Author Topic: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use  (Read 301 times)

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Offline Kable

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Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« on: October 08, 2018, 04:14:53 pm »
My wife and I are looking to get a new BT communication system.  Anyone have one you love?
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Offline okrider

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 04:39:36 pm »
I've had UClear and Sena. UClear was bad when trying to talk to one another because of their microphones but speakers worked great for listening to music etc.

I've had a Sena 20S for 2 years now. It's good but definitely getting harder to use over time. Even though infrequent, it'll think that I pressed the voice command button and would expect me to say something before I can keep listening to music or keep talking to people. I end up yelling "Cancel" over and over again so it can go away. I've tried turning it off but don't think it's an option. It's good for talking to people and listening to music. Battery lasts about 9 hours constantly listening to music with some intercom. It is difficult to hear one another at highway speeds though..
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 04:51:24 pm by okrider »
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Offline Daboo

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 04:48:40 pm »
Some general questions that might help.
  • What do you want to use it for?
  • If you ride with others, what do they use?

What do you want it for?  Is it only to talk to your wife while riding?  Do others ride with you?  You might think your needs go only as far as talking to your wife...and then you begin to notice that one of your riding buddies also has one.  So I would suggest looking not just to your immediate "needs", but also to think about how else you might use it.

I know a guy who leads one of the local motorcycle groups around here.  He purchased two BT headsets on eBay.  They are made in China and work perfectly.  I think his cost was about $49.  If you only want to talk to your wife, you don't need to spend hundreds and hundreds.

But...if you want to include talking to other riders, then your choice basically becomes which brand are they using.  All the newer BT headsets will pair up with other brands.  But then you need to read the "fine print".  If you want to pair a Sena to a Cardo for instance, you are pairing them as if the other BT headset is a cell phone.  You'll be able to talk to the other person, but the cool features you see advertised for either brand, won't work like this.

I use a Sena 10C.  It's a combination of a BT headset and action camera.  I have two friends who also purchased Sena BT headsets, solely so we could communicate during the ride.  One friend and I talk a lot; almost constantly, as if we were sitting in the front seat of a car having a running conversation.  The other friend and I say very little.  But in either case, if one of us sees a bunch of sand on the road or rock in a turn, we can shout out a warning and the other will be warned.  That's the biggest advantage I find.  Or simply being able to ask the question, "do you want to stop for a picture?"

There is one feature that if I was buying a new BT headset and willing to spend for a high end model that I would look for.  Sena calls it "mesh-technology".  It allows BT connections to enter and drop and re-enter the BT network without issues. 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 04:52:54 pm by Daboo »
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Offline Eric

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 04:53:27 pm »
Sena 20S.  It's worked well for me for a couple years now for listening to pandora and talking to other riders.
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Offline MizzouMike

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 05:33:28 pm »
I picked up the Sena.  It works well enough, but I would say the sound quality is less than when I used a wired J&M system.  I just accept this as the trade off for the convenience of the system.

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Offline gilbysan

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 06:47:10 pm »
Kable,
Like Daboo, I have used a SENA 10C for almost 3 years now.  I purchased it for several reasons; 1) the intercom setup and use was very easy to get going.  2) it uses BT 4.1 meaning that it could pair with several devices and in use allows me to use my cell phone as a phone with voice dialing and speed dialing, for NAV voice should I want it (mainly I don't want a voice just the map), 3) my iPod which I use for music while riding. 

Daboo is correct, if you are going to comm with other non-SENA brand headsets the connection is problematic and I have found that it is necessary to have both user manuals out to get things connected.  Once done though it works each time I ride with my Son for example who bought Cardo's for his helmets.
Mainly though I have enjoyed the video capability.  Until last week I used it for "helmet cam" duty while on the road.  The shortcoming is that the battery lasts about 2 hours when new, and slowly deteriorates to less and less recording time.  SENA was supposed to launch the 10C EVO two years ago which uses the MESH technology referenced earlier, but they are so late market with this new and improved unit that I have given up on them and followed Daboo and installed a HaloCam M1 to take care of general riding cam duties.  It works really well, front and back cameras, 1080/60FPS, GPS, Mic.  It turns on/off with the bike so I don't have to think about starting it up or turning off when I stop somewhere. 

I bought my SENA at Cycle Gear and they offer an extended (Motogard-PRP) no nonsense warranty for $14. I have used it two times to replace my 10C when the battery deteriorates enough that it becomes annoying.  I only have to re-buy the warranty with the new unit to gain another 2 year coverage period.  Yes, I also carry extra charging batteries so I can boost the unit when I stop, but to be honest it is a bit of a hassle to remember to do this each time after say an hour of riding.  One good thing I guess is that the firmware in the 10C is biased toward the audio and I Comm functions.  It turns off the camera first when it senses a lower battery condition.  I have never run the battery down enough that the I Comm or audio systems would not work, even after twelve hours of continuous riding, which tells me that the camera uses a lot of power.
Sena makes other great I-Comm and Audio headsets that don't have this battery life limitation.  One final thing, when I am on the headset either speaking with another rider or on the phone, the other person cannot hear much if any wind noise or other interference, therefore the noise cancelling performance is excellent.
Hope this helps, good luck in your search.
Gilbysan
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Offline MtnRider

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 06:57:03 pm »
While I wanted a Sena 10R I couldn't justify the cost for my use. I purchased this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076Q8PSZ7/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
When searching Amazon one of the results the description stated "2 of ...." for $47. All other results ashowed one for ~46 & 2 for ~92. When it arrived there were 2 sets for the $47. Not sure if that will still work or not.
As for the headset I use it primarily for music and answering the phone and works fine for that. My wife says my voice is clear. She did ride with me recently and the intercom works fine. I haven't tried to pair it with another brand. The only issue I have with it is that it uses an non-standard USB plug on the unit so you have to use their cables (extras available for about $10) and you cannot charge it while using it on the bike if the battery depletes, the headphones and mic use the same jack and no pass thru cable is available.
It certainly works fine for the price if you want something simple and cheap.
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Offline CRocker

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 06:58:49 pm »
I have a Cardo Packtalk Bold Duo set that I haven't even opened yet...waiting to see the new Uclear Motion Infinity...https://www.ucleardigital.com/motion-series/...it is supposed to be out any day now...and, has an accelerometer to keep tabs on you...basically, if you have a sudden impact...it will try to call you...if you don't respond, it proceeds to send your GPS location to EMTs...not sure about all the fine print...if your phone is a GPS device, etc...could be a game changer...not sure if the technology is protected, or if everything will have it before long...

Offline Daboo

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 07:11:11 pm »
MtnRider's BT headset looks great to me.  It would be interesting to try pairing it with other brands as a Sena, Cardo or Interphone.

It also shows you how much profit is in the premium brands.
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Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 07:48:42 pm »
Sena through a couple models for near about 10 yrs now. Done very well with them.
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Offline Anthony

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2018, 09:28:45 pm »
My wife and I both have a SENA SMH10B and they work great together. Both for listening to music, sharing music and for the intercom. I have also used it to pair with other SENA units and it worked great. I can't say if it will work for other companies units, but within SENA it works well. I want to upgrade to a newer SENA system so that I can pair with more people, but for now mine works great!

Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2018, 11:47:33 pm »
I’ve been running the Sena SMH-10R for the last 2 years or so...not bad, good sound, not great for inter-bike comm. I’m eyeing up the new Cardo Packtalk slim, it has BT at 4.1 and uses a mesh network- meaning all riders (well, up to 14 I think) within range can enter without an awkward sequence of pushing buttons to join. The reviews are quite good and I like the low profile of the Slim vs. Bold offerings. I’m eyeing the Duo packs on EBay, as they seem to be quite cheaper than having to buy a 2nd unit down the road- it seem single units run about $280, whereas you can pick up a 2 pack for about $425 ish. Another big advantage is the DSP and voice commands, here a good review:

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/cardo-packtalk-slim-headset-duo-pack


PS. I just did a quick search after a member here told me about BT 5.0, which will be the future of this technology, the BIG factor is that 5.0 is NOT backwards compatible, even though it had 2x the speed and 4x the range  :-\

Game changer IMO...maybe I’ll wait a bit longer to explore what headsets are running 5.0

https://www.itechtics.com/bluetooth-4-vs-bluetooth-5-feature-comparison/

PS: Maybe BT 5.0 will be backwards compatible....it’s hard to tell, it so new. Uclear is coming out next month with the Infinity Motion...looking forward to some reviews. I’ve heard of Uclear, but never really gave them a lot of consideration in the past- them not being one of the bigger players like Sena or Cardo
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 10:55:15 pm by NYbiomed »
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Offline Daboo

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 04:18:40 am »
I think you'll find Bluetooth 4.1 is pretty common among headsets that came out in the last three years.  At least my Sena 10C has it, and I'm sure mine is three years old.

One thing I'm curious of, is whether the MESH technology that Sena and Cardo have...will that MESH technology work with older units like mine?  I suspect the 14 BT headsets being able to connect in the same BT network — is only if all of them are the newest models.  What will happen if one of those BT headsets is an older model like mine?  I have Bluetooth 4.1...but not MESH.

I got an example of why MESH is nice to have on the way back from the Bun Cooler.  The three of us had Sena headsets.  I don't know how the sequence of headsets connected, but the middle rider was the one we all connected through.  When she wanted to listen to music and drop off the group intercom, we all lost our connection...till I bothered her and reactivated the group intercom so I could talk to the lead rider.  MESH seems like a feature to get.  It may be a few years though, till the older BT headsets disappear and are replaced.

The bottom line, as I understand it anyway, is if you want to connect with others in a riding group, the overriding concern is what brand name BT headset they have.  Then you look at features.
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Offline Kable

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 09:31:19 pm »
Great thoughts...my issue is that I want something my wife and I can use, but also talk to my buddies when we ride.  I have a feeling that they'll buy the brand I purchase since I'll be the first one with BT other than built-in helmet BT. 

I'm leaning toward the Cardo Pack Talk Bold.  I am an audiophile and I really want decent sound.  I also ride with very expensive in-ears (I'm a prof musician), so I want something that'll work with those.  I love all the ideas.
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Offline Fix ur Critter

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Re: Which Bluetooth Comm Do You Use
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 11:46:12 pm »
My wife and I both have a SENA SMH10B and they work great together. Both for listening to music, sharing music and for the intercom. I have also used it to pair with other SENA units and it worked great. I can't say if it will work for other companies units, but within SENA it works well. I want to upgrade to a newer SENA system so that I can pair with more people, but for now mine works great!

this is my experience also.. Had 2 different sets of Cardo scala and the Sena blows them away IMHO.. we always had some kind of issue with cardo.. Sena 10 has worked seamlessly. For this reason i will only be buying Sena in the future.
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