The Echo-Com is a value priced helmet communication system that has many of
the features of much more expensive systems, including bike to bike intercom,
the ability to sync to a mobile phone or Bluetooth MP3 player, and a feature
that most of the high-end systems don’t have. This system has the control unit
located in the mic boom. So, there is no controller to stick to the outside of
the helmet. This does make controlling the system more tedious while riding, but
your helmet remains clean of protruding control units and exposed wiring.
The first thing you want to do when you take your EchoCom out of the box is plug
it in. It’s important to resist the temptation to play with new electronics
before a complete initial charge. You will reduce the battery’s overall charging
capacity. You can plug the unit into the wall using the A/C adapter or into any
USB port with charging capabilities. The indicator light on the boom should
illuminate red. When the light goes out, the unit is done charging. Charge the
unit overnight for the first charge, to ensure a complete initial charge.
Subsequent charging is very fast and only takes about 3 hours. Battery life is
surprisingly good with the EchoCom unit. The battery will last for up to 8 hours
of music listening, 6 hours of phone use, and 5 hours of intercom use.
The EchoCom is one of the easiest units to install. It will work in any helmet
as long as there are speaker pockets, although I’ve found that it works best in
a helmet with a face shield. The face shield helps reduce the wind noise, and
since this unit isn’t completely waterproof, a face shield will also protect the
unit in inclement weather. On
helmets without speaker pockets, install the included Velcro discs into the
helmet behind the cheek pads with the cheek pads still in the helmet. The cheek
pads will act as a template to ensure that the speakers end up in the right spot
and that the cheek pads will fit back into the helmet properly. Remove the cheek
pads and install the speakers into the helmet. Remove the back snaps of the
helmet liner and tuck in the wire. Reinstall the cheek pads keeping in mind that
this wire is your charging port so don’t bury to the point that you can’t easily
retrieve it. Refasten the helmet’s liner and you’re ready to sync your devices.
First you need to power up the device. Press and hold the power slash function
button for 4 – 5 seconds until the status light flashes blue. To pair with your
phone, activate the Bluetooth functionality of your phone and search for
available devices. Select the device named “Motor Phone”, and you will be
connected. The blue indicator light will flash continuously confirming your
connection. To set up an intercom connection with another EchoCom unit, power up
both units simultaneously by pressing the power slash function button for 7 – 8
seconds, until both of the indicator lights flash blue and red. Briefly press
the power slash function button again on either one of the units and both of the
unit’s indicator lights will flash blue, indicating a successful pairing.
Once your desired devices are successfully paired, the system is ready for use.
To answer a call, simply press the phone button briefly. To reject a call, press
and hold the phone button for 2 seconds. If no buttons are pressed, the system
will answer the phone automatically. This is the only function I don’t care for
on this system. What happens when you’re out riding when you’re supposed to be
at work and your boss calls? If you have winter gloves on, you are as good as
unemployed. Oh well. More time to ride, right? Syncing your phone will also give
you access to its audio capabilities. When you receive a call, the music will be
interrupted. It will return automatically when the call is over. Music is also
interrupted by the use of the intercom function. To use the intercom, just press
the power slash function button briefly. When your conversation has ended, your
headset will return to the previous audio input automatically.
To adjust the volume at any time, simply slide the volume control slider on the
mic forward or back until you achieve the desired volume setting. As with other
communication systems, like the UClear, holding the volume button will change
the track on your music playback. So, to change the volume, press the volume
button briefly and repeatedly instead of holding the button. Also, make sure you
get an idea of the differences in volume between your different devices before
you go ride, to make sure you don’t scare the guano out of yourself when you’re
out on the road.