This is a review on Sena's bluetooth stereo headset and intercom system that I purchased last summer for a trip made to the coast with my wife. It was her first long road trip and I thought it would be handy to be able to talk to her as she is a new rider and was kinda nervous about the distance involved. Turns out it was real handy. I could tell her when and which direction we were turning when we went through towns so she didn't have to think about it. And it gave her time time to prepare for the turns, stops, etc.
If you're unfamiliar with bluetooth it is just a short range wireless communication technology designed to transmit voice/data with high levels of security. The Sena has a range of 900 meters which is plenty if you're riding with someone. If signal is lost you hear a soft double tone beep until connection is reestablished.
You install the unit by clamping it on the left side of your helmet so that the boom mic reached to the front of your mouth. Then you route the speaker wires under the helmet lining. The speakers sound best positioned right up next to your ear and positioning is crucial. Sena finally came out with a unit that accepts your own earbuds which I immediately snapped up. My wife likes the speakers. It looks like this installed on my helmet.
In addition to being able to communicate with up to 3 other riders the Sena can be paired with:
Bluetooth cell phones
MP3 players (Bluetooth or plug directly into the unit.)
The round "jog" nob on the side runs intercom functions such as volume, starting/stopping intercom calls and play/pause MP3 players. Turn it for volume and tap it for the others.
On the rear of the unit
is the phone button (which you just tap to answer a call) and the plug for my earbuds. The flap on top hides the charging port.
I have an older ipod which doesn't have Bluetooth capabilities like my wife's so I picked up iBluon TDO2 for about $20 on EBay. It plugs right into the port on the bottom of the ipod and pairs right up to the Sena. Now I'm not connected to the bike by wire!
Picture of ipod with iBluon hooked to the bottom of it.
It's a tiny little thing and has no batteries of it's own. I have no idea how it works but it works great.
A double unit for 2 helmets runs about $250 and was a great investment. My wife and I can each be listening to our own music and with a tap to the jog button we have crystal clear communication. It blows a redline on the brickometer.