Motorcycles

Domio Pro helmet audio system now includes beamforming "air mic" for phone calls

Domio Pro helmet audio system ...
The Domio Pro system uses unique technologies for both the speaker and microphone parts of the Bluetooth equation
The Domio Pro system uses unique technologies for both the speaker and microphone parts of the Bluetooth equation
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The Domio Pro's new "air mic" sits perilously far from the mouth
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The Domio Pro's new "air mic" sits perilously far from the mouth
She's a chunky one, alright – the Domio audio unit sitting on top of a helmet
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She's a chunky one, alright – the Domio audio unit sitting on top of a helmet
Domio pairs easily to smartphones through Bluetooth
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Domio pairs easily to smartphones through Bluetooth
The Domio Pro system uses unique technologies for both the speaker and microphone parts of the Bluetooth equation
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The Domio Pro system uses unique technologies for both the speaker and microphone parts of the Bluetooth equation
Micro-vibration technology: the Domio system vibrates the helmet shell itself to transmit sound rather than using speakers or earbuds
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Micro-vibration technology: the Domio system vibrates the helmet shell itself to transmit sound rather than using speakers or earbuds
The system clips on and off multiple helmets quickly and securely
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The system clips on and off multiple helmets quickly and securely
What you get for your US$129 early bird pledge: the Domio, the air mic and two sets of clips you you can use it on two different helmets
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What you get for your US$129 early bird pledge: the Domio, the air mic and two sets of clips you you can use it on two different helmets

The Domio helmet audio system has been out there for a little while now and it's not like anything else on the market. It's a bit of a wacky one, a chunky little unit that sits on the outside of a motorcycle, snowboard or skateboarding helmet, and uses micro-vibration technology to turn the helmet shell itself into a speaker.

That's good, because it means you don't need to squeeze wired speakers into your lid, which can rub against your ears a bit, while blocking out traffic noise that could be valuable.

It's also bad, because every helmet shape is different, and not one single one of them has been designed to be a high fidelity speaker cone when vibrated by a Domio. Also, where a speaker places the sound right into your ear, a vibrating helmet is just a noisy helmet that your head happens to be in, so whoever's walking past at the lights will probably hear your pumpin' commute mix almost as well as you can.

And she's a chunky old unit, this one, probably packing a bit of weight in the speaker magnets and poking out in a way we expect might not be aerodynamically fun at high speeds.

Mind you, the small speakers used in regular Bluetooth kits do tend to struggle with bass frequencies due to their small speakers. There's every chance the Domio might be able to pump out slammin' bass, simply because it's got a bigger surface to shake air with.

Domio pairs easily to smartphones through Bluetooth
Domio pairs easily to smartphones through Bluetooth

Either way, keeping wires and speakers out of things has its benefits. The Domio is cheap, for example, something like half the price of the excellent Sena 20S. And since there's no speaker plumbing to arrange, you can clip it on and off different helmets very quickly, all you need is a separate 3M-backed plastic mount for each lid.

And now, the company claims it's solved one of the original Domio's key issues: the lack of a microphone to take phone calls with.

The Domio Pro, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter, comes with a wireless, noise canceling "air mic" that would appear every bit as ambitious as the Domio itself in its design.

Clipping on to the outside of an open face helmet, or presumably inside a full face, the air mic connects wirelessly to the main Domio unit. It uses beamforming technology to cancel out wind noise and the vibrations coming out of the helmet shell, and only accept sound from a small area right in front of your mouth, despite sitting several inches away.

The Domio Pro's new "air mic" sits perilously far from the mouth
The Domio Pro's new "air mic" sits perilously far from the mouth

The company says it sounds great, and works great for phone calls. We'd have to try one before we were convinced.

But either way the investment is pretty small. Earlybirds on Kickstarter can get a Domio Pro for US$129, or a twin set for US$258. Mind you, these things don't have Bluetooth intercoms built in, so if you want to chat with your riding buddy, you'll need to call each other on the phone.

Still, it's an interesting and ambitious way to implement helmet audio and we'd be interested to hear how well it works on a motorcycle at highway speeds.

Check out the team's pitch video below.

Source: Domio Pro

Domio Pro - a game changer in helmet audio & communication

3 comments
possum1
I ride a bike so I don't have to talk to anyone. And, I have my exhaust note for musical accompaniment. Good use of kit, aimed at the wrong audience . .
Techtwit
Wonder if any work has been done on the effects on the structure of the helmet caused by injecting vibrations into it? It would be a bit of a pain (at least!) if it turned out the vibrations caused premature aging or other weakening of your brain bucket.
Sophia
Recently a friend of mine ordered this product as he loves biking and going on adventurous rides. He just loved it and its really an amazing gadget. The domio pro helmet has distinctive features with unique air mic for phone calls and on the go music. It creates a great sound and comes at a price that one can afford. Thumbs up for Domio Pro!