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Motorcycle intercom compatibility: Bluetooth or Mesh, choose the right standard

You only need to have tried it once to be convinced: riding while chatting with your friends and trip buddies definitely increases the pleasure of the group ride. The problem is that you have to go through a long pairing session between each module, carefully following instructions that you don't always have on hand. And sometimes, intercom compatibility is not even guaranteed…

Well, that was before! Motorcycle intercom technology has evolved significantly in recent years. Communicating in a group while riding has never been easier than today!

Bluetooth, king of intercom compatibility

Before the advent of Mesh technology, Bluetooth was the king connection protocol. Versatile, it is also useful for connect the intercom module to the smartphone than to GPS or another intercom. Time having allowed the technology to amortize, Bluetooth intercoms are also the least expensive, which weighs quite a bit in the balance. Good point for Dexter , which offers Bluetooth intercoms with recognized effectiveness for a budget so low that everyone can equip themselves.

Another advantage of Bluetooth is that it allows you to connect intercoms from different brands, via a universal channel such asUniversal Gateway of Cardo or theUniversal Intercom of Sena. Unlike typical brand-specific channels, universal channels are not encrypted. They allow all modules to connect to them. Please note, when two intercoms from different brands are connected, you may no longer have access to the other hands-free kit functions of the intercom.

It will sometimes be necessary to use the intercom smartphone application to configure the connection correctly. An open protocol called Open bluetooth interom (OBI) should further facilitate the connection between the different brands of intercoms, provided that all adopt it.

4 bikers and 1500 meters maximum range for Bluetooth

Riding in pairs, the ideal configuration for communicating with Bluetooth intercoms
Riding in pairs, the ideal configuration for communicating with Bluetooth intercoms

When it comes to intercom, Bluetooth still has quite a few limitations. First, due to the limited data rate, the sound quality is clearly inferior to that of Mesh technology. Nothing that prevents good understanding that said, but when you come from a latest generation smartphone, you lose out.

And above all, it turns out to be impossible to connect more than four bikers together. And again, at the cost of complex and repeated manipulations on the four devices. Each one then constitutes the link in a chain that must not be broken at the risk of having to renew the pairing! If the order of the bikers changes (overtaking happens so quickly!), or if a biker falls behind, for example because he is stuck at a red light, the chain is broken. It is therefore generally necessary to connect the intercoms again…

Biker with a passenger on a Harley-Davidson, both helmets are equipped with motorcycle intercoms
Ride as a duo, easy (rider) with a Bluetooth intercom

Finally, let us add that the range of Bluetooth intercoms is limited. Count 1000 to 1500 meters announced in general... In fact, it is much less since there are always obstacles between two intercoms. This doesn't help with the risk of disconnection.

In short, we recommend connecting via Bluetooth in cases where there are only two of you, in pilot/passenger mode or with just one companion. More difficult to “break the chain” in this scenario. From three people connected, it will be in your best interest to opt for Mesh technology…

Mesh, a connection protocol that simplifies group intercom compatibility

Group of bikers riding in formation with intercoms to communicate
Riding a motorcycle in a group, a pleasure increased tenfold by the possibility of communicating together

More powerful, more comfortable and more flexible to use, Mesh technology has become widespread in the ranges of motorcycle intercom manufacturers. All now offer motorcycle intercom models offering this connection protocol.

In the case of Mesh, there is also a limitation on the number of participants in the discussion. We are not talking about 4 people, but 24 people maximum at Sena for example. That’s a lot of people! At Cardo we are announcing 15 people max at the time of writing these lines, which is already plenty.

The limit ultimately concerns the possibility of chatting in such large numbers on a single channel. Rest assured, it is possible to organize discussion groups, public or private, in order to simplify communication.

Smooth disconnection and superior audio quality

Motorcycle intercom compatibility ensured with the Dexter D1
The Dexter D1, an almost legendary intercom from the Motoblouz range

Mesh techno relies on a dynamic network, which means that the order of participants is no longer a constraint. You can move around in the group, overtake, be overtaken, etc. It is even possible to leave the discussion (the bladder has its imperatives...) and rejoin it again later. All without any manipulation: that alone completely changes the situation in use.

The sound quality is also much superior. The technology indeed allows a sufficient data rate to gain audio enjoyment and facilitate understanding.

The Mesh network, a proprietary and… more expensive technology

Motorcycle intercoms with Mesh technology are very practical, but also more expensive
Motorcycle intercoms with Mesh technology are very practical, but also more expensive

Really perfect, Mesh connection technology for groups of bikers, then? Yes, but it suffers from two limitations. The first is that each manufacturer's technology is proprietary. Understand that when it comes to compatibility with other intercoms, it's dead. If you own a Sena intercom compatible with Mesh intercom, it is impossible for you to connect to a Dynamic Mesh from Cardo or a Mesh 2.0 from Cellular Line in the current state of things, for example…

We therefore advise you to coordinate carefully with your biker friends on the technology to choose when purchasing motorcycle intercoms for riding and communicating in a group.

The same is true for intercoms specific to a headset model. Their technology systematically appears to come from that of a major intercom brand. For example, Sena provides intercoms for Shoei gt-air 3 and Neotec 3 or those of Schuberth C5, E2 and S3.

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Editor and tester for Motoblouz , I am an unconditional fan of roads with bends. For me, the motorcycle is a means of escape as well as a means of transport.

1 comment(s)

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  1. Juju13 may 19, 2024 at 8:54 p.m. Answer

    Hello I would like to know if it is possible to connect my sena spider st1 mech to a sena s10 or snh5 intercom I cannot find the associates thank you for your feedback.

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