Author Topic: Hola-F Intercom review  (Read 2515 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tallpaul

  • Member
  • ***
  • Joined: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 10056
  • Tastier than the Barrow-in-Furness bus depot...
  • Bike: 2016 Yamaha XT1200ZE
  • Location: Whitworth, Lancashire
Hola-F Intercom review
« on: March 11, 2014, 13:55:32 »
The Hola-F intercom is touted as a long range (900 Metres) bluetooth intercom that is capable of connecting up to 4 Hola-F units together for a group of riders to stay in contact.  The set tested here was bought as a pair from Ghost Bikes in Preston, who claim to be the sole suppliers for these devices in the UK and (worryingly) they were not planning to import any more units. How you go about making a warranty claim, or getting spares support remains to be seen and in my book is the only major down side to these units.

I will break this down into sections regarding fitting, using etc and I won't post up pictures of what comes in the kit as you can see that on Ghost Bikes web site. Suffice to say that you do get what they show on the pictures!

http://www.ghostbikes.com/products/9114 ... -pack.html

INSTALLATION:

I fitted these units into a Schuberth C3 and a Shoei Neotec.  I have to say that fitting the boom mic was the most nerve wrecking experience of my life!! With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I would have fitted the mic differently into the  Schuberth, as trying to ferret the sticky pads onto the side of the shell without causing damage to the polystyrene inner was bloody hard work, and indeed, on my brothers Shoei lid I looked on Google images to see where other people had fitted them! As a result the install on that helmet looks better than it does on my Schuberth. Also as a result of my install, the plastic edge of the dropdown chin guard rubs the edge of the mic boom and has damaged the sheathing covering the boom. The boom itself is metal, so won't suffer long term, but it ruins the look of it.  :bawl:






The wiring entry on the Schuberth has to go between the shell and the draught  seal. I will get a picture of the Shoei install when I see my brother, as in my opinion looks better.



The speaker placement is critical, as it must go directly over Your lug 'ole to give the best sound. With the Schuberth lid the pockets in the lining for the speakers are elongated, allowing the user to move the speaker to the best position before sticking them in place. The Shoei has only a fixed position, so if that is not in the optimum place then its tough titty.



The excess wiring then has to be tucked up out of the way. Again, on the Shoei this proved an easier task. With the Schuberth it just about runs along the edge under the draught seal.



Finally I stuck the unit onto the side of the lid. Bikecomm provide a clip device that can be used but for both types of helmet in this instance they were impractical so the sticky back method was used, and to be fair they do get a good grip!!


USING

Pairing up the two units was already done, so can not comment on how easy this is. What the user manual states is that up to 3 Hola-F units can be paired to each unit. As you can see from the last picture above, there is one main front button and two corner buttons above and below the cable. The idea is that you set up each paired intercom to each button so that if you want to talk to the rider whos device is paired to the upper shoulder button you press that, it opens a channel to that unit and you can gab away. If that user is already talking to someone else then you get a message saying that the user is busy (or summat like that). This could prove to be a faff but I have not tested it yet.

Pairing up to my phone (LG G2) went very smoothly and went as per the demo video on YouTube.

Sound quality for me was very good, but I had been able to position the speakers bob-on for me.  The sound from my phones music player was not as loud as I would like for general use, even with everything screwed up to '11' but the intercom was more than loud enough and clear enough. The intercom volume automatically increases as the ambient noise rises and it worked very well.

Vox function, where you start talking and it opens a channel to the last connected intercom you spoke to can be fine-tuned, otherwise it forever opens a channel when the wind noise increases. This can be successfully dialled out by following the instructions in the booklet.

The range is impressive, maintaining good sound quality even when line-of-sight was lost. The only appreciable deterioration occurring when when Pete got stuck at a junction after I had gone through, round several corners and ended up the other side of a railway bridge. The connection remained active and when back in range it reconnected automatically.

CONCLUSION

For the money the intercom works well. I can receive phone calls and hear my phones Sat Nav. I can talk to my brother and hear what I need to hear. For me this has increased my riding pleasure as it is easy to discuss route changes and to warn of upcoming obstructions without stopping or flapping my arms around! For the money I think they are good value, the only downer being the uncertainty of supply from Ghost Bikes. Once this batch has sold why are they not planning to buy more? :crazy:

Pros:
Clear sound.
Good range.
Well screwed together.
Good instructions.
Comprehensive fitting kit.
Easy to pair to your phone
Makes riding as a pair more enjoyable.

Cons:
No conferencing.
No FM radio.
Boom mic a pain to fit (may just be my lack of experience!)

If you want full four way conferencing then you need to spend more money. If you want an FM radio then, again, spend more. If you and your mate just want to keep in communication on a ride out, for minimal cost and clear sound, then this is the unit for you. Just bear in mind the availability of spares. For me, if it pegs out two years from now I'll still think it was worth the cash, but spend more knowing that having an intercom is really worthwhile.

Scores on the doors..... :star:  :star:  :star:  :star:  
Would have been five stars if the question of future support did not exist. :GRR:
Old enough to know better, but still too young to care...