Intercom range 20S to 20S

Comments

47 comments

  • Ken Kimari
    Ken Kimari

    You're right Egil. Like I said it's misleading advertising.  It is what it is. I guess you could call them up and express your displeasure as a customer but they still won't be able to give you peer to peer 2000m. But neither will anyone else so I guess we are all stuck.  Because they all use the prequalifier "up to ......ft, miles etc. legally they are off the hook.

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  • Chris BeHanna
    Chris BeHanna

    I'd be happy just to get comparable range to the SMH10 that I replaced.

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  • Trey Contour
    Trey Contour

    From Sena's website: 

    • Working distance: up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain

    Distance test (from pissed owner) on YouTube: 

    https://youtu.be/sFI9wkZTnBs

     

     

     

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  • Keith
    Keith

    When reading the 20S specs, I too expected the advertised "Working distance: up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain" between two units. Since I only ride with a passenger or with one other riding partner, I haven't gotten far enough away from the other unit to lose the connection unless it was in the twisties. As Egil said above, the stated range varies depending on where you look. The Sena website says "enjoy your ride to the fullest by keeping you in touch with up to eight of your buddies in crystal-clear HD audio, up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) away, through the Group Intercom feature" (in other words, chained together). The Sena online spec page says "Working distance: up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain" (http://www.sena.com/product/20s/). The 20S box says "Bluetooth Intercom up to 2.0 Km (1.2miles)" and also has a helmet --> helmet image with "2.0km/1.2 miles Intercom" text under it. The Scala Packtalk advertising is clearer by stating both "bike to bike" (1.6km) and for "4 or more rider" (5km) ranges. Having said all of the above, for my use, the range is fine. If I get out of range, I'll call them on the cell phone :-)

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  • GatorRider
    GatorRider
    I was able to extend my range quite a bit by turning off the HD intercom feature. I would only get 200-300 meters before and now I'm getting at least a kilometer between my units.
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  • Keith
    Keith

    Hey, GatorRider. Could you notice any significant difference in intercom quality with HD intercom turned off?

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  • GatorRider
    GatorRider
    Not really. There is a popping sound (like someone is popping Jiffy Pop Popcorn) in the background with HD either on or off, but it is more pronounced with the HD off. I still have not been able to get 1 mile from them like my Scala Rider G9, but I liked the ability to listen to music AND intercom at the same time. However with the newest 1.5 firmware, that feature is now not working. Not very happy with Sena right now as I purchased 4 of the 20s for my family. Mainly use them with only 2 units (lead and sweep) for group riding. With HD off, we can have about 12 bikes in the group spaced safely enough while traveling 65 mph.
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  • Keith
    Keith

    I haven't heard any popping noise on mine when paired with my other 20S. When paired with my friends SMH5, I do hear what I've described as sounding like cabinets in a motorhome rattling. I don't hear that 20S<-->20S though. I usually ride with my wife on my bike or with one other rider. So, distance isn't a problem unless in the twisties. So, maybe turning off HD intercome will help there.

    Regarding listening to music AND intercom at the same time, I'm running 1.5 firmware and have no problem doing that. If you haven't already, you may want to make sure "Audio Multitasking" didn't somehow get turned off when you updated the firmware. I pair the 20S with a SiriusXM radio and my GPS (which is also paired with my phone). I share music with my wife's 20S and the intercom feature works fine *except* sometimes the mic pics up the road noise and lowers the music volume because it thinks we are talking (a normal function of audio multitaskig). We just drop the intercom call when not talking to avoid that. I may try lowering the "Intercome-audio Overlay Sensitivity" to see if that prevents/reduces road noise from lowering the music volume.

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  • GatorRider
    GatorRider

    Keith,  it worked great on Firmware 1.4.1, but after 1.5 I can hear both music and intercom for a few seconds then the intercom slowly fades away and cannot hear the other person (on the other 20s).  I have tried many different configurations on the overlay sensitivity and Audio-Multitasking is still on.  I did read somewhere that after a Firmware upgrade you should do a hard reset on the 20s, which I have not tried.  Will report to see if that fixes anything.

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  • GatorRider
    GatorRider
    I did a factory reset and had to reconnect with the people in my pairing list, but everything works, including listening to music and communicating. I guess that is the magic trick. Back to loving the Sena 20s.
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  • DjPaul
    DjPaul

    So, why do we cling to the 20s? 

     

    It’s not waterproof dust proof etc

    It doesn’t have anywhere near the range it promised

    The Volume is mostly unsatisfactory

    It won’t connect GPS and phones properly

    Group connect is a challenge best debut with while not riding

    The unit doesn’t stay on the base, Yup, if it doesn’t fall off, it won’t even lock onto it’s base

    FM radio doesn’t work as promised 

    It shuts off at random

    It’s got killer beeps, Killer, not in a good way.

    Volume levels are inconsistent from Radio to music to phone to intercom to prompts 

     

    Runner ups on issues less complained about 

     

    Music sharing doesn’t work

    Cold temp shut off (likely a Canadian issue)

    Won’t connect to computer

    Customer support is lacking more like laughable 

    Battery drains when the unit’s turned off

    Pairing the 20s to SMH 10 is tricky

     

    And there’s seemingly endless pages of issues… 

     

    Why Are we staying with this product? 

     

     

    Take your pick of any 3 items from above you’d like to have work flaulessly 

     

    Here’s how to activate them 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Go buy a competitors product 

    Think tis is joke answer? 

    Truth is, any of the 3 you picked, actually do work on just about any other motorcycle bluetooth intercom system. 

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  • Keith
    Keith

    I'm NOT giving excuses for the issues so many (including me) have experienced, but here's my experience with regard to what you listed:

    It’s not waterproof dust proof etc (Haven't gotten mine wet or dusty. So, can't speak to that other than it SHOULD be)

    It doesn’t have anywhere near the range it promised (I've only gotten a few hundred yards away from the SMH5 I was paired with and had no problems. Haven't tried the stated 1.2 miles, which MAY be referring to the range when units are daisy chained. I've never been more than 20 feet from my other 20S unit)

    The Volume is mostly unsatisfactory (I mostly use ear buds, which has sufficient volume for me. I find it uncomfortable to raise the helmet speaker volume high enough to overcome the road noise)

    It won’t connect GPS and phones properly (I've had zero problems connecting to my GPS, phone, other intercom units or the bluetooth transmitter for my satellite radio)

    Group connect is a challenge best debut with while not riding (Haven't used it)

    The unit doesn’t stay on the base, Yup, if it doesn’t fall off, it won’t even lock onto it’s base (I've had zero problems with either of my units staying on the base. Once they click in place, they stay. Sena did update the base with metal latches to eliminate the problem of the original plastic latches wearing out/breaking. The bases of the replacement units I got have metal latches)

    FM radio doesn’t work as promised (The biggest complaint I have with the FM radio is the reception range. It works fine in areas where there's local stations. But, it gets weak pretty quickly once outside those areas. So, fine for "urban" riding, but not rural. Which is one of the reasons I installed a satellite radio on my bikes)

    It shuts off at random (Neither of my units have shut off at random)

    It’s got killer beeps, Killer, not in a good way. (Never experienced "killer" beeps unless I had the volume turned up way too high. I check the volumes before the helmet goes on)

    Volume levels are inconsistent from Radio to music to phone to intercom to prompts (Every function (radio, music, phone, GPS, intercom, etc) has it's own adjustable volume. I've had no problem adjusting any as high or low as I desired)

     

    Runner ups on issues less complained about 

     

    Music sharing doesn’t work (Music sharing has worked flawlessly between my two 20S units. I've been on multi-day trips sharing music the entire time without issues)

    Cold temp shut off (likely a Canadian issue) (I've only gotten my units down to around 35F. They worked fine at that temp. Any colder than that and it's ME that's not going to function correctly :-)  )

    Won’t connect to computer (No problems connecting to my laptop at all)

    Customer support is lacking more like laughable (I had issues with my original two units and had to replace them. The support folks were very responsive both via phone and email. I also worked with an engineer regarding battery life issues. He was very responsive and helpful as well)

    Battery drains when the unit’s turned off (I had this problem with my original two units. My original units drained in 6 days while powered off and had a standby life of just 24 hours. One of the replacement units drained while powered off after the initial charge. After that, it hasn't happened again. Both units are still reporting a battery level of "high"/4 flashes after sitting powered off for 3 months. I don't know if it was a firmware update that fixed it or not. But, they both seem to be holding a charge while powered off now. I will say that the new expected standby battery life of 48 hours (as I was told by Sena support) when compared with the originally advertised (in literature and on the box) standby time of 10 days is a major disappointment. When I tested it, both of my units got 50 hours on standby (sitting on the table powered on) after a full charge. So, it's very close to what Sena support told me. The dramatically reduced standby battery life expectation pretty much neccessitates recharging after any significant usage. The advertised intercom talk time of 13 hours seems is close to what I'm getting though.)

    Pairing the 20s to SMH 10 is tricky (I've only paired with another 20S and SMH5. No problems with either)

     

    For anyone having problems with their units, I highly recommend updating to the latest firmware. While that certainly isn't a fix-all solution, they have addressed a number of issues. Although, I really would like a more detailed list of what is fixed in each firmware release vs. just saying "minor bug fixes".

    For battery issues, if you are running an early/older unit and having battery life issues, I highly recommend contacting Sena support and arranging for a replacement. They had ZERO issues with replacing both of my original units.

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  • Ken Kimari
    Ken Kimari

    I'll second with what Keith said.  In addition, I have ridden in the rain, some of it quite heavy with no problem.  I do connect with SMH10 buddies and it is just as easy as pairing 20s's (cant do the shake technique with the SMH10), Volume is quite adequate, of course if you have a very loud bike or no windscreen I could see maybe having a problem but earbuds solve everything.  Never had problems with battery, ride all day with it on and at the end of the day I just charge it up - less than 2hrs needed.  No killer beeps.  Sena very responsive when you call or write them.  Had my broken latch replaced in less than a week after initiating a service email.  I've paired with an SMH10 and he was out of sight in my mirrors - at least 1/2 mile and still had rock solid intercom. Only when a truck got between us at that distance did I lose him but re-connected as soon as line of sight was regained.  If you need more range than that I would suggest a two-way radio.  Forums tend to generally generate more complaints than complements in my experience.  It's human nature - we bitch when there is a problem but when there is not we don't.

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  • DjPaul
    DjPaul

    My post, "Why do we cling to the SENA 20s" which embodied a number of issues with the product, wasn't meant to provoke bashing or finger pointing.

    I admit though... ... ... I did post it, word for word, to spark conversation, many of the listed issues hadn't been talked about in months and thought to myself,

    I'd been fooled.

    I bought a product that's just, ... S**t. I don't even want to sell it off to assist my buying a competitors product as I feel it's unsafe.

    I'm frustrated with the quality of the 20s And just wanted answers .

    The issues listed, as many as there are, are, not my personal experience..(entirely), they're listed as they're thee most talked about issues among the 20's consumer base. 

    While some of you may never experience any of the issues listed, many of us have, and or, are. 

    I listed the issues so that all of us, could possibly talk about any number of them and share our knowledge collectively. To hopefully allow some us to correct problems that are not talked about in other threads.

    My post was intended to attract others to read, learn, comment, share and overall, become, better,

    Better people, Better riders... ... Better communicators!

    Here's my personal experience:

    I've purchased 5 SENA 20s both dual packs and singles

    Probably 10 or 14 base plates,  some with wired headphones, some without.

    I've returned 3, 20's (had to pay for shipping) likey a canadian thing?

    I've lodged two official "tickets" with SENA support and got answers from them, but (got no results, both times)

    Fixed myself, probably a dozen or so base plates mine and for friends.

    With the 20s, my single biggest complaint is the Beeps.

    2nd place issue, is the non waterproof. A few of my units got washed out or service. but luckily dried out over week or so and came  back to life. Now, I see rain, I just remove the unit, put it in a ziplock bag,  and revert back to old school sign language till the sun comes out again.

    3rd place issue, Range. Straight line of sight, maybe 80 meters or so, No issues at all, loud and clear. One turn, or a few cars between us, Issues.

    When looking on the forums for solutions I found more and more issues talked about and very little offerings from SENA. So, I posted up the clinging question.

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  • Trey Contour
    Trey Contour
    DjPaul I'm with you... My group and I have all switched to Cardo PackTalk and never looked back. Night and day. Of course I still have my 20s sitting in the garage but I too grew tired of being a beta-tester. Yes the warranty support is great but I'd rather not have to send my "quality" equipment in 3 times to get it right.
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  • Andrew Fuller
    Andrew Fuller
    Terrible reception range between units , maybe 300-500 meters !
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  • Sidehack
    Sidehack

    Has anyone noticed that SENA is very mute on this subject from everyone.  If not having invested $1000 for this 'prototype' bluetooth system, I'd go to Cardo.

     

     

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