Cardo Spirit HD Review: Features, Pros and Cons, FAQs, and More

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Ever found yourself gesturing wildly or resorting to outdated hand signals to communicate with your riding buddies? That’s where motorcycle intercoms come in handy. These nifty gadgets not only enhance the joy of cruising but also ensure a safer and more connected riding experience. 

Now, if you’ve been on the lookout for a motorcycle intercom that combines top-notch features with an affordable price tag, I’ve got just the device for you.

In this Cardo Spirit HD review, I’ll be breaking down its key features and performance based on my personal experience. I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of the intercom and answer some frequently asked questions you might have.

Key Features of the Cardo Spirit HD 

cardo spirit HD full review

The Cardo Spirit HD is a cutting-edge motorcycle intercom system designed to enhance communication and connectivity for motorcycle riders. 

It’s packed with features to make your riding experience safer and more enjoyable, So, let’s break down these features in more detail:

  1. Intercom Communication: The Cardo Spirit HD facilitates seamless communication between rider and passenger or rider to rider, with an impressive range of 0.4 miles (600 meters). This ensures clear and reliable communication within your riding group.
  2. Bluetooth Connectivity: Equipped with two Bluetooth channels, the intercom allows riders to connect with their phones and GPS devices simultaneously. This dual-channel capability ensures that you stay connected to both your fellow riders and essential mobile or navigation features.
  3. Bluetooth 5.2: Keeping up with the latest technology, the Cardo Spirit HD features Bluetooth 5.2, ensuring a reliable and efficient wireless connection.
  4. Phone Features: The intercom provides a range of phone-related functionalities, including the ability to make, receive, and reject calls. It supports speed dial and even allows for conference calls with other intercom-connected riders. Additionally, riders can receive in-helmet navigation instructions from compatible GPS devices, enhancing navigation convenience.
  5. Automatic Volume Control: The Automatic Volume Control feature is a game-changer, adjusting your sound levels based on the ambient noise outside. This ensures that you maintain optimal audio clarity regardless of the noise levels in your riding environment.
  6. Multilingual Status Announcements: The Cardo Spirit HD goes the extra mile with multilingual status announcements, providing information in various languages for a user-friendly experience.
  7. Cardo Connect App: Compatible with both iOS and Android, the Cardo Connect app enhances the intercom’s functionality. Riders can personalize settings, receive firmware updates, and enjoy a more tailored experience through the app.
  8. Over-the-Air Software Updates: Stay up-to-date effortlessly with over-the-air software updates, ensuring that your intercom is equipped with the latest features and improvements.
  9. Waterproof Design: The intercom’s waterproof design ensures that it can handle the challenges posed by various weather conditions, making it a reliable companion for riders in diverse environments.
  10. USB Type-C Connection: With a modern and convenient USB Type-C connection, the Cardo Spirit HD offers efficient and universal connectivity for charging and data transfer.
  11. Wired Mic Included: The inclusion of a wired microphone provides riders with flexibility in choosing the most comfortable and suitable communication setup.
  12. Talk Time and Fast Charging: Enjoy extended conversations with up to 13 hours of talk time. The fast-charging feature adds 2 hours of talk time after just a 20-minute charge, ensuring that you’re ready for the road at a moment’s notice.
  13. Standby Time: With an impressive 10-day standby time, the Cardo Spirit HD minimizes the need for frequent recharging, allowing riders to focus more on the journey. 
  14. Built-in FM Radio with RDS: The intercom adds entertainment to your ride with a built-in FM radio featuring Radio Data System (RDS), enhancing your auditory experience on the road.
  15. 40mm HD Speakers: The 40mm High-Definition speakers deliver superior audio quality, enhancing your overall riding experience with clear and immersive sound. 
  16. Universal Connectivity: The Cardo Spirit HD boasts universal connectivity, ensuring compatibility with various helmet brands and types, making it a versatile choice for riders with different gear preferences.

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The motorcycle accessories I recommend provide a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider. They are the very same products that have earned my trust and served me exceptionally well during countless adventures.

My Cardo Spirit HD Review

cardi spirit hd review

Having taken the Cardo Spirit HD intercom on the road for an extended spin, I’ve gathered some insights into its performance across various key aspects. 

Here’s a quick review based on my personal experience:

1. Communication Range (4/5):

The intercom’s communication range is commendable, offering a clear and consistent connection between riders within the specified range of 0.4 miles (600 meters). During group rides, the communication held up well, allowing for real-time updates and ensuring a connected riding experience.

2. Audio Quality (4.5/5):

The audio quality provided by the 40mm HD speakers exceeded my expectations. The conversations were crisp and clear, and the music playback was enjoyable. However, in exceptionally noisy environments, the Automatic Volume Control struggled to adjust perfectly, leading to occasional fluctuations in audio levels.

3. Music and Radio Features (3.5/5):

The built-in FM radio is a nice addition for entertainment during solo rides, but the antenna could use improvement. In areas with weaker signals, the reception was occasionally fuzzy, detracting from an otherwise enjoyable feature.

4. Interface and Controls (3/5):

The interface and controls of the Cardo Spirit HD, while generally intuitive, posed some challenges. The lack of voice control means riders must navigate settings and calls using buttons. Unfortunately, the buttons require more pressure than expected, making adjustments on the go less seamless than desired.

5. Battery Life (4.5/5):

The Cardo Spirit HD’s battery life is impressive, providing up to 13 hours of talk time. Fast charging is a handy feature, offering a quick 2 hours of talk time after just a 20-minute charge. 

6. Installation and Set-Up (3/5):

While experienced users may find installation straightforward, beginners may face challenges due to somewhat unclear instructions. The process could be more beginner-friendly, with better guidance on helmet integration and optimal placement of components.

Pros and Cons of Cardo Spirit HD

Now that you’re aware of the features of the Cardo Spirit HD as well as my personal opinion of its performance,  here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons to give you a comprehensive overview and tie it all together.

Pros of the Cardo Spirit HD:

  • Affordable Price: The Cardo Spirit HD is a budget-friendly option, providing excellent value for its cost compared to similar intercom systems.
  • Communication Range: With a range of 0.4 miles (600 meters), it ensures clear communication among riders during group rides.
  • Audio Quality: The intercom’s 40mm HD speakers deliver impressive audio quality for clear conversations and enjoyable music playback.
  • Battery Life: Offering up to 13 hours of talk time and fast charging for 2 hours of talk time in just 20 minutes, it keeps you connected on long rides.
  • Universal Connectivity: Compatible with various helmet brands, ensuring versatility for different riders.
  • Waterproof Design: Built to withstand different weather conditions, making it durable for diverse riding environments.

Cons of the Cardo Spirit HD:

  • FM Radio Reception: The built-in FM radio occasionally experiences fuzzy reception in areas with weaker signals.
  • Button Controls: Buttons require a bit too much pressure, making on-the-go adjustments cumbersome. It also lacks voice control, limiting hands-free operation.
  • Installation and Set-Up: Beginners might find the installation process a bit challenging due to somewhat unclear instructions.

Alternatives to the Cardo Spirit HD to Consider

Here are some other motorcycle intercom options to consider:

Motorcycle IntercomSystem TypeTalk TimeCheck & Shop Now
Sena EXPAND Long Range Bluetooth IntercomBluetooth10 hoursRevZilla | J&P Cycle | Amazon
Sena Spider RT1 Mesh Intercom HeadsetMesh11.5 hours

RevZilla | J&P Cycle | Amazon
UCLEAR Motion 4 Lite Bluetooth CommunicatorBluetooth18 hoursRevZilla | Cycle Gear | Amazon
Cardo Spirit Headset Intercom - Duo PackBluetooth10 hours

RevZilla | Cycle Gear | Amazon
FODSPORTS FX10C Mesh IntercomMesh
15 hours

EJEAS V7 Motorcycle Helmet Bluetooth Intercom - Duo PackBluetooth16 hours


Cardo Spirit HD FAQS

What’s In the Cardo Spirit HD Box?

When you unbox the Cardo Spirit HD, you can expect to find the following:

  • The Spirit HD Unit
  • Hybrid Microphone
  • Corded Microphone
  • 40 mm HD Speakers
  • Cradle
  • Glue Plate
  • Rounded Velcro Pads
  • Rectangular Velcro Pads
  • Booster
  • Alcohol Pads

How to Install the Cardo Spirit HD?

The installation process for the Cardo Spirit HD involves attaching the intercom unit to your helmet, positioning the speakers and microphone, and connecting the device to your helmet. The adhesive pads included in the box facilitate secure installation. 

However, as mentioned before, some users may find the instructions a bit unclear, especially beginners. It might require a bit of trial and error to achieve an optimal and comfortable setup.

Check out this helpful installation video for easy visual instructions:

How Much Does Cardo Spirit HD Cost?

The Cardo Spirit HD is known for its affordability, offering a cost-effective solution compared to similar intercom systems in the market. You can find it at Revzilla, J&P Cycles, and Amazon.

However, keep in mind that the price can vary based on factors such as location, retailer, and any ongoing promotions. 

What Is the Difference Between Cardo Spirit and Cardo Spirit HD?

The primary difference lies in the features and capabilities. The Cardo Spirit HD typically offers upgraded specifications, such as improved audio quality with 40 mm HD speakers, a wider intercom range of 0.6 km, and a longer talk time battery of 13 hours, compared to the standard Cardo Spirit model. 

Is the Cardo Spirit HD Upgradable?

Yes, the Cardo Spirit HD typically supports firmware upgrades. This allows users to benefit from the latest features, improvements, and bug fixes released by the manufacturer. 

The update process is conducted seamlessly over the air through your mobile phone. Simply download the Cardo Connect app on your mobile device, navigate to Settings, choose your unit, and select the latest available software update. 

Alternatively, you can update the software using a USB cable connected to your computer. All you need to do is download and launch the Cardo Update app from the Cardo website, connect your unit, and follow the provided instructions. 

It’s generally recommended to update your unit before its initial use for the best experience.

Can You Use the Cardo Spirit HD with Different Helmet Brands?

Absolutely! The Cardo Spirit HD is designed to be compatible with a variety of helmet brands. 

The package usually includes versatile mounting accessories to ensure a secure fit on different helmet styles. However, it’s advisable to check the specific compatibility of your helmet with the Cardo Spirit HD or consult with the manufacturer for any helmet-specific considerations.

Can You Pair Cardo Spirit HD with Non-Cardo Devices?

Certainly! Cardo intercom systems boast universal compatibility, effortlessly connecting with any Bluetooth communication system, be it from Cardo or other leading brands. 

When pairing with the latest generations of communicators from Midland, Uclear, and Sena, the Bluetooth pairing process mirrors that of connecting to another Cardo unit.

Final Verdict: Should You Get the Cardo Spirit HD Intercom?

If you’re seeking a budget-friendly intercom that provides reliable communication, good audio quality, and essential features for your motorcycle adventures, the Cardo Spirit HD is a strong contender. 

While it has its minor drawbacks, the overall value, durability, and performance make it a worthwhile investment for riders who prioritize functionality without breaking the bank.

Before making a decision, consider your specific requirements and how well the Cardo Spirit HD aligns with your riding style and preferences. For an affordable and feature-rich communication solution, the Cardo Spirit HD is certainly worth considering.

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I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!


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About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

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