Reviewed by: Tony Carter for 3000 miles RRP: £199.99
Okay, confession time. I’ve tried these things before but secretly I’ve never really wanted them to work too well. For me, one of the joys of riding a bike is that once the helmet is on I can be alone. No phones, no demands on my time, just me and the bike and road ahead.
So when the Interphone F3 arrived my heart sank, I know the drill by now. These things are hard to set up, don’t easily connect to the pillion pack or the phone and the speakers in the lid are bloody uncomfortable too – as for the microphone well, just don’t get me started.
But honestly, this terrific system is a million miles away from all that and it’s turned me into a believer. It sets up in five minutes, one button connects it to most smart phones and the speakers inside the lid are such a great fit that you can’t feel them at all.
The unit on the outside of the lid is easy to use with gloves on, there’s a big button to press to receive calls or hang up and two volume buttons. You can also set the F3 to answer calls on voice command. Once the phone rings you just say ‘answer’ and it picks up. And as for sound quality on the move I’ve had conversations up to 100mph and the people calling me had told me that they aren’t aware I’m on a bike, rather it sounds like I’m just outside when talking to them.
With the F3 there’s also the option of fitting a sound cable to the unit so you can link your MP3 player up while riding too. The music is automatically turned off when you get a call and resumes once you hang up.
A success then. Two very minor niggles, the clip that secures the unit isn’t overly strong, although there’s been absolutely no issues with the unit coming off even at high speeds (and some of those in terribly wet conditions) and the unit doesn’t remember what volume setting you had it on once you recharge the base unit.
Standby of 700 hours per three hour charge and the whole thing weighs in at 86g including the boom microphone. Fitting inside the lid is very easy too.
If you want a pillion Bluetooth system that has great sound quality and is simplicity itself to use then this is the one.
Now, I want to try an F5 unit to see if that’s any better… I am a recent convert, you see.
More info: www.interphoneuk.co.uk
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