Sena SMH10 Initial Impressions

Sena recently shipped us the SMH10 Bluetooth Headset & Intercom package to review. Upon opening the very nicely printed box I was presented with a neatly packaged headset along with its mounting accessories, cables, and instruction manual.

I usually like to hook up everything without going through any instructions to see just how intuitive a product is. I was able to install the mounting hardware and helmet speakers, route its cables, pair with my smartphone HTC One and also a 7th Gen iPod Nano without the need to go through the manual.

Doing a dry run of using its two control buttons (one jog dial and button combo, the other a power button) to listen to music and making phone calls with my helmet on in the living room I quickly took note of a few pros and cons.

-Good rubbery tactile feel on the big combo dial button (However, I can see this wearing out over time)
-Controls can be easily accessed using riding gloves
-Preset foam spacers and velcro to adjust distance between speakers and ears (See Cons)
-Enough length of helmet speaker wires for routing inside the helmet
-Auxiliary 3.5mm jack for directly connecting an audio source (ie. iPod)

-Helmet speakers sound quality were designed for just communication and didn’t produce full range sound. They were especially lacking in bass even with the foam spacers
-Mic is unidirectional and has a foam cover but I doubt it can handle high speed engine and wind noise
-Proprietary 2-pin mic connector – cannot use with any other type of microphone, for example a throat mic
-Bluetooth signal for audio not very clean when listening to music
-Mounting hardware, if not careful, can damage finish to the helmet
-Foam spacers are of one thickness and not stackable discs to really customize fit

On-the-bike impressions to come soon.

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