Motorcycle vlogging via Bluetooth / Android

Overview

If you’re a motorcycle rider, like me, you might be interested in recording audio and video during your rides. Recording your ride can offer both entertainment and security.

I bought a Bilt Techno 2.0 Evolution modular helmet from Cyclegear, which also included an integrated Sena DWO-5 headset (Sena SMH-5 equivalent functionality). This headset works great for a variety of purposes, with minimal wind / ambient noise, such as:

  • Localized intercom communications with other riders
  • Making phone calls
  • Listening to music

However, I wanted to use this Bluetooth headset to record audio as well, without having to make a phone call. In my specific scenario, I’m using a separate camera, mounted to my motorcycle, to record video. That way, I can keep my phone in my motorcycle pocket or mounted onto my cell phone mount, so I can use it as a GPS with the Android Auto app.

Since I’m recording audio via Android, separately from the camera’s video stream, I’ll have to use software to combine these later on. You can use something like TechSmith Camtasia for this purpose. If you’re recording audio / video purely for security purposes, you can simply discard your data, unless needed for reporting an incident.

Let’s explore how to set up your helmet’s Bluetooth headset and Android phone for audio recording.

Setup Directions

Thankfully there’s a free Android app available, called Parrot Voice Recorder, which enables you to record audio using the phone’s built-in microphone, or through an external Bluetooth microphone.

To set up your Android device and Sena headset for Bluetooth recording, simply follow the directions below. If you have a different headset than mine, you can probably skip step #1 to update the firmware. I included this step (and link), just in case someone else has the same headset that I have.

  1. Make sure your Sena firmware is up-to-date
  2. Pair up your Bilt / Sena DWO-5 with your Android phone
  3. Download the Parrot Voice Recorder app for Android (consider buying the pro version)
  4. Open the Parrot app, and go to Hamburger (3 horizontal lines) menu –> Settings –> Recording –> then Source
  5. Enable the Bluetooth Preferred option
  6. Change the Recording Source field to Camera Mic instead of Bottom Mic

Conclusion

At this point, you should be able to initiate a new recording from the main screen of the Parrot app, and it should be recording through your Bluetooth helmet. Before you head out on your motorcycle each time, make sure you pair up your helmet, open up the Parrot application, and start recording audio. I’d also recommend using some kind of “dash cam” to record traffic activity around you, just in case you need it. The camera I’m using is called the iON Camera, and I’ve mounted it to my motorcycle using this awesome, metal mount.

Thanks for reading, and happy motorcycling to you!