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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.
 

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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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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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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.:smile:

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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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.:smile:

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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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?
 

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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.
 

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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-Kit-Combines-Transistors/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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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……….:serious:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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-Kit-Combines-Transistors/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.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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……….:serious:
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #20
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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