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Ahhhh… the bicycle helmet. Probably the least cool looking thing in the world apart from socks and sandals.
Some see helmets as a necessity when cycling and consider those who fail to wear them to be dicing with death. On the other hand, others love the freedom of cycling and recognise that cycling isn’t inherently dangerous – with the danger instead depending on the environment you are cycling in.
But let’s avoid the helmet war for now and focus on the LIVALL BH51M Smart Helmet. That’s right: smart helmet. This is a bike helmet that can do stuff other than protect your skull.
LIVALL Smart Helmet: In-Helmet Bluetooth
The LIVALL BH51M features in-helmet Bluetooth. This serves two purposes: connecting audio to your helmet which can then play through its built-in speakers and control for the indicator lights on the rear of the helmet – both of which are excellent features.
Bluetooth Helmet Speakers
First, let’s take a look at LIVALL’s Bluetooth helmet speakers. When you first connect your phone up to this smart helmet and play music through it, it is a surreal experience as the music really surrounds your head. The sound is a little bit tinny, but this seems inevitable for helmet speakers.
The helmet does a decent job of containing the sound, in that others can’t “hear the helmet coming”, but if you’re blaring out music, the people within a metre or two of you will certainly hear too. Whether that bothers you or not is up to you.
The speakers on this smart helmet connect up just like any Bluetooth headphones you have, just connect and play and you can use the button above the ear to play and stop audio.
On a personal note though, I’m not a big fan of the “surround sound” speakers. I like listening to music when I ride, but only in one ear. I always keep the other ear free so that I can hear what’s going on around me – and this isn’t possible with the LIVALL helmet, although the helmet isn’t entirely noise cancelling. As I say though, this is very much a personal preference and one that I know doesn’t apply to most cyclists who like to listen to music.
Bike Helmet with Lights Built-In
For the safety conscious, a bike helmet with lights built-in will be a very appealing feature. These lights can show indicating in either direction, as well as generally flashing lights as well as stopping and warning lights – helping cyclists communicate effectively with other road users.
These helmet lights are controlled using the “Bling Remote Controller” which can be attached to the handlebars – and is a doddle to use, although takes a little bit of mastery when navigating roundabouts.
Both the speakers and lights are connected through the LIVALL Riding app, which you can also connect to other Bluetooth devices on your bike. This app is very easy to use and provides a lot of help to get you started.
Bluetooth Bike-to-Bike Communication
Through the app, Bluetooth bike-to-bike communication is also available using the Group feature, enabling riders to communicate when out on the street. I’m not quite sure what the point of this is exactly, although I guess if there’s a problem or gridlock on the roads, this can be expressed through this. Admittedly, this isn’t a feature I used – and I’m not sure how many people would. But it’s still kinda cool.
Is it Comfortable?
As far as bike helmets go, this is definitely a comfortable helmet. It fit me well and should do the same for heads sized 57cm to 61cm. The size can also be easily adjusted using the toggle on the back of the helmet.
There are a few vents on the helmet it to keep fresh air coming in, but as with most helmets this won’t stop you getting a sweaty head.
Stylish Bike Helmets for Commuters
Making a helmet that actually looks good is tough. Like most protective gear, it’s built for function not style. But LIVALL have done a decent job . As far as stylish bike helmets for commuters go, this is right up there. I mean: it’s still a bicycle helmet, but it looks okay. That’s not a dis at LIVALL at all. On the contrary: this is about as good as it gets in terms of good-looking helmets.
Overall, the LIVALL BH51M Smart Helmet is a very innovative product that some cyclists will love. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. That’s no mark against LIVALL, it’s just I don’t generally like wearing helmets or having surround sound music when riding. But if you do wear cycling helmets and you also like listening to music on your rides – this could be the best city bike helmet for you.
Obviously, so much functionality comes at a price – in this case that number is aorund £149. If it’s worth it or not is completely dependent on your cycling habits. There’s no doubt, though, that the LIVALL BH51M is a quality helmet for commuters.