The HornIT Horn / Buzzer Review

February 27, 2012 — 6 Comments

The HornIT is a 140db bicycle horn / buzzer that comes in a small size but packs a huge punch! This audible warning device is great for making people aware of your presences and has many advantages over similar devices such as the Airzound.

The HornIT appears to mount with a cateye type bracket, at first this was worrying as they are notoriously poor. At a second look it appears to use a slightly different tightening mechanism which is an improvement. It tightens via a hex key which appears to be very solid and the rubber grip of the strap allows the bracket to hold well even on polished metal.

It runs off 2 AAA batteries and I’m told that this will last around a year for some users. The horn was still effective after 6 months if used to power 6 x 1 second bursts every day. The battery compartment is underneath the device and is accessible by a Philips screw.

One of the most attractive features of the HornIT is the separate trigger switch, this allows flexible mounting of the product whilst still allowing the user to trigger the device whilst their hand is in control of the brakes. This is a very important factor, such a device should not impede your ability to come to a safe and controlled stop if required, a warning device will not always be heard or prevent someone from doing something you don’t want them to do.
I have noticed that it is possible to catch the trigger cable with your hand and pull it out without knowledge, it is also a little bit tricky to put the trigger back in whilst moving.
The switch it’s self is made from a stretchy rubber that allows it to be mounted to any part of the handle bars, I had no issues stretching it around the hoods on my road bikes.

There are two modes on the HornIT, one rated at 140db which uses a dual tone which can sound a little bit like a bird tweeting. To me this is more of an annoying sound and not one that would instantly grab my attention as something dangerous is coming my way (as a typical horn sound would). The second mode is 130db and is just a single tone. Much more to my liking, the sound is still loud and I feel still suffers the same issue of not sounding like a normal horn. You can switch between modes by pressing a button on the back of the device. Two downsides I see to this, you can’t change the mode from the trigger, so to change mode you must move you hand back to the device. There is also no way to tell which mode you are in without sounding the device. This can be annoying if you want to use the two different modes for different reasons, as it is easy to forget which mode you are in.

Positives

  • Runs on batteries
  • Separate trigger switch
  • Small, easily removable device
  • Two separate

Negatives

  • Buzzing sound doesn’t always register the same as a traditional horn sound
  • Not able to change modes from the switch
  • No way to tell which mode you are in without sounding the buzzer

The clear rival to the HornIT is the AirZound, a product which is already very popular with cyclists after an audible warning device to other road users. The HornIT has many advantages over the AirZound, such as being small, compact, running on batteries, and a remote trigger. Where as the only advantage the AirZound has is a more true horn sound. I found I was pumping up my AirZound several times a week when I used one, and I have to say the ease of use, the fact that it is small, runs on batteries, is about the size of a light and has a remote trigger, the HornIT has to be the winner out of the two.

Watch my video review of the HornIT

As a note, it is a good idea to read the instructions on this and do as it says. I.E. Don’t use this indoors, it really is very loud and does make you deaf!

Gaz

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Gaz is one of the well known cyclists in a growing community of those using cameras. With over 30,000 Youtube subscribers and more than 6,000,000 online video views, his channels and videos are among some of the most popular of their kind. Gaz has spoken on Radio, TV and in national cycling campaigns about the use of cameras and the power of videos.

6 responses to The HornIT Horn / Buzzer Review

  1. IMHO The big problem with that HornIT is that the pitch is way too high for people who have hearing difficulties – brought on by old age or too many rock concerts – to hear. At least the AirZound is a classic air horn type noise that is a much lower frequency which can be felt as well as heard!.

  2. With regard to the sound, I have always simply shouted “BEEEEEP” in an emergency, or use a simple traditional bell for normal use.
    As a side issue WHY oh WHY do they put battery covers behind a screw these days? You need a tool to change the batteries. I may be old old git but this winds me up!

  3. This one has a screw because the mount is attached via the battery cover. It adds extra security.

  4. http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

    That and your last sentence says it all. Can’t believe this stuff isn’t banned.

  5. I commute by bike in London and I have a Hornit, which I love! I have used it with pedestrians, one dropped the phone she was talking on as she stepped out in front of me. I missed her but the phpne got crunched. A taxi driver who was crowding me swerved away from me. Many other dangers were avoided and funny responses lighten my commute. I cable tied my horn lead so that it cannot fall out

  6. It attached with simple slide/click? Oh, I see there’s already an attachment on your handlebars you slided it onto… Would be interested in what that is, and where else it mounts, as I already suffer from handlebar congestion.

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