Sena smh5 vs smh10

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by frank2.0, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. frank2.0

    frank2.0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I tried a search but couldn't seem to find anything. After doing some research I've decided to go with the Sena headset...then I see that they have a SMH5 and and SMH10. I looked on their site but I'm still not sure what the differences are. I was hoping that someone who is familiar with both could chime in.
    Can I plut in regular earbuds into either of these systems? I'd prefer to use noise cancelling earbuds instead of using the provided headset and earplugs.
    Any other major differences?
    I'm assuming bluetooth 3.0 is better than 2.1?
    Thanks!
    #1
  2. crabmanbc21

    crabmanbc21 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Blairsville, GA
    I noticed the same thing about the two different models. Like you I'm wanting to get the Sena system and saw their new SMH5. I assume the 3.0 is better and the light is easier to see and the red button is easier to find. It shows a shorter range than the SMH10 however. I can't find that model anywhere for sale either so I don't know the price. Maybe someone else will chime in who knows something more than the website offers.
    #2
  3. frank2.0

    frank2.0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I'm not really concerned about the lower range or battery life on the SMH5. I just don't know if those are the only differences. Like you, I assume that bluetooth 3.0 is better then 2.1 but what do I know. My main concern is that I want to be sure that I can plug earbuds into the smh5.
    #3
  4. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,239
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    I have the SMH10's and really like them.

    It actually does work our to about 1/2 mile with line of sight.

    Just upgraded it to the latest firmware release and that is supposed to improve range and battery life, ad being able to pair to a fourth BT item , BUT I have had it on all day long and have never run short on battery.

    So I am no help in what the real difference is. :lol3

    Marc
    #4
  5. Trickie Dick

    Trickie Dick Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    32
  6. Texcollect

    Texcollect Adventurer wannabe

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    218
    I don't believe that the ability to use headphones or speakers are a function of SMH5 vs SMH10, but is a function of the base used to secure it to the helmet. I would suspect that they use the same base and therefore you should be able to use either SMH5 or SMH10 with the headphone base.

    On the subject of 2.1 vs 3.0 bluetooth you'll notice from the Webbikeworld review that when the new V4 software gets released it will give the existing (upgradable version) SMH10s bluetooth 3.0
    #6
  7. johnpgs

    johnpgs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Northwest Chicago
    I have the SMH-10, that I use with earbuds. From the accessories list for the 2 products on Sena's website, I do not see that they offer the mounts for use with earbuds for the 5, that they list for the 10. They have been a very good product for me, and when I did have some issues, thier support was awesome.
    #7
  8. frank2.0

    frank2.0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Long Island, NY

    Hmm..in that case maybe I should go with the 10. Thanks!
    #8
  9. Joe3

    Joe3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    160
    Location:
    Motor City
    I don't believe that the SMH5 has an auxiliary input jack like the SMH10. That will be a problem if you use an older I-pod or other mp3 player that can't connect to the Sena via bluetooth.
    #9
  10. Beemerdoubleshooter

    Beemerdoubleshooter n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1
    I don't believe that the SMH5 has an auxiliary input jack like the SMH10. That will be a problem if you use an older I-pod or other mp3 player that can't connect to the Sena via bluetooth.
    +1
    Have SMH10s love them. iTouch w/BT works flawlessly streaming audio. Same w/iPad 1 & 2 and my Garmin music player or phone or any BT audio/head set device for that matter. Looks like SMH5 you cannot plug non-BT music player directly into headset as previous poster said above. I have used my SMH 10s for thousands of miles and have never needed this feature as I just BT everything, which is what the Sena is all about anyway. Probably why they did away with aux port on SMH 5. This has been my experience:

    As someone else said also, the ear bud capability is a function of the particular "clamp unit" that you ultimately use on your helmet. The SMH 5 or 10 then snap on to this clamp unit and are easily removed/installed on other clamp units/helmets.The SENA'S come standard with in- helmet speakers/boom mic clamp units. If you want to use ear buds, instead of helmet speakers, you must buy separate a clamp unit (about $35.00 Amazon or direct from Sena) that gives you earbud capability instead of in helmet speakers. (I use earbuds, (+ better sound, cancels outside noise) but my wife prefers the speakers in her helmet (no earbud cord, or buds falling out). Overall, speakers are very good though. Volume is fine and is boosted as outside noise increases. I have seen complaints about volume levels not quite loud enough occasionally; this can be a function of basically 2 things, IMO:

    1. Most common, I think: Sena remembers the volume level for a particular profile (phone, music, intercom and they are all independent of ea other) when it was last turned off. I have found I can "train" my unit (up to a point) to higher or lower default volume, based on the levels at shut down, but not a lot of leeway on this. (Instructions talk about this but arent very clear.) 2. If you use earbuds, the impedance of the buds of course dictates your max volume level...(my Sony buds are 16 ohms but my JVC's are 8 ohms-I get higher volume capability with the JVC's.

    Oh yeah, FYI be aware that there are still some new, in box, older V1 (non-firmware upgradeable) SMH 10s out there from retailers and some ads don't specify this. (I learned the hard way!) :deal so know what you are getting. My V1's(bought by mistake) have worked flawlessly (and good deals are to be had on these) but my V2s (which came out last summer) are now on 4th firmware upgrade (taking advantage of improvements (ie.BT 2.1 to BT 3.0 for example) and charge with mini USB which is convenient. I use the V2's daily and add the V1s when on a group ride (up to 4 peeps paired ) but be aware only 2 can have a conversation at any one time (BT limitations).Also, know whether you have VOX mode enabled! The first full day of use, one of our SMH 10's (4 of us) was accidently set to VOX...or came out of the box that way. Anyway, drove me crazy as my music was cutting in and out randomly...thought I had a bad unit or BT issues...but VOX was just reacting as it should; ie. when I would cough, sneeze, cuss-whatever-the mic would activate, thinking I was talking to my buddies. Figured it out around the campfire that night and....problem solved!!

    Lastly (yeah!!), I have found, through experience that if using the ear bud clamp unit, the ear bud phone jack is somewhat prone to getting knocked around as it sort of hangs out in space. Eventually, the fragile wires in the jack can break and you can lose 1 or both earbud audio. I have pointed this out in detail to Sena engineering and hopefully they will come up with some kind of support for the jack; they have been gracious and replaced both of my earbud units, no problem. (2 year warranty). My personal fix(es) for this issue in the mean time involves just a simple support (small popsicle stick, shrink tubing or electrical tape- 5 min project) that guards and supports the jack in the knock around environment of long Adventure Rides :D.(no further problems) If on an extended trip, I also just carry an extra earbud clamp unit with me in case of a problem-its worth the $ 35.00 to me as I love my "buds". Loss of audio/wires breaking has not been ANY problem with the in-helmet speakers and NO other problems of any kind through rain,sleet, dust, dirt and thousands of miles. Jog dial is awesome and so easy to use.Talk on the phone (occasionally ) listen to tunes, then Garmin chimes in with directions (but only if I want her to.) Many peeps say (with my full face helmet and visor down) that they can't even tell im on the bike, much less doing 80 mph when talking on the phone! Hope this helps!
    #10
  11. frank2.0

    frank2.0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for all the additional info. I think I'm going to go with the smh10's.
    I also contacted the manufacturer and in case anyone is also interested in the differences between the 2 here is what they told me:
    -You can NOT use earbuds with the smh5 (as many people stated above)
    -smh5 does not support 3 or 4 way conference intercom
    -smh5 does not support multi point connection
    -smh5 does not support VOX intercom
    -smh5 does not have an aux port
    -smh5 does not come with a wall charger (what?!)
    #11
  12. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,718
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Based on the above, sounds like the 5 is a good lower cost solution for that occasional passenger. Buy a 10 for yourself and a 5 for your passenger -- save some money.

    Now all we need is for the manufacturers -- Sena, Scala, Interphone, UClear to get together on a standard so the different units can talk to each other. I see that as a MAJOR stumbling block for all of these units.
    #12
  13. frank2.0

    frank2.0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    +1000000!
    #13
  14. gambit07

    gambit07 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3
    Hey guys! Wanted to register just so I could respond here quick. The smh10 is great as everyone has said, but one of the main things I wanted was to have the speakers available inside the helmet for shorter/slower rides but also have the ability to plug in headphones if need be. With android 2.3 and 4.0 (A Droid X and Galaxy Nexus) I was able to do this by simply plugging earbuds into my phone. This cut off music through the speakers in the helmet and I was still able to control the music (Back/forward/pause) with the jog dial. Anyway thought I would let everybody here know that in case you wanted the options I did!
    #14
  15. Zappp

    Zappp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Lakewood, Colorado
    I've recently did a bunch of research into this unit and pre-ordered one from Revzilla for about 200 bucks for the dual set. Aside from the differences already mentioned above, the SMH5 is self contained and does not need the base attachment. This, along with the units smaller dimensions make it much more attractive to me. If you check out Sena's website, you'll see photo's of it attached without the base. Everything plugs into the unit itself. Also, it comes with 2 options for the mic boom. You can use the included wired mic for full face helmet applications, or use the included flexible boom mic, which is also installed on the interior of the helmet. For me, it's a much cleaner install, I can mount the the unit where ever I want and in any direction.
    I primarily ride alone or with my wife. When riding with buddies, I find it much more fun to ride in a somewhat tight group. So the range isn't an issue. I'm not an earbud guy, so I don't need that option. Plus I still get music and phone calls. Oh, and did I mention the price!
    Easy call for me :D
    #15
  16. MikeyXX

    MikeyXX Gotta have it all

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Uhm... may be a dumb question, but what does the following mean?

    - 3 or 4 way conference intercom
    - multi point connection
    #16
  17. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,706
    Location:
    Calgary
    Like the price of these, but no mention of noise cancelling technology which is kind of key to me. Also, has dust build up every caused issued with that dial?
    #17
  18. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I'm new to researching the Sena system, but multi point means that the SMH10 can bluetooth connect to your phone PLUS your GPS at the same time. So you can get voice prompt directions and then a phone call can come in.

    For me that isn't a big deal because I use my iPhone for everything (I have the Garmin app that downloads all the maps). The issue I see is that I am concerned about sound levels at highway speeds. If I'm not listening to music with earbuds now I have ear plugs in to reduce wind noise. I wonder just how good the SMH5 volume is at 75 mph on the interstate with foamy ear plugs in.
    #18
  19. Travman

    Travman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    707
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    I wear molded ear plugs and have no problem hearing music on the SMH5 at about 3/4 volume on the highway. I recently upgraded the speakers to the new larger set. Not any louder but a significant difference in sound quality.
    #19
  20. Dorzok

    Dorzok Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    SoCal