Which helmet com system?

Here's a place for the group to discuss their other brands of bikes, hobbies, and personal interests not related to Ural & Dnepr Sidecar rigs. But not politics...
Forum rules
Here's the place to chat about off-topic stuff, hobbies, and other toys you got. No political posts, they will be deleted and the poster warned. We're not always "politically correct", but the Steeds site is apolitical.
User avatar
Lmo
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 5145
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:19 pm
Location: Pismo Beach via So. Indiana

Which helmet com system?

Post by Lmo » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:24 pm

I've never used a helmet radio system, and know zilch about them. Somewhat surprisingly a search only turned up one SS discussion on the subject.

I'm at the starting point of my market search for a system suitable for me and my wife ... I know this is can evolve into a subjective love/hate fest ... any recommendations, condemnations, horror-stories would be appreciated.

EDIT - I would add that I ride with a Shoei Multitec (modular) helmet; is there an issue with moldular helmet/microphone wire length?
Lew Morris
Dnepr w/ '06 Ural Drive Train
C5 Power Arc
125/42 jets
Drilled slides/
.030" shims

1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)

User avatar
DrFaulken
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by DrFaulken » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:29 pm

Hi there,

Before my family got our Ural, my wife and I used our Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth headsets and really liked them. Pairing was easier than other models we tried, and the Scala Cardos that replaced it. Battery life was good, we'd ride from Virginia to Georgia on a charge, or I'd commute for weeks without needed to plug it in.

Our general usage was for highway trips: we could each listen to different things on our phone, as well as use the intercom to talk to each other. I also use the headset to trigger Google Assistant to ask it to find stuff along the way or ask it dumb questions when I got bored on the superslab.

We bought a 2-pack at a discount, so you might want to look into that. As of this writing, you can find a pair for about $280 shipped.

When we got the Ural, we needed a 3rd unit for our stepson, who will be riding with us. The SMH-10 allows up to 4 units to pair intercoms.

The SMH-10 has a boom (as do many of the other products made by Sena and competitors), so you shouldn't have a problem with a modular helmet. My wife has a modular helmet, and it isn't a big deal.

All of that being written, there are a lot new products out there since we got our SMH-10s. The one thing I don't like about the SMH-10s is that they don't use Bluetooth 4.x, which means power usage will be greater than newer models. I'm not sure what your riding situation is like, so maybe that's a bigger deal to you than to us.
America By Sidecar -- follow us! Instagram || YouTube || Facebook || Blog

2018 Ural GearUp Sahara

Site supporter: 2018, 2019

Donbmw
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:47 pm
Location: Monroe, Louisiana, 71203

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Donbmw » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:58 pm

I have a Scala Cardo system. I also us a modular helmet. The wife has trouble with it responding to her voice. I use it for phone Ann GPS. Works fine for me. Am looking into replacing at some point. A friend just got a brand called U-Clear. The U-Clear has no boom mike. The mike system is live all the time. No voice commands for headset to headset communication. They have used Sean and Scala units and they like theU-Clear the best so far.
2015 Patrol, 1980 R65, 1982 R65 bought new, 1975 R 90/6, 1959TR3 Triumph

Don

User avatar
Burt1713
Comrade General
Comrade General
Posts: 880
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:46 pm
Location: Olney Illinois

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Burt1713 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:24 pm

A Sena SMH-10 is a good system, I had one in my previous modular helmet and it worked fine. I now have a Sena 10U the is made for my Shoei Neotec helmet and I actually wish I had bought the SMH-10. The SMH-10 is bulkier and doesn't have as many features as the 10U but is easier to use and has better battery life IMO.
2017 cT "Woody Moose"
2002 Ural solo bobber/chopper (work in progress) “Symphony of Destruction”
1997 Sportster "Scarlet Speedster"
1984 Honda Interceptor "Cornfield Express" (Gone)

User avatar
Lokiboy
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 4135
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Lokiboy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:05 pm

Burt1713 wrote:A Sena SMH-10 is a good system, I had one in my previous modular helmet and it worked fine. I now have a Sena 10U the is made for my Shoei Neotec helmet and I actually wish I had bought the SMH-10. The SMH-10 is bulkier and doesn't have as many features as the 10U but is easier to use and has better battery life IMO.
I have the same system and really like it. The one downside is that I can only connect with three other riders. The Sena SMH-20 can sync up with, I believe, 20 other riders.

Another benefit with Sena is that a recent firmware update now allows their system to connect with any other manufactures’ Bluetooth comm system.
2011 Gear Up - "Erika"
Yorktown, VA

Mains: 127, Idle: 40, Needle: 1 shim
MKIII air filter
100,000 km and counting

User avatar
sixbennetts
Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
Posts: 1059
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:39 pm
Location: Plattsburgh, NY

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by sixbennetts » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:10 am

I tried to like the Sena, but all I ever got out of it was tinny sound. So when it died recently, (only a couple years old), I tore the guts out of it and installed better sounding units inside!

My thread:

http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/view ... 11&t=51769
I have a funny wife. Hilarious, really.
I love her, she loves me.
______________________________________
2007 Ural Retro, "Подарок солдата солдату"

"I'm slow and like to go old."
Plattsburgh NY

User avatar
Tomcatfixer
Commissar
Commissar
Posts: 7416
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:10 am
Location: Gordonsville, VA

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:48 am

I used to ride with the old HJC Chatterbox in the pre-Bluetooth days. I used to think it was so badass, but Bluetooth technology revolutionized personal communicators. I prefer ordered the Sena 20S when I read the company's claims about what it could do (and it does a LOT). One nice thing about the 20S (and it's newer version, the 20S Evo), it that it has two Bluetooth radios, so you can pair one to your music device, such as a smartphone or navigation unit, and the other to your passenger's 20S. In this configuration, you can both listen to the same music. When you talk to one another, the 20S units automatically lower the music volume until you finish talking. You can even order two 20S's together in the Dual Pack.
pct1_gr.png
Also, Sena's customer support is excellent, almost to the point of being annoying, as they follow-up to make sure they took care of your issue.

EDIT - And Lew, each unit comes with a "button" mic to affix to a full-face helmet's chinbar AND a boom mic for use on an open-face or modular helmet.
2018-06-11 04.54.26.jpg
2018-06-11 04.56.17.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

User avatar
cheeseheadmike
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 551
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:03 pm
Location: Elburn, I’ll

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by cheeseheadmike » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:47 am

I have a pair of cheap Freedcon TCOM-SC. Not the greatest thing out there but has its points. My two big likes are the FM receiver and the fact that I can easily swap it between my winter and summer helmets. Pairing is pretty painless, radio reception is okay, though better with the summer helmet, the intercom works great, as does the phone. Most of the pests that call me can’t tell I’m on my rig. Spare headsets and mounts are available. Battery life is good, charging is quick even when using a laptop to do it.
I haven’t tried it with my GPS or with my IPod, so can’t comment on that.
cheeseheadmike

1973 Velosolex 3800-slow, 1977 Velosolex 4600-really slow
1979 Honda CX500-not slow at all
Various bicycles from 1947 to 2018-slow to fast, depending on my mood
2007 Ural Gear Up

User avatar
sysmgr2
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:08 pm
Location: Benicia, CA 94510

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by sysmgr2 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:39 am

I'm a big fan of the Sena units. If it were me, I'd go with their latest:the 30K Really no more expensive than the 20S, or the Evo 20S. Separate antennas for both bluetooth and mesh networks. If you can find one of the 20's used, at a decent price, that's also a great way to go... Craigsist is your friend.
San Francisco Bay Area
2015 Ural Gear Up
2014 Ural T
2016 Road Glide Special
2016 DL650 XT ABS Adventure
2016 Softail Slim
1983 BMW R65 w/Bingham MKIII sidecar

User avatar
Tomcatfixer
Commissar
Commissar
Posts: 7416
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:10 am
Location: Gordonsville, VA

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:57 am

If it were me, I'd go with their latest:the 30K
The 30K is an impressive device, but y'gotta do your homework: there are group connectivity issues between the 30K and 20S units. Something to consider, if your riding buddies have 20S's.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

User avatar
Lmo
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 5145
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:19 pm
Location: Pismo Beach via So. Indiana

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Lmo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:18 am

Thanks for the feedback gents.

If you're riding with a group, are you subject to a constant barrage of cross-talk between other riders?

Are these devices "smart phone" reliant for connections, music, software updates?
Lew Morris
Dnepr w/ '06 Ural Drive Train
C5 Power Arc
125/42 jets
Drilled slides/
.030" shims

1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)

User avatar
Tomcatfixer
Commissar
Commissar
Posts: 7416
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:10 am
Location: Gordonsville, VA

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:42 am

If you're riding with a group, are you subject to a constant barrage of cross-talk between other riders?
If you want to be. I can't speak for other models, but the Sena 20S allows you to come and go from the group conversation with a simple press of a button.
Are these devices "smart phone" reliant for connections, music, software updates?
I update my 20S by connecting it to my laptop and using the Sena Update Application. Music is stored on my smartphone and accessed through the communicator's Bluetooth connection, much like a set of Bluetooth headphones.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

User avatar
Lmo
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 5145
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:19 pm
Location: Pismo Beach via So. Indiana

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Lmo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:36 pm

Thanks Chad. As I mentioned above, I still use a flip phone. But Suzanne has a smart phone... would she be able to "back feed" music to us from her set.

She's also got boatloads of music stored on her iPod... would that be accessible through the Sena system?
Lew Morris
Dnepr w/ '06 Ural Drive Train
C5 Power Arc
125/42 jets
Drilled slides/
.030" shims

1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)

User avatar
Tomcatfixer
Commissar
Commissar
Posts: 7416
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:10 am
Location: Gordonsville, VA

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Suzanne has a smart phone... would she be able to "back feed" music to us from her set.
Yes, if you pair her 20S with her smartphone and your 20S, she'll have the "controlling" 20S and be able to play DJ for you two.
She's also got boatloads of music stored on her iPod... would that be accessible through the Sena system?
While I believe the 20S has a 3.5mm aux input (I'd have to look at mine to be sure), I'm not sure if you can share that source with another 20S. I might have to try that experiment.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

User avatar
Manscout
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2019
Posts: 1218
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:05 pm
Location: Gillette, Wy

Re: Which helmet com system?

Post by Manscout » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:18 pm

I'm pretty sure you can. That is how my wife and I ran ours, and we still have the 10 series from Sena.
Another thing I like about the 10s at least, is that they have options. I run the speakers into my helmet, but my wife uses the headphone option and she is able to use her favorite earbuds.
"It goes nowhere fast, and everywhere cool".

2011 Ural Patrol
Gillette, Wy
Instagram: manscoutwyo

Post Reply