Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is dangerous. But sometimes they just seem inconvenient, for lack of a better term. That might put you off wearing one, which is unfortunate. You need a helmet, and you need to protect your head. What if we told you there was such a thing as a smart motorcycle helmet that included innovative tech to make the helmet much more useful? They’re already practical, yes, but smart helmets are also incredibly powerful. With things like built-in cameras, like a dashcam in a car, intelligent noise suppression, Bluetooth wireless, and a bevy of other tech, they can make every ride so much more enjoyable. In the spirit of free riding, let’s examine some of the best smart motorcycle helmets and what they have to offer.
- Buy the if you want a well-rounded and intelligent option.
- Buy the if you want excellent audio quality.
- Buy the if you want an open-face helmet design.
- Buy the if you want visibility enhancements.
- Buy the if you only care about Bluetooth connectivity.
|Poor battery life
|AI voice, 4K camera, Bluetooth, GPS, HUD
This all-in-one full-face helmet includes everything you need to get started, minus an SD card. It’s packed with features like an AI-powered voice command system, Bluetooth controller pod, and a 4K video camera. Built-in speakers and a mic allow for hands-free calls, listening to music, or even getting GPS directions. Plus, augmented reality navigation features provide directional cues — they show at the bottom edge of the visor, cutting down on distractions. A smartphone app syncs with the helmet to make everything more intuitive, plus it’s DOT-certified.
Best for audio enthusiasts
|No HUD features
|Bluetooth, Mesh intercom, LED taillight
This full-face smart helmet is equipped with a host of sound-centric features, like Bluetooth, a Mesh Intercom, and sound by Harman Kardon. That makes it one of the best for audio enthusiasts and purists who really want to be able to hear audio coming from an external source while riding. The multi-channel Open Mesh intercom system can sync to other compatible devices, like a nearby helmet, for private comms. It’s also DOT and ECE rated — depending on your region — and has an LED taillight, as well as a retractable sun visor.
Best open-face helmet
|No navigation functions
|Bluetooth, crash detection, SOS beacon
Maybe you don’t want a full-face helmet? That’s where the Quin McQ comes in handy. It features an integrated microphone and speakers, universal Bluetooth capabilities, and a drop-down sun visor. Plus, it has a fully fleshed-out crash detection system with an SOS beacon in the event of an emergency. It is DOT-certified, too.
Best visibility enhancements
|HUD, rear-view, Bluetooth, and more
This “next-generation” full-face smart motorcycle helmet features a unique sound control system but also offers 360 degrees of visibility thanks to a rear-view camera and heads-up display (HUD). Additional smart features include built-in speakers, a built-in camera, touchpad interaction controls on the side, and high-vis LEDs. It’s pretty darn close to a futuristic helmet experience without creating too many distractions. Moreover, it connects to a smartphone app to allow you to fine-tune settings, interact with the helmet, and much more.
Best smartphone companion
|No other smart features
Keeping it simple, this Torc helmet features Bluetooth connectivity above all to sync with your mobile device while you ride. A speaker, intercom system, and anti-noise microphone allow you to operate everything hands-free, with support for media playback, call answering — and rejections — and GPS or multi-phone pairing. A built-in spoiler eliminates wind buffering during your ride, while superior air ventilation keeps your head and face cool. It is certified by DOT and ECE, depending on region.
Here are some of the factors we considered when selecting the best smart motorcycle helmets to include in our list:
DOT Safety Rating
The DOT symbol, rating, or label indicates that a helmet has met the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218. You can read more about it at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All helmets on this list meet this standard. Even so, you should still practice safe riding habits.
Almost all of the helmets on the list include a bevy of smart functions, from built-in cameras to Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Rest assured, every helmet we choose will significantly enhance your riding experience.
Bluetooth and Intercoms
Bluetooth wireless allows the helmet to connect to mobile and Bluetooth-enabled devices, which in turn allows them to sync up and play content on the built-in speakers. It’s not just for music, as you can take hands-free calls, too. In addition, most of the helmets on the list have a built-in intercom system for private comms with nearby riders — like when you’re cruising with a group of friends.
Even with advanced smart features, all of the helmets on our list are in a reasonable price range. No one wants to spend way too much on a helmet, extra functionality or not.
This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.
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