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What happened to F1 to F3? It worked very well but it had some problems with the design of the microphone; specifically the method used to connect the microphone to the speaker to form the headset unit. A second version of the Interphone system was developed, with a stronger connector and a second speaker. This design proved to be successful and the family resemblance can be seen in the F4, which builds on the earlier technology.

This brings us to the Interphone F3, which is a new system that appears identical to the F4 shown here. The F3 is a rider-to-passenger Bluetooth intercom that can connect to a cell phone, GPS or Bluetooth-enabled music system but does not include the bike-to-bike functionality of the F4.

The current Interphone F4 system includes all of the previous connectivity features plus an incredible meter claimed bike-to-bike communications capability. But the most outstanding feature of the Interphone F4 is the sound quality, which is, I think, excellent.

Can you figure it out? Features Bluetooth intercom systems have evolved to a point where there are standard procedures for pairing with other Bluetooth devices, connecting in intercom mode, pairing and even for turning the systems on and off. The F4 is very easy to use and the instructions, while not perfectly clear, are easy to understand and, unlike many of the earlier Bluetooth intercom systems we reviewed, everything worked on first try.

Ability to pair with up to 8 different Bluetooth devices i. Can pair to two cell phones during any given session. A pair of active F4 intercoms can carry on simultaneous cell phone conversations e. Pairs with Bluetooth-enabled GPS, cell phones, music devices, etc.

Pairs with other earlier Interphone Bluetooth intercoms. Claimed 10 hours of talk time and hour standby time battery not removable. Functions We mostly use intercoms for rider-to-passenger communications with occasional bike-to-bike use when evaluating new products. I have, however, pulled over off the road in a safe spot to make or receive a call, which is distracting enough in itself.

As mentioned above, the F4 will pair with two cell phones if anyone is so inclined to do such a thing. But the capability is there, although we did not evaluate it. Besides Bluetooth pairing with two cell phones per F4 module, both the rider and the passenger can independently pair their units with their own cell phones. We did confirm that a rider and passenger F4 system can indeed connect individually to separate cell phones and receive and make independent phone calls. The system also supports voice calling and answering, which worked without problems on a couple of cell phones we tried.

We also paired the F4 with no problems to cell phones, MP3 players and a GPS system using the separate Sony Bluetooth adapter that turns any device with an output jack into a Bluetooth-enabled device.

If the F4 is in intercom mode, the discussion will be interrupted for a cell phone alert or GPS instructions if the GPS uses the telephone-style pairing mode profile; most GPS systems with built-in Bluetooth use this profile. If the system is streaming music, it will be interrupted also for the cell phone alert or GPS instructions and will return to the music when the call is complete.

The sound quality is excellent to outstanding and the volume can be raised very loud. The speakers are approximately 8 mm thick, which is slightly thicker than other motorcycle intercom systems, but which probably accounts for the excellent sound qualities. We realized that placing the speakers as close to the ear as possible is important for a motorcycle communications system, so some helmets with deep ear pockets may actually not be the best solution for mounting speakers.

The Interphone F4 can also remotely control the MP3 player, depending upon capabilities of the player itself. In the Box The Interphone F4 is sold as either an individual unit or a twin pack.

We have two individual units, and of course two units are required for rider-to-passenger or bike-to-bike communications. The package includes the F4 intercom module; the headset microphone and two speakers ; two different mounting clips, a screwdriver and a couple of spare parts. Also includes is an extra foam microphone anti-wind cover a pair of extra helmet speaker mounts; a small battery charger V in North America with a dual connector to charge two F4 modules at once with a single wall plug; and the instruction manual with a separate pocket guide.

Instruction Manual The page manual is divided into 12 sections of roughly 10 pages each. Initial Charging The first thing a new intercom owner must do is to give the system its initial charge. The V dual connector outlet provided in each single unit box is a compact unit and it took about two hours to charge the pair.

An interesting note about the charger is that the prongs are on the back of the head. But the head is so small it fits between other electrical outlets in a surge strip, rather than taking up the space of two or three outlets on the surge strip, which often happens with electronic gear. The LED on the module glows steady red when charging and then turns green when the charge is complete corrected from original version which stated there was no green light.

Do the same for the other Bluetooth device and when that device is in pairing mode, simply wait until the quick flashing lights go out and the systems are paired. It does take about 35 seconds to initially pair the two F4 units however, so be patient! Various pairings are illustrated in the video below. A tone will be heard in the speakers illustrated in the video and then full-duplex communications are enabled.

The minus and plus buttons are pushed to raise or lower the volume or to control the MP3 player. Whether paired with another unit or not, the F4 is turned on by pressing and holding the main button for about three seconds.

Pairing With a Cell Phone The same pairing procedure as described above is used to pair the F4 with a cell phone. If paired with an active cell phone, a cell phone call ring tone will take priority same when listening to music. MP3 device can be remotely controlled if available on the player. It can hold up to 8 Bluetooth pairing connections in memory This is described in Section 3.

As such, it may not be possible to connect a further Stereo A2DP player. This is also true for a cell phone and an MP3 player. This is a drawback of the A2DP protocol. If any F4 owners can enlighten us on this, it would be appreciated. Interphone F4 intercom mounting kit. Components at the bottom are supplied for each intercom. Sound Level Comparison: Interphone F4 vs.

MP3 file. Constants: Both intercom systems were set at their maximum volume. The microphones were then set at the same distance from the Zoom H2 stereo recorder we use for our video voiceovers. I then stood at the same distance away from the recorder to speak into the intercom for each recording. At that level, the Scala system can barely be heard. The F4 can produce a very loud volume relative to Bluetooth motorcycle intercom systems and the sound quality is actually better than is heard on the.

MP3 file when the volume is set lower. By the way, at about 15 feet away, the Scala system lost its Bluetooth connection, while the Interphone F4 still worked at a much greater distance without any loss in volume or sound quality, as can be seen in the video below.

Mounting the Interphone F4 System Bluetooth intercom technology has evolved to a point where attaching the devices to the helmet is the most time-consuming part of the process — which is actually good news. It used to be that deciphering the instruction manuals and actually getting the systems to pair with each other or anything else took hours! The mounting system used on the F4 is similar to the system used in previous versions of the Interphone. The intercom module clips on to a base, seen in the photo above.

Two bases are supplied with each module; one has double-sided tape and can be mounted directly on the helmet, while the other has an expandable clip that can be slipped inside the helmet, between the liner and the shell. Some helmets, like the Arai Quantum II we used for part of the evaluation, have a gap between the liner and the shell, so the clip can be used.

Other helmets, like the AGV K3, have the liner attached to the shell in a way that will not allow the clip to slide up between the two, so the stick-on module must be used instead. Care should be taken to make sure the adhesive sticks to the surface of the helmet and that the helmet has a curvature that will support the F4 module for its entire length. Depending upon the helmet and the liner, the microphone and left ear speaker can be located under the liner or cheek pads.

By the way, for Bluetooth intercom newbies, the microphone and module are usually mounted on the left to allow the left hand to operate the controls whilst riding. The right speaker of the F4 is attached to a long thin wire, which can usually be threaded up through the helmet liner and to the right ear. Each helmet is different and owners may want to or need to cut a small hole in the lining to feed the speaker or wires through, depending upon their preference.

But if you plan on keeping the F4 installed on a helmet, we suggest taking the time to get all the wires nicely hidden and secured. Interphone F4 intercom speaker L and connector for headset and charging R.

L Interphone F4 intercom speaker wire connector, improved from original Interphone. Instruction manual. The range and the sound quality are excellent; better than any other intercom communications system that Burn, Bill and I have used so far. Update on battery life: I fully charged one battery and left the other as it was, partially discharged after using it in our evaluations. So we included a brief clip in the video that we used during an experiment that shows me walking away from the video camera while talking on the F4.

Includes extra clips at end illustrating some features. MMotorcycle Bluetooth Intercom Wish List OK, so the Bluetooth intercom manufacturers have pretty much met all of our previous requests for improving these devices. Here are some ideas to take it to the next level: Rather than having various tones and beeps and flashing lights to indicate the different modes, how about a voice on a chip that speaks real words?

Different sound chips could be sold in different languages that would plug into the intercom. Then, of course, the next step after that would be for the rider to control the device hands-free, by voice. I have this feature in my car, why not in an intercom system?

Something else that many webBikeWorld readers have asked for is a separate battery, to allow longer usage when on a tour. The distances in Europe may not require something like this, but in North America, you can ride for 8 hours and not even cross into the next state or province, so longer-lasting batteries are always desirable.

AAlso, the price is right and the two-year warranty on the U.


Interphone et visiophone



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