Bluetooth comms

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by RobVG, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. RobVG

    RobVG Member

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    I admit, I'm totally ignorant when it comes to technology these days

    Are bluetooth comms stand-alone or do you need a cell phone?

    Any recommendations for an affordable unit?
     
  2. DriverDave

    DriverDave New Member

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    They are stand-alone. No phone needed, but some of the latest do have apps to make programming easier, and of course they will pair with your phone so you can receive calls while you ride. Also, most of the latest ones can talk with other brands of comms. I've had good luck with Sena...I now use a Sena 10S. But I wouldn't call them affordable.
     
  3. RobVG

    RobVG Member

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    Hey thanks! I'll check em out.
     
  4. digitallyhip

    digitallyhip New Member

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    I really, really like Sena. I've had an SMH10 for about four years and it's excellent. I want the newer version, but can't come up with any reason to upgrade!
     
  5. Rsparky

    Rsparky New Member

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    the only gripe i've heard about sena is the speakers had lower volume than my father wanted, on his bored, cam'ed springer softtail with screamin' eagle pipes, lol. that bike is the only thing you hear going down the road. and the road next to it.

    i, myself have had decent luck with the cardo scala q2 teamset. it is a cheaper model, but it serves the purpose for communicating to with wife as pillion. i think the low model like mine can pair to the phone, but i don't do it.
     
  6. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    A few of us have the Cardo Packtalk. If you're riding in a group a lot of the time, no better COMM system at the moment. If you're just interested in a phone to COMM or GPS to COMM any of the latest by Cardo, Sena, U-Clear should be just fine.

    As far as being able to hear, having a quiet helmet and ear plugs helps to hear intercomm, phone/GPS or music. Some have speaker extenders that fit behind the speakers to put the speakers closer to your ears. Some also have a standard 3.5mm stereo jack so you can even use your own earbud headphones. So maybe a little homework on what you might like as far as features.
     
  7. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    You do need coms though. Believe me. Sign language sucks when you can't keep up and be close to the rider up front to see what is being said.

    Something you need to keep in mind is the battery life. Smaller battery usually means lesser live. Also, if your coms is trying to send out voice signal, it is using far more battery than just listening to either talk or music. Understanding that you need to be aware that if your mic is placed to close to where the wind enters the helmet, it will pick up that wind noise and be broadcasting it, chewing up your battery life. I have my mic down low into the chin curtain area and to the left. If you speak right into the mic, the sound you produce is really garbled. The mic needs to be positioned away from direct in front of your mouth.
     
  8. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    This is a game changer when riding in groups.
     
  9. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Depending on what you are expecting, they can sometimes be a pain, switching back and forth from talk to music but I don[t regret mine. I regretted my Chatterbox right quick. It was the shits from the beginning.

    Also. Unless you get the in the ear buds for your set, don't expect real quality sound from those speakers when you are riding down the freeway. Not happening but the music is still really nice to have. And with a full face helmet, you can sign along at the top of your lungs and no one can see you! Just don't do that stopped at a red light next to a cop. You may spend many hours in a rubber room talking to doctors.
     
  10. jhenley17

    jhenley17 New Member

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    Anyone used the Sena 10C? Mostly interested in how the camera works for dashcam-type use as I'm sure anything Sena makes will suit my audio and comm needs just fine. Mostly listening to music, possibly taking a call, and occasionally talking to my wife. I've been on one group ride ever.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. REEK

    REEK New Member

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    that's funny. Haven't heard the term "rubber room" in decades! Have the Sena SMH10R. Love it. use the intercom function during the entire ride. And I can tell you it lasts over a solid 6 hours. I know, the wife now talks constantly during any ride and it last 6 hours easily. I miss hand signals.....

    It will play music but as stated, sound quality without ear buds sucks, so I don't really use it for that. Call quality seems good, no ones complained about wind noise even back when I had it mounted on my Fly helmet which sounds like a mini-wind tunnel. As long as you can remember the right combination of buttons to perform each task among the 3 on the control, it's pretty intuitive. got a set of 2 for $300. Not bad for an opportunity to hear constant updates on how cute the goats we just passed are or how we should plant some privets like the house we just rode by, and so on , and so forth....
     
  12. John451

    John451 Member

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    While admit a bit pricy think the 20S has some great features on top of my previous 10S, much greater range between 20S units supposadly up from 800meters between 10S units is now 2.4KM, the built in FM radio and the most uselful feature on my usual small group rides is the ability to easily with a Andriod app create conferance groups of up to 3 other units. These days I usually do 3 to 4 day tours with only 2 to 3 close friends, having the ability to discuss route changes in the middle of nowhere on the fly without stopping is amazingly liberating and while having a quick conversation with one then one of the others auto drops into it is also entertaining.
     
  13. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    Although I haven't had a ride with more than 4 riders with comms, the Packtalk is great for 4 or more (supports up to 15 riders, although not all 15 can talk simultaneously) it allows, once someone has joined a pack, for "sub groups" to stay connected. Meaning if two riders up front get too far ahead of two or more riders in the same pack, these two riders can still stay connected (provided they are in range of each other) and the remaining riders in the group do not necessarily get disconnected from the "group", even if the one of tho who got ahead created the group (AKA Pack). So if the remaining riders are close enough to one another they stay connected. If/when they come back in range of the two who got ahead and out range, they are automatically connected!

    You can also setup the Packtalk to do a "one on one" inside the group and be able to have offline conversations with the person you setup as your "private chat" partner. Once you're done with your private chat you can go right back to the pack without having to pair back up or reinstitute a intercomm call, it's automatic. Although it is possible to add non Packtalk comm systems and even non Cardo comm systems, I have yet to be successful in doing so, although I only tried it once. It does however require two steps. The first is you must pair the other system in Bluetooth mode on the B channel and then go to DMC mode and use the "DMC Bridge" mode. This essentially allows any Packtalk comm unit to add in a non Packtalk comm system.

    The other nice feature is having a Bluetooth channel and the intercomm active at the same time. As I made mention in other post, this allows for say lead rider to have his GPS active and the second and/or sweeper rider have their radar detector active, so if/when the lead rider needs to announce a turn or change in direction based on the GPS info, he can announce this without having to push any buttons. Similarly, the radar detector equipped riders can announce warnings when they get them.

    Both of the above scenarios were used in my ride yesterday. During the ride we had the RD and comms on the whole ride and after the ride I went with another rider to go look at a VFR he was looking at buying. He had his GPS and I still had my radar going. He announced the directions and I gave warning when I heard a detection signal.

    As far as how long the battery last, I had my unit on from the time I left the house, 7:30am, almost constantly until I got back home around 4pm. It was off only a couple of times when we stopped longer than say 15 minutes. Based on the battery life indicator on the phone app, it still has about 50% of battery life left. If you're listening to music or orther constant stream of sound, the time would most likely last a bit less.
     
  14. Jeff_Barrett

    Jeff_Barrett Member

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    I love my Cardo Packtalk.

    Cardo is one of the first brands to market. Sena makes a nice unit too.
     
  15. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    I was actually surprised on some of the features they put in and improved with the latest firmware. There are a set of videos on YouTube by someone named 'Moto Geek Freak', he does a good job of explaining some of the features and how to setup the Packtalks. Although he uses the iPhone app for most of them, I found I have better luck using the on unit menu system.
     
  16. Ghost_Rider

    Ghost_Rider Active Member

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    Disagree that you NEED coms. Comms are nice, but they are not a necessity. I go on group rides all of the time and rarely an issue that we do not have comms. Plus, one big issue is that Cardo is not compatible with SENA, SENA not with Uclear, Uclear not with Chatterbox, and so on. So say you ride with a lot of different peeps, and they all have different comms, well, you are SOL.

    Similar to a GPS, not needed if you can read a map and/or know how to use your brain. It is actually better for learning routes to NOT use a GPS. Technology can be cool, but every new thing is not a necessity. Some tech also has the unfortunate effect of creating "tech weenies" that feel the need to brag a lot their latest and greatest.
     
  17. DriverDave

    DriverDave New Member

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    Not true. The Sena 10S and 20S can pair with any other brand. And I'm pretty sure Cardo's latest will do the same.
     
  18. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    That part of the post was more specifically directed at someone tongue in cheek. I also agree with you that you don't really "need" coms or GPS. but hey are sure nice. You don't need to ride with music either but it is nice.

    Like DriverDave says, most coms can now communicate with each other. I know for certain that the Sean can as I have paired with other than Sena devices on mine.

    Having convenient com and music for long solo rides is a nice touch. Being able to speak with those you are riding with is also a nice touch...most the time. If I had to do this over again, I can honestly say I would. Can't say that for everything I have bought.
     
  19. Ghost_Rider

    Ghost_Rider Active Member

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    Prior to 2013, SENA compatibility was a resounding NO!! However, SENA released software after that that "if the other comm has Bluetooth" you can use the voice dial feature. Not quite the same as just a two way comm, and may be reduced range due to use of Bluetooth.

    Scala pack talk is only compatible with its own models. Unless something changed. Maybe I don't have the latest and greatest but friends I know With cardo could not connect to others. I reserve the right to be wrong.
    http://cardosystems.com/ptcompatibility/
     
  20. Jeff_Barrett

    Jeff_Barrett Member

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    WRONG (lolzz) ;)

    Several models now have the Cardo Gateway feature that allow you to connect to other BT headsets like the Sena S20.

    AM and I have paired our Cardo/Sena headsets many times with half decent range.

    I have the Packtalk and she has the SMH-10. I initiate the pairing through my Cardo.



    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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