July 4, 2023

Cardo Packtalk Custom has landed

Cardo Packtalk Custom has landed

Cardo has finally released their latest offering in the Packtalk lineup. The Packtalk Custom comes capable of all the features of the Packtalk Edge and Neo before it, but at a lower price point.

Available in New Zealand at RRP$549 the Packtalk Custom comes in the box with all the standard mounting hardware we have come to expect from Cardo, including a sticky mic, boom mic, 40mm speakers, clamp mount and adhesive mount.

Why is it so much cheaper than the Packtalk Edge?
Out of the box the Packtalk Custom has DMC2 intercom connection allowing you to talk with a group of up to 15 riders at a claimed 1.6km range. It will also connect to your phone, and allow you to make calls, hear navigation commands and listen to music. Other features such as speed dial, voice commands, and extra connectivity are added on with a subscription plan.

The Packtalk Custom is for riders who occasionally ride in groups, but spend most of their time riding on their own. It's a smart initiative from Cardo. They are reducing the cost to entry of the likes of the Packtalk Edge which retails for $779 as a single, or 1399 as a dual pack.

Feature subscriptions are broken into 3 levels.
Silver - US$2.99 per month or US$19.99 annually
Includes music sharing, JBL audio profiles and Speed dial

Gold - US$4.99 per month or US$29.99 annually
Includes 2nd Bluetooth connection, Music sharing, JBL audio profiles and speed dial.

Platinum - US$6.99 per month or 39.99 annually
Includes Bluetooth intercom, 2nd Bluetooth connection, music sharing, JBL Audio profiles and speed dial.

The internet has been instantly against Cardo for this subscription model, but what most fail to see is, many of the features added on in the subscription plans are extra features that I expect most people wouldn't use anyway. The only feature I have used that the Packtalk Custom does not offer out of the box is the 2nd Bluetooth connection, used for things like external GPS (if using another option that's not your phone), radar detector, or connecting to another (non-Cardo) intercom. The JBL audio profiles are nice, but not essential. and given that the Packtalk Custom gives you DMC2 connectivity out of the box, I think its a bloody good deal. I actually expected this to be a feature hidden in the Gold or Platinum feature sets.

To clarify, the Packtalk Edge and Neo are still being offered as full-fat feature-rich options. nothing is going away, and if you own another Cardo model, you won't be asked to pay more money. They're going to continue offering firmware updates. This Packtalk Custom is just another option for people who decided it fits into their life. If it's not for you, then no hard done... trot on.

So, with this in mind, the Packtalk Custom, with a saving of $230 over the Packtalk Edge, is great value for money, and I applaud Cardo for offering riders a cheaper option.