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Motikom MPlus Motorcycle Neckband BT Intercom Headphones

I started talking about this kit on another thread...

But thought this should get it's own thread... Don't want to hijack the other one. There are good comments in the other thread worth a read... Continuing on here...

So... They're here already. Shipped for free from Hong Kong. Ordered Wednesday. Arrived today. Impressive.

Some unboxing pics... for what it's worth...

Very nice/tasteful packaging... Nothing cheap about it.

Nice case...


Interesting LED lighting on the back of the neckband...

First impressions. Seems very well made. No cheaping out here. Everything - including the case - has that nice almost rubberized/tactile feel. The unit has a little bit of heft to it. Cabling, buttons, switches... everything... just seems nicely done.

Did a quick fit of the earbuds. Stuck with medium. Very comfortable. I couldn't say that about most earbuds (practically all) that I've tried in the past. These feel like they will easily pass the all day comfort test. How they'll do in other areas is yet to be seen. The earbuds are nice and low profile. I test fitted them with a full face helmet. They work. However, as you might imagine, it takes some additional effort (pulling on the straps to flex the helmet) to get the helmet on over them.

So far... Looks promising. Testing to come.

So... Did my initial test run with this system. Some observations...

Fit & wear:

The earbuds - they are actually pretty comfortable. In fact, until I put on my helmet's neck curtain (I'll get into that more later), I couldn't tell they were in my ears. The unit comes with different sizes of ear tips and what they call EcoFit Ear Gels (the gels are designed to fill the Conchas - to reduce noise and provide a more secure fit). You only get 2 sizes of EcoFit Ear Gels - medium and large. If smaller is needed, then the shape of the earbud itself is supposed to fill the bill. After some trial and error, I ended up using the small ear tips and the large EcoFit Ear Gels (seems contradictory - but it works for me). The Ear Gels do help in both respects - especially making the earbuds fit more securely.

The neckband - I didn't even notice it was there when wearing it. It remained securely in place around my neck and disappeared from thought relatively quickly. The controls on the ends of the neckband work great with gloved hands.

The mic - it installed nicely on my half helmet... No huge module attached to the side...

The magnetic mic lead connector connects/snaps up to it's mate very easily. No problems there.


Pairing/Compatibility - The unit pairs up and functions as expected with a cell phone. I also did some testing with a Binize CarPlay/Android Auto display unit. All paired and worked well - The Binize Unit, Motikom MPlus and my iPhone.

Music sound quality/volume levels - This unit sounds excellent just sitting in my chair here and listening to it. On the bike, some adjustments were necessary on the EQ to deal with the wind noise. The base had to be increased to compensate for wind etc, at speed. Music sounded fine to me. Volume was adequate. I was wearing a half helmet with speeds ranging up to 75 mph on the interstate. Obviously, that listening environment isn't going to be perfect - particularly at high speeds. So, you have to have reasonable expectations. Allowing for that, the sound quality and loudness was pretty decent - very listenable. They won't be blasting your ears off in any scenario.

Call quality - On my end the sound quality/loudness was very good even at interstate speeds. Call quality on my wife's end... She said she could hear wind noise, but I was clear enough and easily understandable even at interstate speeds. I had to fiddle with the mic position to figure out how close to my mouth to put it. She said it was better when it was a little farther away from my mouth. Things could get a little distorted when the mic was too close. One thing that I noted is that the unit didn't produce sidetone. This made it difficult to tell how loud to talk. My wife said I needed to try to talk in a more normal voice. I was talking too loudly. I don't know if the lack of sidetone is part of the Motikom design or if it was caused by the Binize CarPlay unit which was acting as a intermediary for my iPhone. I plan to look into this further by connecting the Motikom directly to the phone and seeing how it works. I'll probably call my other phone the next time I'm out riding and leave a few test voicemails so that I can hear for myself how it sounds.

Active noise cancellation - I generally wear Hearos (NRR 33). So, I was initially disappointed in the overall sound/noise levels. The Hearos may have skewed my expectations a bit. The Motikom has 5 levels of noise cancellation. The lowest level is no noise cancellation at all. It becomes apparent how much noise cancellation is occurring (quite a bit) when you essentially turn it off. The noise cancellation does beat down the wind noise quite a bit, but it doesn't totally get rid of it. I do hear other things more than when I wear the Hearos (which muffle all frequencies). I can certainly hear the music of the motor and the pipes more. Neither of which are much of an issue - in terms of hearing conservation on my bike. It's actually kind of enjoyable to be able to hear those things better. Overall - as hearing protection goes. I think the jury is still out on that for me. My ears didn't feel traumatized when I got home after this ride - no ringing or anything. I felt fine- as if I had just been listening to music on headphones for a couple of hours (I listen to music at normal volumes). We'll see as time goes on. For right now, the setup seems doable.

I noted that I put the neck curtain on my half helmet. As anybody who wears a half helmet may know, the helmet straps can catch the wind and create a lot of noise. The Motikom combated this additional wind noise some, but I was looking for more. If you put your hands over the opening between the straps, it makes a huge difference. So, to test this further, I put the neck curtain on. Yes, the difference was significant. One downside - in this case - the neck curtain has a bulge of the bottom of it that causes the ear pockets to be pressed against the ears (to provide a seal) when you cinch down the helmet straps. This causes some pressure to be put in the earbuds impacting comfort a little bit. I'm going to be trying a pair of these half helmet ear pads to see how they work...

Now that I'm thinking about it... Probably should have put those on my helmet a long time ago - assuming they help mitigate the wind noise. Anyway, they would be preferable to the neck curtain in the summer and also for overall comfort of the earbuds.

That's it for now...

Some full-face helmet testing coming up soon.

CMagnuson has reacted to this post.

Thanks for this, @2BTSquared... I look forward to your full-face testing...

2BTSquared has reacted to this post.

Ok. Did some more testing. Enough so that I can render some more opinions...

First, I want to talk about these earbuds and full-face helmets. Are they full-face helmet friendly? In a word - no. Not in my opinion. It's just too difficult to get the helmet on over these earbuds without dislodging them enough to impact their performance. Even if you get lucky, I believe their noise reduction capability is just not sufficient. Hearing conservation is a priority and I don't think this kit is up to the task - at least with a full-face helmet.

How about the half helmet? Do they get it done with those? I would say that it depends. I installed the ear pads I mentioned in my previous post...

The end result on my '18 Heritage with half helmet and ear pads installed? Acceptable. In fact pretty good overall. Wind noise and hearing conservation/noise reduction was actually pretty decent. Sound quality of music and podcast was quite good. Volume did not need to be turned up to overcome ambient noise. The combination of the windshield on the Heritage and the installed ear pads were key to these results.

So I wanted to present a more significant challenge... One which I didn't really expect the Motikom kit to be able to meet. Here it is... The Nightster...

Was I pleasantly surprised? Nope. As expected, the Nightster did this kit in.

Two challenges here... The direct wind blast and the Vance & Hines Sideshots. Even if the bike had the OEM exhaust still installed, the direct wind blast and resulting wind noise would prove to be just too much (even with the ear pads installed) for the Motikom unit. This bike also presents an additional challenge to full-face helmets. The Sideshots location etc. turns the full-face helmet into an echo chamber. Actual ear plugs with a NRR of 33 work well enough on this bike, but I doubt much else ever will.

Long term wear/comfort? Can these earbuds be worn all day? I don't know. I don't think they are too bad as far as earbuds go. But they are not as comfortable as the Hearos. The ear pads do press against the earbuds a smidgen, impacting overall comfort. I would say it depends on the individual. I probably could wear them a couple hours at a time without too much problem. But time will tell.

Controls... I would say the knobs and buttons are acceptable. However, I have to imagine that the controls on a Sena or Cardo are probably easier to work with (see button locations on the Motikom in relation to earbud wires and think gloved hands). Plus, the function of the knobs and buttons are probably more complicated and harder to remember on the Motikom as compared to something like the Sena or Cardos. I can't say this for certain, because I haven't used either a Sena or Cardo. But, on the surface the Sena/Cardos controls look like they might be easier to figure out and use.

Where to go from here? Well first... Let me say I'm not sold on listening to music or podcast while riding. To me, I find it a bit distracting and I get a feeling of being a bit disconnected from the bike, the environment, and what I'm doing. Plus, music is not that big of a thing with me that it has to be apart of everything that I do. In fact, I don't listen to music that much at all these days.

Navigation... Do I need audio directions/prompts from my Nav setup? Nope. Not at all. In fact, I generally have them turned off in my car (let alone the bike). The only Nav audio prompts I generally have enabled are Waze Alerts. I don't use Waze on the bike - so Nav audio is not needed.

What about phone calls? Sure... there might be an occasion where I'd want to take or make a call while on the bike. But I think it would be pretty rare.

Part of the pleasure of riding a bike is to get away from it all. This all seems counterproductive.

My wife on the other hand says she would like to listen to music while we ride and have to ability to more easily talk to me (she wants an intercom). So we must make the boss happy.

In the end... And has been mentioned by @dae...

I believe that custom molded/fitted earbuds like these might be the best way to go....

UH-2 Stereo

But man... Are those things pricey or what?

Silicone - $329
Acrylic - $515
Fusionsoft - $750

Plus there's the cost of getting the ear molds made by the audiologist etc.

However, if this is a serious need/want, it might be worth it to get a pair of the Inearz earbuds and use them with a Sena/Cardo. The Inearz earbuds have a 29-32 dba noise reduction spec. So, they might check all the boxes... Hearing conservation (no matter the bike, helmet etc.), full-face helmet friendliness, sound quality, all day comfort(?) etc.

I talked to Inearz about the difference in the materials used. They said the silicone might be more comfortable for some, but that one's sweat and oils will tend to break them down over time. It might be more cost effective long term to get the acrylic.

Overall... I believe I'll need to do some more experimenting with the wife to determine just how desirable/necessary an intercom is (and her ability to listen to music) in the long run before I would consider the total cost of a system that would be needed to fill the bill (Inearz earbuds for both of us, Cardos for both of us, etc.). In the interim, the Motikom units might suffice to facilitate this experimentation.

Would I recommend the Motikoms in the end? Maybe... But only for limited use cases.

CMagnuson has reacted to this post.

Nice work, thanks @2btsquared!

So, I've been using the Motikom units on a regular basis for a bit now. Opinions change? I'd say so... In the Motikom's favor.

I was critical of their use with full-face helmets. I've since tested the Motikom unit with my full-face helmet and the Heritage windshield removed. After getting used to getting my full-face helmet on with the ear buds in, I'd say the unit performed acceptably well, both in terms of sound quality and noise reduction. I'd now say their performance is pretty good overall (both in terms of sound quality and noise reduction) with both my half and full-faced helmets.

I've experimented more with the ear tips and the EcoFit Ear Gels. Fit/comfort improvements have been achieved. I've gotten more accustomed to how they feel and would say I could ride for long periods with them in my ears.

Both comfort and performance of the Motikom's have been good enough the I've dropped consideration of custom molded ear buds. The Motikom units will suffice.

Battery life has been excellent.

I still don't listen to music much. However, I do find myself listening to my podcast quite a bit. I've gotten more used to listening to the podcast while riding and my views of doing so have shifted in favor of it. The combination of the podcast and decent noise reduction makes for a pretty decent riding environment. Another habit that I've picked up... I never used Waze on the bike. I still don't for custom routes/trips (those duties are fulfilled by Scenic). But if I'm not actually navigating custom routes, then I have Waze up on my CarPlay display device so that it displays speed limits, traffic, road conditions and provides audio warnings.