LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

In this LIVALL Helmet Review we will take a close look at the BH60SE smarthelmet model for 2018.

“It’s a helmet Jim,”

“But not as we know it.”.

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart HelmetBackground

It seems that the trends today are that everything needs to be SMART. I have SMART gears on my bikes (Shimano Di2) and some of you may have had ‘smart’ reactolite sunglasses even as far back as the 1970s where the lens darkness varied by the amount of sunlight.

So why not a SMART helmet?

LIVALL’s previous product was the BH51M which won the ‘Product of the Year’ in the Urban category at ISPO Munich 2018 and they also produce children’s cycling helmets.

Newer moves in cycling helmet smartness give us helmets that can: incorporate lights; take over the speaker/headphone functions of your smartphone; enable helmet-to-helmet communications; provide navigational instructions; incident detection; and provide remote control. And of course if you’ve taken over the audio playback/mic from your smartphone then you can listen to music and take calls which is what most of us will end up doing with it.

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

Futures for LIVALL Helmets

I guess the futures of smart helmets for the masses could include elements of auto-fitting, mini airbags for impacts; the integration of cellular connectivity; heads-up rear view or simply cameras; and radar-controlled proximity lights. But let’s come back from the future and focus on a product that you can, if you want to, buy now.

LIVALL Helmet Review – First Impression

Before we get too far ahead thinking of the future of smart helmets let’s take a step back to the present.
My first impressions of the LIVALL BH60SE were threefold
  • Aesthetically pleasing – I would actually wear it
  • Looks well constructed and well ventilated.
  • The smart features are subtly integrated into the design and do not make the helmet stand out in any unusual way

Simply put: It’s a normal-looking helmet filled with smartness.

One last thing before we take a more detailed look. Who actually would buy this?

LIVALL Helmet Review – Target Markets

The LIVALL BH60SE will appeal to ‘normal’ people. In my opinion, the features are useful rather than nerdy. Thus target markets might include
  • Commuters who want to chat on the phone to the office whilst going to/from work
  • Commuters concerned about personal safety and wanting to provide more apparent signals to drivers whilst keeping their hands on the handlebars
  • Sunday group riders who want to chat with the walkie-talkie functions
  • The trail rider who wants to listen to music
  • The forgetful cyclist who doesn’t want to carry a rear light
  • The concerned parent who wants to know if there teenager has crashed
  • The navigator

I think most of us would fit into at least one of those categories. OK I’m never going to use one on race day but I really don’t like carrying extra lights with me.

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

Let’s go.

Unboxing & Contents

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

In addition to a seemingly normal helmet you also get a controller with rubber spacers for different circumference handlebars.

The controller has a coin cell battery (provided) and the helmet is charged via a micro USB cable (provided).

There is also the obligatory, free iOS and Android app.

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

Aesthetics and Design

It’s a helmet. Need I say more?
The following slideshow compares the LIVALL to two Specialized Helmets of mine – one being the Specialized EVADE aero road helmet and the other just some random Specialized helmet that I use for random things. The comparisons show that the LIVALL is ‘normal’ sized and you can see that the EVADE is much longer.
I love the looks of my EVADE helmet (others don’t!) but I am sure you would agree that the LIVALL looks perfectly fine as a helmet. I like it’s looks. Indeed some of the other 2018 LIVALL models (MTB and URBAN) also look good and a notable improvement on the looks of the 2017 models.
Ventilation is good.

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Sizing

My head is on the large size (obviously) and is long. The LIVALL helmet is sold as a ‘one size fits all’. Clearly that can’t be true but even my big head fits in and I have problems getting a comfortable fit with most large helmets.

Plucking a number out of the air, I would say this would fit 98% of adult head sizes. If you’ve had helmet sizing problems before then you know you might have them again. If you’ve never had problems this LIVALL helmet should be good.

The Controls & Functions

There are controls on the app, on the helmet and, perhaps unsurprisingly, on the handlebar controller itself.
The centre button turns the helmet on/off and to either side there are volume buttons. At the edges are the micro USB port and the microphone on the other side.
LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet
You have stereo speakers built into the helmet, above the ear, on either side like this:

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LIVALL Helmet Review – Pairing

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart HelmetI was able to pair the app via Bluetooth to: the helmet; the remote controller; and to a Tickr Fit heart rate monitor. I tried to pair two different Wahoo Cadence sensors but after repeated attempts was unable to.
Surprisingly the link to the default music player on my Huawei smartphone ‘just worked’. Cool.

Audio Playback & Voice Quality

The audio is surprisingly good – ie ‘good’ in the sense of ‘clear’. OK I don’t get the quality of my Beyer Dynamic studio headphones but the sound quality of both music and voice/phone is perfectly audible whilst moving at 10-20mph.
During a phone call, I was also reliably informed that the sound quality of me speaking with the helmetphone was also fine for the receiver of the phone call.
Personally I would not want to drive on busy roads with either music playing or whilst taking a phone call. If you want to do that then I would say that the speaker volume does not impact on your ability to hear the other stuff going on around you. After all, the speakers are NOT physically in your ears.
On the other hand I’ve seen people cycling with earphones. CRAZY. The LIVALL BH60SE Smart Helmet is MUCH safer than that in my opinion.

Direction Indication

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

The lights are on all the time and are visible in the daylight in which I tested (Feb) and clear at night.

Pressing the direction button on the controller initiates a one-sided indication on the helmet. Just like your car’s indicators.

SOS – Incident Detection

Source: livall.com

SOS FUNCTIONALITY – NOT TESTED

The incident detection functionality seems to be triggered by some sort of impact so I didn’t test this specific functionality. repeatedly banging the helmet on the ground would make it unusable….

The app allows emergency 3rd party contact details to be entered and for that 3rd party to be contacted in the event of an incident.

The SMS to the 3rd party includes your location and will be stopped from being sent if there is then riding movement or if, within 90 seconds, you fail to stop the app sending the call.

Group Functionality

GROUP FUNCTIONALITY – NOT TESTED
LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart HelmetI only have one helmet and so I have not tested group functionality via the walkie-talkie.
The app allows a group of LIVALL Helmet Owners to be created
The handlebar controller can initiate  ‘walkie-talkie’ calls.
LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

LIVALL Riding  – App Functionality

The app is never going to take over the cycling world. However it does a competent job at partnering the smart features of the LIVALL helmet as well as adding some basic cycling tracking functionality.
If you haven’t yet got a cycling app then the extra functionality in the LIVALL app is fine to record the usual basic info about your ride including summaries over weeks and months.

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The main areas of the app are
  1. In-ride screen – showing either data or a map
  2. Post- ride summaries & history

There are various other bits of information presented such as the status of your connected sensors and the quality of the GPS signal. There is even an indication of the ‘cyclability’ of the road today with LIVALL’s ‘cycling index’, which presumably mostly takes into account the weather.

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LIVALL Helmet Review – Good Usage Points

  1. GLOVES: I used some fairly big/thick Sealskinz gloves. The controls have a slight ridge on them and were easily felt through the glove material. The central button is sufficiently large to enable operation whilst wearing gloves. The forward-pointing camera’ button and rear pointing ‘intercom’ buttons don’t work quite so well but they are fine.
  2. Whenever a button is pressed the central red button illuminates to confirm your button press.
  3. At about 290g it’s light enough
  4. The screen can be locked from the app.
 LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

LIVALL Helmet Review – Niggles

  1. It is not obvious which way to put the controller onto the handlebars. Indeed I did it the wrong way at first (see photo above!!). The potential danger of this is that the indicator would show you moving in precisely the opposite direction to your intended direction of travel. The more prudent amongst you will test that you have done this right before setting off.
  2. The central answer button also doubles-up as a call termination button. On a few occasions I inadvertently pressed it twice when answering.
  3. Although the central red button illuminates to indicate a key press, the button itself is often covered by your hand.
  4. The app gives you points to help motivate you to achieve more. Whilst broadly ‘fine’ I don’t like how it contrives to give you points just for logging in to the app. Hey! We know app makers want us to engage…give us a real reason.
  5. The blinking indicator light is the lower strip on LED lights ie 3 LED lights per side. This could probably be more prominent when indicating but on the other hand other road users will probably not be looking at your helmet for a signal.
  6. The manufacturer could consider a front light-facing light as well – both for safety and night vision
  7. The helmet shape is very good overall. The only mildly negative aspect of the design is that from a front view the sides could perhaps taper inwards more than they do. Minor point.

LIVALL Helmet Review – Resources

App Guide: link to: livall.com
https://youtu.be/SZAUkEDMblQ
https://youtu.be/wSBYwpEDk1E

LIVALL Helmet Review – BH60SE Smart Helmet

LIVALL Helmet Review – Summary

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the LIVALL Helmet performed in this review.
I seem to have a habit of breaking tech or tech inexplicably not working for me. I had none of those problems with the BH60SE as part of this LIVALL Helmet Review. The BH60SE falls into the ‘It Just Works’ category – which is great.
Well, it ‘just worked’ apart from being able to pair to a Wahoo cadence sensor. Which is not the end of the world.
Could more smart features be added? Sure. But the phone integration (phone calls + music); the group integration (Group walkie talkie); and the lights+indicator lights ticked all the main boxes for me, for now.

Price, Availability and Discounts

Clicks to vendor site – purchase does NOT support this blog in any way

This is sponsored content and the helmet is available to buy in the UK through Halfords and will shortly be available to buy through Amazon.

Currently only the 2017 models are available on Amazon and these are shown below. They have different LEDs and don’t look as nice as the 2018 model, in my opinion.

Purchasing through one of the following Amazon links helps this blog in a small way, thank you. Or click through to the vendor’s site from the LIVALL image.

 

 


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Tod Ng
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Tod Ng

how comapre to the coros helmet

Phil
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Phil

How does it cope with rain?

LIVALL
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The LIVALL BH60SE is IPX4: resistant to water splashes from any direction.