Some mountain bikers enjoy listening to music via a Bluetooth speaker while they ride, but others … well, they just hate the racket. The stem-mounted Cricket Speaker is designed to serve as a compromise, by keeping the sound near the rider’s head.
Although Bluetooth bicycle speakers take a number of forms, mountain bikers often go for less obtrusive ones that sit in the bottle cage or hang from their hydration pack. In both cases, the volume has to be set kind of loud in order for the music to be heard over various riding-related noises.
The idea behind the Cricket is that because it’s close to the rider’s head – plus it’s facing up towards their face – they’ll be able to hear the music without turning it up as loud.
Additionally, should they not wish to incur the wrath of other trail users whom they’re approaching, they can pause the music simply by reaching over and pushing down on the speaker. Another push resumes playback.
Like the StemCAPtain clock/compass and CoreCap cyclometer before it, the Cricket is mounted in place of the bike’s existing handlebar stem cap, via a system-specific cap of its own. In that location, it doesn’t take up bar space that could be used by lights, bells or other devices. That said, plans call for an optional handlebar mount to be offered for users who wish to go that route – perhaps those who are already running a StemCAPtain?
According to its designers, one USB charge of the Cricket’s 350-mAh lithium battery should be good for over three hours of playback, depending on the volume selected. Speaking of which, the 2-watt speaker’s output is described as being “louder than most cell phones, but quieter than a large mobile speaker.”
Thanks to a removable rubber skirt around the bottom, the whole thing is IPX5 water-resistant, meaning it can withstand a sustained, low-pressure jet spray. It’s compatible with all bikes that have a standard-diameter (1 1/8-inch) steerer tube.
The Cricket Speaker is available now, priced at US$39.
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