Sena 10s versus Sena 20s: Which One is Better?
Sena brand is a well-known giant in motorcycle communication systems with a broad range of communication devices to date. Sena 10s and 20s are the two most advanced and recent communication technologies that put Sena on the map.
Sena 10s comes as the upgrade from its predecessor SMH10 while Sena 20s also serves as an upgrade with plenty of features from Sena 10s. However, the two models remain prioritized choices for a wide range of motorcyclists due to several factors.
I know you might be contemplating about buying the best motorcycle communicator between Sena 10s and 20s. I’ve decided to compare these two portable devices head-to-head to see which ones lives up to its expectations and which one is worth considering. That’s not all…
I will also bring you an alternative Bluetooth communicator: Cardo Scala Rider. It also fares among the Sena Bluetooth motorcycle helmet communicators. Without further ado, let’s delve into the comparisons for these technological devices starting with Sena 10s.
Sena 10S marks its territory in the motorcycle communication systems with impressive features to make your ride an absolute enjoyment. Featuring Bluetooth 4.1 and a Universal Intercom, this communication device is designed to enable hands-free calls by pairing it with two phones. Isn’t that convenient enough?
Well, that’s not all
What I also applaud is the Universal Intercom which connects to any brand of motorbike communication devices as long as it’s Bluetooth-compatible. This feature can connect up to 4 companions while riding to make communication an everyday pleasure. This range remains a dream, thanks to the advanced Bluetooth technology that Sena uses.
You can connect with your friends up to 1.6 km (1 mile) away using the One Touch Group Intercom. Sena 10S, compared to its predecessor SMH10, it comes in a slimmer profile but with extra features. The device has proven to be roadworthy in all riding conditions plus it is water resistant and dustproof.
One other feature you would like to know about is how clear the audio is when riding. When riding a motorcycle, the ambient noise can be annoying to an extent of making calls and music a total mess.
It’s not case with Sena 10S.
Sena 10S has maximized the audio HD quality to eliminate the surrounding noises while making sure that calls and Intercom communication are seamless. Coming from the optimized Bluetooth speakers is a crisp and smooth audio, all thanks to the advanced noise control feature embedded in the device.
When do you get started to configure this device?
Contrary to many electronics, Sena 10S does not come with printed user manual. Well, well, I see you are in disbelief that how are you going to manage setting it up as a beginner. At least for a change, the company includes the smartphone app which should be downloadable on either Apple or Android device to configure it.
Change settings, access the user manual, set Intercom friends, and do more on the app with its user-friendly interface. It makes settings configuration an absolute breeze. It’s also on the app where you can make pairing of up to two phones for hands-free calling. Undoubtedly, the Sena 10S is one of the most versatile motorcycle communication systems not confined to brand-specific Intercom only.
There is still more though…
You can pair the Sena 10S with the Bluetooth Audio Pack-equipped GoPro or the Prism Bluetooth Action Camera. This gives you more choices for a wireless multi-track recording. Included in your package is every component you will need.
The other good thing about Sena 10S is that it installs seamlessly and effortlessly. Thanks to the All-in-One-Clamp System. It makes connections easy for your earbuds or microphone. No tangling wires running around your helmet.
The Sena 10s is worthy of a device for communication purposes. I must say I enjoyed using it until the Sena 20S came with extra features then I opted for the new release. Obviously you would do that. Note that the device is not designed for half-helmets so you will struggle to attach it.
Among others, I like the way it makes Intercom easy between you and your friends without letting the ambient noise interrupt the conversation. On top of that, it enables hands-free calling to eliminate accidents caused by mobile phones.
If you want to enjoy the pleasure of riding a motorcycle with friends, Sena 10S is a must-have device. Its advanced Bluetooth technology makes it a snap to find GPS directions or play music. Also noteworthy is that the device is not fully waterproof so avoid any full immersion in water lest you damage it.
Since 1998, Sena has been paving way for the best motorcycle communication systems on the market. The company has a broad range of Bluetooth devices that are designed to make riding enjoyable for motorcyclists. Its staff are motorcyclists, including the CEO, and so they have a great insight about the convenience motorcyclists need on the road. Each device undergoes a rigorous tests before sold to the consumers to ensure that it never disappoints them.
- Universal Intercom
- Connect up to 4 friends
- Hands-free calling by pairing with up to 2 mobile phones
- Easy to attach on your helmet
- Comes as a pack of two with all the components included
- 1.6 kilometer range
Sena 20S is also one of the respected motorcycle communication systems on the market. It is an upgrade from its predecessors like the aforementioned Sena 10S. Note that it comes as a single unit not a pack as the Sena 10S above.
So, what’s interesting with this Sena 20S? Is it really worth the amount or value of money, or it is just a hype?
Comparing with lots of communication systems for motorcycles, I must say the 20S is super-impressive. It connects up to 8 friends on a 2.0 kilometer range (1.2 miles), which is much better than the 10S that connects up to 4 on a 1.6km range. You can do a lot with the Sena 20S. Nonetheless, the Sena 10S still remains a favorite as well for a small group of friends.
You will enjoy a Universal Intercom which connects to both the Sena and non-Sena Bluetooth communication systems. This is Sena’s convenient technology for motorcyclists.
Not only is Sena 20S good with the range and the number of connections, but also the crispness of the audio. With other Bluetooth devices, as I’ve experienced already, you will struggle to enjoy your FM radio, music or call for that matter. Worse still, ambient noises can interfere with your audios.
Sena 20S, on the other hand, delivers a precise, comfortable and clear HD audio. The advanced noise control feature eliminates the surrounding noises. While riding on a high way, the Sena 20S will not be affected by the usual noises. You will play clear music, hear clear calls and GPS commands. All thanks to the high-quality stereo Bluetooth speakers and the Advanced Noise Control.
Again, thanks to Sena for the multitasking technology that you get to choose which commands to follow. Previously, you would have to switch music to listen to GPS recordings or answer Intercom conversations. Sena 20S lets you listen to a host of audios simultaneously.
But that’s not all…
How about pairing other devices with a simple shake of the Sena 20S? The device enables a hands-free command to ensure that you remain in control without letting your hands off the bike. Furthermore, the Sena app makes setting and pairing devices seamlessly convenient. Its intuitive technology is simply the best!
The app is compatible with either Android or Apple devices. Set a number of friends on the intercom or read the Quick start guide. Even if you are an amateur, it shouldn’t take you many hours to install this device on the helmet provided you follow the guide properly. The app itself has user-friendly screen prompts to make your job snap.
Sena 20S is a decent choice for motorcyclists. It works well to pair with your companions up to 8 of them. This makes Intercom communication seamless and effortless. My only problem was when I have to reconnect manually after connection was lost. I wish it had connected automatically. But then that wasn’t really a deal-breaker as reconnection is easy with the jog dial.
I feel the upgrade in this Sena 20S device. I had my hands around the SMH10 and the Sena 10S, and can confirm that the Sena 20S is on its league. With other devices, other audio functions take precedence. For instance, if you receive calls, the device would pause the music or GPS commands. The Sena 20s’ multitasking technology made the device impressive. Also, by shaking the device, you can enjoy a hands-free pairing.
Sena 20S is not a new entrant in the market. It is a well-known brand that produces high-quality Bluetooth communication systems for motorcycles. Sena 20S is part of the flagship that company prides itself in. Sena has lots of experience since its inception in 1998 mastering the art of motorcycle Bluetooth communicators.
– Universal Group Intercom feature
– Multitasking technology
– Smartphone app compatible with iPhone and Android
– Connects up to 8 companions
– 2.0 kilometer range
– Dedicated earbud/headphone
– Near Field Communication to connect with NFC-enabled devices
– 13 hours of talk-time and 10 days of standby
Cardo Scala Rider PACKTALK Duo-Bluetooth 4.1/DMC Mesh-Technology
Cardo Scala Rider is an alternative to the aforementioned Sena 10S and 20S. It’s a game-changer with its unique features to give you an exciting riding experience. It has up to 1.6 km range for rider to rider intercom and 5 km if there are 4 riders.
Perhaps unique to this is the DMC (Dynamic Meshwork Communication) Technology intertwined with the advanced Bluetooth technology. Well, the DMC technology brings you the intercom conferencing benefits. Combining DMC and Bluetooth 4.1 gives this Bluetooth device a powerful communication system to lean on in your riding experience.
The Bluetooth tech makes it seamless to enjoy calls and GPS instructions on your device. Get entertained listening to music, receiving calls or conversing on an Intercom simultaneously. There is no more interruption. This make the device similar to the aforementioned Sena 20S. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology the device possesses.
Like the Sena devices, Cardo communication system also features a Universal Intercom to connect to Cardo and non-Cardo systems. Only a few communication systems come with the multi-rider conferencing capabilities.
Moreover, with Cardo, users can join or leave anytime without affecting everyone. All thanks to the self-adapting DMC technology for overcoming such interruptions. Once you leave the group conference, you can reconnect with a fraction of a second. No need to press any button to reconnect. Well, I must admit that this feature outsmarts Sena 20S above.
Among all, Cardo communication system embraces fast pairing, extended communication range, interoperability, dual-core system of the DMC and Bluetooth 4.1, and the auto-adaptive technology. Very rare to find these features, and so I don’t really complain about the higher price tag.
This Cardo communication system is really a game-changer in the industry. It makes intercom conferencing an absolute breeze to enhance your riding experience with your friends. It connects up to 15 riders, so this is a perfect device for a group of travelers. All thanks to its auto-adaptive DMC technology.
I also the fact that the volume is customizable to adjust with the speed or the surrounding noise. So many benefits in such a tiny device. Oh, and again, users can leave or reconnect without interrupting others in a fraction of a second. It’s really a device worth-having to enhance your riding experience. However, you have to bear with its price tag, which I find reasonable considering how efficient the device is.
Since 2004, Cardo has been manufacturing top-notch motorcycle communication systems. The excellence in this device reflects how the brand has mastered the art of staying relevant and competitive. It is a home of other leading 4-way conferencing devices such as Freecom1. To enhance your riding experience, the company embeds its meshwork communication technology in all its devices. It makes conferencing outstandingly great coupled with the latest Bluetooth 4.1.
– Dual-core system with embedded Bluetooth module
– Auto—adaptive technology
– Extended communication range
– DMC (Dual Meshwork Communication)
Buyer’s Guide ad General Product Topics
Here I highlight the buyer’s guide and general topics when buying motorcycle communication systems.
Is the Sena 10s waterproof?
Everyone wants a device that can survive the heavy downpours while riding on a high way. Unfortunately, it is the case with the Sena 10S. But, that’s not really a deal breaker.
What the company did was to ensure that the device is water resistant. This means it can repel water but heavy rainfalls can be damaging. As thus, do not operate it in wet weather. Looking it on the other side, if it were to be immersed in water, it would lose a signal right? Sena 10S is also safe to use in light rains by not exposing it for a prolonged time.
How do I pair my Sena 10s/20s?
You can Bluetooth your Sena 10s or Sena 20s with any Bluetooth-enabled device: iPhone or Android. The pairing process is almost identical. Let’s highlight below:
– Press and hold your smartphone for about 5 seconds until there is a voice prompt that says “phone pairing”.
– Then search for the nearest Bluetooth device on your smartphone
– Sena 10s/20s should appear on the list; select the relevant one
– If the phone prompts you for a PIN, select the default 0000 as a PIN. But some phones may not require that
– After pairing, there will be a voice prompt that confirms that the devices are paired
– Perhaps the downside is that Sena gives you 3 minutes to pair before it returns to standby mode.
This short YouTube video explains how to pair the Sena 20s with the iPhone. Like I said, the process is similar across the smartphones but the interface may differ. Some few points to note though…
– If the Bluetooth connection is lost between the media player and the headset, you can reactivate it by pressing the Jog Dial for a second.
– If the connection is lost between the phone and the headset, you can tap the phone to reactivate the Bluetooth connectivity.
The other pairing you should be concerned about is the intercom. Press and hold the center button for 5 seconds and there will be a voice prompt that says “intercom pairing”. Then tap the center button of other headsets you want to pair with until the LD indicator turns blue. The intercom connection will be active promptly.
How do I update my Sena 10s/20s?
Sena products are a marvel to own and use in your riding experience. However, the same powerful device may turn out to be mediocre if not cared for. The best way is to update the software by downloading the Sena Device Manager on your computer. You can then update your Sena product using the device manager on your computer.
After updating, you have to restore factory settings with reference to the Quick Start Guide and then reconnect to your Bluetooth devices.
Just to stay safe, I ensured that I update mine right from the box just to make sure it is using the latest version of the software. It isn’t difficult at all to download.
How can I set my Sena 10s/20s?
I know that buying a new product with no printed user guide may be troublesome. Sena provides a pdf Quick Start Guide in its smartphone app. What you have to do is to install the smartphone app form Google Play Store or iStore so you can configure the device and even set your intercom friends.
What to look for when buying motorcycle communication systems?
It may seem as though Bluetooth communication systems for motorcycles are the same but it isn’t the case. They differ significantly with a number of features such as number of people to connect to, the range, and other akin features. The features below are worth considering:
Riding the motorcycle exposes you to possible rainfalls. That said, your device has to be ready for such unexpected rainfalls. Unfortunately, you’ll seldom find a fully waterproof Bluetooth headset. Instead, you find water resistant ones that cannot withstand heavy downpours or any immersion in water.
The range of these devices differ. For example, I have the Sena 10s with a range up to 1.6 kilometers while the Sena 20s has a range up to 2.0 kilometers. The higher the range the more convenient is the device.
Also noteworthy is the number of people it can connect to. Sena 10s connects up to 4 whereas the 20s connects up to 8 riders. If you have a large group of riders then you should opt for the Sena 20s. But for a small number of riders Sena 10s is still suffice.
Ambient noise will always be a problem when riding. Chances are, you will not be able to hear your companions or listen properly to the GPS navigations. Music audio will also be compromised. All my reviewed products embed the Noise Control feature that eliminates the noise in the surrounding. It’s important to take this into account when choosing your device.
Ease of installation:
It shouldn’t be burdensome to figure out how to install these devices on your helmet. Note that others are not compatible with the half helmets. All my reviewed devices are easy to install. You may, however, find Sena products a bit weird with no printed manual provided other than the downloadable pdf in their app. But, nonetheless, that is not a deal breaker at all.
That’s it with my comprehensive comparison and review of the best Bluetooth communication systems for motorcyclists. Sena 10s and Sena 20s are undoubtedly a talk of the day among motorcyclists. This is mainly due to their unparalleled features. But, Cardo also fares well between these devices; it comes with unique features such as the DMC for intercom conferencing. Upon that, its volume is customizable to adjust with the speed or the ambient noise.