Prior to the age of slick communications devices, sending messages between motorcycle riders was a primitive and frustrating process involving flashing high beams, frantic hand signals, and often culminated in someone looking in a rearview mirror mumbling, “Where’d he go?” Although there was a tough endured period of development as wireless communicators went from barely acceptable to impressive, we’ve finally arrived at that point. Sena, an industry leader in machine to machine communications, has made many fans with their well proven SMH10 Bluetooth system. Having used this system for six months, we felt it was time for a full review.
There are a number of options for Bluetooth communicators on the market, but the SMH10 is unlike anything else. It’s the simplicity of the design and ease of use that makes it so unique. The control unit has but one button, and one oversized jog dial. That’s it. No more fumbling around trying to find the right buttons. Even with gloved hands, making volume adjustments or accessing other functions is quick and easy. That alone may be reason enough to select the SMH10 over the competition.
Obviously, there’s far more to this system than a scarcity of buttons. The SMH10 can be paired to the usual assortment of electronics. In a matter of a few minutes, we had the system paired to a smart phone, media player, GPS unit, and pairing to the matched unit it the box was just as easy. If you have ever paired Bluetooth devices, you know this process can be maddening and result in fists full of hair. This was not the case with the SMH10. Installation of the main unit and boom microphone in our modular helmet was strait forward with the whole system slipping into position in a matter of fifteen minutes.
Once underway with wind and engine noise at full boil, the sound clarity of the speakers is quite impressive. Conversations with other riders via the voice activated intercom are clear, with a balanced sound many systems struggle to achieve. Answering incoming phone calls is as simple as saying “hello,” although we tend to think the whole point of riding a motorcycle is to get away from the tethers that bind us to our daily lives.
By the numbers, the SMH10 can hold a standby charge for up to 10 days with a talk time of 12 hours and can connect up to four riders within a range of 980 yards. Charging takes just 2.5 hours and can be done with the included USB or 12v charger. We’ve come a long way from honking horns and flashing high beams.
- Easy to use
- Superb sound quality
- Charges quickly
- It’s rather large
- May not mount to all helmets easily