Syphon SoundPro Review: Motorcycle Helmet Sound System Test

We have tested countless motorcycle helmet intercom devices, and we love them. However, some riders don’t want to communicate with others while they ride, but they do like to listen to music and stay connected to the outside world. As earbuds are hit and miss inside a motorcycle helmet, the Syphon SoundPro aims to provide music listening pleasure with a few tricks up its sleeve.

The Syphon SoundPro system is simple. You have a control unit wired to two speakers with 40mm drivers. Installation is similar to intercom units, though less complicated because no external microphone is involved—the mic is built into the thin speakers, a feature we have seen before.

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We put the speakers in the ear pockets of an HJC i10 full-face helmet—covers and spacers allow a custom install. The base of the SoundPro control unit is a hook-and-loop disc that uses adhesive to attach to the helmet. The hook-and-loop connection is highly secure, so the SoundPro isn’t going anywhere at speed.

The main unit can be clipped to your jacket, chinstrap, goggles, and anywhere else a clip will work as long as you can reach it while riding—we stuck with the helmet mounting.

With the Syphon SoundPro charged up via the included USB-C cable, it’s ready to rock (or rap, or EDM, or your choice) for over 10 hours. Pairing via Bluetooth 5.0 to an iPhone 12 Mini was virtually instantaneous—a long press on the button does it, then look for SoundPro in the Bluetooth menu.

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Putting the helmet on and getting some sound going is effortless. Tap on the button, and the music is on.

Listening to music using Spotify was immediately revelatory. Even with the sound level not up to half, the SoundPro is loud—Syphon claims over 115 dB, which is concert-level sound pressure. Cranking it all the way up and listening to Netherlands for an hour or so threatens your eardrums, so be careful. Fidelity is excellent, even before equalization, and podcasts sound wonderfully clear.

Volume control is easy, as it is controlled by the unit’s dial. A quick click clockwise makes it louder, and counterclockwise reduces volume. Even with a thick winter motorcycle glove on your left hand, manipulating the button or the dial is no problem.

We checked out the SoundPro with Loop Quiet earplugs. These earplugs have aggressive sound reduction, dropping volume by an impressive 27 dB. That definitely made the SoundPro usable at maximum volume—maybe even not quite as loud as I would like. Regardless, it’s great to be able to have maximum ear protection and still able to listen to music at speed.

Skipping to the next song on your playlist is equally undemanding—turn the dial clockwise and hold; the opposite direction takes you back a song. If you’re listening to a podcast—we recommend Moto & Friends—you’ll move forward or backward about 20 seconds.

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The Syphon SoundPro also facilitates incoming and outgoing calls. If someone is calling you to sell HVAC services, you can take the call by tapping the button once. To make a call, two taps of the button will summon Siri or Google Assistant.

The connection for phone calls is seamless, and the sound is excellent in the helmet. However, we could not get the SoundPro microphone to sound good for the person at the other end of the call. The microphone sound quality was borderline usable at a stop. However, once underway, the sound for the other party became highly distorted and not practical for use. Given that the microphone system is integrated into the speakers, we suspect the mic’s success will depend on the installation. On our HJC i10, the phone call feature is not usable, which is frustrating because the sound is so clear on our end.

Syphon SoundPro Review: Music listening

A feature we didn’t try is SoundPro’s compatibility with push-to-talk walkie-talkie smartphone apps. If we want an intercom feature, we will cut to the chase and get a purpose-built Cardo, Sena, or UClear device. Regardless, if walkie-talkie-style communication works for you, the function is there.

The Syphon SoundPro is stunning at its core mission—music. Although it’s not inexpensive at $199, it is exactly what you want if listening to music is an essential part of your riding experience.