Schuberth SRC-System Bluetooth Radio and Intercom Test
We recently reviewed Schuberth’s new C3 Pro helmet for our next print issue. Unfortunately, we did not have space to cover the optional SRC-System, which is a Bluetooth radio and intercom unit built into a replacement helmet collar.
Swap the SRCS for the stock collar, spend 10 minutes placing the speakers into the molded-in spots, connect the antenna and microphone, and the installation is complete. No fabrication required.
Once installed and charged, the SRCS is a breeze to operate, but first one must pair the SRCS to ones devices. And while we are on the subject of charging, note that the SRCS uses a mini-USB connector, which is my favorite and minimizes the need for extra chargers in my tank bag.
Pairing is a one-time introduction of Bluetooth components to one another. Upon completion, these devices will pair automatically every time they are turned on and within range.
The SRCS offers the following features:
- compatible mobile phone connectivity to make and receive phone calls by voice and keypad commands and to use the built-in music player to deliver stereo music controlled by keys on the SRCS
- intercom to connect up to three similarly equipped riders at distances up to 300 meters
- GPS connection to hear all your guidance instructions
- MP3 stereo player connection (whether built in to the phone or a separate player with Bluetooth or a wired player as well)
- FM radio stereo with automatic station seeking and 6 stations you may preset
- SRCS software updates may be made online through Schuberth’s website
We found operating the SRCS to be easy. In five minutes we paired our cell phones to the two test units, along with pairing each helmet to the other for intercom duties. When the SRCS is turned on the user can switch from phone to FM with one key press.
In phone mode we are able to make or receive calls through the voice command system in the phone or, for those that have their phone mounted on the handlebars, dial calls by touch. I found that calls were clear sounding, and the other party agreed, even at up to the 85 mph speed we achieved during the test.
We operate the music player (whether built in to the phone or a separate player) while in phone mode and short presses of three different keys allow the listener to play, pause, stop and go backward or forward a song.
Like the phone, sound quality was really good, even at speed. And as you go faster, the SRCS automatically increases the volume to keep listening levels above the ambient noise. As you slow the volume decreases.
FM mode is just as easy to use and the stereo sound quality is high. The RDS feature finds the strongest signals nearby and you may store up to 6 preset stations. Schuberth says the SRCS will receive traffic news too but we did not try that feature.
What is most appreciated on the SRCS is the intercom. It is activated simply by saying any word or making a loud sound. It can also be activated by a tap of one button. The intercom comes on with a quiet sound, no matter what mode the unit is in, and you and up to two other riders within 300 meters can hold a conversation in full duplex mode, meaning just like a telephone, where everyone can talk and listen at the same time.
Whether listening to music or the radio, the intercom will silence them and take over. If you have never tried this it sure beats hand signals. How many times have you passed something interesting on the road and could do nothing but point? What about quick changes in plans while your companion is up ahead and can’t see your arm flailing around trying to get his attention? Once tried, you will be hard pressed to give it up.
There are many manufacturers of Bluetooth helmet devices on the market today. Some can be added on to almost any helmet while others are built in to specific models. We really like this technology, and as we begin to write more stories and reviews about Bluetooth devices for the rider we already find that no two are truly alike.
Many have unique features and different range distances. Some are repeaters, and most are incompatible with other brands. There are also a myriad of other comparisons to make to determine which unit is best for any given rider based upon his personal preferences. We will try to demystify these products and features and show our readers how easy and how important wireless Bluetooth devices can be.
Ultimate Mototcycling Magazine is committed to rider technology in all forms. Because of this, you will see some upcoming Bluetooth reviews as they relate to motorcycle helmets and systems, especially connecting helmets with 2-way radios to make easy connections for riders in a unlimited-size group and offer up to 35 mile communication ability. I think this is the future of rider comm technology.
With this in mind please note that Schuberth’s SRC-System has only one channel compatible with Bluetooth’s Hands Free Profile (HFP). This means that to operate the SRCS with a 2-way radio, in its current version, requires the user to pair the 2-way as a telephone.
This is easy and would give you 2-way operation along with FM radio and GPS but you would lose your phone/music player connection. Some other helmet headset brands offer two or more HFP channels which allow the 2-way to co-exist with your phone, music player, GPS and FM radio yielding a complete system that’s got it all.
In sum, the SRC-System, built for Schuberth by Scala, is a standout in every way. It is truly well designed, comfortable and easy to use. SRCS is available for Schuberth’s Concept, C2, C3, C3 Pro and S2 models.
For additional information, visit Schuberth.com.