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· The Boss
4,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®

When my friends and I go riding we tend to do so in large groups. We’re also fortunate enough to have an endless amount trails at our disposal. While having all these trails and all these friends to go riding with may sound perfect, it’s not. We are constantly faced with the problem of losing a rider along the way. This could be for a number of reasons such as a rider who decided to get stuck in the mud, someone chose to pay more attention to the beautiful landscape Mother Nature provided us or simply there was an equipment malfunction. When this happens it becomes an ingredient for danger. Typically one person from the group turns around on the trail and heads back to where we just came from in an effort to find the lost rider. Now as a group you run the risk getting separated even further or worse yet, meeting the lost rider in a head on collision. Taking all these factors into consideration we found it necessary to have some form of communication between riders.
A quick Google™ search led us to several different models on the market today. Much to our surprise, several of these manufacturers had models that met our criteria. The following is a list of our requirements:
• VOX (Voice Activated)
• PTT (push to talk option)
• Rechargeable high capacity battery
• Size / All integrated
• Cost
With the above criteria in mind we narrowed our search down to one model we felt best suited our needs. Our search led us to Chatterbox™. A quick phone call proved that their customer service representatives were extremely polite and helpful. They described the overall specifications of the unit as well any additional add-ons we might need to complete our quest for a hands free rider to rider communication system.
The unit we chose was the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®. The GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® is touted as being the most powerful helmet style communicator on the market with up to a 5 mile transmission range. As well, the GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® adds an additional convenience feature of being able to connect up to two Bluetooth® devices at the same time. This became one of our favorite features asChatterbox™ was nice enough to include the ICOMB AG12 Bluetooth® MP3 adaptor. The ICOMB AG12 Bluetooth® MP3 adaptor allows you to pair up your cell phone and talk via the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®. The beauty of this feature really came about when riding on our street bikes. Now we can listen to our favorite music as well as receive phone calls from the office when on our quads or street bikes.

Features and Benefits of the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®

•Hi-Fi noise-reducing headset
• Large, illuminated LCD display
• VOX (voice activated)
• PTT (push to talk)
• Full duplex intercom
• Bluetooth® wireless connection to phone, audio, or GPS in stereo sound
• High-capacity, rechargeable Ni-MH battery
• Available for full- and open-face helmets
• Up to 5 miles of coverage
• 22 channels and 38 talk groups

Initial Installation and Test of the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®

Mounting the Chatterbox™ system to one of the helmets was a little tricky due to a plastic trim piece on bottom edge of the helmet. The trim piece protruded just enough to cause us problems and prevent bracket from being mounted. This required us to cut a small amount material from the helmets plastic trim piece. This allowed the screws to grab onto the mounting bracket and hold the unit firmly in place.
Ok, I’m technically savvy, but I’m also a typical man. Like most men, I chose not to read the instructions before the first use. For the most part it is very simple to operate. I even found pairing the Bluetooth® devices relatively easy. The problems started when we tried to use the actual two-way communications between riders. We hit a few snags which left us scratching our heads like a couple of monkeys doing long division. Against our will, we decided to open the manual. The good news is that the manual is not
overwhelming. In fact, I thought programming my VCR was more complicated. If you want to avoid unnecessary frustration, then I recommend reading the manual and becoming familiarized with the unit before your first use. Plus this gives you ample time to let the rechargeable battery completely charge for the recommended 14 hours before first use.
Originally we tried to mount the entire Chatterbox™ unit to the side of the helmet. During our testing we constantly worried about bumping it on a tree limb or getting mud and water all over it. The Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® is not water proof. It is water resistant but precautions should be taken to prevent using it in the rain. This ended up becoming a major pet peeve of the units overall function. That being said we contacted Chatterbox™ and requested the optional extension cord. This cored allowed us to wear the main radio on our belt with the included belt clip.

Once we had a new mounting solution we were back off to testing. We found the VOX only works well in situations where you’re stopped or going relatively slow. Unfortunately, no amount of volume adjustment could compensate for our aftermarket exhausts. We found that the remote PTT (push to talk) button included in the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® easily mounted to our handlebars with a piece Velcro. Keep in mind if you attach it to your handlebars it can become a nuisance when you are mounting and dismounting the ATV a lot.
With 22 channels and 38 talk groups you’re assured to not have any problems with interference from another radio source. We did not have a chance to test its 5 mile range, but it worked just fine in all of the ranges we tested in. The reception ranged from crystal clear to very adequate. The two stereo speakers attached with Velcro to the inside of the helmet and were loud enough to hear under most conditions.

Conclusion on the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth®

The Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® fit our needs as a method of communicating with each other on the trail. We continue to keep a communicator in the rear of the group as well as one in the front for each and every ride we go on now. This has allowed us to keep track of all the riders. Another great advantage to using the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® with two riders is that they could warn and coach each other of impending dangers when negotiating challenging terrain. The Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® completely met our expectations for what we needed. ATVTORTURE recommends the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® to anyone who needs to communicate from rider to rider while riding their ATV’s.

• Very versatile communication system
• Bluetooth® compatibility allows greater functionality
• Ability to remotely relocate the PTT button

• Unit it not waterproof / weatherproof
• Loud exhaust and wind noise make the VOX hard to use

For more information on the Chatterbox™ GMRS-X1-Bluetooth® Call them at 888.452.2269 or Visit them on the web at
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