Received my Cardo Scala G9 on Friday. Had ordered it the previous day from Phat
. if you also do so, call first and ask for best price. FWIW, I spoke to operator Tristan.
I had read the reviews. They are very positive. From my Saturday four hour ride, I can say the positive reviews are accurate. I have owned various communicator units since circa 1998, for the purpose of being in voice contact with my wife who was a new rider on her own Dyna at the time. The technology has been improving. Each set better than the previous. The Cardo Scala G9 is the next increment delivering more than I had expected.
My previous Bluetooth communicators could pair to only one other at the same time. The G9 instead 8. I don't yet have experience with more than one pairing with another rider.
It was easy to pair with my iPhone. I have the old unlimited AT&T data plan. Connected to Pandora and selected ZZTop station based upon another thread on good sounds with which to ride. The G9 is A2DP stereo, and includes two ear speakers. Sound was crisp, no distortion. Strong in the highs and middle tones. Lacking in the base which is not unusual for "on the ear" speakers. My in the ear buds Etymotec have much better base. The speakers overall not up to Etymotec but still very good. The G9's sounds far exceed my HD Boom fairing speakers, with Hogtunes tweeters and 160 amp. The G9 has the advantage of a more isolated environment within the helmet and proximity to the ears; because of these advantages, I don't see how bike mounted speakers can compete on the quality of audible sound, and price.
The G9 has FM. I have not tried that yet.
The G9 when paired to my iPhone has voice activation. So by arrangement, a buddy called. I merely spoke loudly "hello." The phone answered the call. My buddy's voice transmission was heard better with the G9 than with the iPhone speakers. Buddy said my voice transmission via the G9 from inside my flip-up helmet was better than if I was speaking into the iPhone from within a good acoustical environment.
I won't be spending more for bike mounted audio equipment. No more plans to add speakers to my saddlebag lids or more amps. Better music sound, with the ability to connect to others at one's discretion or not is a combination that makes bike mounted audio obsolete.
Of course to use the G9 at present you need a helmet - open or closed face. The next evolution could bring earbuds, ear mounted voice bar, and glove mounted controls for communication and sounds sans helmet.