The Coros Omni Smart Cycling Helmet combines protection with connectivity, that helps to keep you safe on the road whilst allowing you to enjoy some tunes and remain connected to people via calls and SOS Emergency Alerts. Starting with the overall design, the helmet has large ventilated areas and angled edges for a sharp and streamlined look, it is available in Black, White, Red and Blue. The finish is a little shabby in places on close inspection, the glossy black outer layer doesn’t line up evenly against the inner shell and some of the edges are a bit tatty, but overall it looks good. There are a few key features at work here, the main draw is the bone conductive technology which allows you to connect the helmet to your phone over Bluetooth, the receivers are attached to the helmets straps and stick just in front of your ears on the top of the cheek bones, allowing you to hear the music without covering your ear canals so you can still safely hear the world around you and not let passers by hear your embarrassing playlist.
Setting it up is a piece of cake and the audio was surprisingly clear, I mean it can’t compete with in-ear or over-ear Bluetooth headsets and its full volume isn’t going to blow you away, but it is balanced enough to be enjoyable and more importantly keeps you safe and focused on the road. The two-way audio allows you to take calls, earbud and wire free, activate your smart assistant (Alexa for example) to control your phone, change tracks and adjust your navigation. If you don’t want to look crazy talking to yourself there is a lightweight and compact remote that can be mounted on the handle bars with buttons to effortlessly change music tracks, adjust volume, turn on/off your LED lights or answer a phone call. For better visibility both day and night the Omni has built in LED lights at the rear of the helmet, these can be switched on/off manually however there is a sensor that automatically activate the lights when it gets dark.
Lastly the SOS Emergency Alert feature will automatically contact your list of emergency contacts when the Omni detects an impact, keeping you safer on solo rides, there is a companion app, available for Apple iOS or Android, this lets you save rides and routes, share your favourites but add very little to the helmet experience so isn’t a necessity to download. We were getting about 7hours per charge which is respectable, listening to audio is a pleasant enough experience but due to the lack of noise reduction, taking calls can quickly result in lots of “sorry what??” and “say that again” however the lights, remote and emergency SOS features some what make up for this. RRP $199.99
4 out of 5
Safely allows you to listen to audio
Reasonable sound quality
7hour battery life
SOS emergency alerts
Lots of ventilation
Poor quality when taking calls
Tatty edges in places