Nick has been putting the Cardo PACKTALK EDGE to the test, using it almost everyday for the past six months. Check out what he thinks of this awesome intercom and communications system!

As many of you would have know by now, I do a lot of commuting, and I’ve always struggled trying to find appropriate in-ear earphones that would be comfortable, loud enough and not damage my hearing. Cardo have sorted me out with their latest PACKTALK EDGE!

Ditching the in-ear earphones, Nick has been testing out the Card PackTalk Edge for a few months now!

Ditching the in-ear earphones, Nick has been testing out the Cardo PACKTALK EDGE for a six months now!

No matter the brand of earphones I purchased, they’d never quite fit how I liked. After making the switch to a helmet speaker setup, my last few intercom and helmet speaker systems weren’t really perfect. However, I’ve been cruising with the Cardo PACKTALK EDGE for about five months now and it hasn’t let me down. It does what I want it to do, and it does it pretty well.


Check out all of our Cardo reviews here…


The newest Cardo PACKTALK EDGE features a few upgrades and additions from the known and loved PACKTALK BOLD. The newest model features IP67 water resistance, an inbuilt antenna, a new and improved magnetic mounting system for easy removal and charging, and some beefy little 40mm JBL tuned speakers that throw out some decent sound even at full noise!



The newest kit boasts the dynamic mesh connection generation two – which is capable of connecting up to 15 riders at a distance of 1.6km as a group, or in private chats. As well as this, you’ve got FM radio options and wireless updates. All of this tech is powered by Cardo’s natural language voice command system, which is pretty damn helpful when you’re wearing thick winter gloves. No button pressing equals a safer ride.

Everything is voice activated now! No more trying to feel for the buttons while riding...

Everything is voice activated now! No more trying to feel for the buttons while riding… New magnetic mount also.

In terms of installation, Cardo give you two options out of the box. A stick on mount using double sided mounting tape, and the classic clip that slides up between the outer shell and inner shell of the helmet. For my Hornet and I opted for the clip, and I stuck for the other mount to my GT AIR.

While most of these manufacturers sell it as “easy installation”, it’s never quite that simple. You’re left with substantial lengths of chord that really don’t have anywhere to go. As you can see in the pics below, I’ve managed to tape up some of the audio cables in points that wouldn’t put too much pressure on my scalp on the longer rides.



I’d love to see a couple of quick connects along that wire to allow for the shortening/lengthening of the cables when required. With a bit of duct tape I’ve managed to hide most of it up and out of the way. The speakers themselves are slightly too large for the factory Shoei speaker recesses, but I managed to pack them out a couple of millimetres with some extra mounting tape.



Unfortunately, the Velcro mounting system is stuck directly to the thin speaker foam, and after deciding to adjust the location once, the foam tore very quickly leaving an exposed speaker and cone. With a couple of thin cable ties, I managed to get it secured and mounted, but it’s not really an ideal design.

I’m not particularly worried though, as I’ve heard some amazing things about the Cardo warranty and it seems as though they really stand by their products. Similarly, the microphone is a touch too big for the factory Shoei location, but with a similar tactic I managed to get it secured.

Charging is a breeze with the USB-C cable, a full charge got Nick plenty of listening time...

Charging is a breeze with the USB-C cable, a full charge got Nick plenty of listening time…

In terms of functionality, I’ve had this thing running for about two hours a day every day of the week for six months and I’ve barely had to charge, maybe once per week. Cardo claim 13 hours of continuous talk time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you managed to get more out of it. The fast charge is also super helpful, on some of my longer rides I’ll throw it on the portable charger for half an hour and it’s good to go for the remainder of the ride. The USB-C charging option is great and I’m stoked they’ve adopted these more common ports.



The automatic volume adjustment is phenomenal, and as I’ve said earlier, it’s one less thing I have to worry about while riding. I’ve managed to use the “Hey Cardo” functionality far more than I ever would have imagined, and it’s incredibly useful for adjusting just about anything while riding.


McLeods

I’ve tried out the 40mm speakers a few times at freeway speeds with foam earplugs in, and foam earplugs out and I’m definitely more comfortable with the plugs in. I get that this sounds counterintuitive, but the plugs reduce wind noise to a safe level, while allowing most of the higher frequencies through from the JBL speakers. I’d love to see Cardo offering a set of these in each PACKTALK EDGE box…



The volume controls are super easy to use, even with gloves on. Once you’ve remembered what each button press does, you’re able to adjust music, volume and answer calls relatively easily. The power and Bluetooth connection buttons are also easily accessible, and it’s just as simple to get a voice reading of the battery level if you can’t get access to the application.


“Sitting at 120km/h I can confirm that phone calls are still a breeze for the Cardo. The microphone and software does a brilliant job at cancelling wind noise for the other end…”


Sitting at 120-130km/h I can confirm that phone calls are still a breeze for the Cardo. The microphone and audio software does a brilliant job at cancelling wind noise for the other end of the phone line. While it’s not a huge selling point for most, one of the biggest surprises for me was the Cardo connect application. Props here to the designers at Cardo, the app is pretty seamless. When I’ve got the phone mounted up on the bars, everything is in reach with minimal effort from within the app itself.



All in all, I’m using this for a purpose that isn’t really Cardo’s biggest selling point. I don’t have any other riding mates with an intercom, so there’s no option for me to check out the supposedly fantastic connection and pairing functionality this device has to offer until Jeff and I ride again once his injured hands have healed, as he runs a Cardo PACKTALK BOLD.

The new V-STROM 250SX is revised from the ground up, with a new oil-cooled motor, new chassis, bodywork, electronics and price that is almost a grand less than the 2019 model we reviewed.

Nice and streamlined! You can barely see the Cardo PACKTALK EDGE on from a far…

Like a lot of other riders, I just like to have something playing on the morning and arvo commutes, it can get a little lonely in the helmet sometimes, right? It does a damn good job at this, and Cardo have definitely got me hooked on their products.

For me, I think I would make the investment if this one were to ever die on me, but with some of the other reviews I’m reading on their robustness, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that for quite some time. If I can get a new set of speakers hooked up without tearing the foam, I reckon it’ll stay in my daily riding arsenal indefinitely.

 

TECH TALK FROM CARDO

PACKTALK EDGE takes Cardo’s award-winning DMC technology one step further, boasting second-generation DMC connectivity with an unparalleled deep wideband sound quality, a simpler and faster grouping process in DMC mode, faster pairing in Bluetooth mode, and Live Intercom Bluetooth support.

Helping cement its ‘edge’ over its predecessors, the PACKTALK EDGE has enhanced sound thanks to redesigned JBL speakers and three new sound profiles, snaps to any helmet using a new magnetic cradle, and boasts an improved noise-cancelling microphone.

Other features include 13-hours of battery life, USB-C and fast charging as standard – a quick 20-minute charge gives users two hours of ride time and 1.5-2 hours delivers a full charge. Over-the-air software updates via the Cardo Connect App mean no cables or Wi-Fi adapters are required to ensure the PACKTALK EDGE is loaded with the latest firmware. Completing the offering is an extensive 3-year warranty.

Alon Lumbroso, Chief Executive Officer, Cardo Systems “The PACKTALK EDGE is the best communication device we have ever developed and is a fantastic flagship addition to our extensive range of communicators. This latest offering is a testament to Cardo’s three pillars – quality, purposeful innovation and user-first. Innovation is in our company’s DNA and our newest flagship is a testament to that.” 


Editor’s Note: If you are reading this article on any website other than BikeReview.com.au, please report it to BikeReview via our contact page, as it has been stolen or re-published without authority.


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