Tag Archives: helmet intercom

Sena introduces new 50 series intercom

Sena has introduced the next generation of Bluetooth helmet intercoms with the new 50 series that includes wifi capability to efficiently charge and automatically download firmware updates.

That means there is no longer any need to plug it into your computer, just plug in the wifi charger and connect to a nearby wifi source such as your phone’s hotspot.

Sena series 50 wifi connectorWifi charger

We expected a 40 series would be next after the 10 and 20 series.

However, they have skipped ahead to the 50 series which includes the 50R and slimline 50S.

Sena 50S 50 series bluetoothWhile the slimline model retains the easy-to-use “jog” dial, the 50R now comes with buttons.

Sena 50r 50 series bluetoothSena 50R

They claim charging time is 30% faster, but the 50S has a smaller battery so bluetooth talk time is limited to five hours or three hours on group chat.

There is no word from Sena Australia on pricing and when they will arrive, but we notice on their website they have added a section for the 50 series which is currently blank.

However, in the US they will cost $US329 (about $A475) for the 50S and $US299 ($A430) for the 50R which is only slightly higher than the current 30 series.

More reliable series

Critics of the current models say the Mesh 2.0 software that is supposed to provide faultless group chat is unreliable.

Sena claim the flaws have been fixed and rather than “daisy-chaining” group connections, you can now join in a group of nine with one connection.

Apart from more reliable group chat, they also claim there is experience less interference from surrounding obstacles such as blind corners, trees, buildings, etc.

The other major update is 7% more volume.

Sena don’t want to deafen riders, but they acknowledge that many riders now use filtered earplugs such as the Alpine MotoSafe which filter out harmful wind noise, but also slightly reduce the volume from intercom units.

Alpine Motosafe earplugsAlpine Motosafe earplugs

To improve rider comfort, speakers are now thinner and bevelled so they don’t hurt your ears under a tight helmet.

The 50 Series will also connect to digital assistants such as Siri or Google using standard voice commands of ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘Ok Google’. 

They claim their app has also been improved and restyled.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Narrate your video while you ride

Sena’s new 10C Evo helmet intercom arrives this week with a slimmer profile and an integrated 4K camera that allows you to narrate and include background music.

Tracey Pola of Sena Australia says the $589 unit will arrive this week and the entire shipment is pre-sold.

The popularity of both intercoms and cameras to record rides for entertainment and evidence in the case of accidents is increasing.

So units that combine the two should be winners, especially in such a compact unit as this Sena 10C Evo.

Be warned that police in Victoria and South Australia still believe cameras attached to helmets render the helmet non-compliant.

However, since we have not heard of any police fining a rider for having an intercom on a helmet, you may be able to fool the cops by telling them it’s just an intercom!

Sena 10C Evo

The new 10C Evo intercom will pair with four other units with range up to 1.6km (1 mile).

It includes all the usual intercom functions, as well as FM and pairing with a device up to 15m away.

Despite also including a 4K (30 frames per second ) camera, the unit is now 10% slimmer at 95mm long, 59mm tall and only 31mm wide. That’s only about 5mm wider than their 30K unit.

Narrate videoSena 10C Evo allows you to narrate over your video

However, the big attraction with this integrated unit is that you can easily narrate over the video.

You can even add background music with their Smart Audio Mix tech – all on the fly!

No need for editing all this into the video later on.

You can start recording at the touch of a button and voice prompts will keep you updated on your videoing.

There is also a video tagging function to save important events from a continuous loop of video to create highlights.

Apart from video, it will also take photos in still shot, burst, or time-lapse mode (one shot every second or every 2, 5 or 10 seconds).

A full battery charge will provide about 20 hours of talk time and 90 minutes of video recording.

The 10C EVO accepts MicroSD cards up to 128 GB.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

EJEAS Bluetooth helmet intercom review

If you’re sick of fiddling with the fiddly screws to mount your Bluetooth intercom, this budget EJEAS Quick20 is worth considering with its excellent audio quality.

It is Chinese made (as most Bluetooth units probably are!) and costs just $A185 each ($US129, €113,103) through their EJEAS website.

Quick clasp

EJEAS Quick20
Slimline unit

This unit is as slim as the top-of-the-line Sena 30K which is good for reducing drag and wind noise.

It features a fast-attaching bulldog-clip-type clasp attachment, so there is no need for fiddling with small allen keys and tiny screws that you can drop and lose.

EJEAS Quick20
Clasp attachment

The clasp simply grips the side of your helmet. There is also a stick-on pad and velcro attachment, if you prefer or your helmet doesn’t have access.

I thought the clip-on clasp might shake loose, but it hasn’t moved after prolonged riding in high winds and on bumpy roads.

However, the control unit doesn’t lock into the clasp firmly and while it won’t shake loose, you can bump it off when taking off your helmet, so be careful.

Bluetooth

As for the quality of the Bluetooth 4.2, it’s excellent.

It will only link up with one other EJEAS unit and won’t connect to other Bluetooth brands I have, but it does work very well between the two units.

It pairs quickly to your phone, GPS or another EJEAS intercom with handy audio prompts and always re-pairs when you turn the units on.

In fact, if you go out of range, it will revert to music or FM if you’ve been listening to them and will automatically reconnect once back in range.

They claim range up to 1200m, but it starts getting crackly about 800mm and you need line-of-sight connection.

Deploying the antenna improves reception a little as well as improving weak FM signals.

EJEAS Quick20
Use the antenna

Controls

The button arrangement is similar to the Sena units with a rotating knob and central “multi-function button” (MFB) that is easy to access even with thick winter gloves.

However, the raised motorcycle icon which is the on/off and intercom button can be difficult to find with thick gloves.

There is a separate FM button on the back and a “RST” reset button on the top that quickly turns off the unit.

Not sure why you need the RST button as you can turn the unit off and on using the motorcycle icon button by holding it for two seconds. Perhaps that’s a second you can save!

EJEAS Quick20

I also found that holding the MFB button two seconds only ever switched the unit on at the second attempt.

The rotating button handles both volume adjustment and radio station selection or skipping/replaying music tracks. To toggle between functions you have to hit the MFB again which makes it a little confusing.

Selecting FM stations is also difficult as there is no audio prompt to tell you the station you have selected.

Audio

The thick and large diameter speakers provide excellent audio quality with nice bass and plenty of volume.

But that makes them quite bulky, so they may not fit in some helmets.

They are a snug fit in my Harley-Davidson Vintage Stripe helmet which has deep ear recesses.

However, there are soft foam covers you can fit to the speakers to improve comfort against your ears.

It also comes with a choice of boom microphone for open-face helmets and bud mic for full-face.

Despite the loud wind noise in this helmet, the microphones effectively dampen background noise even at highway speeds.

Switching between music and intercom or phone calls is easy with a touch of a button.

But there is a delay of several seconds during which time you might think it’s not working and hit the button again.

After a while, you learn to have some patience and trust it will work.

Messy wires

One thing I don’t like is the messy speaker and mic wires.

Also, the plug is big and hangs low, getting caught on the collar of some of my jackets as I turn my head.

Even though this is made in China, the instructions are well written in easy-to-understand English. But the print is way too small for me to see even while wearing my reading glasses!

Conclusion

If you want high-quality audio and only need two-way intercom, the EJEAS Quick20 is well worth the money.

EJEAS Quick20 bluetooth intercomEJEAS Quick20

  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • IP Rating: 65
  • Talk range: 1200m
  • Bluetooth Protocol: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP & HSP
  • Frequency Range: 2402MHz ~ 2480MHz
  • Battery Capacity: 530mAh
  • Standby Time: 300 hours
  • Talking Time: 8 hours
  • Charging Time: approx. 1 hour
  • Operating Voltage: 3.7V
  • Charger Requirements: DC5V/500mA
  • Working Temperature: -10~40℃

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sean +Mesh Bluetooth adaptor review

Sena +Mesh review by Jim Hulme 

The Sena +Mesh Adaptor is designed to seamlessly and easily link riders into a group conversation without broken links. We sent rider Jim Hulme out to test the $259 unit on the road with his riding partners. Here’s his review:

Out of the box

The +Mesh adaptor click-locks into either a rubber-strap-connected base or a surface-mount adhesive base. The adaptor containing the electronics and screw-on antenna easily separates from the base with the press of a button.

For my test, the rubber strap base could not be used on my BMW handlebars as there is no available handlebar real estate.

So I tested it in my jacket front pocket, inside my top box and finally on the pillion grab handles.

While mounted on the grab handles, it was easy to reach and activate the mesh intercom because Sena has provided it with a nice big button on the front of the unit.

The waterproof rubber-sealed USB port for charging can be difficult to access.

Setup and range

The +Mesh adaptor is easily paired with your Sena headset, then it automatically connects each time.

The 30K in the test was used to create a mesh group and the +Mesh client (Sena SRL integrated into the Shoei Neotec II helmet) was added to the group. During use, the main button could be used to leave and return to the mesh group as required.

The +Mesh adaptor is claimed to have 800m range in an uninterrupted straight line.

My experience with measured stops and voice quality checks verified this is accurate.

Connections

Sena claims it works with both Bluetooth4.1 and Bluetooth3.0 models, however, the audio quality is best with Bluetooth 4.1 models.

The +Mesh Adaptor takes up one of your bluetooth intercom spaces. If your headset is capable of connecting with three other headsets for four-way intercom, the +Mesh will take up one of those three spaces, leaving two spaces remaining for bluetooth intercom connections.

At least 2 mesh devices are required to be in a Mesh Intercom.

My use of two Sena SRL models provided almost flawless performance, but connections between the SRL and a Sena 30K were frustrating.

The biggest problem with the SRL is that it is not possible to use while charging. It also has an “irreplaceable rechargeable battery”, so when the battery ages, you have to buy a new SRL.

However, the 30K can connect to others in either “bluetooth intercom” mode which requires pairing, or mesh intercom which doesn’t require pairing.

Link and sound qualitySena +Mesh links unlimited Sena intercoms

Once the mesh link is established, increased distance and lack of “line of sight” due to curves and hills etc have a dramatic effect.

While the sound level can be still good, speech is unintelligible.

In most cases, this will recover as the link path improves, but can sometimes remain poor. This is a problem I experienced in other Sena devices such as the 30K.

To fix it, try disconnecting/reconnecting the link or turning it off and on again.

I also experienced intermittent, short, loud “screaming” sounds which my 30K partner could not hear.

I thought it was caused by the +Mesh adaptor, but later testing between two 30K units in a mesh connection resulted in some similar noise, but less often.

Following the adaptor test, we changed to two 30K units and tried them in normal paired connection and mesh connection.

In normal paired connection, there were significant sound quality issues, failure of the link after separation, and this didn’t recover without a reboot. There was no apparent increase in the range.

Then we changed to mesh connection and while the sound quality was not always perfect, the overall communication satisfaction was better.

As the two units recovered from the lost link connectivity, they seamlessly reconnected to the mesh. As reported with the +Mesh adaptor, the occasional loud screeching noises were still happening but not so often as when using the adaptor.

Conclusion

I think the +Mesh adaptor provides a better functional experience when connecting dissimilar units.

They also improved range and sound quality over a mesh of more than two units as they enhance the network signal strength.

The combined cost of the adaptor and your existing communication unit is significant so unless you really needed to use it to participate in a group of mesh users, you are probably better off just buying a 30K instead.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sena Savage Bluetooth helmet review

If you have been looking for an open-face helmet with Bluetooth communication, the new Sena Savage is the answer.

It features integrated controls, speakers and a microphone discretely in the brow section of the helmet.

As you would expect, it’s noisier than a full-face helmet, the microphone is not as quiet as in a full face helmet, but it’s equal to or better than the boom-mic units people attach to their open-face helmets.

And it is neater as well. The compact two-control functions on the side of the helmet are sadly visible, yet easy to use.Sena Savage

They work the same as the Sena 20S controls wth a button and a dial/button/toggle control.

With just those two controls, you can switch on/off, summon Siri, play music, answer and reject calls, pair t your phone and another intercom, summon an intercom user, skip tracks and change the volume.

The only problem I found with the Savage is that the amplifier and speakers are not powerful enough to provide adequate sound when I wear my filtered earplugs.

The filtered earplugs reduce the overall sound a little, but mainly they filter out the damaging wind noise that gives you tinnitus.

They allow you to hear important traffic sounds such as emergency siren and horns, plus listen to your music and phone conversations at a lower volume that doesn’t hurt your ears.

Unfortunately, this system is a little too quiet, so it’s really only useful up to about 80km/h.

Last year I reviewed the Sena Momentum full-face helmet and I was so impressed it has now become my go-to helmet. Read my review here.

Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet hi-fi savage
Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet

It is a shame the Savage does not have the same volume levels as the Momentum Lite.

Still, it’s a very comfortable and useful helmet for around-town duties where an open-face helmet gives you extra vision to look out for errant traffic.

The quality of sound and noise-damping of the brow-mounted microphone is ok, but not great.

They also use this system in their Calvary half-helmet.

Sena Cavalry motorcycle half helmet with bluetooth unit savage
Sena Calvary

I talked to a few people on the phone while riding and they said it sounded a bit distorted at city speeds and over 80km/h there was to much wind noise.

That seems to be vindicated by this promotional video where the rider is mainly cruising around town.

Sena Savage

The Savage is now available in Australia in matte black in medium, large and XL sizes at $A499.95.

That makes it cheaper than buying a helmet and separate Bluetooth unit.

You can also buy optional long and short peaks and we imagine the three press studs would also fit many visors suitable for other open-face helmets.

It is the first open-face helmet with Bluetooth 4.1, connecting with three other riders up to 1.6km.

Like other Sena units, it is an intercom and has integrated 10-station FM radio which can be accessed hands-free with voice controls.

Talk time is 11 hours and the lithium polymer battery charges in three hours.

The composite fibreglass shell helmet weighs just 1100g and features removable and washable padding, with a nylon double-D-ring fastener.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad teams up with Sena Bluetooth

BMW Motorrad has now teamed up with Sena Bluetooth to provide special a “Fit-for-All” helmet two-way intercom system that can be extended up to six people.

Basically it’s a Sena 10 series intercom with a BMW badge and probably a “BMW price”!

We asked BMW Motorrad Australia how much they cost and when they would be available. We are still awaiting a reply, but the standard Sena 10S costs about $250.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Fit-for-All intercom

BMW has slapped its blue roundel logo on previous collaborations including Navigator GPS units which are Garmin Zumos and BMW 2-in-1 gloves which are Held Air-n-Dry gloves.

The Sena 10S is the simple, bargain version which is easy to operate and very reliable.

BMW Motorrad also has a Bike-to-Bike communication module that extends the basic Fit-for-All intercom from two-person communication to up to six riders and range to 300m.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Bike-to-Bike communication

That means that when used in a group the front rider can still communicate wth the rear rider up to 2km in “optimum conditions”.

Riders can choose between a private and the six-member public mode using a free app.

The UV-resistant and weatherproof communication system uses only three buttons to handle most functions.

It has eight hours of battery life and can also receive and make phone calls, provide GPS spoken directions and play music from a Bluetooth device.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com