As I began to look at and ride some bikes, I realized how important an intercom system for communications between myself and my rider (my wife) would be. As we ride, we are pointing things out to each other and without an intercom, communication is difficult. Several people told me that I should not consider this when picking a bike because there are several after-market intercoms that I can find to put on any bike. I did some research and found this FAQ which gives lots of details on such systems. My research indicated that the Autocom products are going to be the best for an add-on intercom system.
Looking at the price of the Autocom products, I continued to look for other lower cost alternatives. I found the AudioBoss AB-1m from MotoComm. The MotoComm product offered the features that I wanted in an intercom system with a dramatically lower cost than the Autocom (I'll admit that the Autocom had some features that the AudioBoss did not have). I bought the AudioBoss - I'll let you know how it works out.
I received the AudioBoss yesterday.
It seems very easy to operate. It has one switch that controls the intercom (one Off position and three On positions, one for each microphone sensitivity levels). The other buttons are to control the built-in FM radio. Off/On/Volume control on one button then "Auto Step" and "Reset" buttons to change the station.
The intercom does not have a volume control - just the control for microphone sensitivity.
The intercom is a full-duplex system - no push-to-talk button for it to operate. If you have two headsets connected and the intercom in the on position, you can talk just like sitting in a car.
I connected my Cobra FRS radio to the 2-Way Radio input with the supplied cable and it works perfectly. This does require a push-to-talk button which the unit has.
I also connected my cell phone and did a quick test of it. It seems to work just like the intercom in full-duplex.
My wife tells me that I am never happy with anything, but the way I see it, there is always room for improvement. On this unit (so far) I would only change a few things. I would make the cables for the 2-Way Radio, Mobile Phone and Radar Detector plug into the unit like the CD/MP3 player plug. As it is these cables are short cables that extend from the main unit. For me, I will never use the Radar Detector and will only occationally use the Mobile Phone connection; this change would be two less cable for me to have to deal with. They have tried to make the FM Radio easy to deal with, but I would change the tuning mechanism. The way it works, when you turn the unit on (initially) it is set to 88MHz; you press the Step button to find the first tunable station. The step button continues to go up the dial from station to station until you reach the top of the band. The Reset button sets the tuner to 88MHz again. For me, I listen to 107.7 (at the end of the dial) and 102.1. Switching between these two will not be an easy task.
This unit has turned out to be a very nice intercom, especially when you consider the price. I really like being able to ride down the road while talking on the cell phone - that makes getting directions to somewhere really easy.
I would like to see how some people have managed to mount this unit. With the FRS radio (soon to be replaced with a hand-held CB radio), the cell phone, and everything else connected to it, I'm glad I have a fairing to put mine in. It's not easy to adjust things for me, but I'm not cleaver enough to come up with a good solution to this minor problem.
The only real problem for me is at speeds > 45MPH or so, I have problems hearing my wife. I have talked with the manufacturer and they were very helpful and even offered to make a change to the unit to try to eliminate this problem. I sent the unit to them and they made a change. Unfortunately for me, the change provided only minimal improvements in my ability to hear my wife.
Overall. it's a great unit - if you use full-face helmets. With other than full-face, my results have not been as successful.
This page was last updated on December 06, 2008.