Packtalk Bold Communication System Trial

Packtalk Bold Communication System Trial


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On a hike, no matter how many people are involved, we like to be in touch for clear and accurate communication. Otherwise, misunderstandings can cause tension among the individuals present. We certainly all have one or more past experiences to illustrate this circumstance.

Good communication during a trip allows us to warn of impending dangers, a change in route, a sudden sighting, an unexpected stop, etc. It also allows us to share with our comrades a lot of important information, and some that some people think is a little less important (this is at everyone’s discretion). It also allows us to share a lot of important information with our comrades, and some that some may feel are a little less important (it’s up to the individual). However, one thing is certain, good communication allows us to establish a privileged relationship with the quad riders who accompany us.

To help us communicate properly, many manufacturers offer communication systems and consumers are spoiled for choice. However, this abundance can leave some quad riders confused as to which system will be beneficial for their needs.

We received the CARDO BOLD Duo PACKTALK at our newsroom and I had to jump through hoops, and a lot of negotiation with my colleagues, to be the one to get it and use it. Afterwards, I remembered and realized that I am probably the least “techie” of the team. Never mind, it’s time for me to get up to speed and learn about these communication systems.

At first glance, my first observation was that the packaging and case are noteworthy and a good indicator of the quality of the product. In addition, the case will be a good way to store the system as well as its accessories and spare parts. The case contains a handy user guide to get the most out of the system. It has a checklist that can be easily carried with you for ease of use.

In the case, we also find:

  • Noise-cancelling microphone
  • Hybrid microphone
  • Dual speakers
  • Release tab
  • Wired microphone
  • Replacement microphone sponges
  • Pre-moistened alcohol pads
  • Booster pads
  • Velcro
  • Hybrid microphone clip
  • Collar plate


There are two ways to install the PACKTALK BOLD. The first way is a metal clip that can be inserted between the shell and the padding for what I would consider casual use. This method makes it easy to remove and transfer from one helmet to another if you don’t want to incur the extra cost of purchasing multiple permanent brackets. The second way is to install an adhesive mounting bracket on the outside surface of the helmet on a flat surface whenever possible.

Afterwards, it is enough to proceed to the removal of the inner pads exactly as when we want to remove them to make a cleaning of them. On our side, only a few minutes were necessary to install the speakers and hide the wires that connect them. However, it is imperative to take the necessary time to do this installation to ensure that no wires would disturb our comfort.

To ensure its operation using the Bluetooth function, it is essential to download the Cardo Connect application using our smartphone. It should be noted that it also allows you to change the language of use, which is English by default.

Communication devices can be recharged from a computer or adapter via USB wire. PALKTALKs also offer excellent batteries, as they are estimated to provide up to 13 hours of talk time and can also be charged during use. All of these features can be enjoyed in rain or shine, as all Cardo units are waterproof and offer a 2-year warranty.

Apparel for mobile devices

Pairing the devices is relatively easy and quick. I had to refer to the pocket guide a few times due to my sometimes failing memory. However, when we are diligent about each step and the time allotted when we press the buttons, it is simple and quick for each participant.

Voice activation

What surprised me the most about this communication system offered by Cardo, which is a major advancement for the Packtalk system, is its hands-free feature. It’s the same convenience offered by Siri, Alexa and many other electronic devices that consumers have adopted for their homes, as well as navigation and other features built into a smartphone. All I have to do is mention a simple: “Hey Cardo” and I have access to all the essential functions and entertainment features while keeping my eyes on the trail and both hands on the handlebars of my quad. This is a great safety feature to keep you on track on some technical trails with rocks that require constant manual dexterity.

When the device is turned on, it is possible to use voice commands at any time to listen to music, access the radio, adjust the volume or mute the sound. In addition, I was able to dial a speed dial, redial, answer and even ignore phone calls.

And one of the most functional features is the ability to check your battery status. “Hey Cardo, battery status”? This information is very useful to me to make sure I enjoy its operation or to make a stop based on the remaining charge for an impending recharge.

Scope and responsiveness

The manufacturer Cardo mentions a range of the intercom that can go up to 1600 meters in ideal conditions, but 1000 meters on average. These data are variable according to the temperature and the environment where I was given to practice the quad activity. On humid days, I perceived a greater range, but it was reduced when we were in a dense forest. However, the opposite was true on a dry day on trails with no trees and no clutter. Receptivity was at no time affected in any way and it is nice to have this vocal aid.

The Packtalk Bold operates with a three-button system and a thumbwheel toward the back of the device. I noticed that I had a hard time getting the button placement right, as I use the voice activation feature almost constantly. However, I did like the dial that allows for volume control, among other things. Nevertheless, it can cause some problems and present a challenge in winter depending on the gloves or mittens used.

Due to the different configuration of the headsets, I noticed that some of them might be less suitable. Some offer less protection against the wind and the wind creates a blowing in the microphone. A more airtight headset, however, will counteract this slight annoyance.

One thing I noticed while testing this communication system is that usually when we ride our quads on the trail, we feel like we are alone with our safety equipment. I’m talking about our helmets of course, and we frequently make comments and slight cries when we hit a poorly assessed obstacle. These verbal noises cannot go unnoticed anymore. In short, sometimes you have to be careful with your language.

Apart from this constraint, if there is one, they have become a must-have on my hikes. And to think that before, I was the one who was behind on the technological aspects among my companions, I can now boast of being up to date!


  • Maximum number of participants: 15,
  • Intercom range: up to 1600 meters in optimal conditions (1000 m on average),
  • Speakers: Cardo has partnered with JBL for the ultimate listening experience,
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth,
  • Acoustics: listen, share your favorite music directly from your smartphone
  • Explosive sound: Powerful 40mm wide high-definition speakers and a specially tuned audio processor deliver an unparalleled sound experience,
  • Phone: answer calls, make calls and control your mobile devices with the touch of your finger or the sound of your voice,
  • FM Radio: Built-in FM radio with RDS for selecting the strongest signal,
  • Automatic volume: the sound volume automatically adjusts according to the ambient noise outside,
  • Audio mixing: sophisticated algorithms ensure that audio sources – FM radio, music, mobile calls and intercoms work together in parallel,
  • Audio sharing: share your playlist or favorite radio station with your passenger,
  • Mobile application: get full control via the simple and intuitive Cardo Connect application
  • Charge while you ride: Forgot to charge your device or run out of batteries? Just connect the system to a 12V battery or charger, turn on the device and it will charge while you drive,
  • Talk time: up to 13 hours,
  • Private conversation: it is possible to isolate a participant for a private conversation

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