Sena says its premium HD speakers for the 30K, 20S EVO and 20S communicators are all available now, and it’s also released a new firmware update for its 5S communicator set.
If you’ve spent much time using helmet communicators, you know they all have their individual weak points, whether it’s the button interface, a clumsy linking system, iffy waterproofing—there’s always something. But, the one thing that every comm set ever made seems to suffer from, is crappy speakers. Universally, they all seem to have minimal bass, they self-destruct after extended use, they’re not loud enough for, errrr, “spirited” highway speeds—they just plain suck.
Sena seems to be trying to change this, though. Its recent 50-series communicators come with improved “HD” speakers out of the box (presumably that means High Definition, not Home Defense, or Hardly Durable, or Highly Destructive, or …). This is a good move, as up-spec’d speakers were previously only available as an add-on for most helmet comms.
Now, Sena’s offering similar speakers for its older, lower-priced comm sets—specifically, the 30K, 20S EVO and 20S. According to the press release, a similar upgrade is also coming soon for the 10C EVO and 10C Pro. Sena says the new speakers offer “a significant increase in bass boost and clarity for a noticeably enhanced audio experience while riding. The HD Speakers are also redesigned for physical comfort with a beveled taper to reduce contact with the ear.” That’s also good news, for anyone who’s tired of having their speakers dig into their ear cartilage while they’re riding.
The new speakers come in at $39, which is certainly a lot cheaper than upgrading to a 50-series comm set to get better audio. How much better do they sound? Sena is pretty light on actual details, saying they offer up to 60 percent better clarity with enhanced bass, and that’s pretty much it. Oh yeah, and you’ll have to update the firmware after installing the speakers (see here, for more details).
At least Sena is addressing the problem instead of ignoring it, but this is something every helmet comm maker needs to improve on.
One other thing: If you bought one of the new lower-priced 5S units this summer, Sena’s offering a firmware upgrade for it already. You can find full deets on Sena’s website; supposedly, it reduces the amount of noise heard when the headsets connects or reconnects to a paired device, and also fixes a bug where the headset automatically powers off 5 minutes after being powered on.