Outdoor Technology Chips 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth Helmet Audio

You’d think that more companies would have made Bluetooth headphones that slip inside your helmet, but Outdoor Technology is one of the few that does. Their appeal has waned now that true wireless earbuds have come along, but they’re still available.

How it works is you charge up the Chips and slide them into the earflaps on your helmet (they should work with most helmets). You want to make sure that no excess padding in your helmet is covering the Chips or else they’ll get muffled and you’ll lose some volume; you want them as close to your ears as possible.

The Chips 2.0 have a walkie-talkie feature that allows you to communicate with friends who are also using Chips 2.0 headphones. You create a group using the ODT Walkie-Talkie app and talk over the cell network, which means the only limit on distance is whether you’re getting a phone signal. Up to 99 people can be in your private group.

The Chips 2.0 have a single button on each earpiece, which you can access through the earflap. In other words, you can answer or end a call or pause and play music by touching the earflap firmly. What’s also nice is that you can access Siri (without taking out your phone) and use voice commands to call people or launch a playlist of music.

I thought the sound quality was decent for Bluetooth but not great. You can find headphones that sound better for $140, but it’s nice to be able to stick your helmet on and have the headphones built-in with no wires to worry about. Battery life is rated at 10 hours, and the Chips are sweat- and water-resistant but not waterproof.

Outdoor Technology also sells the Chips Ultra, a true wireless version of the Chips that costs significantly more ($220). I don’t think the Ultras are worth the money.

Published:Dec. 25, 2020Caption:David CarnoyPhoto:Sarah Tew/CNETDisclosure:We may get a commission from retail offers.

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