These days everyone carries their life around on a smartphone of some sort and car drivers have become used to the fact that their phones will just pair up with their car radios, allowing everything from music playback to hands-free phone calls.
For the average biker the solution has been to awkwardly run a pair of in-ear headphones from a jacket pocket, but it really isn’t the same.
We’re starting to see more and more integration of mobile technologies into helmets and the cost of these features is coming down all the time. A few years ago having integrated audio in a helmet was reserved for only most well-heeled bikers. Now you can buy a basic smartphone for less than $50, thanks to the low cost of components.
The BiLT Techno Bluetooth helmet belongs to this generation of affordable, technology infused products. So let’s have a look at whether this helmet is for you.
In terms of looks the Techno Bluetooth isn’t really something special, nor is it unattractive. This is a competently designed helmet with very conservative graphics and, apart from bright yellow, it comes in generally subdued colours like grey and black.
The shell’s mould is a bit reminiscent of classic helmet designs, but upon closer inspection there are modern aerodynamic details that we think are quite nice for a helmet in this price range.
Build Quality and Materials
As with the other BiLT helmets we’ve looked at, the Techno Bluetooth has an injection molded polycarbonate shell, which BiLT says meets or exceeds DOT standards. Something that should really be considered a working minimum for any helmet in our opinion.
The paintwork on the Techno Bluetooth also stands out in this price category. The paint is metallic with double lacquer or matte finish options. Both of which are good, although for our money the matte finish has the nicer feel to it.
The removable foam lining feels just right in terms of softness and we don’t have any particular criticisms. Over all the Techno Bluetooth feels decent enough, punching a bit higher than its price tag would suggest.
Comfort and Features
The Techno Bluetooth feels fairly comfortable. although some users have noted a somewhat tight fit. As always it’s a good idea to try it on your actual head, since no two people have the same skull.
Airflow and venting was just adequate on this helmet and the chin-mounted vent is quite easy to operate.
The clear faceshield quick release system also works quite well and BiLT have included a separate flip-down sun visor.Which is a great convenience. BiLT also sells replacement shields for both visors, should you ever need them.
Some users have reported excessive levels of wind noise, enough to interfere with the sound system. This is really a matter of personal tastes. Even at highway speeds the wind noise was not excessive or fatiguing in our experience. Although the wind noise was more than we expected. In the end the Techno Bluetooth may be better suited to commuting rather than extended highway cruising.
And so we come to the Techno Bluetooth’s party trick, it’s bluetooth functions. With the built-in system it’s possible to take phone calls, communicate with your passenger or fellow rider, get GPS voice instructions and of course listen to music.
Pairing a phone with the system was quite easy and the internal speakers were crystal clear, although they could have been a bit more powerful. At higher speeds the wind noise does degrade the experience a bit, but not too much in our view.
Callers on the other end reported no issues with wind noise and it was pretty easy to conduct a conversation. Once again it seems that different owners of the product vary in their experience, but it’s important to remember that the volume on the actual phone needs to be adequate.
Many modern smartphones actually cut the volume to 75% or less automatically when connecting headphones or bluetooth audio devices. So make sure you adjust the volume after pairing your phone.
The intercom function also worked without issue and having a line to our passenger really changes the experience of riding, especially if you want to chat about the scenery out on a run.
We really liked the Techno Bluetooth helmet from BiLT. It looks nice, it has good quality materials and at this price you’ll have a hard time getting a feature list this long. We were impressed by how easy it was to pair a phone and how well the audio components worked on the road.
The Techno Bluetooth really feels like it should cost more, which is a neat trick to pull off with profit margins being so thin these days. Which means that you really should buy two, otherwise the intercom functionality goes to waste. Unless of course the best thing about biking is that other people can’t talk to you.
The bottom line is that these technology features are reserved for helmets at nearly double the asking price of the Techno Bluetooth and that’s a fact that can help us look past some of the minor rough edges on this product.
- Great price
- Good build quality
- DOT certified
- Easy to use
- Bluetooth was clear (phone dependent)
- Nice big chin spoiler
- Sun visor is a nice bonus
- Ventilation is average
- Some users have road noise issues
Interested In Some Closeout Sale Deals?
While you’re thinking about the BiLT Techno Bluetooth helmets, you just may pick up a great bargain by scanning the closeout deals and sales currently on offer from Motorcycle Superstore, Revzilla Online or Cycle Gear Direct.
Prices/conditions valid at time of publication.
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