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Old 01-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
strsout OP
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The best Bluetooth Intercom available.

I still in a search for the best Bluetooth Intercom.
I try 3 models so far:

Cardo Scala Q3
Cardo Scala G4
Sena SMH10

Neither one is good. The Sena was a deception. Sound is low, and after only 10K miles my wife's unit is quiting on her. My still OK, but the wind noise is more then the Cardo.
Cardo Scala G4 has a battery duration issue and setup: last about 5 to 6 hours straight only, and looks like almost every ride I need to redo the pair setup.

I'm using Sena SM10 Dual Stream BT to play music on our both helmets and so far that device is good. But don't trust the 'waterproof' on it. I had my first one replaced after the first rain and since then I'm using inside the tank bag.

So, what are you guys using out there.

And no, I don't want to go back to wires. Once you are free from then, will be hard to go back.

Tks.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
MelissaToBeMe
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What were the shortcomings of the Cardo Q3?
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
strsout OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaToBeMe View Post
What were the shortcomings of the Cardo Q3?
that was my first step into BT.
The waterproof on the device it self was null, and the batteries got bad in about 6 months.

The voice is very 'high pitch', like computer voice... (hard to explain, but the voice is not natural, it's quite uncomfortable to hear the other person talking too long).

The G4 fix all 3 issues, but still a BT 2.0 and the battery do not last one full day riding.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:53 AM   #4
Maggot12
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autocom

I know you don't like wired systems, but I've had the same autocom for like 8 years now on several bikes. Battery life is non existent, as its wired to the bike, good sound and volume. I added a bluetooth dongle a couple years ago so it works with the phone and gps. Superior rider passenger comms.

One wire goes to the helmet of the rider. I thought about "upgrading" to a wireless bluetooth unit, but I haven't seen anything I'm upgrading too.

I'm getting a new (used) bike this weekend, the first thing that I'll install will be the autocom. Until it packs it in, its staying.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:24 AM   #5
Dearnla
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I have had the Interphone F4 units. I cannot recommend them as they have all failed over time.
In use they are great, giving easy BT pairing to my iPhone and my mate's Interphone set up. Like the fact you can get different microphone set ups, for full face as well as open face. Like the adhesive pad to attach it to the side of the helmet - the clamp arrangement is WAY too bulky. Like the auto volume increase as speed increases.
Downsides for me (as for the Autocom) is helmet speakers and my Spock ears are incompatible. So I always had headsets modified for moulded earplugs which cured that problem - being clear to over 100mph whilst blocking the wind noise.

However, my first problem was a failed charger. Replaced under warranty. Then a bent pin in the headset. The fault finding on which caused me to try it in two base units, bending their corresponding pins and a second headset before I figured out the problem. My mate had an identical problem and ended up buying a new set.
One std. headset and two units begrudgingly replaced under goodwill warranty - it's called the Sale of Goods act here in the UK....

But not the headset I had paid to have modified for my earplugs. So a new headset later (30) and the cost of modifying (45) I am, once again, connected.
Oh, but wait, the batteries in the replacement units are only lasting one hour. Cue a call to the modifiers of said headset. Can't be us, they say, we don't go near the power wiring. Oh yeah, I say. Must be a faulty headset from new. Bummer. Can't send that back because it's been modded.
Cue some butchering of the old headset loom and soldering to newer 3.5mm jack socket later and I'm back in business. Until my soldering gives in.

Ok, I give up. I bought the Sena SMH10 which seems far better to set up and use, plus it has a headset dock that already has a 3.5mm jack socket for my earplugs. Downside is the boom mike only, but I'm using a Shoei Multitec flip lid, so that's ok.

I'm told the version I have has sturdier connector pins than previous, plus the firmware should be upgradable to work with other BT units.

But I won't go back to an Autocom. Too many wires to connect....
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dearnla View Post
Ok, I give up. I bought the Sena SMH10 which seems far better to set up and use, plus it has a headset dock that already has a 3.5mm jack socket for my earplugs. Downside is the boom mike only, but I'm using a Shoei Multitec flip lid, so that's ok.
Not true anymore.

They now offer a earbuds + wired mic clamp.


Parts # SMH-A0304

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Old 01-15-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
strsout OP
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My issues with Sena is that it is too easy to damage.
If water goes close to the helmet device pins, it will get rusty in couple days.
The pins also are very fragile. A drop of one unit on top of the other one hit the pins, from about 60", and one pin is now bended.

The volume on the MIC is too low for my wife or I ear each other, even in the Max volume from the unit.

I had J&M corded comm. for many years. Happy with it, but there is a time when cords really get in the way, so I moved.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout View Post
My issues with Sena is that it is too easy to damage.
If water goes close to the helmet device pins, it will get rusty in couple days.
The pins also are very fragile. A drop of one unit on top of the other one hit the pins, from about 60", and one pin is now bended.

The volume on the MIC is too low for my wife or I ear each other, even in the Max volume from the unit...
Something isn't right or you aren't doing something right with your set-up. I (and just about everyone else) don't have these issues. Volume? I ride a Street Triple with Arrow pipes with an Arai RX-Q helmet - my Sena is still plenty loud.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
SgtDuster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootertrog View Post
my Sena is still plenty loud.
Especially since the 4.2 firmware.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:22 PM   #10
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You may wait for the new Sena 20S, maybe it'll correct the defects of the SMH10...
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:43 PM   #11
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I got a set of UClear units for Christmas (http://www.uclear-digital.com/us/). Bought the HBC 100 Plus bc I really have no need to connect with up to 10 riders (HBC 200 has that capability). Mostly I wanted it to sync with my phone and gps. I bought the dual pack so that I can charge one unit in my tank bag whilst using the other unit since I anticipate needing 16-20 hours of run time (they claim a 10 hour talk time and 520 standby time). I specifically want it for my upcoming Butt Lite run on the Capo.



They come with in-helmet speakers with built-in mics that work surprisingly well even whilst wearing ear plugs. I also purchased the earbud accessory as I'd anticipated I'd prefer the earbuds to the speakers and wasn't sure I really wanted it permanently mounted to my helmet.



The speaking sound is a little muffled by the helmet padding but it is not a deal-breaker and being boom-free is really nice. I've had several telephone conversations and the person on the other end did not find the sound unreasonable. The earbuds have excellent sound quality and I prefer them for listening to music. The in-helmet speakers are not bad but a little tinny. Fiddling around with placement has helped but the earbuds are still better for quality sound.

The other big plus with the earbuds is it makes swapping helmets very simple. Just put in your earbuds, drop the controller in your jacket's upper pocket and you're good to go.

PLUSES
boom free
earbud accessory (excellent sound)
in-helmet speakers (decent sound)
price

MINUSES
button are a little fiddly - wide button pads but only a small part actually is the button

Over all, for the price, they're decent units that do what they're advertised to do. I haven't given then a super-endurance test but I've run them about five hundred miles since Christmas and I'm liking them.

They're currently on sale on both Amazon and CycleGear.
Single Units:
HBC100 ~$130 (pairs with one unit and multiple devices)
HBC100+ ~$160 (pairs with up to 4 units and multiple devices)
HBC200 ~$220 (pairs with up to 10 units and multiple devices)

Double Units:
HBC100+ ~$300
HBC200+ ~$400
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