"M2M engineers at Sena have made what we think is a breakthrough in a motorcycle intercom user interface -- take a look at the SMH10 and what do you see? A total of one button.
That's right -- only one! It's called the "Phone Button" because is controls pretty much all of the functions of a paired cell phone.
The other can't-miss feature is what I call the "Big Wheel" and what Sena calls the "Jog Dial". The Jog Dial controls the intercom functions. The Jog Dial also rotates to -- get this -- raise and lower the volume! Yep, just like in the old days, one of the best and most intuitive electronic interface systems ever made. Rotate the wheel one way to raise the volume; rotate it the other way to lower the volume. Why didn't I think of that?
I'm being facetious, of course. When the Jog Dials is pushed, it activates some of the intercom functions. So I guess you could say it is a second button, but still -- when's the last time you used a motorcycle intercom with only two buttons?
We really like this feature, because the dial is nice and big and easy to find and use. It has a smooth rotation with just enough friction to provide feedback and to hold it in place when it's moved.
The Jog Dial is indicative of the simplicity of the SMH10 intercom system. The owner's manual is thinner than most because it's easier to understand. Both Burn and I realized we didn't have to keep referring back to the manual every time we wanted to use another feature.
Each SMH10 will also pair with three other SMH10 units, for a total of four, although pairing the four at one time does take another read-through of the manual.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Since this is a "First Look", I'll briefly describe the features we have been using over the last few weeks:
Easy On/Off: The SMH10 is very easy to turn on and especially easy to turn off. To turn the unit on, press and hold the single button and the Jog Dial for 2 seconds and the SMH10 fires up. Turning it off is a snap -- it's not necessary to press and hold and wait; simply press the Phone Button and jog dial again and it instantly powers down. Nice.
Sound: Stereo, Bluetooth 2.1, Headset Profile, Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP). The system has a wider than normal volume range, from very low to very high.
VOX: VOX can be enabled on demand. When enabled, the system turns on after a brief (~1 second) pause, then stays on during the conversation. If no words spoken in 20 seconds, the connection is put in sleep mode and can be enabled again by speaking. Once we discovered that both units must be put in VOX mode to get it to function, we used this method.
Speakers: High-quality speakers have a relatively heavy magnet (we weighed each speaker at 10 grams vs. 7 grams for the Scala G4), good sound quality and the volume can be raised very high.
Pairing: Four person pairing. Pairs with Bluetooth music players. Can also connect with non-Bluetooth music players or devices via a 3.5 mm input jack in the back of the intercom module. Pairs with Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and GPS units in stereo.
Battery: Lithium polymer. Claimed ~12 hours or more talk time, 10 days standby. Listening to MP3 players takes slightly more power, so a combination of the above will vary the battery life, as is usual with intercom systems.
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British Motorcycle Gear manufactures and imports a full line of motorcycle protective clothing including motorcycle jackets, motorcycle pants, motorcycle gloves, armor,boots,thermals and motorcycle helmets.