REVIEW OF THE SCHUBERTH SRC BLUETOOTH INTERCOM
- MSRP $429
- Where to Buy: Revzilla.com
- Wireless conferencing between up to 3 riders/passenger
- Cellular phone functions
- GPS navigation voice instructions
- Built-in FM Radio with RDS
- Receive wireless MP3 stereo music (A2DP) or from cable connected MP3 players
- VOX technology for voice-controlled receiving and rejecting of incoming cellular or intercom calls
- DSP technology for advanced functionality
- Dual ultra-slim speakers (stereo sound, depending on the audio source)
- High quality audio even at high speeds
- Up to 10 hrs. talk-time / 1 week stand-by (recharging via usb from any regular outlet)
- Compatible with other Cardo systems
- Sample provided by Schuberth to review
- Review Date: June 2013
The SRC system is definitely one of a kind. Completely integrated into the helmet, vs. an external piece that requires mounting or affixing to your precious helmet causing wind drag and noise.
As with everything Schuberth does, they certainly went all out on this system. Cardo actually created the sound system, but it's all Schuberth design and engineering that went into creating the way it's mounted and set into the neckroll of the helmet. Ingenious!
I've ridden a good 2,000 miles in this helmet and all while listening to my favorite music and podcasts. It definitely has a higher sound quality than the comparable Cardo G9. I think it's mainly because the helmet dampens the wind noise better than my other helmets.
If you have a Schuberth, then the SRC is almost a must have, if you like the idea of a fully integrated sound kit. I didn't think anything of it until I started wearing my C3 ProW with it and realized how nice it is not to have something sticking out the side.
If you are going to spend a few hundred on some of the higher end external kits, you may as well throw in another $75-$100 for the SRC. I really like how clean it is on the inside. No fussing with wires to keep them out of the way, no velcro, no having to fish the wiring around the headliner and under the cheekpads (if your headliner is removable).
See the wire on the small black wire on the left side of the pic below? That's where the micro usb port is hiding. It just tucks away under the neckroll. It's really really snug, so you may need to work with it to fully hide it away. The other wire is the antenna, once you plug it in to the SRC it also hides neatly inside.
Here's a pic of the recess on the EPS which perfectly fits each earpiece. It comes with velcro padding so you can adjust how close they are to your ears. I've found that to be a problem with the kits I've had before. If it's too far away from you, the sound quality isn't as loud and clear.
Once you have the ear pieces velcro'd in, they're hidden by a flap of the inner lining. I'd say the hardest part is installing the SRC itself. Removing the neck roll is easy but putting it back in takes a little bit of extra effort. Once you have it installed, it's extremely secure and won't be going anywhere. But you can certainly remove it from the helmet since it's not permanent. (But why would you want to remove such an awesome sound kit?)
As far as operating the SRC, it's fairly straightforward. There's a phone button to access your voice activated smart phone, and Channel A and B buttons which act as your intercoms when you pair with a friend. 'A' also acts as the stop/start button for playing music and 'B' acts as your radio button to listen to your favorite radio stations. When you press and hold the volume buttons, they act as a skip feature for your music or to skip to the next radio station. I've used all the features and find that the automatic noise reduction feature (based on ambient wind noise) is really sensitive. You can adjust this and a lot of other settings on their website too.
Just make sure you go to this url to register the SRC and access software updates: http://register.schuberthnorthamerica.com/index.php?id=420 .
They even have an interactive 'how to' guide on their website.
I got the hang of it pretty quick and realized that putting my thumb on the rim of the helmet (along where the drop down visor slider is) and using my forefinger to operate the buttons was much easier. Since they're rubber-ish, they're easy to feel even through my wintery gloves. I even paired mine with a couple friends who were using Cardo G9's. It was really easy and I was able to pair with them instantly.
I spend about 40 minutes round trip every day listening to music or podcasts on the way to work, and find myself charging only once every week and a half or so. It also lasted well on my last long day ride (~350 miles, ~8 hours) when I listened to music the whole way :)
The only problem I have with the this and can be an issue with any modular helmet is that the boom mic is always there. Sometimes I forget about it and close my helmet without placing it near my mouth so it's hanging outside. It's just something I'm still trying to get used to since I'm used to having flatter mics inside my full face helmets. I understand the need for a boom mic (better sound, especially if you're using it with the chinbar up; which I never do) but wish they had something a little flatter.
I really like the concept of the SRC, especially the full integration. It's going to cost you a little more than it's competitors for just one unit, but if you like the idea of having everything hidden neatly inside, and a want a high quality headset, you'll love using the SRC.