Meet the 10S. A sleek and powerful little electronic barnacle that’ll fit to practically any helmet. Unlike its predecessor, the stalwart SMH10, which came in a dizzing array of confusing options depending on what sort of speaker and microphone configuration you wanted, the 10S thankfully comes in one, well-though-out package that includes everything out of the box to set up with speakers or ear-buds, a wired or a boom-type microphone, and it'll work on a modular, full-face, or open face helmet.
Last year Sena unveiled its new top-shelf 20S model—a $300 Cadillac with all the options—FM Radio, Bluetooth 4.0, the ability to be configured with a handy Sena App, and a whopping 1.4-mile range on an intercom that could connect as many as eight (8!) riders. It even has a nifty little flip-up antenna.
But not everyone needs a Cadillac. Sometimes less is more. We’ve become big fans of this new 10S model from Sena, which is smaller and more streamlined than the 20S (plus, it's all black, not black and silver). It still packs in 90-plus percent of the features of the top-dog 20S, at about $100 less. Sure the 10S won't allow music-sharing with other riders, and it can “only” intercom with 4 instead of 8 other riders, and when you do, the advertised range is a measly mile, not 1.4. But for most of us, that’s more than enough.
Even if you never plan to use the intercom feature, the ability to connect to an iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth for phone calls, music or navigation is an excellent benefit on its own. Once configured, you can take calls or make calls with voice commands, or have Google Maps help guide you to your destination with standard voice prompts, all while listening to music or a podcast streaming off your phone, if you so please.
Going on a road trip with a few other friends? The Sena 10S intercom feature makes talking to others as easy as a casual, in-person conversation. Sena intercom works in full duplex—meaning it's not like a CB radio where only one person can talk at a time. Instead it allows for natural back-and-forth conversation, wich dramatically clean sound even while hurtlind down the open road on a naked bike.
No more wildly (sometimes dangerously, or obscenely) gesturing to your groin or to your gas tank to signal you need to stop at the next gas station. Even if you’re not chattering constantly, the intercom offers a great way to stay heads-up in traffic—letting others know about that gaping pot hole you just dodged, that your exit is coming up next, or that your buddy left his turn signal on again.
For all the Geeky Tech Specs, check out SENA’s website. Come back here to buy it (we’re the same price as anywhere you’ll find online), or come through the store for a free expert installation.
> Bluetooth 4.1
> Talk time: 12 hours
> Stand-by time: 10 days
> Intercom working distance: up to 1.6 km (1.0 miles) in open terrain
> Built-in FM radio
> Charging time: 3 Hours