Author Topic: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?  (Read 2014 times)

Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« on: March 01, 2015, 03:39:41 pm »
As the subject really - something like ridewithgps.com is offering turn by turn voice directions from a pre-planned route (albeit for a premium). No doubt there are other android apps doing similar. I don't want to mount my phone on the handlebars so a bluetooth earpiece for instructions (with phone in saddlebag) seems an idea to explore, before committing to the traditional bar mounted gps.

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 04:01:18 pm »
Used to on the motorcycle, which worked well. But that was using Google Maps' navigation mode, not a cycling GPS. On the bike, I much prefer having my Garmin on the bars with a simple pink line to follow. I don't miss the beeps and turn-by-turn nagging at all.

I'd say try it, especially if you already have the earpiece, to see how you get on with it. I'd imagine that wind noise over the earpiece would be annoying, and the instructions will only be as good as the quality of the mapping (junction priorities, etc). But it's worth a shot :)

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 04:25:00 pm »
Like DibDib, I have used an earpiece on a motorcycle with GPS.

However, I question the practicality of a voice only GPS. This idea had some popularity in motorcycle circle a few years ago and there was even a GPS unit sold that had no screen, only a voice output. But the sheer lack of flexibility of using a GPS in this way - no ability to look ahead, reroute, check you speed etc on the move make this totally impractical.

Nowadays, I switch off the sound on my motorcycle's GPS. A quick glance at the screen is enough. Likewise on the bicycle, which doesn't have an audio output anyway
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 04:53:13 pm »

I use the live ride turn by turn directions from cyclestreets on my android phone. I plug my headphones in, stick the phone in my pocket, and follow the instructions. It's not 100% bug free, but it seems to work.

Julia
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 05:04:02 pm »
Seems like a reasonable approach for shorter rides (finding an address in town, sort of thing) like quixoticgeek describes.

I don't think I'd want to wear an earpiece while riding for hours on end, though, and do generally prefer to see things on a screen than hear them in audio.

Perhaps a good approach if the glasses you need to read the screen aren't the ones you need to see where you're going...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 06:15:27 pm »

One note on the cyclestreets thing. On longer rides, esp ones where you follow the same road for a long distance, it's easy for the software to crash (it's still beta), and you not realise, so you keep cycling, waiting for the voice to say turn left, only, it's stopped working, and you've now cycled past the turn off. This has only happened to me once, but it did make me wonder. Would be nice if there was an option for a keep alive, a sort of "continue for another 10km" "continue for another 8km" type thing...

Julia
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 06:42:57 pm »
I tried it out using Osmand (with offline maps) on my mobile with bluetooth worked OK.

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 07:58:23 am »
Seems like a reasonable approach for shorter rides (finding an address in town, sort of thing) like quixoticgeek describes.

I don't think I'd want to wear an earpiece while riding for hours on end, though, and do generally prefer to see things on a screen than hear them in audio.

Perhaps a good approach if the glasses you need to read the screen aren't the ones you need to see where you're going...

All the time.
TomTom Urban Rider with a lovely English lady's voice. Ridden 200 Randos which were 11 hours.

TomTom keep wanting to sell me Darth Vader, Yoda, Homer Simpson and Billy Conolly.
They've now got a new voice called Happy Holly which is an American girl.  :sick:

They've also got C3P0. I tried R2D2 but couldn't understand a bleep it was saying.


The earpiece is no bother. I wear it in my left ear because if I wear it in the right, when I turn my head, my cranial mass blocks the Bluetooth signal.  ;D
Earpiece batts last over 20 hours, and then can be charged with a USB charger. Or, take a second earpiece.

As for spectacles. I wear Franklin bifocals. Upper distance, lower closeup for the TT screen.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 09:53:00 am »
I sometimes have nightmares about future audax bunches approaching a left turn accompanied by voice directions from Darth Vader, Yoda, Homer Simpson, Billy Conolly, Happy Holly, R2D2 and 20 copies of Ozzy Osbourne.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 11:14:47 am »
I sometimes have nightmares about future audax bunches approaching a left turn accompanied by voice directions from Darth Vader, Yoda, Homer Simpson, Billy Conolly, Happy Holly, R2D2 and 20 copies of Ozzy Osbourne.

Only when the cyclists utter a less than good impersonation of the voice they are hearing.  ;D

http://www.tomtom.com/en_ca/shop/voices/happy-holly/

Go on. Press the preview buttons,,,  :facepalm:

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 11:27:05 am »
I sometimes have nightmares about future audax bunches approaching a left turn accompanied by voice directions from Darth Vader, Yoda, Homer Simpson, Billy Conolly, Happy Holly, R2D2 and 20 copies of Ozzy Osbourne.

What’s weird is John Osbourne, before his music group Black Sabbath got popular, worked at Lucas in Birmingham. I remember chaps at Lucas telling stories about him looking after what was called ‘The horn booth’. A soundproof room where motor car horns were endurance tested, on the sixth floor. He would sing inside the booth.

He lived in Aston, about two miles away from work and rode to Great King Street on a tatty old nineteen fifties ‘racer’.
A Brum cycle commuter.

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2015, 12:20:29 pm »
Thanks for all the replies - some good points there - hadn't thought about the program not working properly/crashing/whatever and carrying on oblivious. I don't have an earpiece and didn't want to get one without sampling some opinions. I'm not convinced  it’s the right thing to do for me - and that Holly voice definitely isn't for me! There's a lot to be said for just following a line on a screen I guess. I've used the Mio Cyclo and it worked pretty well for navigation, although the beeps drove me mad and the battery life was poor. Perhaps I'll try a Garmin next, but why does that fill me with impending dread?

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2015, 08:18:57 pm »
i have done this with ridewithgps on the iphone.  The winterbike does not have a garmin mount but I wanted to do a longer ride.  I have a single ear  earphone for listening to music on long rides.

This worked extremely well.  i would not want to do more than 100 as i like to have something to look at and to play with on the handlebars.

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2015, 07:28:21 am »
One guy on the Windsor-Chester-Windsor last year was using a wired earpiece from his Android phone. The phone was in a pocket out of sight. He relied on spoken instruction and the routesheet.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2015, 12:56:25 pm »
When I moved house I temporarily lost my Garmin and did a 200k using RWGPS as my navigation & tracking system. I found it more irritating than an irritating thing from irritationsville. Apart from anything else, she can't say Road or Lane- she says Arr Dee and Ell Enn. She tells you to continue on roads as soon as the road name changes, even though there's no junction. It didn't merge very well with other audible outputs- she didn't mute my story or choons when she told me to turn right and didn't mention the 'effectively straight on' part of instructions.
I'm not sure it was better than writing (you know, like with a pen or pencil  :o) a list of villages and following road signs between them, which was my pre-Garmin navigation technique.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2015, 05:41:15 pm »
The American woman voice on TomTom says "Beermoinghem".
Must be from the Bronx.

TomTom doesn't tell me to go 'Straight on' very often.


Anecdote.
I was in San Francisco and was talking to a couple from New York. I asked the chap if he'd ever been abroad. He looked at me and said sternly "Listen buddy. I've been a man all my life."

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2015, 07:01:27 pm »
 ::-)

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2015, 07:08:35 pm »
Who needs an earpiece when you've got Someone Else on the bike with you?

fboab: You needed to turn LEFT.
Me: Where?
fboab: Back there...

fboab: WHY DIDN'T YOU TURN LEFT BACK THERE?
Me: What?
fboab: I WAS SIGNALLING AND EVERYTHING!
Me: But. You're. Behind. Me.
fboab: <silence>

fboab: First right, no sign.
Me: OK
fboab: There... there... RIGHT THERE!!!
Me: That's left.
fboab: Bollocks.

 :thumbsup:

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2015, 07:47:16 pm »
It's a higher class of bickering...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2015, 01:21:21 am »
fboab: <silence>

From accounts here, I'm not entirely sure I believe you.

Quote
fboab: Bollocks.

*That*'s more convincing.

Re: Anyone used an earpiece for turn-by-turn directions?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2015, 01:22:12 am »
What’s weird is John Osbourne, before his music group Black Sabbath got popular, worked at Lucas in Birmingham.

Seems appropriate enough, given he's the closest we've got to the Prince of Darkness.