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UClear HBC100 Bluetooth Helmet Headphones

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

71-8000wps-2T.jpg

 

 

Bitwave, a military technology design company, was asked to create a helmet communicator that would allow security communications to appear invisible (no visible microphone) in covert operations. At the same time, this technology had to delivery absolute clarity in battlefield conditions when noise environment are at extreme levels and communication can mean life or death. While most recreational helmet communication devices are ineffective in extreme wind or noise environments. Bitwave's UClear HBC100 technology, developed specifically for the military, delivers crystal clear communications in the most extreme conditions.

DSP Algorithm Features
Adaptive beam forming technology, noise suppression and echo cancellation
Intelligent "sweet spot", directed towards speaker's voice
Detected speech signal enhancement
Environment and background noise cancellation

Bluetooth profiles supported:
Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Headset Profile (HSP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), Intercom Profile

Kit includes:
HBC 100 Control Unit
2 Velcro mounted stereo headset speakers with embedded microphones
Clip style and double sided tape metal mounting brackets
100 volt AC charger and USB charging cable
Optional Audio Kit includes all parts needed to mount the HBC 100 control unit to another helmet (speakers and helmet mounts)

 

General Specifications
Talk time up to 10 hours
Standby time Up to 2 weeks
Battery type Rechargeable Li-Po
Charging time 2 hours
Bluetooth design Version 2.1, class 2 (EDR)
Design type Rain and snow resistant
Operating temperature 14ºF (-10ºC) to 140ºF (60ºC)

 

Features
  • Make and receive mobile phone calls, voice command call pickup
  • Listen and wirelessly control your Bluetooth compatible music device
  • Helmet to helmet intercom (rider to passenger)
  • Additional bike to bike range available with standard walkie talkies and optional WT 300 wireless adapter
  • Auto loudness adjustment
  • Patented Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Algorithm technology with concealed microphones
  • Unique wind filtering technique effective up to 147 mph
  • Rugged weather resistant design
  • Powerful speakers ensure clarity under noisty conditions
  • Hassle free installation on full face and 3/4 helmets.

Review:

 

Design:  What is nice it worked very well with my 2011 Smith Variant and was very easy to install. Visually, it is much more streamlined than the Smith (or Giro) OEM Bluetooth option that Skullcandy provides. What is also a great benefit of the UClear is that it is NOT proprietary and you are not limited to just your ski helmet, it will work with almost any helmet that accepts aftermarket headphones. Pairing with my iPhone4 was simple and very easy. 

 

Use: "Answer" or "Pick up" is all you need to receive a phone call which adds very well to the wireless design. Even while skiing, I received a phonecall, I didn't have to stop skiing or miss a pole plant to answer a call. Noise cancellation was also the best I have experienced in any bluetooth set up from both my end in listening and also from the person on the other end. Music from my iTunes was very clear and the sound was on par with most open air headphones. The buttons on the controller were very easy and intuitive to operate. Volume was easy control with beeps for each time you made an adjustment. 

 

Overall: This is the best bluetooth unit I have used yet. You can tell a lot of thought went into the design with the intention for who the markets will be using it. While the UClear isn't inexpensive, it is not cheap either, the HBC100 is a very well made unit and worthy of the price. Quality never comes cheap and the Uclear is worth the price. 

post #2 of 16
Philpug, how was battery life, both on the headset and your iPhone? I've always hesitated listening to tunes wirelessly because of concerns about what continuous BT use would do for iPhone battery life. Even w/ wired phones, I'm almost dead at the end of a day.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirreljam View Post

Philpug, how was battery life, both on the headset and your iPhone? I've always hesitated listening to tunes wirelessly because of concerns about what continuous BT use would do for iPhone battery life. Even w/ wired phones, I'm almost dead at the end of a day.


I was out for about 3 hours with it and I didn't notice any significant battery change (drain) compared to other use. 

 

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 


Overall:  While the UClear isn't inexpensive, it is not cheap either, the HBC100 is a very well made unit and worthy of the price.  

A new Pugism! biggrin.gif

 

Do you mean it costs about $200, but it is both well made and lives up to hype

 

 

Squirlljam, 

A visit to my local Apple store revealed that battery life is greatly affected by the number and type of Apps installed as many require frequent automatic updates. 

You can turn those that hog power off and extend battery life. Check it out.

 

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/four-ways-to-make-your-battery-last-longer/


 

 


Edited by Living Proof - 6/2/11 at 9:32am
post #5 of 16

Right on!  Great review.  The snow product will actually cost $229.   The snow product will come with a couple added features.  Rounded clip for easy helmet attachment, 18" extension cord for those that would like the toggle on the front of the body instead of the helmet.

 

We are also adding a mute voice recognition for when you ski up to others and want to silence your music.  I have skied up to 6 hours in 10 degree temps with no loss of battery power.

post #6 of 16
Shameless bump here...

These bad boys are available in stores now. Phil's review is of the HBC100. The snow unit is the HBC120. Same basic unit but comes with accessories optimized for ski helmets. HBC100 is the motorcycle version.

Great hands free calling, high fidelity audio, military grade noise cancellation and it's super stealth so you don't look like you have Princess Leia buns on the side of your helmet.

Another cool feature with these is you can pair two of them together and talk to someone while skiing without having to press any buttons... An interesting option for ski instructors wanting to communicate with their students while they're skiing or people wanting to talk to each other while skiing without having to yell at the top of your lungs.
Edited by wasatchback - 11/7/11 at 4:08pm
post #7 of 16

They have the snow specific version out now, as mentioned above HBC120:

 

http://www.uclear-digital.com/HBC120snow.html

post #8 of 16

I was browsing ebay for some bluetooth speakers for my Smith Variant helmet and found these (apparently) brand new/never used UClear HBC 100 for 40$ shipped.

 

I doubt this could be the real deal, but at this price, it's worth the try.. Should have the package on my doorstep by next week, i'll let you guys know!

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Turn Today View Post

I was browsing ebay for some bluetooth speakers for my Smith Variant helmet and found these (apparently) brand new/never used UClear HBC 100 for 40$ shipped.

 

I doubt this could be the real deal, but at this price, it's worth the try.. Should have the package on my doorstep by next week, i'll let you guys know!



Was It this:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-UClear-Bluetooth-Helmet-Intercom-Optional-Audio-Kit-/130562053027?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item1e661ad3a3

 

If so you're missing the bluetooth part of the system (otherwise known as the dongle) .... You got speakers and some mounting brackets (for the dongle) and a cord to plug it in

but these will be useless without the dongle (which you can't buy separately).

post #10 of 16

not the same auction, but I think it's the same item. See http://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e11051.m43.l1123/7?euid=b2ad01629d2e4e0699748b2cfc349611&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Febaymotors%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.dll%3FViewItem%26item%3D160684262162%26ssPageName%3DADME%3AX%3ARTQ%3AMOTORS%3A1123

 

The seller just replied me saying it's only the speaker. damn, I feel dumb. I just wasted 40$ because I was to impatient to wait for his reply... I am stupid.
 

Edit: The seller was kind enought to refund the whole thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasatchback View Post



Was It this:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-UClear-Bluetooth-Helmet-Intercom-Optional-Audio-Kit-/130562053027?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item1e661ad3a3

 

If so you're missing the bluetooth part of the system (otherwise known as the dongle) .... You got speakers and some mounting brackets (for the dongle) and a cord to plug it in

but these will be useless without the dongle (which you can't buy separately).



 


Edited by Deep Turn Today - 11/24/11 at 7:37am
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasatchback View Post

Shameless bump here...
These bad boys are available in stores now. Phil's review is of the HBC100. The snow unit is the HBC120. Same basic unit but comes with accessories optimized for ski helmets. HBC100 is the motorcycle version.
Great hands free calling, high fidelity audio, military grade noise cancellation and it's super stealth so you don't look like you have Princess Leia buns on the side of your helmet.
Another cool feature with these is you can pair two of them together and talk to someone while skiing without having to press any buttons... An interesting option for ski instructors wanting to communicate with their students while they're skiing or people wanting to talk to each other while skiing without having to yell at the top of your lungs.


Yes, the one that was provided me was an early version, the ski specific one will have a few more features, I would like that "mute" option. 

 

I skied with the uClear a few days ago and was impressed that it still held a charge from last year and had no issues in the 4 hours I had it out. 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post



Yes, the one that was provided me was an early version, the ski specific one will have a few more features, I would like that "mute" option. 

 

I skied with the uClear a few days ago and was impressed that it still held a charge from last year and had no issues in the 4 hours I had it out. 



I also recently started using the HBC120 and love it!  I have used it the past couple of weeks and really enjoyed the intercom feature.  I was able to talk to my friend who was also using it from a pretty great distance. Full disclosure-I recently started working with a company who works with them, but have been skiing for years and looking for something like this for a while...luckily, I really love the product. They recently launched a new online store if anyone wants more information:  http://www.uclearstore.com.

 

post #13 of 16

That would be a great device if it were $49 or even $99.

post #14 of 16

Bought one of these recently and skiied with them on the hill.

 

I used the velcro to snap the "controller" to my goggle strap (you can mount it on the helmet or on the helmet straps as well in addition to this method).  My experience (YMMW)

 

1.  Installation was easy

2.  Sound was decent/good

3.  Had a very hard time working the controller with my gloves on, and had to resort to taking my gloves on to work the controls.  I also found that it was awkward to work the controls with my right hand given that the controller was mounted on the left goggle strap (can't be mounted on the right)

4. Did not get a chance to test the voice mics for phone calls

 

I returned it due to #3  

 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingThere View Post

Bought one of these recently and skiied with them on the hill.

 

I used the velcro to snap the "controller" to my goggle strap (you can mount it on the helmet or on the helmet straps as well in addition to this method).  My experience (YMMW)

 

1.  Installation was easy

2.  Sound was decent/good

3.  Had a very hard time working the controller with my gloves on, and had to resort to taking my gloves on to work the controls.  I also found that it was awkward to work the controls with my right hand given that the controller was mounted on the left goggle strap (can't be mounted on the right)

4. Did not get a chance to test the voice mics for phone calls

 

I returned it due to #3  

 



I pretty much used a set it and forget it method. I didn't find that I needed to change the volume or work the controls. I mounted mine on the left side bit it could also work on the right. I also found that I can get 3-4 days skiing on a single charge. 

post #16 of 16

Got one of these for Xmas and I bought one for my wife. I was disappointed with the somehwat exposed wires. My wife was able to mount her helmet piece using the sticky just below the ear hole on her helmet and the wires are not really exposed. My helmet is curved in that spot so I could not mount using the sticky that comes in the package. That left me with a goggle strap mount. This didn't work for me at all as there were exposed wires that could easily get caught on branches during tree skiing. I sent mine back. My wife is keeping hers because the wires aren't exposed and she doesn't ski in trees. I will say that the unit works well and the voice activation feature also works well at least with an I Phone. I think they need to make the whole device wireless and if so it would be a great product.

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