Coros Wearables already has a range of smart sports watches but now its added ‘smart’ helmets to its line up. The Safe Sound range adds music and phone connectivity plus an emergency beacon system to your riding. Not compromising your hearing does compromise sound quality though.
The Safe Sound Mountain is a good looking trail-style lid, extending down behind the ears for extra physical protection. The full coverage hardshell wraps around the lower edge to guard against scuff damage. There’s no MIPS-style system though. Seventeen mid-sized vents include large tapered exhaust vents with deep inner channelling over the temple. The big ‘duck bill’ bolt-on peak is adjustable via ratchet segments on the side. There is a girth and height-adjustable cradle and the chin strap that uses a synleather fabric. The two EOSS (Ear Opening Sound System) pods sit on the front strap segment and can be slid up and down so they align with your ears.
The helmet charges via a covered micro USB port on the back and the built-in horseshoe LED light pulses so show the state of charge and Bluetooth connection. It also works as a multi-mode rear light and flashes SOS if the onboard crash sensors detect an impact. They can also be configured to send an alert to up to three designated carers and they can also track your progress via the COROS app. Limited ride tracking data is also available in the app, and that can be augmented with a COROS watch if you have one.
You also get an O ring cradle-mounted Bluetooth handlebar remote for managing your music, answering phone calls and it even has a walkie talkie function to connect with other COROS users. Spare EOSS pads and peak bolts are also included which is thoughtful touch but it only comes in medium and large sizes.
The helmet does its job fine. The centreline is largely solid so venting and cooling is adequate rather amazing but no worse than a lot of ‘enduro-style' lids. While it definitely fits best on rounded heads the cradle keeps it secure on all skull shapes and we actually really liked the leather effect strap. At 417g it’s heavier than most trail helmets but not noticeably so and the peak gives good weather/sun protection.
Bluetooth pairing to both helmet and remote via the app is simple and quick and verbal on/off/connected/battery level commands make set up easy. Once you’ve worked out which button does what the remote is really useful too. The EOSS buds are thickly coated in rubber too so while they do knock against your cheek/temple you soon get used to it. There’s none of the strap fighting you’ll get from trying to use in-ear or bone-conducting headphones and your ears are totally clear so there’s minimal compromise of safety and awareness. They can fight with some specs though so try before you buy if you can.
Sound quality from the EOSS pods isn’t great either with a relatively tinny and quiet output that one tester described as 'like holding your phone near your ear'. When speaking to a wearer on the phone their voice is clear and wind noise is acceptable but there’s a lot of distortion from traffic or other background noise. You’re potentially sharing any conversation with people nearby too, although this system obviously appeals most to solo riders who want a soundtrack and remote tracking security.
The Coros helmet is a decent if not outstanding option, with adequate protection and ventilation and a nice chin strap. The EOSS, light and tracker aspects are all well-executed, syncing is simple and the app is easy to operate, too. If you want a soundtrack or phone communication while riding somewhere quiet then the remote is easy to use and you’re far more aware of what’s happening around you than in/over-ear headphones. It’s not a bad price either considering all the tech and the remote. Sound quality isn’t great though and background distortion means you’ll struggle to convince your boss you really are working from home if he rings you.
The Coros Safesound mountain bike helmet is available from coros.com.
Tech spec: Coros Safesound Mountain Helmet
- Sizes: M, L
- Vents: 17
- Colours: 2
- Weight: 417g
- Price: £114.95