So, you want a motorcycle Bluetooth communications headset for your helmet, listen to some tunes, your SatNav or natter with your partner, friends or pillion whilst you ride. But, you’ve checked out other Bluetooth headsets for motorcycle helmet offerings from the likes of Sena, Midland, Interphone, Cardo etc in the shops and probably come to the conclusion it’s gonna set you back quite a bit of cash. But, you’ve seen eBay is littered with funny Chinese branded gadgets at far more affordable prices. Sure they may not be the best Bluetooth headsets, just how bad can they be? Well, I took a punt on a pair of T-COM VB Bluetooth headset and this review tells how they turned out.
The first issue is narrowing down what you’re buying as you browse the glut of these intercoms on eBay. There are seemingly dozens of subtly different variations, on branding, spec and revision. Ultimately, I just took pot luck grabbing one of the cheapest FreedConn T-COM VB Bluetooth helmet intercom kits I could find from a UK seller. I wasn’t keen on waiting 4-6 weeks for a China-based seller to post or risk getting charged for VAT and duty by Royal Mail on arrival. Expect to pay around £40-50 a pair on eBay.
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T-COM VB Helmet Bluetooth Intercom Review
Specification-wise, the T-COM ticks all the main boxes on functionality:
- Rider-to-rider intercom, with 800m range
- Bluetooth capable
- FM Radio
The box contained everything needed for two lids: two intercoms, two mic and headphones sets, two clip-on bracket mounts, two sticky back Velcro mounts, two USB charging cables (a proprietary UCE6 variant), two mains adaptors and a single manual. The choice of a proprietary USB plug is annoying and leaves me hunting for the exact charging cable supplied, rather than using any one of the million other USB cables scattered around the house. When touring, I have to make sure I pack the specific cable, rather than share cables with my phone or camera. No chance of picking up a replacement on the road at any old supermarket or gadget store, but they are readily available on eBay.
Installing the Bluetooth Helmet Intercom Kits
Installation of this Freedconn Bluetooth headset is reasonably straight forward but does require a little time and care. I fitted these to Schuberth and HJC helmets, so your mileage may vary for other lids. (Edit: more recently we’ve also fitted the intercoms to Shoei Neotec lids with no bother too) You have a choice of mounting brackets: one with a sticky back Velcro pad to slap straight on the side; the other a plastic U shaped bracket to slip around the lower edge of the lid.
This U bracket then has a couple of screws (two mini screwdrivers supplied) to tighten up to clamp it firm. I found this little more faff, it would always still slide about a little and the intercom doesn’t unclip very easily – such that I bust one bracket trying.
The next job is fitting in the headphones and mic. This involves stripping back some of your helmets padding and threading the wires around. Your lid probably already has a bit of a gap in padding for your ears, where the headphones can be stuck on (more sticky back Velcro). Though a bit of trial and error is required to get them positioned just right. The mic is a more rigid boom extending from one headset which can be flexed to position it as required. Threading the wires sometimes needs a bit of thought to find the gaps where it can be poked out from around the helmets padding. Also, the right angle USB plug that goes into the intercom angles forward, which seems wrong as the cable needs to double back to the rear of the lid. Thankfully there’s just enough cable length to make things fit. The headphones are a bit chunky, so some comfort is sacrificed, Mary took a while to get hers positioned to avoid discomfort, but then she does have a tonne of ear piercing, including conch and tragus!
Some helmets have a dedicated recess to stick the earpieces in, for example, the Shoei Neotec. This is very handy, but because the microphone boom comes out from the side of the earpiece, it can hinder such a depressed mounting.
The final setup step is the pairing of the intercom to one another and to your Bluetooth phone and/or SatNav. This was the usual button holding combo shenanigans one expects, but thankfully the manual explained this well in pretty decent English. Pairing with our old HTC One phones, new Samsung and Motorola phones and a Garmin SatNav posed no issues.
Testing Clarity of Motorcycle Bluetooth Communications
…but above 50mph wind noise started to drown out the headphones making it tricky to decipher voice or identify songs.
On the road, I found the T-COM VB intercom performed surprisingly well. The sound quality was perfectly acceptable. The dials and buttons on the intercom were easy to use while on the move and with gloves on, that is, once you remember which button to use. Volume is controlled by turning the jog dial and holding it. This could be a little awkward whilst on the move, but OK. The volume range is not huge, with minimum still just audible and the max not so loud as to deafen. Below around 50mph, all was clear and easily audible, but above 50mph wind noise started to drown out the headphones making it tricky to decipher voice or identify songs.
Mary and I particularly enjoyed the rider-to-rider intercom function, definitely a novel experience being able to chat throughout an entire ride out. Even if a quick button press starts or stops chat, we’d just keep the channel open and just chat away. With the SatNav hooked up, it would interject with directions, but continue the open chat channel afterwards, the other rider just gets a couple of beeps to indicate such. Definitely a bit annoying if you’re riding through a few junctions and your SatNav is blurting out lots of directions one after another. However, it’s probably a bit much to expect multiplexing of multiple audio sources together at this price point.
We encountered no issues with range, haven’t checked if they manage exactly 800m, but we only had them cut out once when I left Mary at a red light and carried on for half a mile round a few streets back home. The intercom channel audible deteriorates as you hit the limit of the range, rather than just suddenly cutting out.
I also found most radio stations way to chatty or full of commercials and plain distracting when riding.
The FM Radio function is a nice extra, activated with a button press combo and then using the jog dial to seek between stations. To be honest, the reception can be hit and miss, with static often creeping in. I also found most stations way too chatty, full of commercials and plain distracting when riding.
Slapping on some decent tunes via my phone was definitely preferable. The T-COM headset gave very reasonable playback via the standard A2DP Bluetooth standard and a quick spin of the jog dial, skipped boring tracks. There was the occasional momentary cut out, which seemed to coincide with pulling up at red lights along with side traffic, so I suspect it was down to interference with other nearby devices.
One of the original intercom pair I purchased developed a fault after about 18 months where it would not pick up any audio from the mic. Due to their low price, I simply brought a single replacement which has worked fine ever since.
As for battery life, I’ve no complaints at all, we’ve still yet to experience them running flat whilst out. Even with rider-to-rider chat non-stop on a 4-5 hour ride out, listening to music or using a SatNav for an 8-hour ride to North Wales. Edit: 4 years later, I am finding battery life on our oldest intercom is not as long as it once was, and it will cut out after around 6 hours of solid rider-to-rider chatting. It does, however, give you regular audible beeps to indicate it’s running flat, which is handy so you can stop chatting to conserve the remaining battery life.
One aspect that has been annoying is the Velcro to attach the intercom to the helmet, which over time begins to fail. Numerous times they have fallen off at speed! Thankfully the cable has acted as a tether so I’ve not lost them. As a replacement, I just opted for a reel of generic sticky back Velcro which I’ve cut to the appropriate shape, which works out cheaper than being the specific replacement mountings.
Freedconn Intercom Review – Conclusion
Overall, it’s really hard to fault the T-COM VB Bluetooth helmet intercom kits for the money. At £20-25 each, we’re basically talking beer money, for a really useful motorcycle Bluetooth communications gadget that performs pretty decently. Even if the built battery life starts to suffer in a couple of years, I wouldn’t think twice about buying another. Ditto, if I lost the stupid proprietary charging cable, just as cheap to buy another whole intercom. In perspective, even a replacement battery for a Sena intercom will set you back £35! As such, the Freedconn T-COM VB is a great Bluetooth headset for motorcycle helmet at a great price.
76 replies on “FreedConn T-COM VB Helmet Bluetooth Headset Intercom Review”
is it possible to do a re-set – mine have stopped working with my Garvin sat nav (still ok with phone) the sat nav has been checked and is ok with other equipment – we have a pair of these and neither will re connect to the sat nav
Mine did that to. I went back to the manual and held down the button longer, as if an initial pairing. Where the red and blue lights flash together. A bit of trial and error, but it did reconnect.
I’ve had mine for over a year, and have a daily half hour ride to work, listening to iHeart radio via my old moto g phone. I charge it maybe once a month. Apart from loosing the pairing once, as per above, it’s worked perfectly.
Any help please. Headset stopped receiving sound from tomtom when I connected my headset to my wife’s
Looking for a replacement USB Cable for T-Com VB Helmet Intercom – Headset/Bluetooth (Abdtech – BOOZN2YOGK). Can you please assist? Thank you for your help.
Bought one of these cables from eBay, tried to charge , usb will fit but wont charge .. and ideas please
I just bought this set up, my question is, do you have to pair the intercom every time you turn them on?
Do you have to pair the intercom every time you turn them on?
Nope, the pairing is just a one time setup thing.
no once paired they will reconnect
Don’t buy if you wear spectacles. Bloody impossible to locate spectacle arms with these speakers. Why couldn’t they make a set with in-ear speakers, they are far more comfortable, and not affected by wind noise over 80kmh
Have no hassle wearing glasses with these myself. Guess it will depend on your lid, glasses and head shape.
anybody got ok google working on these as handy for calls and android apps ? any info welcome
Any update on this??
My unit is working fine and charging fine but one question please,
I’m off to France soon, will the unit charge ok on 110v (as in France) or will I need a special adaptor? Thanks.
TBH I’m not sure. However I believe the charging cable does just accept a standard 5V USB charge, so assuming it’s plugged into a USB socket/adaptor that works on 110V it should be fine.
Also, France is on 230V same as UK. US are the ones on 110V… 😉
The mains plug that comes with it will have a transformer built in to allow 110 or 230V charging. Just make sure to pack that USB mains plug.
Lost my charge cable .. what type of cable is it .. where can i buy one..
Plenty about on ebay for a couple of quid. Take a look here.
Just ordered an old-style replacement cable off Amazon. Couple of quid more at £8 but next day delivery.
Hallo, gibt es auch eine Bedienuzngsanleitung in Deutsch?
Mine came only with an English manual.
Ive just got a lg g5.
The freedconn wont pick up my phone ive checked blootooth version and the headset is running on version 2.1 and my phone is running 4.2. Is there an update or updated version that is compatible with newer devices
We’ve brought this and have had problems pairing with another and now despite being charged will not turn on – any thoughts?
Can you listen to music and talk without pushing buttons
I can’t figure out how to get the device into “PAIRING” mode, on the manual they said to press and hold the Power/Intercom button for 6 second – but my device keeps shutting down, after 3 second – also like mentions in the manual.
LOUIS OFF message shown and the device turns off.
I am probably missing something here,
I’ll be glad for some help…
I’m fairly sure on mine, from off state I just hold the power button 8+ seconds. Keeping it pressed after it turns on, until it flashes alternate red/blue lights.
The radio keeps cutting out on mine when i have it paired up with bluetooth. When i turn radio back on it cuts out again after 5-10 seconds. Any ideas?
My radio seems to cut out if any sound comes from my phone, like when I lock or unlock my phone it will make a “click” sound over Bluetooth, and that makes the radio turn off and switch to Bluetooth audio
My Garmin Nuvi 2529 Sat Nav would not connect to my FreedConn 800M T-COMVB Motorcycle headset via Bluetooth, so I brought a Mpow 2-in-1 Bluetooth transmitter/receiver to do just that, I am very pleased with the results the setup works very well.
I used this very detailed description on how to do it:-
Found this review when I was thinking about getting a cena. And glad I saved a couple of hundred bucks.
Others I looked at while searching looked like a nightmare to use while riding with gloves on because of little buttons etc, this one is simple.
Great little unit for the price.
We have paired our 2 T-Com VB devices successfully. Now trying to bluetooth to satnav. Can only seem to get satnav into one helmet, not both together. Any ideas please?
I suspect this’ll be the satnav itself not able to connect to two bluetooth devices. Certainly, never managed it myself with a basic Garmin. It is a little annoying as when the SatNav will cuts in to one of us, it’ll block our voice chat and the other will hear nothing.
it will only pair with what ever comm pairs first so just pair nav with driver just the way it works
I can’t connect on iPhone 7
Work fine on my iPhone 6s, I have upgrade my phone to iPhone 7. But now no work they can find my iPhone 7
Hi just wondering if you solved the iPhone 7 pairing issue and if not exactly which model did you buy? Thanks!
cant pair two devices … HELP !!! T-COM02
Is my problem!!
Thanks for a great review Arthur. I read it some time ago before buying mine
Thought I’d add my experience of the Freedconn T-comm VB.
I’ve been using one of these every day for over a year now. As a London based despatch rider it is in constant use for at least 9 hrs a day 5+ days a week. I find that I can use it with volume at maximum whilst wearing ear plugs and still answer phone calls/listen to music at upto 60mph, with favourable wind conditions. Phone calls are no problem at such speeds, The person at the other end of the call can hear you clearly even when your struggling to hear yourself. At higher speeds the wind noise simply drowns it out the speakers.
I found the sticky Velcro pads adequate to begin with, but after adjusting the earphone position a couple of times to get best position, the sticky pads became not so sticky. Solution I simply sewed the Velcro pads to the helmet lining.
The battery lasts about 8hrs maximum if I have music on all the time. If I’m just occasionally using google maps as sat nav and the odd phone call it would probably last 24hrs or more though haven’t tested that as I charge it every night.
I carry a pair of wired earbuds as backup but only ever had to use them once at the end of a long day after listening to music for more than eight hours.
I have never used the intercom function so can’t comment on that.
As far as weather is considered it seems to cope with whatever is thrown at it. From prolonged torrential rain on motorway, freezing temperatures, snow, or hail to 35 C + heat it has been subjected to all and never done anything other than function as required. If only Apple or Samsung could produce something this robust.
To be honest I’d be lost without it now and I’m thinking of getting a second unit so I can swap them over when the battery runs out. That will allow me to listen to the radio or music throughout my working day without fear of being plunged into silence before getting back home.
One is often disappointed with the quality and reliability with cheap electronic devices and price often reflects quality. I can’t compare with other intercoms as this is the only one I’ve ever used, but for me the freedconn has done what it’s supposed to do without any fuss or bother and continues to do so.
Hi, my device T-comvb, when charging the red light flashes on the one device and when charging the other device only the red light stays on. Why is that? It has been charging for a few hours and still the red light does not flash and it does not turn on. The guide book doesn’t say anything about it nor does the internet. Any ideas please. Thanks
Left mine without use ’cause I had lost the charging cable, now I’ve bought a new cable and it won’t turn on… only continuous red light when charging…
Already tried, to no avail:
– disconnecting battery from main circuit and then charging.
Any ideas would be me much appreciated!
Have exactly the same problem with steady red light when charging and the unit will not turn on. Anybody found a solution for this?
I’m looking for an extension cable so I can put the unit in my pocket.
I can’t find one. Any idea? Thanks
Not is possible pair two devices freedconn T-COM02 . I push for 6 second .two devices …lamp red blu. Push un device for 1 second …..not connect …..lamp and only lamp red blu. In Bluetooth telephon is possible connection for music.
Not is possible pair two devices freedconn T-COM02 . I push for 6 second .two devices …lamp red blu. Push un device for 1 second …. Help
Interesting, not seen this issue with mine. Happily paired it to phone and satnav.
Where can I buy spare sticky pads ?I need some as just changed helmets
Here’s a link to an ebay auction for just the mount and sticky back velcro pad:
Hi Gary , what sat nav are you useing I’ve just got 2x tcom units and need a sat nav for the bike . Thanks in advance regards Gary .
intercom to Pilion cuts out above 15 MPH otherwis seems to be working ok. can anyone help with this problem ?
Purchased a TCOM SC. However, I find that the volume knob only works in FM mode? When just set for normal Sat Nav/Phone use it is at max volume making it unusable.
I take it that the vol knob should operate whatever mode it is in?
In FM mode the vol bar graph showing the vol level is displayed when the knob is turned but out of that mode nothing is displayed and the vol remains at max.
Any suggestions or is this a known problem?
Hi Andy what sat nav do you have . Regards Gary
If i connect this unit to another one of the same model, I stop receiving sound from my phone. Any solutions?
Strange. Can’t say I’ve seen this behaviour. Have you tried re-syncing it to your phone?
Greetings from Malaysia. I bought mine t-com vb twin and it works well. But my friend just bought a Freedconn T-Max and I tried to pairing with him but it seems can’t go through. Any solution of this matter?
Anyone experiencing random beeps while using the rider to rider function? I’ve been getting intermittent beeps while riding and talking with other riders but not sure what it means or how to stop it.
Anyone know what’s going on?
I am experiencing this same issue, when I use the intercom, one of the twoe of us usually the one who clicks on the device, recieves beep sound every minute or so, please let me know what you dis to fix this!!!!
I have exactly the same issue. I did not identified a pattern yet. I discovered that if the mobile is not connected to the intercom the beep disappears. Did you manage to solve this problem?
Mine does this when the battery is getting low, it even beeps when it is turned off which is a bit annoying!! Try giving it a charge. the problem I have is one speaker is a lot lower volume than the other and I can’t figure out how to balance them, Any
I have just purchased this set up and com to come talking t o someone is really good very clear with a long range when separated by traffic. However I cannot get the sat nav on google maps to run alongside the intercom to the other rider. I can only seem to have one on at a time can anyone help and I need to have the conversation and also hear the sat nav when it is giving directions.
I’ve not managed to get these T-COM devices to mux different audio sources together so you can hear GPS directions and conversation. SatNav directions always interrupt any intercom conversation, which agreed can be a bit annoying.
I have mine set up and works fine and clear unless it si really winding when riding. However the jog wheel does not adjust the volume. This is annoying as the phone answers at half volume so not loud enough on the move – any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Kev
i have set up everything works realy well but i cant talk to my pillion passenger it just wont get any sound it connects it beeps but cant here anything she says and she can hear me its such a shame as the music all goes on without any problems think i must be doing something wrong the red blue flash they connect but no voice please can someone help me out
One of the first ones we bought started doing that, no mic input, one way communication only. I put it down as faulty and ended up buying a replacement. :-/
Left mine without use ’cause I had lost the charging cable, now I’ve bought a new cable and it won’t turn on
Excellent review from an actual user, detailed and every question I had was answered after reading it.
mine says full battery but just’s turns off after 30 mins
How do you stop wind noise and other sounds ,,,, its like white noise,,, plz help
My t max will not accept what’s app calls, when I receive a what’s app call I press the button once but to answer but this rejects the call.
I can talk to my pillion or listen to the sat nav on my phone. How do I do both at the same time?
The way it works is the SatNav will periodically interject with directions and announcements. So, if you have an open chat with your pillion, your headset will periodically switch to the satnav for directions, momentarily putting your pillion on hold, then switch back to your pillion chat immediately afterwards. It works OK, but if you have a SatNav route where it needs to give you lots of directions in quick succession (e.g. navigating through a bunch of junctions or a city), it can get a bit annoying as your chat is constantly interrupted. Really depends on how chatty your satnav is!
Thanks Arthur. That’s what i was hoping it would do but mine doesn’t. Am I pairing them up wrong somehow do you think?
Not sure. I presume you can hear voice from the satnav when not on a chat with your pillion?
It’s possible the behaviour has been tweaked in more recent iterations.
Yes, you can hear the voice coming out of the phone but just not in to my speakers.
I have a Garmin Nuvi 2569. I am trying to twin using Bluetooth to a T-COM helmet Bluetooth intercom kit. I keep getting Bluetooth not compatible. I have tried deleting all other Bluetooth devices and starting again but still the same .I connects to my phone OK and my Phone connects to the intercom kit. And help would be appreciated.