Cardo Scala Rider G9 Powerset
Assembly of the headsets is very easy. They come with a base plate that can either clamp onto your helmet or you can use some provided sticker pads to attach it to the outside. The flexible microphone has plenty of room to reach into a helmet and the speakers use Velcro to attach to the inside of your helmet.
With the older Scala Rider units, pairing them was as simple as pushing some buttons in combination. The G9’s were supposed to have some kind of bluetooth pairing system where you bump them together and they should be paired. That didn’t work for us, so we spent about 30 minutes trying to follow the instructions in the manual to get the units paired. Finally they connected, even though we’re still not sure what we did. Whenever you turn one of the units off, you need to “reconnect” to the other unit when they’re turned on again. Until my unit completely died after a few days, we still weren’t sure the exact method to follow to establish a connection between them. We kept getting warnings about “Rider A Not Connected” or “Rider A Busy”.
The Scala Rider G9 has a feature where it senses the ambient noise and scales the volume up or down as necessary so you can maintain the same sound level no matter how much wind noise is outside. The first day the sound quality of my unit was excellent. I could clearly hear my music when I had it playing MP3’s and I could hear Ryan when we finally got things paired up. Starting on the second day my speakers started getting overrun with static and over the course of the next two days both speakers had completely died.
As I’ve said a couple times above, these units gave us nothing but problems and mine had completely died a few days into the ride. Ryan’s had started to die but the speakers fortunately held out, albeit very staticy, for the remainder of the ride.
With mine, the problems started the second day when my right speaker was only shooting out static instead of voice. Every once in a while it would stop that and work normally. Finally after going back and forth for a bit the right speaker simply died and I wasn’t getting anything from it. Not even the little beep when you turn the unit on. I thought... “OK, at least I’ve got the left speaker.” Well, the next day the left speaker started going through the same issues the right one had by spitting out extremely static filled sound which made it impossible to hear. Eventually later that day the left speaker had completely died.
When we stopped for the night we tried switching the actual units to see if that was the problem and my speakers were still dead. After a couple of days I tried it again and was able to get some sound out if I hit my helmet a few times. This would last for maybe 30-60 minutes before the speakers would die again. A couple days of this and eventually nothing would get sound to come out. I can only assume that due to some extremely poor engineering or manufacturing the speaker wire had become detached inside the base plate causing the issues.
The fact that similar issues were happening to both of us and we had been treating the units extremely well (no drops, kept them charged, etc) led us to believe the units were simply defective.
One other huge show stopper in our opinion was the fact that you can’t charge the units while they’re in use. One of the greatest things about the Q2’s was that you could plug them in and still use them to listen to music or talk. For some reason the G9’s simply shut off and go into charging mode as soon as you plug them in. This is especially stressful on long days of riding after the batteries die and you still have a couple more hours on the road.
Due to the amazing amount of issues we had with these units and the fact that mine completely failed, we would recommend not buying the Scala Rider G9 units. If you’re looking for reliability and ease of use, please consider the Q2 or G4 units as they were much more reliable. Perhaps we just got some defective units, but we started reading around after we returned from our ride and found many other people are having similar issues with their G9’s.
If you have any experience with the G9 units, please reply to this review and let us know your thoughts.
UPDATE: (Aug 30, 2012) We received a new pair of G9's from Cardo and will start testing these new ones. We will update the review when necessary.
Cardo Scala Rider G9 Powerset Photos
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