Review of the Coros SafeSound Road helmet. With bluetooth headphones, a microphone, a tail light, and more tech, it's one smart cycling lid.
As vast numbers of new cyclists take to the road, it's good to know that you can get your hands (well, head) on a a serious bit of kit that's perfect for both safety and connectivity.
All three Coros SafeSound models - designed for mountain biking, road cycling and urban riding - feature the same ‘smart’ technology and materials, varying mostly by shape and style. So, while this review concentrates on the Road helmet, you’ll still find it useful if you’re considering the Mountain or Urban versions.
Design and Fit: The Coros SafeSound Road helmet is a good-looking road-style lid, with a simple and sleek design. There’s ample airflow provided by 16 large vents which extenuate the aero-flow design. Cooling is also aided by the deep inner channelling that funnels air over your head and out of the rear exhaust vents. The helmet comes in three sizes, with enough adjustability to tailor a secure and safe fit.
EOSS Pods: The two EOSS (Ear Opening Sound System) pods are easy to get used to thanks to the comfy replaceable padding. These sit on the front strap segment and can be slid up and down so they align with your ears. The EOSS pods are directional speakers that funnel sound toward your ear canals, providing clear audio whilst freeing your ears so that there’s minimal compromise to outside awareness and safety. As far as audio quality goes, they’re not supposed to be audiophile-grade. So, while you’re not going to get deep bass or crisp treble, the pods produce a fairly well-rounded sound profile that will get you pumped when listening to your favourite tunes.
Microphone: Phone calls are of notably high quality thanks to the integrated wind-resistant microphone. This is tucked away in the underside of the helmet near the middle of your forehead. It doesn’t block out all wind noise, so you might need to speak up a little when riding at high speed. But it does a much better job than the speaker function on your phone, producing less ‘echo’ and relaying your voice clearly.
Coros App and SOS System: Pairing the helmet to your device is straightforward via Bluetooth 4.0. Basic music and phone call functionality works straight out of the box, but you’ll need to sync it with the Coros app (available on both iOS and Android) to take advantage of other smart features and the included remote.
This clips into a cradle which you can mount to your handlebar with a pair of o-rings. It connects to your helmet via ANT+ and provides easy access to music, volume and call controls - useful when your phone is out of reach.
The Coros app also includes a ride tracking function which uses your phone’s GPS. Perhaps the most valuable smart feature though, is the SOS emergency contact function. If sensors embedded in the helmet detect a crash, then the system will send a text message to up-to three emergency contacts assigned in the app.
Tail Light: This light can be switched on at any time via the app or remote. It has a slim horseshoe design and only operates in a pulse mode. But it’s adequately bright and easily visible from all angles.
Re-Charging: On average, you’ll get about eight hours of constant play and talk time from the Coros SafeSound Road helmet before needing to recharge it. This is done via a micro USB port at the back and takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge. The USB port comes with a cover to prevent water ingress and the helmet itself is rated IPX5 water resistant so you can use in the rain without any problems.
Price: You can currently pick up a Coros SafeSound Road from Amazon for about £105 in the UK and $120 in the US. Considering the amount of tech packed inside this lid, along with a few spares and the remote, OGN reckons it's a pretty good price.
This Christmas, we expect quite a few happy cyclists may find this device in their stockings.