Sena Bluetooth Intercom - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-28-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Sena Bluetooth Intercom

Have been looking for a good wireless set up primarily for rider to passenger and saw comparo in the July Rider. Have talked to many people with Cardo with varying degrees of satisfaction. Wandering if anyone here have used the Sena SMH10 that was previewed. Looks like it might be the best choice of the five for our needs. Thanks for any info you might share on any of these units.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-28-2011, 04:09 PM
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I bought one but haven't installed it yet. The folks on the BMWMOA forum like it. I've also used a couple of earlier Cardo models that worked okay, but didn't do everything I wanted.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-28-2011, 06:23 PM
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I have a pair of the Sena SMH-10 systems, and I like them a lot. I've never used any other system though so I can't compare them.
webBikeWorld has a head-to-head comparison of four of the most popular systems, including Sena and the Cardo G4, with links to in-depth reviews of each: 2010 Motorcycle Intercom Comparison - webBikeWorld

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-28-2011, 10:08 PM
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Been using them for about 5 months.

The good:
-) Battery life. I've used this for 8 hours at a time always connected live to the 2nd headset with no issues.
-) "Always on" means you do not need to hit a push to talk to start talking. Very handy when I want to warn my wife about gravel in a corner.
-) Audio quality is usually very good.

The bad (all related to intercom mode):
-) Voice activation mode is horrible. It will always take 4 to 6 seconds to connect, and often fails to connect in this mode. Also in this mode it will randomly lose GPS connection. You will realize that a few miles after missing your turn.
-) The "always on" mode means there is always a radio hissing in the background. This hiss does increase as the helmet noise increases. It's been challenging trying to train myself to ignore the noise. It's always there unless you turn off the intercom connection.
-) While the audio is good on a calm day up to 65 MPH, I've found that any amount of crosswind makes my Arai XD3 helmet very noisy which makes it very difficult to hear my wife on the intercom. Just turning up the unit only serves to distort the sound. This does seem unique to my XD3 since my wife does not experience the same issue.
-) "Always on" means if you're prone to talking to yourself don't be surprised if you hear the other person laughing at you from time to time. This can actually get a little annoying.
-) It is usually necessary to one or both of the units at least once during an 8 hour ride day. Once they lose connection this can be the only solution.
-) If your partner crashes you will hear things you don't want to hear.

I found the voice activation, and dropped GPS so bad that I contacted Sena Customer Service. They were very quick to get back to me and tell me the units were working as they expected. I was stunned. After switching to the always on mode they have been less frustrating.

Overall I think the SMH10 works well, and my wife does not want to give them up. But there are issues which leave room for future improvement.


2019 BMW F750 GS, 2015 XT1200 ES, 2012 Yamaha XT250, 2013 Suzuki DR650
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 07:48 AM
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I love my Sena, but admittedly, only use it for playing tunes, and answering the phone. For that, itworks great. The knob is easy to adjust with any gloves on, and as mentioned above, the battery lasts forever.

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post #6 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 09:54 AM
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sena smh10

I too recently aquired a pair for the wife and I to communicate and have found them to be great for that also we have each unit connected to separate phones so she can use her phone when ever she likes ... I have not found them to be overly noisy unless my wife gets her mic down into the windstream ,One issue I have had is a slight reverberation in the sound at times which seems to be cleared up by just turning off communication and then reconnecting have meant to give sena a call about this ,but just have not gotten around to it .... all in alll for simple communiation I do not think you could do much better for the price ... and the battery does seeem to last for ever ...

Sometimes making a wrong turn just makes the ride that much better ,,, go an extra mile it`s not so crowded there!
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 10:09 AM
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I only use mine for bike to bike intercom. Great for that. 1,000 yard range if line of site and good volume.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt_Dad View Post
-) Voice activation mode is horrible. It will always take 4 to 6 seconds to connect, and often fails to connect in this mode.
-) The "always on" mode means there is always a radio hissing in the background. This hiss does increase as the helmet noise increases. It's been challenging trying to train myself to ignore the noise. It's always there unless you turn off the intercom connection.
You have no doubt used the intercom function more than I have, but my experience was a little different.
- Voice activation is slower than I would like, but in my experience it only took 3-4 seconds at most. Still probably not fast enough to warn of gravel in a corner, or to inform a passenger of that cute bunnyrabbit on the side of the road ;-)
- The radio hiss when the intercom is active doesn't seem nearly as loud as you described, and is the same in voice-activated or always-on modes. Is it possible your wife's mic was picking up some wind noise and transmitting it to you?
- I had a passenger who couldn't deal with the delay in voice-activated mode (she would start talking but forget to wait for the link to activate, then push the button and disconnect herself), so we used always-on mode sort of like push-to-talk: hit the button to activate, push it again when done conversing.

2010 Triumph Tiger 1050se
2009 DL650A - sold

2005 DL650 - dearly departed
"I am enthusiastic over humanity's extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.
I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday's fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem." - R. Buckminster Fuller
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Golden Monkey View Post
You have no doubt used the intercom function more than I have, but my experience was a little different.
- Voice activation is slower than I would like, but in my experience it only took 3-4 seconds at most. Still probably not fast enough to warn of gravel in a corner, or to inform a passenger of that cute bunnyrabbit on the side of the road ;-)
- The radio hiss when the intercom is active doesn't seem nearly as loud as you described, and is the same in voice-activated or always-on modes. Is it possible your wife's mic was picking up some wind noise and transmitting it to you?
- I had a passenger who couldn't deal with the delay in voice-activated mode (she would start talking but forget to wait for the link to activate, then push the button and disconnect herself), so we used always-on mode sort of like push-to-talk: hit the button to activate, push it again when done conversing.
I had great frustration shouting into the mike, waiting 6 seconds...then longer only to realize it didn't activate, and trying again. That went on sometimes for minutes until a connection was made. I was ready to throw them away after our first 400 mile loop. I was completely disgusted with them.

Now that warm weather is here and I ride with my helmet screen open 99% of the time the hiss is less noticeable. I still hear it from time to time and when rolling longer distances where no comm need is anticipated we do exactly what you described and shut it off.

Forgetting about voice activation made them much more tolerable. My wife doesn't mind the hiss and loves 'em. Overall I don't think there is anything better on the market, so I've made friends with them for now.


2019 BMW F750 GS, 2015 XT1200 ES, 2012 Yamaha XT250, 2013 Suzuki DR650
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 07:40 PM
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There is a long thread here: Anyone out there have the Sena SMH10? - ADVrider A bunch of advice/pros/cons.

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