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Stay connected.

I’m not usually one for listening to music while riding but occasionally I need to take phone calls when I’m on the bike, and for that the Cardo Freecom 4X is impressive. Not only do calls come through crystal clear thanks to the 40mm JBL speakers, but chances are the person on the other end of the line will have no idea you’re hurtling along at 100 clicks and talking into your helmet.

Connecting the Freecom 4X via Bluetooth is simple, and with the Cardo Connect app installed on your phone, you have shortcuts to make calls, use the intercom, play music or turn on and tune the radio. You can also add favourites so you can quickly call regular contacts.

Without the app open, you can still answer calls by pressing a button at the rear of the device or you can answer via your phone in the usual manner, when the phone is mounted on the bike, that is. There are also voice commands; just say “Hey Cardo”, followed by what you want the device to do, such as “Hey Cardo, radio on”, and then “Hey Cardo, station up”. A big dial on the device allows you to adjust volume, which is easily done even when wearing winter gloves.

In intercom mode, the Freecom 4X is compatible with other brands of Bluetooth intercoms and it can connect to up to four other devices, with a claimed range of 1200m, which I haven’t verified yet.

Fitting the device to your helmet is straightforward; the base clips to the side of your lid, the cables feed underneath the liner, the speakers attach via Velcro (with attachment pads supplied if needed) and the small microphone also has Velcro attachment.

Other functions through the app allow you to tailor microphone sensitivity, the automatic volume control and the audio profile for bass boost, high volume or vocal. The sound is so good from the JBL speakers that lately I’ve been listening to music on long commutes and freeway runs.

Finally, battery life is excellent. Cardo claims 13 hours, and I have done two full days in the saddle without draining the battery, which incidentally takes less than two hours to fully charge from flat.

Cardo Freecom 4X

Stars: 4.5 out of 5
Price: $449.95 (single); $829.95 (duo)
Colours: Black
(02) 8882 1900