Sena releases dates and prices for 30K intercom and smart Bluetooth noise-cancelling helmets
Sena has been responsible for some of the best motorcycle-focused Bluetooth gear of the last few years. We're still huge fans of the 20S intercom, for example, and we use it in conjunction with the GP10 GoPro backpack in all our motorcycle video content, because the sound quality and noise reduction are absolutely superb.
Now, after an achingly long development cycle, the Korean company is ready to step things up a notch. At the AIM Expo and last week's EICMA expo in Milan, Sena unveiled the production models of its 30K intercom system, and a full range of Momentum helmets with built-in Bluetooth gear - including the game-changing INC helmet.
Let's take a quick look at each, with American and Euro pricing.
30K Mesh Intercom Communication System
There wasn't an awful lot wrong with the 20S, but the 30K does everything the old unit does, including audio multitasking, voice control and up to three Bluetooth connections to other intercoms, phones and devices.
The key step forward here is second antenna for the the mesh system, which means if you're riding in a group (up to 16 intercoms), and the group gets separated, both parts of the intercom network will remain active, whether or not the "primary" device is in range. This kind of self healing mesh network has been a feature of Cardo Scala intercoms for some time now.
There's also a "public" mode that doesn't require any pairing whatsoever, meaning you can hook up with a bunch of mates immediately, or get involved in conversations with other rider groups you might run into on the road. That'll be interesting.
There's a dock for off-lid charging, which can also be set to automatically update the 30K's firmware via Wi-Fi. Range and battery life seem about the same as the 20S – 13 hours of regular Bluetooth intercom at up to 2.0 km (1.24 mi), or up to 8 hours of mesh intercom work.
The 30K is on sale now for US$329, or US$579 for a dual pack. Euro pricing is the same, but in Euros, which is odd. For more information, check our full rundown on the Sena 30K.
Momentum Smart Helmets
Forget your heads-up displays, this is the lid we've been waiting for. Sena has built a range of helmets fully integrated with the best of its Bluetooth and camera gear.
Available now, there's the Momentum, and Momentum Lite lids.
The Momentum Lite incorporates the basic Bluetooth functionality of a Sena SMH10, and will retail for US$399/€419.
The Momentum basically has a built-in 20S intercom, with its voice control, high quality audio, multiple Bluetooth connections and FM radio. A monster battery life of 27 hours and an intercom range of 1.6 km (1 mi) make this a considerable step up for a price of US$449/€469.
The Momentum INC is the real superstar here, taking all the functionality of the 20S and adding intelligent noise cancellation functionality that the company claims can drastically reduce the ear-damaging wind noise you get when you're cruising at any speed. The INC technology is designed to cut down wind noise while still letting you hear important external sounds like engine noise, sirens and other traffic.
Apart from saving your hearing, the INC gear should help make you more refreshed at the end of a long day on the road. As anyone who flies with noise cancellation headphones will attest, long periods of exposure to constant, high-volume wind noise like you get on a plane can really wear you down mentally.
The Momentum INC will be available in the next few weeks for US$549/€569.
And, in Q1 2018, there's another two models to look forward to – "Pro" versions of the Momentum and Momentum INC that incorporate a built-in action camera.
The camera seems to be an upgrade from the one used in the Sena Prism and 10C units, with a 135-degree wide-ish field of view, QHD 1440p/30fps and 1080p/60fps recording modes. It's stuck directly on top of the helmet and doesn't need to be angle-adjusted, and while recording, it'll burn through your 27 hours worth of battery in just 2 hours.
It's not as wide-angled as a GoPro's 170 degree field of view, which is what we prefer to help make our footage look as fast and exciting as possible, but it does have built-in Wi-Fi which can be used to preview, review and download footage onto a smartphone or tablet for super-quick sharing – one of the chief things we felt the Prism and 10C needed.
The Momentum Pro will cost US$599/€619, and the Momentum INC Pro will cost US$699/€719.
If Sena is able to nail the basics of the helmet game, making a comfortable, cool, quiet, lightweight, aerodynamic and practical lid with all this functionality built in, these could be a real winner. They're all DOT/ECE certified, with quick release pinlock-ready visors, washable liners and D-ring fasteners, but they'd certainly benefit from a cosmetic makeover, with the only available colors at launch being black, white and matt black.
Check out our full rundown on the Sena Momentum INC helmets.
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Meanwhile, I suggest you propose your notion of noise pollution fines to the increasing number of morons I find on the roads blasting their tunes out of their car windows (or in some cases, with the windows rolled up thanks to their million watt bass systems).
Don't conflate motorcycle riders with idiots who feel the need to make noise on the road, as the latter are found aplenty in the automotive world as well.
industrialnoisecontrol dot com lists a motorcycle at 25 ft (90 dB). That twice as noise as a diesel truck. And that level will be for legal exhausts, not the ones people add on.
And just because someone else is blaring noise doesn't give motorcycles the right to be loud.
Agreed, though, that there are a lot of morons out there who need to be loud to show off how great they are (yet another situation where human ego is the downfall of civilized behavior) but there is zero hypocrisy in a biker who uses earplugs (again, for wind noise) and still wants to hear music and/or communicate with others.