Since launching their award-winning Aleck 006 helmet audio and communications system for skiers and snowboarders in 2019, the brand has been driving to make outdoor sports more immersive, social, and safe. They now have launched their highly anticipated Kickstarter presale of the new Aleck Punks, which they say is the bike industry’s first truly wireless, near-ear audio and communication system for cyclists.
We have reviewed a selection of open-ear headphones like Oladance Wearable headphones and the OpenRun Pro from Shokz and although we rated them highly, there is still a loss of sound quality and there can still be an issue with the blocking of situational awareness that can be an issue even with out of ear headphones.
Aleck claims to have alleviated this problem with the Punks that securely attach to mountain bike helmet straps and deliver what the brand says is crystal clear sound and unlimited-range group communication via the device. This allows mountain bikers, gravel grinders, and road cyclists to pump out their music and talk to each other while keeping ears uncovered to maintain situational awareness on the trails and roads.
One of the exciting features is the always-open group comms mode or Party Mode as Aleck calls it, and they add it's a key feature of the Punks. With Party Mode enabled, riders don’t need to slow down or turn their head to talk to each other, allowing focus on the trails ahead while being able to share plenty of whoops and yips, or dish out the trash talk with buddies as if riding shoulder-to-shoulder. Unlimited range means anyone connected to the group through Aleck’s app can engage in the trail banter, whether they’re on the same trail, miles away playing catch up, or in an entirely different place.
Stephen Catterson, Aleck's founder and CEO spoke more on the new Punks, "We are thrilled to finally introduce the Punks to the bike community, our team has dedicated their expertise and passion to engineer a product that suits the unique needs of cyclists and it’s been really rewarding to see early testers rave about them. The next step is to get Punks out to more riders, so we are excited to announce our Kickstarter campaign is now live and shipments will begin this summer.”
The Punks are lightweight at 16 grams each which should give them a 'hardly notice they are there' feel, and are sold by the pair to wear on both helmet straps for balanced audio to each ear. Aleck says that the Punks do not interfere with riding or vision and provide focused, high-quality sound without noise pollution, though we're interested to see how they would fare when bombing a rough trail at warp speed. The Punks can be used in any outdoor conditions thanks to what they say are expertly tuned, near-ear drivers and dual wind-blocking mics to give clear communication regardless of the weather.
Their free app (available on iOS and Android) drives the Punks’ features, including easy group communication through the open-channel Party Mode with unlimited participants, walkie-talkie style Push-To-Talk, and the Friend Finder real-time location of group members, for finding a buddy.
The Punks are available to reserve at Aleck’s Kickstarter page now at a reduced cost, with a July 2023 delivery. Various purchase options will available on retail launch, starting at $149. The Punks will hit the UK and European markets in early summer this year, and will retail at the price of £130 / €149.
For more information on all the Aleck range of purpose-built premium audio, group communication and crash sensor products, check out aleck.io.