Sena SMH10R Bluetooth Headset
It works, mostly...
I really wanted to love this thing, and in a lot of ways I do. However, it's a far cry from what I had hoped.
Right out the gate, I'm going to disagree with 99% of the reviews I read before deciding to buy this:
- Yes, I notice wind noise that didn't exist with it on my helmet.
- No, the sound quality is not 'great,' it's not 'good,' it hardly rates 'acceptable' in my book.
I installed this on my Shoei Neotec. Install was straightforward. You definitely have a bundle of wires to route, and I imagine this unit is more of a pain than other options on the market. That said, as long as you realize what you're getting into, it's by no means difficult. The hardest part of my install was finding a place to tuck the wire connections, as the first couple of places were *just* noticeable enough to start creating pressure spots on my head after 30 miles or so. I still intend to pull the padding back out of my helmet and try to come up with a more permanent solution, more on that later.
The wind noise I mentioned is negligible, but noticeable. Maybe my Neotec has less inherent wind noise than helmets other reviewers ride, so I noticed it more, I'm not sure. I do know that my last hearing exam involved a conversation about how soon I should expect to need hearing aids, so I wouldn't attribute it to sensitive hearing. It took me a few rides to figure out what I was hearing, then it drove me absolutely insane for another few weeks, but has since faded from my awareness.
Controls are pretty much what everyone says they are, clunky. I haven't utilized the intercom feature at all, it's primarily a link for my GPS and music, and occasional phone calls. It works well enough once you figure it out, but I don't think anyone would use the word 'intuitive' to describe its function.
One thing I'm highly unimpressed with is the "glitchiness," for lack of a better word. I haven't yet had a chance to see if I need a software update, and haven't contacted Sena about the issue at all, so I'll update my review if any of that changes this issue. This issue has been 100% repeatable for me, every time this process is followed:
-Listening to music (Pandora) and GPS voice prompts from my phone.
-Hold center button to pause music, approaching toll booth. No GPS prompts in progress or taking place for several minutes either side of this pause.
When I leave the toll booth, there is no way to unpause my music, and the GPS voice is muted enough to be a quiet murmur at freeway speeds. Turning the unit off freezes it and renders it useless until I pull over and disconnect, then reconnect the battery from the unit. After this hard power cycle, it works fine. As such, my wire routing has gone to trash after an "I'm going to be late, my fingers are cold, and I have no idea where I am right now" side of the freeway scramble to find the right wire. Now I keep my battery wire accessible, which means it falls into the wind occasionally. Annoying and unnecessary.
Sound quality is pretty much garbage. It's probably good enough if you're one of the people who thinks the little white earbuds that come with iPods are high quality. It's acceptable for around town use, even pretty good. That's across music, phone calls, and voice guidance. Above about 45mph, phone calls become difficult to understand, and are pretty much hopeless if you're on the freeway. If the speakers are turned loud enough to hear at 65mph, the music washes out and sounds absolutely horrible. Bad enough it sometimes takes me a minute to figure out the song that's playing is one that I know every word to. If you're concerned about sound quality, plan to ditch the speakers in favor of the earbud adapter. I haven't yet ordered one, but I have quit using the unit for music until I do.
Sound clarity is reportedly good. Everyone I've asked how I sound says I'm loud and clear, even on the freeway. Compared to the Motorola hands free gizmo I have in my truck, everyone says this beats it by leaps and bounds for sound quality, and I've never had a complaint about the Motorola. A couple people have said I sound a bit muffled, but that I'm still very clear.
Battery life is good for listening. I usually get a solid week of commute rides in if I listen to music 100% of the time. I haven't really run it through the ringer if I'm using the mic much.
Overall, I'm accepting of the product. I definitely wouldn't say I'm happy with it, but I do think it's an advance over not having it at all. I deliberated for a good few minutes before clicking "yes, I'd recommend this to others." I'm honestly not sure I would. But if you expect clunky controls and don't mind spotty sound quality (an understatement), maybe you'll be happy with it. If the software update fixes the functional issues I have, upgrading to earbuds from the speakers will make it orders of magnitude better, in my opinion.
June 27, 2015
great for listening to music, gps, and phone calls
This product is exactly what i was looking for. My phone calls or crisp and clear, my music sounds great however sometimes the bass is too much and i have to lower it. So far I haven't had any issues with wind noise being a factor. I can hear my sena no matter what. This is also great because it allows you to talk and get directions or make a phone call without having to pull over. Honestly makes ride so much more enjoyable than it already is. You wont regret this purchase.
June 23, 2015
Best Low-Profile Headset
The best thing about this headset is the fact that you can place everything where you want it, and you choose how you run your own wires.
I will say that where the cheek pads slide in on the side of my helmets I had to make small cuts (specifically rectangles) in the plastic for the cables to run though, but by doing so it still maintained its integrity and gave a very very snug fit.
Sound quality could be better but they are very loud speakers, and I am very pleased with the cost of these. Great product and I wouldn't recommend buying anything else!
June 22, 2015
Great Product, Excellent Price
Considering the price of the product, this Bluetooth works amazing and looks great. The streamline design goes very nicely with the helmet's contour shape and the finish of the product goes really well with matte/satin finish helmets. Sound quality for music is great and the phone talk feature works well enough that some were surprised when I told them I was out riding and using my helmet to talk. The slight difficulty to install it very clean (if you have some OCD-tendencies) is probably the only con but that factor comes with all helmet Bluetooth devices as far as I know.
Unless you are looking for a very high tech unit that will cover extreme distances for rider intercom, etc, you do not need to shell out a small fortune for a Bluetooth unit; this one will do you fine and then some if you are simply looking for basic functions (music, phone, moderate range intercom)
June 22, 2015
Works good and fit nicely on my Shoei Neotec
For the most part I am using this for music from my iPhone. Sound quality is poor but it does work. It is expensive for a poor quality BT headset but not many options if you want controls outside your helmet. I did take a call while riding around 45mph and the person at the other end could tell but barely. The call quality is pretty good.
June 22, 2015
Good product, clear sound....
Great buy! Good clarity in calls and fits good on my helmet. It made things a lot easier for me to listen to music and now I dont miss any calls.....
June 15, 2015
Perfect for my use
I love this item! easy installation works great. Sound quality is average but, this item works flawlessly. I can listen to music and reject calls, well I did take one call just to try it out but that was it, a couple of taps and sends it right to voice mail. Very happy with this purchase.
June 8, 2015
Great product, would recommend.
I love to listen to music, especially when I ride. I bought this headset and it is amazing. The sound quality isn't 100% what I'd want it to be, but it's pretty great. I haven't tested the intercom part of the product but the Bluetooth connected to a phone is fantastic. Pretty easy to physically install and the Bluetooth setup is very easy. I would definitely recommend this product for other people.
June 8, 2015