Bluetooth Headset Recs

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Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Pinikula » March 30th, 2016, 9:57 pm

I've been surfing the net for reviews on Bluetooth systems. Those I've found are reviewing a single purchased product, not comparing with other systems. So, if anyone has one, what kind do you have? what do like most? least? pros? cons? You know the drill...

Thanks for your input!

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby JonXX » March 30th, 2016, 11:13 pm

I've used and highly recommend (for different purposes) the ScalaRider Q2, G4, and G9X systems both solo and in groups. I'm currently using (as well as several others here) a G9X. I have not yet used the ScalaRider PackTalk system. I've used a Sena 10S and didn't care for it (I couldn't hear it and I didn't care for the controls; also, battery life wasn't awesome). I don't recommend UClear for anything other than incoming audio streaming.

Q2 is a basic unit, with limited coms range and features. The controls are a double edged sword, there are few buttons, which is nice and simple, but that means that there's a lot of "press and hold until..." and then "press x times until..." kinds of operations. The speakers are ok, but not awesome.

G4 (replaced by G9X) is more advanced and has much greater coms range and better voice command. Also, much better speakers. Com link is up to four (G9X is nine plus one on a different channel). Both G4 and G9X have similar controls, which are a huge step up from Q2. With five (G4) and six (G9X) buttons, the controls are much better defined. Battery life on each is basically one full riding day with constant use. I need to recharge my G9X about every ten days of 90 minute round-trip commuting. The only thing that glares is that they could be easier to pair to other units that aren't saved in memory. On paper it's easy, but it sometimes takes a time or two to make the pairing stick. If you ride with the same group of people, this will only be an issue the first time you pair up with everybody.

With ALL systems, regardless of brand, proper speaker placement is imperative. The speakers should be centered over and press lightly against your ears. This may require a slight modification to your helmet donning and doffing action. Also, using high-quality ear plugs will make the speakers sound much better. It's counter-intuitive, but when I got my good custom molded ear plugs, I had to turn DOWN my music volume, and the sound really came to life. Speaker installation and placement will be the longest part of the install, and will almost certainly take a couple or three trial rides to get them right.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » March 31st, 2016, 2:48 pm

What he said. My battery on the G9 is starting to have problems after near constant use for 3 (4?) years. I'm seriously considering replacing it with a G9X (or whatever is next). Then only major problems I had with the G9 were it blowing a speaker. The last one I got, I started turning the volume down 2 or 3 notches from full on & I haven't had a problem since. The warranty was great & replacement was fast/easy when I DID have problems with the base.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby gbacon0522 » April 1st, 2016, 2:06 pm

I just got the Sena SMH5-FM about a month ago. Seems to work well enough. Pairs very quickly, is loud enough most of the time (sans doing 80 on the freeway), but I think speaker placement needs some tweaking and I don't have much in the way of a fairing. I mostly use it for tunes and talking on the phone.

Interestingly enough I find I can alter the sound with my visor. Completely shutting the visor kind of mutes or dampens the audio. I get a little better sound having it barely popped open. Anyone else notice this?

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby _dj_ » April 1st, 2016, 6:45 pm

I have been really happy with my Sena SMR10R, I did change the speakers to some speakers from an old sony headset. I listen to music a lot when i'm riding and the sound is actually pretty good with the better speakers. I just soldered it together and attached the speakers with Velcro. Sena has a new one, the 20S but i have not used it.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby travisn000 » April 1st, 2016, 8:00 pm

When I bought mine, my wife and brother had both just started riding and I was looking for something affordable to set up the group. I bought four of these (under a different generic brand):

http://www.amazon.com/niceEshop-Bluetooth-Motorcycle-Motorbike-Interphone/dp/B00ZR5I9RY
http://www.amazon.com/Amazingbuy%C2%AE-Vnetphone-Motorcycle-Weatherproof-Interphone/dp/B00XCSPY1M/

..that was about 3 years ago and I had the first one of them die last fall. For the price I think they are a great deal. buttons are pretty easy to navigate with gloves. Volume is good on music at just about any reasonable speed, but intercom / phone volume is difficult over about 60mph.. if you have better wind protection, or a quieter pipe you might have better success at higher speeds, as they do get quite loud.

If you have alot of wind around your helmet anything you attach to it will get noizy at speed.. smaller is better to reduce the extra wind noise, but also often means smaller battery life / capacity

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Pinikula » April 1st, 2016, 10:44 pm

Thanks for the insight! I look forward to checking some of them out. (I'm hoping to ease my daughter's mind.) Will keep you posted...

J

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby JonXX » April 4th, 2016, 12:52 am

gbacon0522 wrote:Interestingly enough I find I can alter the sound with my visor. Completely shutting the visor kind of mutes or dampens the audio. I get a little better sound having it barely popped open. Anyone else notice this?


I reckon that's the "auto volume according to ambient noise" feature at work. Mine all do that too, on the ScalaRider units you can adjust that sensitivity or turn it completely off.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 4th, 2016, 10:54 am

JonXX wrote:
gbacon0522 wrote:Interestingly enough I find I can alter the sound with my visor. Completely shutting the visor kind of mutes or dampens the audio. I get a little better sound having it barely popped open. Anyone else notice this?


I reckon that's the "auto volume according to ambient noise" feature at work. Mine all do that too, on the ScalaRider units you can adjust that sensitivity or turn it completely off.

I've got my sensitivity turned all the way up. Just the motor noise will raise the volume.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby MerlotMax » April 5th, 2016, 5:29 pm

I have been using a Sena SMH10 for a few years now and it has worked great for my wife and I. Only linked with another rider once and that worked out very well. The last update I installed allowed my wife and I to listen to either our own music or share off of one phone. A fully charged battery will last me a day of music. Just used it for a 5 hour trip and still on the same charge. I don't use the phone much at all but a nice feature when needed. The volume could be a bit better when I have earplugs in, there is an other update that I have yet to install that is saying helps the volume. But then when I hit the curves, the volume goes down and the engine is music enough. Have been contemplating changing out the speakers like dj did.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 7th, 2016, 9:14 pm

OK, I picked up a ScalaRider G9x from JonXX (at Bill's motorcycles Plus in Salem) & I see now that they don't have the full on boom mic anymore, but a "hybrid" mic & a corded mic. Those of you that have used this headset, which do you like better? I've only used the boom mic based on complaints I heard about the wired mic, but I'm kinda afraid the "velcro" on the hybrid mic won't be stable enough for my tastes.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby JonXX » April 8th, 2016, 12:21 am

I said wired earlier, but I guess it's the hybrid that I use with mine.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 8th, 2016, 8:00 am

OK, that's good to know. Thank you.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby JonXX » April 9th, 2016, 11:54 pm

Just as an FYI, ScalaRider has a 10% off promotion for the month of April on all of their products. Your favorite online retailers will never tell you about this or offer it, local dealers that know about it might, if they know about it. BMP (shameless plug) will always offer to our customers the manufacturer promotion discounts that we know about.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 10th, 2016, 10:53 pm

One thing to keep in mind, Cardo doesn't usually honor the warranty for units bought online (unless via a certified dealer), and certainly not from sites like Amazon/eBay. With a 2 year warranty, that's not something I think would be worth risking. Thanks again, Jon. My upgraded unit & I are getting to know each other & it's going well so far.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Cruiser68 » April 12th, 2016, 12:18 pm

My wife and I purchased a Sena 20s system recently. I used it on my long trip so the Lady from Google could tell me when to turn. It worked really well for that and I could hear pretty well in a half helmet. There were occasional issues with volume...that said, I notice that with about any device i pair using bluetooth..there are some issues with volume (say my stereo in the car when listening to music and google directions...volumes are not matched) being consistent. When used with a full facial, I have to turn the volume down.

It works well when my wife and I are riding. That said, if I am riding my Shadow 1100 Sabre, I have difficulty hearing with the half helmet. The after market pipes are a bit noisier than the Harley's (go figure). When riding the Harley, no trouble hearing. Full dresser, so road noise less of an issue, and the pipes are more civilized. That said, if I have the Harley's radio on, my wife can hear the music through her headset and it is highly distracting to her. I need to play with the sensitivity setting...

Sena has a great app that I can change all most all the settings with, which makes it a breeze to change things up.

Battery life is good. All day ride with music works (my wife listens to music with hers). When I was using just for directions, no comm or music, I could go up to three days riding without a charge.

I find the speakers have a 'tinny' sound. You can plug a set of earbuds into the dock, which takes care of sound quality completely. As I mentioned before, I have difficulty hearing with half helmet on the noisier bike. Using earbuds takes care of that.

So far I am a big fan. That said, I have not used any other comm systems, so it is hard to compare.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 12th, 2016, 2:24 pm

Due to Cruiser68 bragging about the Sena app ( :lol: ), I feel compelled to mention that the ScalaRider also has an Android/iOS app for interfacing with the headset when away from a computer.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Cruiser68 » April 13th, 2016, 9:14 pm

There has been a downside to the Sena 20s. Last couple of rides we have been a little disappointed with range. Line of Site, 1/2 mile very best range, typically more than 1/4 miles sketchy. Not having used the other systems, I cannot compare range. What do you all experience with the different systems?

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby wileycoyote » April 15th, 2016, 1:14 am

With the Scala Rider G9(x)?, it's almost certainly a mile (line of sight) as advertised (with the antenna extended). RickRick & I tested it on our last big trip in some of the flattest places. If not a mile, it's pretty damned close. He was a speck on the horizon before comms started to get fuzzy.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Cruiser68 » April 15th, 2016, 6:53 am

I will have to test more rigorously. Last trip out I don't know that we had the antennas extended (you reminded me of that little detail), and I was estimating range via sight. I know when my wife was a spec in the review mirror, there was no comms.

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby RickRick » April 15th, 2016, 4:57 pm

Antenna up does make a big difference.
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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby Pinikula » July 10th, 2016, 4:19 pm

Well, I went for the Sena 10S. I got the dual set and will be testing the intercom feature next weekend on a ride with my son-in-law. I understand there's a "universal" option to connect with non-Sena, but can't confirm that yet. Will post updates as I learn more (for those interested).

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Re: Bluetooth Headset Recs

Postby travisn000 » May 21st, 2018, 2:17 pm

_dj_ wrote:I have been really happy with my Sena SMR10R, I did change the speakers to some speakers from an old sony headset. I listen to music a lot when i'm riding and the sound is actually pretty good with the better speakers. I just soldered it together and attached the speakers with Velcro. Sena has a new one, the 20S but i have not used it.



I recently added a SMH10 to a new helmet... any additional details / sources on the speaker upgrade? Thanks!

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