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Thread: Shoei Neotech 2 and SRL

  1. #1
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Question Shoei Neotech 2 and SRL

    Hi all,

    I've been looking at helmets and coms and thanks for all the helpful stuff on this forum, but I was hoping someone with the Neotech 2 and SRL specifically could provide some first hand feedback on this combination.

    First off, let me say that I have a Shoei GT Air (5 years old) and love it. I use the Interphone Com system and they are both fantastic. Both are now a little aged (not unlike me), but they work well.

    The helmet is quiet, comfortable and the com system (although it mounts on the outside) is well integrated. The unit is easy to use, the speakers are loud and the microphone works well. Even at highway speeds with ear plugs in, my wife and I (she has same setup on her bike) can talk to each other.
    The sound has reduced base tones which improves clarity at speed but does sound less natural, and we don't tend to listen to music. The GPS instructions are also fine. The microphone is a wire type adhered to the inside of the chin bar (not boom type).

    So, to my questions about the Neotech 2 and SRL.

    1. For a modular helmet, the usual approach seems to be a boom mic, although Schuberth seem to do it with concealed mics. How does the boom mic go on the Neotech when opening and closing the front of the helmet or taking it on and off? Does it strike the chin curtain each time? Does it sit too close to mouth/lips? Does it get annoying and is it in the way all the time?

    2. Is the volume control and output loud enough to head clearly at highway speeds with ear plugs in? We use custom moulded plugs with attenuators (musicians plugs) so we do have good noise suppression without blocking all sound, but I have heard comments saying the volume is not able to be set very high. Having said this, I was reading the user guide for the SRL and it suggests there are a number of auto and semi auto settings for volume and noise cancelling, as well as individual volume settings for intercom, music, nav etc. so this may be user error coming through.

    3. What is the battery life on the SRL like? They claim 10 hours, but I never believe the claims for battery life or distance from coms suppliers. My concern is, that unlike the coms on the Schuberth C4, this one doesn't allow you to swap over a battery (it's fixed into the unit), so when it's run out, you are stuck. It also suggests that it can't be charged and used at the same time.

    3. Is the microphone component hard wired into the system or does it plug into the chain? Damaging a mic, particularly a boom mic, is not unheard of, and not being able to replace it easily may be an issue. More importantly, I see that Sena (although they don't recommend it) have said that with other types of their coms units, you can place a small mic up in the foam padding around the brow if you prefer not having a mic at the front of the helmet.
    Not that they recommend it, but they specifically talk about it in one of their "tips and trick" videos.

    4. And finally, but probably not a question so much, is buying a helmet and integrated coms system such a smart idea? All eggs in one basket issue. The helmet is no doubt great, but if the coms unit is not so great, we are locked in and fitting an external coms unit is probably not going to work.

    So, anyone have this set up, used it for some time, uses ear plugs, and can provide some first hand feedback on it all?


    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  2. #2
    Rider vfroger's Avatar
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    I'll try to answer your questions in the order you asked them. First, I'll describe my perspective. I've been using Sena equipment since they entered the market; SMH-10, 20S, 20S evo, and Prism camera. I used a Chatterbox XB1 and various GMRS/FRS radios before that.

    1: I am accustomed to boom mikes and it does just touch one's lips. It doesn't interfere with opening or closing the helmet nor with donning or doffing it. You may not like how close it is to your face.

    2: Yes, I can hear everything as speed, but I'm normally behind a windshield, but not always. As to settings, ensure audio boost is on. Each mode is adjusted individually. That means you have to turn the music up while you're listening to it. Likewise, the intercom, the fm radio, the phone, and the voice prompts.

    3. I have used it all day and haven't had the battery expire yet, something I cannot say about the earlier units. You are correct about being unable to charge and use it simultaneously. You could with the earlier Sena units.

    3 again: I don't think the mike could be replaced like on the other units. Everything is connected and snaps into place in the helmet. So, you're right in that it isn't as easy to replace parts as an earlier unit.

    4: Actually, Richard Battles fit a 30K to a Neotec II. Look at his website rka-luggage.com or his youtube channel. It can be done.

    Now. For a bit of my own conclusions. The 3 button approach is much harder to use with gloves than the jog dial and phone button of the other Sena units. One solution is a remote, but I haven't gone there. I keep a cheat sheet in the map case on my tank bag for reference to help me with all the functions. I have substantial money tied up in this helmet and com system and I like it. If I had it to do again, I'd get a discontinued Neotec and Sena 30K. Mesh intercom looks to be the future and easier pairing with intercom friends.

    Your research is pretty thorough. I hope I've answered your questions.
    Roger
    2018 R1200GSA
    1992 R100GS
    1975 R90/6

  3. #3
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for the feedback and the detailed response to each point. Just what I as hoping for.

    One question - do you use ear plugs?

    I have looked at the Schuberth C4 as the only option to the Neotech, but first impressions were that the helmet was very brittle sounding. Not brittle in impact terms, but tapping it made a brittle sound. Also, the chin strap just seemed to be in the wrong place.
    All very premature, in that I'm hoping to get my hands on a C4 Pro to make direct comparison with the Neotech.
    The com system is something I know little about, but it does have some nice features over the SRL.

    Lots to think about.

    Cheers
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  4. #4
    Rider vfroger's Avatar
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    Absolutely, I wear ear plugs. I've experimented with some different types over the years but still come back to the cheap rolled foam ones. My current favorites are Moldex Sparkplugs.

    Another thing I'm having to adjust to with this helmet is the strap closure. I've used d-rings for 50 years and the retention mechanism is so different. Even putting the helmet on and taking it off require a different grip. If you're a Schuberth wearer, you won't have the difficulty that I am having. As an eyeglass wearer, I have to remove them to don or doff the helmet. I didn't with the original Neotec.
    Roger
    2018 R1200GSA
    1992 R100GS
    1975 R90/6

  5. #5
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vfroger View Post
    One solution is a remote, but I haven't gone there..
    We have this Sena remote and don't use them because we cant feel the remote buttons with gloves.

    sena_rc44 remote.jpg
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #6
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H View Post
    All very premature, in that I'm hoping to get my hands on a C4 Pro to make direct comparison with the Neotech.
    I talked to Schuberth US last week and they thought the C4 Pro and new SC2 intercom would not be available in the US until spring.

    It may be available in Austrailia before the US.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  7. #7
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    I replaced my GT-Air/Sena 10S combo, in May of this year, with the Neotec II and SRL. It's my first modular helmet, and the first time I've ever used in-helmet speakers (up to this point, I'd always used custom-molded earplugs (equipped for audio). Before purchasing the helmet/SRL combo, I was somewhat concerned about how well I'd be able to hear the audio, and whether I'd find the speakers annoying. Turned out that neither has been an issue. The only thing I had an issue with was the ratchet closure irritating my throat. I ended up wearing a thin "neck tube", and that works fine. Now to answer your specific questions:


    1. The boom mic works just fine, and I don't find it annoying, even though it may end up touching your lips, depending on how you adjust it. I had been using a wired mic, velcroed to the inside of the chin bar on my GT-Air.

    2. I don't have any problems with volume. That said, I don't often listen to music. Most of my use is for intercom conversations with other riders. I also stopped pairing my SRL with my Nav VI, not because I couldn't hear it, but because I found the weather and traffic alerts to be annoying (interrupting intercom conversations).

    3. All-day battery life has been fine on my SRL. It did die on me once, but that's when I was acting as the hub in a group of three riders, all of us communication on our Senas (acting as the hub clearly uses more juice, from my experience).

    3. the mic does not plug in, nor do the speakers. Yes, replacing them would be an issue.

    4. don't know whether buying an integrated system like this is smart, or not, but obviously it didn't stop me from dropping a fair bit of dough to buy it/them.

    And yes, I wear custom-earplugs every time I'm on the bike.

    P.S., I don't have any problems with the buttons while wearing gloves. Like posted above, I do carry around a cheat sheet, with a list of commands.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  8. #8
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I've had the Neotech 2 and SRL since they came out and it is the best touring helmet I've owned.
    Never used an intercom, ever. Thought it would be distracting. Now that I have one and can pair to my buddy's Sena, I find it really a a bonus when riding with others.
    The SRL has perfectly clear sound, and I always wear earplugs.
    I also like the quick buckle neck strap over the D-ring.
    It's just a great helmet!

    IMG_9144-XL.jpg
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

  9. #9

    Have it, like it

    I have exactly the combo at which you are looking. We transitioned from a Harley Ultra Classic with a terrific sound system and cabled intercom. While the K1600 GTL is a superior bike, the sound system/intercom on the Harley is much better. Stock speakers in the K1600 are weak, sound quality is poor, and bluetooth is required. As we had to go bluetooth, we opted for the Neotec 2 & SRL combo.

    Here's my take:

    Pros:
    - easy to install the speaker/microphone
    - helmet is awesome (quiet, light, good visibility
    - telephone sound quality is strong (folks at the other end of the line don't even know I'm on my K1600)
    - battery life is decent
    - pairs to GPS, bluetooth dongle (for our iPod), phone (thru the GPS), and passenger helmet (which is also paired to the bluetooth dongle and another phone)
    - sleek integration, nothing hanging out of the helmet

    Cons:
    - Music quality in with the SRL speakers is not great, really lacking in bass (had to configure the equalizer in our iPod to be acceptable)
    - Sometimes tricky to start up with a passenger (power-up sequence matters)
    - SRL doesn't pair with wonder wheel
    - In cold weather, the helmet visor fogs pretty easily (have to keep it cracked open for enough air flow)
    - SRL buttons are tough sometimes to access with thick gloves
    - voice activation for calling still leaves something to be desired.

    Net: I'd probably buy the combo again, unless something of more "automotive" capabilities comes along...

  10. #10
    Registered User allhisanyway's Avatar
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    This is a great combo!

    My wife and I recently purchased Neotec2's and the SRL's and really like them. We find that opening and closing the chinbar on the helmet is easier if we press the microphone against our lips and then reposition it once the helmet is closed. Sound quality is good, although as others have said adjusting the EQ on the iPhone or iPod to bring a bit more bass improves the overall quality of music through the SRL speakers. Sound volume with the unit is excellent and can actually be too loud at its highest setting even with earplugs.

    Pairing the combo for music, phone, and intercom is much easier with the Neotec2/SRL combo than it was with the original Neotec/Sena combination. It only took me three reads of the instructions and two attempts with the SRL to get it right. That's a record for me!

    Very highly recommended!

    IMG_0333.jpg

    IMG_0334.jpg

  11. #11
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H View Post
    ... I have looked at the Schuberth C4 as the only option to the Neotech, but first impressions were that the helmet was very brittle sounding. Not brittle in impact terms, but tapping it made a brittle sound. Also, the chin strap just seemed to be in the wrong place. ...
    They both passed the DOT tests so they're both adequate IMO. If one protects your head with 50% margin and the other with 20%, how would you even know - all you ever use is 100% of what's necessary and anything beyond that is excess weight and bulk (says the engineer in me). Just like if you need to stop in 100 feet, it doesn't matter whether your bike can do the stop in 50 feet or 80, you're still stopped in time. And if it does matter maybe you're riding too close to the edge?

    In fact, although it's not relevant to this discussion (since neither helmet is Snell certified) there was an issue with the Snell 2005 standard possibly causing the helmets to be TOO rigid, and having the potential to cause more injury than the DOT standard. That's been addressed in the 2010 and 2015 standards. The Schuberth shell is more flexible (which I find makes it easier to put on) and it's the foam inside that does the work of absorbing impact energy, the shell's function is to resist punctures. I liked my C3 Pro a lot but have a Neotec 2 now.

    The chin strap issue, though - if it's wrong, it's wrong. You can adjust the length, and I like that the Schuberth lets you adjust both sides not just one, and the little pull strap is nice too. Both of them have the micro-adjust chinstraps which I really like. They take less time than a D-ring and once you adjust it, it fits the same every time.
    2016 R1200 GSA

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