Are you an avid motorcycling or biking enthusiast? Have you ever planned the perfect road trip with fellow riders and then ended up having a split pack?
Any rider with experience knows the difficulty in communicating with others in the pack in real-time.
In this article, the Sena 10S vs Sena 20S, we discuss the details of two products designed by Sena aimed at solving the issues of communication for riders and bikers.
In this fast-paced world, communication is key to ensuring a road trip goes on smoothly with every rider in the group staying with the others.
One wrong turn and the entire pack is held up until the lost rider regroups. Long routes with multiple turns and unmarked roads are inevitable, but effectively communicating the route in real-time helps tackle these issues.
With the advent of modern technology and innovations like Bluetooth and FM communication, wireless communication has seen the establishment of a steady and ever-growing marketplace.
This marketplace has seen a number of products that cater specifically to the motorcycling world.
They aim at easing the communication in packs of riders while providing additional features like in-ear GPS guidance and the ability to attend to incoming calls while on the move.
We shall now discuss two such products from Sena in our review of the Sena 20S vs 10S.
Sena 10S vs 20S
Sena, founded in 1998, aimed to solve the problems around communicating while on motorcycle rides, trying to provide a solution that could ensure they could communicate on the go, without having to halt their rides.
The company is famous for its technological innovations which are of great use to motorcyclists looking to push the boundaries of their adventures.
The 10S was introduced as an upgraded version of Sena’s previous flagship model, the SMH10, with the 20S model following the 10S series.
These products are marketed as motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems, which allow the rider to communicate wirelessly with fellow riders.
Such wireless Bluetooth headsets are usually provided with the facility to be mounted on the rider’s helmet, allowing for easy access to the controls on such a device.
This also ensures the product is safe to use during rides as motorcyclists need not divert their attention to fidget with such a device while riding, thus preventing major accidents.
The most important benefit of having such devices is the ability to communicate with fellow riders while riding as a crew. This is made possible with microphones in the device, which have a very high noise canceling ability.
These microphones help overcome the disturbance to the conversation due to the wind or other external factors.
They also ensure effective navigational guidance through pairing the device with a smartphone, which with the help of GPS and a support app, helps provide accurate directions.
Other benefits include letting the rider listen to music or radio, which ensures the next road trip you’ve planned alone is not all that boring after all.
First, we are going to review both the products and then go with the differences and the similarities of both the products. But before going further in our Sena 10s vs 20s comparison let’s first see some of the basic spec comparisons.
|Features||Sena 10S||Sena 20S|
|Range||1mile (1.6km)||1.2mile (2km)|
|Max. User Connection||3||8|
|Battery Backup||10 days standby & 12 hours continuous use||13 hours talk time|
|Charging Time||3 hours||2.5 hours|
|Weight||58 g (2.05 oz)||61 g (2.15 oz)|
|Radio Frequency||76 ~ 108MHz||76 ~ 108MHz|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years|
|More Information||Read Reviews||Read Reviews|
Sena 10S Review
The Sena 10S was introduced to replace the SMH series of Sena Bluetooth communication systems for motorcyclists.
This device had a reduced footprint and a much more streamlined design to ensure a better aerodynamic performance when combined with a helmet.
This product also ensured that the jog dial was made smoother and easier to operate, especially with riding gloves on.
The 10S was the first model in the 10 series, which intended on maximizing the range and including plenty of new features that made it an upgrade from the previous SMH series.
This device has a simple oval-like design and comes with a mount that can be attached to a helmet.
It is also provided with adhesive mounts that can be attached to the helmet in case the clamp doesn’t fit your helmet. We shall now discuss the features of this product in our Sena 10S review.
- The Sena 10S has a 1 mile (1.6 km) communication range. This combined with a multi-way intercom facility means it can accommodate 3 users at once. This makes it a convenient option for small riding grips or that lazy Sunday ride with a best friend.
- This device also comes with a Sena support app that is designed for both iOS and Android smartphones. This allows users to easily set up their devices and access the phone’s GPS and stream music during rides.
- The Sena 10S is provided with a Lithium Polymer battery which lasts for 10 days on standby and offers upto 12 hours of continuous usage, including music streaming, communications, and navigation. This increased battery life is thanks to the integration of Bluetooth 4.1, which makes the battery usage very efficient. The device also supports charging while in use and takes 3 hours to be charged fully.
- The 10S provides access to FM stations in the region, with the speaker wires acting as an antenna. You can have upto 10 preset radio stations on your device, with a frequency range of 76-108MHz. This means you can access local news or entertainment, which can make solo rides a lot more enjoyable.
- The jog dial has been slimmed down and improved to offer a seamless scrolling experience. It also ensures access to multiple options of the device, even with riding gloves on.
- Bluetooth 4. 1 and Universal Intercom
- Crystal-clear HD audio and Advanced Noise Control
- With the 10S app, you're always in control and connected. Working distance- up to 1.6 km (1.0 mi) in open terrain. Supports up to 4 riders. Battery Charging time- 3 hours. Talk time- 12 hours
- Pair with other Sena products to capture your fun. Radio frequency specifications - 76 ~ 108MHz
- Simplified, reliable audio connections
- The helmet clamping mount mechanism allows the device to be pushed into place with locks and pins in a sideways orientation. The foam padding around the pins ensures a snug fit and stabilizes the device during high speeds of a ride.
- This product has connectivity options for earbuds as well as an AUX port, which provides you with the option of having a wired link to your phone. This adds a degree of flexibility when it comes to usage.
- The boom mic provides a high-quality audio output, which is clear and easy to understand. This is crucial for riders looking to guide their riding crews while cruising on highways or in windy weather.
- Multi-way intercom connectivity upto 3 riders, 1 mile (1.6 km) range
- Good battery life, 10 days standby, upto 12 hours of usage, lightweight at 2.05 ounces
- FM radio access, with 10 presets, Sena support app for music streaming and navigation aid, iOS, and Android compatible
- Slim jog dial for easy and quick access to multiple device options
- AUX port and facility to connect earbuds, high-quality audio mic
- Charging time is long
- The 10S is water-resistant, not waterproof
- Connectivity to other riders is limited to 3
- The clamps are susceptible to breakage or failure due to sideways design, a single locking mechanism
- Weakened windsock over extended usage, causes it to slip off easily. Results in a heavy wind disturbance
- Default Sena speaker crackles at high volumes as reported by users
Sena 20S Review
Sena is a company that pushes innovation in the motorcycle tech world. Therefore, it was only natural that the 10 series was followed up by the 20 series, with more features added based on user feedback and demand.
The 20S was designed to maximize the range and the size of the group that will be going on long rides, with multiple riders being able to interact with others to provide vital information needed for the journey.
Our Sena 20S review uncovers the features of this product, many of which are similar to the Sena 10S. Few of these features have been upgraded, while there are new features that this product has to offer as well.
- The 20S is equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, like its predecessor. This ensures great battery life, with a talk time of upto 13 hours. The lithium-polymer battery takes 2.5 hours to charge fully and also comes with the facility to be charged while in use.
- The Sena 20S comes with a multi-way intercom that allows upto 8 connections. This is made easy with the help of iOS and Android compatible Sena app, which makes setting up your device and planning out communications before a ride a hassle-free process. Thanks to a spring-loaded antenna which can be deployed while riding, the 20S enjoys an extended range of 1.2 miles (2 km), which makes it convenient to accommodate larger riding groups spread out over longer distances.
- The Sena 20S is equipped with a jog dial that has taken after the design of the dial in the 10S while becoming a bit slimmer. This dial allows for easy access to various features even with riding gloves on.
- Another major upgrade on the 20S is the audio multitasking feature, which allows you to blend different layers of applications over each other and set a priority of your choice. This allows you to stream music while receiving GPS commands, amongst many other options that you can choose.
- Bluetooth 4.1 and universal intercom keeps you in touch up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles)
- Crystal-clear HD audio with Sena's Advanced Noise Control to block ambient noise
- Audio Multitasking technology allows you to have an intercom conversation while simultaneously listening to music, FM radio, or GPS
- Motion sensor technology lets you pair Bluetooth devices with a shake of the 20S
- Intuitive control with hands-free voice commands.Sample rate: max. 48 kHz (DAC)
- The Sena 20S comes with a sliding lock mechanism that incorporates a downward lock and pin mechanism, as well as a slide lock mechanism. This provides great durability and sturdiness to the device as there are multiple ways the device can grip the mounts provided.
- The Sena 20S has an ambient mode, which allows the rider to interact with the outside environment and persons around them without having to remove their helmet. With the push of a button, an external microphone fitted into the Sena 20S is activated and thus activates the ambient mode.
- The Sena 20S has an AUX port to connect your phone during the ride for streaming music or receiving GPS commands from your smartphone app. It also has a port that offers connectivity to earbuds of your choice.
- The Sena 20S is equipped with voice commands, many of which directly activate the features of this product without having to take your hands off the motorcycle. This is very beneficial in heavy traffic when your focus has to be on the bike, but you need the option of hands-free communication or entertainment.
- The Sena 20S is provided with a boom mic and two other mics to suit your convenience. These mics record high-quality audio and ensure clarity while communicating during a ride. This also allows for easy access to the device with the help of the above-mentioned voice commands.
- Multi-way intercom connectivity upto 8 riders, 1.2 miles (2 km) range
- Good battery life, upto 13 hours of usage, lightweight at 2.08 ounces
- FM radio access, with 10 presets, Sena support app for music streaming and navigation aid, iOS, and Android compatible
- Slim jog dial for easy and quick access to multiple device options
- AUX port and facility to connect earbuds
- Audio multitasking, allows multiple apps to send data at the same time
- High-quality audio mic, voice commands to ensure the easy hands-free device
- Sliding lock mechanism for stable mounting onto the helmet
- Ambient mode to communicate with the external environment
- Charging time is long at 2.5 hours
- The 20S is water-resistant, not waterproof
- The default speakers provided by Sena crackle at higher volumes, as reported by users
Sena 20S vs Sena 10S
As part of our article to help you decide if the Sena 10S or 20S is the motorcycle communication device you need, we shall now discuss the similarities and differences between the two models before informing you of our preference.
- Microphones – The microphones and their options are similar in the contents of both products. These high definition mics capture clear sound and have a good dynamic range while including effective noise cancellation to keep wind disturbances and other such from affecting communication.
- Bluetooth 4.1 and earbud connectivity- Both the devices are equipped with Bluetooth 4.1. This ensures longer battery life while improving the connectivity of the devices. If you’re a rider who prefers having earbuds while riding, these Sena devices are compatible with most earbuds and give you added flexibility.
- Water-resistant – Both these products from Sena are water-resistant but not waterproof. This is because of the jog dial included in the device, which does not provide a complete seal to keep water out. As a result, this device will still operate in light rains, but will automatically shut down if there is an excess accumulation of water in the device until the device shuts down.
- Sena support app – The 10S and 20S are both supported by the iOS and Android compatible Sena app. This app provides an easy way to arrange rider groups and assign riders priority before the ride, which ensures smoother communication during the ride. It also speeds up the installation setup and makes it a hassle-free process.
- FM access and AUX port – Both these devices use the wire connecting the speakers as their antenna, which helps you tune into your local radio and news stations to give you company when on your independent road trip. However, if you prefer streaming your own music through wired means, these products from Sena are also equipped with an AUX port to enable you to do so.
- Voice command – The Sena 20S can be voice-activated by saying “Hey Sena” into the microphone, which gives the user the option to perform tasks completely hands-free. This feature is however absent in the older 10S.
- Finish and design – The 10S has a glossy finish and an oval-shaped body. On the other hand, the 20S has a matte finish with a sharp and racy design meant to improve aerodynamic performance. The glossy finish on the 10S is susceptible to fingerprint marks which makes it slightly troublesome. There are no such issues with the 20S though.
- Ambient mode – The 20S is equipped with an ambient mode that allows you to communicate with people in your immediate vicinity without having to take off your helmet. It works by activating an external mic that allows you to hear what the person is speaking. This feature is not available on the 10S though.
- Connectivity and range – The 10S has a 1-mile range and allows for connectivity upto 3 devices. The 20S on the other hand has a 1.2-mile range and allows connectivity upto 8 devices. The extended range on the 20S is thanks to the dedicated antenna which is spring-loaded and can be deployed whenever you require the extra range. It also makes the 20S more convenient for larger riding groups.
- Locking mechanism – The 10S has a single sideways pin and lock mechanism with foam padding to ensure a cushioned fit. The 20S on the other hand has a sliding slot along with a downward pin and lock mechanism, which is also well padded. This ensures the 20S has a more robust and stable locking mechanism as compared to the 10S.
- Battery life and charging – The 10S has a 12-hour battery life and takes 3 hours to charge fully. On the other hand, the 20S has a 13-hour battery life and takes only 2.5 hours to charge, which is still long, but not as long as the 10S.
After making our detailed feature list and Sena comparison chart for the 10S and the 20S, the 20S emerges as a clear winner.
A great successor to the 10S, the 20S comes with major upgrades on all the features of the 10S. These include improved range and an increase in the number of users the device can connect to.
On the other hand, it also introduces a plethora of new features like voice activation and ambient mode, which make the device adaptable to real-life situations.
It has minute improvements in the battery life while retaining its lightweight chassis with a negligible weight increase.
Despite the increase in the pricing of the 20S, customers are very happy with the product.
The 20S has a 4.4 customer rating on Amazon, which is higher compared to the 4.2 rating customers have given to the 10S.
The 20S has also been rated almost 4 times more than its predecessor, proving it is a great product from Sena.
Things to keep in mind while Buying a Motorcycle Intercom system
If at the end of this article, you find that the Sena 10S or 20S is not the motorcycle communication device you’re looking for, here are a few tips you can keep in mind while looking at other products.
- Range and connectivity
This is a key factor while choosing your motorcycle communications device. The range will help you decide how to spread out your riding pack while the number of devices that can be connected to your device will ensure you stay connected with large riding groups consisting of multiple riders.
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Make sure the range of the device is not just for LOS communications, but also on twisty roads where you may encounter obstacles like hills and forests.
- Water resistance
No matter how well planned your road trip is, the weather is a very fickle element that can change very quickly.
The most ideal device would be waterproof, making it impervious to water. However, riders do not require waterproofing unless they are riding regularly in wet weather conditions.
In the inevitability of being caught in the rain, your device must be water-resistant to allow for some functionality.
An added bonus would be to have safeguards in place to shut the device down automatically in case too much water accumulates within the device.
- Ease of Use
While on a motorcycle, a rider’s focus must be on the road and the surrounding primarily.
Therefore, the communication device of your choice must have an easy to access functionality in the form of buttons or dials.
These must be able to function even when a rider has his gloves on.
Another beneficial feature in this aspect would be the ability to activate and use the device with the help of voice commands.
- Music, Radio, and Voice Quality
If you are someone who prefers solitary long rides, then you must feel the boredom occasionally.
In these situations, your device must be compatible with your smartphone to provide an option to stream music or listen and attend calls.
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To ensure clarity in the calls, the mics must be of high quality and noise-canceling to eliminate disturbance due to wind and traffic.
If you do not have your phone, your device must be able to connect to local FM stations for the latest updates on weather, news, and entertainment.
- Price, Reviews & Ratings
If you are confused about a product, feel free to go through the reviews and rating section on Amazon, which allows users who have used their product to express their views on the product and thereby voice their opinions of the device.
Depending on your requirements, you must also be willing to spend some money on your communications headset.
More expensive options offer better range, increased connectivity, and great supporting features, along with better audio performance.
These devices also have smaller footprints and do not affect the aerodynamic performance of your ride by a large margin.
- Other features
Other features that you may want to keep in mind include the warranty on your device, the compatibility of your device with products from other companies, and the support apps provided by the company to ensure you have a reliable support and troubleshooting guide which can come in handy while on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between Sena 10S and 20S?
The 10S is the predecessor to the 20S, both of which are marketed as motorcycle Bluetooth communications headsets. The major differences between the two include increased range and connectivity in the 20S.
Other differences include the inclusion of voice commands and ambient mode in the 20S, which is not available in the 10S. The locking mechanism on the 20S includes a sliding lock, which is absent in the 10S.
Is the Sena 10S waterproof?
The Sena 10S is water-resistant, but not waterproof. This means the device is built to withstand light showers without having to worry about the condition of the device, as it keeps the water out to an extent.
However, since it is not waterproof, this product must not be immersed in water as it will stop working. You face a similar risk if your Sena 10S device is exposed to heavy rains.
Does Sena 20S have a mesh?
Yes, the 20S is equipped with +Mesh technology. This adapter was created with the purpose of providing communication channels within large riding groups.
This technology links up an unlimited number of Sena compatible devices and offers better connectivity and range compared to the more traditional Bluetooth connectivity offered.
This also ensures riders can move in and out of the communication range without disturbing the connectivity of the entire group.
The adapter must be placed in the direct line of sight of the riders that you see to communicate with. It is also provided with a handlebar mount and adhesive mount to ensure maximum flexibility in finding the optimum position for you.
What is the best Sena headset?
From our Sena headset comparison, in which we pitted the 20S against the older 10S, the 20S emerged a winner. It offers a plethora of features that are vital while on a road trip, be it on your own or with a riding crew.
These include music streaming, connectivity to 3 riders, and a 1-mile range. It also has a good noise-canceling mic and a small footprint, making it a great headset to consider while making a new purchase.
How does Sena work?
Sena is a riding tech company that designs products like the 10S and 20S, which are marketed as motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems.
These products have antennas and transceivers, which help establish communication links over long distances, as observed in riding groups.
It also has a Sena support app and Bluetooth connectivity, which connects the device to your smartphone. This provides access to GPS and calls answering features of the product.
The device has multiple buttons that are easily accessible. Depending on the model, these buttons provide a one-touch function that makes it easy to use during rides.
Will Sena pair with other brands?
Yes! The Sena 10S and 20S are provided with the Universal Intercom System. This allows riders with the devices from Sena to pair with similar communication devices from other brands as well.
As a result, drivers are able to communicate with each other on a common platform during road trips.
This is also a great convenience for riders looking to go on rides with different groups of riders, as they will be able to communicate seamlessly through their Sena device.
At the end of this article, we have established all the facts in our Sena 10S vs 20S debate. This helped us choose the 20S as a better device to choose for your communications requirements.
The major reasons behind this were the features provided in the 20S, which are unavailable in the 10S. These include the ambient mode, voice command activation, and a sliding lock mechanism to secure the device in place.
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Other features of the 20S are an upgrade compared to what the 10S offers.
These include connectivity with 8 riders, compared to 3 of the 10S, while the 20S has a range of 1.2 miles, which is greater than the 1-mile range offered by the 10S.
It makes slight improvements in battery performance while retaining the small footprint and lightweight design of the 10S.
Despite being more expensive, these upgrades and new features make the 20S a better product to consider while buying a new communications headset.
If you have any questions regarding our Sena 20S vs 10S comparison, you are free to comment down below, we are happy to help you all.
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