MO Tested: Headwave TÄ€G
The idea behind the Headwave TÄ€G is turning your helmet into a giant, wearable speaker â€“ a â€œConcert Capsuleâ€ as Headwave likes to call it. Does it work? Absolutely. Does it work well? Not reallyâ€¦ at least not yet.
According to Headwave, TÄ€Gâ€™s musical magic comes from its ability to harness the vibrational energy from an exciter inside TÄ€G, then transmit the sound waves through a helmet, producing an immersive sound experience. This is the part that works impressively well. From a standstill to under 55 mph, youâ€™ve your own little concert going on inside your helmet. No speakers uncomfortably pressing against your ears producing tinny music sans bass, TÄ€G has your whole helmet vibrating with better sounding music coming from everywhere.
Accelerate past 55 mph, though, and youâ€™re SOL. Even with the volume cranked, the sound is drowned out by wind noise, rendering TÄ€G worthless for even short-distance freeway riding. Behind the windscreen of a Gold Wing, or some other motorcycle with extensive wind protection, the experience may be better, but we can’t say for sure. Herein lies a big problem with TÄ€G â€“ volume adjustment â€“ as in there is no external way to adjust it.
Once your Bluetooth device is paired to TÄ€G, you select your music and volume, pocket the device and ride off. Choosing another track or decreasing/increasing volume requires stopping and accessing your device. A pair of BearTek glovesÂ will solve this dilemma. So will having your music player conspicuously mounted, and Nanotips applied to your gloves, or have a pair of gloves that are touchscreen friendly. The other problem with TÄ€G in regards to volume is its omission of a volume adjuster that automatically increases/decreases volume according to increasing/decreasing wind noise.
TÄ€G attaches to the bottom rear of your helmetÂ by removing the deviceâ€™s adhesive backing and pressing firmly. There are no wires to route or speakers to insert. The device measures approximately 5 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall, with a Â¾-inch depth. TÄ€G is neither huge nor small, but, 5.35 ounces, it is fairly heavy. At â…“ of a pound thereâ€™s no not feeling TÄ€Gâ€™s weight. The positioning of TÄ€G at the rear of your helmet also might interfere with your passengerâ€™s helmet when riding two-up. On the positive side, your passenger can hear the music coming from TÄ€G almost as well as the rider.
TÄ€G is constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane. Itâ€™s pre-curved and slightly flexible to adapt to the curvature of most helmets. We fitted our TÄ€G to the back of a Shoei RF1200 with no problem. The high-performance adhesive seemed initially strong enough to keep TÄ€G attached, but we cannot yet attest for the endurance of the adhesive. We did remove TÄ€G and reattach it with another adhesive strip, but this one failed to keep TÄ€G attached. Headwave suggests only removing TÄ€G if absolutely necessary.
Headwave claims one of TÄ€Gâ€™s best attributes is its simplicity. With a current retail price of $ 333 (shipping included), but without easy access to volume control, no auto volume adjustment, no ability to use voice commands or even talk on the telephone, TÄ€G is too one-dimensional to command such a price. Until Headwave can reduce TÄ€Gâ€™s weight, increase its volume and offer more functionality, weâ€™d spend our money on a more traditional communication device.
You can read more about Headwaveâ€™s TÄ€G at the companyâ€™s website.