The peak of summer is almost always a challenging time to ride a motorcycle, especially in the confines of a metropolis. For the past two years, BluArmor has offered a unique solution to bear the heat on a motorcycle in the form of their helmet cooler. We’ve already tried out the first and second-generation units, but this third-gen model takes the biggest leap forward. Here’s what you need to know about the Blu3 E20.
This is the company’s top-of-the-line helmet cooler that now also doubles as a connectivity device, keeping with the needs of our times. So besides cooling your face and head, the E20 also pairs with your phone via Bluetooth, while a dedicated mobile app (compatible with iOS/Android) allows you to carry out a number of functions. A set of speakers, a microphone and a microUSB cable are all bundled with the package. Isn’t that Interesting!
The first thing that you notice when you hold the device in your hand is that it’s pretty light, tipping the scales at 260g (dry). That’s great, considering that a heavy object hanging at the front of your helmet could put some strain on your neck. Like the BluArmor BluSnap2, mounting the Blu3 requires a go-pro style mount with an extended plastic strip for additional stability.
Compact dimensions do not hinder forward vision.
It took a couple of home-office-home commutes for me to get used to the sensation of the device attached to the helmet, but after that, I barely noticed its weight. What I did notice, however, is the faint buzz as the fan kept spinning to suck in air that’s channelled to my face, after passing through a dust filter (replaced every six months), a water-saturated membrane, followed by a height-adjustable vent. The device uses the principle of evaporative cooling (similar to conventional home coolers). So, in effect, you get a steady stream of cool air on your face, even when you are stationary, with the sun beating down hard on you.
A new addition to this model is that the fan speed can be adjusted by three modes – Regular, Turbo and Beast. You can opt for the dynamic setting too, which automatically adjusts its speed. The downside of the higher fan speed is a prominent rise in fan volume. At full speed, for example, it sounds as if you are seated inside an airplane with its engine running at cruising pace. This is not as bothersome as one may think; in fact, Beast mode is handy on particularly hot days.
Speakers and mic bundled with main device.
In all, the E20 is quite effective as a cooler but what makes it really interesting are the connectivity features. The device can read out Whatsapp messages, record voice notes, play/pause music and skip to the next song. All of this can be done by various combinations of taps on the large click surface that’s placed at the top of the device, making it easy to access, even when on the move.
The sound quality through the speakers is decent, however, at first, the app would pause the music for no apparent reason; this software glitch was fixed during a recent OTA update. Using voice commands, Google Assistant can also be used to adjust fan speed or even navigate to a destination. This makes it massively convenient to carry out myriad functions without the need to reach for your phone.
As far as battery life is concerned, it is dependent largely on the fan speed. The battery lasts for only about 2hr with the fan spinning in Beast mode, while in Turbo and Regular mode we managed to squeeze 6hr and 12hr of battery life, respectively. That’s decent, considering my daily commute ranges between 2-2.5hr. A micro-USB port is provided to charge the non-removable battery. It takes approximately 6hr to charge completely. As for the water membrane, dipping it in water for 10sec lasts for about 120-140min; this means this is something you must do prior to every ride.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the Blu3 E20 because it delivers a lot for the price. For those who don’t need the speakers, BluArmor also sells the device as a helmet cooler only. Badged the A10, it will set you back by Rs 2,299. But I’d recommend you stretch your budget and get the Blu3 E20, for its sheer value.
Price: Rs 4,999