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Scala Rider - Q2 Multiset Review

Scala Rider - Q2 Multiset Review


I'll admit - I had misgivings about wireless communications system. I assumed that it would detract from the 'zen' of the ride or perhaps affect my concentration. I figured it would take away from the ride. So, I've never once listened to music on a ride much less take a phone call.  That is, until I tried out the Q2 Multiset from Cardo.

The Cardo MultiSet Q2 is basically two communications systems that come factory paired so that two people - whether they're on the same bike or on different bikes - can use them to communicate with one another; straight out of the box. They can be used on their own too, or paired with other Scala wireless systems - which could be useful if you're traveling with friends for example. They could be used for ATV's, snowmobiles, dirtbikes, or side-by-side's too. Anything that makes a bit of noise really, as they're designed to be used in a environment with some noise.

My first test with the Cardo system was to use it for a solo ride so that I could be sure I was familiar with its operation. A nice run of about 200 km's of secondary roads along the coast of Nova Scotia near Halifax provided the testing grounds.

What's in the Box:

Two headsets, two helmet clamps, 2 wall chargers, 2 allen wrenches, 2 sets of velcro pads, 2 MP3 cables,  2 glue plates, 2 pre-moistenend towelettes, 2 carry pouches, 4 microphone sponges, and a user guide with warranty and registration form.

The user guide is excellent and gives clear explanations (with pictures) of what each piece is and how to operate the device.

Once the box was opened up and I had figured out what all the little bits were for, the next step was to get it hooked up to my helmet.  I didn't want to stick the device to my helmet so I was really hoping that the helmet clamp would work on my Scorpion EXO-1000. The Scorpion EXO-1000 has an internal air bladder that sits between the shell and the helmet padding; there's also a really thick band of plastic along the bottom edge of the helmet where all the pieces are sandwiched together. Well, it took a little persistence but after opening up the clamp as wide as it would go and easing it on with a little pressure (but not enough to break anything) all was well.  I tightened it down with the supplied allen key. It is surprisingly secure actually. Pushing on the unit in any direction and there's no movement whatsoever.

Next step is to get the placement of the microphone just right. This part isn't too difficult really - you just have to place the helmet clamp in the appropriate place, the microphone is attached to the helmet clamp via a flexible arm so you can move and twist the microphone into the exact position you want. I couldn't even tell the microphone was there when it was properly placed in my helmet. The speakers are ultra-thin so that they'll fit into even the tightest of helmets.

The Scala Rider system is more than a communication system. It has a FM Radio built in, you can hook it up to an MP3 player through the integrated jack, a voice activated GPS, or a cell phone.  These are the features that will make it particularly useful for a wide variety of riders. I synched my iPhone to to the Scala System following the easy to read and clear instructions.

Cardo claims a 1,640-foot range under ideal circumstances but says that typical is range is more like 800 feet. The range of the communicators is pretty impressive even at the typical range. Riders can communicate in full duplex contact (you're able to talk and listen simultaneously) with each other.

Cardo Scala Rider Q2 MultiSet Specifications (Per Cardo)


MultiSet includes two intercom systems.
- Bike-to-bike Intercom up to 1,640 feet. 
- Cell phone connectivity along with FM and MP3 audio.
- 500 meter (1640 foot bike-to-bike intercom range and cell phone connectivity
- Rider-to-passenger communication
- Optional receiving of GPS voice instructions or music from an MP3 player (cable included) or embedded FM radio
- Headset automatically adjusts the sound level
- Incoming calls may be rejected or accepted by voice-control

Pros:

- Easy to read instructions
- Well designed system with all the elements required to get you using the system quickly and with minimal fuss.
- Excellent for business people who commute via bike and need to take calls.
- Very clear communications; I was told from those who called me that reception on their end was excellent too - even at highway speeds.
- An easy way to add music, GPS, and ability to use the phone on the bike. Remember, it's for your convenience so you don't have to answer calls if you don't want to!
- Rugged design that's rain and snow resistant.
- Cardo‚Äôs AGC Technology automatically adjusts the volume of the unit according to wind noise.


Cons:


- Lack of volume control with the MP3 player hookup.
- FM tuner didn't seem to pull in strong signals and scanning for stations is done via the volume control which requires a very firm push to operate.


Overall Impressions:

I really enjoyed using the device to listen to music on my iPhone and I even took a couple phone calls. If I was going on a long distance solo trip, or especially if I were riding two-up, or with a group - I'd definitely have one of these systems. If I needed to be readily available via telephone, I'd also recommend it highly. While I didn't test the system with a GPS system I can see that a voice activated control GPS would work very well as it would allow for hands-free use of the GPS.

Now, when you're on a group, or two-up ride you'll be able to communicate with those you're riding with without resorting to high-speed charades. Pit stops and breaks can be easily coordinated. You can warn others in your group about road hazards, or point out some interesting scenery. Even if you're just riding alone the device can keep you connected or allow you to listen to some of your favorite tunes.

For more information about Cardo and the Q2 Multiset you can visit the company website HERE.

Support CMR and get a great deal on the Cardo Multi-set Q2 system by purchasing it via Amazon:




Cardo Multiset Q2 picture slideshow: