Unit 1 Aura NTA 8776 Smart Bike Helmet Review

unit 1 aura smart bike helmet review

If you ride an eBike, you should consider helmets rated for the speed you can ride. The Unit 1 Aura smart bike helmet not only meets that rating, NTA 8776, but it also has built-in lighting, app integration for customization, crash detection, and a few useful accessories. But is it worth the $240 price tag? I hope this review helps you answer that question.

This article will be a complete review after using the helmet for the last few months. If you want the full rundown of the helmet and app, check out my article on initial first impressions here.

A quick disclaimer: I did purchase the original helmet and accessories on Kickstarter, but I had some problems with the on / off button, so Unit 1 sent me a replacement helmet. Thankfully, the new one works flawlessly, and I’ve been able to finish my testing over the last few weeks. You can read my initial impressions and pretty detailed overview.

Top Pick
Unit 1 Aura Smart Bike Helmet Unit 1 Aura Smart Bike Helmet

This Class 3 eBike helmet rating is NTA 8776, and it is a sleek fit with great ventilation and integrated safety features like lights. This is my top pick eBike helmet for 2024.

  • Great Fit
  • Ventilation
  • Built-In Lighting
  • Accessories
  • Limited Light Connections
  • Slow Customer Service
  • No Audible Cues

Unboxing the Aura Helmet

Shipping with the helmet, you’ll find a magnetic brim already installed, a remote that is used to signal but also has a built-in accelerometer for automatic brake lights, and finally, a USB-C cable.  Thankfully, this is more of a standard USB-C cable than the specific one found on the Unit 1 Faro to fit in that helmet.

Design & Build Quality

The Unit 1 Aura is one of the most streamlined NTA 8776 helmets I’ve used. This is no small feat because that rating requires a heavier-duty helmet to withstand higher-speed impacts.  The helmet weighs 440 grams without the eye visor and feels comfortable for a few hours of riding. It isn’t my lightweight road bike helmet, but I don’t expect it to be.

unit 1 aura smart bike helmet review with eye shield

The helmet feels, fits, and looks like a stylish city bike helmet when using the brim. If you want a more road bike look, remove the brim, and you have a sleeker helmet.

You can purchase additional clear, tinted, or photochromatic magnetic eye visors. City cyclists often overlook eye protection, especially when riding an eBike faster. This eye protection will also be useful in the winter, keeping the cold air from hitting your eyes and making them water.

The helmet has 14 vents, and it is by far the best-ventilated helmet with NTA 8776 I’ve tested this summer. The Lumos eBike helmet also has good ventilation, but when you rock the visor up, it blocks most of the vents.

Inside the helmet, you’ll find the MIPS fit system, which allows the helmet to rotate around your head in case of a crash. The padding is very cushioned and comfortable to wear as long as the helmet fits you.

The strap buckle is magnetic, making it easy to snap on and off with one hand or when wearing gloves in the winter.

The helmet comes in small, medium, and large sizes for sizing. Ranging from 51cm to 63cm. 

If you have one of these helmets, please let me know in the comments what size your head is and which helmet size you found fits you the best.

unit 1 aura smart bike helmet review

Smart Features

There are various smart bike helmets available. Some have lights, speakers, crash detection, and more. The Aura is focused on safety. 

There are integrated lights on the front and back.  The Front Lights have 40 white and yellow LEDs. The Rear Lights have 24 RGB and 182 red LEDs. These lights can be fine-tuned when you connect your helmet to the app, which I’ll explain in a separate video. 

When connected with the supplied remote, you can turn on the helmet lights and have turn lights and automatic brake lights with the accelerometer built into the remote.

You’ll have 3 to 10 hours of run time, depending on your light settings. The app will tell you the run time based on your selected settings.

Helmet light, then Aura smart light on my child seat, and then the built-in eBike light

The lights also pair with the Aura smart lights. This is an additional accessory I’ll cover in a separate video, but for me – they are critical if you want someone to take your turn lights seriously.

The Kickstarter showed various light options for the integrated lights, but it doesn’t sound like they can be used in all regions, so they are currently turned off when riding. However, they use the color LEDs to indicate your battery level charge when you turn off the helmet and when charging it.

The helmet has an accelerometer built into it for crash detection. This feature was originally introduced on the Unit 1 Faro helmet, and I haven’t personally used it, but I will test it with my helmet with the faulty button. 

The charging port is on the back of the helmet. I assume they have a fancy waterproof option since it is an open port without a cover. 

How Does It Work?

Let’s show you everything the helmet can do, and I’ll share some of the things I find frustrating. 

Two ways to turn on the lights are using the helmet button or holding down the remote.  I wish the helmet had an audible cue when the lights turn on, if the battery is running low, or when they turn off.

Using the turn signals is straightforward with the remote. However, they turn off after a few moments, which can be frustrating because you may need them to run longer, so you must keep hitting that turn button. A commenter says this can be changed on the remote in the Unit 1 app, but I have not found the setting. I have found that helmet turn signals don’t stand out, but when paired with the smart lights on your bike, they make a bigger show to grab attention.  It needs to be pretty dark for a driver to notice the turn signals, but in the dark, when someone may not notice hand signals, this is a nice feature.

The charging of the Aura is a nice treat. The LEDs on the back indicate your charging level.


  • The look of this helmet is superb. It looks like a nice city or road biking helmet with hidden features.
  • I appreciate that you can remove the eye protection; they have offered it in clear, tinted, or photochromatic. 
  • I found the helmet to be very comfortable. I must pull down my ponytail, but that is the case with any helmet with integrated lighting. 
  • They have thought out available accessories from the various eye shields, bug nets, and winter liner.  


  • When using the helmet, my main complaint is the lack of audible for turning on and off. 
  • You are pretty limited in the number of lights you can sync—only one helmet with two lights. I’ve become spoiled with my Lumos system, which can sync up to 8 of the Firefly lights. This is very useful for turn signals on trailers or having a full setup of front/rear lights on my kids’ bikes and helmets.  
  • My last complaint about the helmet is that the turn signals blink a few times and then turn off. There is no way to turn them off or let them continue unless you keep pressing the button. I would like them to turn on, and then I push the button to turn it off. 

My main concern for this helmet is the brand itself, Unit 1. 

They are super responsive to me, but I’ve received dozens of complaints from customers waiting for their helmet with no response or whose helmet is acting up, and they can’t reach anyone. My contact at Unit 1 said they are hiring new customer support to help with this, and it should be resolved in a couple of months. However, in the same week, they launched a new Kickstarter with 2 new helmets. 

Managing a Kickstarter is a lot, and they haven’t satisfied the backers of their first one yet. It feels like they are rushing too fast and haven’t set up the systems to scale.


The two major competitors in this NTA 8776 helmet space which have both a visor and some lighting. 

The direct competitor is the Lumos Ultra E-Bike helmet, which I reviewed previously. Lumos has some benefits, including better lighting around the helmet. I prefer the Apple Watch turn signal integration, and the helmet can sync with many more lights. The Aura has a removable eye visor and a different look. 

The second competitor is the Lazer Urbanize. It is NTA 8776 like the Lumos Ultra E-Bike and Unit 1 Aura. It has a magnetic eye shield, but this isn’t a true smart helmet because it doesn’t connect with your phone, and it has one minimum light in the back. However, it is more affordable and has the most comfortable eye visor I’ve used. 

Last Thoughts

Now that the button fiasco is over, I’ve been grabbing the Aura helmet all summer. It has great ventilation, is nearly 100 grams lighter than the Lumos Ultra e-bike helmet, and simply looks great!

In the summer months, I am not as focused on bike lighting since it doesn’t get dark until 8:30 p.m., so the benefits of the Lumos lighting system don’t impact me as much this time of year. My opinion may change more this winter when I use the Aura smart bike lights more.

If Unit 1 can bolster its customer service team and satisfy all the frustrated customers, the aura will be my number one smart city biking helmet, even without the audible noise on and off. But for now, I worry about strongly recommending a helmet that the customer support isn’t replying to messages.

I would love to hear from you. What do you think of the Aura, and how important is the NTA 8776 rating to you?

Buying a Helmet? Here’s a discount code

My discount code for both Unit 1 and Lumos is BIKESHOPGIRL. I will make a commission if you buy through these links, thanks for your support!

Buy Unit 1
Buy Lumos Helmets
Buy Lazer Urbanize

TLDR? Watch the video

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1 thought on “Unit 1 Aura NTA 8776 Smart Bike Helmet Review”

  1. Shane McDonald

    I have an aura myself, with the turn signals. You absolutely can change signal timing in the app, that was the first thing I did when I got it. Mine is set to manual on off just like how it is in a car. I agree with you about lack of audio. They absolutely need it for the turn signals as well, or some kind of haptic feedback system to let you know the signal is engaged, because it’s extremely difficult to see the yellow light of the signals in the remote during the daytime, as I believe that’s a serious safety issue because of all extra looking that has to be done on a bike or on an e scooter. Power button is definitely an issue, sometimes it doesn’t even work and I’m 100% sure I have it clicked on., Even with those gripes, I still love the helmet. Also one more thing, in my opinion the turn lights in the helmet are pretty easy to see in daytime, that was the main thing I tested before hitting the streets!

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