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Discussion in 'Motorcycling News' started by NetriderBot, Jul 24, 2014.
First impressions, photos and video of the new Sena 20S.
Recently bought Sena 20s and Fr33dm and Mudfrog were curious as to how I found them. I am no professional review writer but here is my little review!
The Sena 20s comes as 2 pieces, I will just call them Piece 1 and Piece 2 for to make it easy.
Piece 1: This clips onto your helmet, one half of it on the outside of the helmet, this is what piece 2 connects too and there is also an AUX in and out port for a standard 3mm jack. The other half clips inside the helmet under your cheek pad, there is 2 screws to tighten it to your helmet. This piece also has a plug for the microphone to connect too (which comes connected) and it is easy to run to the front of your helmet (pictured below). It also comes with 2 speakers connected to go either side of the helmet, these attach via velcro on the back of the speaker as well as a Velcro sticker to go into your helmet. I pulled the padding out of the helmet and ran the wires under that, this was easy for me but will depend on your helmet.
Piece 2: This is the main piece that clips onto the outside, it has an inbuilt rechargeable battery, FM Radio, Bluetooth to connect to phones/gps, a Dial to control phone/radio functions, etc. The Antenna can be raised or lowered. Battery life appears to be good, I am yet to drain it completely however I charged the device for ~45mins and then it survived the 3hr trip home. It was linked to my phone playing music through Google Music and Google Maps GPS running in the background, all of it worked perfectly and Bluetooth syncing to my phone was a breeze. Audio was very clear, I could hear the music and GPS instructions easily.
This piece is easy to clip onto Piece 1 and easy to remove by pressing in a small silver button. Call quality is excellent, while on the freeway I called my partner and my father and both of them said they could hear me clearly. My partner kept asking if I was even moving, and my father thought I was in the car driving around town. So they easily could hear what I was saying and I could easily hear them with barely any background noise for either person.
However when travelling at freeway speeds the Sena is not a noise cancelling device, you will still need ear plugs. I tried with both Mighty Plugs in my ears and using the Sena speakers, as well as Earmolds and both times had no issues hearing the Sena. If you have Earmolds or existing ear phones that you prefer to use the standard 3mm jack can go into the Sena so you can use that. This is what I did with my Earmolds.
Overall I am very happy with the Sena 20s. I will most likely use it every time I am on the bike, in the morning trip to work I wont bother with plugging in Earmolds I will just use the Sena speakers and listen to the radio. Bigger trips I will Bluetooth to my phone and plug Earmolds in.
Any questions feel free to ask.
Great review of the Sena unit, and your setup with it which covers all of the areas I was thinking about. Thank you for posting this along with clear photos.
What are the advantages of the 20s over the 10U?
Especially given the 10U is a stealth fit into the shoei gt air.
Better range, more connections via Bluetooth but I must admit mine is very quiet when listening to my music when compared to the radio or phone calls...
how do you go about listening to radio, smartphone app?
yep, you can tune in 8 (I Think) stations and cycle through them once you start it via voice operation.
As DonJuan said, you have access to 10 radio stations and the easiest way is to pair your sena with your phone and use the app. I only have one station programmed. The one issue I have with the radio feature is that the volume is very loud even at the lowest volume setting.
I'm using a 'ghetto' version of this.
I connect this..... Bluetooth Audio Receiver with Music Control | MP3/iPod Accessories | MP3/iPod Accessories | Sight & Sound Personal | PRODUCTS | AA2087 | Jaycar Electronics
via Bluetooth to my phone and clip it to the loop of my helmet strap. The receiver has APT-X for better sounding Bluetooth. There is also a mic in the receiver which I poke up the front in front of my mouth to take a call if need be. Doesn't work great for calls but good enough.
I then connect it to a pair of Shure SE215 in ear monitors for great sound. I'm very fussy with audio and this sounds great without having cables connected everywhere.
I would really like to go to a Sena unit in the future but the lack of APT-X Bluetooth protocol or old Bluetooth technology they use is ridiculous and stops me from going that route. If they ever integrated that into their headsets I'd get it in a second.
I have a Sena 20S to replace my older ebay intercom and have mixed thoughts about it.
Menu sucks, don't know what half the buttons do and don't touch it while riding in fear I'll break it, pairing with other intercoms is a mission, voice control hopeless.
Spent 3 hours trying to get it to voice activate by saying "hello sena" without success until I saw a video where it was actually "hello seeiiinnaa" with you needing to talk like a hillbilly for it to work.
Realistic Intercom Range: 200m in open air, less than 100m in CBD paired with an identical 20S
No freakin idea how they claim (1km) range....maybe on the far side of the moon
Audio Quality is excellent, speakers are chunkier then other units however it is much louder then my old unit which was why I upgraded.
Easy to install, doesn't whistle in the wind, FM radio is good, phone app is limited but alright.
Crazy long battery life, can get 1-2 weeks of battery life with me using it 3 hours a day everyday with a mix of it in standby and FM.
Like the multitasking where you can be listening to the radio and a phonecall will interrupt it then fade back in once the call is over.
Call quality is excellent for both parties, boss couldn't believe I was flying down the freeway and presumed I was still in the office with a handset.
Durability is good, feels chunky and has survived multiple rainstorms without a fuss.
I think the quality control out of the Sena factory isn't that good. My unit works great but other riders in my group have had to sent theirs back and some are still having issues. I get great intercom over a long distance as long as its still line of site, if someone is way ahead and they go around a bend it starts to break up. I haven't measured the distance but it would be close to 1k on open roads.
I agree with Nicholai_Chev the menu on the unit does suck and everyone in the group always says "don't touch anything" if we get the group all connected somehow lol, but the app on the IPhone works alright