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SENA 50S. Needs a lot of work.

I’ve been a Sena user since the pre-USB SMH10 days. I have thousands of hours using their devices. I currently own 2 10S units, 2 20S EVO units (with Sena HD speakers), 2 Cavalry half helmets, and 2 SR10 Bluetooth adapters. All of my Sena devices are running their latest firmware.

Both 50S units were taking directly from the box, and updated to firmware ver 1.0.6, and fully charged. A fault reset, along with a factory reset was performed after the firmware upgrade.

Testing conditions.

* The units were installed into HJC i90 helmets.

* BT paired to iPhone 8

* BT paired to 1 10S

* BT paired to 1 20S

* BT paired to 1 Cavalry BT half helmet

* BT paired to Sena SR10

 

What I liked.

* Installation. It’s straightforward just like the other Sena comms devices.

* Mount. Much better than the SMH10 or 10S mount.

* Jog Dial. Prefer the Jog Dial over a 3 button design.

* HD speakers. Sound quality is much improved.

* FM radio. Works well like in the 20S EVO.

* Mic mute is a nice feature.

* No pairing needed for an Open MESH.

* Users Manual. Well written.

 

 

What I did not like.

* The flip up MESH antenna. Difficult to flip up using rain or cold weather gloves. The antenna should be incorporated into the wiring harness and routed inside the helmet for a permanent configuration.

* MESH button. It’s positioning makes it very difficult, or nearly impossible to use with rain or cold weather gloves on. Switching from an Open MESH connection to a Private Group MESH or BT connection is very difficult due to the location of this button. IMO the better location would to have incorporated the Ambient button to perform this task.

* Hello SENA is still hit and miss. Same rate of success as with my 20S EVO. 50/50.

* Hey SIRI. Works 99% of the time if I speak directly into my iPhone 8 mic. Fails 99% of time when speaking via the 50S. This is a HUGE FAIL. I even tried to re-setup SIRI using the 50S mic. No joy.

* Audio Multi-tasking was hit and miss with the SR10 that I have connected to a RADAR detector, and a 2 way amateur radio. Another HUGE FAIL for me. Works perfectly with my 10S or 20S EVO. When it did work, and the connection ceased, streaming music from my iPhone 8 would be jittery. Had to re-boot the 50S to solve the issue.

* Numerous Open MESH connections error messages when exiting a 2 party Group MESH back into a 2 party Open MESH. Error message would be BT intercom already connected. Closing MESH. I assure you the 50S units were not intercom connected via BT. The only way I could solve this issues was to re-boot the 50S.

* When connecting into a Group MESH by pressing and holding the MESH button for 3 seconds, the announcement of connected in to the Group MESH should be heard as soon as the 3 seconds have expired, not after it has connected into the Group MESH. If you by mistake hold this button for more than the 3 seconds another function takes control.

* BT comms connections downgraded to 4 from 9 of the 20S EVO.

* The popping noises are still present when BT connected with the 50S, as the 20S EVO’s sometimes do.

* Intercom Audio-Overlay even while in a very quite environment would randomly engage, no matter what sensitivity setting was used. This occurred in both BT and MESH connections. My 20S EVO’s perform this function much better.

My conclusion, the 50S devices are not ready for those of us who plan to use the majority of the claimed features. If that’s your plan, at the present time these will probably not meet your expectations. If your plans are just for a comms unit, and to listen to music, these work sorta okay.

The deciding factor for me to return the units was the failure to properly integrate with my Sena SR10, along with the flip-up antenna and MESH button. My 20S EVO’s integrate with my SR10 seamlessly, and having the ability to BT comm connect to 8 others is well more than I need. My 20S EVO’s live on!

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