Best Motorcycle Helmet Speakers: Ride to Your Rhythm

Time to expand your helmet’s arsenal.

Best Overall

Cardo Packtalk Edge

Best Value

Lexin B4fm

Honorable Mention

Sena 50S

Sena 50S

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We have an ever-increasing dependence on navigation systems, so although motorcycle helmet speakers aren’t a necessity, they’re not far from it. These devices aren’t just about practicality. They breathe new life into the already wondrous world of motorcycling. Those random thoughts that only arise when you’re on the road with a clear mind can now be shared with your riding buddies, and these headsets also allow you and your passenger to share the anthem of your road trip. Thankfully, there are many products to choose from, depending on the type of riding you do.

Sena 50S Harman/Kardon

Our Methodology

Pluck me off a motorcycle at any point during the past 10 years, and I’ll have either been listening to Google Maps or Spotify, or blocking everything out entirely with earplugs. The point is that I’ve had the opportunity to test a few Bluetooth communication systems during my time on the road, and one of them is even on this list. With that said, I reserve the right to change my picks, and I surely will, as manufacturers and models ebb and flow in terms of quality.

Summary List

Best Motorcycle Helmet Speakers: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Cardo Packtalk Edge

The Cardo Packtalk Edge outperforms all other motorcycle helmet speakers in almost every measurable way, especially in terms of sound quality, thanks to its 40-mm JBL speakers. The headset features Cardo’s updated Natural Voice Operation system, which works exceptionally well when compared to other headset’s voice command systems. This model has a sleek design and no longer features an antenna as in Cardo’s previous headsets. It’s easier than ever to fit onto your helmet thanks to its magnetic mounting system.

The Edge uses second-generation mesh technology, which allows you to seamlessly connect with up to 15 riders over a range of five miles. Since it’s mesh technology, you won’t need to pull over and reconnect if you dip out of range for a while. Cardo guarantees that it’s waterproof and covers water damage in its three-year warranty. Cardo’s noise-canceling algorithm is better than anything on offer from its competitors and easily differentiates between wind noise and vocal patterns. Although a Bluetooth communication range of one mile is advertised, the real-world range is likely around 800-1,200 meters.

Best Budget: Lexin B4fm

If you want to dip your toe into the world of motorcycle headsets, check out the Lexin B4fm. This model can connect up to 10 riders at once and has an advertised intercom range of 2,000 meters, although the real-world range is probably half this. It uses Bluetooth V5.0, meaning you can expect quick and stable connections to your phone and other riders. Unfortunately, this headset doesn’t feature mesh technology, but that’s to be expected when you consider its low price. It has a hands-free voice recognition system, which you can use to operate some of the headset’s basic functions.

Two interchangeable microphones are included. The boom microphone is suited to open-face helmets, and the button microphone is good for anyone with a full-face helmet. This model is IP67 rated, meaning you can use it in all weather conditions, and it’ll even work in temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The 800 mAh battery provides up to 15-hours of talk time and over one week of standby time. The biggest gripe I have with this product is that the standard speakers are pretty low quality.

Honorable Mention: Sena 50S

If most of your buddies use Sena headsets, opting for the 50S intercom is a no-brainer. It’s what I use every time I ride, and you can read my full review here. The 50S uses mesh technology, which allows you to communicate with riders up to five miles away, as long as the system can piggyback off another mesh-enabled headset every 1.1 miles. In my experience, the highest real-world range is around 800 meters. The most notable upgrade compared to the previous iteration is the speaker system and microphone, which were created in conjunction with Harman/Kardon.

The 50S uses Bluetooth V5.0, which provides a stable connection to phones and GPS units. When using Bluetooth to communicate, you’ll have 13 to 14 hours of talk time, but this falls to around nine hours when using mesh technology. If you charge this model for 20 minutes using the USB-C fast charger, you’ll add six hours of Bluetooth talk time or 3.5 hours of mesh talk time. The voice command system works well and helps you take care of anything you need via your phone while riding. It improves the quality of my daily rides, and I’ve no doubt it’ll do the same for you.

Best Camera and Headset: Sena 50C Harman Kardon Intercom and Camera

If you want an action camera and Bluetooth headset without the added bulk that comes with two helmet-mounted devices, get the Sena 50C Harman Kardon Intercom and Camera. This headset uses the same Bluetooth and Mesh technology found on the 50S and 50R. You can talk to an unlimited number of riders in the open mesh mode or up to three other riders in Bluetooth mode. This headset also features Harman Kardon speakers and microphones. Included are a sticky mic and a boom mic.

The 10-megapixel sensor enables you to record in 4K at 30 fps, but if you want to use the electronic image stabilization feature, you’ll need to record in 1080p at 60 fps. The camera has a 120-degree field of view and can shoot in burst and time-lapse modes. When using the mesh system, this model has a talk time of up to 12 hours, but this increases to 22 hours when communicating via Bluetooth.

Best Mesh-Only Headset: Sena Spider ST1

The world of mesh motorcycle headsets has only been available to those willing to spend big bucks, but the Sena Spider ST1 is here to change that. This is the most affordable mesh motorcycle headset on the market, and has a rider-to-rider communication range of 1.2 miles. Up to 26 riders can communicate through this device. Since mesh systems piggyback off other headsets, you’ll get up to five miles of range if the riders are properly dispersed.

The 40-mm speakers included in the sale are decent, and this model uses Bluetooth V5.1 to connect to your phone and GPS unit. What’s surprising about this headset is that it features a mesh-only system, so Bluetooth is never used for rider-to-rider connectivity. The downside to this is that if a rider in your group doesn’t have a mesh headset, you can’t communicate with them. It takes one and a half hours to fully charge the device, which provides 11.5 hours of talk time. The IP65-rated headset is only water resistant, which might turn off some users.

Best for Small Groups: Cardo Freecom 4X

The Cardo Freecom 4X is a great model for anyone who’s looking for a simple, high-quality headset. This product uses Bluetooth V5.2 to communicate with up to three other riders, so it’s best suited to people that ride in small groups. It has a maximum real-world range of around 750 meters. Thanks to its Live Bluetooth feature, if you drop out of range and disconnect from another rider, the headset automatically reconnects when you’re back in range.

Although this model is no longer IP67 tested, Cardo says in the warranty that it’s covered against water damage. The newly upgraded Freecom 4X comes with 40-mm JBL speakers as standard and now features Cardo’s natural voice technology, which is a huge improvement over the previous iteration. You’ll get up to 13 hours of talk time and 10 days of standby time. The headset now features fast charging via its USB-C port. If you charge it for 20 minutes it’ll give you up to two hours of talk time.

Our Verdict on the Best Motorcycle Helmet Speakers

The Cardo Packtalk Edge is unmatched in terms of audio quality, voice recognition technology, and digital sound processing. This headset also has one of the sleekest designs on the market. Anyone who’s working off a tight budget should consider the Lexin B4fm Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset, as it’s a good entry point into the world of motorcycle helmet speakers.

Things to Consider Before Buying Motorcycle Helmet Speakers

Here’s everything you need to consider before buying motorcycle helmet speakers.

Communication System

Motorcycle headsets will either use Bluetooth or mesh technology to communicate, and high-end models will have both forms of communication. Mesh technology is undoubtedly the future and enables more riders to communicate over a greater distance. If you fall out of range and disconnect from your buddies, mesh technology also has the benefit of seamless reconnection once you’re back in range.

Bluetooth-only headsets are fine for people who ride in small groups and relatively close together. These headsets are less expensive and usually have better battery life. If you can afford it, I would spring for a headset that allows you to use Bluetooth and mesh technology.


Sena and Cardo dominate this niche. Unfortunately, the two don’t work very well with each other. A Sena headset will work with a Cardo but not as efficiently as it does with another Sena. If you’re using a Cardo Freecom 4X headset, for example, you can only connect it with one Sena device even though it has the potential to connect to three other devices. So, if most of your riding partners use a particular headset brand, it’s probably best to opt for that brand.

Voice or Manual Control

Not all headsets have natural voice-control technology. The ones that don’t feature this technology require you to use the buttons and dials on the side while you’re riding, which isn’t ideal. I would always pay extra for a headset that has voice control, so you can seamlessly make a call or change your route on the fly. Most agree that the best voice-control technology on the market comes from Cardo. 

Microphone and Speaker Quality

Motorcycle helmet speakers that aren’t loud enough or are distorted aren’t much use for anyone. Likewise, if the headset’s microphone picks up too much wind noise, it’s a pain for other riders when you talk to them. Make sure that you buy a headset with high-quality speakers and microphones. You should also check that the headset package includes a sticky and a boom microphone so you can fit it to various helmet types.


Headsets for $150 or less will be fine for listening to music and talking at low speeds but not much else. The $150 to $300 price range is where you’ll find most helmet speakers. Devices in this range will use Bluetooth or mesh technology to communicate with other riders, can be used to make calls and listen to music, and generally offer better quality and performance than lower-priced models. If you spend more than $300, you’ll get a headset that features mesh and Bluetooth technology, a significant bump in audio and microphone quality, and natural voice recognition technology.


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are motorcycle helmet speakers legal?

A: Yes, since helmet speakers don’t cover your ears, they’re legal to use while riding. Helmet speakers are treated in the same regard as speakers that are mounted directly on a motorcycle.

Q: Can I use motorcycle speakers in other types of helmets?

A: Yes. Many motorcycle speakers will fit on different types of helmets, as long as the helmet has space in its padding for speakers.

Q: Are motorcycle helmet speakers waterproof?

A: It depends on the brand. Some of the best motorcycle helmet speakers are waterproof. It’s best to keep them out of heavy rain to avoid ruining them.

Q: How long will my motorcycle headset last?

A: This depends on several factors, including the brand, the quality of the speakers, how often you ride, the conditions the speakers are exposed to, etc. If you purchase a high-quality, dependable brand and you take care of the headset, it should last several years.


Robert Bacon Avatar

Robert Bacon


Robert is a former Commerce Reporter for The Drive. He primarily creates informational motorcycle and car content, automotive buying guides, and how-to pieces. Originally from Ireland, Robert traveled across Asia and Europe working with automotive dealerships and rental companies.