My First impressions of the Scala Rider G9

The Cardo Scala Rider G9 Arrived today!!

I thought would share my experiences so far with it.

Unboxing: The all looks good, each item wrapped in each nook of the box insert,

Took a quick look at the “important notice” in Red shaped like a stop sign, which states I need to charge the device 3 hours before using, well the batteries were dead so I guess its probably a good idea as it allows the Lithium batteries to calibrate(I thought this was to allow charge levels to be more accurate?).

First impressions seem show the ear pieces are slightly larger the the G4 ear piece, according to the marketing they are HD ear pieces – If they really are high definition it might be a bit of a waste with all the wind noise on a bike, perhaps I could pull up a chair sit in the garden with the helmet on and listen to the Valkyrie dam busters theme tune and feel like I am actually there ? :)

The build quality feels very high and probably a little better the the Interphone offering. Although i would expect this with a price tag a third higher then the Interphone!

On looking through the manual very briefly I read about the Scala community site which sounds interesting, so I type it in to take a look……..Oh Page cannot be display, I guess this is not online yet – will try this social networking feature again soon.

After the first few ride outs I must say I am quite impressed with the G9 the FM signal seems to be a little stronger and the intercom quality via the phone is very good, I can even initiate voice dialling at 70mph on the iPhone.
The call quality is great, the person at the end of the phone cannot tell I am on a motorbike, although the iPhone 4s has advanced noise cancelling.
So I may try this same test with another phone to see if the Scala is doing the noise suppression or the iPhone!

The music playback is also very good, but I would prefer to mount the ear pieces slightly closer to my ears as this results in a richer sound, I will have to experiment with some padded to bring it a little closer, Scala could you not have included these? Or in fact any intercom manufacture, the cost would be quite small I am sure!
When playing music I found the added feature the Scala has over the F5, is that the music automatically pauses and plays after interruption by a phone call or an intercom call.

The aesthetics of the G9 are also very good, the device mounted to the headset is a little bulkier then the F5. The buttons are a little easier to find over the G4 although I haven’t quite worked out why yet, perhaps they are raised slightly higher.

My next update will include a rider to rider / pillion update.
;

More to follow very soon!

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14 thoughts on “My First impressions of the Scala Rider G9

  1. Hi Paul,

    Very interesting post about F5 and G9.
    I did buy the F5 last week and did a few test rider to rider.
    I first need to say that this is my first intercom and i never a Scala.
    I just saw the G9 in store and did choose the F5 for 2 reasons.
    1 the profile
    2 the mic cable come from the ear and not from the Unit itself.
    I would like to know if you already did make some test rider to rider with the G9?
    Because when we did our test it was nearly impossible to speak/listen over 80 km/h but music was ok till 120 km/h.
    Also distance was approximately 200 meters and max 300 with really poor quality.
    And last I also encounter same issue for the FM signal.
    Can you now compare the F5 and G9 on those things and tell me if i better change to the G9?
    I still have a week if i want to change them ;-)

    Thank a lot for your response and accept my apologies for my so bad English.

    Laurent

    • Hi Laurent, thank you for your comment.
      Yes I did find the F5 had a weak FM signal, I was since told by the dealer to route the cable over your head rather then round the back, but unfortunately I did not try the FM receiver with the cable in this position on the F5
      I am initially quite happy with the G9 FM reception, it does appear to be an improvement over the G4 and F5.

      I also found with the first F5 I tested that I too experienced poor audio over speeds of about 45mph/70kph, the audio became more robotic sounding the faster the bike was until even in legal speeds it was very difficult to understand each other.

      However the second headset was much better, I do not know why this was the case, I had even updated the firmware to V92.

      Personally I would probably change the headset as it sounds like you have similar issues to myself.
      I guess the evaluation time would then start again? :)

      I hope to do a more comprehensive review on the G9 soon, but the weather here is not great!
      Paul

  2. Hello Paul,

    I just bought the Scala G9 Power set and my first experience with it was fantastic using the intercom mode.The sound quality was excellent and extremely clear. This was my first bike to bike comm system. I agree with your commentary above.

    There was some confusion with the buttons and the poorly written instruction manual that came in the box. If you get confused and push the wrong buttons, I found relinking is required to get the intercom working properly again. Also, with the web site tutorial as a guide and working the buttons per the instructions ,I found that the process takes a few seconds to work. Its not as fast a keyboard.

    Using this (link) Tutorial on the website helped me tremendously to understand the button and flash sequences. Highly recommend this link.
    http://www.cardosystems.com/us/download/tutorials/g9-tutorial

    I also uploaded this Quick Guide on my mobile phone for a reference when travelling.
    http://www.cardosystems.com/user_files/qg/G9_QG_EN.pdf

    My next goal is to link my mobile phone and test that function. Nice overview Paul.

    Doug

  3. Hi Paul,
    Read both of your findings on both F5 and G9 as well. I am thinking to get either of these. I am new to intercom so I don’t have much experience. For me, primarily will be using for listening to music while riding (I’m currently using ear bud from handsfree connected to my phone). So far so good for me as I get to filter out noise by the ear bud and at the same time I get to listen to music. But one disadvantage is that I would need to always need to plug and unplug the ear bud during stops while riding with the gang (we normally stops multiple times in a trip), so I would think having a speaker in the helmet would be great. Also I get to communicate and answer call while riding with the intercom, which I do not get to do while riding for now.
    From the button positions, it seems that the F5 would be easier to use, as you just need to position your finger to the main big button and just need to press the up/down/left/right buttons to access the functions you need and there is always a feedback notification on the function that you getting in to. I guess this is important when you are riding (you don’t wanna fiddle/fumbling too long on the device). It seems to me that you and Laurent find that the quality is isn’t as good (can’t communicate at a speed of >70kph)? Was it due to the placement of the speaker to your ears? That is important to ensure good audio quality. For me I would want to look for a (in priority sequence):

    1. Good audio quality for song playback up to 140-150kph
    2. Easy to use (no need to fumble to get to the function – answering a call, making an intercom, etc)
    3. Good commu ication audio (receive and transmit) of up to say 100kph?
    4. Robustness (solid contruction of the unit, audio pieces, brackets, etc)

    Which would recommend? Thanks for your input :)

    Regards,
    Benny

    • Hi Benny,
      All three devices would serve you well.
      The audio quality is good on all three.

      The F5 is easy to use once you get the hang of it.
      The F5 feedback is good, a
      Though I wished sometimes it would speak a little faster!

      The G9 takes a little more time to get used to but the main functions have dedicated buttons so this is useful.

      The audio com to com issues above 70kph appeared to be worse on the first F5 I had used, I found this much more acceptable on the second F5.

      For the price point for primarily audio playback the F5 may well be a suitable option as it is good value for money.
      In areas around me.
      The one fixable issue with the F5 is the audio cut out on using the intercom ( as it should), but doesn’t resume and therefore this could become irritating if you need to start up Bluetooth audio through the menus.

      Paul

  4. Hi Paul,

    Hope the weather has cleared up & you’ve had a chance to see what the G9 can do! I have been trying to decide between the F5 & the Scala G4 or G9. As you have had experience with all three it seems you are the sole authority on the web at this time :) From what I have read so far I’m leaning towards the Scala range (durability & warranty response issues seem to be very positively reviewed), however, the main feature of distinction is the difference in audio between riders &/or pillion… Do you rate this as being better on the G9 than the F5? I’m hoping it is! Also, do you recall if the F5 has better audio than the G4?

    Thanks so much for your blog!

    Warm regards,

    Jodie

    • Hi Jodie.

      The durability feels slightly better on the Scala G units.
      Interphone appear to have a larger portfolio of products, as Interphone was recently purchased by another larger bluetooth company, whereas the Scala appear to only make Bike to Bike / car comms so perhaps they have spent a little more time perfecting the units as it appears to be their sole business?
      The warranty was dealt with by the local distributor so I didn’t have to go direct with either companies, I have however used Scala direct for the G4 device I owned previously – which was down to a charging fault, which was probably down to the mains module rather there the device. The item was replaced in about two weeks as it had to be shipped abroad to Scala.

      the G4 is a very good unit, personally I found the bass or lower frequencies a little lacking for music and the FM signal a little weak.
      All other aspects were good for the G4.
      The F5 had slightly better audio for music playback then the G4.

      The F5 also has the daisy chain option for linking multiple riders although personally I’m not sure I would use this feature.

      Paul

  5. i have just purchased the G9 – and it works like a charm- sound is brilliant, stereo sound wonderful and its load it has a very high setting and you can blow your eardrums off..however i have another helmet with the shark blue tooth attached and the G9 will not sink to this device. the F5 will and im now considering changing to the F5. i only had the G9 for two days and i must say it is brilliant. reading this thread may persuade me to stay with the G9 and remove my shark bluetooth system and replace it with the G9 – SO CONFUSED…. i did not know the F5 existed until today – the text to speech sounds interesting.

    • Yes multi device is something which the manufacturers should address with a software update if you ask me!
      It should be possible if they are all using Bluetooth hardware – that’s what Bluetooth is made for after all :)
      Yes the G9 has enough volume to allow the bike or car next to you to fully enjoy the music you are listening too as well!
      What part was causing an issue with the fitting on the G9?

      What are the primary uses for the headsets , music / radio or bike to bike?

      Paul

  6. Hi . Ive got the G4 which comes with tom tom pro and its fantastic very clear and loud, but i cannot get the IPhone 4 to stream music into the scala ,will the G9 stream music from IPhone 4 does any body know of a fix, any body use a mobile with 2DP or MP3 player could you give me the model please I don’t really want to buy the 9G because the 4 is brilliant apart from the music thanks Brian

  7. Brian, I’m not sure why you can’t get your G4 to work with your iPhone 4. Mine works fine with my iPhone 4. However, I can’t get my G4 to work with my BMW RT stereo system. I called Cardo and was told they don’t own BMW so no guarantees. That is probably the stupidest answer I’ve ever got from a customer support person. After an Internet search I found others having problems using the G4 with Harley and Gold Wing stereo systems. I’m not sure what mp3 systems cardo tested with, they wouldn’t say. Mp3 support seems rather questionable. I assumed they had only tested it with the iPhone since that was all I could get it to work with. I don’t have experience with any other motorcycle headsets, but I’ve had terrible experience with Cardo. One of my headset’s phone buttons stopped working. Very poor construction. I managed to dig up a replacement headset and spent almost 2 hours on the phone with cardo support on Tuesday trying to update the software using windows 7. They couldn’t get it to work. They just blamed Microsoft. Only works on my old windows XP computer. I will probably never buy Cardo again. My local motorcycle shop recommended Sena. Anyone have experience with the Sena headset?

    Bryan
    OldBoysToys.com

    • Hi Bryan I got my cardo with the tomtom rider pro, it works really well very clear & loud ,the iphone also works fine for ringing, Ive decided to get the latest cardo which caters for music, unless somebody can tell me better before next sept when I go to Andorra can t wait regards

  8. I’ve got the G9 and I couldn’t be happier. Everything being said here about volume and clarity at high speeds is absolutely true. I pretty much anticipate the “no you’re not” response when I tell somebody I’m doing 80 down the freeway when someone calls.

    Yes the buttons are a little smaller and perhaps harder to navigate compared to the F5 or the Sena, BUT, the G9 has VOICE COMMAND! I hardly even use the buttons at all. There’s just not much need to. I can start/stop my music (on the phone), skip tracks, start/stop the built in FM radio, skip presets, activate intercom, answer calls, etc. all by just telling the G9 to do so.

    I’m pretty much just blown away by this thing! lol

    Bryan – I would hit them up about replacing your busted unit. It’s got a two-year warranty right!? A buddy of mine had a button stick on his G4 and they replaced it no questions asked.

    Bob

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