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Thread: Midland BT Rush Intercom review

  1. #1
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    Midland BT Rush Intercom review

    After being completely frustrated with Cardo Packtalk Bold and the Edge and not being able to get the Sena 50R Harmon Kardon series (no idea why, Sena says they are being released later in the year but do not know when) I ordered a set of the Midland BT Rush's from the UK (They do not have the BT Rush RCF out yet but I was told it was really just the FM reception that was different). I will say they are a great unit. Long lasting battery, waterproof (talking to you Sena), low profile design. Where they do lack is voice commands, however they are quite a few $$ less than Cardo or Sena.
    - Sounded great, RCF speakers are right on par with Harmon Kardon or JBL.
    - Having separate up/down volume switches on top of the units is a great idea, wish they could be held down instead of tapped repeatedly though.
    - Magnetic mount is great, much lower profile than the Cardo Edge.
    - More importantly everything worked, and customer service responds to emails within 24 hrs with actual helpful information (talking to Cardo and Sena, of course they will not read this anymore than they read my inquiries for tech support).
    - Where this unit fails for me is have three modes, Intercom, Phone, FM. The three main buttons change what they do according to the mode one is in. During Intercom mode the buttons do one thing, if you want to get to Siri you have to change to the phone mode 1st. I understand why they did this but its a PIA especially if you don't remember what mode it was in last.
    - The other issue and why I returned these was when music sharing the quality of the Intercom was awful. I only had 15 days to try these because of international shipping so I did not have time to go thru tech support once I figured out where the problem was coming in. I noticed sometimes I just could not understand what my passenger was saying, assumed it was wind noise or she wasn't talking into the mic. Finally after realizing when sharing music the intercom was full of static and garbled I tried changing ever setting I could think of with no effect. What did happen was off, when changing intercom to private mesh from open the music would skip and stutter. I then reached out to tech support which did not know what to do but would check with engineering. I heard back several days later with a statement to turn bridging on, both units. This made no sense because we ride were riding alone and did not need to bridge anyone in, upon my questioning this they told me it cuts the Bluetooth intercom power which they think was interfering with the mesh quality. I had already sent the units back so I do not know if it would fix anything or not. However this does explain why when using a Sena unit the mesh antenna needs to be up or the intercom often sounds garbled as well. (I didn't think it needed to be raised when my passenger is only 2 feet away, now I know better).
    All in all these Midlands are a great unit and I wish Sena and Cardo would learn a few things from them, mostly customer service.
    I ended up purchasing and old set of Sena 50R's that were a leftover at Cycle Gear because they were marked down extensively. Sena also had upgraded all the 50R's to Mesh 2.0 and Harmon Kardon software via firmware updates. So once purchasing the upgraded speakers and Mics the old 1.0 versions will be the same as the upcoming units that are not being released yet. I assume they are holding off to help BMW sell their newly released Com U1 versions and then they can sell all those folks the Harmon Kardon upgrades as well. These are not a perfect design by any means but they are in my opinion the best option available right now for my wants (intercom, sharing music at the same time) Although if you have a Garmin they will not work either because of volume management issues (I got rid of my Garmin because of this and other issues and just use the Scenic app). The voice commands work great for Siri and Sena although one needs to drag the "e" in Sena saying "Seena" instead. I do wish they were waterproof but until I have an issue I cannot really complain about that.
    The low profile mount was a big deal, I hated the Cardo edge mount because of how thick it was and the Sena 50 because how mush it stuck down below the helmet, this unit is non removable without some major effort but we never take them off our helmets anyways. Music quality and volume are great with just the HD speakers that came with them, I am only going to upgrade to the Harmon because they are slightly thinner and fit better in the helmet but are also a bit crisper sounding with sharper and cleaner highs which makes the intercom much clearer when there is a lot of wind noise. I also use Earpiece earplugs full time so perhaps they just work well together.

  2. #2
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    Sena 50-R Harmon-Kardon availability

    Revzilla has the Harmon-Kardon 50-R Dualpacks for sale right now, with the note "ships in 3-5 days". They may also have some of the older, non-H/K units available on closeout. Sena has the Harmon-Kardon 50-R Accessory Kits in stock, which upgrades the older non-H/K units to the H/K level for immediate shipment. Since I had the older unit, I simply added the H/K accessory kit and I'm good to go.
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    Revzilla has the Harmon-Kardon 50-R Dualpacks for sale right now, with the note "ships in 3-5 days". They may also have some of the older, non-H/K units available on closeout. Sena has the Harmon-Kardon 50-R Accessory Kits in stock, which upgrades the older non-H/K units to the H/K level for immediate shipment. Since I had the older unit, I simply added the H/K accessory kit and I'm good to go.
    Thats Odd because Sena does not have them available and said earliest would be end of September.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsd View Post
    Thats Odd because Sena does not have them available and said earliest would be end of September.
    I ordered my 50-R accessory kit direct from Sena about 2 weeks ago. Received the kit 10 days later (last Friday). I checked Revzilla last night (8/17) and am just reporting what's on the website. Revzilla even lists the 50-R dualpack as a "Recommended Product". As for Revzilla having the units and Sena does not -- that's really not that unusual -- Sena (and other manufacturers) will often send out most of their stock to their best dealer(s), keeping only a few units on hand for warranty or sale direct. Eventually the supply catches up until the next revision is out.

    Glad your Midland unit is meeting your needs. Does it have mesh? If so, does it connect to either Sena or Cardo? (FWIW, Sena & Cardo cannot communicate with each other via Mesh).
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    I ordered my 50-R accessory kit direct from Sena about 2 weeks ago. Received the kit 10 days later (last Friday). I checked Revzilla last night (8/17) and am just reporting what's on the website. Revzilla even lists the 50-R dualpack as a "Recommended Product". As for Revzilla having the units and Sena does not -- that's really not that unusual -- Sena (and other manufacturers) will often send out most of their stock to their best dealer(s), keeping only a few units on hand for warranty or sale direct. Eventually the supply catches up until the next revision is out.

    Glad your Midland unit is meeting your needs. Does it have mesh? If so, does it connect to either Sena or Cardo? (FWIW, Sena & Cardo cannot communicate with each other via Mesh).
    Supposedly Midland, Cardo and Uclear have grouped up and the new units will have something called Open Bluetooth. Not sure what that means but its a start in the right direction. I actually sent the Midlands back due to the interference in the mesh intercom by the Bluetooth when sharing music. I believe it has to do with them not having the antenna for the mesh system like the older cardo and sena units. In any case I will be returning the 01 Model Sena 50's I had purchased and the Harmon helmet kits that are in the mail and getting the new setup. Pretty ****ty that Sena support didn't know 1 week in advance that the 50R 02 was going to be available in 7 days

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsd View Post
    Supposedly Midland, Cardo and Uclear have grouped up and the new units will have something called Open Bluetooth. Not sure what that means but its a start in the right direction. I actually sent the Midlands back due to the interference in the mesh intercom by the Bluetooth when sharing music. I believe it has to do with them not having the antenna for the mesh system like the older cardo and sena units. In any case I will be returning the 01 Model Sena 50's I had purchased and the Harmon helmet kits that are in the mail and getting the new setup. Pretty ****ty that Sena support didn't know 1 week in advance that the 50R 02 was going to be available in 7 days
    !

    Good luck with your 50-R's! I sent back my first unit, as I couldn't update the firmware. USB-C port on the unit was defective. It would charge, but wouldn't connect for updates either via hardwire (PC) or via wireless dongle. Sena asked me to sent the unit only (not speakers/mike) back, along with documentation as to when/where I purchased it (Revzilla, nearly a year before I returned it) Replacement unit was a complete kit (unit, speakers, mike), worked perfect, and it had the current charger w/wireless update capability. This unit has worked perfectly from day 1. Voice commands (at least the ones I can remember), mesh, bluetooth intercom, wireless updates of firmware, etcetera all work perfectly. When the Harmon-Karden upgrade accessory kits became available last month, I jumped on it, and placed my order immediately. I'm a happy Sena customer. BTW, the current firmware version (1.1.1) allows me to control the volume via the wonder wheel on my '15 RT!
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    !

    Good luck with your 50-R's! I sent back my first unit, as I couldn't update the firmware. USB-C port on the unit was defective. It would charge, but wouldn't connect for updates either via hardwire (PC) or via wireless dongle. Sena asked me to sent the unit only (not speakers/mike) back, along with documentation as to when/where I purchased it (Revzilla, nearly a year before I returned it) Replacement unit was a complete kit (unit, speakers, mike), worked perfect, and it had the current charger w/wireless update capability. This unit has worked perfectly from day 1. Voice commands (at least the ones I can remember), mesh, bluetooth intercom, wireless updates of firmware, etcetera all work perfectly. When the Harmon-Karden upgrade accessory kits became available last month, I jumped on it, and placed my order immediately. I'm a happy Sena customer. BTW, the current firmware version (1.1.1) allows me to control the volume via the wonder wheel on my '15 RT!
    That's great, always good to hear such things. I had a set of the 50'S for 3 weeks but the GPS did not play well with them and the giant mounting bracket was a no go, projecting 3/4 - 1" below the helmet. The 50R mounting bracket is only about a 1/4" just enough to protect the wires. I wasnt going to pair them with the bike, never thought it sounded very good but I may just to have the volume easily adjusted, I had been using "Seena" volume up which works great but for some reason the volume down did not seem to work, I will try again when the Harmon Kardon set show up in a few days.

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    Have you received your H-K 50R? Comments?
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    Have you received your H-K 50R? Comments?
    Yes I will start a new thread on my impressions so far.

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