Mandatory helmet laws since were introduced in Australia in the 1990s and while helmet design has come a way since the classic Stackhat, it’s only now we’re really seeing technology arrive in a big way.
Livall is a company that makes smart helmets with lighting that includes brake lights and indicators, to let other motorists your intentions on the road. This makes riding, skating and other forms of non-car transport, safer than ever before.
Of course, the company didn’t stop there in making smart helmets, they also included Bluetooth pairing with your phone so you can play music through built-in speakers, get live updates on voice navigation and fitness goals.
For the past month, I’ve been riding my eBike using the Livall BH60SE Neo smart helmet, one of many in their range, and now it’s time for a full review.
Curves in all the right places
The design of the helmet is fresh and modern, but the distinctive aspect really arrives at the back, where LED lights are hidden in the structure. These are really well integrated, appearing as a normal helmet when they’re not illuminated. I’m also impressed at the comfort of the helmet, with great padding inside the helmet, as well as an adjustment dial at the rear, it is secured to my head perfectly. This comfort also extends to a padded chin strap which is equally comfortable.
Also integrated into the helmet design are downward-facing speakers, beside each ear. This is a design aspect I never expected to like so much, but after having connected my phone by Bluetooth and streaming Clubhouse, Podcasts etc while riding, this is a great inclusion. I’ve typically fumbled around trying to insert a wired headset or wireless earbuds, but having built-in speakers is a seriously simple inclusion that it makes sense to use them. While these don’t offer noise cancelling, and I wish they had a higher maximum volume, the ability to throw on a helmet and have your audio sorted, is a really convenient solution.
It’s difficult to consider design without talking about the included Bling Remote Controller. This pairs with the helmet and when mounted on your handlebars provides easy access to indicate left or right, or activate the voice assistant on your phone. For those with a phone mount, you can also use a camera button at the top of the controller to snap a photo from your phone, a really neat option if you spot something interesting, or want to capture the amazing environment around you, like riding near the beach during sunset.
On the top of the helmet, you’ll find no less than 24 vents to ensure great ventilation that improves air cooling, while reducing wind resistance.
Stand out features of this device
Smart lighting integrates adaptive technology to ensure your visibility in dark conditions. Operate LED turn signals via handlebar remote control.
Above-the-ear speakers and sonic wave control design secure your safety while enjoying music. You can also switch to voice navigation when you don’t know the way.
Brake Warning Lights
When the built-in-accelerometer sensor detects a significant deceleration, the rear lights will be enhanced for a few seconds to draw attention from surrounding traffic.
We truly understand that how frustrated you feel when your helmet is stolen even if your helmet is locked on your bicycle. The anti-loss alarm feature can ensure that your helmet will not be stolen again.
Be well-prepared for every riding and enjoy it fully. That’s the great happiness in a cyclist’s life. The remaining battery level is shown by the number of tail lights, you can check the battery at any time so don’t worry you can’t use these functions which may save your life.
When the helmet keeps still for 20 minutes after powering up, it will automatically shut down.
One-Click Answer and Walkie-Talkie
Answer phone calls using the remote control and enjoy clear sound both ways with the helmets in-built Bluetooth speakers and wind-proof microphones. Easily communicate with your fellow cyclists using the Walkie-Talkie function when riding in a group.
The speakers can also provide you with voice navigation when embarking on new routes, allowing you to focus on the riding and not concerning yourself with the challenge of taking the right turns to reach your destination.
Not everything’s perfect
Probably my only complaint here is that the speakers could be louder. At max volume, the audio from podcasts, or music from Spotify works great in quiet environments and hearing this in combination with birds chirping and nature happening around it a wonderful thing.
Ride a little closer to traffic and the sound of car engines, exhausts and the like, can mean the audio is difficult to hear at times. The speakers are positioned perfectly, located over each ear, pointing down, but just need a little more gusto to ensure you can be entertained and informed while riding, skating, hoverboarding or scootering.
My only other complaint is that the mobile app appears to only do tracking while it runs in the foreground, something I hope that can be addressed in a future update.
Other than that, the product works as advertised.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
The Livall Smart Cycling Helmet BH60SE NEO helmet is available in two colours, black (reviewed) and white. The helmet costs A$229.00 + delivery and is available from JB Hi-Fi, Panmi, Bing Lee or Livall directly.
At that price, it’s certainly a premium over a regular helmet, but given this purchase is likely to be with you for a number of years, the price feels right for the features on offer.
When riding with this helmet, there were some really pleasant surprises. Firstly just how comfortable the helmet is to wear, but more so how feature-rich the device is.
If you run the Livall Riding app, you can not only record your exercise data, but the app actually provides voice updates to the helmet as you reach milestones on your ride. Being told how many kilometers you have completed can be inspiring to push harder to reach a new personal best record over time. Then there’s the whole community and social network built into the app, where you can post photos and let others like and comment on your contributions.
After using a smart helmet like this, it’s hard to see myself ever going back to a regular helmet, with the feature list so impressive, it really does transform the riding experience, all while keeping your safe. The best thing is, knowing how easy it is to jump on a get riding, while being entertained, I found myself riding more often, which ultimately leads to better health outcomes.
I certainly can recommend the Livall smart helmet to you, and I encourage you to check out their various designs to find one that’s right for your needs and design preferences.