Cardo announces a new flagship motorcycle intercom, the Packtalk Edge
Cardo has overhauled its flagship dynamic-mesh intercom for motorcyclists. The new Packtalk Edge gets a magnetic "air mount," a slimmer design with no pop-up antenna, upgraded Bluetooth 5.2, improved JBL sound, USB-C and wireless updates.
We were impressed by the top-of-the-ine Packtalk Black back in 2020, with its thumping sound, clever features and next-level dynamic mesh connectivity, but it's being discontinued now, as Cardo has rebuilt the headset from the ground up to produce "the best communication device we have ever developed," in the words of CRO Alon Lumbroso.
Upgrades are everywhere, starting from the casing. It's smaller and slimmer, so it'll drag less on your lid at speed, and it ditches the pop-up antenna, which is a fiddly annoyance on any intercom. Previous Packtalk units were already easy to clip into their mount on your helmet, but Cardo has improved this process even further with a magnetic guide to help it snap on.
An upgraded Bluetooth 5.2 system brings the Edge up to the latest iteration, improving audio quality and adding the ability to auto-reconnect through Cardo's Live Intercom system with other riders up to 1.6 km (1 mile) away. That's before you enter the new-generation Packtalk self-repairing mesh network, which can connect up to 15 riders over claimed distances up to 8 km (5 miles). Cardo says it's improved the pairing process to pair with just one button in a "lightning fast" process, which sure sounds nice, and also says it's improved the unit's ability to talk to other brands' headsets.
JBL is in charge of audio again, and the terrific work those guys did on the Packtalk Black has been extended upon with an improved music processor and three selectable audio profiles, including one which simply makes it super loud, to blast through earplugs, high-speed wind noise and the like. The noise-cancelling microphone and natural voice command system are also upgraded.
The Edge charges with a USB-C connection, so you can finally start tossing your ancient micro-USB cables. Charging is much faster than before, with 20 minutes delivering about two hours of talk time, or a full charge delivering a meaty 13 hours. It's also mercifully able to receive software updates over the air rather than needing to be plugged into a PC.
Everything can be changed, edited and controlled through the Cardo Connect phone app, and there are two Bluetooth channels with which to pair your smartphone and GPS, as well as an FM radio. Music can be streamed in parallel with the intercom – you can choose to share it with a passenger via the app – and as before, there's an automatic volume control system that raises the levels as the ambient sound and wind noise come up.
All in all, it looks like a solid upgrade to what was already a premium helmet comms system. The Packtalk Edge is available now direct from Cardo, for the same US$389.95 (US$699 for a pair) as the Packtalk Black used to retail for.
Source: Cardo Systems