Sena 20S Bluetooth Headset
Best communicator out there
I ordered a new Icon Alliance Dark and wanted to get a bluetooth communicator so that I could listen to music, take phone calls (I'm practically always on-call at work and "I was out for a ride" doesn't go over well when I fail to answer the phone), and talk bike-to-bike when my wife and I go for rides.
My previous experience with bluetooth communicators have all been products by a different brand (rhymes with lardo). I did not really have any issues with them except for the price as well as the lack of customization...an issue that is found in many (most?) bluetooth communicators.
The Sena 20S isn't the cheapest thing in the world, but for the quality, performance, and included accessories it has a good bang for the buck factor.
With most similar products you typically get the communicator itself, a microphone (usually boom and wired), headphones, helmet clamp, and a stick mount for helmets that the clamp doesn't fit. With the Sena 20S you get all that and more. Also included in the box were a car charger, a second (wired) boom mic, auxiliary 3.5mm audio cable, as well as an assortment of velcro pieces to help mount everything in place. Basically, it is all the stuff that comes in the Sena 20S Supplies Kit that can also be purchased separately.
Installing the 20S on my Icon Alliance was a snap. My Schuberth C3 makes it very difficult to add a communicator because the clamp mounts don't work so hot and the sun visor lever make using a stick on mount more challenging than most (but they will be happy to hook you up with their C3 specific SRC communicator). The helmet clamp works just fine on the Alliance and the 20S feels rock solid. The microphone and headphone wires all tuck away neatly, though for my particular wire routing preference I'd have liked the microphone wire to have been an inch or two longer.
I'm no audiophile but I have no complaints about the sound quality the speakers provide. Sure, they aren't what you'd call bass rich but I've heard (much) worse. The volume is loud enough that I had no problem listening to the Cult's Fire Woman at freeway speeds on my cruiser, which doesn't have a windscreen. I have not made any phone calls yet but Siri is able to understand my voice commands just fine. I've not used the built in voice commands since everything I need to do can mostly be done through iPhone's Siri.
A great feature of the 20S is that you can have two cell phones paired at the same time. This is a nice touch for those of us who have to carry not only their personal phone but also a business one as well. Now I never have to choose between which phone I want to have paired to my headset.
The FM radio works well and I did not encounter any reception problems. I wish it would also receive HD radio since there are some HD only stations I like to listen to but it's hardly a deal breaker.
I'm looking also forward to being able to go for a ride and use the bike to bike intercom to talk to my wife. She has a different brand communicator but thanks to the universal intercom we can still talk to each other. A big problem with earlier communicators was that everyone in your group had to have the exact same brand and I'm glad we are moving past that. It was akin to having an iPhone that only made phone calls to other iPhones.
Finally, the thing I noticed first when I pulled the 20S out of the box was that it seemed like a very well built item. The helmet clamp felt very solid and not like the flimsy plastic clamps of other brands. The actual communicator itself gives a sense of confidence that it will last for the long haul.
I'm a technology geek so I'm all about having the latest toys and gadgets, but I look forward to keeping the Sena 20S on my helmet for a long time.
August 22, 2015
Nothing bad to say about this product. Only complaint was first trying to connect multiple Bluetooth devices. After initial setup everything was much easier.
August 17, 2015
Not for RF1200
So, my other headset was crapping out on me, so I upgraded to this one. Mainly for the improved voice controls, app support, and the FM turner. The voice controls are great. I hit the bottom button and say "speed-dial one" and it makes the call. Works great. The installation was a little rough. Just like the video says, the speakers are bigger than the cutouts in my RF1200 (but they sound great). my biggest issue was how it fits in the helmet. The RF 1200 has the cut out edges, which I love, but that makes it tough to install the mount. I ended up having to use the stick on mount and it still doesn't stick down flush. All in all, it works fine, but it doesn't fit the way Sena designed. But, that is mainly due to the design of the RF-1200.
August 10, 2015
A little buggy
Installation was very easy and hassle free (In a Shark Evoline 3 helmet). The controls are very responsive, the only pick I have about the interface is that if you wear an armored jacket the shoulder armor can hit the round button and it will try and sync with other riders using the intercom feature. It won’t take long to “Learn” how to adjust your visor or other movements without hitting the round button. I have yet to sync with other riders. I have used it as a music system, GPS, and phone link. The sound quality is pretty good about 90% of the time. Every once in a while it sounds very overdriven and distorted. The voice activation features work great IF there is no background noise. I ride a Moto Guzzi Eldorado (2016) which is made to Europe's noise standards which are significantly quieter than even California. So its not that my bike is too loud. At times I found my self yelling inside my helmet and still could not get the feature to work more than about 50% of the time while riding above about 30 MPH. The "Hey Sena" voice prompt feature does not work after 30 seconds from syncing and "will be addressed in a later firmware update." I have had the unit for about 3 weeks now. To be honest I purchased it for the “Hey Sena” feature, and the voice controls which both need work. Hopefully the firmware updates will come soon. Once the voice features are addressed I would recommend this product.
July 27, 2015
Easy to install and use while driving
Great product! They could of done better with the speakers tho. I found better ones off eBay that give music a little more bass so it doesn't feel like someone's screaming I'm my ears.
July 27, 2015
The Sena 20s have everything you need.
After using this product for a few weeks now I must say this is the best investment I have made thus far. The Sena 20s has all the features you need to keep in communication with your fellow riders and your phone. I highly recommend if you looking for a bluetooth device for your Motorcycle to get your hands on the Sena 20s. The battery life is great in my honest opinion. I have only had to charge this one time in a 2 week period and I listen to my music, make calls, and use the GPS in my phone and I have no issues with battery life at all. The only gripe I do have is the speakers could have been a bit more amplified and more Bass. The tone is quite dainty and you will need to have the volume at full most times listening to music. Phone calls are very clear though and do not require the volume to be at max.
I give the Sena 20s a 5 out of 5 star rating and I will be purchasing another one for my wife.
July 27, 2015
Great sound and easy to use.
Great headset and easy to use.
I received a call while I was riding and it was so clear the person had no idea I was riding down the street in the middle of traffic.
My only issue with it is the radio isn't very strong, that's minor considering all the other options on this device.
It is also a bit pricey, but it works great!
July 27, 2015
Good enough, but not great.
To be honest I don't really want to recommend the 20S, but I can't completely knock it either because it serves a purpose and I believe probably does it as well or better than most. My only other personal experience with a bluetooth unit was the one made specifically for my Nolan helmet. It completely crapped out on day two and I sent it back.
It's huge, but you get used to it. The voice commands are convenient when they work, which is frustratingly infrequent: that seems to be the microphone, not the software. I prefer to use the buttons to command the unit now anyway. Once you learn what does what, which is nicely simple, it's easier and more reliable. I have to periodically use the reset function to fix the sound quality or some other glitch, but that's easy; too frequent for my tastes but acceptable in the age of digital everything that is pushed to market too quickly. Carry a paper clip; you will thank me.
Installation was pretty straight forward. I had to use the adhesive mount, and they take no responsibility for it's use of course even though they provide it. It has lasted for 14k miles through all sorts of weather, temps from 32 to 105, and it seems fine. The sound quality and level are fine even at highway speeds for the most part. Occasionally, it will sound scratchy or tinny and distant; grab the paper clip, reset it, and it should be fine. I've been through some good rain and it hasn't shut down, but it has a feature that's supposed to preventatively shut it down in the event it gets too wet.
I don't use it for phone calls or intercom since I'm riding solo. I thought I'd use the radio, which works well, but I don't. I listen to audiobooks and music from my phone and accepting the criticisms above it works well and I'd rather have it than not I suppose. Especially now that I just use the buttons. Not a glowing or scathing review, I know, but hopefully it will help out.
July 20, 2015