Cardo or Sena? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 4:19 pm Thread Starter
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Cardo or Sena?

Well, I am getting closer to pulling the trigger on BT headsets. I think my VOICE II is not easily troubleshot or fixed.

I am trying to decide now between Cardo and Sena. I seem to see more Sena units on the road and I rented Sena’s in the UK and was not all that impressed, but they were the older Sena 10 models. I have seen several reviews that rate each better than the other, but tests like this seem to really favor the Cardo.

I like the Cardo packtalk slim that places the battery on the back so that the helmet is overall less bulky. Although I think Sena now has a model with remote battery also.

Any LT riders here care to share their experiences with Cardo and/or Sena? I also like that the Cardo units are explicitly waterproof, whereas the Sena units don’t make that claim. Although I rode in a lot of rain in Ireland last fall with the Sena 10s and had no obvious issue with water.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #2 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 5:00 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

I have the Sena 30K and have had varying success with it. There are days when the reception between my headset and my friend with the same unit are very good, up to 1 km apart. I have also had days when I feel I have had problems with interference from overhead power lines. It works well for receiving phone calls on the go and I can't say that I have had the same kind of wind trouble as in your video but then wind protection on the LT is pretty good as we know. I would be interested to try the Cardo units though. I do find the controls on the Sena to be fairly easy to use with gloves on. Not sure how easy the Cardo controls would be. Battery life on the Sena seems pretty good also, admitted I don't use it for music but communications between riders will last the day.
And on that test about wind noise. If you have a full face helmet then the mike is inside the helmet and not in the wind. If like me you have a flip helmet then all you have to do is close the helmet and again the boom mike is inside the helmet.
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post #3 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 5:37 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Matt, my wife (who rides her own bike) and I have used the Sena 10, for over six years. We used them in Morocco and in Spain, Sardinia, Corsica, and France as well as across the US. The only issues in use were when we got too far apart or in ravines in the mountains. The range is somewhat less than advertised but still useable. I did replace the batteries with some from e-bay (not available from Sena). Phone calls work well when out of range. You can make calls and people don't know you are on a bike doing 75 mph. We wear modular full-face helmets with custom earplugs with speakers. Sena tech support is good. PM with any other questions. Over all, we are quite pleased.

Robert
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post #4 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 6:56 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Well, I am getting closer to pulling the trigger on BT headsets. I think my VOICE II is not easily troubleshot or fixed.
I like wired connections.

Have you considered using the J&M CB2003? It has rider passenger intercom. I can't remember the comm option BMW was offering when I purchased my 2001 LT, but I decided to use the J&M to get CB capability (my brothers and I communicate on the CB and it is a good way to listen the the trucker gab). Once I learned to turn down the passenger volume if there was no passenger, I never had a problem with the J&M gear.

I tied into my rear speakers for sound, my GPS, my radar detector and my phone. J&M used to make a CFRG module for the GPS, Radar detector, and phone and aux (speaker connection module). The CFRG is no longer listed on the J&M web site nor is the speaker module, but for a while J&M offered a newer phone module.

All J&M stuff was removed before I sold my LT. I left the BMW CB antenna on.

On my FJR today, I use the J&M CB connected to a Garmin 395LM which contains all the MP3's for my tunes, so I get the GPS audio and my tunes. Have not found a decent small AM/FM radio to mix in yet using a mixer. I stopped using radar detectors at least 10 years ago and I definitely don't want phone calls while riding. My wife knows where I am thru my SPOT3 and many areas that I ride thru don't have any cell phone service anyway. To prevent my phone from searching for signals, I always put it in airline mode between stops. This saves my battery power for when I really need it.

I called J&M when the CB2003 came out and asked them why they did not include an AM/FM radio. I could have easily fit into the controls the CB2003 has and is literally a on chip solution.

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post #5 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:03 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

i have had the cardo g4's since 2012 always worked great and still do but i cant get parts for them I need the rubber waterproof shield over the top buttons, any one got a junk g4 unit lying around?.. I was looking at the sena because you can get a bluetooth module to work the uhf cb through the sena via BT... cardo I dont think have this option.

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post #6 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:05 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

i used both, Cardo for about 5 yrs, Sena for about 1 yr. I dont use any of it now.
but for what its worth, Sena has better quality device in my opinion... and they seem to make positive improvements unlike the Cardo, and Cardo customer service is also quite bad.

reason for not using these anymore:
1. my buddies and I do not use it enough anymore. some still use it but pretty much for music.
2. cardo app was pretty crappy.
3. cardo wouldnt repair my G9x when my battery died, they told me to trade up... so i bought a Sena.
4. both of their sound/music quality can't compare to any half decent earpod earphones in the market today.

i just use a wireless earpods now. i use one, and plug up the other ear with an earplug. (one ear pod = 4~5hrs of listening time, so i take turns on my long trips, and my earpod case charges them when not in use)

sometimes when im riding, and my wife calls, i answer it and she can hear me... not well, but okay enough for use to converse.
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post #7 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:17 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
I have the Sena 30K and have had varying success with it. There are days when the reception between my headset and my friend with the same unit are very good, up to 1 km apart. I have also had days when I feel I have had problems with interference from overhead power lines. It works well for receiving phone calls on the go and I can't say that I have had the same kind of wind trouble as in your video but then wind protection on the LT is pretty good as we know. I would be interested to try the Cardo units though. I do find the controls on the Sena to be fairly easy to use with gloves on. Not sure how easy the Cardo controls would be. Battery life on the Sena seems pretty good also, admitted I don't use it for music but communications between riders will last the day.
And on that test about wind noise. If you have a full face helmet then the mike is inside the helmet and not in the wind. If like me you have a flip helmet then all you have to do is close the helmet and again the boom mike is inside the helmet.
Yes, that was clearly an extreme wind noise test, but I thought it was illustrative. And my wife’s mic gets a lot of wind noise even on the LT and even with her face shield closed. We have FF helmets and the mic is not a boom mic, but is s wired mic mounted directly on the chin bar of the helmet.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #8 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rspyder View Post
I like wired connections.

Have you considered using the J&M CB2003? It has rider passenger intercom. I can't remember the comm option BMW was offering when I purchased my 2001 LT, but I decided to use the J&M to get CB capability (my brothers and I communicate on the CB and it is a good way to listen the the trucker gab). Once I learned to turn down the passenger volume if there was no passenger, I never had a problem with the J&M gear.

I tied into my rear speakers for sound, my GPS, my radar detector and my phone. J&M used to make a CFRG module for the GPS, Radar detector, and phone and aux (speaker connection module). The CFRG is no longer listed on the J&M web site nor is the speaker module, but for a while J&M offered a newer phone module.

All J&M stuff was removed before I sold my LT. I left the BMW CB antenna on.

On my FJR today, I use the J&M CB connected to a Garmin 395LM which contains all the MP3's for my tunes, so I get the GPS audio and my tunes. Have not found a decent small AM/FM radio to mix in yet using a mixer. I stopped using radar detectors at least 10 years ago and I definitely don't want phone calls while riding. My wife knows where I am thru my SPOT3 and many areas that I ride thru don't have any cell phone service anyway. To prevent my phone from searching for signals, I always put it in airline mode between stops. This saves my battery power for when I really need it.

I called J&M when the CB2003 came out and asked them why they did not include an AM/FM radio. I could have easily fit into the controls the CB2003 has and is literally a on chip solution.
I like wired connections also. Believe me, if I thought I could get my current system fixed, that would be my first choice by far. I just don’t think it is practical. I pinged Chris (who does the radio amplifier work) in one of the threads here to see if he would tackle an intercom, but got no response. I also was in contact with John Lazzeroni as even though I have BMW branded headsets and CB, both were made by J&M. Unfortunately, the BMW branded CB interfaces only with the VOICE II and lacks the separate PTT trigger as on the J&M branded CB. John said he had no BT solution that would interface to the LT and he offered no other suggestions as to troubleshooting my current system.

I thought about the Sena Freewire that was mentioned here a while ago, but that is an expensive solution just to get use of the CB and AM/FM radio given that I use the CB only a couple of times a year and can get radio through the BT headsets if I buy the units that have a radio built in. Since my Nav V supports BT, I can pair to that to get GPS commands.

So, right now I am thinking about removing the CB and trying to sell it since I don’t use it much anyway. And if I remove the radio and VOICE II, I will actually have useful storage in the oddments box. All I need then is a BT capable AM/FM radio and I will have all I need. Still researching, but this seems like the most flexible and practical approach going forward. I sure do wish there was someone who could troubleshoot my problem and then fix whatever if was. But I think that is very unlikely.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #9 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:30 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axle View Post
i have had the cardo g4's since 2012 always worked great and still do but i cant get parts for them I need the rubber waterproof shield over the top buttons, any one got a junk g4 unit lying around?.. I was looking at the sena because you can get a bluetooth module to work the uhf cb through the sena via BT... cardo I dont think have this option.
You mean the Freewire module?

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #10 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joekahng View Post
i used both, Cardo for about 5 yrs, Sena for about 1 yr. I dont use any of it now.
but for what its worth, Sena has better quality device in my opinion... and they seem to make positive improvements unlike the Cardo, and Cardo customer service is also quite bad.

reason for not using these anymore:
1. my buddies and I do not use it enough anymore. some still use it but pretty much for music.
2. cardo app was pretty crappy.
3. cardo wouldnt repair my G9x when my battery died, they told me to trade up... so i bought a Sena.
4. both of their sound/music quality can't compare to any half decent earpod earphones in the market today.

i just use a wireless earpods now. i use one, and plug up the other ear with an earplug. (one ear pod = 4~5hrs of listening time, so i take turns on my long trips, and my earpod case charges them when not in use)

sometimes when im riding, and my wife calls, i answer it and she can hear me... not well, but okay enough for use to converse.
Which earpods?

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #11 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 7:43 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

My wife and I used the Sena 20s units for about 4 years with good results. Because we ride our own bikes the biggest change for us versus our prior wired units was range. We had to get used to the fact that it is not the same as our Starcom wired intercoms using Kenwood walkie-talkies. Last October her Sena stopped working due to some water intrusion and I decided to pick up a pair of 30K units.

Using our 30K units:
Our first issue was using the traditional Bluetooth intercom like we were used to on the 20s. Using the Bluetooth intercom, the mics stay open and active no matter what the VOX setting is at. This had nothing to do with wind noise because they would stay open just standing in our house. We switched to using the MESH intercom portion of the units and that fixed the issue however at times even with right next to each other the voices can be so garbled that you can't understand each other. I would say that is about 20% of the time.
Another issue is whatever the volume of my phone is set for, after talking with my wife, my unit will revert the volume of the phone, not what it had been on the 30K. If you touch the volume dial on the 30K it goes back the volume you had it set to. The main issue is, if the phone happens to be set at max volume it will really blast your ears. At this point after some tweaking and learning the 30Ks are "OK" but I think the 20s was much better.

I have just picked up a pair of Cardo Pactalk Bold today and will give them a full test over the next few weeks and then report back.

On a side note we both ride with custom earphones to keep the road noise out and the volumes low.

Scott
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post #12 of 64 Old Jul 8th, 2019, 8:55 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
All I need then is a BT capable AM/FM radio and I will have all I need.
I definitely would be interested in your solution for AM/FM radio if you find one. The ones I have found all have amps for speakers, which I don't need, or are very weak in pulling in a signal.. It also needs to be small and fit in my tank bag, but I am willing to add another antenna if needed. Sometime I think I should order a kit and solder it together.

https://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Radio-.../dp/B008515U1U


My Mix-it2 can handle two stereo audio sources, plus a GPS (second one), and a radar detector or third GPS.

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post #13 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:20 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

I've had my Sena 10S for about a year now and use it whenever the wife and I take the RT out. I also have a Baehr wired system on my KLT and have no desire to upgrade that system although procuring parts is damn near impossible. I recently had to make a set of replacement coiled helmet cables just to keep using it. I bought the 10S as a trial to see how it would perform without spending too much for the newer Sena models.
The Sena has been less than adequate in so much as there is an echo between the pillion and myself along with intermittent static during voice com. I've contacted Sena with this problem and they told me to do a paperclip reset after some setting changes and Firmware upgrades. I've also viewed a video that states to do a reset after any Firmware updates. I haven’t had an opportunity to test it on the road yet as the wife has been too busy for a ride together. Others have said how great and flawless their Bluetooth units are and I'd be the first to admit being wrong if it works better but I have my doubts this will fix the anomaly. I further realize, there won’t be anything else available except wireless for me and my antiquated philosophy, in which case I’d have to submit……….

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post #14 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydawg View Post
My wife and I used the Sena 20s units for about 4 years with good results. Because we ride our own bikes the biggest change for us versus our prior wired units was range. We had to get used to the fact that it is not the same as our Starcom wired intercoms using Kenwood walkie-talkies. Last October her Sena stopped working due to some water intrusion and I decided to pick up a pair of 30K units.

Using our 30K units:
Our first issue was using the traditional Bluetooth intercom like we were used to on the 20s. Using the Bluetooth intercom, the mics stay open and active no matter what the VOX setting is at. This had nothing to do with wind noise because they would stay open just standing in our house. We switched to using the MESH intercom portion of the units and that fixed the issue however at times even with right next to each other the voices can be so garbled that you can't understand each other. I would say that is about 20% of the time.
Another issue is whatever the volume of my phone is set for, after talking with my wife, my unit will revert the volume of the phone, not what it had been on the 30K. If you touch the volume dial on the 30K it goes back the volume you had it set to. The main issue is, if the phone happens to be set at max volume it will really blast your ears. At this point after some tweaking and learning the 30Ks are "OK" but I think the 20s was much better.

I have just picked up a pair of Cardo Pactalk Bold today and will give them a full test over the next few weeks and then report back.

On a side note we both ride with custom earphones to keep the road noise out and the volumes low.
I look forward to your impression of the Packtalk units.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #15 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rspyder View Post
I definitely would be interested in your solution for AM/FM radio if you find one. The ones I have found all have amps for speakers, which I don't need, or are very weak in pulling in a signal.. It also needs to be small and fit in my tank bag, but I am willing to add another antenna if needed. Sometime I think I should order a kit and solder it together.

https://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Radio-.../dp/B008515U1U


My Mix-it2 can handle two stereo audio sources, plus a GPS (second one), and a radar detector or third GPS.
I would like to find a way to keep the stock radio for two reasons:

1. Mine works reasonably well reception-wise and the antenna is already in place.

2. I like having the handlebar controls which I would lose with an aftermarket radio.

I am looking now for a BT unit which will use the auxiliary audio output on the radio. At least I think there is a 3.5mm audio output. Need to go out to the garage and check that and try it with headphones to ensure it also doesn’t have that static in it.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #16 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:33 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
I have the Sena 30K and have had varying success with it. There are days when the reception between my headset and my friend with the same unit are very good, up to 1 km apart. I have also had days when I feel I have had problems with interference from overhead power lines. It works well for receiving phone calls on the go and I can't say that I have had the same kind of wind trouble as in your video but then wind protection on the LT is pretty good as we know. I would be interested to try the Cardo units though. I do find the controls on the Sena to be fairly easy to use with gloves on. Not sure how easy the Cardo controls would be. Battery life on the Sena seems pretty good also, admitted I don't use it for music but communications between riders will last the day.
And on that test about wind noise. If you have a full face helmet then the mike is inside the helmet and not in the wind. If like me you have a flip helmet then all you have to do is close the helmet and again the boom mike is inside the helmet.
I found the controls on the Sena 10 to be impossible to use with gloves on (just summer weight mesh gloves). I always had to have my wife turn the unit on when I forgot. That is one reason I am leaning toward Cardo with their voice control technology. My latest Garmin car GPS has voice capability and it works surprisingly well. Not perfect, but better than expected. I only occasionally have to use the touch screen when I just can’t get a certain name to be understood by the Garmin. If the Cardo voice works as well as my Garmin, I would be a happy camper.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #17 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 7:38 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebiss9 View Post
I've had my Sena 10S for about a year now and use it whenever the wife and I take the RT out. I also have a Baehr wired system on my KLT and have no desire to upgrade that system although procuring parts is damn near impossible. I recently had to make a set of replacement coiled helmet cables just to keep using it. I bought the 10S as a trial to see how it would perform without spending too much for the newer Sena models.
The Sena has been less than adequate in so much as there is an echo between the pillion and myself along with intermittent static during voice com. I've contacted Sena with this problem and they told me to do a paperclip reset after some setting changes and Firmware upgrades. I've also viewed a video that states to do a reset after any Firmware updates. I haven’t had an opportunity to test it on the road yet as the wife has been too busy for a ride together. Others have said how great and flawless their Bluetooth units are and I'd be the first to admit being wrong if it works better but I have my doubts this will fix the anomaly. I further realize, there won’t be anything else available except wireless for me and my antiquated philosophy, in which case I’d have to submit……….
Sounds like we are in the same boat. I wasn’t sure I would like BT and after twice now renting Sena units I am still not all that impressed. The units are bulky on the helmets compared to my corded headsets and charging them every night is a pain. However, with every new bike other than the Yamaha Venture coming with BT only, in another 2-5 years when I decided to get a new bike I will have to move to BT like it or not.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #18 of 64 Old Jul 9th, 2019, 12:30 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Which earpods?
this are the ones i use for now, they are quite good, better than apple airpods in my opinion.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #19 of 64 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 7:45 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Originally Posted by joekahng View Post
i used both, Cardo for about 5 yrs, Sena for about 1 yr. I dont use any of it now.
but for what its worth, Sena has better quality device in my opinion... and they seem to make positive improvements unlike the Cardo, and Cardo customer service is also quite bad.

reason for not using these anymore:
1. my buddies and I do not use it enough anymore. some still use it but pretty much for music.
2. cardo app was pretty crappy.
3. cardo wouldnt repair my G9x when my battery died, they told me to trade up... so i bought a Sena.
4. both of their sound/music quality can't compare to any half decent earpod earphones in the market today.

i just use a wireless earpods now. i use one, and plug up the other ear with an earplug. (one ear pod = 4~5hrs of listening time, so i take turns on my long trips, and my earpod case charges them when not in use)

sometimes when im riding, and my wife calls, i answer it and she can hear me... not well, but okay enough for use to converse.

When I did the same inquiry, this is the feedback I got from my more experienced buddies. That is why I been using Sena since.

I vote for Sena
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post #20 of 64 Old Jul 11th, 2019, 8:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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When I did the same inquiry, this is the feedback I got from my more experienced buddies. That is why I been using Sena since.

I vote for Sena
I have been looking at feedback on BMWMOA and ADVRider, but there seems to be no clear-cut winner. For everyone who didn’t like Cardo and moved to Sena, there is someone who didn’t like Sena and moved to Cardo. It does seem like Cardo is weaker in customer service and I noticed they don’t support Safari as a browser for firmware updates and I am not a Chrome or FireFox user. So, that is one strike against them.

I like their design better than Sena and I like having a device that is truly waterproof, but Sena certainly has a wider range of products and seems to have some momentum other than there 30K seems to have not gotten a very good reception. Most agree that DMC is superior to the Sena mesh implementation.

Decisions, decisions...

I don’t think the earbuds will work for me. I need intercom with my wife, I really like getting GPS commands, particularly when riding in congested areas and I like to listed to the radio, not just my canned iphone music. I am not sure an earbud can do all this, but I do need to take a closer look at what all they can do. I don’t make phone calls while riding so pairing to my iphone is not a high priority, but GPS commands and intercom are top priorities and radio capability is up there also. I doubt any earbuds can have an FM radio built in as you need an antenna more than an inch long to receive anything. I suspect even the wire around the helmet used by Sena and Cardo is probably not all that good for reception.

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post #21 of 64 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 6:38 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Ok so many answer The 20 s can be charged driving down the road.Did it coming back from Tenn. The sena will have a popcorn sound once you get above 3 people on.I do like my sena when there are just rider and passenger.You will want ear buds or big ear insert it will make your ride so much better You dont need mesh. On the average I get 9-10 hours on a charge. The built in radio is crap. Now all this said I have read alot of good stuff on cardo pac talk. But i know of no one that has one to verify.Is the sena worth it for two up with ear buds yes For more than 2 I think there may be a better option. As you know I do use the free wire for radio and cb I still use mine to talk to trucks and others but I have my whole life. also my old gps went through on the nav 5 it will do both so time will tell. I think the less that is going through the sena the better it will work. I hope this has helped.

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post #22 of 64 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 7:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Ok so many answer The 20 s can be charged driving down the road.Did it coming back from Tenn. The sena will have a popcorn sound once you get above 3 people on.I do like my sena when there are just rider and passenger.You will want ear buds or big ear insert it will make your ride so much better You dont need mesh. On the average I get 9-10 hours on a charge. The built in radio is crap. Now all this said I have read alot of good stuff on cardo pac talk. But i know of no one that has one to verify.Is the sena worth it for two up with ear buds yes For more than 2 I think there may be a better option. As you know I do use the free wire for radio and cb I still use mine to talk to trucks and others but I have my whole life. also my old gps went through on the nav 5 it will do both so time will tell. I think the less that is going through the sena the better it will work. I hope this has helped.
Yes, I read lots of conflicting reviews about both products. When I saw the conflicting discussions on charging while riding, I, horror of horrors, went and read the Sena and Cardo documentation. Cardo explicitly says you can charge while riding and Sena explicitly says not to. Having said that, I know lots of products that CAN be used in ways the manufacturer says not to use them.

I have to admit that from the research I have done thus far, I think the Cardo is the better unit hardware-wise, but I have concerns about their software and product support. While a number of people have had customer service issues with both companies, it does seem that Sena is a notch above in this regard. And when I go to a web site (Cardo) and get a warning that the browser I use most of the time (Safari on iPad or i Mac) is not supported, that is a huge red flag. So, I am not giving Sena a second look as well as a few others like J&M, but they see well behind now in technology as are most others. It seems that Cardo is the technology leader, with Sena close behind. Sena has a much wider product range than Cardo, but Cardo seems to be ahead in most areas other than the integrated helmet market where the Sena Momentum looks very nice.

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post #23 of 64 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 8:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Well, I decided to try a little test of basic product support. I decided to send a question to each company, since I have a question about each product.

I sent a question to Cardo asking if they planned Safari support. Their problem submission form was simple and easy to use, but the automatic reply I received was not encouraging. It said that they had a high volume of support calls and emails (this itself is not a good sign) and that they could not meet the advertised 3 days response time to email. I consider 3 days itself to be exceedingly long and longer than that is not acceptable.

I sent a question to Sena asking about charging while riding. I found their contact form that said it was for sales and product questions, but it would not let me submit the form without providing product and purchase information. A little bit of a catch-22 there folks. So, I backed out to the higher level menu and it provided an email address for “channel sales inquiries” which I assume is not meant for general questions, but since it is all I could find I sent my question in.

So, I consider both companies deficient on basic sales support based on my experience simply submitting a question.

I have had generally great support from J&M, but their BT products look a little clunky and behind the technology.
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post #24 of 64 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 11:40 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

on a side note i read BMW is thrown its hat into the bt also i have not seen any reviews yet but one can hope. As for sena When you have a problem everyone gets the same automated response although you will get some service some time lord only knows when. There is a forum on fb about sena pretty eye opening. I really don't know what to believe anymore.

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post #25 of 64 Old Jul 12th, 2019, 11:55 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Well, I decided to try a little test of basic product support. I decided to send a question to each company, since I have a question about each product.

I sent a question to Cardo asking if they planned Safari support. Their problem submission form was simple and easy to use, but the automatic reply I received was not encouraging. It said that they had a high volume of support calls and emails (this itself is not a good sign) and that they could not meet the advertised 3 days response time to email. I consider 3 days itself to be exceedingly long and longer than that is not acceptable.

I sent a question to Sena asking about charging while riding. I found their contact form that said it was for sales and product questions, but it would not let me submit the form without providing product and purchase information. A little bit of a catch-22 there folks. So, I backed out to the higher level menu and it provided an email address for “channel sales inquiries” which I assume is not meant for general questions, but since it is all I could find I sent my question in.

So, I consider both companies deficient on basic sales support based on my experience simply submitting a question.

I have had generally great support from J&M, but their BT products look a little clunky and behind the technology.
I have been back and forth with Sena Tech Support in trying to resolve an issue I'm having with my 10S pair I've had for almost a year. I will say they are quick to respond to my inquiries. All the suggested fixes and checks have done very little solve the voice intercom echo me and my pillion are experiencing. They're probably just reading steps from a prepared troubleshooting guide with each corresponding e-mail but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. We'll see what their most recent suggestion holds in store. I'm hoping they will ask me to send it in for test/repair/replacement as in its present state it’s not very useful for intercom conversation........

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post #26 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 2:53 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

I made the switch to Cardo after lots of research. If you ride in a group of more than 2 riders, a definite must. Our riding group of 4 all switched from Sena to Cardo after wasting too much time on trips trying to get everyone connected and after having riders drop out on occasion for no explained reason. For single or 2 riders, Sena works OK but Cardo is fully waterproof, has excellent hands free voice commands and a better App (IMHO) as well as better speakers with the new JBL partnership.

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post #27 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 11:14 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Well...as a member of the "GEEZERS ON BEEMERS" riding crowd...I have hesitated to comment on this topic. Figuring I am too far behind on technology to offer anything of value on the subject. In fact, just yesterday, I arrived back home with my brand new iPhone 10(X)R and am now in the throws of figuring out how to use the blasted thing as a basic phone???

It has been a few years since I stepped up and extracted a few dollars from my wallet to purchase a used Cardo Scala G9 so that I could catch up and talk to my buddies already using them. Being able to talk while riding has elevated the experience to a whole new level of enjoyment and safety. I have always tried to limit potential distractions while on my bike. I don't consider these two-way communicators a distraction, but an enhancement. I'm not much for listening to radio or music while riding, but communicating in real time with fellow riders seems much safer and quicker than hand signals or toe pointing to alert following riders of road hazards.

That said, since my only experience has been the Cardo brand, I'll not speak to how they compare to others. Except to say, make it somewhat a "group" influenced decision in order to enhance the chances of compatibility among your most frequent riding associates. So far, in my experience, the Cardo products are backward compatible enough so that folks showing up with newer units are capable of joining in with those of us using older radios. I even went so far as to buy a radio for one of our members to coax him into joining in and participating in our "enhanced" riding. After his first ride joining in the conversations...he paid me for the radio.

My conclusion is not to recommend one brand over the other...but to choose the one most familiar to you and your associates. Hopefully, if you do your homework, and reach a rather agreeable consensus (even if it's just you & spouse)... everyone will ride happy & safe.

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post #28 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 11:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicyclenut View Post
I made the switch to Cardo after lots of research. If you ride in a group of more than 2 riders, a definite must. Our riding group of 4 all switched from Sena to Cardo after wasting too much time on trips trying to get everyone connected and after having riders drop out on occasion for no explained reason. For single or 2 riders, Sena works OK but Cardo is fully waterproof, has excellent hands free voice commands and a better App (IMHO) as well as better speakers with the new JBL partnership.

https://youtu.be/eBAynKKnCdE
You want me to take seriously a Harley rider with the channel name Bike N’ Bird? :

I watched the video. It was a pretty good review of the Cardo, but it seemed a little biased to me. For one, he is a very easy grader. When a company claims 13 hour battery life and you get only 11-12 with a brand new unit, that is not a 10 rating by any rational measure. I would at best give that a 9 and probably 7-8 is more appropriate. I also got the impression that Cardo sent him 4 units free of charge. If that is the case, then everything he said is questionable.

I think the F9 reviews are some of the best and he picks the Cardo over the Sena, but not by a lot.

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post #29 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 11:37 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Originally Posted by Beemer tiger View Post
Well...as a member of the "GEEZERS ON BEEMERS" riding crowd...I have hesitated to comment on this topic. Figuring I am too far behind on technology to offer anything of value on the subject. In fact, just yesterday, I arrived back home with my brand new iPhone 10(X)R and am now in the throws of figuring out how to use the blasted thing as a basic phone???

It has been a few years since I stepped up and extracted a few dollars from my wallet to purchase a used Cardo Scala G9 so that I could catch up and talk to my buddies already using them. Being able to talk while riding has elevated the experience to a whole new level of enjoyment and safety. I have always tried to limit potential distractions while on my bike. I don't consider these two-way communicators a distraction, but an enhancement. I'm not much for listening to radio or music while riding, but communicating in real time with fellow riders seems much safer and quicker than hand signals or toe pointing to alert following riders of road hazards.

That said, since my only experience has been the Cardo brand, I'll not speak to how they compare to others. Except to say, make it somewhat a "group" influenced decision in order to enhance the chances of compatibility among your most frequent riding associates. So far, in my experience, the Cardo products are backward compatible enough so that folks showing up with newer units are capable of joining in with those of us using older radios. I even went so far as to buy a radio for one of our members to coax him into joining in and participating in our "enhanced" riding. After his first ride joining in the conversations...he paid me for the radio.

My conclusion is not to recommend one brand over the other...but to choose the one most familiar to you and your associates. Hopefully, if you do your homework, and reach a rather agreeable consensus (even if it's just you & spouse)... everyone will ride happy & safe.
I still use a 5s.

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post #30 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 12:39 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
You want me to take seriously a Harley rider with the channel name Bike N’ Bird? :



I watched the video. It was a pretty good review of the Cardo, but it seemed a little biased to me. For one, he is a very easy grader. When a company claims 13 hour battery life and you get only 11-12 with a brand new unit, that is not a 10 rating by any rational measure. I would at best give that a 9 and probably 7-8 is more appropriate. I also got the impression that Cardo sent him 4 units free of charge. If that is the case, then everything he said is questionable.



I think the F9 reviews are some of the best and he picks the Cardo over the Sena, but not by a lot.


Yes I have read and watched many reviews and have my own experience with Comm units from Sena SMH5, 10S, 20S, 20S Evo and recently Cardo Packtalk Slim and Packtalk Bold. The FortNine video was one I watched that was a turning point. I have never watched this guy before but it was a recent review I saw that supported what I have experienced and heard from most users.






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post #31 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 1:43 pm
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Note that the above video is one year old and out of date. The compared models have several updates.
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post #32 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 2:51 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Please note the Cardo Packtalk Slim has the status light on the rear mounted battery pack. This mean you have to look at the back of your helmet while making changes to the box on the side of your helmet. One example is changing from bluetooth (you can only music share in Bluetooth) to Cardo's Packtalk system. The light changes color when you make the change but you can't see it until you look 90 degrees around the base of the helmet from where your fingers are working. Seems an unnecessary PITA to me.

Much more seriously, if you carry a passenger, the status light is aimed at your passenger's eyes. On a dark night this was very annoying to my normally pretty easy going passenger. I have resorted to a piece of tape to protect her eyes making it even more fun to check the status light, now I have to look up from below the helmet and at the back of the helmet to see the light. If you carry a passenger think twice about the Slims, a really good product with a single really stupid design choice. Why the light isn't on the left side of the battery (i.e. the side where main box sits) is a mystery to me, it would be easier to use and not bother the passenger.

I recommend the new generation Cardos with the caveat that the Slims might not be a good choice for two up riding. I love the voice control feature. I have had more Cardos than Senas but, in general, I find the Cardos to be easier to learn and to use. YMMV


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I like the Cardo packtalk slim that places the battery on the back so that the helmet is overall less bulky. Although I think Sena now has a model with remote battery also.

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post #33 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 3:01 pm
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

Sorry, that guy makes me crazy, I've never made it through one of his videos.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bicyclenut View Post
Yes I have read and watched many reviews and have my own experience with Comm units from Sena SMH5, 10S, 20S, 20S Evo and recently Cardo Packtalk Slim and Packtalk Bold. The FortNine video was one I watched that was a turning point. I have never watched this guy before but it was a recent review I saw that supported what I have experienced and heard from most users.



https://youtu.be/-AMoXbXHALc



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post #34 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 4:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Please note the Cardo Packtalk Slim has the status light on the rear mounted battery pack. This mean you have to look at the back of your helmet while making changes to the box on the side of your helmet. One example is changing from bluetooth (you can only music share in Bluetooth) to Cardo's Packtalk system. The light changes color when you make the change but you can't see it until you look 90 degrees around the base of the helmet from where your fingers are working. Seems an unnecessary PITA to me.

Much more seriously, if you carry a passenger, the status light is aimed at your passenger's eyes. On a dark night this was very annoying to my normally pretty easy going passenger. I have resorted to a piece of tape to protect her eyes making it even more fun to check the status light, now I have to look up from below the helmet and at the back of the helmet to see the light. If you carry a passenger think twice about the Slims, a really good product with a single really stupid design choice. Why the light isn't on the left side of the battery (i.e. the side where main box sits) is a mystery to me, it would be easier to use and not bother the passenger.

I recommend the new generation Cardos with the caveat that the Slims might not be a good choice for two up riding. I love the voice control feature. I have had more Cardos than Senas but, in general, I find the Cardos to be easier to learn and to use. YMMV
My wife and I rarely ride at night. Night riding in rural PA can be hazardous. However, I agree that is a dumb design choice. As is the mount that lets the Packtalk Bold fall off the helmet if the release is pressed inadvertently. Sena’s slide down mount is much smarter. No perfect solution. Each has poor design elements like not the Sena not being waterproof when designed to be on the outside of a helmet.

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post #35 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 4:44 pm
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Does the carso have a model with a camera like the Sena
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post #36 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 7:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Does the carso have a model with a camera like the Sena
Not to my knowledge. The Sena camera is pretty crappy. Most say stay with Go Pro.

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post #37 of 64 Old Jul 13th, 2019, 7:26 pm
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The problem with the Gopro is that it doesnt turn with your head.
You cannot redirect to what you wanna film
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post #38 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 12:13 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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I made the switch to Cardo after lots of research. If you ride in a group of more than 2 riders, a definite must. Our riding group of 4 all switched from Sena to Cardo after wasting too much time on trips trying to get everyone connected and after having riders drop out on occasion for no explained reason. For single or 2 riders, Sena works OK but Cardo is fully waterproof, has excellent hands free voice commands and a better App (IMHO) as well as better speakers with the new JBL partnership.

https://youtu.be/eBAynKKnCdE

With all due respect, this is a review by a salesman not so much an objective review by a user...nevertheless, I think the guy talked me into trying the Cardo.

I use Bluetooth very simply: connect to my phone for calls and occasional google GPS, and connect it to my GarminVI. I tour by myself and I no longer do joy riding around this crowded rock I live on, so I don't need to pair with others. I don't listen to music when I tour. I say the thing that talked into trying the cardo was his raving about the speakers. The Sena speakers...ugh!

But I am looking for a way to video my trips.
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post #39 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 5:33 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Each has poor design elements like not the Sena not being waterproof when designed to be on the outside of a helmet.
I've had my Senna 10S for over 4 years & have probably rode over 20,000 miles in the rain & have never had a problem. I rode over 600 miles in a tropical storm last year raining so hard that water got in the final drive through the vent & the senna worked fine.
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post #40 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 11:22 am
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I ditto the Sena in the rain.

I would guess most electronic things nowadays can get wet and not be broke. IE: I have left my earphones in the laundry several times and some worked fine after being cleaned with Tide, others not so well.

My sena has handled a lot of rain.

But I still think they should have made it waterproof...like the post above says: if the darn thing is designed to be used outside a motorcycle helmet...
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post #41 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 1:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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The problem with the Gopro is that it doesnt turn with your head.
You cannot redirect to what you wanna film
It does if you mount it on your helmet as most motovloggers do.
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post #42 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 2:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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I ditto the Sena in the rain.

I would guess most electronic things nowadays can get wet and not be broke. IE: I have left my earphones in the laundry several times and some worked fine after being cleaned with Tide, others not so well.

My sena has handled a lot of rain.

But I still think they should have made it waterproof...like the post above says: if the darn thing is designed to be used outside a motorcycle helmet...
I have only used a Sena twice, one time with only a few fairly light rains and the last time in Ireland where it was rainy and damp pretty much every day. The first trip I had not issues with disconnects with either my GPS or passenger. The Ireland trip had issues with frequent disconnects and reconnects. Can I say it was moisture related? No. Do I suspect it was? Yes.

Water resistant vs water proof generally means that over time, water will affect a water resistant device whereas a water proof device will tolerate water indefinitely as long as the water pressure is less than its rating.

For a motorcycle helmet, water resistant simply makes less sense to me than water proof.

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post #43 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 2:17 pm
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I am definitely categorized as a moto-logger...but there aint no way I am gonna log a GoPro cam on my helmet.

If I was making a lucrative living of off my travels, and do short trips, maybe.

But the long distance I travel, at my own expense, nah! I aint doing that.

On the other hand, if you had one of them tree-trunk body builder neck, I can see a creature like that packing a camera, a bluetooth and an audio system on the helmet...like that dude in the video above...I bet he is getting something from Cardo though....
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post #44 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 2:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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I am definitely categorized as a moto-logger...but there aint no way I am gonna log a GoPro cam on my helmet.

If I was making a lucrative living of off my travels, and do short trips, maybe.

But the long distance I travel, at my own expense, nah! I aint doing that.

On the other hand, if you had one of them tree-trunk body builder neck, I can see a creature like that packing a camera, a bluetooth and an audio system on the helmet...like that dude in the video above...I bet he is getting something from Cardo though....
Well, a Sena 20S weighs 61 grams. A GoPro Hero 7 weighs 90-100 depending on model. So, having one on each side gives a total weight of about 160 grams and a 30 gram imbalance. A Sena 10C weighs 90 grams, but is entirely an imbalance load.

I’ll bet you a dozen donuts that you will see less fatigue on a long ride from a 160 gram load with only 30 gram imbalance than from a 90 gram load that is entirely on one side.

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post #45 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 2:29 pm
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Oh wow! I did not know the gopro werr that light. I gotta check into it...

I seen guys with a cam on top of their helmet; that must catch a lot of wind...

It be nice to have something mounted on the bike but you could control the cam direction.Is there anything like that?
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post #46 of 64 Old Jul 14th, 2019, 4:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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Oh wow! I did not know the gopro werr that light. I gotta check into it...

I seen guys with a cam on top of their helmet; that must catch a lot of wind...

It be nice to have something mounted on the bike but you could control the cam direction.Is there anything like that?
I have seen them mostly mounted on the side opposite the communications unit. The next most popular location seems to be on the chin bar facing forward. And I have also seen a few that were mounted on top, but that does seem like the worst choice overall.

I am not a vlogger and my gopro is my wife on the back with her Sony. She has no problem getting 360 degree coverage.

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post #47 of 64 Old Yesterday, 12:55 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

My wife and I mount Sony FDR-X3000 (114 grams with battery) on the side of our helmets or on the top depending on what we are doing and neither of us notice them at all.

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My wife and I mount Sony FDR-X3000 (114 grams with battery) on the side of our helmets or on the top depending on what we are doing and neither of us notice them at all.
But I bet you dont stay on the road for 3 months either. That couls make all that gear a burden
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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But I bet you dont stay on the road for 3 months either. That couls make all that gear a burden
I can’t be sure, but I suspect that the BMW headsets when you include the weight of the cording hanging on the side have at least as much applied force as a BT headset or even a GoPro. I have not been on the road for 3 months, but I just returned from a 33 day trip and had no issues at all with the weight/pull of the corded headset on one side of my helmet. The weight is nothing compared to the weight of the helmet itself.
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post #50 of 64 Old Yesterday, 10:49 am
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Re: Cardo or Sena?

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But I bet you dont stay on the road for 3 months either. That couls make all that gear a burden
We certainly ride for 1 to 2 week trips and have no issue so I don't think anything longer would make a difference. I suggest you buy something used, try it, if it doesn't work, you move the camera or sell it at little to no loss. Drink the Kool-Aid, have a positive attitude and give it a try.

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