Cardo Bk-1 DUO Review


The BK-1 headset has five buttons that perform all of its functions, including turning it on and off, pairing to other devices, receiving and rejecting phone calls, selecting intercom channels, adjusting the volume, and enabling and disabling several features.

The main button for everything is the Mobile Phone button, which powers the unit on and off, pairs and connects to mobile device, and answers, rejects or ends phone calls. The volume buttons adjust the volume up or down (obviously), checks the battery level, mutes the sound, and enable/disable AGC and VOX functionality. The volume buttons also house the indicator LEDs, which is either flashing or solid colors, in red, blue and occasionally purple. The LEDs indicate a plethora of statuses and conditions, including battery levels, modes (active, standby and charging), powering up and down, and features enabled/disabled, and pairing setup. In addition, specific tones will be heard from the speakers, depending on modal changes, whether it’s from power, intercom and mobile devices. The Channel A and Channel B buttons connect you to an already paired BK-1 on the same channel, and also facilitate paring the intercom devices.

The first thing to decide is whether you want the BK-1 headset attached along the top or rear section of the helmet. I installed it in both areas, and found that the rear was less obtrusive, made routing the speaker wires easier, and allowed me to use a helmet mounted POV video camera. Regardless of the spot that is chosen, follow their detailed instructions (which sort of confused me) for installing the headset cradle, using either the short or long Velcro strap. After installing the cradle, figure out where the speakers will fit the best in the bottom rear of the helmet, and apply the appropriate sized Velcro stick-on loop pad (either the large or medium) to that spot, and wait 10 minutes. I am really not sure if it matters if you wait 10 minutes, since sticky pads of any sort don’t adhere to EPS foam very well (more on that later).

Attach the Velcro speaker booms to their counterparts inside the helmet, and route the wires outwards to the cradle, connect them together, and then snap the cable’s audio connector into the cradle’s socket.

Install a freshly charged headset into the cradle, by snagging its front end on the cradle’s hook, and then push its rear down until it snaps in place.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • professor says:

    ugh… leave the electronics at home and ride your freakin’ bike.

  • Jonathan says:

    This would be good for larger group rides so the leader and the sweeper can stay in touch, make sure everyone’s going the same way.
    But other then that, I wouldn’t want to be bothered with all this, and certainly not at this price.

  • palmermtb says:

    $500 bucks for fancy walkie talkies?. For that price is should be small enough to fit all of that hardware it in the ear piece. These guys think they’re being clever with the hardware package. I give it 6 months before a chinese company makes a generic unit for 1/5th the price. That’s more realistic.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      They are expensive! I haven’t ripped open the headset module, but I doubt you could jam everything (the electronics) into the speakers? It’s beneficial to have the large and easy to use (with gloves on) buttons on the headset to alter the features and functions. This company has been making this type of system for a long time (many years) for motorcycle usage, and I haven’t seen any cheap knock offs from anywhere as yet? I personally would like just a Bluetooth version myself for music and phone connection, and it would be cheaper (hopefully).

  • Pete says:

    These could be just what I’m after- When I’m on call, I need a way to answer the phone on the run, and my little bluetooth headset just gets annihilated by wind.

  • Wendell says:

    Setup was breeze our headsets were connected in a matter of seconds.

    One headset or the other have a propensity to lose signal fairly often i.e. approximately once per hour. This is not a distance or line-of-site issue and it’s happened when I’m within feet of the other rider.

    The headset component attach to your helmet via Velcro. Recommendations from Cardo is to mount the Velcro and let it sit for 10 minutes before mounting the earpiece of earpiece/mike. Not a problem.

    BUT here is a problem. This system is not adaptable to multiple helmets. Though you can buy helmet mounts and velcro packs directly from Cardo. Don’t bother.
    Trying to detach either headset from the velcro affixed to your helmet causes the velcro to lift up a layer of your helment. The adhesion is too stron to work without damage. What I though would be system that would allow me to transfer the hardware to and from 3 different helmets cannot be done without damages your helmet. As good as this system is I would not have purchased this had I knowm

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