Thread: Sena SR10
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:01 PM   #40
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: East Tenn
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Originally Posted by robpur View Post
I can't say how well it works on a bike, but I can say that the two-way radio performance of the SR10 around my house is rather poor.

I just received my second SR10 in the mail today after having noise issues with my first one. The first SR10 had a lot of background noise and a loud, slow popping, popcorn sound whenever I was near electrical devices. I found that I needed to be nearly 150 feet away from my house before the popcorn would stop popping. Walking near a neighbors house had the same effect. At home I turned off all of my radio devices such as WiFi, cordless phones, cell phones, and other Bluetooth devices, along with electrical appliances such as the TV and stereo. As I turned things off the noise was reduced, but not eliminated. I was not able to find any one device causing the problem. Instead, the noise appeared to be caused by everything electrical in my house, collectively.

Another problem I found was that the SR10 produced a rather weak audio signal when used with a two-way radio. After playing with it for a while, plugging and unplugging stuff, I started having trouble with the auxiliary inputs. I found that I needed to push the plug in all the way, and then pull it back out slightly before I could get audio to play through the jack. Convinced that it was defective, I returned it for replacement.

The replacement arrived today with a note that said the one I returned was tested, and was not found to be defective. A check of the serial number revealed that the replacement was different from the one that I had sent, and it did not have the popcorn noise issue or an issue with the auxiliary jacks. I was quite happy about that, but sadly, the two-way radio performance wasn't any better.

I've been using two-way radios with a riding partner for a bit over 4 years. We have used Kenwood FreeTalk XLS (TK-3131) radios mostly, but we have also used BlackBox-U and HYT radios that use Motorola compatible accessories. The radios, along with a couple of Motocomm wired headsets, have worked quite well for us, and I've been impressed with both the audio quality and volume. We have never had a problem hearing each other even while wearing earplugs. Wind noise in the microphones at high speed has been quite noticeable, but we could still carry on conversations. Wanting to go wireless we purchased a couple of SMH10s with the idea of using them until the SR10 became available. The SMH10s work great as an intercom as long as you are close enough, with plenty of volume, but the range is far too limiting for how we ride. We ride dual sports and I'm the faster rider so I lead. I usually ride ahead until I can no longer reach my riding partner on the two-way radio, then I stop and wait up. If he doesn't come into radio range quickly, then I ride back to make sure he's ok. This method works great for us since we can both ride at our own pace. I found the range of the SMH10s to be somewhat adequate when riding pavement, but in the woods I could only get around a bend or two before they disconnected.

This is how I tested the SR10 that I received today. I paired the SR10 and SMH10, connected the Motorola (BlackBox-U) two-way radio with the appropriate cable, and put my helmet on. I gave my wife another Motorola (HYT) with the volume turned up all the way. I walked outside and tried talking with her, using the PTT button on the SR10. She could barely hear me and commented that the background noise was louder than my voice. I could hear her just fine, but she kept asking me to repeat myself. I then swapped out the Motorola radio and cable, with a Kenwood radio and cable. Did another test and experienced the same weak audio. Just to be sure there were no radio issues I disconnected the radio from the SR10 and talked with my wife radio to radio. She was shocked when I first started talking because the volume was turned up all the way, and my voice was so loud. So, radio to radio using the built-in mics is quite loud, and radio to radio using Motocomm headsets inside helmets is also quite loud, but transmitted audio through the SR10 is so weak that it can barely be heard in a quiet room.

I sent a description of my issue to the retailer but have not yet heard back from them. Unless there's a way to increase the signal being fed from the SR10 into the microphone input of the radio, then the SR10 is unusable to me. Maybe it will work better with a different radio, but it certainly doesn't work well with any of my three radios.

That's disappointing to hear. I am waiting on my radios to show up. I got a free SR10 from Sena's facebook give away, so I haven't really wasted any money on this thing. Hoping it works better than your review.
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