Sena 20S Bluetooth Headset
Liked it once I got one that worked.
After waiting months to get a duel 20s set they finally arrived. I installed them on a Shoei X11 (which was pretty easy) and a Shoei RF1200 (which was more difficult). Initially I was thrilled. The sound is awesome and the ability to use multiple functions at once is great. I can use my phone, intercom my wife on her bike, and listen to music all at the same time. Even at 75 mph the sound was crystal clear and plenty loud. Pairing with my phone and Sena SR10 was a breeze. I took the main units off both helmets to change some settings and could not get either of them to lock back on when I tried to reinstall them; making them useless. After looking at Sena's forum site, I found that this is a major problem. I contacted Sena and they sent me a whole new set, which I got about 10 days after first contacting them. The new ones are in and working fine for now. I will install and uninstall them gently though. Time will tell if they stand up to daily use.
September 10, 2014
THIS is what a Bluetooth should be!
Overall... an excellent product! Right now, I'm just pairing with my iphone and letting Siri handle the commands but as I get used to it, I'll learning just how much this device can do.
Top pros: It's very durable, charges quickly and has a lot of useful functions!
Top cons: My biggest complaint is inadvertent loud beep when you accidentally turn the volume up. The controls on the jog dial are pretty finicky too.
But still.... EXCELLENT product.
September 8, 2014
Too many issues to use
This was my first purchase of a Bluetooth communication system. I was looking for a product with all the bells and whistles like this one. The Sena 20S could not deliver. The GOOD: the unit seemed to be well built, the product is packaged well and the directions were clear. The sound quality on a call while riding was excellent. The BAD: The unit could not recognize nearly 100% of the voice commands. The command volume was sporadic, one minute it would blast your ears, the next it was inaudible. The unit's jog dial was designed in such a way that it would contact the armor on my jacket, causing an almost constant prompt to connect to an intercom. I was never able to get the FM radio to get a good signal, antenna up or down. Although the jog dial seemed to be a great idea, using it while riding was so difficult that I just avoided it. To press and turn to speed dial was almost not possible without over toggling to the cancel selection. So this feature was not used. Coordinating commands with Google Now or S voice on a Samsung S5 was most difficult and controlling an application like Pandora and negotiating a phone call proved to take about 10 hours of research and configuration only to have the unit only recognize after a press of the phone button. Seems this unit suffers from trying to do everything and does very few of them well.
September 1, 2014
Laved the SMH 10 and hate this one.
I loved my earlier SMH10 and so when I dropped my helmet on it and broke it,, I decided to upgrade to the the 20S to get a more robust helmet fixing system and the VOX (Voice controlled operation).
Unfortunately despite having the 1.1.1 software upgrade the VOX is totally useless. Even while sitting in a quiet environment (my lounge) the VOX only understands one in five commands...it is worse on the bike where there is background noise.
The double tap feature to activate the voice operation only works intermittently as other users have reported. Sometimes a light tap works, sometimes you have to hit it quite hard and sometimes nothing works.
The physical user interface on the SMH10 and the 20S are brilliant. I love the jog dial. But the 20S software user interface is confusing. In some instances there is more than one way to accomplish the same thing and the function of the buttons is not consistent when you are in different modes. Double tapping the jog dial may start one feature in one mode but cancel it when you are in a different mode.
The manual is nearly good but unfortunately misses out some steps to perform some of the functions and you kind of have to experiment and work out the missing steps for your self. I have started hand writing the missing steps or better descriptions on how to use the features into my manual.
I also suspect the speed of the processor is not up to the task because you often have to pause for several seconds between activating different functions .
The volume control is all over the place. If you adjust the volume correctly for a voice call then the feature selection indication beeps are PAINFULLY LOUD! There doesn't seem to be any automatic volume control as per other brands of units so that when you speed up, and ambient outside wind noise increases the volume does not automatically adjust.
On phone calls I find the voice quality with the volume control manually adjusted to be very good and people on the other end of the phone call can hear me very clearly.
Many people have reported problems with the radio but I have found this to work OK, but then most of my riding has so far been in areas where I get a strong signal.
Sena aren't very good at responding or acknowledging the many customer complaints on their forum. Which is surprising because in the past their customer support and responsiveness has been excellent
I recommend any perspective buyers check out the many customer complaints on Sena's 20 s forum on the link below.
I only hope future software upgrades improve the function on the VOX. The unit feels like it was rushed to market.
All in all very frustrating, promised much more than their excellent previous generation product, but with the critical failure of volume controls and VOX operation and clunky/wkward software user interface, I would recommend that buyers save their money and buy the earlier ones or if they want advanced features that MAY work try the Scala Rider G9X
September 1, 2014
Coming from a Sena SMH-10R
Not sure what the negativity is all about considering I haven't had too much of a problem with the device. The biggest selling point for me is that I cannot have a bluetooth device inside my office so pulling off the bluetooth portion of the 20s and just bring my helmet in is definitely awesome (I have a Lazer Ketrel Lite and I would like to keep people from stealing it.# On top of that I like the FM radio which is a step up from the SMH-10R and the speakers work a bit better. While playing music off my phone tends to be a bit quieter than the radio, at highway + speeds it is more than enough and I usually have to turn it down #the FM radio can get ridiculously loud). If you have a problem with hearing, you might have to adjust the speakers as they are very directional. I also like the fact that it has an AUX and addl headphone port and bluetooth 4.0 is wicked fast. One thing that I liked about the SMH-10R was that it was very small and you just don't get that with the 20s. I have also ridden out in the rain and it held up pretty well.
August 28, 2014
For your sake, do NOT buy!
They are NOT water-resistent, they disconnect at random, SENA support is inexistent (you can see for yourself by going to their support website and looking at how long it takes them to respond - if they do at all), they are not robust: antenna that begs to be broken off, some units have come with cracks in the housing, moderate rain with get them misfiring and glitching, without allowing shut-off, they get into 'group comm' mode and will continuously tell you that it can't connect, the battery will charge and then go through another charge cycle within an hour or two of being 'fully charged', etc, etc.
Everything I've mentioned has happened to me, and to others. If you take a few minutes and search a few different sites, you'll see that all the above statements are supported by others' experience also.
August 26, 2014
The claims by Sena sound great!
Does not pair with any communicators? Just went on a great 2500 mile trip and was only able to listen to music!! Now that it has been installed, I am stuck with a high dollar FM radio and MP3 player. Sena needs to get this worked out and update the 20s to do what they claimed it will do!!
August 25, 2014
Great potential but has a few glitches
Installation took me a while, my helmet (2013 Arai Signet-Q) doesn't have a dents in its cheek pads for the speakers, so I install them by removing cheek pads covers and modifying a foam. 2014 Arai Signet-Q comes with redesigned cheek pads with a room for Bluetooth speakers.
Initial pairing with Galaxy S5 was easy especially with Sena Android App.
After a month of having it my unit start falling apart. The front cover separated from the main body. There are couple Torx screws that hold the front cover and one of the plastic threaded sleeves cracked in half. I called Revzilla CS and Sena as well.
Looks like Sena is aware of over tighten torx screws, at least they admit its not a first case.
Another issue which might be associated with is the locking mechanism that requires certain amount of pressure you need to apply evenly across in order to lock 20S to its base. Basically after you slide the unit onto base rails you have to force it (literally) further till you hear "click". To much force and one of the threaded plastic sleeves from the cover that is attach to main body of 20S with a torx screws snaps in half . I'm guessing this happened to me, cause I didn't hit anything. No, I'm not Hulk and I'm careful with my $600+ Brain-catcher and $250 Bluetooth piece. Either the plastic material used to make a front cover that holds the Torx screws is brittle/weak or the base locking mechanism spring is to strong.
Besides that, weak FM reception (I heard that people had better results by running the right speaker wire within a liner on top instead of back of the helmet. Yes, speaker wire acts as FM antenna. Personally can't confirm on this, didn't have a chance to try it) there is a motion sensor that not always sense my tapping. At least its inconsistent. Sometimes you can activate Sena by simple double tap, where in other times I had to bang twice which looks stupid if you ride the motorcycle and you start banging yourself in a helmet, lol.
Other then that I like it, it's fairly loud even with cheap foam ear plugs, the sound is clear but there is a lack of bass in higher volume the sound is sort of washed out (note to those who complained about the sound level: make sure to adjust the Bluetooth volume in your phone or other device to maximum otherwise your music will be quiet and the Sena voice will make your ears bleed if riding w/o plugs).
I'm replacing faulty unit with Revzilla Guys, which I bought it from and which made a whole process a breeze.
I want to give Sena another chance cause it's new design, new product and everything that's new has a glitches. Besides that I really like all the features Sena 20S has.
August 25, 2014