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Bluetooth Helmet Intercom. What's in your helmet?


Landshark
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I'm thinking of getting a Bluetooth intercom and am wondering what everybody uses.  (brand name and model)

Let me know the pros and cons of what you're employing.

Thank you all.

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I’ve used a Sena for over 10 years. First an SMH-10 and now one that is integrated into my Schuberth helmet.


Picking between either Sena or Cardio is really dependent upon what type the people you ride with already have.  Both brands offerings have similar feature sets but don’t really interoperate together that well between brands. 

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Cardo Packtalk Bold.

 

Had integrated Sena in a Schuberth or BMW helmet for years and really didn’t fancy a ‘bolt on’, but it’s the best thing I’ve bought.

 

Use whatever you want (or don’t want) - - nav, music, FM radio, phone etc and if your riding mates get the same, the mesh intercom is outstanding. We ride as a group (2-5 people) regularly on trips over a few days and chatting as you ride was a revelation to me and makes those trips even more enjoyable.

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59 minutes ago, Burnsey said:

We ride as a group (2-5 people) regularly on trips over a few days and chatting as you ride was a revelation to me and makes those trips even more enjoyable.

It also makes passing cars if you have a group of riders easier and safer. The ones ahead of the passed car(s) can advise the ones behind if the road ahead is clear even if the ones behind the car don’t have a clear sight line. 

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Me & my good lady use Cardo Packtalk Bold ... example here of how we chat whilst she's learning and getting the hang of her XT250 - this was her first ride since getting her 'L's ... just a five minute clip

Mrs Rider Guider chat on the Cardo Packtalk Bold

 

I'm not a Sena hater but do question how they can produce a system for an outdoor pursuit that isn't actually waterproof.  The Cardo system is strong, not been faultless in that I've had my radio kick in a couple of times without any input,  I don't listen to my radio so it's not tuned to any station so I just got white noise/hissing however "hey cardo radio off" turned it off immediately. 

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YouTube - RIDER GUIDER - check out my T7 playlist and say hello 😀 

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Happy with the Sena 30K that my riding buddies and I have been using for a few years. Dirt riding is greatly enhanced for the same reasons cited by @Liquidape.  Trail obstacles or the direction to take at a fork are easily communicated without having to stop the group and one can pipe in their favorite AC/DC tune (if needed) to up the tempo. 

 

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" Oliver Wendell Holmes

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10 hours ago, RIDER GUIDER said:

 

I'm not a Sena hater but do question how they can produce a system for an outdoor pursuit that isn't actually waterproof.  

I’ve done many all day rides in the pounding rain with my Sena SMH-10 and have not had an issue with water intrusion causing an issue. I got far wetter through my “waterproof” gear than the Sena electronics did. 
They are fine for normal outdoor use. If you plan on submerging your helmet in water for long periods of time it might be a different story. 

Before Sena came out with their “mesh” linking I would have given the nod to Cardo, but since they added that the feature sets are really so close it really comes down to which system the people you want to communicate with are already using. 
If you riding buddies all have Cardo, get that.

If they all have Sena, get that. 
If they don’t have either figure out with one pal who you ride with most  which system the two of you like best and buy a 2 pack to split.

 

One other point to consider. If you are a helmet junkie and have different helmets you are going to want to use the device on, take a close look at the cost of extra mounting kits and speakers for the two systems.

 

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I point to the tank when I need gas and rub my tummy when I am hungry.

Other than that I just sing old Bob Seger songs to myself.....

 

On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out his one note song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before


But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're ridin' sixteen hours
And there's nothin' much to do
And you don't feel much like ridin'
You just wish the trip was through

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Thanks for the educated replies.  I'm thinking Sena as it's readily avalilable.  I want one so I can hear my GPS or to pair it up with my phone.  Will the Sena accept two bluetooth devices at the same time?  You know, GPS and phone?

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32 minutes ago, Landshark said:

Thanks for the educated replies.  I'm thinking Sena as it's readily avalilable.  I want one so I can hear my GPS or to pair it up with my phone.  Will the Sena accept two bluetooth devices at the same time?  You know, GPS and phone?

Yes. Just need to be careful in the order in which you do the pairing. I would pair the phone first, and then the GPS. The first item paired used the profile that will be the “primary” BT profile and will have the most capability. 

Unless you want to route your calls through the GPS and play music stored on the GPS instead of you phone, in which case I would pair the GPS first and your phone to the GPS and then the phone to the Sena. 
 

YMMV especially depending upon the GPS and phone types. 

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After a bit of internet searching and checking I've decided on the Cardo PackTalk Bold.  Cardo is based out of the USA with it's parent company in Israel.  Sena on the other hand is made in "China".  I'm not a fan of anything China made.  And the Cardo PackTalk is a bunch less money too.  Cardo is waterproof whereas the Sena is water resistant.  Cardo uses JBL sound and Sena uses... well some Chinese stolen tech I suppose.😬  I just have this better feeling for the Cardo.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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8 hours ago, Liquidape said:

I’ve done many all day rides in the pounding rain with my Sena SMH-10 and have not had an issue with water intrusion causing an issue. I got far wetter through my “waterproof” gear than the Sena electronics did. 
They are fine for normal outdoor use. If you plan on submerging your helmet in water for long periods of time it might be a different story. 

Before Sena came out with their “mesh” linking I would have given the nod to Cardo, but since they added that the feature sets are really so close it really comes down to which system the people you want to communicate with are already using. 
If you riding buddies all have Cardo, get that.

If they all have Sena, get that. 
If they don’t have either figure out with one pal who you ride with most  which system the two of you like best and buy a 2 pack to split.

 

One other point to consider. If you are a helmet junkie and have different helmets you are going to want to use the device on, take a close look at the cost of extra mounting kits and speakers for the two systems.

 

YES I have two lids on the go at the moment and ended up with extra mount and speakers. 

YouTube - RIDER GUIDER - check out my T7 playlist and say hello 😀 

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4 hours ago, Landshark said:

After a bit of internet searching and checking I've decided on the Cardo PackTalk Bold.  Cardo is based out of the USA with it's parent company in Israel.  Sena on the other hand is made in "China".  I'm not a fan of anything China made.  And the Cardo PackTalk is a bunch less money too.  Cardo is waterproof whereas the Sena is water resistant.  Cardo uses JBL sound and Sena uses... well some Chinese stolen tech I suppose.😬  I just have this better feeling for the Cardo.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I started with a Sena 10 that I used with great results for a few years. Decided to upgraded (as I wanted vox) and went for a Cardo. I had nothing but issues right out of the gate. Sent it back and went with a Sena 20. Very happy. Yes, I know... Made in China. I don't like it either but its unfortunately the world we live in. 

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11 hours ago, JohnnieBoy said:

I started with a Sena 10 that I used with great results for a few years. Decided to upgraded (as I wanted vox) and went for a Cardo. I had nothing but issues right out of the gate. Sent it back and went with a Sena 20. Very happy. Yes, I know... Made in China. I don't like it either but its unfortunately the world we live in. 

 

I'm going to have to consider that as a several others have had that same opinion about Cardo.  And the Sena unit has it's difficulties as well.  I'm going to wait until Black Friday comes along and see if I can get a killer price on one or the other.

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Another vote for the Cardo. Mesh works well, and the unit connects straight away with a buddy who I hadn't ridden with for over a month, already while riding towards our meet-up location. 

 

The app actually isn't the greatest - had a lot of hassle when trying to connect a group, but if you can learn some of the basic key combinations, things work out well. 

The voice recognition and "ok google" support works well for mimic

Music etc.

 

As for Chinese: the Cardo will also use components sourced in China, so if you dig deep enough, you'll end up with China anyway. 

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Got Sena20S right now...NOT a Evo (griping about that constantly as me being one of the field tester while paying full price for the Shet).

 

works okay...until my earphone starts to go and always have popcorn noises when I connect to anyone else who has 20 or 30...haven't try 50 yet.

 

If I have to do it again, I would go Cardo...so much more robust and actually stand up to the weather.

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Cardo Packtalk Bold.

 

Sena seems like it's been living on its name and rep without advancing tech as much. I like the Cardo. Simple, easy to pair, easy to set up. Decent quality sound.

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