The Interphone F4 ($225) by BlueAnt Wireless is a hands free communication system designed specifically for the motorcycle market and features an array of functions such as cell phone connectivity (even connects to two phones at the same time), intercom with other Interphone F4 or Interphone units (up to 1,640 foot range), voice response, voice call, audio directions from GPS devices, mobile phone ring warning, and the ability to wirelessly stream and control your A2DP music players. The system attaches to any full-face or open-face helmet, and is weatherproof/water resistant. The system can be paired with up to eight Bluetooth devices and provides 10 hours of talk time and up to 700 hours of standby time.
Installing the system was pretty easy. It came with the charger, Bluetooth control panel, microphone system connected to two ear phones, two clip mounts (a screw mount and a Velcro mount), a screw driver, and Velcro pads. I installed mine using the Velcro mount then pulled some of the interior of my helmet out (it snaps in and out), ran the speakers to where my ears would be and Velcroed them in place. After charging the Bluetooth controller (the control can easily slide on and off the mount, but locks in place when installed, so you don't have to carry your helmet around for recharging sessions) I was ready to go.
Once I had my Blackberry paired with the system, I placed my first call before getting on the bike, everything worked and I could clearly hear and be heard. I then set up my Blackberry to play some songs and got on the road. Rolling down the freeway at 60-plus I could faintly hear the music wirelessly coming from the earphones, so I used the volume buttons on the side of the controller to set the volume where I wanted it.
I was riding down the freeway when the music cut off and an audible beep came from the earphones, it was an incoming call. With the voice response function enabled I was able to take the call just by saing "Hello." Without this function enabled, answering calls was just a matter of pressing the multipurpose button (MFB) on the controller. In fact, this is how you can place calls or communicate with others via the intercom system. My phone has voice activated dialing, so I was able to just say the name of the person I wanted to call and the call would be placed-granted it didn't work perfectly and several times I tried to call Mom and I called Tom. In the system's defense I have run into the same problem with the voice activated dialing feature in my truck. When the call ended, the music came right back on where it had left off. I didn't get to try the intercom feature because I haven't found a riding partner with the same setup.
Overall, I found the system worked fairly well. The instructions to mount the system in a helmet look like someone from Ikea drew them, but I reverted back to my pre-school years and installation was pretty straightforward. The system is pretty simple to use and with only three buttons on the unit (volume +/-, and the MFB button) it was pretty easy to pick up how to operate it. At speed I could hold conversations via the phone, and while listening to music the volume seemed to have a higher max output which is cool when you want to rock out. If you are considering this unit do some research and make sure your phone is compatible and capable of fulfilling all the functions you seek (eg: voice activated dialing, music, A2DP capability).
Quality of Product ****
Ease of Installation ****
Ease of Use *****