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Old 04-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Sena SMH-10 initial review

So I bought a dual pack SMH-10 for riding. Initial goal is music with phone capability for the highway during long rides, music on a near daily basis. Battery longevitiy is key as well as weather durability. Being wireless is a bonus.

I have used a J&M CB in the past. Great but the signal priority always had the CB cutting into music. Great sound, waterproof, relatively small for what it was comprised of and mp3 input cord.

I now have a Garmin 660 wired in to the bike. This worked great until my mic or a cable went out and the caller on the other end can not hear me speak but I have flawless sound. The Garmin itself does not provide enough boost to hear on the highway with earplugs in. I had been using my Etymotic ER6i's.

Helmet fit with the Sena, I have a RF1000 and my girlfriend has a RF1100. The base mount clamped on easily to the RF1000, had to get a little more tough with the RF1100 to get it in a prime position. Mic is nice and stiff, holds it position well. The RF1000 does not have speaker holes but I had cut into the foam a little so they were not pressing on my ears. The RF1100 has speaker cutouts in the mold, they fit perfectly. The wires take a little routing to get them to stay until the padding but they do hide well. The unit is self contained and the clamp is stong.

It took all of 10 mins to mount both units, pair my phone to my helmet and the other phone to the other helmet, then pair the helmets to each other for talking on the fly. The new 4.0 software upgrade is supposed to be able to allow 4-way communication without have to switch between riders. Phone is set as highest priority with helmet to helmet and then music last. I currently have a HTC Evo 4, so I can run music through the phone and have phone operations as well. I am trying this route first. I have heard that there are some pairing issues with the Zumo 660 and smart phones as they use the same pairing codes. The other way to do it is to pair the phone to the Zumo and then the Zumo to the Sena. As my Zumo is stereo music as well, it will still allow phone communication and music with directions from the Zumo to come through the audio. Having separate volume controls for each function is a super nice bonus and having instant access to the volume is even nicer.

Initial testing:
1) phone call with helmet on, not on motorcycle = pass with flying colors
currently not using voice activated functions
2) road test music through phone = pass with flying colors.
Turned on the phone bluetooth, turned on the helmet, by time I put the helmet on, I could hear the unlink. Plus it says "Goodbye" or something like that when you turn the Sena off, nice. 65mph highway ride with earplugs on a KLX250SF with a 2 Brothers pipe (louder than an M4). No problem hearing the music (phone on max volume btw) with the wind noise.

I have not done a phone road test as I phone want to be monkeying with the phone while riding. But accepting and rejecting a phone call is as simple as pressing one of the two buttons.

The manual explains things very well and the forum support answers many questions. I found most of my inital information on ADVRider.com.

The only problem I have had so far was getting the software upgraded. My laptop runs on Vista and the drivers will not load using Vista. You will need a cpu with Windows 7 or XP. Thankfully my parents pc has XP and it took all of 10 min's to do the software upgrade on both headsets. Very fast.

My brother in law used these units last year on a long ride with his dad. They both loved them. Reported battery life was 12hrs plus with open channels all day. The nice thing is you can charge them on the fly if the battery runs low, only if you have a powered cigarette outlet or a usb cord charger. I do run a powered tank bag with both options, that should solve any extreme long rides that I may plan and am known to pull off.

I will post some pictures later this weekend of the unit mounted up and will continue to update this thread as I continue testing the units.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

please keep updating, I'm looking.. leaning towards the siena.. do you know anyone you can test the walky talky with?
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

I searched long and hard before purchasing my blue tooth set. I ended up with a dual Sena Smh10 pack as well. I have been using it for 3 weeks daily.

First off the 4.0 upgrade is a must. I love the voice status stuff, it makes it easy to recognize what the unit is doing over just multiple beeps.

Took about 5 min to install into my rf1100 and pair to my phone. It is extremely easy to operate while on the bike. Cant make it any easier. I use the bluetooth every day while riding for music or streaming pandora. I have only answered a few calls while on it and it works great. No idea how to use the voice call thing yet. Battery seems to last forever, and if needed i could use it while charging but i havent had to.

Music is loud and clear, i have a very loud exhaust on my bike and this plays over it no problem. Certain songs have too high a snare hit but a simple turn of the jog corrects this problem.

I have not tried the intercomm feature yet but tomorrow im going to slap my other unit on someones helmet and see how it works .

Over all i am extremely pleased and i laugh everytime my fellow riders spend 30 min trying to setup and pair there Scala g4 units. Yea i cant talk to them unless they call me but what ever i like my music too much hahaha. They also cant hear their units on the freeway very well and mine is loud and clear

Got my set for a great price too
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renderw View Post
please keep updating, I'm looking.. leaning towards the siena.. do you know anyone you can test the walky talky with?
Im going to give it a go with other riders tomorrow. Hopefully with great results.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Wow, great review!

Looking forward to seeing more.

Good job.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

My friends and I all bought the sena s-10 at the NY motorcycle show. We found walkie talkie mode works fine in line of sight, but as soon as you cannot see the other guy, you pretty much are not talking to him wither, we lost contact within 5 minutes of losing line of sight in an urban environment. Otherwise you might as well be sitting next to the person in a car and talking. The volume is good enough that my earplugs are not an issue.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

Perfectly timed review, glad I still hang around here even with the SV gone.. I've been thinking about going with a SMH-10 and 660 set-up myself, and I have a RF-1000. Have been wondering about the install on the helmet, how it would be with ear plugs in, etc. Your review answers a bunch of questions. If you have a picture that shows how wide the unit is hanging off the side of the helmet, I would love to see it. I still want my helmet to fit in my side cases.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

I use a Shoei for a daily lid, but mounted the Sena on my Scorpion so I could leave it on. I still need to pull pads to better route the wires.






this last shows how the speaker fits inthe hollow all my helmets have for it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:55 PM   #9
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

Sorry, I was extremely busy this weekend. I will get pictures of my helmet setup tomorrow right after work.

The intercom reports from my brother in law were nearly 1/4 mile of distance with line of sight. In dense corners and wilderness such as the Dragon, I would not expect much but the closer the distance the stronger the signal.

From what I've read, Sena is an industrial technology developer, they know how to build things strong and durable.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Re: Sena SMH-10 initial review

I love my Sena! I've had it for almost two years, I think. I have the original, so I don't think I can upgrade the firmware...which sucks, but I don't have other riders with Senas so it doesn't matter. As long as I can make phone calls and listen to music and chat with my wife, I'm happy. My buddy called me once to tell me he had my part in and after we'd talked a few minutes, he asked me where I was and I told him I was a couple miles away heading in his direction. He was surprised that I was riding because he couldn't really hear my bike and I was coming through clearly. Thanks for posting...it's good to hear other people like it as well.
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