It's nice to be able to talk to your passenger while riding.
Wireless Bluetooth headsets are perfect for rider-to-passenger or bike-to-bike communication.
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Once we had our helmets, we needed a way to be able to talk to each other while riding. With full face helmets, you just can't hear what the other is saying. It all sounds muffled and it is a hassle to flip up the face of the helmets just to talk. So we started looking at Bluetooth headsets that could be mounted on the helmets.
It very quickly became a contest between Cardo Scala Riders and Sena. Any other brands we looked at just didn't come close in quality and features. We wanted very long stand by time, very long talk time, the ability to sync with smart phones and GPS units, and ease of use while riding. After careful study and consideration, we decided to go with the Sena brand. The primary factors were the high cost of the Cardo units and we found far too many negative reviews on Cardo.
Since we needed a pair, we only looked at the dual packs of Sena, the SMH5 and the SMH10 models. The SMH5 is the budget side of the line and it has some great features, but we decided to go with the SMH10 for longer battery life and more overall features. The price difference between the model pairs is approximately $90 as of 02/08/2013 and varies depending on where you buy them. The links we provide here were the best prices from a very reputable online retailer. Sure, you can buy them a little cheaper on eBay, but who are you buying from? Right.
It took about 10 minutes per helmet to install the units. It is not hard at all and snaking the wires around and hiding them is the hardest part. The main unit simply clamps onto the helmet, or you can use the included sticky tape. We clamped ours on. Our helmets had existing speaker pockets so we attached the included Velcro to the helmet then plopped the speakers in place. The speaker pockets are deep on our helmets so we used the included Velcro spacers and they ended up in the perfect position. We opted to get the models with the detached (universal) microphone. The mic boom on the model with the fixed microphone can sometimes end up being too short on some helmets and we didn't want to risk having to return them for that reason.
The 2 units are already paired right out of the box. We paired them with our Android smart phone and charged the batteries to full. It took about 3 hours for them to be fully charged. Each unit has a large jog dial and a button. If you hold them both in, it turns the unit on or off. An indicator light lets you know the status. I won't go into all the functions of the units here, you can easily read that info at the Sena site. They are extremely easy to operate with gloves while riding and the version we got can be mounted on either side of the helmet. The model with the fixed boom mic can only be mounted on the left side.
Since Jerry has a video camera mounted on the left side of his helmet, he mounted the Sena on the right. It is no problem to reach it with his left hand while riding to adjust the volume as needed. Cynthia mounted hers on the left side, which is what most people do. We've had no problems at all with the units and they sure making riding together more fun. If you're looking for a Bluetooth headset for your helmet, we strongly recommend Sena.
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Bluetooth intercom up to 900 meters (980 yards) in open terrain
- Four-way conference intercom
- Conference phone call with intercom participant
- Multipoint for mobile phone+GPS
- Voice prompts
- Bluetooth stereo headset for Bluetooth audio devices such as MP3 players
- Bluetooth music playback control by AVRCP: Play, pause, track forward and track back
- Easy operation by versatile Jog Dial (Patent pending)
- Sufficient sound level with integrated audio booster
- Bluetooth handsfree for Bluetooth mobile phones
- Bluetooth headset or stereo headset for Bluetooth GPS navigations
- Stereo music by 3.5mm audio cable
- Water resistant for use in inclement weather
- Crystal clear and natural sound quality
- Up to 12 hours talk time, 10 days stand-by time
- Can be used while charging on road trips
- Individual volume control for each audio source
- Firmware upgradeable
- Peace of mind - thanks to the two-year warranty