Sena SMH 10 Dual Pack
I just got back from a trip around the Northeast, NY/VT/NH/ME/NH/MA/CT/NJ... roughly 1660 miles this week and the Sena SMH-10 performed virtually flawlessly this trip.
ISSUES: The only real issue was that I lost connection with the GPS, and a simple turn off/on again resolved it. I would say this happened maybe 3-4x the entire week, not a real problem in my opinion and I’m not sure if it was the Sena of the GPS unit.
TALK TIME: Sena claims that the SMH-10 has a 10 day standby and 10hrs of talk. I can confirm that the claim to 10hr of talk is inaccurate. I would say the talk and/or listen to music time is more like 20hrs. No lie. A friend and I were talking and listening to music for about 6-8hrs one day, it was in standby-mode when we stopped for gas or eating. He never charged his headset that night, and then we used the headsets again the next day for another 6-8hrs before his unit finally died. That's pretty good if you ask me. I would say with high confidence that you could easily go all day long, with music/conversation going for at least 10-12hrs easily.
RANGE/DISTANCE: The range is the biggest issue, but they did what they claimed.
The range of 900 yards is pretty accurate... that works out to just over ½-mile. We tested the 2 units to 0.4 -0.5 miles. The line of site worked great, full-duplex and incredibly clear audio, when you get to the limit around ½-mile, it starts to crackle, but when you look in your mirror, ½-mile is pretty far and unless you really get split up, you're never really that far back riding when in group formation. It truly is line of site on curvy roads, it breaks up more.
On the highway, we were testing distance, and Craig was back about 0.3 - 0.4 miles and we were fine chatting but when a tractor-trailer pulled in-between us it got spotty for a bit until he moved back to his original lane. This is my ONLY complaint about the unit, the distance, but they do say line of sight and the 900m distance, they aren't lying.
HELMETS: I wore a Nolan N-90 modular and my friend wore a full face (non-modular) on a sport bike. The units are VERY easy to install, you just need to make sure you can slip a thin 2-credit card thickness plate between the outer shell, and the inner liner, which I believe in most helmets, that is not a problem. It mounts on the LEFT side, I do not believe it would work on the right based on the boom mic pointing out the front of the unit and you do need the mic near your lips.
I did find out that the new Nolan N-104 might be an issue as they moved the inner 'fighter pilot' shield lever to the lower front of the helmet (at the bottom edge) and it may interfere with the boom mike that comes out the front of the unit. Other than that, if you helmet is like most, it should be fine.
CLARITY: At 70mph, we were carrying on a very clean/clear conversation and the music sounded great in between talking.
PHONE CALLS: Why? Phone calls, if you want, work great also. Best thing is to pair the phone, to the GPS, then the GPS to the Sena. I found it works best if you turn on your phone, then GPS and let them sync, then turn on your headset to pair to GPS. I don't want to use my phone while riding, but did and I could hear others, and they said I sounded good on the 2x I tried it. Craig did use his a few times and he said it worked great. Again, I'm riding, I don't want to talk to anyone, if it's an emergency I'll pull over.
I did talk quite a bit with the helmet flipped up and I have a fairing on my HD Road King, and non-stock pipes. At cruising speed (55-70) I could hear and be heard clear with no wind noise, and when under throttle, Craig said I was still very clear with virtually no exhaust noise.
WATER PROOF: We didn't get caught in any rain, fortunately... but, unfortunately in the fact that I can't say anything about their ruggedness and waterproof abilities.
CHARGING: It takes about 2.5hrs to fully charge them each night.
PAIRING: To pair to Senas, on both units hold the Jog Dial down for 5 seconds, they start to flash, then tap only one unit to pair them and Viola, done. After that, whenever they are near another paired unit they automatically connect and I never had any issues. Pairing the GPS is slightly different as you have to hold the phone button, once blinking then tap the Jog Shuttle. Very easy, and well explained in the manual. You can pair up to 3 other Sena units (4 total connected)
MUSIC/BOOKS: I have MP3's and Audible books on my Zumo 660 and they sounded great with one caveat.... does anyone know of a program that will make ALL audio files have the same volume? Some are much louder than others, and some are so quiet, that even at full volume on the Sena it would barely be audible. Overall, very good sound.
GPS DIRECTIONS: The Garmin voice, cuts in WAY too many times when you're talking to others, and at the most inopportune times. When she does, you lose the comm to the other Sena unit(s) until she's done and then it takes about 5 seconds for comm’s to kick back in. It gets more noticeable (aka worse) as you get closer to your turn as she cuts in at roughly 1mile, then 0.5, then 0.1, then at the turn, and finally then after telling you to go xx miles. She's a PIA. I wish there was a way you could tell the GPS to only give audible comments at say, 1mile, then only .2 miles and then again after you make your turn... or whatever your preferences are. There is no warning tone on your end, or your friend’s headset other than if you’re talking you get cut off, and after a few times, you both figure out timing. Annoying but not a deal breaker.
-Crystal Clear sound
-Easy to Pair to GPS or other SENA units
-Full-Duplex, nothing to press to talk
-Easy to switch from Comms to Music, and back. (you can use VOX if you like, we didn't)
-Large, easy to find and use Jog Shuttle
-You can plug in MP3 music (or GPS) so you don’t lose comms, but you need wiring at that point.
-Distance/Range. I just wish the range was more like 1 mile, regardless of line of site, but it is Bluetooth, and it does exactly what they claim.
-The random (maybe 3-4x all week) BT disconnect to the GPS (not a deal breaker)
-Can only connect 4 units at once unlike FRS/CB (but those are not full-duplex). Others can do up to 8 units at 1 mile but are 2x the price and as Bluetooth evolves, so will the units.
Not a Con against GPS or SENA, but they really need to standard the Bluetooth format so you can talk to other brands, like CB or FRS. It's BS in my mind that only SENA can talk to other SENA units, etc. If they make it uniform and you can use Sena to talk to other manufacturers units and that would be awesome!
That's my report and I would not hesitate recommending these to anyone!