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Old 05-09-2017, 07:06 AM   #61
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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I read that but still have not been successful. Truth is I have only ran it one time.

The functionality that SB describes in previous post have not been realized with my IPhone. I can answer a call and call back the last number dialed only. I can't or haven't been able to access my contacts. I don't have any music on my phone so haven't explored that feature. The main use for me was to communicate with my wife while two up and it works for that.
Verified that the volume control works with FM radio this morning, cool. Switched the station and hit some house music. Did my best Daft Punk impersonation until the helmet got too hot and music changed to Cumbia rap.

Doesn't iPhone have voice commands? Weird that it wouldn't work but Apple likes to do things different, and not always in the good way. Same for Sena and Scala. They keep on their apparent proprietary path and the China knockoffs will take over like VHS and Android did.

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Old 05-09-2017, 07:16 AM   #62
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

Also used the unit daily for two week ride last month. Consistently got 9.5 to 10 hours of play time each day.

Thought about it a lot more and even if it did pair with Sena's I would not enable it. When I'm riding I really don't want to chat. I always had it paired with my cell phone so advised both riders that I rode with just place a phone call to talk if something important to advise. Never once did I get a rider to rider call or need to place a rider to rider call in 12 long ride days. If paired on the communicators I know 100% that would not be the case.

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Old 05-09-2017, 08:27 AM   #63
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

I think a brief summary on these units would be a cheap reliable (so far) alternative for commuters and two unit intercom use that has decent battery life, FM radio and phone call clarity. If you need more bells and whistles than that then this is not your unit.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:05 PM   #64
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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Also used the unit daily for two week ride last month. Consistently got 9.5 to 10 hours of play time each day.

Thought about it a lot more and even if it did pair with Sena's I would not enable it. When I'm riding I really don't want to chat. I always had it paired with my cell phone so advised both riders that I rode with just place a phone call to talk if something important to advise. Never once did I get a rider to rider call or need to place a rider to rider call in 12 long ride days. If paired on the communicators I know 100% that would not be the case.

_
When I don't have a passenger, this is me. I don't even listen to music. I just have the unit so I can receive and place calls. I don't even do the voice/audio texting. Riding is my escape. I don't always want to be in touch with other people.

However, when one of my kids is with me on the bike, being able to talk with them has been really cool. The alone time without anyone else distracting has made for some fantastic one on one conversations about all manner of stuff. Being on a ride seems to make them more open to having those kinds of conversations.

There have been some dual sport rides where bike to bike communication in places where cell phones wouldn't work would have been nice. However, the range on these SENA 20S units is a bit short to make them really useful for those situations. Radios would be better for that, but we just haven't gone down that road yet. What would be nice is a good radio with a reliable range of 3-5 miles that work with the SENA 20S via Bluetooth.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:41 AM   #65
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

I quit using this. For me, it just doesn't have the volume for listening to music when I ride. That is my go to thing after a bad or long day. Jammin to my tunes, twisting the throttle, wind in my face, not much else is better.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:48 AM   #66
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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I quit using this. For me, it just doesn't have the volume for listening to music when I ride. That is my go to thing after a bad or long day. Jammin to my tunes, twisting the throttle, wind in my face, not much else is better.
Did you space the speakers out so they are very close to your ears? I wear ear plugs and still found the volume to be loud enough to listen to music on my dirt bike (very noisy) at 70mph!! or my Goldwing at 100mph also with ear plugs. If the speakers are not almost touching your ears, then you lose a lot of volume.

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Old 05-12-2017, 10:33 AM   #67
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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Did you space the speakers out so they are very close to your ears? I wear ear plugs and still found the volume to be loud enough to listen to music on my dirt bike (very noisy) at 70mph!! or my Goldwing at 100mph also with ear plugs. If the speakers are not almost touching your ears, then you lose a lot of volume.

Gary
Funny thing, I did have them so close they touched my ears. I moved them around and just couldn't figure out why I was hitting my ears. As I removed them, I noticed the cutouts in the helmet for the speakers.

Guess my hearing isn't what it use to be.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:41 AM   #68
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

I just fired mine up for the first time yesterday and am disappointed. The sound is good but the connector is loose. I have to wiggle it around after a bump because I loose sound.

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Old 05-14-2017, 10:03 AM   #69
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

That's a new problem from all the reviews I've read. Not surprising though as I know of plenty $600+ cell phones with the same issue. My guess is they'll send you out a replacement if you report it promptly as a zero hour defect.

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Old 07-11-2017, 07:40 AM   #70
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

The mic on mine appears to have died. The wife and I headed out Sunday evening to ride to the coast for supper.

I put both units on charge Saturday night so they would be ready.
Sunday afternoon I turned them on and paired them. We geared up in the house and both units were working fine. I removed my helmet and went out to check the air in the tires and get the bike pointed in the right direction. I returned to the house put my helmet on and was talking to my wife as I walked away, no response...........I tried again with no response. I walked back over to her and verified she was not hearing me. I could hear her fine. I plugged and unplugged several times. I powered both units down and paired them several times. I turned the BT on my phone off just incase there was some type of trouble there. The final result is I can hear fine; radio works, music from phone works, I can hear her talk, but I can not transmit.

I will be upgrading to something else in the near future, just not sure what yet. I don't think this unit was a total waste of my money. I feel like I got try the communication thing for low cost and know what features I will use and now can make a better choice going forward.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:40 AM   #71
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

I have three of these units and the first one I bought just quit working. I can hear a popping in the speakers when I try to turn it on but it never comes on. One flaw I see with these is that due to how it is wired and mounted when you set the helmet down on a flat surface it can put pressure on the little plug and port. Not good. I am trying to be careful when setting down the other helmets with these units. We'll see.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:40 AM   #72
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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I definitely agree that Senas are overpriced. But to be fair, if you look at the total number of advantages a Sena 20 has when compared to these knockoffs, there really is no comparison. The range is far better, the sound quality is topnotch, and the Sena supports tons of intercom connections at once, instead of just one at a time like the copycat.
Sena tends to claim a lot more than they deliver. The 20S I have is supposed to have a range of over a mile, and support up to an 8-way intercom. The range is, at best, about 200-300 yards, and that assumes a clear line-of-sight. If the road is curvy, hilly, ect, it dramatically reduces.

2-way intercom works fine, 3 way has a noticeable drop in quality and connection stability, and 4 way was essentially un-useable. Can't imagine trying to get 8 of these things to work together. Auto-reconnect also doesn't seem to work reliably when the signal drops.

I use mine primairly to just listen to music, which generally works OK. Battery will last all day, but not much more. Audio quality is I guess passable for tiny speakers in a loud environment, but hardly top notch. I can see how people that rely on these for touring or regular group riding would be pretty upset with them though. Sena customer service is also terrible- they either don't respond, and the people on the phone can't tell you much more than to turn it off and back on again, or update your software.

Sena rolled out an app that supposedly gives your intercoms unlimited range, by pairing to your phone and using cellular data rather than the built-in transmitters. I haven't even bothered trying it, the reviews sound like a dumpster fire. Sena seems to make decent quality hardware, but their software blows. The initial releases are barely functional and riddled with glitches, and they slowly add fixes over time.

Last edited by RWhitehouse; 07-11-2017 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:17 AM   #73
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

Seems like there is a market niche for a really well designed in helmet sound/intercom system that has good sound fidelity. Probably needs to be integrated with the helmet design to truly work well and minimize noise.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:41 PM   #74
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

The Bilt bluetooth helmets actually have a fairly nice integrated system. The "Techno 2.0" actually uses a system by Sena. The only problem is the rest of the helmet is definitely pretty low-end. Kind of surprising one of the premium helmet brands hasn't jumped on this. Schuberth keeps trying, but it's not really an integrated system (instead, a very pricey add-on to an already pricey helmet), and seems to have all the flaws of the Sena systems, and then some.

The Sena smart helmet sounds promising, with actual ear-cups built into the helmet to make active noise cancellation possible- think Bose headphones, but it's been "coming soon" for close to a year now, so who knows. Hopefully the rest of the helmet isn't total crap, something I wouldn't have a ton of confidence in from Sena unless they were partnered up with a reputable manufacturer.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:31 PM   #75
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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The mic on mine appears to have died....
I will be upgrading to something else in the near future, just not sure what yet.
I'll buy your good unit from you if I can get it before Aug-15
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:44 PM   #76
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

Has anyone been successful removing the BT unit from the mount plate? Manual states it can be done but diagram showing how is not clear to me. I've yanked on it pretty good without it budging.

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Old 12-04-2017, 12:52 PM   #77
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

No I was never able to separate the unit from the base plate. I decided that maybe they changed that feature and never updated the manual.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:26 PM   #78
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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My wife and I went on a DS ride at the weekend with 7 other riders and after 7 hours and 30 minutes of continuous use it started to beep low battery and turned off, so I will assume a limit of 7 hours use for future rides. This is the best gear intercom, not the Sena.

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How about one of these?

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Char...b+battery+pack

Many jackets have a zippered collar or pocket that this would easily hide-away.
It would certainly extend your battery life.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:51 PM   #79
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Re: Very low cost Bluetooth communicator

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How about one of these?

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Char...b+battery+pack

Many jackets have a zippered collar or pocket that this would easily hide-away.
It would certainly extend your battery life.
Wont work for this unit. Charge port is shared with speaker/mic port. So you cannot charge while operating the unit. Mine still lasts 9 hrs + on a full charge. If a long days ride I typically take at least a 30 min break to eat. I put it on charge during that time and that gives me 2 hrs of additional time so pushing 12 hrs of total use time. Any longer riding than that planned I usually pick a gas stop or two during the day to leave it turned off. That gains another 2-1/2 hrs elapsed ride time each. Would rather break up the no tunes time during the day than have 5-6 hrs at the end of the day.

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