Sena 20S Review

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    1 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    4 years ago
    I promised I would give a review of the new Sena 20S Bluetooth headset. I purchased the 2 pack from Revzilla and as usual with Revzilla It was delivered in 2 days. I couldn't wait to start playing. In the box comes two headsets already paired, 2 mounts, 2 boom mics, 2 wired mics, 2 car chargers, 2 usb chargers, 8 mic socks.  I was quite impressed with all the goodies that came in the package. Mounting the headsets was easy (I've installed lots of headsets on helmets so it was a snap).  The only thing I thought was odd was the screws that secure the mount to the helmet face the inside of the helmet making screwing them in slightly more difficult but no big deal.  I mounted my headset to my 3/4 helmet and mounted my husbands headset to his half helmet (I made pockets for the speakers to sit in the half helmet).   

    Sena has a smartphone app for this unit so I downloaded that and quickly paired my iPhone using the app. The app also allows you to set some basic functions on the headset. Next I paired my GPS and again everyone paired easily

    Today was the first time using the headsets. I was so excited this morning but as we were ready to pull out my unit says "battery Low" and shuts off. Well it turns out I had left the unit on after playing with it during the week. No problem my husband has a 12volt charger in his trunk so I got one of the car chargers and plugged it in for our ride to the meeting location today. It got a 40 min charge and that was good enough.
    Now it's finally time to see how these work.  I was really impressed with the sound quality and the volume. As I said my husband was using a half helmet and I was worried about wind noise being transmitted, but that was never a problem. I heard him loud and clear.  Even on the highway I could hear him well.  

    I was able to play music through my iPhone and the quality of the music was pretty good for helmet speakers. Probably better than others I have used. The music would play and if either one of us spoke the music would be lowered to a background level that you can adjust.  

    These units can pair with other non Sena Bluetooth headsets ad my friends have the scala g9.  I wasn't able to try that out today but will give a report when I do.

    Overall I am completely happy with this purchase and grateful to have a decent communication system
    Link #10538
    Ben Mendis
    4 years ago

    Sena 20S Bluetooth Headset - RevZilla

    Purchase the Sena 20S Bluetooth Headset at RevZilla Motorsports. Get the best free shipping & exchange deal anywhere, no restock fees and the lowest prices -- guaranteed.

    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...
    2 of 20
    Yermo
    4 years ago
    Lisa Epifano Hall Thank you so much for the review? Would you mind if I posted it as a guest post by you in the Blog? 
    3 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    4 years ago
    Thanks Yermo that would cool!
    4 of 20
    Gabe
    4 years ago
    The product sounds pretty cool. In searching for experience with it across Revzilla and Sena's forums, the reviews are either really good or really bad. It almost sounds like the product needs some re-engineering with stories and reviews of them breaking. Hopefully that won't happen to yours and they are isolated cases, but there seem to be a lot of disappointed early-adopters.

    5 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    4 years ago
    Yes I too read about them breaking but I did my research and watched all of the videos Sena put on YouTube showing how to properly install and remove the unit from your helmet. I could see how some people may manhandle them and find them
    selves with broken pieces.  

    We just took an overnight trip and used the 20s all day long and I am still very happy.  I tried to pair with a non-Sena headset(scala G9) it didn't work but I was able to call my friend on the phone then patch her into my intercom conversation with my husband.  That worked perfectly.      

    Next is to try a quality pair of earbud headphones that I can plug into the back of the unit for an even better sound
    6 of 20
    Gabe
    4 years ago
    Great to hear, I'm curious as to how the ear-bud experiment went.
    7 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    4 years ago
    As an update on the performance of the 20s one of our units kept shutting off randomly throughout the day. I contacted Sena they asked me to try a couple of resets. I did that but still the unit would shut off. Now they are sending me a replacement under warranty and paying for the return of the defective unit.

    Im very pleased with how Sena responded.

    The other unit works perfectly. 
    8 of 20
    Yermo
    4 years ago
    Thanks for the update! (I haven't forgotten about moving the review to the blog. Life has been, well, "interesting", over the past couple of months.)
    9 of 20
    Yermo
    4 years ago
    The review has been posted to the blog.

    Thanks again for contributing that!
    10 of 20
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Lisa Epifano Hall, I was asked through the contact form on the site to post a photo of how the Sena 20s is mounted to a half helmet. I told her that I didn't have a half helmet but that I would ask. 
    11 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    3 years ago
    Since the weather got cooler I switched the 20s to the 3/4 helmet
    12 of 20
    DaFish
    3 years ago
    So Lisa, have you had a chance to plug in the earphones and give these a test? I'm curious as to how well you like them.

    As you know, I have a BMW K1600GTL and these are the only ones that will pair to the bike other than the $$$BMW com units. I may give them a try!
    13 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    3 years ago
    I've tried the earbuds but they kept falling out of my ears. The sound was not that much better either. So I have had a few problems with the 20s but Sena replaced both units. Now they work perfectly. The intercom pairs with other non Sena Bluetooth perfectly. I love these units.
    14 of 20
    pacificsteve
    2 years ago
    Hello to all im new to this fourm .Iam interested to hear about the Sena 20s I just bought a single unit before i had it mounted it went  faulty as it would not hold a charge for more than 20 minutes.I return the unit and received my new one from Amazon ASAP. I have found that the new unit easy to fit easy to set up calls easy to pair to my phone but the only thing is my FM radio is totally intermitting. 
    I can get it set one day but when out riding it will go of by its self. It takes along time to reset .Even when testing it in the house it would go off.
    Is anyone else finding this happens to their Sena 20s as it can be very annoying.l would be very greatful to hear from you 
    Kind Regards
    Steve.
    15 of 20
    Yermo
    2 years ago
    Have you upgraded the firmware?
    16 of 20
    Lisa Epifano Hall
    2 years ago
    I don't use the FM radio. I mainly listen to the music through my phone.  Do you have the antenna up?  That may help a bit
    17 of 20
    Ben Mendis
    last year
    I've had a Sena 20S for about two years now.

    My experience with it has been a bit mixed. The audio-multitasking has never worked perfectly, although it works a bit better if you flip the antenna up and have the latest firmware installed.

    One of the big annoyances, not specific to the 20S but Senas in general, is the lack of per-person volume control when in group intercom. There have been groups were some people sound like they're shouting and others are so quiet we can barely hear them.

    What prompted this post was that I just completed a 2k+ mile solo trip out to Minneapolis and back to DC. The Sena worked great for most of that trip, even though a few heavy downpours. Then, on the last night of my trip, I camped out with some motorcycle buddies and left the helmet out overnight. I think the dew must have gotten to it because that morning it started acting up. At first it wouldn't connect properly and the intercom didn't always work correctly. It seemed to improve during the ride back, but it still wasn't 100% back to normal.

    A week later, I left on my second trip of the summer, a shorter ride down to the Smoky Mountains to see the Totality with my girlfriend on the back. I hadn't ridden the bike or used my helmet at all in the gap between the two trips, but I did throw the Sena on the charger to make sure the battery was good to go. I discovered the day we were leaving that my 20S was essentially non-functional. It turned on, and paired to my phones, but I heard no audio at all from it, and it didn't respond to any button presses other than to shut off again. It could not pair to other units, or even go into pairing mode. When I turn it on, it flashes blue, then 1 to 3 flashes of red, then nothing. Also, my phones show that it is paired, but the Sena app is unable to connect to it.

    Given my previous experience, I figured it might clear up, but after the first half-day ride on Saturday I realized it was a lost cause. The next day, I found the one motorcycle gear shop on our route that was open on a Sunday, but they had none in stock. So we rode the whole way down to Tennessee in silence.

    Yesterday, I picked up a new 20S from the Cycle Gear in Knoxville, and as soon as it was charged I put it on my helmet and I was back in business. It worked (as well as a 20S has ever worked) for the short rides we did yesterday. So at least we'll have intercom and turn-by-turn voice instructions for the ride back.

    The first 20S lasted me about 12k miles over the two years I had it. We'll see if the second one can match or even exceed that. Maybe I had become a bit over-confident in the weather-sealing of the 20S, or maybe that's just their life expectancy. But considering they cost $300 a pop I would have liked to get more miles/years out it. I will probably try to baby the new one a little more just in case. And when I get home I will do a tear-down on the broken one to see if I can figure out exactly what went wrong.

    We'll be riding back on Thursday (tomorrow).
    18 of 20
    Yermo
    last year
    Thank you for the report. I've had my SMH10 for about 3 maybe 4 years now and the battery is pretty much toast on it by now. I'll probably pick up a 20 at some point in the not too distant future.

    Interestingly, someone in the BMW MOA group on Facebook reported similar symptoms to the ones you're seeing. I'm guessing you've already tried a hard/factory reset on it? At one point we had rain get into one of the 10's with similar symptoms but after airing it out for a couple of days it recovered. 
    19 of 20
    Ben Mendis
    last year
    Yeah, I tried the the hard reset button and a few other tricks to see if that would help, but no luck. And it's had more than a week at this point to air out, so I think this behavior is now permanent. Things are crazy this weekend, but next week I'll try opening it up to see if there's anything more that I can learn. If I hadn't been forced to re-buy the 20S, I was thinking about upgrading to a 20S Evo.
    20 of 20
    Yermo
    last year
    Bummer.
    Please post some pics when you take it apart. The battery in won't hold a charge for more than a couple hours so I'll probably look at replacing the battery at some point before too long.
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