sena or cardo or other - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-20-2016, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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So I want to drop a note to tell my experience so far. For nearly 2 years I've been using a sena smh10.
First of all. My sena was bought from a closeout store and apparently no longer covered by warranty as soon as I got it because of its age. I used it mostly for listening to music from my phone or the occasional phone call to my wife on my way home from work.

Pros;
-User friendly with voice commands.
-The roll button is great.
-The rider to rider comms were great.
-Speaker/mic. Clear on all accounts.
-Bluetooth streaming was great.
-Customer service. They gave me a new battery for an item that wasn't even covered by warranty. For free!

Cons;
-The roll button.. every time I looked left for a shoulder check, the roll button would hit my shoulder and adjust the volume.
-It's bulky. Not heavy. Light actually, feels almost fragile.
-Battery life. I went through a battery really quick. Just wouldn't hold a charge anymore. Got the new battery last summer and it's done now. By done I mean, done. Charge it all night. Ride to work in the morning, listen to a few tunes. 40 minutes max. Turn it off. Place it in my back pack. End of day, place on helmet.... nothing. That was the case for a while. Out for a ride with a friend for 90 minutes or so. Stop for a bite to eat..... try to turn it on again....dead.
-Exposed pins/contacts. Last week a pin broke off. It was the mic pin. I actually didn't even care because the thing was barely ever charged enough to use anyway.

Now. I picked up a used cardo q1.
I'm not gonna list pros and cons because I haven't had time to run it through the paces.
But, FM radio!! Yay!
Battery life! I charged it 5 days ago. To and from work three days and it's still more than 50% charged. Yay!
App on my phone that can control most of my settings including changing radio stations. Yay!
Fit and finish is great. It's small and heavy. Feels very tuff. No exposed pins either.
And the mic and speakers are upgradable!
I haven't done rider/rider comms yet but I'm already converted!

Arte et Marte
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-21-2016, 09:07 PM
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Can you compare the sound quality of the two? Specifically whether you can wear foam earplugs and still hear the music.

Or I guess in general if anyone has found a bluetooth solution that is loud enough and clear enough to be heard through earplugs, please let me know. I want to get into Bluetooth but I'm just sure that the volume won't be loud enough or there won't be any bass at all. Am I wrong?

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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True on the bass. It's virtually non existent on both sena smh10 and cardo q1. However the cardo you can upgrade to thicker speakers which I assume would carry more base. But can your helmet accommodate thicker speakers? As for ear plugs during speaker use.... never done it.
But, I would say go for it! There is no better feeling than riding with a few tunes. Just think of the times when you are out riding with a friend and you wonder: what is he thinking? Where will we ride next? Is he hungry? Or, I need to pee, how do I tell him?
Intercom takes care of all that. It's cool talking to your riding partner.
Or, what if your wife calls?? "Honey where are you?" "Oh, I'm still riding with _______, I'll be home in an hour honey, do you need anything before I come home? "
Comfort really. I won't go without ever again.

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariannasdaddy View Post
True on the bass. It's virtually non existent on both sena smh10 and cardo q1. However the cardo you can upgrade to thicker speakers which I assume would carry more base. But can your helmet accommodate thicker speakers? As for ear plugs during speaker use.... never done it.
But, I would say go for it! There is no better feeling than riding with a few tunes. Just think of the times when you are out riding with a friend and you wonder: what is he thinking? Where will we ride next? Is he hungry? Or, I need to pee, how do I tell him?
Intercom takes care of all that. It's cool talking to your riding partner.
Or, what if your wife calls?? "Honey where are you?" "Oh, I'm still riding with _______, I'll be home in an hour honey, do you need anything before I come home? "
Comfort really. I won't go without ever again.
I have a Scala G4, The volume should be sufficient for use with earplugs. I agree on the bass though, not much there and I do have the latest speakers from Scala. I agree with AD, having the intercom with bike to bike comms and the option to make or receive phone calls really does change the riding experience for the better, no way I would want to go without it now.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 09:57 AM
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Following this closely, I've been trying to convince myself I need to add a headset to my helmet, not so much for the phone aspect because I probably won't be making many calls from the road, but for the Bluetooth and intercom features. I just picked up a new Sony Walkman (NW-ZX100) DAP and it would be cool to be able to enjoy a few tunes on the way to and from work.

I've been leaning towards the Sena SMH10, Thoughts?


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post #6 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 11:27 AM
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I've had a Sena smh10 for about 3 1/2 years. Love it! Never had a problem, still works and simple to use. I've talked to people who buy other units and they all seem to complain about different things.

Spoiler:

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 11:38 AM
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I find that ear plugs actually make it clearer as there is less back ground disturbance. I currently have the scala and love it, but the old microphones were crap. I wired the one from my sena unit to it. I believe they have since upgraded it. The reason I had the microphone and not the unit is that it fell off going down the road twice and the same for another one of my buddies. The scala seems more intuitive to me as well.

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post #8 of 13 Old 05-22-2016, 03:34 PM
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Bass Fix

I have used the SMH10R slim unit for 3 years. It didn't have any bass when I first installed it, but I rectified that by replacing the speakers with J&M 49mm ones. They would most likely be an improvement to any bluetooth intercom, they are really good speakers.

Driving the larger speakers reduced battery life, but the Sena units can be used while charging. I carry a USB power bank in my pocket if I think I will ride longer than 6 hours.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-23-2016, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeef View Post
I find that ear plugs actually make it clearer as there is less back ground disturbance. I currently have the scala and love it, but the old microphones were crap. I wired the one from my sena unit to it. I believe they have since upgraded it. The reason I had the microphone and not the unit is that it fell off going down the road twice and the same for another one of my buddies. The scala seems more intuitive to me as well.
Thirded on the Scala. I'm running one of the old Q2's and have no complaints, battery life is great and intercom/phone calls work well.

I also agree with the ear plugs, it lowers the volume of the music, but increases the clarity. I rarely ride without ear plugs anyways, and even with them in I have the volume a few notches below full. I think that has quite a bit to do with the helmet though as I let my buddy borrow my second unit to use in his Icon Variant and he complained about it not being loud enough (I'm running a shoei qwest)

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post #10 of 13 Old 05-23-2016, 08:08 AM
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Whenever you guys ride, PLEASE wear ear plugs! You guys may not be able to hear it or your brain has blocked it out, but the wind noise are high frequencies and will damage your hearing in the high pitch sound range over time. This is where you recognize consonants and sounds such as s, th, etc.

I recognize the irony, coming from a deaf guy, but I specialize in knowledge pertaining to hearing loss and work with people who have not taken care of their hearing and are paying the price for it. Those who lose hearing later on in life have a much harder time adjusting accordingly.

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post #11 of 13 Old 05-23-2016, 10:58 AM
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Sena SMH5 for me and the girl. No issues with volume with our earplugs, but maybe our ears are younger than some. i only have to have the volume maxed at highway speeds or good songs .
I use a full face. Wired mic.

If you're an audiophile i think the smh10 and newer versions can be made to accept headphones/earbuds, but most of the time music is just kinda background noise for me, something other than wind noise or silence, i don't expect amazing quality.

comms are great. sssooo much better than shouting at each other. highly recommend going this route, especially if you have a passenger. much better experience.
Also great to have navigation via Maps or Osmand navigated routes (although i still screw it up and have to get out the phone sometimes).

one thing to keep in mind is that newer sena's use univeral intercom and can intercom with any other brand, but not all of them can reciprocate. i.e. a sena can broadcast to a scala but the scala must respond via phone call (i'm 90% sure that's accurate last i checked). That only really matters if you will be using it with other riders.

I just picked up a smh10r for some upgraded range and to let my buddy try the smh5 if he tours with me. Also the smh5's were acting a little funky, but it appears they just start disconnecting when battery is low. Additionally one wouldn't pair as a phone, but once cleared the pairing memory from phone/sena and got them all updated on firmware they all work great.

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post #12 of 13 Old 05-23-2016, 06:02 PM
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I have the SMH10 and really like it. I use it for GPS and music as background for commuting. I may have made a call or two while in crawling in Chicago traffic to tell the wife I am running late. There is hardly any bass but, its also a headset for a helmet. I am not focusing on the music, but rather the road. The music is just a plus. I will say the sound quality on the phone/vlog is outstanding. The mic kills all background noise and wind noise.

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post #13 of 13 Old 05-24-2016, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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So this morning I wore ear plugs for my trip to school. 40 minutes. I actually agree with PV. The grey noise was decreased immensely and I was still able to hear the music almost perfectly.

+1 PV

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