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Thread: Communication suggestions

  1. #16
    I should be riding! streetdoc's Avatar
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    One the biggest things I like about the SENA unit is its ability to be able to be recharged while riding and using it. I think they say this is the only Bluetooth headset that can do that. Listening to music while on some of my longer rides (IBA) I can run out of battery power, I just keep one of the charging cables on the bike, it works great!
    IBA Member #38454, Lets ride from Sea to shining Sea (in 50 hours or less of course).

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  2. #17
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetdoc View Post
    One the biggest things I like about the SENA unit is its ability to be able to be recharged while riding and using it. I think they say this is the only Bluetooth headset that can do that. Listening to music while on some of my longer rides (IBA) I can run out of battery power, I just keep one of the charging cables on the bike, it works great!
    That was my biggest beef with the Cardo unit I had. I'm still content with the Autocoms on the bikes right now, but would likely go to the Sena based on the charge and use capability.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  3. #18
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    The Sena units are awesome. I have yet to have them fail to hook up to a paired unit automatically. My brother and I use them and only ride together once a month or so and the units recognize each other and link right away. No issues at all. At speed on the highway, the range is great, have only lost connection a few times on mountain roads when line of sight was broken. Other wise you can get a good long ways from someone and still talk to them. Volume is great, no issues through earplugs, actually turn it down some times.

    Sena is also producing new units now that can be upgraded online like most other electronics. For those of us with older units, they have an exchange program to allow you to get a new model for $50. One of the upgrades IS a group talk allowing all four paired units to group chat.

    The weight on the helmet is next to nothing and have run mine in standby with a bit of talking for two days and have not lost the battery. Just stand by commuting to work etc with very little talking, I charge it once every two months or so.
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
    2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
    2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold

  4. #19
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    After using the Sena on 5-6 rides I am happy with their performance. They are easy to to turn on and pair, and if the link is broken due to distance or loss of line of sight they re-pair everytime without need for any input. Controls consist of one button and one large dial. The instructions are simple when compared to some other units. The sound is very good and we are able to communicate clearly at 60-65 MPH on unfaired bikes. Volume adjustment on the move is easy due to the large dial. I have not used any of the phone, GPS or MP3 features so I will not comment on them. Range appears to be as advertised at about 3/4 of a mile.

    Weak points: The Sena, and evidently all Bluetooth systems, are very susceptible to line of sight obstiruction. Getting even a stand of trees between the units can cause static. Also, the threshold for the VOX function is high. When in VOX I can get it to function without difficulty, but my wife struggles. We operate around town in the open mike mode. On longer highway stretches we go to push-to-talk mode that just takes a tap on the large dial on the unit.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  5. #20
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    sorry to be a fly in the ointment...

    as my wife and i really liked our Sena's too... except that we both had battery charging issues. To the point where we couldn't drive out of the driveway before our batteries died.

    Just sent both sets back to Sena last week. Hopefully, they will take care of the issue.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  6. #21
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    Have not tried the VOX on my units, just use the push to talk which is easy to find since its the big ol' main button on the unit. Real easy to push it, wait a count of one or two and you are connected, when done, push it again and conversation is over.

    As for the phone, have had my wife call me while I have been on the bike doing 65 on the way home. She has to ask if I have left the office or not as she cant tell anything other than that I am on my cell, which she knows since she called me on it, but for the connection, she cant tell it's BT to my helmet and the road noise is minimal to the point she can't hear it.

    I have BT music to the helmet a few times, did not like it. The volume does not go low enough for me when I get in to town. I have hooked it up via the cord and put a volume control inline, but that negates the BT. I just run the radio on the bike and call it good. I love the Sena though, my new ones should be here today, less than one week turn around time in exchanging the old models for the new.
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
    2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
    2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold

  7. #22
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    Cardo G4

    I utilize the Cardo G4 - completely satisfied. I've used it on rides longer 6 hours and was still listening to music. Have it paired to an iPhone 4 and have yet to run into any problems with music, phone or bike to bike communication. It only once stopped playing music, but after approximately 15 seconds, reestablished the connection on its own. I absolutely love that it is wireless. It's just a nightmare to have headphone wires getting tangled with my collar or other clothing. Like any other ride, the wind noise depends on what you ride. When I roll on the BMW, the windscreen blocks most of the noise. With the sport bike, I just turn up the volume, but its not comfortable for long rides (sport bike only).

  8. #23
    '94 K75 heejrbmw's Avatar
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    I took the plunge and purchased the Sena SMH10. We installed both units in about 15 minutes, read the manual for 5 minutes, and had the units paired with each other in about 2 minutes. We went on our first ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and purposely created a quarter mile separation between each other. We never totally lost communication with each other, even around curves, but we were very close to the limit. We were both very impressed with the voice quality, volume, and ease of use. We experimented on a highway and even with the faceshield on both of our helmets partially open, we could hear one another fine at 70 mph. We later paired both units with two different Blackberry phones and the ease of use with the phone is great. Time will tell, but my and my riding partner's initial impression is very good. We will see about longevity. They will get a real opportunity to shine as we travel to the BMW Rally next week. Thanks to everyone for your opinions about this and other brands of units. The information was very helpful in my decision to purchase the SENA.
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    Ed Evans - - Semper Fi
    '94 K75 '92 K75S
    "Always do more than expected." Coach Jerry Moore, ASU

  9. #24
    Registered User Dachary's Avatar
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    Anti-Sena

    I just posted this in another thread asking specifically about the Sena, but I thought I'd share it here, too...

    We loved our Sena headsets in the beginning but the long-term durability just wasn't there. Here's what I posted in the other thread:

    "After using the Sena SMH10 headsets for several months last year, we ended up having a whole host of problems and had to replace them when they broke irrevocably (at a very high cost to us) in Mexico City with Cardo Scala Rider G4 headsets...

    The entire review is here: Sena SMH10 Review Update: Don't Buy the Sena SMH10 Headset

    Big long debacle involving several breaks, replacement boom mic/headphone units and in the end, the pins on the connector unit don't line up properly. This is what I was reduced to in Mexico City, and it barely worked for a few hours:


    Taping the Sena

    Lots more pics of the flaws in my full review.

    We've had zero problems with the G4 (rode about 15,000 miles with them and used/charged them daily for three months) and feel it's a superior product. We like the functionality of the Sena and the jog button is really convenient, but the long-term durability just isn't there and there are some definite design flaws. These may have been addressed by the new version, which Sena offered to send me to re-review, but I haven't seen it yet so I can't say for sure."
    2007 BMW F650GS - Cambridge, MA
    Boston to Ushuaia: http://www.CorporateRunaways.com
    Motorcycle Blog: http://motorcycles.dacharycarey.com

  10. #25
    Roadster Rider sjbmw's Avatar
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    When my son got his bike license, we retired cabled AutoComm, and purchased the Cardio Q2 Mulit-set on closeout from motorcyclegear.com, for $170.

    These things do the job for the price.

    Bluetooth, mp3, FM, and 500 yard connectivity.
    Neither of us has a windshield, and the mic tucked behind the helmet in front of the chin works fine.

    The FM station programming is is little kludgy though.
    Sig? What's a Sig?

  11. #26
    Registered User ksrob's Avatar
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    THis may be a little late but I would like to mention J&M systems. I've tried the AutoComm stuff but for us, the J&M 2003CB units just work. Once installed, all I do is plug the cord into the system and ride.

    On my GS, I have the CB for communicating with my wife or others with a CB, I have my GPS giving me directions, my V-1 and it's warnings, my sat radio entertaining me and at the times my wife is a passenger, intercomm.

    I keep looking at installing the wireless set up but it doesn't seem to be "there" yet.

    Best

    Rob Lessen
    Arma, Ks
    Rob Lessen

    '07 R12RT
    '08 R12GS

  12. #27
    '94 K75 heejrbmw's Avatar
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    Just rode 1,350 miles round trip to the Rally. Sena SMH10 worked great. Very pleased so far!
    Ed Evans - - Semper Fi
    '94 K75 '92 K75S
    "Always do more than expected." Coach Jerry Moore, ASU

  13. #28
    beemerbum beemerbum's Avatar
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    Sena SMH10 Observations

    All, been reading the postings with interest. As a long time user and evaluator of many wired and wireless systems on the market, I, along with many, have seen a real evolution in the application of Bluetooth for motorcycle communication systems...but they aren't perfect, yet.

    For what its worth, the Sena SMH10 and the Cardo G4 are both great systems with their own unique features and faults. But I still prefer the SMH10, hands down. Acknowledging some original main module and clamp component faults - which I have and am experiencing first hand, the corrective action Sena has taken will or should fix the issues. Their recently announced Upgrade program (albeit overly complicated) will replace the main modules to a USB-based system allowing firmware updates, like the G4.

    As well, the new version can connect to three other SMH10 systems, via one, two or three taps of the Jog Dial, once the pairings are done...it might not be as totally fluid as the G4, but it is a good (update) feature.

    Kevin - agree re the Sena VOX, so it is disabled and we don't miss it at all...just a tap on the wheel almost instantly initiates a session and it can stay open most of the day on one battery charge and infinitely when charging on the road (see below). VOX on the G4, despite its three settings enabled by the latest firmware, is just plain flaky and very frustrating.

    Once feature that leapfrogs the SMH10 over the G4 is its ability to be used/charged while on the road and with 3BR USB outlets on our machines, the original kit USB to barrel connector lead can be used and the new sets will provide the same, just USB-A to USB-Mini. Being able to always run the unit at full power for intercom and with paired devices is a real boon, and eliminates so many of the typical long or multi-day use issues.

    I'm currently working on an update to previously published Sena SMH10 articles and once the new USB-based units are received and put into use, hopefully along with one of the (forthcoming) USB Bluetooth hubs, I'll have a better feel for it all.

    In closing, I trust everyone got home safe from Bloomsburg or whatever travels you have been undertaking this summer.

    Stay safe, Bruce
    One is never enough...'12 R1200GS Rallye SE, Aging 09 F800GS, 09 HP2 Sport and 76 Suzuki Water Buffalo and ??

  14. #29
    Dogface
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    For what its worth, my Sena SMH-10 has been performing flawlessly for approx. 2000 miles. I use the hardline to my ipod for music and when I receive an incoming call, I never miss it. People who call me tell me they can't tell that I'm on a bike at all.

    Two weeks ago I got caught in a typical Florida deluge. The whole unit was soaked but no problems. When my wife rides with me I can hear her clearly. We use the toggle, no VOX, and the battery life is impressive.

    As far as sensitive electronics constantly exposed to the elements, vibration and general wear and tear of motocycle riding goes, I'm amazed I haven't broken them yet!

    The rubbertone finish has worn off the bottom of my transmitter a little (about the size of a raisin), but I got my music and everything is clear even through earplugs.

  15. #30
    ExMaTprinLowerAlabama
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    While I like my Sema SMH 10... the boom has broken off... in less than a month! I have one of the "new ones" all set for the update. I'll let you know how there customer service is when I ask for a replacement this week!

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