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COMMUNICATIONS: Cardo Scala Q2 Bluetooth headset

 
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docutech
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 446
Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: COMMUNICATIONS: Cardo Scala Q2 Bluetooth headset Reply with quote

Since my GF and I will be riding our scooters together, I thought it would be a good idea to invest in a pair of wireless headsets to stay connected while on the road. I read many reviews and decided to pull the trigger on a pair of Cardo Scala Q2 Bluetooth motorcycle headsets.




My first impression was good as I unpacked the items. The packaging was great. Very nice box with a magnetic flap for closure. Very classy looking. The headsets were nicely tucked into their own little spaces which meant very little movement during shipping. As I removed the contents I admired the very high quality finish and craftsmanship. Very nice. I charged the headsets overnight and today began to play Smile

Attaching to helmet:
The instructions say that all it takes is 5 minutes to install the headset to the helmet. It took me more than 30. True, I am pretty anal when it comes to fit and finish and I wanted take my time and ensure a trouble and worry free install. I routed all cables underneath the padding on my HJC CL15 and securely attached the base with boom microphone using the supplied allen wrench. I was somewhat apprehensive to squeeze the mounting bracket between the outer shell of the helmet and the styrofoam padding inside. It was a very tight fit but I suppose it needs to be in order for the mechanism to stay securely fastened. The final task was to locate the perfect spot for the earphones. It took several tries to get them in the right place as not to pinch or rub against my earlobes. Luckily I didnt have to use the supplied velcro stickers since the padding inside my helmet does a great job in catching the velcro on the back of the earpiece. The boom mic fits nicely to the shape of the chin guard inside my FF helmet and stays put once set in position. Once I had things positioned just right it was time to turn it on.

FM Radio
The FM radio was the first thing I tested. 6 presets are available for your listening pleasure. I read the manual and familiarized myself with the station preset procedure and about 30 minutes later I had them set. Since there is no FM dial I had to use a desktop radio and tune it to a station. Then I proceeded to find that station on the Cardo Scala headset. A little confusing at first but once I got a hang of it it was all good. Stations come in with a little static but what do you expect from a tiny FM receiver. There is a built in volume adjustment feature that raises or lowers the volume based on the ambient noise levels. Very nifty! As I prepared myself and my scoot for a ride, I tuned the radio to a station of my liking. I fired up the scoot and immediately the volume in the headphones increased by a notch Wink

Bluetooth Cell Phone connection
This is probably my favorite feature so far. The unit is paired up to my Palm Treo 700p. The phone found the Bluetooth device and paired up with it pronto. A tone alerts you when a call is coming in. You have the option not to answer simply by remaining silent for 15 seconds. If however, you want to answer an incoming call, just speak a word, any word into the mic and voila! you are connected. I cannot believe how crystal clear the connection is. I received a call from my GF while I was driving down the road. I was going 55 mph and she could not hear any traffic noise. She said it sounded as if I was driving in my car. I was able to hear her loud and clear once I adjusted the volume of my earphones. If you own a phone that supports voice dialing all you have to do is touch a button on the receiver and speak the name of the person you want to call. Also, lets say you are listening to the FM radio and a call comes in... an audio tone will alert you of the incoming call. Speak a word, any word into the mic and the radio fades out to mute mode so that you can talk. Once the call is done and the party on the other line hangs up, the radio fades back in so you can continue to enjoy the tunes. Pretty cool.

Using the receivers together
This is another great feature and the main reason I purchased these. Full Duplex capability to speak to the other person while on the road. The documentation claims 500 meter range on the open road. I have not had a chance to test this but was however, able to test it at a short distance. It was very simple to pair up the receivers and once we had that set up I initiated a call to my GF. The sound was great! Clear and crisp. I was impressed once again. This unit also had the ability to add a 3rd rider to your "buddy" group. For instance, if you are riding in a group and the Leader and/or Sweeper has a CSQ2 headset (or older-it is backwards compatible) you can call either one of them. This is very helpful if trouble arises during a team ride. Another very cool feature. 8-10 hours is the advertised talk time according to the documentation. A car charger is available as a optional accessory so that you can charge your receiver on your Buddy.

Final Thoughts
Other than the FM not having a stereo mode, I am very impressed with this unit. As mentioned before, the craftsmanship is top notch and the quality, both physical and mechanical is superb. This unit is also weather proof and can be used in heavy rain or snow. I would recommend this unit to anyone who has the need to "stay connected" while on the road. Weather alone or riding with a partner this unit will allow you greater freedom and connectivity. I will try to test the SCQ2 at a larger distance and post my findings here.

Thanks for looking.
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k1dude
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Joined: 08 Jun 2008
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Location: Northern California
'08 Orange Buddy 125

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the review. Although, doesn't that big round mic get in the way? I noticed some GMRS MC communications devices use a flat disc for both earphones and the mic to keep it from getting in the way. The Cardo mic seems like it would interfere with helmet donning and removal. It also seems like it would touch your lips while in the helmet.

I wish the unit also had AM radio. That's what I mostly listen to, especially if stereo isn't available with the FM.
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docutech
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
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Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprisingly the mic does not interfere with my lips. If I were to pucker up, then yes i could touch the foam. The mic itself is flat and round. Only the foam cover is round. One could easily swing the boom down until it is level with the chin area. This would ensure that the mic would not get in the way of other things.

Here are a few pictures:





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ericalm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review! We'll add it to our Reviews section once the replies and questions die down!

To speak to your gf, do the units communicate directly via Bluetooth? How do you initiate communication back and forth?

(I would guess that he reason it doesn't have stereo is that in some states, it's only legal to use one earphone while riding.)

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docutech
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 446
Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:
Great review! We'll add it to our Reviews section once the replies and questions die down!

To speak to your gf, do the units communicate directly via Bluetooth? How do you initiate communication back and forth?

(I would guess that he reason it doesn't have stereo is that in some states, it's only legal to use one earphone while riding.)



Thanks!

Yes, they are connected and communicate via Bluetooth. Once you pair up the two receivers you press a button until you hear a tone. Now you are connected. After 30 seconds of silence the units go into sleep mode and can be "woke-up" simply by talking again.

It the "stereo" or lack there of feature isn't that big of a deal. Honestly if it was available it would sound horrible with the amount of static that can sometimes clog the airwaves.
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mrsding
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Buddy 125

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did you purchase them, and, if I may ask, how much did they cost?

Thanks for the review!

Susan

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docutech
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Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Susan,

I purchased the set from www.motorcycle-superstore.com. $399.00 delivered to my door.
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hcstrider
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007
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Location: Ellicott City, MD
2007 Buddy 125 Italia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Docutech:

Thank you for taking the time and effort to write up such a thorough and informative review. I greatly appreciate your efforts.

I have the Tork Sport headset which I connect to a GMRS walkie talkie radio but I really like this Cardo Scala Q2 Bluetooth Motorcycle headset. Compared to the Tork it is a much cleaner setup because there are fewer wires.

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docutech
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
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Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hcstrider wrote:
Docutech:

Thank you for taking the time and effort to write up such a thorough and informative review. I greatly appreciate your efforts.

I have the Tork Sport headset which I connect to a GMRS walkie talkie radio but I really like this Cardo Scala Q2 Bluetooth Motorcycle headset. Compared to the Tork it is a much cleaner setup because there are fewer wires.


Not a problem! It was fun!

I just googled the equipment you mentioned above. Now I understand why the full duplex capability has been so widely raved about. Come to think of it, I own a pair of Uniden walkie talkies similar to yours. I never thought about using them for my scoots. I like the very slim microphone as well. Surprisingly there are very few wires to make the CSQ2 work. That is another thing that attracted me to them. I wish that the right earphone wire was a couple of inches longer though.
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

docutech wrote:
Hi Susan,

I purchased the set from www.motorcycle-superstore.com. $399.00 delivered to my door.

Not that this will help docutech, but I'm working on getting MB member discounts at Motorcycle Superstore. I should be able to have that up and running in the next week or so!

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docutech
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 446
Location: Saint Louis
'07 Buell Lightning XB12S '08 Buddy 125 Light Blue "Pauly" '08 Buddy Pamplona 150 "Bella"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DOH!!! Now you tell me...!

Just kidding. Very Happy
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Kaos
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'08 vOoDoO Buddy 270cc,'74 Vespa Super with 200cc Rally180 Engine, '89 Honda CB-1 400cc Cafe

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one of the original Scala Riders and absolutely love it, other than the FM radio, they're basically the same model. They also adjust well to outside noise.
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StL_Stadtroller
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'62 IWL Berlin, '68 Vespa SS180, '08 Buddy 125, '08 Vespa GT200

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

more Scala converts in STL! We're starting a cult!

Diane and I adopted the Q2's earlier this season, and I wrote up a review on the StL Forum
My Scala Rider Q2 Review on StL Scooter Forum

We're still lovin' them and will be sporting them at the Knuckledraggers rally this weekend.

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BeetleGoose
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2013 Triumph Thruxton, 2014 Triumph Speedmaster

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Docutech,

Good review and very clean set-up.
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