Author Topic: Communication systems  (Read 12055 times)

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Offline Linski

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Communication systems
« on: March 19, 2022, 03:18:23 PM »
I typically ride alone but now have a zumo XT and would like to get turn by turn directions via a helmet communication system. There may be times when I might also want to listen to music while riding. For those with communication systems did you choose Cardo or Sena and did you go with the mesh system or bluetooth. It seems there are range and connection benefits with mesh that would justify the higher price tag. I don't anticipate the need to connect with 25 other riders, rather 3 or 4 max.

Offline Patmo

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2022, 07:36:07 PM »
The vast majority of MSTA members seem to have Sena units.  If you’re goi g to want to have communications with people running a Sena unit, get the Sena.  On the other hand, the same is true for those running a Cardo unit.  I think that either brand has its pros and cons. Either way, get the mesh unit.  It makes connecting with others very very easy and simple.
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Offline bcd

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2022, 10:37:09 AM »
Both brands have their advantages and frustrations. Mesh is worthwhile, even with just a few riders, for ease of connection, reliability, and range.
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Offline RIDEMYST

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2022, 08:06:58 PM »
I use the Sena and have no comment on the Cardio system but I understand they are also good units.
If you go with a Sena I recommend a 30 or higher unit. -JEP-


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Offline tunerider335

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2022, 08:11:37 AM »
Both units have the same technology.  I’ve used Cardo units for years and am used to them.  As the posts indicate, find the one that fits your needs.  If you do plan to intercom with people, find out what the majority uses.  You can Bluetooth to the other brands but that doesn’t work as well.


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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2022, 02:18:04 PM »
I'm just pointing out a few things that I've discovered while researching and listening to others. TO be clear, the only hands on I have is with a Sena 20s. Everything else is from hearsay and online documentation.

In the Cardo camp I've heard from many that have tried both the Cardo and the Sena that the sound and connections are better with the Cardo.
I'm also told that the Cardo voice commands work much much better too. Judging by how poorly my Sena 20s performs in that area I don't see how anybody could
make a unit that works worse. I respect the people whose opinions I have received and thus I do believe the Cardo over all is a better unit. 

So based on those reports I started researching Cardo mesh units. One thing my Sena 20S does, and the Sena 50s does as well, is have a speaker connection  as well as an ear bud connection. From my research Cardo is either/or not both. You can plug in ear buds or helmet speakers not both. My modular helmet is noisy and the best way for me to shut it up is to use ear buds which plug in easily and  shuts off the speakers. However sometimes for just short hops I don't bother with ear buds, for instance after a long day of riding I go to the hotel and shower then ride to a local restaurant that isn't in walking distance. I still want to hear my riding buddy tell me that I made a wrong turn or that he did while we are headed to the restaurant but I'm done with ear buds for the day. The Sena works great for this scenario, The Cardo would require me to plug in the speakers before doing so. How difficult is that?..I have no idea, but would it have killed them to just have the speakers connected all the time and added an extra plug in jack for ear buds? Not a factor for many but a feature I want. The second thing or feature the Sena units have that the Cardo units do not is an external mic that allows you to hear what's going on around you even with ear buds firmly in place. Whether its just someone walking up to me at the gas pumps or interchanging info with a store clerk I frequently use the external mic on the Sena.  I rarely remove my helmet at gas/bathroom breaks so the external mic really comes in handy. The external mic seems to be co-located with the USB jack and I think it may be the main reason that the Sena is only water resistant and not waterproof like the Cardo unit is.

Anyway, despite my thinking that the Cardo is a better built unit (and reportedly better customer service) I'm sticking with Sena for now just because of the 2 features the Sena units have that I frequently use and would miss (but mostly for the external mic).

I doubt many care about those features except me, but I thought I'd point them out just in a rare case there are others that may like them and might be disappointed when they purchase a Cardo and find out it doesn't have them.  Again probably not factors for most
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 03:30:54 PM by fartymarty »
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Offline tunerider335

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2022, 07:42:40 AM »
Nice write up.  A mini “Y” could be installed to solve the speaker/earbud issue as long as impedance isn’t an issue with the unit.  I’m sure a quick contact with a Cardo tech could answer that.  They may be able to help with the mic as well.  I’m using the Packtalk Bold and it works well.  There is a newer model that I have not tried.  I’ll research features on that.


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Offline NinjaBob

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2022, 09:07:26 AM »
I  used the Cardo Bold for the first time on our California trip earlier this  month and it worked well. I rode my BMW R1200 RT which as such good wind protection that the helmet speakers were adequate. However, on any of my other 4 bikes the wind noise overpowers he speakers so I use Bluetooth noise cancelling earbuds. For use with the Cardo I bought a small Bluetooth receiver/transmitter which I velcro just behind the Cardo. I unplug the speaker wire and plug the transmitter into the cardo cord. The earbuds are not as convenient as the speakers as they require recharging and occasionally the will get pulled out of an ear when I remove my helmet but the sound is much better than the Cardo speakers.
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Offline TripleThreat719

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2023, 11:58:07 AM »
I used a SENA SMH10 for years. I just upgraded to a Cardo PackTalk Edge. The upgrade has been awesome. Unit works as advertised and the Mesh connectivity is great for riding in groups. I have it paired to my Zumo Xt and to my iPhone. The Cardo App for my phone makes it really easy to manage settings.
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Offline HawkGTRider

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2023, 08:39:23 AM »
Just curious...how long does a battery last during the day? My Sena S50 typically runs out of juice in less than a day. The guys in our riding "group" have started giving them a little charge from the bike battery at stops (a good one during lunch). I also carry two units, which I know is an extravagance.
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Offline NinjaBob

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2023, 08:54:15 AM »
My Cardo Packtalk Bold will last about 7 hours on a full charge and that is with it playing music as well.
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Offline Patmo

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2023, 10:02:48 AM »
Just curious...how long does a battery last during the day? My Sena S50 typically runs out of juice in less than a day. The guys in our riding "group" have started giving them a little charge from the bike battery at stops (a good one during lunch). I also carry two units, which I know is an extravagance.

Using the mesh system really cuts down on battery life.  Just playing music I can easily go all day and not be out of juice.  Running the mesh system I find that 7 hours or so is the max time it will last.
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Offline 09FJRrider

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2023, 11:05:40 AM »
I have one of the Cardo Packtalk series units and can share my music with my passenger and talk to her at the same time.

Lasts 7+ hours, very happy with it.
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Offline stevegrab

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Re: Communication systems
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2023, 12:38:37 PM »
I have a Sena 50S and it may last all day (7-8 hours) if I remember to turn it off at stops, especially lunch. That's with music and mesh for communication. I have carried a small batter pack in my tank bag for years to charge devices, and will check it at lunch and top off if its low. I'm usually switching batteries in my GoPro camera at lunch, just one more task to handle.

I wish I had gotten one years ago, even just listening to music when I ride is great. Being able to talk to others makes travel so much easier. The voice interface to my phone is too quiet (cannot hear what it says to me in prompts) for me to make much use of it.
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