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Thread: N-Com vs Sena

  1. #1
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    N-Com vs Sena

    Does anyone know or have any thoughts on The Nolan N-Com B5 or B5L? I cant really find any reviews on them. I am trying to decide on A Sena system or Nolan System. I am purchasing a Nolan 104 evo. Thanks for the advise!!

    Jim Hester
    1991 R100RT

  2. #2
    I've got no experience with Nolan, but my experience with the Sena product has been awesome. From the Scala to the Bmw communicator, the Sena is tops, hands down for ease of use and clarity. Plus being able to link multiple units in just a few seconds is incredible....in my opinion of course.


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    Brian Hinton
    2007 R1200R
    2007 K1200GT
    2016 R1200GS

  3. #3
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    The only experience I have is with the B5 and it has performed well in meeting our needs. We use it mainly for the intercom but also have it paired with phones and iPads and use the FM radio. No problems and great battery life in our experience. Easy install in our N104 helmets that were compatible.

    FYI - got mine from Italy at a great price

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...rnoutitaly-com

    If you need any other info feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by mikegalbicka; 12-29-2016 at 02:47 PM.

  4. #4
    I got 2 Nolan 104's and both with the B5.

    Great battery life, good FM radio, great phone quality on the receiving end.

    I wear ear plugs and at 100 kph have the volume at max, can hear everything fine. I'd say the modular helmets lets more road noise in at high speeds, but the B5 is fine with the 10.

    I've had really good connection with my phone, but then the B5 would drop it out randomly. Same with FM radio... occasionally it would just drop out, but I can't be sure if that is a reception issue.

    Had few issues with pairing 2nd channel rider, but once we figured it out it worked well with +500 m range. Haven't used it in a group, can't comment on anything more that use with 2 bikes.

    Memorizing all the button combos to use all the features is sucks, but you can control the B5 from your phone.

    I'd say the biggest pain in the butt is using the ncom wizard to update the firmware of the helmet, but that is not something you do to often.

  5. #5
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Jim, approx. 4 years ago, I went through the same process as you are now. I had two Nolan helmets and an Autocomm (wired) communications system and decided I was going to go Bluetooth.

    Back then it was a close call for me - which way to go N-Comm vs Sena.

    Certainly the N-Comm is a very nicely integrated unit for a Nolan helmet, and with two Nolan helmets, it was definitely worth a strong look, but it lost out in my deliberations over two issues:

    1. Future usage options - While I had two Nolans back then (one for my wife), I also had a good quality HJC that was a bit quieter and lighter than the Nolans and liked to use once and a while. The N-comm didn't fit the HJC very well. ;-) Fast forward 4 years and one of the Nolans has cycled out (I use a helmet for 5 years and then replace it). I still have three helmets that I use, but now they are a Nolan, an Arai and a Schuberth C3. Had I gone the N-Comm route fitment would have been a real issue. By going Sena, it was merely a matter of transferring the unit from the cycled-out helmet to it's replacement. I didn't feel the need to stay with just Nolan
    2. Pairing to other manufacturers units - Sena is stronger in this area and developing/advancing that aspect as much as, or more than, anyone else.


    My main issue was that I wanted to avoid a "proprietary" system (Nolan/Schuberth/BMW) and have as much ease and span of options as possible. That, for me, meant going the Sena route. I have no idea what make/model of helmet I'll get to replace my C3 when it cycles-out in 3 years, but I do know that if I want to keep my existing Sena comm units, I should be able to. Before then, I will likely have upgraded my Sena unit, and left my wife's as is but I think I'll have the most options possible, and that was important to me.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    Jim, approx. 4 years ago, I went through the same process as you are now. I had two Nolan helmets and an Autocomm (wired) communications system and decided I was going to go Bluetooth.

    Back then it was a close call for me - which way to go N-Comm vs Sena.

    Certainly the N-Comm is a very nicely integrated unit for a Nolan helmet, and with two Nolan helmets, it was definitely worth a strong look, but it lost out in my deliberations over two issues:

    1. Future usage options - While I had two Nolans back then (one for my wife), I also had a good quality HJC that was a bit quieter and lighter than the Nolans and liked to use once and a while. The N-comm didn't fit the HJC very well. ;-) Fast forward 4 years and one of the Nolans has cycled out (I use a helmet for 5 years and then replace it). I still have three helmets that I use, but now they are a Nolan, an Arai and a Schuberth C3. Had I gone the N-Comm route fitment would have been a real issue. By going Sena, it was merely a matter of transferring the unit from the cycled-out helmet to it's replacement. I didn't feel the need to stay with just Nolan
    2. Pairing to other manufacturers units - Sena is stronger in this area and developing/advancing that aspect as much as, or more than, anyone else.


    My main issue was that I wanted to avoid a "proprietary" system (Nolan/Schuberth/BMW) and have as much ease and span of options as possible. That, for me, meant going the Sena route. I have no idea what make/model of helmet I'll get to replace my C3 when it cycles-out in 3 years, but I do know that if I want to keep my existing Sena comm units, I should be able to. Before then, I will likely have upgraded my Sena unit, and left my wife's as is but I think I'll have the most options possible, and that was important to me.
    Just to point out, ncomm has the M5 which is universal fit...

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Thanks for pointing that out, I wasn't aware of that. It's been some time since I went through that process and settled on the Sena units, so I've not looked at anything else unless it was making news, like Cardo has with it's PackTalk and DMC-Dynamic Meshwork Communication technology or Sena with their Mesh Technology, etc.

    As I'd mentioned, my primary consideration at the time was portability so I'm glad to see that Nolan has an option now for that.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  8. #8
    Registered User mikesved's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your honest opinions. I am just now able to acquire my first Bluetooth comm system. I have been leaning towards the 20S, but wasn't sure. After reading this thread and a few others looks like my account is going to be lighter. I do not have a Nolan but a Shoie NeoTec and was debating between the J&M, Sena and Cardo.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Mike, if it is the 20S you decide on, if you can wait until May, Sena will have released their new 30K which might reduce the price of the 20S slightly so that might less the hit on your account. ;-)
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    Mike, if it is the 20S you decide on, if you can wait until May, Sena will have released their new 30K which might reduce the price of the 20S slightly so that might less the hit on your account. ;-)
    You should also check out the new SENA app which allows you to communicate with a large group at any distance using cell or wifi technology.


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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by pkpilot View Post
    You should also check out the new SENA app which allows you to communicate with a large group at any distance using cell or wifi technology.


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    Not sure about using WiFi for distance... Especially when driving

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpl77 View Post
    Not sure about using WiFi for distance... Especially when driving

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
    I misspoke about how it works. See the link below..

    http://www.advpulse.com/adv-products...connected-app/


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  13. #13
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    I've been wondering if one could use their cell phone WiFi Hotspot feature to use the RideConnected app over your Data package vs your Voice minutes. Not an issue for me in Canada but when I'm in the US or other countries the phone packages I can get through my provider are split into data and voice with not a lot of call minutes if I make or receive any calls. This might not be a realistic idea depending on how data intensive things are.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  14. #14
    Registered User mikesved's Avatar
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    Alan:
    I pondered that and I tried hard to hold out for as long as I have. Been riding for six years and this will be my first comm system. I had been just using my LG Bluetooth headset, but after breaking two sets over the two years, I figured it was cheaper to just pull the trigger on this now than keep shelling out $80 a year for new headsets.

    PK:
    That was one of the reasons I honed in on the 20S. I wanted to see what the 30K was going to bring to the table before I made a decision, but oh well.
    Looking forward to putting in my helmet and enjoying what I have heard so much about.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesved View Post
    Alan:
    I pondered that and I tried hard to hold out for as long as I have. Been riding for six years and this will be my first comm system. I had been just using my LG Bluetooth headset, but after breaking two sets over the two years, I figured it was cheaper to just pull the trigger on this now than keep shelling out $80 a year for new headsets.

    PK:
    That was one of the reasons I honed in on the 20S. I wanted to see what the 30K was going to bring to the table before I made a decision, but oh well.
    Looking forward to putting in my helmet and enjoying what I have heard so much about.
    I usually ride alone, so the rider-to-rider nor the rider-pillion have much use for me. I have the 10U for my Neotech helmet. I thought the new SENA app was interesting because it allows over the horizon commas. I saw a thread somewhere people tested it talking from the east coast to someone in Alaska. Bottom line is that every unit/brand has it pluses and minuses. Figuring out the best fit is the toughest part.


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