UTV mobile radio / intercom system comparison.
UTV communications has two major choices in communications. Of those two choices radios can be broke out into 3 subcategories:
- Helmet mounted radios
- Race radios
We dare to COMpare the choices you have in radios and we are going to break it down right now by:
- Sound Quality
- and Maintenance
One of the biggest questions we get is how far will it transmit or what is my range? This isn’t a quick one number answer because it depends on your wattage, antenna and line-of-sight (or obstetrical that lie between you and the one you are communicating with).
- Wattage – More wattage = increased range. 25 watts is the sweet spot between maximizing range and a reasonable power draw upon your UTVs electrical system.
- Antenna – Generally the more height and a properly tuned antenna for your frequency = increased range over open spaces. Mounting it high on the machine is great, but UTV riding means trees hit it, so many install it lower on the b-pillar. TheCOM’s mounting system addresses these issues.
- Line-of-sight – Radio waves are currently the best communication technology for distance, but they don’t do well w/ obstacles. That’s why these ratings are “line-of-sight”
Probably the most interactive of the comparison is how the UTV communication system connects and interacts with you.
- Private in-UTV communications – When drivers/passengers each have a radio, they have to push a button to hear each other. That button push broadcasts ALL menial conversations to the group. An intercom is an open channel that amplifies all conversations between drivers/passengers, but no one else hears them. It is the best of both worlds.
- Cordless – No cords = no mess, but it also means batteries and charging, that means there is a chance you’re not using your communication device all day long. TheCOM uses a zero headache cord management system to capture the best of both worlds.
- Individual volume controls – This only applies to intercoms. Many of the less expensive options have only a single volume button for everyone. It’s better if everyone can set the volume to their own individual needs and, like all the upper end systems, TheCOM delivers.
- Connects to a phone – Access to music and phone calls while riding. TheCOM includes a 3.5mm cord to plug into the headphone jack. Simple, reliable and instantaneous.
- Requires helmet – With seatbelts and roll cages, it is more and more common for people to ditch helmets when riding their UTVs. Do you want to ditch your UTV communication system too? Pick an option that allows you flexibility of choice. In this case, a red X on the chart is a positive.
- Includes helmet / headset rack – A feature you will LOVE having every time you step in or out of your machine. Only TheCOM includes this option for no additional cost.
All comes down to how it sounds. If the sound doesn’t block our the ambient noise and amplify your voice then you are left saying “what?”
- Noise canceling mics – Engine and wind noise will get amplified along with your voice and make the system worthless. Handheld radio mics do not have this feature unless they specifically say so. These mics will cost more, but go for 1 ride w/out it and you’ll see why they are essential.
- Electronic noise filter – In addition to the mics, the nicer intercoms also use electronics to filter out background noise and make conversations clearer.
The headache that looms after the purchase but not with the plug-and-play, 10 minute, tooless install of TheCOM. No need to take your UTV apart to run wires, mounts and switches.
- Plug-and-play – Grab it off the shelf, pull it out of the box and be using it in minutes. Instant gratification > it sitting weeks on your work bench for you to find the hours of installation and trips to radio shack for minor parts and tools you didn’t know you needed.
- Eye candy factor – UTV communications is a SIGNIFICANT upgrade. Something like that deserves to be shown off and talked about. Only TheCOM screams to the outside world “This bad boy has tech.” Guaranteed, it will be the 1st thing everyone talks to you about when approaching your machine.
- Install bracket included – This is an upgrade on all other systems, but include with TheCOM – $45 value.
- Antenna mount included – This is an upgrade on all other systems, but include with TheCOM – $50 value.
- Headset rack included – This is an upgrade on all other systems, but include with TheCOM – $65 value.
- In-line noise filter included – This is an upgrade on all other systems, but include with TheCOM – $30 value.
- Interior lights included – This is an upgrade, not an option, but it is include with TheCOM – $50 value.
- Cargo / backup lights included – This is an upgrade, not an option, but it is include with TheCOM – $50 value.
The never ending worry.
- Batteries – Who wants to have to remember to charge or replace batteries? Or remove them so they don’t corrode? Systems that connect to your UTV’s acc power system eliminate that headache. You always have power when you turn on your machine.