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on January 14, 2013
After experiencing a major fiasco with my Chatterbox where the plastic (WTF!) helmet attachment broke and it was lost on the freeway during rush hour, I decided to find something that had better sound, bluetooth, and ease of use with a gloved hand. After doing a bit of research, I decided on the Sena SMH10D ($249 for 2) over the offerings from Cardo Systems ($499 for 2 ) and Chatterbox ($600 for 2) which wasn't really in the running due to its lack capabilities. I have two HJC helmets (Symax II & III) and it took me about 5 minutes to install the systems in them with the included steel attachment brackets...yes steel!! After I got everything installed, I connected the unit with my Blackberry Torch, my Garmin GPS, and my iPod Touch to test the sound quality. The sound from these devices was pretty good sitting still, the big test would be to get my M109r on the highway and see what it sounds like at speed. Well, at >60 mph, the sound from speakers were better than I expected in my Symax III helmet, the best part being able to adjust the volume with a gloved hand. My biggest surprise came when my wife called me and I answered the call with voice commands! I was able to hear her clearly and she didn't seem to notice that I was on the 210 freeway at speed until I told her! One other thing to note, this unit has nothing to snag either your glove or any of your gear much like my old chatterbox. I hated the stupid antenna on the chatterbox, that thing would get caught on everything and with a plastic bracket to hold it...not good! My overall reviews of this unit is 4.5 stars because I haven't used the intercom part yet, oh yeah...did I tell you that the units are software upgradeable? Battery life is great also, I went through a full day of riding without a hitch and the charger is the same as my Blackberry to boot!
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on July 18, 2012
This product meets every expectation. I wanted a bike to bike intercom so my wife and I could communicate while riding. After much research I settled on the Sena SMH10. The much anticipated first set arrived, but one of the units was dead. Amazon.com offered incredible customer service by immediately providing a return authorization for the defective merchandise and shipping a new set via next day shipping. Our first trip was a 200 mile tour through the Colorado Rockies. The unit performed better than expected. At speeds up to 70 MPH, I could hear her clearly. There was some slight wind noise from her helmet, but with a little adjustment, it all but disappeared. She said she could not hear any wind noise from my unit. I made and received several cell phone calls, and the callers could not tell I was on a motorcycle (we do have windshields). The unit worked perfectly as long as the other bike is within line of site. If she would drop so far back as to lose sight, I would start to hear some static (approx 1/2 mile). I do not need, nor have I tried any of the other features of this unit, but if all features work as well as the intercom and bluetooth cell feature, there should be no problem. I give it 4 out of 5 stars only because the first set was defective.
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on May 28, 2013
I love this headset. I spent considerable time studying reviews of the major competitors - Scala G4 and G9, Interphone f4 and f5 and the Sena SMH10D-10. With what I found I decided on the Sena.

Communication: It has been amazingly easy to use and the communication between bikes and riders is great! My coworker and I both have bikes and meet up to ride most of the way to work together. We have been using these everyday with no problems at all. My Wife and I just took a trip (2-up) that was 6-7 hours each way. We talked the whole time with no issues. We can hear each other clearly the speaker quality is great! I have tested calls as well and as many others have reported no one I have talked to has even realized I was on a motorcycle.

Music: Each day i spend at least 30 minutes and sometimes 2 hours listening to music to and from work. I have listened to some of the songs many times and yet I pick out new things with the clarity of the speakers. I love them!!!!

Ease of use: Pairing and general use of these are amazingly easy. With the 2 buttons and reading the manual a couple of times you can do virtually anything from changing songs to connecting to another intercom to volume and phone control.

Given a chance to have a do-over on this purchase I would defiantly pick the Sena SMH10 again.
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on November 9, 2012
I installed the unit today and then took a ride on the expressway. I easily installed the unit in my new helmet and then paired it to my phone. I've tried several helmet speaker methods such as having regular phone earbuds in my ear. That works OK but the problem is keeping earbuds in my ear when I put the helmet on and the mic positioned near my mouth. At highway speeds the wind noise makes it difficult or impossible for the other party to hear. I tried a dedicated wired motorcycle helmet headset but the volume was too low to hear clearly at highway speeds and it was a hassle connecting the dangling wire from the helmet each time I got on and off the bike. Thus my purchase of the Sena bluetooth unit. I read many reviews of other units. Most had volume complaints or were double the price.

The volume on this unit is simply amazing!!! At 70 MPH on a phone call I can hear the other party very clear and loud. Believe it or not it actually hurt my ears and I had to turn the unit down. The same is true of music. How is the music quality? Good enough. It's not five star orchestra quality and there's not much bass but it sounds good and most importantly LOUD rolling along on a bike. The amp in the bluetooth unit actually drives the speakers to the edge of distortion but that's a good thing.

I believe one key is to make absolutely sure that you use the included pads to position the speakers where they press right up against your ear when you put the helmet on. Proximity probably makes a huge difference in sound volume. 1/4 to 1/2 inch away would probably reduce the volume in half which would make the system much less effective.

I have a Motorola Razr Maxx phone and the volume button on the unit does not affect the phone volume. Most bluetooth units work in conjunction with the phone volume. If you lower or raise the volume on the bluetooth unit, it correspondingly raises or lowers it on the phone. With this unit, volume controls seem to operate independently of each other therefore you need to turn the phone volume to max and adjust volume from the bluetooth unit. The unit is firmware upgradeable so perhaps that will be corrected in a future release but I am so thrilled with the performance of the unit that such a minor detail is insignificant.

There is a plus to this arrangement in that music playback and phone conversation volumes are independently maintained. In other words, if you set the volume on a phone conversation and then switch to music and set a different volume the unit will remember the phone and music volume independently. So I guess it's designed to work independently of your phone volume and as I thought about it, that's probably a better arrangement. Your helmet system would always be set to motorcycle preferences regardless of what level you set your phone.

I haven't tested the intercom features and performance. My wife is terrified of my motorcycle therefore I usually ride alone so I don't need the intercom feature but it's there if I ever do need it.

Pros:
1. Volume is FANTASTIC and you can hear phone conversations or music clearly at 80% volume at 70mph.

2. The person on the other end hears virtually no mic wind noise at 70mph. They couldn't believe that I was on a motorcycle at 70mph. They heard NO wind noise which was hard for me to believe but I was talking to my mother so I knew she was telling me the truth. Of course I had on a full face helmet with the visor down.

3. Unit can operate while charging. The battery life talk time is rated at 12 hours with a standby time of 10 days. I haven't tested that yet but if it truly lasts 12 hours and you do happen to talk longer than 12 hours at a stretch you can plug up the unit and talk while charging. I've never ridden more than a few hours in a day so a 12 hour talk time before recharging is NOT going to be problem for me. I'm going to poop out long before the bluetooth battery. Talking while charging is something that most bluetooth units can't do.

4. Volume control button is big. On a motorcycle with gloves the button is easy to find, turn or push.

5. It looks cool on your helmet with the blue blinking light.

6. Good price. I bought the H10 instead of the H5 since the price difference was not that much and it appears the H10 comes with better speakers. I'm not sure about that as I couldn't fully tell from the descriptions but it read like the H10 had better speakers than the H5. The upgrade speakers cost the difference between the two units but the H10 does more. It's about a $25 street price difference between the H10 and the H5.

7. Uses a standard micro USB port for charging.

8. Has a standard 1/8" port to plug a wired music player.

9. Ports covered by rubber plugs for weatherproofing.

10. Easy to remove from the helmet if necessary.

Cons: NONE that I've found so far.

I installed it in this helmet:Bluetooth Ready Modular Flip-up Motorcycle Helmet Matte Flat Black DOT #936 (XL)
I am just as impressed by the helmet as I am the bluetooth unit. I can't believe the quality of this helmet for the price. I've got five helmets. This is the cheapest one and it seems to rank right up there with the quality of the very expensive helmets if not better. It has perforations in the helmet liner for the speakers so it works perfectly with the Sena bluetooth unit.
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on September 30, 2012
The installation of the headset will definitely get you familiar with the inner workings of your helmet, but once done, it is indispensable. The jog wheel and phone button are easy to manipulate at speed with gloves on, and the controls make sense. The speakers are decent, obviously not as high-quality sound as ear buds, but the trade off of ease-of-use is worth it. I used all three functions, music, phone, and intercom the first time out. The intercom range is as advertised, unless there is a mountain between you and the other unit.
The only issue I have had is the amount of force required to snap the unit in and out of the base. This may vary depending on your helmet. A friend had the same unit and had trouble getting the unit to stay clipped in at all. I saw it go bouncing down the road at highway speed. We stopped and picked up the pieces and put it back together and it still worked, despite some road rash, but Sena sent him a whole new setup anyway.
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on December 26, 2014
Secure Unit
Let me first say this is the first part of my review. I will add more when I test drive it. The initial installation went well. I have a Modular Helmet. I thought that the whole thing was going to be a difficult job it was not. I used the application with the screws to secure the unit rather than the stick-on. I was able to tuck the speaker wires under the headliner and still place the speakers exactly where I wanted to.

Part 2 Review: I have had time now to use this unit and find it absolutely great. I have used it between me and my grandson's Sena (same model) unit. It works great. It also works for my phone and my motorcycle GPS. I really would never want to be without it now that I have it.
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on September 9, 2012
I bought these as a replacement for a pair of 'Blue Ant' wireless intercoms. They worked okay, but the battery life was too short. The Sena SMH10Ds are very clear, have far longer range and the batteries have never run down during a full day's ride. They install on the helmet easily with either clamps or adhesive. Their operation is about as simple as can be expected with only one control knob. They can only be recharged from a 12 volt source with the cables provided. To recharge from a 120v source you would need to purchase and inexpensive adapter.
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on November 11, 2012
Finally got to try these out.I am used to voice activated headsets that have an annoying on off transition.These are increadibly quiet,like talking on a phone.I havent tried them bike to bike but as an intercom they are perfect.Also they are also eazy to use.I highly recommend these.
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on May 19, 2013
Easy to set up. Easy to use. Voice activated intercom(main reason for my purchase) comes on and stays on at speeds of 40mph or more. This interrupts any music and leaves you listening to wind and road noise constantly. Really didn't read this in any reviews.
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on September 22, 2014
I was initially very enamoured with this intercom. My impressions have since gotten far, far dimmer with this unit and company in general.

My wife and I were pleased with the ease of use with the buttons, even with thick winter gloves on. For a while, the units operated acceptably - actually fairly well, only having to repeat every other sentence to each other so we could understand what was said.

The bluetooth operates reliably and I could stream music from my phone while riding - a huge plus on long boring interstate rides where there isn't much to see or worry about. The voice activated communication was a point of frustration for us. After disabling the feature on both headsets, we would still spontaneously get an open communication channel which would confuse both of us as neither of us made the button press required to initiate a call. This was either the voice activation kicking back in or the wind pressing the button down. I suspect it wasn't the button since calls we initiated voluntarily never got cut off mid-communication. Either way, I'd updated the firmware on both units and the issue was randomly still happening. Not the end of the world, but not wanted behaviour either.

The first long trip we took with the headsets was fine for the 3/4 of the trip. A major problem with these headsets is an unbelievable design flaw which reared its ugly head for the first time during our trip. The connecting pins that connect the unit to the cradle aren't on the cradle - they are on the unit itself. This means when you remove the unit and put it in your pocket, you have all the delicate pins exposed to the inside of your pocket. Pockets are generally soft and forgiving but when the pins are this fragile, it is only a matter of time before one of them snaps off - meaning you are missing whatever function that pin was providing to the cradle. In my case, it snapped the pin that connected my microphone to the headset. This meant unidirectional communication - my wife to myself - was the only way these intercoms worked. I managed to carve out a small piece of metal and sandwich it in between the headset and the cradle and maintain communication for the rest of the trip... but without the physical hack I made, the unit would have been pretty much useless to us. I had a replacement unit sent from the manufacturer as soon as we got home. Just a reminder, this happened in the middle of a motorcycle trip... exactly the type of situation where we need total reliability.

I checked around on Sena's website and no storage case is offered as an accessory. So I suppose the expectation is you don't store your intercom in your pocket after removing it. Where should we store our intercoms, Sena? It is fairly unreasonable as a user to think storing your intercom in your pocket is something that should have been tested during the design of the product.

The second issue happened before our latest trip. My wife had been extra careful when storing the unit after seeing my experience with the pins, but somehow a pin on her headset managed to get bent during a simple mounting of the unit onto the cradle! This is how delicate these pins are. I contacted Sena for assistance knowing fully well a bent pin had a very limited lifespan before unit failure. I was advised by Sena tech support that the unit was out of warranty by a few weeks and thus they refused to help me. I protested and pleaded with a manager to help me out with this design flaw and was refused by them as well. Sena then went on to claim that "customer satisfaction is very important to us" yet refused to help, or even offer a discounted replacement. I offered to pay for a repair and they explained that you cannot repair a bent/broken pin.. you can only replace the unit. No solution was available through them, meaning a $165 bill was coming for a replacement unit with the exact same design flaw if I wanted to continue having voice communications on our motorcycles. This was *just* over 2 years of careful usage with the units.

After a few days of usage with the unit that has the bent pin, the pin came out and surprisingly there was no ill effect - it turns out that particular pin wasn't used for any functions. I thought we were in the clear but of course a pin that the unit actually uses for communication snapped off just a few days later. This time it was my wife's microphone that went out. Again, in the middle of a multi-week trip. Inconvenient? Certainly. Frustrating? Completely. Reliable? Absolutely not.

Being a fool, I ordered Sena's 20S model due to them addressing the pin issue by putting the pins on the cradle instead of the expensive unit. This unit is also very flawed I am still waiting on a response from tech support (2+ weeks) for a maddening issue where the unit shouts "SAY A COMMAND" at me incessantly due to wind simulating the physical taps required to initiate voice command mode. I didn't order another SMH10 replacement as I didn't want to go through the same experiences over and over again due to the inherent design flaw of the pins being on the unit instead of the cheap and easily replaceable cradle. I gave my old unit to my wife to use and we were communicating again.

If you think that the problems stopped here, it got worse. Far worse. The second major design flaw was the decision to place the charging/data port on the top of the unit. There is a rubber gasket that should seal the port completely from moisture and the unit had survived two years of rain storms. Well, after just having purchasing a near $300 replacement unit due to Sena denying a warranty replacement and just getting communication back for 3 days, the only surviving SMH10 kicked the bucket... On inspection, I noticed moisture inside the unit. So... unsurprisingly, when you put a hole in the top of the unit, rain will eventually get into it and destroy the electronics within. TWO units failed on a single trip and Sena refuses to help us.

TL;DR: Great initial impression but then noticed voice activation issues, very fragile connecting pins that WILL get destroyed if you try to store the unit in your pocket, charging/data port placement guarantees eventual failure if exposed to rain... and a complete refusal of customer support just a few weeks (less than 2 months) out of warranty. I cannot recommend these units or this company. Both units have failed and are unusable.
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