Experience With Sena and their 10R - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Experience With Sena and their 10R

This is not intended to be vendor-bashing. I know a lot of people like Sena, including the 10 model. I just wanted to share my experience, which I have extensive documentation on, as a data point for others.

Got the 10R in early May '17. It didn't come with good installation instructions and the ones on the Sena site were also poor. It was a major hassle to install in my Shoei GT Air and even then, it didn't fit well. Then, the speakers were not loud or clear enough to be heard well at highway speeds inside that helmet, which is supposedly a "low noise" helmet. I had to buy the earbud adaptor and use buds. I found the three-button control system to be complicated. Also, it did not differentiate well between "taps" and "presses" which are different commands. Furthermore, any interruption of the bluetooth signal from my phone caused it to lose the bluetooth connectivity. So if I was listening to music and got a phone call, the system will not come back online after I hung up the call like a regular bluetooth headset would.

Then, in late Sept. one side quit working. I contacted Sena customer service and found them to be very difficult to deal with and I found their policies to be very bureaucratic, not in line with other vendors I deal with. Instead of just sending me a new control unit, they made me rip everything out of the helmet and send it to them, which I did. Then they lost it and wouldn't send me a replacement until they found it. Then they said they were moving their warehouse and I would have to wait for that to get sorted out. Then, last week they said 10Rs were out of stock and they had no idea when they could get me one. I asked if I could get a different model instead and they said no.

But today, I sent them an email asking to speak to someone in Sena management, not just customer service. Within three hours, I got a notification that my replacement 10R was on its way. You draw your own conclusions.
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post #2 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 03:02 PM
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My 20S has totally sucked, works fine for just music/phone or conversing with one rider........group intercom is garbage and so is connecting them.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

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post #3 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 04:03 PM
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My girlfriend and I bought a Cardo Packtalk system about the same time - the mesh communicators work perfectly every time we turn them on, and it works for phone and music and radio just fine too. Highly recommended.

2011 Wee-strom and loving it.
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post #4 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommoran View Post
My girlfriend and I bought a Cardo Packtalk system about the same time - the mesh communicators work perfectly every time we turn them on, and it works for phone and music and radio just fine too. Highly recommended.
I'll remember that. When i get the 10R replacement back, I'll probably sell it online and then be looking for a better brand.
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post #5 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
I'll remember that. When i get the 10R replacement back, I'll probably sell it online and then be looking for a better brand.
Just don't be alarmed when the use manual is as obtuse as the ones that Sena (apparently) send. Youtube is your friend in this case.

2011 Wee-strom and loving it.
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post #6 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:16 PM
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That's disappointing. I have a Sena SMH10, still going strong after several years, but it's stories like this that make me hesitant to purchase an updated model from them. Nothing will dissuade me from doing business with a company faster than crappy customer service. It's why I always buy from a company like Rocky Mountain ATV, and why I'll never buy another Taurus handgun. I'll keep the Cardo brand in mind for when the Sena stops operating.

"No matter where you go, there you are."
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post #7 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:20 PM
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I have an SMH10 from 2014. I've been using it daily. I really like it, but I've noticed the following standout points:

Bad
- The boom mic foam rotted away over time
- Establishing, maintaining, switching connections is a true pain in the ass
- It doesn't play nicely with my Android phone (though I think this is the phone's fault)
- Transmission voice quality isn't great, especially with calls. It's much better to set it so that you hear yourself talking, since that will clue you in as to how intelligible you are.
- Range is marginal
- 3-way pairing limitation (SMH10) is dumb
- No mic mute is dumb

Good
- Speaker volume and music playback quality are great
- Battery life is great
- Has held up to four years of use
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post #8 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:32 PM
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I have two SMH10's that have been very solid for a over three years (those came out around 2010 but it took a lot of firmware updates to get them really bulletproof). Not as sure about the new and improved ones. More range and more parties seems to come at a cost. I suspect that the recent products will have to go through the same customer beta period of several years to get them golden.

Living in the rocks and hills we find even the best of them are line of sight rather than the advertised ranges.

The weakness on the SMH10 is the pairing beyond two. It works up to four (the 20S is eight but the same crummy process) but requires button presses to initiate conversations. We normally ride two or three in a group max just for safety sake so it isn't an issue. Large group conversations aren't really a good idea while riding anyways. Worse than being on a cell phone a lot IMO.

I multi pair the phone (Samsung S8 and folks cannot tell I am on a motorcycle - excellent clarity), a GPS (Zumo), and a co-rider using another SMH10 concurrently without issues.

I eliminated some early issues with firmware updates. Version 5.0 was a biggie. I think they stopped at 5.1.2. There were 15 different firmware updates.

The 30K will be out for a while before they probably stabilize the 20S. lol The 10's still rate better than the 20's.

The 30K is supposedly the fix for group talk (meshed concurrent communications). It appears the 20S was a failure then in terms of group speak and should be skipped and the 30K is a long ways from being stable. No wonder the SMH10's are still offered at $156. They are still currently the best bet as far as Sena goes.

Since I ride solo or two typically and stay close the SMH10's are fine for now.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS (Candy Daring Red)
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS (Graphite Grey)
2013 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure (sold)

Last edited by SECoda; 01-08-2018 at 06:08 PM.
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post #9 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:38 PM
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Overall my SHM10 worked much better than my current 20, but battery time for the 20 is much longer.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

1997 Honda Valkyrie 1500 custom “Dolores”




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post #10 of 56 Old 01-08-2018, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommoran View Post
My girlfriend and I bought a Cardo Packtalk system about the same time - the mesh communicators work perfectly every time we turn them on, and it works for phone and music and radio just fine too. Highly recommended.
I am going that route next, need to convince all my riding buddies who all also run the Sena system "they aren't happy either".

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

1997 Honda Valkyrie 1500 custom “Dolores”




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