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Discussion Starter #1
May take my AT on some long rides (some on highway) and want to connect my Samsung S8 (Android) phone to listen to music (from music I saved on the phone, or streamed live like Pandora/Sirius OR listen to Podcasts I had downloaded using another app AND use the Waze App for navigation. (So basically using 2 apps at same time.)

I was looking at various communication systems and its a bit overwhelming. I really do not need to communicate with other riders (but that feature may be useful if they have a compatible system - mesh?).

I was not sure I can run both Waze and music/podcasts on the phone and if the Nav App voice would override the music, etc.

Anyway, I read about the Sena 20s EVO and Cardo and some other lower cost units. Just wanted some thoughts.
I am not sure about a boom mic and a flip-up Scorpion helmet though....
I do want pretty decent sound but assume that may also depend on the helmet fit and windscreen, etc.

Thoughts?
 

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May take my AT on some long rides (some on highway) and want to connect my Samsung S8 (Android) phone to listen to music (from music I saved on the phone, or streamed live like Pandora/Sirius OR listen to Podcasts I had downloaded using another app AND use the Waze App for navigation. (So basically using 2 apps at same time.)



I was looking at various communication systems and its a bit overwhelming. I really do not need to communicate with other riders (but that feature may be useful if they have a compatible system - mesh?).



I was not sure I can run both Waze and music/podcasts on the phone and if the Nav App voice would override the music, etc.



Anyway, I read about the Sena 20s EVO and Cardo and some other lower cost units. Just wanted some thoughts.

I am not sure about a boom mic and a flip-up Scorpion helmet though....

I do want pretty decent sound but assume that may also depend on the helmet fit and windscreen, etc.



Thoughts?
My wife and I have had a number of the Sena units ranging from the SMH-10 through the 20S and 20S EVO.

Overall I really like the Sena units, but they are not waterproof and we have had some issues with water getting inside the unit, causing them to crackle and die. They do tend to work again after they have dried out, but in the meantime communications are down the rest of the ride. One exception to that rule was one SMH10 unit that finally have up the ghost, but we had it for many years and it had been wet, died and come back to life more times than I can remember.

We recently switched to the Cardo PackTalk Bolds after a wet spring and getting fed up with one unit or the other cutting out every time it rained. The mesh communications of the Cardo works brilliantly and the JBL speakers and sound profile of the Cardo delivers much better sound than the Sena. We usually listen to Spotify and it sounds great. Cardo is waterproof and so far we have had zero issues with even very heavy rain.

This guys video describes the issue with the 20s quite a bit, other than our would eventually just shut down.


And Ryan's video here gives a good comparison, though it may seem a bit odd if your not familiar with the show Letterkenny and "in on the joke" :)


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I have the Senia S10 and a Garmin 590lm, MOST of the time I just use my S10 and pair it with my iPhone and have no issues listening to music, making calls ( most ppl don’t even know/think I’m on my bike ). Now using both the GPS and the IPhone takes a bit of redoing because you have to connect the Senia & iPhone to the Garmin but when connected it does work, it will let you listen to any music app on your phone (just open that app on your phone) while listening it will mute/pause the song give directions then play agin. Tho I will admit here lately the Garmin has been giving me issues on making/receiving calls, they come up on the Garmin (with I.D. from your contact list). But when I answer I get nothing, I need to figure it out, something changed, it did work before. But just using the Senia & my iPhone (when my Garmin’s not on the bike), I have no issues doing anything, well I should rephrase that; Siri will give me some issues because the phone is “locked” she won’t read me my text message (hmmm, actually I’m not sure if she will anyway). But does really well at making calls from your contacts. I will add that incoming calls are kinda a pain cause there’s no caller I.D. But I just assigned ringtones to those ppl I wanna answer while riding and that lets me know who’s calling...

@ Cuchulainn; Strange I’ve ridden lots of times in the rain with both my old S10 and my new one and have had no issues with water. Lol even ridden in rain hail storms and no issues (luckily it was just “pea” size hail), and had one trip with a little over 300 miles of downpour (lol riding the same way the storm was traveling)..

@ desmo907; I would recommend buying a GPS and NOT relying on your phone. As for me,I ride a lot of remote areas that don’t have cell towers/service phone and nav is useless. Tho I will admit I’ve been in some heavily wooded areas that rendered the GPS useless too, but as soon as a “clearing” appears it reconnects and updates the map/location. But then I’m also old school and in remote areas I always carry my state atlas and a compass ( lol and know how to navigate by then both).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice.
So it sounds like a GPS unit separate from a cellphone works well together (GPS will talk over the cell phone - muting it)

I wonder if it works with multiple apps running on the Android phone.... that is, the nav would mute music or Podcast. I would think it would.

Curious about making calls.... its just all voice command and it overrides the music, as an example?

i wonder if I am gong to have trouble mounting the mic as I have a flip-up Scorpion helmet??

Thx.
 

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Thanks for the advice.
So it sounds like a GPS unit separate from a cellphone works well together (GPS will talk over the cell phone - muting it)

I wonder if it works with multiple apps running on the Android phone.... that is, the nav would mute music or Podcast. I would think it would.

Curious about making calls.... its just all voice command and it overrides the music, as an example?

i wonder if I am gong to have trouble mounting the mic as I have a flip-up Scorpion helmet??

Thx.
It does, if you're listen to a podcast and waze starts talking the podcast/music will pause for a moment, then resume when the GPS app is finished. I do this all the time with my phone.
 

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I have the Senia S10 and a Garmin 590lm, MOST of the time I just use my S10 and pair it with my iPhone and have no issues listening to music, making calls ( most ppl don’t even know/think I’m on my bike ). Now using both the GPS and the IPhone takes a bit of redoing because you have to connect the Senia & iPhone to the Garmin but when connected it does work, it will let you listen to any music app on your phone (just open that app on your phone) while listening it will mute/pause the song give directions then play agin. Tho I will admit here lately the Garmin has been giving me issues on making/receiving calls, they come up on the Garmin (with I.D. from your contact list). But when I answer I get nothing, I need to figure it out, something changed, it did work before. But just using the Senia & my iPhone (when my Garmin’s not on the bike), I have no issues doing anything, well I should rephrase that; Siri will give me some issues because the phone is “locked” she won’t read me my text message (hmmm, actually I’m not sure if she will anyway). But does really well at making calls from your contacts. I will add that incoming calls are kinda a pain cause there’s no caller I.D. But I just assigned ringtones to those ppl I wanna answer while riding and that lets me know who’s calling...

@ Cuchulainn; Strange I’ve ridden lots of times in the rain with both my old S10 and my new one and have had no issues with water. Lol even ridden in rain hail storms and no issues (luckily it was just “pea” size hail), and had one trip with a little over 300 miles of downpour (lol riding the same way the storm was traveling)..

@ desmo907; I would recommend buying a GPS and NOT relying on your phone. As for me,I ride a lot of remote areas that don’t have cell towers/service phone and nav is useless. Tho I will admit I’ve been in some heavily wooded areas that rendered the GPS useless too, but as soon as a “clearing” appears it reconnects and updates the map/location. But then I’m also old school and in remote areas I always carry my state atlas and a compass ( lol and know how to navigate by then both).
The funny thing is that they seem to get progressively worse with each generation. The SMH-10 had less problem with rain than the 20s (also has a different mount), the 20s less a problem than the 20s Evo (same mount). With the exception of the 1 SMH, they have always started working again after they dry out. But sometimes that takes a day or two.

Sena never claims them to be waterproof and a lot of factors can go in to water ingress. Speed, length of exposure, windshield, fairing, etc. But part of the issue I believe, is Senas use of only a foam gasket. I believe the foam shrinks and perhaps stiffens over time. Maybe that's worse in dry environments like Colorado? I am not sure, but we have eventually had the issue with all of them.

That said, they all still get used on various helmets, including the surviving SMH-10's

More along the same lines....

https://community.sena.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/216719386-Not-rain-proof-?mo

... but usually they do come back to life :)

Edit: speaking of hail. It has been my experience that they hold up much better in hail than in rain. Hail tends to impact and bounce rather than penetrate. hurts like a mother when it hits you though hahaha

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I have researched this one to death because I want to upgrade from my UClear headsets. Cardo for the win. The waterproof aspect is an important factor.

Search Youtube for:
SENA 30K vs. Cardo PACKTALK...Mesh Intercom Quality Test (Bold/Slim)
(I don't have enough posts to add URLs yet)
for a guy demonstrating its noise cancelling (wind especially) prowess.
 

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The funny thing is that they seem to get progressively worse with each generation. The SMH-10 had less problem with rain than the 20s (also has a different mount), the 20s less a problem than the 20s Evo (same mount). With the exception of the 1 SMH, they have always started working again after they dry out. But sometimes that takes a day or two.

Sena never claims them to be waterproof and a lot of factors can go in to water ingress. Speed, length of exposure, windshield, fairing, etc. But part of the issue I believe, is Senas use of only a foam gasket. I believe the foam shrinks and perhaps stiffens over time. Maybe that's worse in dry environments like Colorado? I am not sure, but we have eventually had the issue with all of them.

That said, they all still get used on various helmets, including the surviving SMH-10's

More along the same lines....

https://community.sena.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/216719386-Not-rain-proof-?mo

... but usually they do come back to life :)

Edit: speaking of hail. It has been my experience that they hold up much better in hail than in rain. Hail tends to impact and bounce rather than penetrate. hurts like a mother when it hits you though hahaha

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Yea going through the post on that link it seems to be hit or miss, no problems or nothing but problems - kinda sad we pay enough $$$$$ for them they should be waterproof period. Rain happens, it’s a fact; ride enough and you’ll get rained on. Well at least it looks like I lucked out both times with mine, but IF it ever does crap out on me I’m thinking I’ll go with someone else that IS rated as waterproof, probably shouldn’t press my luck a third time..

Hail yea! Hail hurts - but at least I lucked out I was on gravel roads so it wasn’t an issue, wouldn’t wanna be skating around on hail on tarmac :grin2: I just mentioned hail cause that was implying the kinda drenching downpour I was riding in... I’m just happy it was JUST pea size and NOT golf ball size.
 

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I remember all the trouble I had with Star-comm system, Zumo 550....Walkie-talkies....made group rides more organized. Liike the idea of Bluetooth connections. Progress is good! :)
 

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Yea going through the post on that link it seems to be hit or miss, no problems or nothing but problems - kinda sad we pay enough $$$$$ for them they should be waterproof period. Rain happens, it’s a fact; ride enough and you’ll get rained on. Well at least it looks like I lucked out both times with mine, but IF it ever does crap out on me I’m thinking I’ll go with someone else that IS rated as waterproof, probably shouldn’t press my luck a third time..

Hail yea! Hail hurts - but at least I lucked out I was on gravel roads so it wasn’t an issue, wouldn’t wanna be skating around on hail on tarmac :grin2: I just mentioned hail cause that was implying the kinda drenching downpour I was riding in... I’m just happy it was JUST pea size and NOT golf ball size.
Well, also as Apple states in regards to their watches "Water resistance isn't a permanent condition and may diminish over time." Now, of course, Sena doesn't even make a claim of water resistance even making statements such as this:

Sena Technologies Help Desk


Thank you for contacting SENA Tech Support!

Sena 20s is not a waterproof/water resistant.


Please let me know if you have any additional questions and concerns.
Best Regards,
SENA Tech Support

So I suppose water resistance that is inherent to some units, but never claimed by Sena is an even less permanent condition? But yeah for the money they should be "waterproof." Cardo Packtalks advertise ip67 water resistance and even some of the cheapies like FODSports and Freecom advertise waterproof/water resistant units. Come on Sena. Been using Sena for a decade (actually still using them), but this was our first venture away. In part due to the water ingress issues, in part, because we wanted to try the mesh communications and Sena's implementation is kind of a mess apparently.

Worst hail we have had to ride extensively through was marble-sized. We got caught in a canyon between Westcliff and Rye in the Wet Mountains. Dark, nowhere to pull over/seek shelter. It covered the road and we were making tracks through it. It knocked one of the vents off my wife's helmet, chipped the rear vent on mine. Left us covered with welts and bruises. That was 8 years ago. We laugh about it now, but at the time we were inventing a whole new vocabulary of swear words since we had used all the ones currently known :) Luckily no bigger, because we were stuck in for about 20 miles.
 

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This doesn't help you Desmo as you already have your android and your helmet, but your title is a good one and will attract many people who want to know where to start, so I thought I would post my experience.
Nolan helmet with Nolan Ncom bluetooth system (bought afterwards and added by me in about an hour). Boom mic works perfectly with helmet used open face or with chinguard. Battery lasts at least 10 hours (continuous music at full volume 'cos I wear earplugs :) ). Battery fits inside helmet in special compartment. Recharging seems very quick.
This is used with an Iphone 8 Plus running Copilot satnav app. (purchase cost of app was £23 including downloaded maps and updates at £7 per year whic includes active traffic reports). It has its limitations but not as many as the dedicated Garmin bike satnav had. (previous limitations of a phone was that it wasn't waterproof and not bright enough. Iphone 7 onwards overcomes these)
The phone sits in a RAM X-mount Large attached to the centre of the handlebars - good clear view of bike instruments and virtually no vibration - satnav audio instructions pass perfectly to the N-com system and can be overlaid over the music.
I don't take calls much while driving but have done so and callers have been amazed that I was actually riding a motorbike - audio quality apparently sounded perfectly normal.
Can also trigger Siri via the button on the N-com. But this doesn;t always give you what you expect (Siri's fault usually rather than NCom )

Minus points - very occasionally the bluetooth connection gets glitchy, but usually fixed by switching ncom off then on (on the move). AFAIK you can't plan routes on a laptop but I have found I can do this well enough on the iphone 8 plus. Sometimes Copilot wants to take me off a motorway and then straight back on but Garmin used to do this too. Anyone know why this happens?
Mike
 

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Sometimes Copilot wants to take me off a motorway and then straight back on but Garmin used to do this too. Anyone know why this happens?
Mike
I’m pretty sure it’s a infringement deterrent just like the few “fake roads” keeps other companies from Just copying there software and bundling as their own. Old school maps kinda did the same things by adding fake roads (usually short dead end roads) BTW you can still find those on the maps used in GPS, phones, etc. for the same reason..
 

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I agree from what i read also. Cardo assures me the Bold will fit my Scorpion AT950 (flip- up) helmet (and the boom mic).



Amazon has great price!



Thx!
Check and see if they market the AT950 under a different name in Europe as well.

My wife and I wear the Arai XD-4 helmets, for example. They are marketed in Europe as the Arai Tour X4. Same fit as far as the cardo goes.

There are some helmet that have a hard lip along the bottom where you can't fit anything up there between the shell. My Scubeth C3 Pro comes to mind. But these are more the exception than the rule and they don't work any better with the Sena 20S/30K or other brand unless you want to use the adhesive mount. I use the Sena 10U with that helmet, which installs internally.

Other than helmets with that hard plastic edge like the Schubeth, everything else will work with some combo of clamp and skirt. Included in the package is one long and one short of each.

If it isn't on their list on the website, it mostly just means they haven't tested that helmet for themselves, but baring that hard plastic where you can't get anything at all up there, it will work with some combo of long/short clamp and skirt.

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I have a Cardo Slim, it works as well as a Bold. I highly recommend the Cardo product. The Sena is amazingly difficult to connect other riders to your group. The Cardo is very easy and reliable. However, I would likely buy a Bold if I was to do it over again. Reason is that it is interchangeable across the various helmets you many own. Just buy a second mounting bracket and speaker set. Also as the Slim hangs on the base of your helmet which prevents you from looking up to the same degree as you can without it mounted. The Slim is also something you have to navigate around when removing the helmet. The Bold also come with larger speakers. However, the slim is nicely tucked away from getting hit by branches, if that is a concern.
 

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I have a Cardo Slim, it works as well as a Bold. I highly recommend the Cardo product. The Sena is amazingly difficult to connect other riders to your group. The Cardo is very easy and reliable. However, I would likely buy a Bold if I was to do it over again. Reason is that it is interchangeable across the various helmets you many own. Just buy a second mounting bracket and speaker set. Also as the Slim hangs on the base of your helmet which prevents you from looking up to the same degree as you can without it mounted. The Slim is also something you have to navigate around when removing the helmet. The Bold also come with larger speakers. However, the slim is nicely tucked away from getting hit by branches, if that is a concern.
I went with the Bold for all the reasons you mentioned as well as ease of charging. The slim you have to attach the cord to the unit at the back of the helmet, so have to bring the entire helmet in. The bold you just snap off the unit and charge that. Not a big deal, but when charging a couple at a time from the same charging brick, it's a lot less room taken up.

Also, if you have to send it in for warranty replacement/repair it's less uninstall and reinstall than the Slim.

Minor stuff, for sure. But some differences

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