SENA SMH5-FM / Shoei Qwest / iPhone5 - review.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by bicyclebradley, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. bicyclebradley

    bicyclebradley V-Twin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    San Diego, Worlds Finest City.
    SENA SMH5-FM - installed in a Shoei Qwest - used with iPhone 5

    I bought this unit so I can hear:
    1. music. I commute 1.5 hours and need my tunes to stay sane.
    2. navigation directions. I often go to unfamiliar territory. nuff said.
    3. phone. I hate talking on the phone so this is something I will hardly use.

    I ride solo and will likely never use the intercom but it’s nice to know it’s there.
    I bought it from my local moto shop in SD as I prefer to support the shops that support me and fix my bike. (example, they GAVE me a free Pinlock Visor for my Shoei because they are my go-to shop) - BUY LOCAL. that's all I can ask as a small business owner. :1drink

    INSTALL:
    I watched LOTS of YouTube videos and all the major online retailer reviews before I got this unit. They show how easy this is to install.
    Out of the box its pretty simple. Using the provided Allen wrench I clamped the mount to the helmet, easily sliding it between the shell and the liner. With the helmet on my head I reached up to see just where my arm wanted to go to access and control the unit. then clamped it down at in that spot.

    Velcro discs into the speaker pockets in the helmet, then using a thin credit card I tucked the wires between the shell and liner. I had to make a small cut in the plastic part of the cheekpad to pass the wires thru at the spot the unit is mounted, I used fingernail clippers to make the small slice. it was super simple.

    Velcro the speakers in place, Velcro the mic in the chin-guard, hide the wires in the cheekpads and its good to go.

    SETUP:
    Super simple pairing with the iPhone 5. the directions in the box are lame and they even say "for full manual go to the Sena website". with the install instruction up on my tablet I paired the unit in about 2 minutes. once paired all the other features basically fall into place with the iPhone.

    the Sena "talks" to you which I like. Turn it on and she says hello, turn it off she says goodbye. menus, etc. are all voice prompted - very user friendly.

    USE WITH IPHONE:
    The jog dial is badass. I would not want any other method - its VERY easy and versatile. no thinking means more focus on the road. it has a dial that is turned and can be pressed, and a single button, that’s it for operation.

    While riding, press the yellow phone button (yellow button) and Siri come up, then its simple use as you would normally use Siri on the iPhone. "Navigate to" - "call Wife" - "play music" - all voice commanded. press the dial and it plays/pauses music. press in dial and turn to skip tracks up or down. while listening to music if the Nav wants to say something the music lowers, the Nav talks, then the music comes back up.. same with a phone call. phone rings you tap the jog dial, music stops. tap the dial to hang up and music starts up again - again this is all normal iPhone procedure. volume up and down is simply turn the jog-dial. SUPER SIMPLE.

    The volume is great in the Qwest (since it’s such a quiet helmet). they are pretty good speakers and while there is not great "bass" there is a broad range of frequency response in the speakers. better than any other in-helmet speaker I tried. its too loud at full volume... while at 80MPH on the freeway I called the wifey and could hear her fine. she was on the car handsfree and said she could hear me fine but it was a tad fuzzy at 80. at 50MPH and below she said she could not tell I was in the helmet.

    I could not be happier with this system. the unit is easy to use, very comprehensive, packed with features, affordable, it isn’t bulky or cumbersome to use - it’s a home-run unit.

    Some pictures below to show how small, and how clean it can be installed..


    Size Med Shoei Qwest, mounted with the clamp. (Yes thats the FREE Pinlock i got and it works incredible well - it cannot be fogged up).
    [​IMG]

    Front view, it doesnt stick out or catch on my jacket collar when looking over my shoulder.
    [​IMG]

    No visible wires at all, very easy to tuck them up and out of the way.
    [​IMG]

    This is where i made a tiny cut in the cheekpad plastic to the wires can tuck inside. it looks very clean IMO.
    [​IMG]

    Speakers are hidden away nicely. they do nto touch my ears and are clear and crisp to listen too. the kit comes with pads to push the speakers closer to the ear but i did not need to use them.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The unit is not bulky, it looks and operates nicely. finessing the unit with gloves takes a few rides' worth of practice, but very easy to get the feel for it.
    [​IMG]

    Size comparison - a nickel next to the unit. Pic is upside down BTW...
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,242
    Location:
    Peachtree City, GA and Full Time RV Travel
    Nice write-up!

    My wife and I went from the Scala Q2's to the Sena SMH10's and couldn't be happier. You are correct that the Jog dial has become on of my favorite features. I just can't see going back to a system where adjusting the volume required you finding 1 of 2 small buttons and continually pressing it. Its also nice to know its so easy to find the jog dial and press it to start an intercom conversation.

    Between the 2 of us, we have 8+ Sena bases on all our various helmets now and about 4 units. :eek1 I bought old friend's units when they stopped riding. :lol3
    #2
  3. psychohawk

    psychohawk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    360
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Nice write up, thanks!

    Out of curiosity, do you use ear plugs? I usually ride 80, have a GSA windscreen installed and wear custom ear plugs ... I'm not too worried about music but wouldn't mind raking the occasional phone call ... possible? Arai helmet, don't remember model.

    Thanks!
    #3
  4. bicyclebradley

    bicyclebradley V-Twin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    San Diego, Worlds Finest City.
    Nice Blue! I have 2 helmets and will put the second base kit in this summer. I love that for 50$ another helmet is good to go!

    Hi Psycho - No i do not use them currently. i used them with the Scorpion EXO-700 (custom molded earplug earbuds) but not with the Shoei Qwest.
    I will try to remember to put in my earplugs for the ride home and see how the music/phone call sounds.
    I havent tried earplugs cuz the Qwest is REALLY Qwiet:rofl - but hell, i may like earplugs better.

    Im on a DL650 with a stock windscreen and a Madstad adjustable bracket in the highest position.
    #4
  5. Boarider

    Boarider lost

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Cajun Country, LA
    I'm in the market myself for one. I just got a new Shoei GT-Air.

    Why did you pick the SMH 5 over the 10 ?
    #5