Even when part of a large group, riding is primarily a solo adventure. There are times we really appreciate the quiet shelter of our helmet while the machine beneath us carries us far from everyday life and to a place that recharges ones soul. Anyone who has spent much time on the trails knows this feeling well. At other times though we want to share the adventure with our riding buddies or just talk about whatever we find along the trail, but unless you’ve got a helmet communication system you’re out of luck. Recently we tried a communication system from Collett Electronics that fills that requirement and more.
Helmet communication systems are nothing new, but many are bulky, they can’t be worn with a helmet, and they require extra cords. The COLLETT COMMUNICATOR systems are designed to avoid all that and they’ve got several models to choose from. We opted for the Platinum 900 PLUS and highlights of the kit are:
Stereo Music input Jack
GWB - Groomer Warning Beacon reception
Fits any Full or 3/4 helmet
Bluetooth enabled and supports HFP and A2DP Bluetooth profiles
Automatically answers your cell phone
Includes high capacity 12 hour rechargeable battery pack and charger
Uses COLLETT's Voice Tek VOX (voice activated) microphone system.
Intercom jack for use with optional Passenger Intercom
Can be programmed with special search and rescue channels (free channel programing)
Add on as many extra units as needed at a later date
3 year parts and labor warranty
Collett was one of the originators in the helmet communicator business and with their excellent reputation we were anxious to get the new kit installed and on the trail. Installation was super easy and we opted to install the Platinum Plus kit on two new, full faced helmets for winter riding. It was no problem threading the small speakers into our helmets, and the Micro Blaster speaker pods fit snugly into the open ear space between padding. The master control unit easily fastens to the side of the helmet using a Velcro strip, and all we needed to do was charge it up and hit the trails. Total installation time was about five minutes!
Ride with a Buddy
Collett should get an award for the simplicity of this system: It’s super easy to understand and with only one button to get you started you’re ready to go in no time. When on the trail there is no fumbling with buttons either as the system is voice activated which means the instant anyone talks it picks up the sound and cuts out anything in the background. All you have to do is talk! Our system came with a boom microphone we positioned inside the front of our helmet, but there is a boomless option as well. When not having a conversation you can also listen to music from your mobile device, but it also has the ability to automatically answer calls from your phone. As long as you don’t ride past cell coverage you’ll still be connected to the rest of the world. Then again, there are times we want to ride beyond where any phone can reach us.
Our real world test of the Collett Platinum Plus taught us several things about the system. We found the noise cancelling features of the system worked well and really cut down or totally eliminated any wind noise. Overall battery life was very good and we managed to get 12 hours of riding from a charge. Although Collett says it’s possible to get a couple miles of range from the system, we found our range was about a mile, although that is likely determined by terrain, battery charge, and even weather. Still, a mile is pretty darn good and most of our group riding is much closer than that. You will also want to dial in the VOX while riding since the sound level it must adapt to in your helmet on the trail is much different than it is in your garage. To get it perfectly setup for riding you need to dial it in under those same conditions.
A New Trail Tool
We’re always looking for new products to make our ride more enjoyable, but usually it’s a part for our ATV or Side x Side. The Platinum Plus communicator from Collett is one accessory that will work with whatever you are riding, with every brand, and at any time of the year. We’ve been using ours with ATVs, Side x Sides, and even snowmobiles and it’s made all of those adventures better.
Platinum 900 PLUS msrp: $ 339.95