First it was Sena who increased their 50 series speaker diameter to 40mm to enhance bass response and now Cardo have introduced the Packtalk Black with 45mm speakers.
Packtalk Black is, of course, black, but all other features remain the same. They also offer 45mm JBL speaker replacements for existing Cardo units for use with the app. Note they are not compatible with any other intercoms.
It’s all about the bass
Like Meghan Trainor sang, “It’s all about the bass”, although she refers to body size, not music quality.
Bass doesn’t really matter for intercom or phone conversations, but a lack of bottom end severely impacts sound quality for music, especially modern music that features a lot more bass.
Lower frequencies are wiped out by the abundance of mid to high frequencies caused by wind noise when riding.
Anything above about 50km/h can substantially reduce bass response. It is almost non-existent at highway speeds.
That leaves riders listening to shrill and distorted music which can be a dangerous annoyance.
To compensate, many riders now wear special filtered earplugs that reduce wind noise.
However, some of these can also decrease bass response.
I tested the new Sena 50R and found the bass response and volume substantially increased without any increase in distortion levels when turned up loud enough to hear over my Alpine filtered earplugs.
Is audio important?
We have published many stories about listening to music while riding.
Some don’t like it, but more and more are finding it not only relieves the boredom on long highway sections, but also helps them relaxant concentrate on riding.
Those who listen to the radio also receive important traffic and incident alerts.
So if you are listening to lots of music, it’s less distracting and tiring to listen to good quality audio rather than tinny, distorted tunes.
Note that the type of music you listen to can also positively and negatively affect your riding!