Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo - BMW Luxury Touring Community
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 10:57 am Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Oceanside, CA,
Posts: 183
Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

Hello All,

I have an '09 RT without radio and 95% of my riding is solo. I would like to use my iPhone, iPod and Maps feature of iPhone.

Looks like the comm units that will work for me are Sena SMH5-FM and Cardo Scala Qz units.

I am leaning toward the Sena (based upon reviews) but I like the ability yo use earbuds as well as helmet speakers in the Cardo unit. Does anyone have experience with both/either of these units and can offer some advise?

Also, the iMaps feature on the iPhone does not have Bluetooth capability -- must be cabled or use phone speaker. Does any one know if the Sena or Cardo Bluetooth sets can have Bluetooth iMaps capability or must I use Mapquest?

TIA for your help.

Bob Wood
Oceanside, CA
BeemerBob is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 12:12 pm
Senior Member
oldspice's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 1,483
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

I thought I too would like to switch between speakers and earbuds and that was one of the only downsides to the Sena unit I bought (SHM-10). After shelling out the extra $25 or so for the earbud clamp, I have never looked back. The speakers were horrendous and had to be turned up so high in order to be heard that my ears got really fatigued after about 20 minutes. This was even with good quality earplugs.

Not an issue at all with a decent set of earbuds. I can ride all day, listening to music, turn-by-turns from the GPS, and the occasional check-in call from Mrs. Spice.

So, in the spirit of not answering your question at all (compro between the Sena and Cardo), I'd not put a ton of stock in the merits of having helmet speakers vs. earbuds. Others will have a different opinion, I'm sure, but I've been extremely happy with my Sena, Shure SE215s, iPhone, and Nav IV set-up for a couple of years.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue..."

2015 BMW R1200RT - "Artoo"
2012 BMW R1200RT - "Arthur", RIP
1985 Ford Escort L (for Luxury) - Ol' Blue - gone, but not forgotten
MSF RiderCoach
BMW MOA 175432
oldspice is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 1:03 pm
bmendenhall's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lake Forest, California, USA
Posts: 97
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

The Sena is fantastic, I have tried several others and would highly recommend.

07 Silver R1200RT
69 BSA 441 Victor
bmendenhall is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 1:11 pm
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

+1 on the Sena. Started out with a Schuberth SRC (Cardo). I switched to the SMH-10 and went to a modular plate (for earbuds and wired mic). Works great.
Fly2Eat is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 1:18 pm
Senior Member
ArchimedesRT's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Los Altos, CA, USA
Posts: 585
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

Sena 10 with standard speakers works great for me. I wear earplugs to keep wind noise down and I turn both the iPhone and the Sena to max volume and it's perfect for me.
ArchimedesRT is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old Sep 1st, 2014, 1:31 pm
Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
katnapinn's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Kyle, Texas, USA
Posts: 8,597
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

I've used both the Scala G4 & G9. Both work OK but have limits. They also do NOT have the ability to use ear buds. The new Scala G9X does have removable speakers to use earbuds but it too has some limits. After my 10 day trip last week I have decided to go with the Sena 20s. It was my wife & myself along with a good friend & his wife. Both my G9 & his G9 would just shut off for no reason. They did it multiple times Plus while in intercom mode we lost all GPS voice prompts. The new Sena 20s will allow you to hear music and GPS plus keep the intercom open to have a normal conversation just like we were all in the same room not on bikes. The 20s is priced a little high but I think it is worth the cost.

Stevie Shreeve
katnapinn is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 1:21 am
Senior Member
Travman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marietta, GA, USA
Posts: 418
Re: Comm Units: Sena vs. Cardo

I've been using the SMH5 for over 2 years and believe that it is Sena's simplest but best design. The SMH10 has several better features for group communication but the SMH5 is great for solo or rider/passenger intercom/GPS/music. I tried the new 20s and sent it back. It did not even last one ride before the mount failed and several of the "new" features just plain do not work in the real world. I may buy the20s again but I'll wait for v2 when the thing actually works.

"Not all who wander are lost"

2014 R1200GS Adv
2018 Vespa 300
Travman is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sena 20s vs Cardo G9x mwnahas Intercom, CB, & 2-Way Radios 24 May 22nd, 2018 9:32 am
Cardo scala rider G9x PowerSet messenger13_ver2 Intercom, CB, & 2-Way Radios 5 Mar 25th, 2014 12:07 pm
News on Firmware for Sena SMH10, RT specific Dasadab Intercom, CB, & 2-Way Radios 4 Oct 19th, 2012 10:58 pm
Question regarding Cardo G4 and Sena SMH10?? johnhunter44 RT Series 2 Mar 10th, 2012 2:29 pm
Portable Comm Units? jpalamaro Intercom, CB, & 2-Way Radios 2 Aug 27th, 2007 7:13 am

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome