This sucks! Headset woes

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by mexipike, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

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    Is it just me or for the amount of money we pay for these things, shouldn't they get somewhere close to just working and working the way we would like them too?

    All I want is to be able to ride with my girlfriend, talk with a headset, and have us both listen to the same music. I would like to be able to use speakers around town and headphones on the highway, with the same device.

    I have a Sena SMH10 and think it's a good product but it cost around $250 for the set and still doesn't do half of these things. You have to spend another 100 dollars to get a device so we can both listen to the same music. Then, of course, there's no option for headphones and speakers, so you have to hack it all apart and solder it, then you suck at soldering so one of the solders comes undone... Then if you would like to have bluetooth music and gps you need a nice garmin and that's another ton of money. So you're in over $850 to do what seems to me to be a few simple tasks. Weren't they able to talk to astronauts in orbit in 1962?

    Just seems like a lot of money to spend on stuff that's still not that great.

    Oh well. Life sucks, sorry for the rant.

    And yes, it is sweet that these products at least exist!
    #1
  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    I think its you and the amount of features they have stuffed into these BT headsets has been amazing. Early BT headsets were pretty painful and Sena & Scala have both come a long ways since the early setups.

    One of the things you have to understand that BT is a 1 to 1 relationship between each connection and always has been. When you start thinking about all the multiple connections these BT headsets can do and how many other headsets and devices they can connect to at the same time, that actually gets pretty mind boggling when you really thinking about it. There's a lot of work involved in getting all those connections to play nice together.

    So when you talk about you and your gf both listening to the same music source, well that means the device you are listening to music from would need to support 2 simultaneous connections. I don't know of a common music device out there that supports 2 BT connections for 2 headsets at the same time. Ipods/Iphones don't, Android smart phones don't, so maybe you should be angry at these devices for not supporting 2 simultaneous BT headset connections because then it would be easy to share a music source.

    What that means then is the only other way around this is that the BT headset manufacture needs to find a way to rebroadcast that single BT audio channel from the BT device and have 2 different BT profiles available so that 2 different headsets can connect at the same time. Sena was the first one to do with this with the SM10 which allows a hard wired music source to be rebroadcasted from their BT hub and allow 2 headsets to connect to it. My understanding is that the Cardio Q3 also does this now, so it must also be able to rebroadcast the music signal to the 2nd headset?

    As for as actually intercom conversations, I personally think Sena has done a terrific job here and they work exactly like they should. They are simple and they work.

    Oh yeah, Sena has just released a clamp that has both speakers and a headphone plug. They actually have two different models depending on the mic setup you want. Mine just came in the other day.
    #2
  3. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    BlueLghtning has touched on some of it, but bear in mind that the bluetooth protocol was designed primarily for stuff like mice, keyboards, phone to earpiece and so on. Class 2 is up to 10m. Class 1 (the most powerful) was for up to 100m - and like anything, good luck getting that range. I did once try bluetooth access points instead of wireless... had 4 fail in the space of a couple of months and gave up.

    I reckon they done pretty good, but there will be further improvements as time passes...
    #3
  4. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

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    I will agree with that point, I used to only use it for conversation and it is pretty damn good.

    I just saw on the Sena board this device they released. It seems kind of stupid. They add another long chord on top of your already long headphone chord. I thought that was screwy when I tried the earbud clamp as well. I do like that it seems clear that they are listening though.

    I just finished resoldering my jack and I have a headphone jack right on the bottom of the clamp. This seems like a cleaner solution and I wish sena did it that way.
    #4
  5. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Yeah, I agree they're new headset clamp could have been designed better without that extra long cord, but it is a step in the right direction.

    Galaxy Note 2 on Tapatalk
    #5
  6. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

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    I just looked at the Cardo Q3 and it seems to do everything I want. That said, I've set my Sena up to do that to, so for now I'm all good. I like the one button design of Sena much better than cardo's setup.

    Didn't mean for this thread to be a knock on Sena, just on how much money it takes to get things to do what I want. But I'm a needy little bitch, aren't I?
    #6
  7. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    Simple problems, simple solutions... Anything else and you're going to pay. I had a custom made bolt made for me once, coz it _had_ to be like _this_ and it didn't exist in mass manufacturing.

    Still, you always appreciate the achievements, because you didn't just walk out and buy it.
    #7
  8. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Yep but I can assure you that they paid more than 250$ to achieve that.


    See previous answer.
    #8
  9. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I guess I'm simple, but my GF and I can listen to the same music and talk to each other on our SENA SMH 10 units.

    They are fabulous. No issues, great clarity and I've yet to run them out of battery. SENA is probably one of the best motorcycle accessories I've ever purchased.

    Good luck and happy riding.
    #9
  10. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    You could always learn to hum a few tunes, and memorize your map.
    #10
  11. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

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    I'm guessing to do this though you have to use a splitter and physically plug in to the back if the headsets. I used to do this but found it to be lots of chords jiggling around.
    #11
  12. MelissaToBeMe

    MelissaToBeMe Been here awhile

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    OP, looks like your making the Sena work good for you, but a system like that does exist now. It's still not a 1-button design like the Sena, but:

    If you don't need range and it's just to talk to the gf behind you, the Q1 from scala is made specifically for that. I've got the Q3, but to my understanding Q1 and Q3 are identical other than bike to bike ability...

    - Intercom (obviously)
    - Removable speakers (standard jack built right into base) so you can choose.
    - Ability to listen to the same music (no additional purchase like the SR10 required)

    Also comes with FM radio built in, choice of microphones, etc.

    Best part, $250 total.
    #12
  13. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Should have FM. I have an autocom that's probably 8 or more years old. It doesn't have FM and it's wired. But I believe it does everything thats been asked of the Sena or Scala. Has never let me down and it hasn't been charged in eight years. :1drink

    I wouldn't mind upgrading but at this point there really isn't anything to upgrade too. For me, it looks like both systems are a couple models away before I jump the autocom ship. That is, unless my autocom breaks. :huh
    #13
  14. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Maybe in the later models its gotten better and I'm sure it works better if you are in a "larger" city, but I found the FM in my early Scala Q2 worthless. Changing and storing stations through the device was an absolute nightmare and its reception for stations that weren't "local" was horrible. I'm in a suburb of Atl and can get most stations in a car, but those same stations did not work at all in the Scala unless I was actually in Atl. I know in later Scala's, you can pre-program the stations you listen to via the computer, so that certainly helps there, but unless you are right in a big city with strong FM signals, I still think its really not that great. I believe Sena has an FM model out now also, but again, I really ask why. I'm not even a fan of listening to FM music in the car myself, I'd rather listen to Pandora or my MP3's, etc so I'm sure that doesn't help my view.

    IMOP, what any of the manufactures should be looking at is a micro sd card slot where you can store your own MP3's right in the device. Heck, these days a 32gb or even 64gb SD card is pretty cheap and that's a lot of music right at your finger tips without worrying about BT to your phone or music player. Even if it was just always a random shuffle, you would always have the music you like at your fingertips and no worry of where your music signal was coming from. That makes a whole lot more sense than FM, but apparently many people still like FM because they keep adding it to these headsets. :rolleyes
    #14
  15. Isorg

    Isorg Been here awhile

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    The new scala q3 does all what you just asked.
    #15
  16. Sammax

    Sammax Unconfused

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    About a year ago a friend turned me on to this walkie talkie riding by giving me a Scala Q2. Being able to talk on the rides just got a whole lot better- a new dimension to riding. He just moved away.

    I show up to a group ride this past weekend and no one has Scala. Two other riders had Sena. Well Sena and Scala don't talk. As I plan to ride with these guys more in the future I am a now $100 poorer and a new SMH5 owner.

    Someone please don't tell me there is another popular manuf out there..... this is getting expensive.
    #16
  17. Woodcock

    Woodcock Been here awhile

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    On my sena I just plug in 2 doggles on a splitter from earphone jack off radio. Then we Both have wireless music
    #17
  18. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

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    Thanks for turning me on to the Q1 and the Q3 from Cardo. These may do exactly what I want.

    Obviously I don't want to spend more money, but I'm sure I could sell my Sena and move on to the Cardo.

    I remember when I bought the Sena years ago that many people on here liked it better. What advantages does the Sena have over the Cardo? I do like the big knob/button, but what else. Is the sound quality better on one or the other? Is the upgradeable firmware better?

    What do you think? Should I ditch Sena for Cardo Q3 (or Q1 if I decide to cheap out and give up the idea of talking to other riders, which I've never really done.) It'd be nice not to have the sm10 to add to my devices to tie to my bars, but I suppose the Sm10 gives me the option to add hardwired, non bluetooth devices.
    #18
  19. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    Yes, there are others :rofl

    However, with three of you owning Sena, now you can convince them to switch :evil
    #19
  20. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Sena and Scala appear to be the two most popular units here on ADV which is also an advantage as you are more likely to run into other riders with one of those 2 setups. I had the Scala Q2's early on when they first came out and they worked great, just lacked features we wanted like BT music streaming which was added later in the Q2 pro model. What turned me off of the Scala was the G4 model which my Dad picked up to talk to us with and it didn't work nearly as well as we expected. I think the G4 was a bit of a "weak" model for Scala. They quickly ditched it and went on to the G9 and now have the newer Q1 & Q3 models which effectively replace the older Q2 teamset and Q2 multilrider.

    As far as communication goes, I don't think you can go wrong with either company. Both manufactures have the communication part down pretty good and they work. It really comes down to other features, form factor of the units, support from the company and firmware updates.

    I personally think that Sena has shown with the SMH10 that they listen to suggestions on their support page and they have added so many features to the SMH10 since it first was introduced over 3 years ago. The form factor of the SMH10 with the jog dial is also my favorite over the button type setup Scala uses. On the other hand, the Q1 & Q3 are pretty new to the market in the past year with new hardware, so they have the advantaged of adding in new features that just aren't possible on the SMH10 with the current hardware present on that unit.

    If the Q1/Q3 have the features you are looking for, then sell the SMH10 and grab it.
    #20