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Thanks in advance for your feedback. Am looking at a com system purchase (first time) for my Nolan 102 flip/modular helmet. Couple of questions:

1. Better to get one with the boom mic or a corded mic? What are the issues either way . . .

2. I use earbuds now so am likely going to look at using them for the com system as well. Input regarding that?

3. Any general input on com systems you'd like to share?

Again, many thanks! M
 

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Go with the boom mic for a modular helmet. That way you can still use it even with the helmet is in the up position.

The most common and popular two right now are probably the Scala G4 or the Sena SMH10 headsets. Both get great reviews and you really can't go wrong with either. Scala is in the works with their new G9 model, but that just means you can find the G4's at a cheaper price. Sena does offer the standard option of using your own ear phones with an adapter. For Scala, you'll have to do the mod yourself. Both of these headsets support A2DP to listen to your music and you can connect to one other device like a GPS or Phone, etc.

If music from your smart phone is important to you, Sena has the advantage with the easy jog dial control and use of the AVCRP profile to control your music from the headset.

Scala has the advantage right now with being able to talk to up to 4 riders at the same time if that is important. The G9 is going to add in 8+1 which is definitely an impressive feat with BT. Scala also has the click to link which means you can easily connect to any other G4 user on the fly if you set it up that way.

The Sena can connect 4 riders, but only 3 can talk at any given time. (Note: this was an update with revision update 3.3 on the gen 2 SMH-10's). SMH-10 gen 1 headsets are still limited to 2 only. They may be in the works to have full duplex with up to 4 riders at one time, but has yet to be seen.

My wife and I have had BT communicators (Scala Q2's) since April 2009. We are coming up on 3 years with ours. We have enjoyed them so much that it would be hard to ever go back to not communicating. We each ride our own bikes and it is so nice.

Now the nice thing about BT communication is it is full duplex like talking on a phone. It's not 1 way like a 2 way radio. You also have the option with most headsets to connect for short periods of time on VOX or stay manually connected for hours. The nice thing with staying manually connected is since the audio path is open, the second the other person says something, you can hear it. There is no delay in waiting for the audio path to connect and open. The bad part is you can hear everything the other person is saying, or singing. :lol:. There are times my wife and I stay manually connected and just carry on a conversation and other times we prefer to listen to our music and only talk when we need something.

The other semi downside to BT communication is range is really only line of sight and diminishes very quickly after that. If you can see the person, you can probably talk to them. If you ride close enough to your partner, this is not a big issue, but it can be in a large group and you have several bikes in between you and your riding partner.

None of the BT headsets communicate with each other. (Except for the fact that Scala has made their G4's backwards compatible with the older Q2 models, and I would assume the new G9's will do the same). But you can't talk cross platform via BT.

If you want to expand your range or talk to your buddies via other means like FRS/GMRS, CB, or even Ham Radio's, Sena also has the SR10 which allows you to add a 2 way radio to the mix. This is great since it doesn't matter what type of headset your buddy uses as long as you each have the ability to communicate on the same type of radio or frequency. And of course this opens up the opportunity for large groups of people to all be in communication. You do lose the full duplex, but you gain in range what the radio's are capable of. I also know for a fact this SR10 will sync with Scala headsets since I have tested that with my Q2, so you aren't limited to using this device with only the SMH-10 headsets.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Holy Buckets! That's a boat load of very useful information! Thank you bunches!!
 

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The only thing i could add to THAT (holy crap) is that the boom mic is a PITA when your not using the comm system anymore. When you install the base unit the speakers are wired in and cannot be unplugged. Similarly the boom mic cannot be removed, so you either rip your helmet apart to remove all the guts after each use, or you leave it in there and have to deal with an unused boom mic swinging around all the time.

It would be nice if the boom mic could be unplugged and the speakers disconnected without having to take your helmet apart.

I don't know if any models have this ability, but something to keep in mind when your out shopping.

I have the Scala Rider Q2 and love it (when i actually use it).
 

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The only thing i could add to THAT (holy crap) is that the boom mic is a PITA when your not using the comm system anymore. When you install the base unit the speakers are wired in and cannot be unplugged. Similarly the boom mic cannot be removed, so you either rip your helmet apart to remove all the guts after each use, or you leave it in there and have to deal with an unused boom mic swinging around all the time.

It would be nice if the boom mic could be unplugged and the speakers disconnected without having to take your helmet apart.

I don't know if any models have this ability, but something to keep in mind when your out shopping.

I have the Scala Rider Q2 and love it (when i actually use it).

Actually you might want to look at a Uclear system if you want to eleminate the boom mic period. Budman did a review

I bet this would be awesome on a modular helmet

http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/71029-uclear-boomless-communication-system.html
 

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There are many systems you can buy. Are you wanting a CB or to talk to your passenger or talk to other bikes or just for music? What system you get will depend on what you want it for. Blue Tooth is good with limitations. There is also J&M, for headsets try Edsets and many others. You'll have to Google the above as I don't have their websites with me right now. Boom mics are only good if you have room between your mouth and the helmet. J&M makes a kit for the Nolan helmet. You can get custom molded earbuds with the speakers imbedded. Also check google for that.

Hope this helps and good luck, Vin
 

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If music from your smart phone is important to you, Sena has the advantage with the easy jog dial control and use of the AVCRP profile to control your music from the headset.
I have a Scala G4. It does AVCRP.

The range isn't bad, not bad at all. Not the 1 mile they advertise, but not bad.

I bought it because of the iphone integration (A2DP/AVRCP). That works really well.

Two disappointments with it: the audio quality and the button interface. The sound quality is not exactly stunning. There are only a few buttons and some functions require odd combinations of presses and holds. I can never remember how to do some things, like turn the FM radio on/off. Often I have to resort to fumbling and button mashing.

It has an aux-input. Some of the guys I occasionally ride with use GMRS radios. (Were I doing it over again, I'd probably save up for a Chatterbox GMRS X1, which is what they use.) I have a cheapie GMRS and was able to wire it into the Scala with a 1/4" headphone patch. Naturally that just gave me the ability to listen, but not talk. This means I could hear the guys mocking my slowness, but unable to defend myself.
 

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Thanks for the great info BlueLghtning. My wife and I are looking to get BT headsets for communication purposes as well as radio. Our problem is I have a modular helmet and she has a regular one. Hope scala can accomidate a set for odd helmet pairs. We'll be taking the helmets with us to Europe next year. :thumbup:
 

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I have a Scala G4. It does AVCRP.
Can you control the music from the buttons on the headset? Like Pause and FF to the next track? My Dad has the G4, but I wasn't aware you could do that? You are right, the specs do say AVCRP, but I thought that meant you could control your music from that device?

The range isn't bad, not bad at all. Not the 1 mile they advertise, but not bad.

I bought it because of the iphone integration (A2DP/AVRCP). That works really well.

Two disappointments with it: the audio quality and the button interface. The sound quality is not exactly stunning. There are only a few buttons and some functions require odd combinations of presses and holds. I can never remember how to do some things, like turn the FM radio on/off. Often I have to resort to fumbling and button mashing.

It has an aux-input. Some of the guys I occasionally ride with use GMRS radios. (Were I doing it over again, I'd probably save up for a Chatterbox GMRS X1, which is what they use.) I have a cheapie GMRS and was able to wire it into the Scala with a 1/4" headphone patch. Naturally that just gave me the ability to listen, but not talk. This means I could hear the guys mocking my slowness, but unable to defend myself.
Using the SR10 as I posted above, you could hook in a GMRS radio to your setup and actually talk to them and keep everything you already do. Of course the SR10 isn't cheap, but neither is buying the GMRS X1 and you already have the G4.

I do agree they could have layed out the button better on the G4 and hence the reason I think the jog dial on the Sena was a better setup that way.
 

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The only thing i could add to THAT (holy crap) is that the boom mic is a PITA when your not using the comm system anymore. When you install the base unit the speakers are wired in and cannot be unplugged. Similarly the boom mic cannot be removed, so you either rip your helmet apart to remove all the guts after each use, or you leave it in there and have to deal with an unused boom mic swinging around all the time.

It would be nice if the boom mic could be unplugged and the speakers disconnected without having to take your helmet apart.

I don't know if any models have this ability, but something to keep in mind when your out shopping.

I have the Scala Rider Q2 and love it (when i actually use it).
I guess it would be nice if you could disconnect the mic, but so often I'm either riding and talking to my wife or talking on my ham radio, that I need the mic and I don't find it that intruding, but it does depend a lot on the helmet you have and how much room you have between your chin and the helmet.
 

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Thanks for the great info BlueLghtning. My wife and I are looking to get BT headsets for communication purposes as well as radio. Our problem is I have a modular helmet and she has a regular one. Hope scala can accomidate a set for odd helmet pairs. We'll be taking the helmets with us to Europe next year. :thumbup:
That shouldn't be a problem. They give you a clamp or a sticky plate to mount it to the side of your helmet. Some helmets work better than others, but you shouldn't have any issues. My wife and I currently have our Q2's mounted on Scorpion EXO-400/700 helmets and my Dad has his G4 mounted on Scorpion EXO-900 modular helmet.

I just did pick up a Nexx XR1R helmet and I'll be moving my Q2 to that. My wife is looking at getting the Nexx X30 modular helmet.
 

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Can you control the music from the buttons on the headset? Like Pause and FF to the next track? My Dad has the G4, but I wasn't aware you could do that? You are right, the specs do say AVCRP, but I thought that meant you could control your music from that device?
Yes, absolutely. My phone never leaves my pocket, except to switch sources/playlits/etc. I often do pandora and you can skip with that as well. Often my phone will 'turn on' with the wrong music app. But that's iOS at play, not the headset.

Your dad should make sure he has upgraded the firmware.

This-btw-is a big draw of the scala units; upgradable firmware.

Re: Helmet mounts. The packaged mount with the boom mic works pretty well with a full-face. Both I and my coworker use them on full-face HJCs without issue. This fall I bought a new Scorpion EXO-700. I have not tried it with that helmet yet, but I am confident it should work with a properly sized helmet.

This boom mic mount should work with modular and 3/4 helmets as well.

They sell alternate mounts with wired mics for full-face helmets. I have no experience with them; the boom mic works for me.


I've seen the SR10. Even saw it on sale last fall. Nearly jumped on it, but yeah, it is not cheap. Haven't decided if that is worth the cost for me.
I mention the X1 as an alternative, not a compliment to the Scala.
 

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Okay, thanks for that update. I guess its been awhile since I read the manual on the G4. I upgraded his firmware for him the first time it needed it. I think he did it the next time. I'll check and make sure he's got the latest firmware out there. He doesn't usually stream music from his phone though as he has XM through his GPS and listens to that and I guess that's why I just wasn't as familiar with that.

The 2nd Gen Sena SMH-10's are upgradable firmware also. That was the big difference between the first ones that came out that are basically stuck now, and their latest that use the Mini/Micro USB to charge means you can upgrade them which is pretty important these days as all these headsets have nice updates that come out.

I've never payed much attention to the Chatterbox helmet headsets. I know they were still relying on FRS/GMRS which is nice for a bigger group, but when it came down to my wife and I, we wanted the full duplex of BT intercoms. Of course now I want to add the other ways back in to be able to communicate with friends like you.
 

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Yup. It's all in what you want. I never ride 2-up and usually either ride solo or in a large-ish group. I actually don't have a heck of a lot of experience using the intercom as an intercom. I didn't buy it for that function, but for the i-toy integration.

I will say the 1-touch pairing is neat and worked well the couple times I've used the set with another rider. Works well when you meet up at the gas station and are anxious to get on the road and not fiddle with electronics.

Oh, another problem: My associate has a BT capable garmin, I do not. He claims you can either have the head set working with the garmin OR your phone, not both. Something to do with the BT profile, the garmin presents itself as a phone or something. He says it is a major disappointment. Dunno if that's a mark against the garmin or the head-set.

Because of this, I continue to use an old, hand-me-down auto GPS that does not do BT. I see no sense in investing in a BT GPS if I can't have it inter-op with the rest of my toys.
 

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Actually you might want to look at a Uclear system if you want to eleminate the boom mic period. Budman did a review

I bet this would be awesome on a modular helmet

http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/71029-uclear-boomless-communication-system.html
I use a modular helmet. The nice thing about the Uclear is there's no mic wire to worry about and it's so easy to install it can easily be used in more than one helmet. I have 2 helmets and can swap them in a few minutes. I couldn't do that with my Chatterbox.
 
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