Coverage of Bluetooth headsets tends to focus on the latest and greatest tech with the highest possible number of riders supported.
For many of us, a mid-priced set from a reliable manufacturer covers everything we could possibly need from a headset, making it a better choice than a top-tier mesh technology set.
The Interphone Tour is one such example.
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Bottom Line Up Front
Before settling on a design for this product, Interphone undertook a study of over 700 riders to find out what features were most wanted on a motorcycle intercom system – and what features were being ignored by current solutions.
The results of this process have yielded a Bluetooth intercom/radio/music player that supports auto-reconnect and uses one of the most tactile and glove-friendly control units we’ve seen.
The Tour model impresses in every other category we can think of too – good range, battery, and app.
Recommended gear for UK riding.
What’s In The Box?
A Tour unit ships with two low-profile speakers, a boom mic and adhesive wired mic, a helmet clamp, data/charging cable, adhesive pads, foam spacers, a quick-start guide, and the control unit.
You’ll want to download the full PDF manual which is available from the manufacturer’s website.
A dual pack ships with two of everything at a significant discount, so consider that option if you have a friend in the market for a new comms system.
The Tour sometimes ships with a branded power pack, used to charge your unit or other USB devices on the go. This seems to be a promotional item, so check if it’s included from your retailer of choice.
The Interphone Tour’s clamp is secured to the outside of your helmet via two Phillips head screws using the mini screwdriver provided.
It’s simple, quick, and something you’ll only need to do once as the unit clicks into and out of place without having to mess with the screws.
This is a handy feature if you need to lock your helmet up with your bike and have security concerns.
So long as your helmet covers your ears you should be OK with the Interpone Tour.
As long as your not rocking the pudding bowl style (which we’re not even sure is still legal in the UK), there’s a way to fix the unit to the helmet shell and attach either the wired mic or the boom mic to a point that makes it usable.
Modular helmets are also supported and the mics and various adhesive options make it simple to set up.
This is an area where extensive research with riders paid off.
Using a large radial membrane at the front to control music playback, pick up/drop calls, turn the radio on/off, and toggle intercom modes, the rubber design also adds some water resistance to this sensitive and important area of the device.
Each section of the dial is marked out with stiff plastic dividers that can be felt through gloves, and the volume control switches on the top of the unit are suitably raised to make them easy to find with gloves on.
The app to control settings and functions from your phone is free and well-designed with most of the major functions available in a simple list that can be toggled on or off.
There are a few ways in which the Tour excels here. Its auto-reconnect feature is likely something that market research indicated was important.
And, we’d have to agree.
Combined with the unit’s auto-pairing feature and ability to remember its last settings when switched back on, the Interphone Tour is as painless as pairing intercom systems gets.
The auto volume adjust makes it easy to hear and be heard in a variety of conditions.
The tour’s universal Bluetooth system did a pretty good job at pairing to any phone or GPS system we threw at it.
Like with all Bluetooth comms systems, hands-free support is dependent on your phone (these days almost 100% support it).
The auto-volume adjust we mentioned earlier does a really good job of making sure you and the caller can hear each other, even in noisy, sub-optimal conditions.
This is decent for the price and certainly a cut above cheaper, generic solutions from unknown brands in the far east.
Intercom chat is clear and crisp, and we like the option to have music playing in the background while still linked to group chat – epic if everyone has the same song on as you ride through somewhere dramatic.
These speakers won’t satisfy the audiophiles out there, but the option to upgrade to a better-sounding speaker set while keeping the rest of the kit intact is there.
The Tour supports up to 4 riders connected at a time with a range of 1 mile. In practice, some people online complain that this comes up short – though we’d put this down to terrain rather than any deliberate dishonesty in the marketing copy.
Mountains, hills, buildings, and even trees get in the way of the signal and drastically reduce the range of all of these types of devices.
The stated 1 mile range is probably quite accurate in a flat desert but in most real-life situations is significantly shorter.
The 80% charge from one hour is a nice feature but worth mentioning it takes another hour to get that final 20%.
1000 hours of standby is stated on the box and even if this is a boast, this unit still lasts a long time when idle.
Fifteen hours of talk time is decent too and seems to be an accurate representation of what to expect straight out of the box.
The Interphone Tour is IPX67 rated – which in layman’s terms means it’s rated to withstand temporary immersion in water less than 1m deep for 30 minutes.
This should be enough for the wettest of UK conditions and reports on how these units perform in the rain is positive.
Suffice to say, if these couldn’t handle torrential rain, they wouldn’t have much of a presence in the UK market.
The radio feature uses 8 preset stations that automatically populate with the 8 strongest signals around you. It continues to do this as you ride, always giving you the best options in the area.
An automatic-mute function for incoming calls helps here too.
This isn’t a high-end audio speaker set at the end of the day. Music sounds OK but doesn’t have a lot of bass or crisp high frequencies. Ultimately, not terrible but not a set we’d recommend for someone who listens to a lot of music on their commute.
This is a great set for the kind of rider who rides with a group on occasion but doesn’t feel the need to shell out a huge amount on a headset.
It also could be a good choice for someone with their first touring trip booked and no headset installed.
The Interphone Tour is definitely a good jumping-off point into the world of Bluetooth headsets.