Domio Moto Bluetooth helmet speaker review

Domio Moto Bluetooth speaker

As much as we like the idea of wire-free vibration technology to introduce sound into a helmet, we just don’t think it works very well in the Domio Moto or Headwave Tag bluetooth units.

Both stick to the outside of your helmet and pump the sound into your helmet via vibrations. At $A264, the Domio Moto is cheaper than the Headwave Tag ($A329).

Our 2016 review of the Headwave system found it was too quiet, had poor sound quality, there was no stereo effect and the sound was drowned out by wind noise at anything over about 60-70km/h.

Headwave Tag turns your helmet into a speaker domio
Headwave tag

In June we published an article about Domio launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for their similar unit.

Not only did we express some concern about the sound quality based on our Headwave experience, but also the complaints about delivery from annoyed customers.

Audio experts at musiccritic.com did not expect a great sounding device for a helmet speaker given the acoustic limitations but stated there is still a lot of improvement to be done on the drivers. A software update might also fix the audio.

The Canadian company contacted us and said they had since updated the product, production had started and they were satisfying orders.

They also offered us one for review, but it has taken about five months to arrive.

Domio Moto reviewDomio Moto Bluetooth speaker

Let’s start with the positives.

The advantages are that you have no messy wires and there are no speakers uncomfortably pressing against your ears.

Sadly, the Domio Moto audio system isn’t any better than the Headwave system.

Sound quality is dull and mono only, there is little bass, and the sound is drowned out by wind noise at speeds over 60km/h on a bike without a windscreen and 80km/h on bikes with screens.Domio Moto Bluetooth speaker

I also tried them with filtered earplugs to drown out the wind noise. These are very effective with traditional Bluetooth units where the speakers are next to your ears as the filters are directional.

However, in this case, the sound is non-directional, so with the earplugs in I could hardly hear the music even at slow speeds.

Domio sits in a cradle and they provide you with two so you can swap from helmet to helmet, while the Headwave unit sticks directly to the helmet, so it will only go on one helmet.

After my Headwave review, the makers accused me of not sticking it on properly, yet I had followed all their instructions.

Again, I followed the instructions this time to the letter: I found a smooth surface on the helmet with no joins or vents; I cleaned it carefully; and I firmly stuck it on with the supplied cradle.Domio Moto Bluetooth speaker

Since it comes with two cradle fittings, I was able to trial it on two full-face helmets.

You can stick it anywhere on the helmet, they say. I tried one on the top and one on the back, but you could also put it on the side.

The poor sound results were the same for both helmets.

The legality of stick-on attachments is still up in the air. Also, there is some concern that stick-on units could cause head rotation and subsequent spinal injury in an accident. However, test results on such attachments will not be available until next year.

Click here to read more on these legal and safety issues.

The Domio at least has a lower profile than the Headwave.

Good vibrations

While both systems use vibration to send the sound into your helmet, they call them different terms.

Domio say they use “micro-vibration technology” and Headwave Tag call it “surface transduction”. It’s basically the same thing.

It’s difficult to explain, but the sound certainly surrounds your head because there is no discernible source such as from speakers next to your ears like in conventional Bluetooth helmet systems.

So it doesn’t really matter whether you put it on the back or one side.Domio Moto Bluetooth speaker

However, it does not have any spatial or stereo effect because it’s coming from one source which is transmitted throughout the helmet via vibration.

The simple controls only allow switching on/off, pause/play and volume up/down. To select, advance or replay tracks, you would need your music source or phone within reach on the handlebars.

Like the Headwave Tag, the Domio Moto doesn’t have a microphone, so it is speakers only. That limits its use to listening to music and satnav instructions.

However, Domio Moto Pro ($A338), scheduled to ship in January, includes a wireless, noise-canceling “air mic” that, like the sound unit, sticks to the outside of the helmet. It uses “beamforming” technology which is a process that focusses a WiFi signal.

Domio Moto Bluetooth speaker
Domio Moto Pro with kic

Verdict

While traditional bluetooth systems have lots of messy wires and uncomfortable speakers next to your ears, sound quality is usually pretty good.

Domio and Headwave may be tidy and comfortable, with reasonable sound, but they are almost useless once over 60-80km/h, depending on whether you have a windscreen.

Commuters may love them!

13 Comments

  1. Ordered in December 2019, Nothing received yet, 5 mails where Covid19 is being blamed, yet people that ordered after me have received it. Refund request ignored.
    Reading these reviews, seems like I’m not missing out on anything worthwhile.
    Blackfriday special of $300 to waste… I guess.
    Don’t bother buying from them, they are BAD, REALLY BAD!

  2. Don’t risk losing your money to a sub-standard company that has almost no recourse for getting your money back. Purchased the Domio Pro and remote through their website on October 1st 2019 for $323.10 Australian Dollars. To date I have still never received the product. Every time I contacted them via email, they advised it was being shipped to me and they apologised for the delay. Well its now 7 months later and still the same line was being used that it was being shipped to me that day. As I never received the product, I then asked for a refund as the product has a 30 day money back guarantee and clearly it was never going to be sent to me. After trying to convince me it was being sent as we speak to which I asked to still go ahead with the refund, I was promised the refund would be received within 7-10 business days. 3 weeks later and I had still not received the refund so I again contacted them. Over one week later and after several follow up emails an employee finally replied and advised that the agent who handled my case had now left the company. Domio then cut all communication with me and I have not been able to contact them since. Without phone numbers I cannot follow this up and try to resolve the matter. Don’t risk losing your money like I did.

    1. Agreed, Paid for two sets in December 2019, and no delivery and heaps of excuses. No refund being offered either. Scam company.

  3. It is a joke. I tried the Domio Pro Also very easy to install in the back and that is where the Pros end. The CONS are not very loud at all after about 40 mph WITH a windshield on my Harley Ultra Limited with STOCK exhaust. Do not like that there isn’t any STEREO ability with the sound. Not worth the money at all. I DO THINK this is a GREAT IDEA that somehow needs to get MUCH better. If they can get it to work as well as they SAY it works then it will be an awesome product in my opinion. Don’t wast your money is my final thought.

  4. These guys are terrible. Blocked me on the Facebook page when pointed out this review. The comments from backers on Indiegogo should tell you how dodgy these people are

  5. I received my Domio Moto (non-pro/non-mic) a few weeks ago, shortly after placing the order.

    My hopes were high and while I was initially impressed with the sound while testing it on my helmet in the house, it was hard to hear when riding anything above 50mph and I have a mini Z125. The problem turned out to be two-fold, primarily that it was mounted to the top and needed to be mounted to the back. Despite what others saying (including Domio) that it can be mounted anywhere or on a side seems false. If you mount it to the left or right, it is absolutely louder on the side the Domio is attached.

    Not a fan of out of balance audio, sticking it on the back seemed to be the best location. I also learned that you need to adjust the EQ settings in Spotify to help boost the audio ranges so that it doesn’t sound so flat. Also, due to the curve and placement of mine, the T piece where the Domio normally clips into has to remain outside of the retainer with the rest of the unit held in by the sides, otherwise it sounds like a blown speaker due to the rattling against my helmet.

    They have some kinks to work out, it’s decent but not great. Given the options and hate for earbuds, I would still chose to get a Domio Moto again. For reference, I was able to listen to and enjoy Metallica for a good 40-minute ride. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to listen to softer music to relax while enjoying summer rides through wooded areas, I’m not sure that’ll work out so well.

  6. Absolute crap… mine arrived in Australia after only a few weeks, so no issues on delivery (arrived first week of March 2020), sound is very low, and yes after 60km/h on an open face helmet you would feel like background music in an elevator.

    Mine started sounding like a broken speaker (crackling noise) after only 2h of continuous use on a single ride ON THE FIRST DAY!

    Emailed Domio 5 days ago, and still haven’t heard back.

  7. Mine arrived but won’t pair or reboot (stuck on purple coloured light). No response from help-line. Hard to get guidance or to make contact. Very frustrating.

  8. I ordered a Domio Moro on 23/02/2020 and it arrived on 04/03/2020, so good delivery time however there was a charge of £34.10 for a customs charge as I live in the uk, but was not expecting to have to pay that, but that said it’s here now! Seems like a good quality unit, it was easy to stick on and pair the unit, and tried the unit on at home, as the weather is still to bad to be going out! Come on summer!! Will let you know once I’ve used it in the real world with exhaust and wind! But does seem pretty load in my lounge, also bought the earplugs so we shall see!!!

  9. Thank you, finally someone with an unbiased opinion. All other reviews of the domio pro have been positive but from their home page, which makes me suspicious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.