Cardo Packtalk Pro first impressions | Top-spec intercom gets automatic crash detection and stealthy makeover

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Intercom specialists Cardo have unveiled the latest generation of their top-spec Packtalk motorcycle intercom model called the Pro.

The headline new feature is automatic crash detection, which uses a special chip in the unit itself along with the accelerometers and sensors in your smartphone to identify a crash and send a message to a preset emergency contact.

You can cancel the message if you’ve actually just ridden over a particularly vicious pothole or dropped your bike trying to perform a U-turn, so you won’t panic your loved ones unnecessarily.

Cardo Packtalk Pro tested for MCN by Ben Clarke

As well as the new crash detection tech, you also get the very best of everything available for previous Packtalks as standard on the Pro. That means you get the magnetic Air Mount from the Packtalk Edge, 45mm JBL speakers (previously a separate upgrade), Dynamic Mesh intercom system, FM radio and Natural Voice Operation.

Responding to customer feedback, Cardo have also given the Pro a stealthy black makeover so it’s more subtle than ever on the side of your helmet.

Pre-orders for the Cardo Packtalk Pro can be placed now with the first units expected at the end of June. It costs £405.

The Cardo Packtalk Pro is available now for pre-order with arrival expected in mid-June.

Cardo Packtalk Pro review: first impressions

I’ve been using the new Cardo Packtalk Pro for a few hundred miles in mixed conditions. I also had the opportunity to play around with the Dynamic Mesh intercom system on a group ride for an hour or so with six other journalists.

The first thing I noticed is how clear the audio from the 45mm JBL speakers is. I have the Pro fitted to a Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS, which is far from the quietest helmet with its motocross-inspired design that lets a lot of air even with the visor closed. But the sound of other riders’ voices cut straight through even on stretches of national speed limit and while wearing earplugs.

Cardo Packtalk Pro action shot on bike

Music is audible at motorway speeds (riding a naked Triumph Speed 400) although a podcast started to require a little too much concentration to make out at high speed.

Voice commands using the “Hey Cardo” prompt generally work ok, although I’m yet to manage to get Google Assistant to interact properly.

The Air Mount magnetic clip is fantastic, and has a physical retaining clip as a back-up, too, so you know it isn’t going to fly off on the motorway. I rode through three hours of heavy rain with it and had no issues with water ingress, either.

Cardo Packtalk Pro fitted to helmet

Overall, my first impressions are very good. I’ll persevere with the Google Assistant issue – it’s probably user error – and a full review will be coming soon.

Cardo Packtalk Edge still available

Price: $359.96
Tested by Adam Binnie

"A lot of us retreat into a motorbike helmet precisely because it’s the one place where conversations can’t follow, but even I can admit there are times where it’d be handy to have a line of communication to the outside world that doesn’t rely on hand signals or semaphore.

"In those cases, I want a device that is entirely distraction-free – I don’t want to have to remember to put headphones in before I set off, I don’t want to have to pull over because the connection has dropped out, and I don’t want to shout or strain my hearing.

"On that brief the Cardo Packtalk Edge is extremely easy to recommend. To get the best out of it (and in fact any Bluetooth comms) I’d recommend investing in the quietest helmet you can and being prepared to experiment with different earplugs until you find the best possible combination, though."

Read our full Cardo Packtalk Edge review


  • Ease of use
  • Slim design
  • Audio quality


  • Several buttons
  • Voice sensitivity needs setting up
Dimensions Height: 46mm, Length: 84mm, Depth: 23mm
Weight 47g
Speaker diameter 40mm
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2, dynamic mesh
Rider group size 15
Rider to rider range 1.6km/1mile
Battery life 12 hours

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