Steelbird SBA-1 HF Helmet Review: Music to Your Ears
We got our hands on the Steelbird SBA-1 HF helmet to find out about its 'musical talents' and more.
Steelbird SBA-1 HF. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)
Before we start off this review, we’d like to remind everyone that wearing a helmet while you’re riding is absolutely essential. Most people choose to ignore this fact and ride without a helmet. A sincere request, please wear a helmet, whether you’re a pillion or riding, it could save your life.
Steelbird Hi-Tech India came into existence back in 1964. So it’s safe to assume that they know more than a thing or two about helmets. The company had recently launched the Steelbird SBA-1 HF helmet in India, which to most, will not be an occurrence out of the ordinary. However, there is something that you should know about the SBA-1 HF, which makes it a little more special from other helmets. It’s musical talent.
Steelbird has equipped the SBA-1 HF with an AUX capability, which allows for riders to connect their phone via cable, provided by the company as well. The AUX cable comes fitted to the chin-strap and the cord be connected to the helmet on the left side, there’s a small headphone mark there as well. Furthermore, the SBA-1 HF helmet is battery-less, allowing you to listen to music or attend calls as long as your smartphone battery lasts.
Apart from this, Steelbird has also equipped the SBA-1 HF with a noise cancellation feature with the use of a single-directional microphone, allowing the other person on the line with you to hear you more clearly. Even the speakers, which are embedded inside the helmet, also have noise cancellation, in order to allow the rider to be more aware of his or her surroundings. There’s also a dedicated button to attend or cancel incoming calls or cut calls altogether, a really thoughtful feature.
Upon testing the Steelbird SBA-1 HF, we found the sound quality to be quite good and it does make you feel like you’ve come for a special little concert, exclusively for you. However, one thing which can be bothersome is the AUX wire. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not faulting the wire provided by Steelbird but rather the fact that there is a wire sticking out from the helmet, connected to your smartphone, while you’re on the move. This can be a distraction and can cause an unwanted situation. We’d recommend all riders to keep the volume preferably low and concentrate more on the road, given the hundreds of obstacles Indian roads have to offer.
When it comes to looks, the Steelbird SBA-1 HF is visually pleasing. We had the white coloured SBA-1 HF helmet, which looks quite cool, especially with the dark visor. However, if you do plan to ride at night, we’d recommend you spare a little extra cash for the clear visor as well. The SBA-1 HF also comes in red and black colour options and sizes range from 58 - 60 cms. The helmet also looks quite compact and well put together, the padding inside is apt and overall the helmet does feel quite snug.
The SBA-1 HF also gets a good ventilation system, with an air intake in the chin guard, an air intake in the frontal & top area and two rear extractors recycling air inside the helmet. Furthermore, the SBA-1 HF has Polycarbonate Anti Scratch Coated Visor Quick Release Visor mechanism Kit. Steelbird says that the helmet has IP5 water resistant hands-free parts, making them waterproof.
To sum up, the Steelbird SBA-1 HF helmet is an impressive, value for money offering which allows riders to listen to music and attend calls on the go. However, we'd suggest getting a Bluetooth connector, which will attach to the helmet and allow for a wireless connection. The AUX wire can be intrusive and cause a lapse of concentration. We have to remember, since we are on two wheels, with great power comes great responsibility, so once again, keep volumes at an acceptable level, where one’s concentration on the road is intact.
Although the SBA-1 HF gets the job done well, a Bluetooth enabled version of the helmet could be a good idea. However, that does not take away from the capability of the SBA-1 HF helmet, which is a safe, good-looking and unique offering at Rs 2589.
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