Author Topic: Communicators  (Read 138 times)

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March 29, 2021, 09:05:57 PM on

Offline Nick Calne (OP)

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Are we team Cardo or Sena?

March 29, 2021, 10:01:13 PMReply #1 on

Offline Timbox2

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Cardo for me, just got the cheapish Freecom 1 but with upgraded JBL speakers, been great, battery lasts forever. Im told the Packtalk is much better, but loads more dosh
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March 30, 2021, 01:20:50 AMReply #2 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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This isn't a lecture or a brand advert, just sharing some of my past experiences good and bad

They've come a long way since I started using BT headsets in the early 00's, I've had probably 8 different makes and even made a set from parts once. Cardo were the leaders for quite a while and supplied the dedicated sets for the Schuberth SRC systems, Caberg and Nolan I seem to remember. They've gone their own way since Sena grabbed a larger share of the market and secured the Schuberth contract for the C4 generation helmets.

There's probably not a lot in it between Cardo & Sena performance wise, I've had over a kilometer range on both systems, generally clarity and duplex operation is good on both. Battery life on modern units is very good, at least a day's riding on a fully charged unit. All will have operational tone prompts and often voice prompts. As for other lesser known or generic options, they're probably a lot better than they were when I tried them over 10 years ago and it's quite possible you'll be able to pair them with any other BT headset depending on the profiles they use but they may have limited cross brand functionality.

BT being a "standard" they should all be able to be cross connected, I've done it in the past but don't ask me exactly which models etc. they were. There are a few quirks that might cause frustration, the order in which you pair differing systems can lead to dropped connections depending on the priority of protocols used by each maker. Usually Phone has the highest priority and will sideline anything else, Intercom is often No.2 with Satnav, FM radio and Music vying for lower priorities.

There are many profiles within the BT structure the most common you might come across in a user manual are Headset Profile (HSP), Intercom Profile (ICP), Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Mesh Profile (MESH) some makers give them different "consumer" names depending on which devices they are connecting to, it can get messy or confusing. The important takeaway is that if you're familiar and happy with one make, probably best to stick with it and you'll manage to connect with other makes and models with some patience.

My advice, pair your own phone first as the primary connection on your headset and then anything else after that, I don't even want to go into group comms like Mesh, my personal feeling is that if you're on a ride, that's the primary focus and chatting with half a dozen others is a distraction, I'll make an exception for Stenners singing along to his playlist  :icon_rolleyes:

The biggest benefit is not having to take your gloves and helmet off if you want to have a discussion or make a call while stopped. I have had mixed success with voice commands, it can work but takes some patience to set up and might not work as expected when speeds and ambient noise rise, also it has trouble understanding Glaswegian  :augie

One thing I would recommend, if there is a simple handlebar control available for your device it's a good investment. Simple 3 button units are best, allowing basic functionality while keeping your hands on the bars is greatly preferable to trying to work an APP on a phone or fiddle with buttons or jog dials on the side or collar of your helmet with gloves on. Avoid the first generation Sena SC1 with the joystick, it's discontinued, can be fragile and problematic if it gets water in through the moving parts, if you choose the Sena / Schuberth gen 2 SC4, secure it to the bars by the main body, the lower clamp has a reputation for breaking with the unit ending up going down the road, the simpler SC3 has better security being flat, reliability and will perform 90% of the functions. Cardo has no remote option, only an APP. Interphone has a remote and generic remotes are available but I haven't tested any of those.
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

March 30, 2021, 08:55:54 AMReply #3 on

Offline Nick Calne (OP)

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That's a comprehensive answer!

April 01, 2021, 09:29:30 AMReply #4 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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All of what Sin said.  The Sena software upgrades now include being able to connect to non Sena devices, assuming the non Sena device is also cross compatible.

I have the Sena 10r and is the best I've ever owned whilst being a massive carbuncle to create wind noise.

Voice commands work reasonably well although saying "Hi Bixby, phone Zivile" gets an "I'm sorry I don't understand 😆
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April 05, 2021, 10:18:42 PMReply #5 on

Offline ssevy

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Avoid the Interphone Turd model. No multi channel for having directions interrupt conversations. Sound quality is bad, support sucks, but battery life is great( probably because you get so frustrated that you shut the prick off and throw it in your tank bag)
I use mine only with earbuds, and had to buy a special cable to do this.
Cardo slim or bold seem to get good reviews, but I’ve seen bad reviews of all brands, so there are no guarantees.
I like mine for directions in heavy traffic to avoid looking down at my nav app, and riding with others for the heads up from the leader (sand in the road, hidden stop sign, etc.)


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April 07, 2021, 01:26:08 PMReply #6 on

Offline Lee337

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I've used a Freedconn T-ComVB for the past 15 months. Bought it mailny so I coulkd link up to my phone to use Google Maps instead of a Satnav, although it will connect to a BT enabled Satnav as well. It can take phone calls but is not voice enabled (or my phone isn't anyway) so will only call the last number dialled. as this is usually 'Home', it doesn't really cause me any problems. I can aslo play music, again through the phone if I wish.

It will connect to other BT communication units at the same time as connecting to a phone/iPod or satnav, but not a satnav and phone at the same time, although I tend to ride solo, so haven't tested the comms to comms function yet. Mrs L rarely rides pillion now so never felt the need to buy a set for her and anyway, I'm not sure I want her in my head while riding - taps on the shoulder work fine for communicating between us.

Surprisingly, the sound quality is pretty good, even when wearing ear plugs. I'd say that at full volume and without ear plugs, it's probably too loud and the sound distorts a little, but with ear plugs, the volume is good, even at 70mph and I still find myself turning the volume down occasionally.

The speakers fit under the helmet padding and are thin enough for me not to even notice they're there if I'm not using it. I've never yet run out of battery although the most I've used it between charges is probably around 6 hours over two rides.

For under £50 when I got it in late 2019, i didn't think it was too badly priced, although having a £50 Amazon gift card given to me was the main reason for getting this particular one.
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April 07, 2021, 02:16:06 PMReply #7 on

Offline ssevy

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I just ordered a set of Cardo JBL speakers to try plugging into my Turd. I did not install anything in my newer Defiant X helmet, and it is much quieter than the Vector 2 that I previously wore, so I’m hoping this combination will work. The earbuds sound great, but they are one more thing to deal with, and my helmet donning becomes more like a religious rite than a simple pop on the lid.
Your setup sounds like it meets your needs well, and that’s all that counts.


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April 07, 2021, 05:14:50 PMReply #8 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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I got this link from a chap on the Trophy forum, looks quite interesting and reasonable. I think I may have met Darren while I was in Singapore  :m

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/morph-seamlessly-switch-audio-across-all-devices/x/13792476?utm_campaign=contribution_receipt&utm_content=receipt-campaign_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=lifecycle#/
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

April 07, 2021, 10:04:05 PMReply #9 on

Offline Nick Calne (OP)

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A useful item, I hope it goes ahead.

April 08, 2021, 02:17:58 PMReply #10 on

Offline mat-tiger1

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I have the Cardo Freecom 2 which suits me just fine.  :thumbsup

Easy to set up and use. Just make sure you don't accidently connect to Stenners!  :bug_eye
All the best, Mat-tiger1. 👍
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April 09, 2021, 12:52:21 AMReply #11 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

May 25, 2021, 12:56:23 PMReply #12 on

Offline HockleyBoy

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I have the Cardo Freecom 2 which suits me just fine.  :thumbsup

And me works really well with phone and satnav
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