Review Sena SMH-10R Intercom

Renee and I have always enjoyed riding together, but struggled with communicating to each other.  When I saw something cool, i would point to it, and most of the time Renee would miss what I saw.  If Renee wanted me to stop for a picture, she would wack me on the leg until I stopped.  Sometimes too late.

So, we decided to invest in an intercom system.

I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews and the system we chose to get was the Sena SMH-10R.

The main points that drew me to this particular system were:  It’s compact size, the brand “Sena” is a popular, well respected brand, and the price.

Features:

  • Universal Intercom: Allows allows pairing to other brands of Bluetooth headsets – You can talk to Other Riders, even if they don’t have a Sena system!!
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Bluetooth intercom up to 900 meters (980 yards) in open terrain – You can talk to each other even when you are not sitting together on the bike!!
  • Ultra slim & feather light
  • Four-way conference intercom – Talk to 3 other people.
  • Conference phone call with intercom participant
  • Multipoint for mobile phone+GPS
  • Voice prompts
  • Bluetooth stereo headset for Bluetooth audio devices such as MP3 players
  • Bluetooth music playback control by AVRCP: Play, pause, track forward and track back
  • Bluetooth handsfree for Bluetooth mobile phones
  • Bluetooth headset or stereo headset for Bluetooth GPS navigation
  • Water resistant for use in inclement weather
  • Can be used while charging on road trip
  • Individual volume control for each audio source
  • Firmware upgradeable

Cost:

A Dual Pack which includes units for 2 people sells for around $300.

Performance:

Sound quality is good.  We are able to communicate up to 60 MPH depending on the wind noise.  The first few times we used these, Renee was getting a crackling static sound whenever I spoke.  We did a reset and it seemed to fix the problem.

Ease of Installation:

Installation was easy.  The control unit and the battery pack are fastened to the outside of the helmet using double sided tape.  Positioning the speakers, the microphone, and the associated wires took a little experimentation, but in the end, they all fit into the padding nicely.

Pros:

  • Nice size, does not significantly add to the helmet profile.
  • Easy to use.
  • Packed with features.
  • Can run on battery power or plugged into power source.

Cons:

  • Power charging is through mini USB port in control unit, not into battery directly.
  • The charging cord which is supplied with the unit is not a very high quality and is prone to slipping out.  A couple of times, we thought we were charging the units, but they were not fully charged.  As a result, we lost comms during a couple of rides. This is not a problem, because they will work plugged into a power outlet, but it’s a pain to run a cord to your helmet when you are not used to it.

Overall:

Dale:  I give this unit 2 thumbs up.  It’s small and unobtrusive, yet the buttons are easy to use even when wearing gloves.  An overnight charge will give us enough battery life to last for as long as we care to ride.  Sound quality is good to great allowing us to talk whenever we want to, which is the entire reason we wanted a comm system.

Renee:

This is my favorite investment for the bike yet!  It has completely changed our rides and I am only sorry we didn’t get them sooner.  I would add one thing that Dale left out though…we both wear earplugs when we ride.  It makes a huge difference with these units.  Originally I thought the fact that we wore plugs would make it harder to use them…harder to hear each other.  But, the opposite is true.  If we try to use them without earplugs and competing with wind noise in our helmets, they are much less clear and beyond about 40 mph I can’t hear Dale at all without plugs in.  We also found, strangely enough, that we hear each other even better and at even higher speeds since we got our new bike.  I imagine it has to do with how the wind moves over us compared to how it did before.  All I can say is, it’s so much more fun to share the ride now that we can hear each other!

 

Just a note about reviews:  We are not paid representatives for any product or company. Our reviews are based on our own experiences with the products and services we review.

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