Are you confused between the Sena 10S and 50S, yeah it’s common among many riders, Sena has a lot of headsets with the same specs and features, and picking one for a buyer can be an issue, no one wants to spend on the wrong product.
We have made a detailed comparison between the Sena 10S and 50S so that you can understand which one is better and why it is better so that you can make a better buying decision.
Sena 10S is an older model that comes with outdated features but has a better battery backup, but it has some limitations during connection, but the 50S comes with mesh technology which makes it easier to connect and it also has fast charging, better range, and Bluetooth v5.0.
|Sena 10S||Sena 50S|
|Range||1 mile / 1.6km||5 miles / 8 km|
|Connectivity||4 riders||6 riders within 1 miles / 1.6 km|
|Channels||–||9 (24 in private group)|
|Talktime||12 hours||9 hours (Mesh), 14 hours (Bluetooth)|
|Features||Music, Phone, GPS, Assistant||Music, Phone, GPS, Assistant|
|Charging||3 hours||20 minutes|
|Weight||0.12 pounds||2 pounds|
Bike riding can be fun, especially when you are riding along with your friends on different bikes and taking a road trip to your dream destination. However, it is extremely difficult for the bike rider to communicate with others in the pack.
I remember an instance when I had been on a bike ride with my friends to an unfamiliar location and I recall how hard it was to communicate directions to him. I had to frequently take my eyes off the road to communicate with my fellow riders which made the ride dangerous and unsafe.
Under such circumstances, it is best to use a motorcycle intercom that solves the problem of talking to your friend or taking information from him for directions.
There are different types of intercoms available such as wired intercoms, wireless intercoms, and Bluetooth intercoms which come with a variety of functions and features.
After intensive research on various intercoms, I narrowed down the search to just two products that were deemed fit for my use. One such product is Sena 10S and the other is Sena 50S.
I was a bit confused to make my final decision because when it comes to Sena 10S vs Sena 50S there were several differences that existed between them and so did similarities.
Before I reveal my final decision, let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two products.
Difference between Sena 10S and 50S
From my understanding, Sena 50S is an advanced model in comparison to its predecessor Sena 10S and consists of several other differences between the two. Let’s look into a detailed comparison of Sena 10S and Sena 50S.
- Communication Technology
The first and foremost difference is the communication technology used in the products. I found that Sena 10S uses a universal intercom feature that is useful when pairing with a non-Sena device, whereas the Sena 50S makes use of Mesh Intercom technology which allows a better group riding experience.
The Mesh topology provides a more open communication system allowing multiple rider connections.
The advantage of this advancement is that the riders can communicate with each other as long as they remain in the line of sight or range and most importantly if one of the riders falls out of the range he will be automatically connected back into the mesh as soon as he enters the range or line of sight.
This is a great advantage as the riders need not halt unnecessarily to pair the rider time again to start communication as in the case of sena 10S which relies heavily on its Bluetooth for chatting with other riders and moreover, the 10S can connect only limited number of riders, 50S with its advanced technology can connect an unlimited number of riders.
- Intercom Working distance
The distance covered by Sena 10S in open terrain is 1.6km(1.0 mile) as against 2km(1.2 miles) covered by Sena 50S under the same conditions. The working distance is crucial while driving a bike as it is impossible to maintain a particular distance especially during longer rides and biking on hilly terrain.
Sena 50S gives an additional kilometer in comparison to 10S allowing the fellow riders enough space to maintain speed and keep their distance from the leader of the pack.
As a biker, I would love to ride at my own pace without having to worry about the speed of other riders as I am not anxious about being disconnected and helps me enjoy the ride better and in a relaxed manner.
Bluetooth is an important feature that determines the amount of speed and range of the intercom system. Sena 10S with Bluetooth 4.1 transfers data packets at 1Mbps with an outdoor range of 50m and an indoor range of 10m respectively.
On the other hand, Sena 50S comes with Bluetooth 5.0 transferring data packets at 2Mbps with an outdoor range of 200m and an indoor range of 40m respectively.
The higher version of Bluetooth ensures audio clarity and reduced lag time when communicating with other riders. This is important as riding at higher speeds can result in distorted audio and increases the chance of transmitting noise.
Bluetooth 5.0 of the 50S ensures that communication is done at a much faster rate without diminishing the audio clarity. I have observed an interesting feature in the 50S, I can use the Bluetooth and the mesh at the same time without having to perform complicated operations.
I can use Bluetooth to answer the voice call, give voice commands to apps such as Siri and listen to my favorite music while I still chat with my other bikers.
Another feature that impressed me the most is that the Bluetooth audio and mesh intercom audio do not interfere with each other instead the 50S dim the mesh audio while answering phone calls via Bluetooth and similarly the Bluetooth audio is dimmed while I chat with the riders in the mesh grid.
- Battery and Charging
No product is complete without its battery performance and its charging capability. 10S comes with a USB port to charge its Lithium batteries whereas the 50S comes with a USB-C port that facilitates fast charging for the users.
The fast charging feature is essential to any motorcycle intercoms because it consumes less time in recharging the battery. Sena 50S solves the problem of recharging time in the product with a fast charging time of 20 minutes. On the other hand, 10S takes 3 hours to fully recharge its battery.
With my 50S, I can fully recharge my device while I take a coffee break at my favorite cafe and gear up for the long ride without having to worry about the battery levels for the next several hours.
As far as the battery is concerned, Sena 50S comes with a slightly larger battery in comparison to the 10S and this is because 50S needs more power to efficiently function with its mesh features.
The 10S provides the rider with 12 hours of talk time while the 50S provides 14 hours in Bluetooth mode and 9 hours in mesh connectivity.
Despite the differences, the two products also share certain features that are similar to each other. Let’s discuss the similarities between Sena 10S and Sena 50S.
Similarities between Sena 10S and 50S
The products under review are manufactured by the same brand and therefore I am not taken aback due to common features and functions shared by 10S and 50S. Some of the similarities of
Sena 10S and Sena 50S are given below.
- Audio Features
I have not seen much of the difference when it comes to audio quality as both the variants produce High Definition sound with great clarity.
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile(A2DP) allows transmission of stereo audio signals and Audio Video Remote control Profile(AVRCP) enables sending commands to the target device such as mobile phone, etc.
- FM radio
Both the products use the same communication protocol named RDS AF that helps to capture the radio signals and moreover, it provides worldwide coverage meaning I can tune in to radio stations irrespective of my geographical location.
Using FM radio was easy and I didn’t struggle to find a radio station as both Sena 10S and 50S come with automatic scan features.
- Jog Dial Navigation
The manufacturer has made it easy for bikers to shuffle through their menus using Jog dial navigation. I could easily switch between various functions without losing control of the bike.
The jog dial navigation is one of the trademark features of Sena and I found this feature in many other models released by the manufacturer.
- Smartphone App
Installing the Sena mobile app was easy and less time-consuming. Configuring the devices and syncing it with the mobile app was less complicated for a less tech-savvy guy like me.
I managed to pair my mobile phone for hands-free calling and set groups for intercom by fiddling with the app settings.
I have reviewed the similarities and differences for the benefit of the readers and now it’s time for me to take a closer look into the individual products.
Sena 10S Review
Bike riding can be difficult without a Bluetooth communication device and Sena 10S solves the problem of communicating with fellow passenger or to other riders while driving at high speed. The product is an upgraded version of the SMH series and comes with several advanced features.
From my understanding the manufacturer has revamped the technical aspect of the intercom bringing in an advanced version of Bluetooth, enhancing noise cancellation and FM radio presets.
Sena has also changed the design from the previous SMH versions but has retained successful features such as the jog dial, device pairing, etc.
The mobile app is a great idea that helps the users to easily configure and use the product right away without any hassles. Sena 10S has some really interesting features ranging from technical specifications to installation and configuration.
The manufacturer has improvised several functions compared to its previous SMH models. Some of the standout features are given below.
I would like to give a high rating as far as the audio quality of the product is concerned and most importantly the manufacturer has upgraded to HD audio from the SMH predecessors.
I could feel the change right away as the sound quality was crystal clear especially while answering phone calls and using intercoms. Another feature that caught my eye is the presence of big speakers that supports the rider with clear audio, especially when driving at high speeds.
I can understand why the manufacturer has brought in changes in the audio specification because audio is the backbone of any communication system. With better sound clarity and noise cancellation features Sena 10S has made its presence in the market.
Since audio is the backbone of this communication device I would like to explain a bit more about its technical specifications.
Sena 10S uses a full-duplex communication mode which means the biker can listen and talk at the same time which is much more advanced in comparison to other communication modes in existence.
One feature that stands out the most in this product is the Bluetooth. The much-acclaimed 10S comes with Bluetooth 4.1 which is crucial in pairing the device to another.
The product has four Bluetooth profiles such as Headset profile, Hands-free profile, Advanced Audio Distribution Profile(A2DP), and Audio Video Remote control Profile(AVRCP) and each of the profiles perform a specific function.
The headset profile enables the device to be used as a headset on pairing with mobile. The controls for volume are much wider and I could easily locate the volume controls to adjust the sound levels.
The manufacturer has utilized a Universal Intercom Protocol which makes the device compatible with Bluetooth devices of other brands.
The 10S can connect upto 3 riders at the same time for intercom purposes and it can connect to two devices simultaneously such as a mobile phone and a GPS navigation device so that I can use my phone to talk and at the same time take directions from the GPS device without much interference.
The product also has a rider-to-rider sharing option meaning if I have a pillion rider along with me, 10S can be paired with my fellow passenger’s Bluetooth device for the purpose of communication and this eliminates the need to frequently turn around to hear the pillion rider.
I recommend the user to read the instruction manual that comes with the product to configure group riders for a better understanding of the working of the intercom and the methodology used for the intercom.
Another important aspect is the working distance of the intercom. The 10S covers a distance of 1.6 miles(1km) in an open terrain which is decent enough especially while riding on congested city roads or even on the highways.
- Battery life
The product is battery efficient and offers 12 hours of talk time and a standby time of 10 days.
Moreover, the battery life is 7 hours which is sufficient for me to use the device while commuting to and from work or in case of leisure rides during the weekends. 10S uses Lithium Polymer batteries which are known for their robustness, flexibility, and lightweight.
- Mobile App
Sena mobile app has impressed me with easy to install and use features. Even a first-time user can configure the device without much fuss.
I could access several features through the app and one such feature is the audio boost which helps in noise cancellation while driving at high speeds and provides more clarity to the input audio which could be a voice call, intercom commands, FM radio, etc.
I have tested the app across various devices from iPhone to Android handsets and the app is found compatible with all the mobile OS with no performance issues seen in any of the mobile phones.
The pairing of the device with the user handset is less complicated and can be achieved without going through a lot of information.
- FM Radio
One of the most useful features for the leisure rider is the entertainment factor and 10S provides fun and entertainment in the form of FM radio.
I usually listen to some good music while riding the bike especially if I am traveling alone and the availability of the radio helps me beat the boredom and keeps me refreshed throughout the journey. One can listen to talk shows and news to stay informed along the path.
The FM feature comes with 10 presets and an automatic scan which is useful for picking radio signals on its own without manual effort. The bandwidth used by the FM radio falls under the range of 76 to 108 Mhz which covers most channels available worldwide.
I was surprised by the ease at which the accessories such as speakers and clamps were installed in the product. The speakers and microphone are inserted just by plugging them in at the right socket assigned for them.
On finishing all the installation and configuration works the product is ready for use and can be clamped at the side of the helmet.
I am not a big fan of speakers so I made use of the auxiliary port in the 10S and replaced the speakers with my earbuds or earphones as per my convenience.
PROs & CONs
- Two-way communication makes the riding experience a pleasant one
- Sena 10S is durable and one of the users had written a product review after using it for a few years without facing much degradation of the product especially its battery
- The product can withstand rain, dust, and other weather conditions but please take care not to drop it inside water bodies as the internal components are not waterproof
- Startup time is less and quickly pairs with other devices
- The clip that attaches the device to the helmet is fragile and comes off easily
- Poor FM radio connectivity
- Limited rider groups in comparison to higher variants
Sena 50S Review
If you are a mountain biker or an adventure rider then Sena 50S may be the go-to product. The 50S is an advanced version of the Sena 10S especially when it comes to the protocols used for communication.
Mountain bikers who ride in packs prefer to stay connected throughout the journey. If you are using a traditional Bluetooth device, every time one of the riders from the pack gets out of range or disconnected, one needs to stop and reconnect or re-pair the biker once again manually making it a tedious process.
Sena 50S eliminates the need for frequent stops and re-pairing with the introduction of Mesh 2.0 technology. The manufacturer has also made some minor refinements such as multi-language voice commands in 8 languages, a flip antenna, and a built-in wifi adapter.
The model retains some of the features of the 10S while making drastic changes in the remaining areas. Some of the key features of the 50S are given below.
The much-acclaimed 50S comes with a larger body as it accommodates some extra components in comparison to the previous versions. The manufacturer has retained the jog dial feature due to its popularity among the riders.
I was a bit curious to know the reason for Sena to retain the jog dial design and I also wanted to understand why the bikers preferred this particular design ahead of others.
On extensive research, I figured out that the jog wheel is better to operate with gloved hands in comparison to the other dials. I also realized that the controls were easy to use and operate especially when riding at high speeds.
Another improvement in the 50S is the flip antenna that has a foldable feature. The antenna provides better coverage and reception of signals helping the bikers with clearer and better sounds.
The product comes with accessories such as a boom mic, wired mic, and speakers which can be used depending upon the type of helmet worn by the biker.
The manufacturer’s new communication technology using mesh 2.0 has been a game-changer, especially for long-distance bike riding.
The open mesh network is separated into 9 grids which can connect to a large number of rider groups. There are also private groups that can accommodate a total of 24 riders.
What I liked the most about the intercom is its ability to automatically connect a rider on his re-entry after falling behind from the rest of the pack. The working distance of the 50S is 2 km(1.2 miles) in the open terrain which means that the coverage is a lot wider in comparison to its peers.
The 50S also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 which is quicker and transfers more data in comparison to the previous versions.
I was keen to know what difference it made to the overall performance of the device and to my surprise I found that there is an 80% improvement in the data flow and 25% faster communication, in other words, there is less delay in sending and receiving the data to and from the fellow riders.
- Battery Life
The important feature that needs to be considered for a BlueTooth intercom device is its battery life and Sena 50S has ticked the box when it comes to battery efficiency.
I had a chance to go for a 24 hours endurance ride and I carried with me the Sena 50S so that I could personally test the battery life. From my findings, the device lasts 14 hours using Bluetooth playback and 9 hours for mesh intercom.
The manufacturer has scored by introducing a fast charging feature with the help of a USB and C-type connector, I could charge my battery in 20 minutes. Interestingly, the USB charger can also be used as a Wifi adapter for automatic installation of firmware updation through a wireless network.
PROs & CONs
- The jog wheel and control buttons are easy to find
- Wider range and better connectivity
- The ability to voice commands provides a pleasant hands-free experience to the biker
- Sena utility app is easy to configure and use
- Poor water resistance
- Degraded performance of Bluetooth connectivity when used simultaneously with the mesh open network
- Some users have complained of compatibility issues when paired with other brands
When it comes to Sena 10S and Sena 50S comparison, I would personally choose Sena 50S for a better driving experience.
I feel the mesh technology in the 50S has been a game-changer for everyone who prefers to stay focused on the road. For more professional and frequent use, Sena 50S is the best buy and worth the money.
There are users who are unhappy with certain secondary features such as FM radio and the product’s inefficiency in picking up radio signals but as far as the primary features are concerned such as the audio clarity, hands-free communication, and Bluetooth features most reviews are on the positive note.
I would suggest the reader understand and analyze his budget and technical requirements before choosing one of the above products.
Things to have in mind before buying a Motorcycle Intercom System
- Range (Bluetooth Range)
The basic feature that needs to be looked at while buying comms is its Bluetooth capability. The modern-day comms should be able to connect at least 15 riders without much hassle.
Moreover one needs to look at the working distance of the device which largely depends on the version of Bluetooth in use. Comms with a higher version of Bluetooth and a larger number of connections are usually expensive.
I live in a place where it rains most part of the year and for me, a water-resistant or waterproof feature is as important as any other because of the amount of time I spend riding in the rain.
I would like the user to first understand the difference between the terms water-resistant and waterproof.
The products with water-resistant features are not very expensive as they offer limited protection against the water whereas waterproof devices are a bit costlier and offer complete resistance to water.
For those who live in wet weather conditions, this is a must-consider factor in buying any motorcycle intercom. You cannot predict the weather, so it is better to be prepared for it.
- Ease of Use
The primary purpose of buying a motorcycle intercom is to simplify the bike riding experience especially when answering phone calls. So, my suggestion to the readers is to buy a device which is easy to operate.
I feel there are products that distract the users with additional features and lure them into buying one without first considering the operation mechanism.
The sole aim of buying a Bluetooth device is to avoid unnecessary stoppages along the way making it hard for the biker to concentrate.
I also recommend the reader to try the product with his driving gloves on so that he gets a good feel of the device, especially if you are a beginner or a first-timer who has never used a motorcycle intercom before.
- Music and Voice Quality
I highly recommend the reader to test the device under various conditions to get an idea about features related to audio, voice, and music, especially under high speeds and if your motorbike is loud.
A good product usually consists of noise cancellation features and provides much clearer audio when communicating with the co-rider, listening to music, and answering calls.
- Price, Reviews & Ratings
If you are a rider looking for a good motorcycle intercom, the best place to start your research is the online shops that sell these products.
I did my homework by reading the various reviews posted by the users of the product, both positives, and critical reviews to get a hint of what the product feels like.
I also recommend the readers to check the ratings of the product listed across various eCommerce stores to get a good opinion of it.
- Extra features it has to offer like earplugs it offers, compatibility, brand, etc.
If you are a user who would like to have additional features then this section is for you. The motorbike intercom comes in various brands and the price of the product varies in accordance to the chosen brand.
The riders can also choose products with additional accessories such as earplugs, wired mic, compatibility with other brands, wifi adapter cum charger, etc depending upon his requirement and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the difference between Sena 10S and 50S?
The primary difference between the two products lies in the technology used for communication. Sena 50S uses an advanced technology called the Mesh 2.0 along with a higher version of Bluetooth(Version 5.0) whereas the 10S does not feature Mesh 2.0 technology and comes with a lower version of Bluetooth(version 4.1).
In the design part, the 50S comes with a flip-up antenna which is absent in the 10S. Other features such as fast charging, wifi adapter which were present in the 50S are not included in the 10S.
- Is the Sena 50S waterproof?
The manufacturer claims that Sena 50S is water-resistant as opposed to waterproof, meaning it offers limited resistance to water especially under wet weather conditions when there is a heavy downpour.
Some users found the device in non-working condition after riding under heavy rain which draws the conclusion that the product is not waterproof.
- Does Sena 50S have mesh?
Yes, Sena 50S comes with mesh technology that offers an unlimited number of rider connections.
- Will Sena pair with other brands?
Yes, Sena devices are usually compatible with other devices as it uses a Universal Intercom Protocol in its Bluetooth which enables it to pair with non-Sena devices.
The user reviews in Amazon suggest that Sena connects with brands and devices that do not use mesh technology.