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My better half and I are in the market for some blue tooth intercom setups for our full face Arai helmets. She needs a new helmet and I'm just about due also. I have searched this forum and various websites and am now confused as ever. We are basically just wanting intercom but I would like to be able to pair my helmet with my I-phone for one-up riding music.


I thought it would be easy to order new helmets with them already installed. I had always heard of J&M but this forum seems to prefer Sena. It's looking like I will have to install the Senas myself. My dilemma is what model# plus cords etc. I would need. I know that Sena tech support can help me with the cord setup but I want some real knowledge (non-salesman) feed back before I dive in. I ride an '09RT with no factory stereo. What are my best options to make this work well and how hard are they to install? TIA

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For intercom and pairing to your phone, if you go with Sena (or any other bluetooth based system) you won't need any cables, other than something to charge the units - and you can do that at home wherever you charge your phones (you can run power to them while riding, but unless you plan to ride really, really long days you'll have adequate power for a full day on a full charge).


I have been really happy with my Sena - it's old now and I'll probably upgrade to the 10c which has a built in camera, or the 20s. ANY of the Sena units will do intercom for two and phone pairing for tunes/calls. As you go up in price they add features like FM tuner, simultaneous intercom for more than two riders, etc.


I've had some sort of com in my helmet since about 1998 and they've been easy enough to install all along - current systems are even more helmet friendly and most helmets now have recesses in the foam for the speakers to fit in which saves a lot of hassle. It's pretty much a matter of clamping or sticking the com unit bracket to the helmet and then tucking in the wires for the speakers and mic.


Sena has an option where instead of the helmet mounted speakers, you can plug in your own earbuds - less convenient when you take off/put on your helmet, but better sound quality and does block more wind noise.



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Rinky - Do you normally wear earplugs? I'm curious as to whether you will choose the earbuds or in-helmet speakers, and how your choice works out.

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I have a big Cee Baily windshield so no earplugs needed. Going the speaker system I believe.

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Not to open another can of worms, but Scala has the moderately priced Q1 Teamset. (289.00 for two units)


I have 2 Scalas and a Sena SMH10 and the active volume of the he Scala products makes it my favorite .


With Sena, one often fiddles with the volume control depending on your speed and traffic noise.

The Scala automatically raises and lowers with your speed.


Both are good products, but if I had to choose one, it would be Scala no question.



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Stan Walker

I currently run the Sena 20S paired to my GPS. My GPS is in turn paired to my iPhone for running the almost free weather and traffic aps. No Intercom use as I ride alone.


At full volume including the 20S audio boost function the in-helmet speakers that come with the Sena 20S are loud enough to be heard even with my foam ear plugs in.


I recently returned from a 15 day motorcycle trip. Most days I was on the road 10-12 hours with the unit powered up all the time. I charged the 20S every night in my motel room for about 1.5 hours (until it indicated it was fully charged). At no time during this trip did I ever get an indication that the Sena 20S battery was getting low.



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Danny caddyshack Noonan

No opinion on corded sets.

If you get something with bluetooth though, stay away from J&M. Piss poor signal and overall performance.

Currently using Sena 20S. But, I use music 99.9% of the time and comm the remainder.

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Another endorsement for Sena. You can get advice from them regarding model selection by calling their support area - if you go the Sena route. I purchased the 20S.


When riding with my wife she can listen to the BMW audio system along with me if I activate the 'music share' function of the Sena which automatically interrupts the music if either of us speaks into the microphone for the intercom function. Besides the audio, it is paired with my Nav V and Android phone. I have a USB stick in the right glove box with MP3s that plays though the bike audio/Sena.


The other thing I like is that the battery life is very long. Full day rides will not exhaust the battery.

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Not to be too contrarian (nothing bad to say about Sena,) but I'm currently testing the Interphone F5MC for BMW Owner's News, and so far, I'm impressed! Just another option to look at.



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+1 for Sena. I use a SMH-10 paired to a Zumo 660 paired to iPhone 5, mostly listening to music from the Zumo's player. Sound quality is pretty good. We also use the intercom when two-up riding, and my wife finds it pretty easy to use (all electronics are challenging for her). I had a Scala G4 unit (I know, a little old) that was very disappointing - hard to set up, hard to use the buttons while riding, poor sound quality, unreliable connections. A couple people told me Sena is the best value in the "reasonable" price range.


Don't buy a helmet based on it being "Bluetooth ready". That only means it has a dedicated spot for a certain brand unit and you don't have to clamp or glue anything on, but it doesn't have any wiring, speakers, etc. Buy a helmet for fit, quality, and other features you like, and if it's Bluetooth ready, you can still clamp on whatever third party BT unit (Sena) you like.



'06 R1200RT

'04 K1200GT

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I have submitted the proper request to my "financial counselor" and once approved, I will get a Sena 10U for my Schuberth to replace my SMH.


I cannot say enough good things about Sena, it's an awesome product with continuous upgrades in their lineup.

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With the BMW Communicator you can control volume with the wonder wheel on your handlebar. Not with any other AFAIK. Press the radio mute button to activate intercom.

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Not to be too contrarian (nothing bad to say about Sena,) but I'm currently testing the Interphone F5MC for BMW Owner's News, and so far, I'm impressed! Just another option to look at.




Moshe - Has your review of the F5MC for BMW Owner's News been published yet, and if so, in which month's issue?



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