06 Aug LIVALL Smart BH51M CES Innovation Award Cycling Helmetphone Review
The Bluetooth Era Has Finally Arrived For Helmets
New innovation in this era of information and digital components is somewhat of a hot commodity. It seems like every other day Apple or Amazon are purchasing numerous future technologies to ensure relevance for the coming centuries. Whether it’s Magic Leap or Whole Foods it no longer surprises me anymore. However, to see innovation coming from a smaller brand well now that’s something you don’t see every day anymore. Livall really has outdone themselves here with the introduction of a new product category called the helmet phone. With properties of both Bluetooth headphones and a cycling helmet, I’m definitely pretty impressed with the outcome and I will share all I can. Obviously, as a first generation product, some cons do exist and this product is not perfect but anytime a company takes risks like this I tend to be more generous then if it’s an established field like Bluetooth earbuds or speakers. After hearing all of this it should be to the surprise of no one reading this that this product received a CES Innovation Reward earlier this year. The ingenuity expands to the box art as well the package displays very nicely with the vivid red and greys with keywords like “Ride Different” or “Smart” for example. I also really liked the inclusion of a Bluetooth controller even though it’s flawed it’s still appreciated and fits right on any bike bar. The product uses its own proprietary charging cable so your micro USB and USB-C cables have no use here but that’s ok.
Connecting the product to my phone was actually not to bad. Just download their app and hold down the power button on the product and Bluetooth pairing will begin automatically. Also, go into the app and use NFC to connect the little remote. Now regarding the issues I had with the remote the right and left buttons did not do anything on my phone. Little arrows lighted up on the helmet itself I guess that’s useful for someone riding behind you but it’s weird as the top and down button adjusted the volume on my phone and the middle red button paused and played the music from my phone. It’s weird for sure and it could use an update of some kind. The company also offers additional accessories which are the heart rate monitor and one other item. These are not included in the package and are not really that necessary in my opinion. The physical helmet itself is quite comfortable and fits my large head when I spin the piece on the back of the helmet which expands the clips. This feature is very necessary as if the product is too tight the back of the helmet tends to hit you in the neck because it’s extended in the back. I’m not sure if this is for neck protection or maybe there was no other way to wire the power and Bluetooth technology. The front of the helmet has a small sun visor it didn’t do all that much when I used it for biking but it’s sure better than nothing. The charging port is hidden right above the power button if you can’t find it. Another issue I had with the product and it’s probably the biggest issue is the quality of the speakers. They are located right above the sun visor in the front. The sound quality is nothing special if you raise the volume or play a song with strong vocals it doesn’t sound all that great. Distortion is a big problem and forces you to keep the music lower. It can also make you subconscious that other people can hear what your listing to if you made it louder even though they can’t it’s just the speaker is located right next to your ear. Overall I like this product and as a new product category, I give Livall props for sure. But concessions were made not only to get it under or near $100 but as it’s a new product category they need to see if people are interested in this product or not. So I understand why these decisions were made. Thanks for sending me this product for review no further compensation was provided.