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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering what people do regarding listening to music and communicating with others when you are riding?

I do mostly commuting so I am by myself a lot so I like to listen to music. I have some Bluetooth earbuds that work ok but, controlling the playback is difficult.

When I do ride in a group, there is no communicating with anyone else until we are stopped at a light; then it can still be a struggle hearing others.

I am curious what other people use and the struggles people have with their gear.

Thanks

Dave-Star
 

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I don't own any but like you, I am starting to shop for it. From what I hear talking to people that uses them...SENA is the way to go. They even make a unit for 1/2 helmet wearers. A friend of mine has that and loves it. Says it's crystal clear.
 

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I have a Sena 20S. Communicating with my brother on the last trip was pretty darn close to being face to face. The only downside for me, is that the music is not loud enough. However, that could be because I spent too many years around loud power tools & construction equipment w/o hearing protection.
 

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I have an older Scala system and it works OK but like anything audio, when you are going over 50 the wind noise becomes an issue. Around town it is great, you can have a normal conversation with your riding buddy, but out on the highway it is hard to hear clearly. That wind noise thing . Some of the newer ones may have noise canceling technoligy that helps but there is still a lot more noise at higher speeds. It is great to be able to talk to the wife when we are on rides but because of the hassle of charging then putting them on the helmet, most of the time we leave it at home!
 

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I've use Uclear 100 Plus, which is now their Pro line, for the past few years. As everyone has said, at cruising speed it's difficult to hear at times. With my full face helmet with windshield it's good to about 70 mph. I can still hear music fairly well at that speed but have to slow down to hear phone call. You can download speaker boosting app like Speaker Boost and it helps a lot.
 

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We recently invested in the Sena 30K system and its worked pretty well so far. We took a 60 mile round trip Sunday night to our favorite steakhouse on a two lane road and we could hear one another very clearly. Can’t wait to see how it works for the Southeast Regional members meet at Maggie Valley, NC.


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Discussion Starter #8
bevo1981, that is pretty much what I am using now (except for spotify) but it is not easy to control FFwd, pause, etc.

Regarding the Sena30, Keith Post, can other users connected listen to your music (from your phone) meaning, can you send you music stream to all users connected?
 

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bevo1981, that is pretty much what I am using now (except for spotify) but it is not easy to control FFwd, pause, etc.

Regarding the Sena30, Keith Post, can other users connected listen to your music (from your phone) meaning, can you send you music stream to all users connected?
FYI, with Uclear you can music share. Works good.

 

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bevo1981, that is pretty much what I am using now (except for spotify) but it is not easy to control FFwd, pause, etc.



Regarding the Sena30, Keith Post, can other users connected listen to your music (from your phone) meaning, can you send you music stream to all users connected?


From what I’m reading, yes, but I haven’t tried it yet to see. We got an excellent deal on it and we’re still learning as we go. I do know we can connect to 14 other riders.


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I've had various makes & models, primarily for riding solo or 2-up. Of all that I've owned, Sena is the only brand I'd never buy again - primarily due to issues with their customer support. Half the time it was fine, but the other half they'd either ignore requests, or make it difficult to obtain warranty service. In a couple of those cases, the dealer had to step in on my behalf to get them to honor their warranty.

And keep in mind the Sena's warranty is very limited where only the original buyer is covered. So if someone tries to sell you a used one - even if it's just 1 day old - there'd be no warranty coverage at all.

As for other brands/models, all the modern ones I've used perform basic call, intercom, and music listening well. And they've all had decent volume and clarity for intercom. But for music quality, the one I prefer is the UClear AMP when using their "Pro" speakers.

I chose UClear basically because it has a boomless design that well with my modular helmets. It probably took about an hour to get the speakers/microphones set up just right, but it performs surprisingly well after it's been dialed in. If you do choose this one, also take a look at getting the remote - well worth it considering the 3-buttons your limited to. My experience with their customer service has been consistently positive.

Another intercom I continue to use regularly is the Midland BTX2. It's an older model, but the VOX intercom on it is rock-solid. No false activations, and no dealing with resetting the unit if you decide to manually end the intercom session (i.e. Sena 20S). The main disadvantage is that most of their dealers are now just in Europe, and so any warranty support will also probably be a problem with them. Fortunately, I'd bought mine while they were still available in the US and had no product failures to deal with up to now.

For group riding, I'd go with Scala's Packtalk series. They were the first to come out with a "Mesh" network for a motorcycle intercom a couple of years ago. As long as everyone else has a Scala that supports their Mesh network, it works wonderfully - clear voice and smooth re-connections make it so easy to use when compared against standard Bluetooth intercoms. And they have a 3.5mm jack so if I wanted to use my own earbuds instead of the speakers, I could. If they had a handlebar remote, I'd probably use it more regularly, but as I only occasionally go for group rides, it usually sits on a shelf at home.

In the end, your choice may be driven more by what brand others in your group already have. Each brand has it's own proprietary protocol for intercom communications. And while they all might have a "Universal Intercom" function to allow cross-brand intercom communications, it's really a pain to set up and use reliably.
 

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Universal intercom is nice, but completely useless in every vendor. It depends on linking as a phone on the other device, and this normally comes with not linking a phone on the other unit, and with limited bluetooth range, as using the phone profile isn't designed for large distances, so lacks the error correction and other stuff needed to make it work at a distance, I did this for awhile, but only for a passenger so range wasn't an issue.

I personally felt scala was getting way behind the times, but their pactalk units really brought it.
Sena still has their, cannot use in the rain, except if your lucky issue :(
 

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Sena still has their, cannot use in the rain, except if your lucky issue :(
My Sena 20S worked fine in a down pour rain for 1.5 hours of letting me listen to my music on my phone. It also worked fine for the 5 minutes of fog my brother & I rode thru in the Shenandoah Mountains. Granted we were never more than quarter mile from each other.
 

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Yes, I use it in the rain also, and others. But it's far from water resistant, and sena says it is not made for rain at all so, we are on our own there.
 

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Personally I don't want to talk to anyone while riding. Don't interrupt me when I'm in my happy place. In MN sound producing headsets are illegal. That said I did try thin speakers that slip into pockets on half helmet but I couldn't hear it. I use Jabra Bluetooth earbuds connected to my phone which is mounted on my bars. Plenty loud enough with good bass. I recommend some Marvin Gaye or Stevie Ray Vaughan to get you in the right frame of mind.
 

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Normally just my daughter and me. We will do music sharing or listen to seperate things. But it is nice to know when she needs a to use a bathroom, or ass is sore. If it's crazy traffic, let her handle any directions, and I just handle dealing with the crazies.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you everyone for your great feedback. Keep it coming if you can.

How can Sena make a device designed to mount on your helmet, and it not be waterproof? They just opted out of my choices as I live in the Pacific Northwest and we get rain... all the time.

I love the idea of UClear with a handle bar control. That is what (one of the things) I am looking for, easy controls.
 
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