Helmet Communication Systems

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Helmet Communication Systems

Postby GSFun » Sat May 05, 2012 9:39 am

We are considering purchasing helmet communication systems and have heard some scary reviews and was hoping to get some good feedback on the best units. We own Schuberth Helmets. It would be ideal to just purchase the Schuberth systems, but we've heard some bad stories. Does anyone have experience with these?

Our number one priority is simply communication between 2 riders. We do have an iPhone, so if phonecalls could be received, that might be nice, but we will probably just check the phone on stops. Neither of us currently listen to music although I am a big audio book fan and wouldn't mind having that capability; however, if this reduces the communication capability, it is not an absolute requirement.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby henwin » Tue May 08, 2012 10:52 pm

GSFun wrote:We are considering purchasing helmet communication systems and have heard some scary reviews and was hoping to get some good feedback on the best units. We own Schuberth Helmets. It would be ideal to just purchase the Schuberth systems, but we've heard some bad stories. Does anyone have experience with these?


You don't say which model Shuberths you have. It might make a difference. Supposedly the newer intercoms work quite well and are good enough so that when a phone is paired with one of the systems, the receiver can't even tell the call is being made from inside the helmet while on the move! While I do not have any direct experience, there are several places you might get some info.

1. WebBikeWorld does a lot of reviews. You might check there: http://www.webbikeworld.com.
2. Peter Meade, at Bob's, has a fair amount of knowledge on the Schuberth system and would be a good source of info.

Good luck. Please let us know what you decide.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby ChaseH » Wed May 09, 2012 8:51 am

My understanding is that the Schuberth system is basicaly the Scala G4 reconfigured to fit the helmet system (the same nuts and bolts). I've used the G4 quite a bit for bike to bike and for music from the Iphone, as well as for use of the phone, although I've moved away from that. Newer software patches may have changed it up a bit, but I found that it doesn't work well to bluetooth everything together. In other words, I wasn't successful getting it to do wireless music from the phone as well as wireless from the GPS. I don't care for the sound from the GPS anyway, so I took the GPS out of the loop. Pairing can be spotty at times, but generally I get it to work. I don't like the voice activation, but press the designated button to open the channel to the paired helmet.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby Unity » Wed May 09, 2012 9:04 pm

ChaseH wrote:Pairing can be spotty at times, but generally I get it to work. I don't like the voice activation, but press the designated button to open the channel to the paired helmet.

When ours worked properly, our experiences with pairing and voice activation were similar to yours. We didn't try the button activation -- we'll keep that as a hole card.

Just today our new G4 sets arrived on a UPS truck. Jody initiated email with Cardo, they guided us through a few trial solutions, and when the problems remained, they asked us to send the sets back. Our new ones are labelled "warranty replacements," and I imagine they're refurbs. I got nothin' against refurbs. More to follow. :)

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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby henwin » Wed May 09, 2012 10:55 pm

Unity wrote:
ChaseH wrote:Pairing can be spotty at times, but generally I get it to work. I don't like the voice activation, but press the designated button to open the channel to the paired helmet.

When ours worked properly, our experiences with pairing and voice activation were similar to yours. We didn't try the button activation -- we'll keep that as a hole card.
Just today our new G4 sets arrived on a UPS truck. Jody initiated email with Cardo, they guided us through a few trial solutions, and when the problems remained, they asked us to send the sets back. Our new ones are labelled "warranty replacements," and I imagine they're refurbs. I got nothin' against refurbs. More to follow. :) --John

I actually prefer =D> refurbs for certain kinds of devices. They've just come out of the factory service center and so you know they're in tip-top shape. I've bought computer monitors (Dell) and my Canon 70-200 f4 L IS USM lens that way. In the case of the lens I saved $350!!! (off MSRP) and it is perfect. :D
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby '05Train » Thu May 10, 2012 8:46 pm

I'm very happy with the Sena SMH-10.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby henwin » Thu May 10, 2012 8:58 pm

'05Train wrote:I'm very happy with the Sena SMH-10.

What helmet are you using it with?
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby '05Train » Thu May 10, 2012 9:27 pm

henwin wrote:
'05Train wrote:I'm very happy with the Sena SMH-10.

What helmet are you using it with?

An Arai Signet-Q. Even with fitted earplugs, I can place and receive phone calls with absolute clarity, listen to my iPod, and converse with a passenger.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby STATMATT » Fri May 11, 2012 4:58 pm

I have the scheuberth comm collar and it is true, most people I have to tell them I am on a motorcycle and in traffic. Otherwise they don't know and will ask me to write something down. My wife and I use ours everyday on our commutes into work. We have to put them on the charger about every third or fourth day of use. (2.5 hours of use per day). In our experience the voice activation is set to a male voice. My wife has a difficult time getting it to recognize she is speaking and turn on. It seems to be temperature dependant. It works better in warmer or dry weather than in cold or wet weather. We have not figured out how to give the phone commands through the helmet. we do know that pressing the power button twice calls the last person you spoke with. My wife's seems to have a short in it. It turns off when she closes her helment or hits a bump. We got them at the MOA ralley last year and we are going to Bob's this weekend to have them looked at.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby sati8d » Fri May 11, 2012 7:28 pm

[quote="STATMATT"]I have the scheuberth comm collar and it is true, most people I have to tell them I am on a motorcycle and in traffic. Otherwise they don't know and will ask me to write something down. My wife and I use ours everyday on our commutes into work. We have to put them on the charger about every third or fourth day of use. (2.5 hours of use per day). In our experience the voice activation is set to a male voice.

+1 on the SRC - I've got 24k miles on mine. Had to have the battery changed out at 11 months - just quit. There was a recall and Bob's replaced without hesitation.
No one ever knows I'm riding....good thing..whether I'm doing 20 in traffic and rain or 85 cruising down some highway.
I pair it to my Droid Maxx phone (they say it works/pairs better to iPhones...of course) and my wife's HJC helmet with Scala Q2pro. Within 5-10 secs of powering up, the phone and Rider A helmet pair. The voice activation is done by puffing into the mike. It's cantankerous getting it to get the command to the phone... It has a hard time - sometimes it's spot on - like call xyz mobile 1 and bang it's ringing...other times forgedaboudit!.
I play music on BT almost every ride and I too don't charge but every 3-5 days. When my wife and I ride 2-up, her Q2 stays activated because she doesn't have the chin dam to block the wind, so it stays on...if we don't say anything for about 3 mins, the unit will beep and go to stand-by. All you have to do once again is puff into the mike, and we're reconnected. The BT between helmets has lasted pretty much all day - that's not talking, although one day we got into this awesome discussion on our retirement dreams and spoke for 4 hrs - not one issue. Charged that night at the hotel before shoving off the next morning for another full day of riding the Blue Ridge Pkwy...
If I'm on music and a call comes in, the music fades, there's a short beep then the ring, puff into the mike - say hello - that works well. Actually makes me jump often it startles me.
If I'm on music BT to phone, and Lisa starts chatting, the music fades, we chat, once quiet, music comes back up to normal. Cool thing with the SRC it knows to apply gain when it hears noise or wind - so the music will increase all by itself to a comfortable level as you accelerate. That feature is on/off switchable - but you'll leave it on.

It's friggin' expensive - but I'm impressed with the C3 and the SRC together - the incredibly quiet helmet and high-powered BT SRC make for a nice match.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby '05Train » Sun May 20, 2012 8:45 pm

My wife finally had an opportunity to ride with me today, so we finally had a chance to use the Sena's intercom. Gotta say the VOX is a bit sensitive to wind, but otherwise the system performed flawlessly.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby howardenichols » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:45 am

Had to have the battery changed out at 11 months - just quit. There was a recall and Bob's replaced without hesitation.


I noticed your battery experience and realized that the problem that I had with my Schuberth integrated helmet comms system was similar. So yesterday I dropped by Bob's (where I bought the pair of Schuberth C3 helmets and comms system) and mentioned the problem. The sales person that had sold me the units about a year ago agree it might be a battery issue and he would have to check with management who happened to be closeted in a meeting. After waiting around check out all the great stuff in the sales floor, he came back to tell me that Bob said to replace the whole collar unit. His comment was that he expected that that would be the response but that as a sales person he could not authorize it himself. Now that is why I consider Bob's a great place for customer service and satisfaction. While I was waiting for the decision I had service take a look at my rear tire only to discover that it was worn out. That wasn't free, not that i expected it to be.
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Re: Helmet Communication Systems

Postby Scratch » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:51 am

'05Train wrote:My wife finally had an opportunity to ride with me today, so we finally had a chance to use the Sena's intercom. Gotta say the VOX is a bit sensitive to wind, but otherwise the system performed flawlessly.


Been using Sena SMH10's for about a year. As you note the VOX can be triggered just by wind so we don't use that feature. Comm has excellent range on the flat & straights but suffers somewhat in the twisties.

Connectivity with my Zumo 665 is somewhat spotty - I find myself having to power off/power on more often than I care to in order to reestablish the link, and/or to get my MP3 music in stereo as opposed to mono.

I like the ability to patch in an iPod or other external music source using the 3.5mm jack.

Being able to update the firmware over the 'net using my PC is nice, OTOH the volume got reduced by about 20% a couple versions ago and while Sena is aware of the problem, they haven't yet corrected it on their latest version. I wear foam earplugs and the volume coming from the helmet speakers is just under the level that's ideal for music. I can of course switch over to the earbud-type mount and use my excellent Etymotics, but I have a learning curve yet to master regarding disconnecting them prior to taking off the helmet. :lol:

As for quality, thus far I've had a mount replaced due to the plastic base of the boom mike breaking, and a dongle replaced after one of the many small connector pins broke. I got quick turnaround from Sena on both.
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