A Review Of Scala Rider Qz
Cardo Systems’ Scala Rider Qz is being sold as a modern communication system designed for solo riding, ensuring you are connected at all times. This is the lowest cost device on Cardo’s current motorcycle bluetooth unit line-up. This is a great bluetooth unit if you simply want to listen to GPS instructions, music and take or make phone calls.
With the Scala Rider Qz you get the unit itself, a hybrid microphone, detachable speakers, unit dock (with a clamp attachment as well as a sticky attachment), speaker pads (to move speakers closer to your ears) and some sticky velcro for the speakers and mic. You also get a micro-USB cable, a USB wall charger, a user manual, allen key and a small alcoholic wipe for use with the adhesive mount for the unit dock.
- Waterproof & Dustproof
- Hybrid Microphone
- Replaceable Speakers (3.5mm)
- VOX enabled
- AGC Technology
- Two Bluetooth Channels
- Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
- AVRCP Media Control
AGC technology dynamically adjusts the volume of the audio for you based on speed of movement and ambient noise. The sensitivity of this is customisable.
VOX allows you to accept/reject incoming phone calls. The sensitivity of this is customisable.
A2DP and AVRCP technologies allow the device to receive stereo audio via bluetooth as well as control playback of the media. Please note: not all devices support AVRCP controls.
Cardo have developed their ‘SmartSet’ app for Android. This app was designed for use with all of their products, the Qz included. With this it is very easy to change the settings of the Qz whilst you’re using it. From the app you are able to change the device language, adjust VOX sensitivity and adjust the AGC sensitivity. You are also able to edit your ‘Hot Dial’ contact under the ‘Mobile Settings’ tab.
Cardo have also released updater software for your computer (Windows and Mac) which keeps the devices firmware up-to-date at all times. All you need to do is download that software from their website and occasionally plug your Qz into your computer and it will install any pending updates.
The speakers supplied with the Qz are what you’d expect to get with a unit like this – they offer perfectly reasonable sound quality whilst remaining as thin as possible to avoid any discomfort for the rider (approximately 35mm in diameter and 10mm thick). The included speaker pads allow you to rise the position of the speakers so that they are close to the rider’s ears if needed. Once you have positioned the speakers so that they are comfortable, you will notice the crispness of the sound produced by the speakers. The speakers display no signs of clipping even at maximum volume whilst AGC is in full effect at high speeds.
The hybrid microphone is a flexible microphone that is connected to the Qz by a short wire. The microphone is secured to the helmet by a Velcro pad at the base of the microphone. There is also an optional support brace to hold the microphone in the exact position you want it in. The hybrid mic offers perfectly acceptable sound quality with the person on the other end not noticing any wind noise or even that I was talking to them whilst on a motorcycle for that matter.
Cardo advertises this product with up to 10 hours of talk time and one week standby. The advertised battery life is rather accurate; using this unit for a 30 minute each way commute, 5 days each week, I found myself having to charge it no more than once a week. You must keep in mind that I listen to music for my entire commute and use the Qz for personal riding too. Of course, if I were to only use the Qz to answer phone calls, I could see this device lasting multiple weeks without needing to be charged, considering its advertised standby time.
Comfort was a major concern of mine when I first considered using the Qz. I didn’t want to use a bluetooth unit if it was going to make me have an uncomfortable ride whilst wearing my helmet. When I first installed the speakers and put the helmet it, they were tightly pressing up against my large head. After one or two attempts at repositioning them I managed to place them so that I could only just notice their presence in my helmet. This is thanks to the very slim speakers that come with the Qz.
After having a quick flick through the user manual I grasped the basics of controlling music and phone calls with the Qz. The two large buttons on the side are very easy to differentiate and use, whilst the volume buttons on the rear end of the device are also very easy to locate and use. If you have an incoming phone call you are able to use VOX to answer it, you are also able to make phone calls through voice recognition providing your device supports it.
This is a great unit if you do not require direct communication with someone else whilst riding. It is designed to be a self-contained bluetooth system, for single rider application. You are able to use it in all weathers and once you’ve set it up, it will never let you down. There is no hassle of having to recharge it daily due to the long-lasting battery life.
If you are looking for a reliable bluetooth device for solo riding then this is it, and it comes in at a lower cost compared to the other units offered by Cardo Systems.
This review was constructed and written by Ace, Edited by Jax