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Basic Question for Sena Users


Albert

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I ordered the dual SMH-10 kit so I could go wireless. After looking at some of the connection diagrams I'm not sure I'll be able to do what I want. I plan to BT a phone to my Zumo, then BT that to the Sena units. My main question is, will both rider and passenger be able to hear the phone, music, gps, etc. or only the rider? TIA

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I just received a pair of new Sena SMH10s a week ago or so and was left with a bazillion questions.

 

First off ... throw away the book that came inside the package if you package is not the BT 3.0 version (which I'm pretty sure no boxed units are as yet). The reason is once you flash your unit's firmware (I forget the version number), your book is useless. I downloaded and printed the book from their website. There's a whole lot more functionality in the firmware upgrade.

 

What you are describing is described very well in the new book.

 

So, if you haven't flashed your units firmware yet, stop everything and do that, and download the new book. You'll be set then ... and if not, ask away.

 

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Thanks Craig, the unit's not scheduled to be delivered until later this week so I haven't done anything. Is the new book you mention available as a pdf from the Sena web site or does it only come when you perform the upgrade?

Thanks,

Al

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That said, if you;ve already done all that and have the new book, look at the case studies they offer about possible connections. You'll see your case listed there.

 

BTW: YMMV, but Terri & I just went on a weekend trip. It was our 1st trip with the new bike and our Sena SMHs. Anyway, I failed to connect my GPS (Zumo 550) properly. There is a particular way to connect it as a second phone connection, and I didn't catch that before we left. So, I went on the trip without hearing any "commands" from the GPS. All I can say is I found it to be a relief, actually.

 

I only missed 2 turns out of 800 miles. Heck, I missed that many when I was listening to the prompts. I doubt I'll ever go back to audibles from my GPS.

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FYI: As a matter of review ...

 

I have to say I am a bit underwhelmed by the quality of the intercom audio. First off, there's no sidetone. As a long time Navy radio communicator, the lack of sidetone is annoying for me. It makes finding the appropriate speaking volume a matter of total guess work. I suspect that is made worse by the fact we use earbuds, so folks who use speakers might not have this difficulty. That said, it's something I can certainly learn to live with, but it'd be really nice to not have to live with that.

 

Secondly, by way of comparison to the Autocom Active Rider system I had previously, I also found the quality of the intercom audio disappointing in that the Sena intercom audio sounds highly compressed and rather undefined.

 

While it's nice that each user can set volume levels for each "connection," I haven't mastered how to accomplish that yet. I had the voice prompts turned on (as I'm a noob and need the feedback), and trying to turn up Terri's voice resulted in the Sena voice prompts nearly blasting my eardrums out a couple times. I accept this is simply a matter of my lack of understanding the proper procedures.

 

On the good side ...

 

- Being untethered from the bike really improved our overall experience on the bike. For us it simplified mounting and dismounting, standing & stretching during the ride, and especially during those very short photo op stops where we didn't have to even remove our helmets but could continue to talk. This one point in itself is worth the lack of intercom clarity and sidetone (although I say that about the sidetone grudgingly).

 

- When I paired the Sena to my old Droid via A2DP (stereo BT), I was taken aback with the sound quality. Nothing like the intercom. Music audio quality was very good - too good for the ability of my Arizona Al earbuds (which are a bit midrangy and weak on the high end compared to high quality audio monitors). Since I have a Zumo 550, I can't stream stereo BT audio from it, si I'll have to move to my Droid as my music player. Those who have a 660/665 can stream audio via A2DP.

 

I also purchased the SR10, 2 Way Radio Adapter, but I have yet to play with that yet. I can say I'm happy that the SR10 and the associated cables (to include a remote PTT button) are designed to mount in a temporary manner to the handle bar. If I still had my RT, I might not be as happy. The SR10 and the PTT switch mount by means of a rubber "strap" and hook. The interconnecting cables are all narrow, coiled wires with adequate length to allow for interconnection of all units on the handlebars/tank bag. It's easy to set up or remove for storing away for the evening (or perhaps a long stop).

 

I'll be hooking the SR10 up this week and playing with it on the bike, but I have little doubt it will adequately be interface my FRS/GRMS radio and my Radar Det audio.

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I plan to BT a phone to my Zumo, then BT that to the Sena units. My main question is, will both rider and passenger be able to hear the phone, music, gps, etc. or only the rider? TIA

From my experience, only the rider will hear the music, gps and phone. The unit will only pair one Sena to other BT devices. You need register the unit to get the firmware to flash to Version 4 and download the v3.0 manual from the website (you don't have to be registered to get the manual). There are different ways to do pairing - selective, media and multi point. I pair my iPhone using selective pairing and my bluetooth dongle that is connected to my MixIt2 amp (GPS and radar detector) using media pairing.

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You can view the latest manual here.

 

I just bought the SMH-10 dual pack recently, and I'm still trying out different features. I haven't tried this myself yet, but according to the manual, both people can join a phone call by conferencing in the second person once the phone call is started. This is on page 27.

 

And if you have connected to the GPS using the "mobile phone" pairing method, I wonder if both people can hear the GPS voice prompting(??). And also a phone, if it is bridged through the GPS(??). It talks about this (sort of) on page 11. I will have to try some experiments.

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I paired my phone to the Zumo 660 and the 660 to the Sena. I have my and Deb's head set connected thru the intercom function. When the Gps gives me directions it drops the intercom, but Deb will hear a beep in her headset when that happens and when it automatically reconnects. I am having a strange problem with the intercom function. Only Deb's headset can initiate an intercom conversation. If I tap once on my jog dial it starts my media player, on the Zumo 660, instead of starting an intercom session. Someone suggested trying a double tap on the jog dial in case it is paired second on the priority for the Sena. I will let you know how that works. Other than that I am much happier with the Sena for bike to bike than I was with the autocom and radio setup. The autocom always dropped anywhere from the first word to the first sentence before connecting. The autocom was simplex commincstion where the sena is duplex like a phone Deb's older helmet lets more wind noise thru than mine. So the intercom stays connected for our entire ride, unless someone ends it by tapping the jog dial. This means no more dropped words, yeha! The battery life seems to be very good. We rode 8hrs connected with no problems. I am using the in helmet speakers and they seem fine without ear plugs but the volume is just a little low using good ear plugs.

 

Alan

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Thanks to you all. I see that at least a few of us will be in Snowshoe for the RCR, we may have to have a tech session in the parking lot. :grin:

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I am having a strange problem with the intercom function. Only Deb's headset can initiate an intercom conversation. If I tap once on my jog dial it starts my media player, on the Zumo 660, instead of starting an intercom session. Someone suggested trying a double tap on the jog dial in case it is paired second on the priority for the Sena. I will let you know how that works. ...

 

Deb's older helmet lets more wind noise thru than mine. So the intercom stays connected for our entire ride, unless someone ends it by tapping the jog dial. This means no more dropped words, yeha!

 

Alan ... I'm by no means an expert on this system, but what you are describing doesn't seem a problems so much as a lack of understanding the effect of the jog wheel. If when a person is connected to intercom and other media and taps the jog wheel, the SMH is cycled to the other connection(s). As I understand it, each tap on the jog wheel will cycle the user through each connection. What I believe this issue in your case is that when that connection is to a media device, the buttons take on a new life for operating the media, and how does one continue cycling through the connections to get back to the intercom connection.

 

If you haven't already, look that issue up in the new manual.

 

Also, I found that when only hooked up to intercom, and I accidently hit the jog wheel once or twice, that put me into a mode there I had to initiate intercom via touching the jog wheel only. Vox input wouldn't do it. I had to shut down and reconnect to get back to Vox intercom (which wasn't difficult).

 

As for an RCR Tech discussion ... that sound good to me.

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Speaking of the VOX feature, I have it enabled, but I am finding that I have to YELL to get it to open the connection, and the connection often cuts off while I am still talking. It seems like the sensitivity is way off. I have put in a question about this to the Sena web site, but I have not heard back yet.

 

Is anyone else having a problem like this with the VOX feature? I have had a Scala Rider Q2 set for a couple of years, and the VOX feature worked fine on it. So I am used to blowing on the mic or saying something to open the connection. But on the Sena, I think there is a sensitivity issue on my set.

 

I am getting used to opening the connection manually using the jog dial, but it would be nice to be able to use the VOX feature in certain situations.

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Mrs. Caddis

During our initial use of our system over the weekend I accidently turned on the media on my phone. Really confused me. After looking at the manual when we got home it seems that a "one second tap" will turn on the media where a shorter tap will open the intercom. Experiment with how long your "tap" is and see if that solves the issue.

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Speaking of the VOX feature, I have it enabled, but I am finding that I have to YELL to get it to open the connection, and the connection often cuts off while I am still talking. --- Is anyone else having a problem like this with the VOX feature?

 

Yes, the exact same thing, and yes, you're right ... their Vox threshold is obviously too high. Please post if you get a response.

 

I'm going to see if the little plastic mic cover for the back of the mics helps this any.

 

BTW: I had this experience this past weekend. I was trying to talk to my wife when the vox kicked on hard like this and while yelling in the mic trying to get the Vox to kick on, I could hear her saying "It's on, it's on already! Jeez!" Apparently, I was yelling so loudly that I didn't hear the beep that announces a new connection.

 

 

Mrs Caddis ... thanks will do.

 

 

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...Is anyone else having a problem like this with the VOX feature?...

 

Ditto. I bought a dual pack last year and found that the VOX function was next to useless (especially compared to my Autocom). My wife and I then simply left them on constantly, or used the jog dial to turn them On and Off. While the jog dial works just fine, there is a bit of a delay, so don't expect that method to work when you're trusting your passenger to alert you to a deer etc.

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While the jog dial works just fine, there is a bit of a delay, so don't expect that method to work when you're trusting your passenger to alert you to a deer etc.

 

Yup, that was an issue with my Q2s also. I don't know why there has to be such a long delay to open a connection, but I assume there is something about the bluetooth protocol that prevents a quicker connection time. At least with the Senas, I can open the connection manually and leave it open as long as I want. I have started doing this when we are in situations where I might want to say something quickly.

 

And while we are on the subject of Sena issues, the wall socket charges that I got in the dual pack don't work. I can charge the units using other methods, but the wall chargers seem to be completely non-functional. I sent Sena a message, but have not heard back on this one yet either. Anyone else have this issue?

 

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Mine work 4.0. No problems so far. I'll be curious to see how long it takes them to get back to you.

 

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Craig..I certainly want to talk to you about these units. I'm looking forward to borrowing yours or Keith's for the RCR and checking it out.

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SteveHebert

Wealth of knowledge as usual here. I just purchased a set and opened the box yesterday. I have not downloaded anything yet, but did read the manual and was able to pair the two units together, and activate the vox feature. The only other thing I want to do is pair an Iphone to use as a music source. This was asked before but I did not see an answer:

 

So, can we pair one Iphone to both units so that we can hear the same music, or should we each pair our phones seperately? I have not had the time to explore as I just got back on Friday. We leave Thursday and will be at the RCR on Sat afternoon. Maybe all you experts will have the answers I need by the time we arrive. We wnat to enjoy his week long ride.

 

Thanks

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mikeR1100R

We have stopped using the VOX completely and for the most part leave the intercom on. Battery life is quite impressive even with that kind of use. We are still getting used to being rudely interrupted by the Zumo. Other than that, we are pretty happy with our Senas.

Now to conquer the Zumo 220!

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So, can we pair one Iphone to both units so that we can hear the same music, or should we each pair our phones seperately?

 

No, each headset needs to be paired with its own phone/music source. I count that as a blessing. I love my wife, but we have slightly different tastes in music. It also allows us to make and receive our own phone calls with out effecting each other. I don't talk while riding much, but my wife will make phone calls from the back of the bike all day long.

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I haven't tried this myself yet, but according to the manual, both people can join a phone call by conferencing in the second person once the phone call is started. This is on page 27.

 

FYI, I did a quick test with the phone conferencing feature. We had someone call Eileen's phone, she answered her phone, then conferenced me in by pressing the jog dial to open the intercom. This worked, and I was able to join in on the phone conversation.

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Thanks for the answer. Should I download software or just use them straight out of the box?

 

Personally, I would update them before anything else. That way you are starting with a clean slate. I've read that some people have had some issues after upgrading units that had already been paired with phones. Its easily fixable, but why deal with the headache if you don't have to.

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It must be really nice to have some form of communications with your passenger other than just getting slapped on the back of your helmet.

 

One slap = you screwed up.

Two slaps = you really screwed up.

three slaps = you really screwed up. And don't do it again!

 

-----

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So, can we pair one Iphone to both units so that we can hear the same music, or should we each pair our phones seperately?

 

No, each headset needs to be paired with its own phone/music source. I count that as a blessing. I love my wife, but we have slightly different tastes in music. It also allows us to make and receive our own phone calls with out effecting each other. I don't talk while riding much, but my wife will make phone calls from the back of the bike all day long.

 

This seems to be a highly requested item over at Sena. I think your solution will work good for us too Kieth. I'll pull music from the Zumo and she has an iPod touch or phone she can use. With the ability to conference both together on phone calls, that about covers all we need. We don't do a lot of phone/music stuff on the road so it's not a real big deal. We did find when touring some of the big parks out west it was nice to be able to oooh and ahhh via intercom (and point out sights to each other). I think we'll be really happy with the Sena.

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It must be really nice to have some form of communications with your passenger other than just getting slapped on the back of your helmet.

 

One slap = you screwed up.

Two slaps = you really screwed up.

three slaps = you really screwed up. And don't do it again!

 

-----

 

Bob you make it sound like this is a replacement system. Actually this is merely a multimedia enhancement. Your equations just need quotation marks to be current! Technology is painful sometimes. :grin:

 

One slap = "you screwed up."

Two slaps = "you really screwed up."

three slaps = "you really screwed up. And don't do it again!"

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Yeah, they have worked out really well for us so far. We will go for an hour or so listening to our own music, or her talking on the phone. Then we switch over to intercom and chat for a while. Then back to the music. All depends on where we are and what we are up to. She likes to listen to me talk to myself on the super tight twisty stuff, and we usually switch to intercom any time we hit any sort of civilization. On the way to the UN, we got caught in a fast moving torrential downpour and it was fun laughing back and forth about all the unprepared cruiser riders and a couple in a convertable Mercedes getting soaked.

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I left everything set to default following the v4 firmware update. We think we'll like using the jog dial for intercom instead of the vox like we did with Autocom (too many false triggers). What have you guys found?

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I never even considered using the vox, for the same reason you stated. I had used it on previous intercoms......sometimes it worked OK, most of the time it was a PITA.

 

It is also a bad option if you have a spouse who likes to sing along with music, but is completely tone deaf :grin:

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Nice n Easy Rider
It is also a bad option if you have a spouse who likes to sing along with music, but is completely tone deaf :grin:

And which member of the spousal duo might that be? :grin:

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I left everything set to default following the v4 firmware update. We think we'll like using the jog dial for intercom instead of the vox like we did with Autocom (too many false triggers). What have you guys found?

 

I was used to the VOX feature working reasonably well on my old Q2 system, so it was an initial disappointment when the Sena VOX feature didn't work properly for me. But I am getting used to using the jog dial to initiate. Since the battery life of the Sena isn't a big issue, I am also starting to leave the intercom connection open for longer periods of time so I don't need to "re-open" the connection frequently.

 

When we are in a situation where we might want to communicate frequently (tight traffic, trying to figure out where we are going, greate scenery to comment on, etc.) we just leave the connection open. Otherwise we just close it for a while. I still wish the VOX feature actually functioned better, but overall, it seems to be working out pretty well.

 

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It's funny but the biggest drawback I had with my Autocom system's vox was I tend to sing along when I'm listening to music and talk to myself on long rides. In both cases I'd trigger the vox which would kill the music!

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SteveHebert

Sorry about all the questions but this thing is not as user friendly as I thought it would be. I downloaded he Mac software version, but it asks for a password, and to confirm the password, then gives a statement that I must ensure it is the correct password for the unit. Am I supposed to create a password for each unit that I update at this step? I do not know of any other password and am basically sitting idle now so I do not screw things up.

 

Thanks,

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I can't help you there. I still have the old non updatable early versions. If you don't get a quick answer here, then you might want to try over on ADV. They have a LOT of Sena users over there. Here is a link to the mega thread

 

LINK

 

 

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SteveHebert

Thanks Keith. I got them installed and mine is paired to my phone. I will pair the wifes tonight. My music stops when mak a phone call. I have to restart it on the phone. I guess I will fgure all this out.

 

Thanks for the help.

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Speaking of the VOX feature, I have it enabled, but I am finding that I have to YELL to get it to open the connection, and the connection often cuts off while I am still talking. --- Is anyone else having a problem like this with the VOX feature?

 

Yes, the exact same thing, and yes, you're right ... their Vox threshold is obviously too high. Please post if you get a response.

 

 

I received this reply from Sena after just over a week. It certainly isn't a problem with a "soft tone of voice". So I guess the VOX feature is going to be useless:

 

----------------

Dan Kim, Jun 05 15:45 (PDT):

 

Hello Kevin,

 

We intentionally set VOX threshold level high since SMH10 will be exposed to very loud environment. Thus, people with soft tone of voice may have hard time triggering the VOX. At the same time, if microphone is not protected from the wind, then VOX may frequently and unintentionally activate.

 

Due to this narrow window of VOX use, we have intentionally disabled VOX within factory settings. It clearly seems VOX is not a suitable feature for you.

 

I strongly recommend you to disable intercom VOX.

 

 

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

 

Thank you,

 

 

Dan Kim

Sena Technologies

Customer Support Engineer

----------------

 

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The password it is asking for is probably the computer password, making sure you are allowed to install software. If you did not set up the computer, find out who did and get the admin password. It might just be nothing (a return). I just downloaded and updated a pair of the sena 10s. The password came up and it did use the admin computer password.

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My music stops when mak a phone call. I have to restart it on the phone. I guess I will fgure all this out.

 

Thats strange. Are you using the Sena to make a phone call, or manually hitting buttons on your phone to make the call? I realize they might have changed some things in the firmware since I got mine, but as long as I am playing music before I make or accept a phone call it always clicks back over to music when I am done. You shouldn't have to touch your phone.

 

I just hop on the bike, activate the Sena, wait for it to link up, and then press and hold the jog button for a second or so. It kicks the music on whereever I last left it. The only exception is if I want to listen to Pandora instead of MP3's. For Pandora, I have to pull my phone out and start the app manually to get it to play, but once it is going I can start and stop it at will. I can also use the jog dial to skip songs.

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SteveHebert

Thanks for the password info.

 

I made the calls using the phone buttons after the music was initiated. I am sure that 90% of my questions are from inexperience. We depart tomorrow for the week long trip and will be at RCR Saturday so I hope to have it figured out by then.

 

Thanks again,

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So, can we pair one Iphone to both units so that we can hear the same music, or should we each pair our phones seperately?
The base unit (SMH10) won't stream music to both headsets at once. They just came out with a new gizmo (SM10) which allows you to do that as well as add in support for a wired device (like a non-Bluetooth GPS or radar detector). Kind of like the SR10 which allows you to add wired devices to the Bluetooth comm channel (like 2-way radios) but doesn't have the dual streaming music of the SM10.

 

By the way, if you're having intercom audio issues (too quiet, quality, etc) you might not have the mic touching your lips. It's 100% better if you do vs. leaving a little gap between your mouth & the mic. The foam cover prevents pssshhhing sounds when you talk so unlike a bare mic it's designed for at the lips distance.

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By the way, if you're having intercom audio issues (too quiet, quality, etc) you might not have the mic touching your lips. It's 100% better if you do vs. leaving a little gap between your mouth & the mic.

 

Based on our experience with our Scala Rider units, I assumed this would be the case with the Sena, also. But for some reason, it sounds worse to me when Eileen has the microphone that close to her lips. I describe it as sounding like she is "talking through a sock". When she moved the microphone away a bit, the sound got much better. I guess everyone needs to experiment to see what works best for them.

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SteveHebert

We are on day 4 now and the Sena units are superb to any other that we have used. Music via the blutetoot iphones is excellent. The wired connection via the ipods is not as good. We oped to touch the jog dial each time we decide talk. Not as convienient as a good vox, but it works well.

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Thanks to all for this post, I look forward to Bluetooth gps, music and intercom soon. A new tire and new windows at home ate up my mad money for a while so I'll read until then.

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Just a quick follow up for those contemplating a Sena unit. We tried our set out for the first time this past weekend and were mostly really happy with the outcome. For those curious here's our setup and what we're getting from it.

 

1. I have my phone (not smart) BT with my Zumo 660.

2. The Zumo is BT to my SMH10 which provides, turn by turn, stereo music via Zumo and phone connection (and of course BT to passenger).

3. My wife's SMH10 is paired to her iPad Touch for music and to me for com.

 

We were worried about her not being able to hear the Zumo music but it turns out this works quite well and we have our own choice of music when, and if we want. We use the units in non VOX mode and I think that's better (for us) too. To be honest we both tend to sing along with music and when a vox system triggers, that kills the music. Pushing the jog dial to start/stop a conversation is a no brainer.

 

She does miss hearing the gps turn by turn but there may be a firmware update in the future to allow that. Also I haven't figured out how to conference her into a phone call although the Sena doc has instructions to do so. I suspect it's because my phone is bridged to my Zumo and not directly to the Sena. There may be a future option for that as well.

 

As I said we were quite pleased. She uses ear buds and I have helmet speakers and we were both happy with the result.

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Al,

 

Thanks for the update as I am considering them for my wife and I. You and the rest of this thread answered most of my questions.

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Autocom Matt

Just curious if the audio is still better BT instead of wired if away from the motorcycle and other RFI? Perhaps its a poor quality cable or an issue with the Sena's design or the amp in the ipod.

 

My theory is that compressing the audio and decompressing leaves some noise behind. Otherwise there is no logical explination as to why the audio would be better over BT than analog.

 

We are on day 4 now and the Sena units are superb to any other that we have used. Music via the blutetoot iphones is excellent. The wired connection via the ipods is not as good. We oped to touch the jog dial each time we decide talk. Not as convienient as a good vox, but it works well.
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Autocom Matt
I suspect it's because my phone is bridged to my Zumo and not directly to the Sena.

 

Exactly. If you paired the zumo using HSP only as a phone to the Sena you could do that, but music will suffer as it is low quality mono instead of stereo. Upside is you'll hear the directions a couple hundred ms sooner :clap:

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SteveHebert

Matt,

 

I believe it is do to the volume restriction on the ipod, or the way the songs were loaded onto the ipod. I max it out and then adjust the jog dial volume. I seem to run into the "beep" all the time telling me it is is maxed. On the other hand, the iphone volume being maxed allows me to blow my eardrums out with helmet speakers! I can't imagine if we had the earbud set up. I will buy those base units next to test. I used ear plugs today and was very happy with both intercom volume and music quality.

 

We are 100% pleased with the units. They are simple to use and very easy to set up. No more wires!

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