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Survivor
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Spousal Unit and I recently switched from using Senas to the Cardo Packtalk Bold JVB. We used Senas for over nine years in three different models; SMH10, 10S and 20S. One point is that the Cardo, while Bluetooth capable, uses "Mesh" technology which I am unable to define in any detail, but it is not traditional Bluetooth.

We use our communicators primarily for bike-to-bike comms, although I have paired my GPS and phone to the Cardo and SU paired her phone. Neither of us listen to music while riding and I seldom use the paired GPS function since I find it annoying.

The Cardo offers much better sound quality. We can chat at 80 MPH between SU on her R12GS and me on my GSA. We could not communicate with any of the Senas at highway speed other than one or two word messages that were shouted. The Cardo responds well to voice commands used to control functions such as volume, battery status and others.

The Senas had longer battery life. We could ride two 8-10 hour riding days before the battery would give up the ghost. The Cardo is good for one day. The reduced battery life of the Cardo may in part be due to them always being online; you always have a hot mic. The Senas can be put on standby which requires a push of a button to initiate comms; this reduces the demand on the battery.

The Sena 20S had a better range than the Cardo. Not by a huge amount, but enough to make a difference sometimes.

The Cardos ability group multiple riders is a big plus if you ride in groups. We rode with a friend for a few days and the three way comms were easy to use and quite helpful, Grouping users with a Sena is cumbersome and unreliable. I understand Sena has added Mesh capability which is the key factor in reliable and simple grouping but I have no experience using it.

The customer service from both Sena and Cardo has been good. I had units replaced by Sena with no fuss. I received hands on personal service from the Cardo North America Brand Manager who spent quite some time resolving an issue with my unit and ultimately replaced it.

The Cardos sometimes do not re-pair when SU and I get out of range, and require a restart of one or both units. This can be a PITA. The incidence of this happening seems to be going down and I have yet to seek help from Cardo.

One quirk with the Cardos that was easily resolved was that it seemed to interfer with the bike-to-fob comms. SU and I both wore our fobs around our necks. We began getting an error message on our dash (image of a key with a ? underneath). Battery changes, clearing the key codes and repairing the fob failed to correct the problem. SU decided it was the Cardos so she began putting the fob on her right side pants pocket and that solved the problem.

On the whole the Cardos are easier to use and make comms much easier between riders. We can live with the shorter battery life and slightly reduced range. On the advice of a friend we began turning off the Cardos at any stop that is longer than a gas and go. This helps with battery life. The need to repair occasionaly is a problem that needs addressing.
 

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I say find out what your buddy's are using and get that one.
X2 on that.

Since I ride solo more often than not, and everyone of my riding friends have a different brand of bluetooth in the end it didn't matter.

I ended up with uClear Amp Plus, the big reason was the range, good reviews on the sound quality for listening to music and the two mics are up above your eyebrows inside of the helmet liner, so no more mic stuck in the front of your mouth or having clearance problems with chin guards
 

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I used the Sena smh10 for many years and just upgraded to the 20S. I listen to music and communicate with spouse most of the time. Always use foam ear plugs and that makes communicating and sound quality good up to highway speeds.
 

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Sena

Hi. I recently bought the Cardo Slim as my very old SENA SMH5 seemed not to work well with connecting everything to the TFT and syncing / streaming it all without breaks in transmission etc. My SENA SMH5 only has Bluetooth 3.x and recommendations for the TFT connectivity was +4.x/MESH. Hence my purchase of Cardo.

I honestly see no difference with connectivity between the Cardo and SENA - and written off to the fact that the TFT is useless. I connect everything through my Navi5 which works very well, and I don't need to look as far down to the info (as with the TFT).

Sound wise the SENA is better - which really surprised me. Must clearer, and produces a higher volume. Now perhaps the (more expensive) JBL speaker on the Cardo would be better, but then again you need to spend even more.

Ultimately I have been very disappointed with Cardo and would not recommend them. As for MESH technology, it will ONLY be of benefit if you ride in a group and connect. Otherwise Bluetooth technology is fine (especially it is only you and or with pillion).
 

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sena 30

Hi all,
What brand Bluetooth device do you all use, Cardo or Sena?
TIA
I use a Sena 30 and am ablsolutely happy with how the mesh network easily manages the connectivity. Last weekend did a 3 day trip with 3 other riders, we had 3x sena 30 and a sena 20 amongst us. One sena 30 connected to the sena 20 via bluetooth and all the sena 30s connected via mesh. This allowed all 4 of us to speak freely.

This was a large organized ride of over 100 riders. When we came in proximity to other smaller groups of riders, we all connected on the public mesh network. Interesting to have that randomly happen and you don't see the other bikes just yet....

So far I am very pleased with the sena 30 units. I prefer and usually commute via motorcycle more than my car to work. I really enjoy having the headset during my hour plus time spent commuting.
 
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