Being a long-time motorcycle rider who is into long-distance touring, I am constantly in search of enhancing my motorcycling experience. After a meeting at the Motoworld office, I came across this nifty gadget that they say could make my long distance riding an even more worthwhile experience – the Sena SHM 10 Bluetooth helmet.
The way it was mounted was so strategic that one would barely need to re-configure the microphone’s placement even if you take your helmet on and off frequently on a ride. The unit is also firmly clamped on the lining of my helmet, making sure I would not have to worry whether the unit will fall off or not.
Even for first time users, the SENA SMH10 would prove to be a very user-friendly device. For someone like me, who has never used a bluetooth headset in all of my riding life, it only took a few seconds for my Android phone to pair with the bluetooth unit at the very first instance. The strategically placed Jog dial control made it even easier to change the volume and the music track (yes you can play music from your phone wirelessly!). It took me only a few minutes to master the controls.
We have tried to connect the unit that I have with a demo unit in the store, and it only took a minute, maximum, to connect those two. This would be ideally beneficial to those who are always on the go and would like to be connected in an instant. This would also benefit riders who do not have the luxury of time (say being in an endurance race), or for those who would just like to be connected easily.
In terms of signal range, the product claims to have a range of as far as 900 meters. Not too bad even if your other road buddies would like to have a pace of their own. I have personally tried it but not up that range. Even on city streets wherein there are tall buildings and structures, in case you get off range, the unit will automatically connect itself once you get in range.
This is also a hands free headset which means you can answer calls from your paired Android phone wirelessly. All you have to make is a voice command in order to answer the call (or press a button if you are old school). Now how is that for convenience?
SENA claims that the battery life of the SMH-10 is approximately 12 hours talk time and a whopping 10 days of standby time. Being the adventurer that I am, this is extremely important to me as I usually travel for days on end. This will surely be beneficial even for the regular rider out there as this baby last a week without being charged when doing my usual city driving rounds
This has more than passed my standards. It actually exceeded it. I have installed this on my LS2 FF393 Convert (Full face/modular type) and it did not matter if I was using its half face or full-face feature, as the wind noise is basically non-existent. Of course you could still hear the engine roar of your buddy’s bike that is connected, however you both do not need to shout or raise your voice in order just to get some voice clarity in. This is exceptional since I am talking of speeds way past 100 kph.
Playing mp3s off my Android’s music player seemed to be a breeze too, giving me some much needed companionship on my solo rides. The music quality seemed to be okay, albeit lacking some bass. To be fair, this isn’t your high-end Pioneer or Sennheiser hi-fi earphone, it’s a multi-function bluetooth headset so that will still be a check for me.
Another very important and innovative feature is that each audio mode (intercom, phone, music) retains its own volume setting. This is exceptionally important if you will be listening to a song that is recorded on a low-volume (which means you will be increasing the unit’s volume) and then receive a phone call all of a sudden, at least you will not be surprised and your eardrums will not be shattered.
In terms of durability, this unit is backed by SENA’s years of experience in technology. The SMH-10 is also weather proof so you would not have to worry about those stormy rides which would be so prevalent here in the Philipines.
Over-all, it was such an easy, yet enjoyable experience using the SENA SMH-10. It would be something I would recommend to friends and other riders, whether experienced first timers or not in using bluetooth headsets. This baby surprised me, more than I thought it could be. Now if only I could use this demo unit much longer…
As SENA puts it… “Change your riding experience”
– Erik Gatmaitan is the author of http://www.pinoyrider.com – Journeying the Philippines SOLO on a motorbike.
Follow his adventures on his website or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PinoyRider