluetooth bidirectional connection between the helmet and the "hardwired" connections in/out of the Zumo.

In this case the Zumo would only use its pairing to the cell phone...not to the Bluetooth helmet. The helmet would only be paired with the intercom box. The connections to the FRS would be as normal ... by hardwire.

Typically the instruction manual does not go into enough depth to see if this is possible. Maybe you guys can comment....if you can understand my poor attempt to explain what I'm trying to accomplish."

HBC's Response:  To really diagnose what the individual would like to have in the way of functionality may take some further back and forth. Having said that, I believe the objective is known, however it is not achievable, at least not with the current zumo 550 platform.

From the (questions), it would seem that (most of the information is in the set of articles), or other related communication system postings and there's possibly a misunderstanding of all the technologies involved (not sure if anyone does understand it all). But, hopefully there will be some nuggets of information in the following...

1. Until Garmin implements support for the A2DP protocol, outputs and inputs, via Bluetooth, will be mono vice multi-channel (stereo). This is unfortunate given Garmin's market base and consumer following. The AKE combination described in the articles, along with many other combinations available on the market supports the zumo 550 audio out and microphone input features via the zumo's Bluetooth connection to a compatible Bluetooth headset, but just not in stereo.

2. The AKE systems evaluated, along with the proper Bluetooth adapter and a Bluetooth headset do provide duplex (bidirectional) support, but in mono vice stereo, including all audio hosted by the zumo. Virtually all systems on the market today are duplex.

3. I am puzzled by the "phone Bluetoothed out of the headset back through the control module" comment - is the intent here to have any phone connected via Bluetooth to the headset also connected, by extension, to the control module?

3. At the time the AKE evaluations were done, the Bluetooth device used to provide the wireless interface did not, and based on current literature, do not (yet) provide A2DP support. However, other major players in the motorcycle communication segment have or are coming out with Bluetooth products (control modules, adapters and Bluetooth headsets) that do support the A2DP protocol. This trend should result in a more dynamic audio environment as full duplex stereo audio becomes the norm, appreciating audibility and hearability concerns.

4. The AKE evaluations, along with others conducted before and since then, have tested most zumo configurations - wired and wireless. Using the zumo as a communications or connectivity hub can be done, but some limitations have to be appreciated, given that it has only one wireed microphone input and one wired stereo output, along with its Bluetooth functionality. If a mobile phone is hardwired (via the input and output plugs) to the zumo, then the capabilities of that phone, if supported by the zumo, can be utilized via the zumo's Bluetooth link to either a Bluetooth enabled control module or a Bluetooth headset.

5. For this reason, if more flexibility in adding and configuring devices is desired, the control module approach (wired and Bluetooth) is a good option - peripherals can be connected by wire or a Bluetooth channel. More and more larger scale and small helmet-mounted systems support multiple Bluetooth connections, and switching between the connections is relatively simple - manually or based on a priority."


From "J.G.":  "You neglected to mention whether you tested the audio with/without earplugs. I always wear them as I know you do, I’m really curious…."

HBC's Reply:  "...a good observation, as I usually try to differentiate on any noise or audio related evaluation...both the ROGER One and INNOVA were used with and without earplugs (which we also always wear, except for short test runs).

All the PowerCom headsets used do a good job of providing clear audio at all times. All PowerCom systems, including the ROGER One and INNOVA provide a 'driving noise' dependent or automatic volume control (AVC) - system output is maintained at a steady level compared to the ambient or environmental noise levels. The AVC feature also works with the peripherals that are plugged in as well although it is still prudent to set individual device volumes to nominal levels, which ensures a constant audio level being fed to the PowerCom system from which the AVC takes over.

Outside of adjusting or fine-tuning the intercom volume for an overall comfortable audio level, no other adjustments were needed, with or without earplugs. We both use a light foam-style earplug, basically just for low-frequency attenuation and overall noise dampening and with the quality of the headsets used, very little is lost once the earplugs were put in. However, everyone is different, and depending on the individual and style of earplug used, some users might find differentials between an open ear and one that is protected.

From a PowerCom system perspective, the most important controls used were the two road noise compensation tuners...once they are set up or adjusted as needed for the motorcycle environment, or a specific surrounding, the noise filters and AVC functions do a good job."

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