Tag Archives: Reviews
Jun 16, 2017

New tandem headset system

Recently my very ancient review on the Tandem Club of America website brought me in touch with a blind tandemist from the Amsterdam area. Richard was hell-bent on finding a great solution as he has many “pilots” who don’t hear well. After exploring the Wiwi from Korea which looked promising but they were impossible to communicate with and had no refunds and another system that was $1000+ designed for surgeons, we settled on giving the Arbiter a try. They’re designed for, and widely used by, referees and sold in the USA with a brief return policy. They’re not inexpensive, about $500 for a pair with headsets (use the $25 coupon code you get when you subscribe). We decided given that our old Simultalk from Eartec was needing repair and they’re not making it anymore and we were tired of the wires of our very old Tandem-Com (note they do offer a wireless system but it’s using Eartec’s Simultalk) that it was worth trying the Arbiter since we’d have a narrow 3-day return window.

We rode about 55 miles yesterday with our new Arbiter system. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons. Bottom line, we’re keeping it.

Pros:

  • small & light weight
  • well-made and sturdy construction
  • excellent headset, can easily switch ears as needed
  • no interference experienced between us or with others around us
  • charged quickly in wall
  • wind did not seem to be an issue
  • Full Duplex Communication System (No Push-To-Talk required)
  • Waterproof (IP65)
  • lasted way longer than any other device we’ve tried which is a HUGE plus for us (advertised as 10+ Hours of battery Life)
  • Charged in about 2 hours (advertised as a charging Time: 3 Hours)
  • We could talk when pretty far apart (2 floors in our building still worked without line-of-site, and when it finally didn’t work and I returned to range it reconnected automatically) advertised up to 800-meter line-of-sight range
  • 1 Year Warranty

Cons:

  • the antennae and headsets plug protrude from opposite ends of the device. Not a huge problem but slightly awkward for putting in a jersey pocket
  • the headset cord is short….just long enough to go under the arm to the back pocket. Would be too short to use these headsets in a wired device as stoker couldn’t stand if connected to captain by wires. They are reportedly working on making it longer and it’s not an issue now.
  • sound quality was not as high fidelity as I’d like. Several times Spencer sounded garbled enough that I had to have him repeat. This was close to a deal-breaker for me but since Spencer’s hearing is not that great he didn’t notice. And I like so much about it we both think it’ll be OK. Their rep suggested we re-pair when away from any other blue-tooth to see if that helped. They were surprised as they’re known for good sound quality.
  • Bluetooth pairing has to occur and took a while to figure out. Then turning it on each time is a multi-step process which we’re still learning but not a big deal. The documentation for this is not great. But once you have it you never need it again.
  • You have to reestablish the necessary volume setting each time since it’s a +/- system and not a dial that can be left at the setting.

I’ll report back after we ride STP with it next month. That’s back-to-back centuries. We’ll need to charge overnight but theoretically they should hold up each day without issue.

Post-STP Update

We were VERY happy with our headsets on STP. We had the headset on and working from 6 AM to 6 PM both days with a 2-hour charge before going to bed Saturday night. It never failed us. Please note that if you mention that I referred you we get a tiny commission. Thanks!

May 8, 2017

Tandem Headset Review

This article originally appeared in the printed Doubletalk Magazine in 2012 and then migrated to the Tandem Club’s website. We’ve been riding tandem since 1999. My Captain has a hereditary hearing loss so having some assisted listening device has been essential to our happiness riding together. In case you’ve never run into a tandem headset, […]

Jul 7, 2014

Digital Pedometer Overview

Editor’s note: please read latest updates at the bottom. To encourage more walking (10,000 steps a day to strengthen my bones) I decided to get one of those digital pedometers. I wanted one worn on the wrist. I thought I’d share my research. FitBit is the most familiar name and has two models the Flex […]

May 7, 2013

Focal Standing work station

If you haven’t already read my first post from last December about standing workstations you might want to start there. It includes the background and lots of links to resources. I found the saddle stool to be a bit too wide for my pelvis and didn’t use it much. I was coveting the newly discovered […]

Dec 11, 2012

Standing work station for better health

Bambach

I sit at my desk, often without getting up, for way too many hours a day. Over the years I’ve tried setting alarms to get me up imagining I’d do a little yoga or climb some stairs in the building. It never lasts long. I’ve been aware of the standing desk movement for 20+ years […]

Sep 30, 2002

Osteoporosis

If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, as Sheila has, and don’t want to take Fosamax, there is a new weight vest that can add to your bone density. By adding weight high on the body your bone gets stronger while you walk, exercise or do chores. There is a lot of great […]