interphone F5MC Motorcycle Helmet Headset & Intercom
A universal interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset with stereo Bluetooth® wireless intercom system offers versatile communication and entertainment features for touring and motorcycling in a group. The F5MC supports rider communication between intercoms and telephones. The intercom range between the motorcyclists is surprisingly long and several intercoms can be connected simultaneously enjoying a conference mode. The onboard entertainment features include a FM -radio with RDS support and MP3 -players. Wireless connections are made using the stereo Bluetooth® 3.0 -technology with 2 -audio- and a remote controller profile. The MP3 -players without the Bluetooth® could be cable connected to the headset. The F5MC very compatible nature goes beyond other intercom brands and even older generation intercoms, offering one of the largest integration potential. In addition the interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset remains in standby with a fully charged battery almost a month and in constant communication about 12hours which is from the functionality point of view quite enough. The battery can be fully recharged in about 3hours with an USB -charger. The F5MC -package includes no battery charger itself, but there are two USB -cables which can be used with universal USB -chargers up to 5V and 2Amps and there is no need to carry several chargers onboard.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset can be basically installed to any kind of helmet as long as there is enough room for the speakers. The speakers are very slim and come with quick VELCO® -fasteners for easy installation. The F5MC -package offers two configuration alternatives with 2 -type of microphones. The mic with the boom is designed for modular and open face helmets, but interphone accessories offer few special mic booms for the Schubert C3 / C3Pro, SHOEI Neotec, GT Air and the J Cruise. The other microphone without the boom is used for full face and dual sport helmet configurations, but I found the boom mic slightly better to install to a dual sport helmet. Both microphones are installed using a VELCRO® -fastener which makes also the microphones removable. Note that the head of the mic needs to be exactly in front of the mouth. The set also provides two ways to mount the F5MC -main unit onto the helmet. A clip mount with a slightly curved bracket comes with 2 -low profile clamps, a short and a long clamp. The clip mount has a tall heel which protects the cabling a little bit. The 3M -adhesive mount can be placed more freely on the helmet, but the industrial 3M VHB -tape is rather thin. Together with the curved bracket shape, the sticker mount may be challenging to fasten on uneven surfaces with stronger reinforcing shapes, but on the other hand the F5MC -unit could be placed higher in order to protect the main cable.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset is rather compact and the main unit is IP67 -waterproof. Although the speaker & mic plug requires the use of a silicone connector sealant. From the water- and the dust-proof point of view, the speaker & mic plug would be basically the only entry point, but the AUX -connector is protected only with a simple rubber cap which could easily get lost. The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset functions are operated with 5 -buttons and a simple logic to run the menus in a loop and entering the settings with the main function button -MFB. All the buttons are easily found with gloves on which is very important. The operations are supposed with text to speech TTS -assistance and status announcements. This way the rider knows where`s what and which setup is now ready for selection, but also what kind of settings are already activated. The factory offers also an accessory handlebar remote controller which could be used instead, but the F5MC -main unit buttons are very easy to handle with the gloves on. The operations are basically very simple to execute as soon as the rider is familiar with the menu and the buttons. The F5MC prioritizes audio sources and the mobile phone comes always first and the intercom comes second before the entertainment. The audio management includes an automatic 2 way volume adjustment with digital noise reduction.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset installation is very easy as long as the helmet in question has enough room for the speakers and the cheek pads are removable. Pay attention to the exact location of the speaker so that they would be perfectly lined up with the ear canals. The same applies with the mic. It has to bee right in front of the mouth similarly to the speakers in order to deliver the best audio quality. The F5MC -package includes everything that is needed to install the headset and the cabling seems to be well optimized for an average configuration. I installed the headset to an ARAI Tour X4 -helmet (59/L) without any modifications or problems what so ever. I can remove the headset anytime and the helmet remains intact. If I could change something with the F5MC -hardware, I would prefer having more rubberized cabling which is even more flexible to route. In addition the auxiliary audio cable and the plugs could be L -shaped from both ends in order to run the cable closer to the helmet and more directly in the collar. Never the less, the best choice would be to have a helmet specific and fully integrated headset.
interphone F5MC Motorcycle Helmet Headset Features
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset offers versatile wireless communication features with the Bluetooth® -intercom. The range between intercoms can be up to 1,3kms or 0.81 miles in an open terrain without large obstacles between the intercoms. If the connection brakes due to obstacles, the F5MC automatically reconnects to the lost intercom as soon as the coverage returns. The F5MC provides a full duplex FDX -communication to both directions simultaneously between 2 – 4 -intercom units and on top of other interphones, the F5MC pairs also with other intercom brands. The F5MC has 2 -pairing modes, intercom device- and ANYCOM -search mode which both automatically pair with a single intercom at a time as long as the pairing mode is activated on the opposite end.
A single interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset could be paired directly only with 2 -intercoms (conference of 3 -intercoms) at a time and the 4TH -intercom must be paired with the 3RD in order to create a conference of 4 -intercoms all together. Note that the direct connections are operating only within the maximum range which affects the order how these 4 -intercoms could be lined up on the road and how far away from each other. Only the 4TH -intercom could be outside the direct range of the 1ST -unit since the 4TH is directly connected with the 3RD which transmits the communication between the 1ST and the 4TH -intercom. The best conference stability would be reached when other Bluetooth® -device connections are during the conference disconnected. The intercom connection can be put in offline simply by pressing once the MFB -button and twice in a conference mode.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset connects with mobile phones using the wireless Bluetooth® -hands free profile – HFP and once the pairing is made, the F5MC will automatically connect to the phone and announce it which is very user-friendly. In coming calls can be answered and ended simply with the MFB -button, but also rejected and put into mute with the UP & DOWN -buttons. The phone feature supports the use of the phonebook, redialing the last number and voice dialing. A single F5MC -unit can be connected to 2 -mobile phones simultaneously, but only the first cell enjoys the full potential and the second cell could only receive calls. Although the rider can use the second cell manually from the phone buttons. The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset has 2 -functionality setups for the phone and the rider can activate the voice assistance to read the caller ID from the phonebook, but also to accept the incoming call by voice. When the rider is having a phone conversation, other intercoms can not interrupt or connect to the F5MC -unit simultaneously.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset can be Bluetooth® -connected with the GPS -navigator in order to receive navigational voice instructions. Those instructions are prioritized ahead of the intercom communication as long as the navigator supports the Bluetooth® -hands free profile HFP. If a smartphone is used for navigation, the F5MC uses the entertainment profile to deliver the voice instructions. Unfortunately this means that the instructions are not able to interrupt a simultaneous intercom conversation, but it`s not very relevant. The rider should always stay on top of everything and follow the display instructions. I tend to leave the navigator mostly disconnected due to spontaneous rerouting and because I don`t want to hear a confused navigator trying to return back to the previous route.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset has an integrated FM -radio with RDS -broadcast retuning feature. The RDS is quite useful in touring and saves the rider from retuning the station along the ride. The radio mode is very simple and the status announcements keep the rider aware of the selected frequency and the station. The F5MC allows to store 8 -stations in the memory which is enough for most of us. By pressing the UP or DOWN -button available stations are explored step by step. Stations can be stored simply by pressing the MFB -button until a beep and by selecting the memory spot. Stored stations are browsed similarly with the UP or DOWN -buttons by pressing slightly longer until a beep. The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset automatically mutes the radio when a call comes in.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset delivers also stereo music from a MP3 -player, GPS -navigator or from a mobile phone. The music could be streamed wirelessly with the Bluetooth® -entertainment and remote control profiles as long as they are supported by the source in question. Otherwise the music could be delivered with an auxiliary 2,5 / 3,5 mm. audio cable which comes in the STD -package. The speakers are thin enough and the quality of the sound good. The F5MC -music mode and buttons provide the basic player functions (play, pause, next and previous) seamlessly. Further settings are made with the source device itself and naturally the F5MC jumps automatically onboard if the rider puts the music on from the MP3 -player directly, but without activating the F5MC -music mode the basic functions are not automatically in use. When exiting the music mode, the F5MC goes automatically on pause and next time the music mode is activated, the F5MC still remains on pause which may be confusing at first. This is probably something which could be streamlined easily with a firmware update.
The interphone F5MC -motorcycle helmet headset has a special music sharing mode which allows to deliver the music up to 2 -intercoms simultaneously and start an intercom or phone conversation while listening the music. The F5MC pauses the music and delivers automatically the intercom conversation, but the incoming phone calls must be naturally accepted with the MFB -button. The music returns automatically when the conversation ends. The key Interphone F5MC -helmet headset with Bluetooth® intercom features are:
- Stereo Bluetooth® 3.0 technology
- Intercom between 2-4 units
- Intercom up to 1,3kms or 0.81mi
- Automatic reconnection
- ANYCOM pairing
- GPS, mobile phone and MP3 compatible
- 2,5/3,5 mm. AUX cable included
- 2 USB charging cables included
- Multilingual voice menu
- Voice assistance
- Text to speech TTS supported
- Automatic voice response
- Status announcements
- LED status indicator
- Automatic 2 way volume adjustment
- Digital noise reduction
- Call reject
- Voice dial
- Last number redial
- Call waiting
- FM radio with RDS
- 8 stations memory
- MP3 music streaming
- Music sharing with intercom
- 2 helmet configurations
- 2 mounting options
- 2 microphones
- Standby approx. 700hours
- Talk time approx. 12hours
- 3hours recharge
- Li-polymer battery
- Weight 44 g. or 1.55 oz
- IP67 water and dust proof
- CE, FCC and IC approved
interphone F5MC Motorcycle Helmet Headset Firmware
The Interphone F5MC -firmware can be updated only with a PC -computer and a separate management SW called SuperTooth Updater. After downloading the F5MC Handsfree Kit, installing the SuperTooth and the USB -drivers on the computer, the F5MC can be USB -connected to the PC for the upgrade. The SuperTooth provides simple straight forward instructions to run through the installation and the whole process takes only few minutes. The SuperTooth appears on the PC -menu with a name Interphone Update and new SW -versions can checked simply by connecting the Interphone F5MC -helmet headset to the computer and opening the program.