Enjoying the open road on your motorcycle is a great experience. There may be times though, when you want to expand that experience by communicating with your passenger or riding partners. If that’s the case then you are probably considering purchasing some form of helmet headset communicator.
When you’re thinking about purchasing any helmet headset kit, keep in mind that they are usually factory packaged for one helmet and do not include the communication device such as a two-way radio. Both riders or the rider and passenger will need to have headset kits installed in their helmets. That’s a requirement for two (2) headset kits plus a pair of some type of two-way communication device.
There are many brands and types of headset communication devices available in a wide range of prices. The higher priced systems may include Bluetooth wireless communication between the headset and a two-way radio or cell phone, FM radio, and passenger intercom.
Since this article is about setting up a budget priced 2 headset bike to bike or driver to passenger communication for under $100.00 I will leave the high priced feature loaded systems for another article.
Before making a purchase you must know the type of helmet in which the headset will be installed. Some headset kits are designed for full face helmets while others are designed specifically for open face helmets.
For this communication package we’re using two (2) Midland AVPH1 or AVPH2 helmet headset kits. The AVPH1 is for open faced and the AVPH2 closed faced helmets. Midland headset uses a 2-pin connector to the radio which provides a much stronger connection point than most other brands that just use a 1-pin connector. Like the other brands, there’s only one headset kit per factory sealed package. This can be beneficial since one rider may use an open faced helmet and the other a closed face helmet. One of each kit would then be required.
In addition to the two (2) headset kits, a two-way radio communication device is required. We’ll be using pair of Midland FRS/GMRS two radios. These two-way radios are dual-service, or “hybrid,” radios and provide access to both the FRS (Family Radios Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) bands, utilizing FRS channels (1-14) and GMRS channels (15-22). Use of the radio’s GMRS bands requires an FCC operator’s license. Dual-service radios may be used without an operator’s license, if only the FRS channels are used.
Midland has many FRS/GMRS radios in a variety of price ranges and features. While the higher priced radios will have advertised transmission ranges up to 35 miles these ranges can only be achieved under ideal conditions on terrain with no obstacles and using the higher powered GMRS channels. Don’t expect to receive any manufactures’ advertised transmission range and you won’t be disappointed.
A pair of Midland two-way radios with an advertised range of 10 miles to 24 miles should be fine for this budget priced helmet communication system. You should receive a transmission range of up to about 1-2 miles using the FRS bands. When choosing the radios look for a Midland model that has the VOX (Voice Operated Transmission) hands free feature. Although the VOX feature is not necessary for this helmet headset system, the hands free function is a good option to have if you want to use the two-way radios in situations other than with the helmet headsets such as at Nascar races, camping, hiking, hunting or other situations where communication would be helpful.
The best place to purchase this headset system is on eBay. Selling electronic items on eBay has become extremely competitive and that’s a big bonus for the buyer as there is now very little price markup.
I speak from experience as I was an eBay Power seller with thousands of electronic item sales. I would package two (2) Midland headset kits with a pair of Midland two-radios. This combo was very popular and many of my customers left feedback commenting on how good a system this was for the price.
You probably won’t find and eBay listing for 2 of these Midland headset kits packaged with a pair of Midland two-way radios but most sellers on eBay that list Midland products will have these items available so just ask them to put a special package together.
The Midland headset kits will wholesale for approximately $27.00 each (you require two) and a pair of Midland FRS/GMRS walkie talkie radios will wholesale for $20 to $65.00 depending on the features. Two headsets with a pair of 12 to 24 mile two-way radios should cost around $100.00.
Although this article is about putting together a budget helmet headset communication for the motorcycle rider it would also be a great setup for the ATV rider, snowmobile rider, paintball or any other activity that requires a helmet and would benefit from 2-way communication.