I got my first motorcycle helmet when I was a sophomore in high school. It was a glossy black full-face helmet with a clear lens, and the only full-face helmet at the Harley dealership where I bought it. It had subtle branding of a single silver eagle logo on the front above the face shield and, in true teenage girl style, I was only concerned about looks and wasn’t about to be caught in a Harley standard-issue half helmet. I had no idea what I was doing, and that helmet was the worst gear purchase I ever made. I couldn't change the clear visor, it had no ventilation, the chin latch system was complicated, and it was the wrong shape for my head. After 45 minutes, my forehead was bright red and I had a headache.
Thankfully, I've learned a lot since those early days, and now my criteria for a good helmet goes way beyond just the outer shell design. In the last two decades, motorcycle helmets have evolved to encompass the latest technology, such as Bluetooth. Getting one of these innovative helmets can improve your riding experience and keep you in constant communication with your family or fellow riders. They can also play music to set a soundtrack to the open skies in front of you. But which are the ones The Drive’s editors trust? Take a look below.
Best Overall: Sena Outrush R
Best Value: Bilt Techno 3.0 Modular Sena Bluetooth Helmet
Honorable Mention: Sedici Sistema II Parlare Bluetooth Helmet
Best Aerodynamic: Shoei GT-Air II Helmet
Best Graphics: LS2 Challenger GT Carbon Flames Helmet
Best Lightweight: Schuberth R2 Traction Helmet
My approach to choosing the best Bluetooth helmets starts with the technology. Technically, you could slap a communication system onto almost any helmet. However, I only considered helmets that either came with a system already installed on the helmet or helmets specifically designed for system integration. From there, I focused on helmet manufacturers that are well-known and trusted. I wanted to ensure the helmets I chose were from reputable companies that produce gear that complies with DOT and ECE testing.
When comparing the different helmets, I focused on three feature categories: safety, comfort, and technology. The best helmets have a solid mix of the three. Safety features included the construction and material quality and certification. Comfort features focus on things like the number of shell sizes, internal liner, padding, tinted shield, and venting. Technology is the integration of a communications system, built-in antenna, microphone, and speakers. It isn't enough to just look at the stats, though. I also considered what riders who bought the helmet thought to get a real-world sense of how the helmets performed and my personal experience with owning a variety of motorcycle helmet brands. It was important to me to stay true to The Drive’s methodology to ensure I only recommended quality products.
Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on the Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
Our top pick for the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet is the Sena Outrush R with its seamless integration of safety gear and innovative technology. And if you’re on a tight budget and looking for the most affordable option, the BILT Techno 3.0 Modular Sena Bluetooth Helmet with its Bluetooth integration and reliable construction.
What to Consider When Buying Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet
While there are six basic types of helmets, not all of them come with Bluetooth integration. What I can offer are the types of motorcycle helmets that come with Bluetooth integration and those are broken down into two types: Pre-installed and Bluetooth capable.
Types of Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets
Pre-Installed Bluetooth System
Some helmets come with Bluetooth and a communication system already installed in the helmet. Because you're getting everything, expect the price to be higher. However, you don't have to worry about installing anything. This makes them ready for use right out of the box. Most of the helmets in this category use high-quality materials and construction, making them a smart investment. The biggest advantage of these helmets is that the communication system, speakers, and microphone are hidden inside of the helmet, making for a clean design. Not having the unnecessary bulk on the side of your helmet is nice.
Helmet Capable Bluetooth System
These helmets come ready for a Bluetooth system to be installed in them. The process for installation can vary greatly. Some are essentially plug and play, while others require an extensive installation process. What's nice about these helmets is that you get to choose the Bluetooth system you want in your helmet. You can also easily upgrade later on. You also have more options when it comes to choosing your favorite manufacturer with an outer shell design that appeals to you.
Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Pricing
Similar to regular helmet pricing, you’ll find Bluetooth helmets that range in price from about $150 to $800. If you’re looking for the most affordable Bluetooth helmets, they are going to be half helmets with minimal features. You can expect to spend the typical midrange amount around $200-$300 for the majority of helmet offerings. They come in various types and have all of the features you’d want in a helmet. Helmets in the top end of the pricing are from manufacturers known for producing high-end expensive helmets. They are typically lightweight and constructed from innovative materials. When it comes to Bluetooth technology, you can expect better quality from more expensive helmets. You’ll see the difference in the connectivity, signal strength, features, and sound quality.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Are Bluetooth motorcycle helmets legal?
A: Yes, it is legal to wear a Bluetooth helmet. The speakers in a Bluetooth helmet do not sit in your ear like earbuds or completely cover your ears like headphones. This allows you to hear the traffic and pedestrians around you.
Q: Can Bluetooth motorcycle helmets play music?
A: Yes, you can play music using a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet via your phone.
Q: How many people can I communicate with via a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet?
A: The number of people you can communicate with varies from helmet to helmet. Most Bluetooth helmets can communicate with at least three other riders. But if you get a headset that also features Mesh, you can talk to a virtually limitless number of riders.
Q: Is a Bluetooth helmet safe?
A: Having a helmet with Bluetooth ability can make it safer to listen to music or answer phone calls while riding. Their hands-off ability means you can keep your hands on the handlebars and in full control of your bike.
Q: Do Bluetooth motorcycle helmets sound good?
A: Depending on the helmet, the sound quality can vary from not great to fantastic. The size and quality of the speakers will dictate the sound quality produced. Additionally, check the placement of your speakers. If they are in the wrong place, you won’t get the full experience.