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Editorial-Since we have a backlog of items to review, we’ve recruited a local legend named “Dial Tone” or DT, to review the Cardo B-1 Duo. DT comes to us with years of riding experience as well as having an affinity for all things technological. Below is his first impression on the Cardo.
Have you ever gone on a ride and wish you can still stay in touch with your faster friends who have ridden so far ahead you need to yell to get their attention? Or how about wishing on having GPS instructions given to you will riding while the music is playing? What about being able to take a call while riding? How about about combining all?
The Cardo BK-1 Duo can do all of the above.
The Cardo BK-1 Duo is a Bluetooth intercom system that can connect up to 3 riders up to 500 meters or 1640+ feet. Not only that, the BK-1 Duo can be paired up with a cell phone, a GPS unit, MP3 player and it has built in FM radio! The company also claims to offer “intuitive Voice Command operation” and a “Click-to-Link” for a fast and instant connection.
I was given this daunting task of reviewing this comm system. At first glance you can tell this is going to be a quality product. The box the BK-1 Duo comes in is similar to the cases that Oakley sunglasses come in. The product is also presented well upon opening; instead of zip ties and cardboard, its velvet-mouse fur material and foam.
There are a lot of these pieces so avoid the temptation of opening everything without consulting the manual first. Being a red-blooded American male, I started unwrapping wires willy-nilly only to stop and eventually ask myself “what is this thing for?”
The BK-1 Duo manual is literally a small pocket book. I was relieved to see that the book was thick because it was printed in other languages as well.
After doing a quick assembly to see what the unit would look like, I plugged in the BK-1 and went to bed knowing by the time I wake up in the morning it will be done charging. By the way, according to the manual, charging only takes 3 hours.
Today I got to try out the most basic function of the BK-1 Duo with RL, the intercom. We tested it at the parking lot of the Fullerton Loop, a popular bike (multi-use) trail in Orange County, California. Reception was clear and boom mic was sensitive enough to pick up our voices without yelling. Tested within 100 feet, the BK-1 Duo performed nicely but we did noticed some static or “breaking up” in the transmission. This was apparent when the both of us were no longer in line-of-sight of each other. Perhaps there were other electronic devices around us that was causing interference. Both of us were holding the units in our hands and while I did place the unit on top of my head as if it was mounted on top of a helmet, some of the static did not go away.
More testing will be done to see if the static was just a fluke or interference and how it will fare when put to real-world use on the trail or bike path.
For more information on the Cardo BK-1 Duo please visit www.cardosystems.com