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Thread: 2013 K1600 GTL communication system

  1. #1

    2013 K1600 GTL communication system

    I currently have a 2013 GTL. I am looking into communication systems. I am leaning toward the Sena 20s currently. I am curious what others are using and if anyone is using the 20s is it is satisfactory? I ride mostly single and am most concerned about listening to music and pairing it with my iPhone. My wife does ride occasionally but would ride more if she could talk to me. I know, I know the joy of riding is not having to talk, I'm sure there are others in the same boat.

  2. #2
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    I can speak to the 20S part, but have only hear-say for working with K1600's. The 20S is a very good intercom that also handles smartphone calls and music, GPS announcements, and an internal FM radio. It's also able to control Sena's Prism video camera. I've been using Sena gear since the early SMH-10 and I liked the SMH-10 well enough to buy the 20S and Prism camera. But... in Sena's setup information, there are references to settings that can/should be changed to accommodate the K1600 Bluetooth system. From what I've seen on the Sena forum and elsewhere, it's somewhat ...um... unique. If you want to keep in touch with your wife, the 20S works a treat. If you want to call her while you're riding and she's at home, you're in great shape, ditto for using your smartphone for music or prompts for nav apps. I use a Garmin 660 (think Nav IV) and find it's best to treat it as an auxiliary device and to not route phone control through it. How well you'll do with tying up with your bike's BT system is something I leave for others to comment on.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  3. #3
    Registered User story's Avatar
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    I used the Sena 10's on my half helmets for some time, when the 20's came out I asked a Sena rep what the difference is. He's response was the 20 lets you connect with a larger group of riders other wise they are pretty much the same. What I noticed with the Sena's is I had to adjust the EQ on my phone when playing music. The sound was a little tinny. The intercom at highway speeds was almost useless. I have switched to the Uclear amp pro. on all my helmets. Better sound quality and intercom with no boom mic to fuss with. The Uclear easily unclips from the helmet for charging. I also have a 13 K16gtl. I have completely given up on using the BMW sound system but that's a whole other issue.
    Enjoying life in the beautiful state of Jefferson
    2013 K1600GTL : 2004 VTX1800c : 2007 K1200GT with Hannigen sidecar

  4. #4
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Er, not quite. The 20S has K1600 BT-specific settings. It also has an "ambient sound" capability that IMHO is a strong argument for upgrading. Double-click a button at the bottom of the mount and a microphone next to the charging connector brings in the outside world. (hint: do not close the "rubber" thing that covers the port unless it's raining. Covering the port covers the mic, too.) This is very useful for talking to toll booth people, and chats in general without requiring taking your helmet to hear what's being said. While the 20S does allow enough intercom connections to support a small convention, it has many other capabilities. For example, keeping a smartphone BT a media/phone connection, while allowing a GPS (e.g., Garmin 660) to talk to the 20S but not try to directly take over the phone input. As a GPS, it does have priority over music (true of any GPS input), but any music only fades into the background (level is user adjustable). The SMH-10 is still a good unit, but the 20S is better. Too bad the mounts are not interchangeable.
    Last edited by RBEmerson; 04-21-2017 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Corrected last sentence
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  5. #5
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Sena 20s

    The 20s is a big step up from the 10. Numerous upgrades. I ran the 10 for 3 years and upgraded to the 20s when my 10 flooded/shorted out. I use the FM radio and stream Pandora straight from the iPhone. Since going to the 20s I don't use the K1600 bluetooth system at all. Last year I added the wrist remote (attached with 3m dual-lock on top of clutch reservoir); to me, this is a must have, no more reaching up to the helmet and fumbling with the controls. The only function the wrist remote does not control is the "Ambient setting", still have to reach for the helmet.

    Duane
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  6. #6
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
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    I use a 20s now. Had the original 10 and my wife still uses one the few times she rides with me. I use an android phone, but it connects and works fine. I have mine connected to the K1600 if I want gps and radio, but typically don't use that since streaming from the phone or the FM on the Sena 20s itself covers most of what I need.
    Rusty
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA 2013 K1600GT

  7. #7
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    20S works well

    I have had the 20S (dual set) for several years now and my pillion partner and I can chat easily with it. It has some kind of noise cancelling technology that makes the intercom very clear, much more than I ever expected. And if you have a music source the intercom will override it with VOX and then the music automatically comes back and fades in when you stop talking. I tried the speakers in the helmet but they didn't work for me so I use in ear buds. That's each person's personal choice though and you can have both installed but only one works at a time. Plugging in earbuds cuts off speaker sound.

    I gave up on the BMW bluetooth and use the Sena SM10 transmitter to send BMW bike radio, GPS and radar detector sound to my 20S. There is a sound combiner on the GPS and Radar since the SM10 will only let you plug in two inputs, not three. It works well though, my system is very reliable.

    I did have a problem recently with sound cutting out on the 20S and replaced the cradle the unit sits in. That has something like 20 pins that need to make contact and seems to be the point of my problem (so far...). With bike electronics any mechanical connections always seem to be the first point of failure in my experience, so I thought that was a good bet. Warranty is two years and Sena is very cooperative as far as replacing things when they seem broken.

    On the downside the 20S is not waterproof and has flaked out for me in heavy downpours. Sena says it is "water resistant". But I live and ride mostly in a dry climate so that's not a killer for me.

    My friend bought a 10S a year ago and we converse easily bike to bike by intercom. However while my 20S will resume playing my music after an intercom chat he has to hit his intercom button to terminate the connection to get his music back. Kind of a pain for him...
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  8. #8
    Thanks for all your input. Ordered the 20S to find out the EVO was the new model and back ordered till July. Just received the unit. Will update as to how well it performs.

  9. #9

    2013 K1600 GTL communication system

    Hi,

    I have been doing some investigations myself on this topic and I have to say the 20S is one of the best systems out there. I currently have the built in system from Schubert in a C3 Pro helmet, this one works very well however it does not allow for audio multitasking. Multitasking means that it will not interrupt your music when it is using the intercom or GPS input, it will just dim the volume. If you are seriously considering the 20S, then I would do the effort to upgrade to the 20S EVO basically the same device with a shark fin antenna and improved intercom. Also Sena will be releasing the 30K mid September, the next evolution in communications. Personally I bought the 20S EVO. The 30K is the next thing but most of the improved features are really useful in big groups up to 16 riders, and I am usually on my own or with my wife and son.

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