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Thread: Which Bluetooth Set?

  1. #1

    Which Bluetooth Set?

    I've been looking at bluetooth sets and can't decide which one to get between the Sena 20s EVO and the Cardo Freecom 4.
    I mainly want one to answer calls on occasion but I imagine at some point I'll be using the rider-to-rider intercom feature.
    It would be helpful to know any pro's/cons of each.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
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    I have tried and used both. My cardo failed 3 weeks out of the box and their customer service was terrible. I switched to Sena and have both the 5 FM and 10 and am about the install a 10 U in a new helmet. they are easy to use and I can easily flash and update the units via the internet and the phone app. My humble opinion FWIW!
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
    '80 GL1100

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kthflieger View Post
    I have tried and used both. My cardo failed 3 weeks out of the box and their customer service was terrible. I switched to Sena and have both the 5 FM and 10 and am about the install a 10 U in a new helmet. they are easy to use and I can easily flash and update the units via the internet and the phone app. My humble opinion FWIW!
    Thank you, Sir!

  4. #4
    Registered User patm's Avatar
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    I've been a Cardo customer for years. I've had many different models (Q2, G4, G9, G9x, SmartPack) and all worked fine.
    They do what they're supposed to do. Features have changed, improved over the years.
    I've had only one issue, a broken usb port on my SmartPack. Cardo support was great, they replaced my device, no questions asked.
    I have friends who have Senas and they also report no major issues. I know of one guy who had a 20s melt when charging. Sena support has refused the claim. He was very vocal about it on another site.

    Both top of the line Sena and Cardo support some form of mesh communication plus bluetooth pairing. Mesh is vastly superior to bluetooth pairing.

    My only complaint about these devices is that they don't like talking to other brands. It is possible but one of the pair has to connect via bluetooth as a phone. It's not a matter of what brand, they all work the same.

    My opinion is that they're equivalent, get the best deal you can find or get what the other guys you ride with have.
    Pat

    Ride Safe!
    '16 RT

  5. #5
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    I believe the abilities and technology of each are now closer than they've has ever been before, and a lot of it comes down to a few factors:
    • had a problem/failure with Brand-X and switched to Brand-Y
    • bought what friends had/recommended and no issues so naturally pleased
    • ease of use


    Both companies have had and will continue to have issues from time to time, after all, this is the real world and things happen. Many of the issues are often traced back to user fault. Not following the pairing/install/setup directions properly (neither make have perfect directions), not properly securing the USB Charging flap and allowing water to mess with things, etc.

    What I hung my hat on, when it came time to replace my ageing Sena SMH10 (over 6 years of great service), was the above and studying product reviews on webBikeWorld. I went with the Sena 20S EVO.

    About 7 years ago (2011) I switched from a wired Autocom system to Bluetooth. Cardo was the defacto standard at the time as they were selling bluetooth helmet systems since 2004 (founded in 2003 doing Bluetooth earpieces for cellphones) and Sena while having been heavily involved in industrial Bluetooth sine 1998, they only entered the motorcycle market in 2010. Therefore I had to go against the grain when choosing the SMH10 vs a Cardo.

    The main factor back then still holds true today - the Sena units are far far easier to use with a gloved hand while riding (especially in the shoulder seasons when I'm wearing heavy gloves)

    Add to that the very broad spectrum of offerings across the Sena lineup, industrial, motorcycles, autosports, outdoor activities like snowmobiling, cycling, climbing, skydiving, etc., and their user base is phenomenally larger. Schuberth just last year dropped Cardo as their comms supplier and switched to Sena. What all of this suggests is that Sena has the momentum. However, that shouldn't be all one looks at.

    Get an idea of what the dominant system is amongst your riding friends and lean towards that. Even though both claim to be compatible with the other you give up functionality and ease of connectivity.

    Look at both (they are both very good) and if you lean towards the Cardo than make sure you try it mounted on a helmet using a gloved hand, then try the Sena for all your main functions.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  6. #6
    bored, bored ... dlowry's Avatar
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    Just switched this year from Autocomm to the Cardo Packtalk. I like it, and it can be operated pretty much hands-free. Accepts voice commands similar to iPhones/Androids with a "Hey Cardo". Basically what Alan says, got a couple of friends with them and they really liked them so that's why we went with them. Also, at the National, the Cardo folks seemed genuinely more interested in answering my questions and had better product knowledge as compared to the Sena folks.

    As with all things, YMMV...
    Dave...
    ----------------
    15 R1200 RT, 12 G650GS
    83 XN85 D Turbo

  7. #7
    Regarding the voice commands, if you have an in coming call on the phone, can you answer the call via voice command "Sena/Cardo, answer call." ???

    Thank you for the responses!

  8. #8
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    VOX phone (voice triggered answer) is an option setting on the Sena, and it works. I recommend the 20S EVO. A new firmware update just came out for the Sena BTW.
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  9. #9
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Good comments all. I'm on my third Sena model, having started with the SMH-10, then moving to the 10S, and recently to the SRL (designed to fit into my new Shoei Neotec II. I think the best advice is to buy the same brand that most of your friends have. My experience is that far more people have Sena than Cardo. That's not to say Sena is better, but compatibility is key, if you want to talk rider-to-rider. It's a bit like VHS vs. Beta years back. Beta was acknowledged to be better by the techies, but in the end, VHS won out, as it became far more ubiquitous.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    Check out Fort 9 "Sean vs Cardo - Best motorcycle communication systems of 2018"

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    If you ride a BMW and your bike has a radio, the best you can do is the BMW Communicator
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    If you ride a BMW and your bike has a radio, the best you can do is the BMW Communicator
    I more or less agree. They at least work well part of the time. I have been a scorer at a checkpoint or the finish for the most recent seven Iron Butt Rallies. And every time there have been riders, sometimes out standing in the rain, trying to troubleshoot and get their Bluetooth stuff to work right. It is in fact somewhat comical. If you took the time to review a bunch of threads on this very forum you can find hundreds of questions and comments about problems pairing a to b to c to d, or d to b to c to a, etc. And at least seven different categories of opinion as to whether brand X or brand Y or brand Z works best for this or for that. The most recent (somewhat famous) Consumer Reports Owner's Reliability Survey that showed HD bikes much more reliable than BMWs was heavily weighted to "reported defects" with the audio or comm systems. I'll give to Harley - their sound systems seem to work loudly and clearly. I can hear the music from a half mile away when they go past the house here at 70 miles an hour. But back to Bluetooth. It works fairly well in the living room. Not so well yet, on motorcycles.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #13
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    We have used Sena units for going on nine years. First the SMH10 and for the past three years the 20S. They have performed well. The 20S units have been near flawless. I must qualify my assessment by saying that Annie and I use them almost exclusively go bike to bike communications. I have hooked a GPS and radar detector to my unit, but I found it too distracting and no longer do so.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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