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Combination speaker/earphone baseplate?

Tor Amundson
suggested this on November 21, 2011 05:46 PM

I ride with a Schuberth C3 which is a nicely quiet helmet.  When I commute (a simple half-hour ride to work) I'd like to use in-helmet speakers as it's less hassle and they work OK in such a quiet lid.  However, when I head out on longer weekend rides and tours I much prefer to use my custom earphones.

Has Sena thought about making a baseplate similar to the SMH-A0304 but with both attached helmet speakers *and* an earphone jack?  Just like on a cel phone, when someone plugs the earphones in to the jack the speakers would shut off, making it quick and easy to choose what type of audio output to use that day.  I think a lot of commute+tour combo riders like myself would appreciate that kind of option.

 

Comments

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Sena
Sena Technologies

Thank you for your feedback. We will do feasibility study for another optional clamp to enable both option in the same plate. We will keep you updated later.

November 22, 2011 09:15 PM
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Tor Amundson

Excellent - I will keep an eye out for any updates.  Thank you for being so responsive to your customers!  :)

November 26, 2011 02:52 AM
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Victor Henderson

I would like this as well. I modded the baseplate just now to support this. I put a  female jack on the baseplate and wired the speakers to a male jack. I just plug in the speakers or the ear buds as I need them . I have a Shoei RF-1100 that is a bit noisy at times so on long trips I like my ear buds. Quick trips around town or short day trips the speakers do just fine. I think that the simplest cheapest mod for Sena would be to have the helmet speakers with a male plug and the wire that comes out of the unit be about 4 inches long with a female plug. I velcro the mini plug on the side of my helmet for ease of access but if the wire coming off the unit is long enough it could be tucked into the helmet.

November 29, 2011 07:42 PM
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Victor Henderson

I also have to add that I LOVE my headsets. They are just about perfect.

November 29, 2011 07:46 PM
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Donald Maldonado
  1. Since the ear-phone base-plate has not been robust enough for me, I now purchase speakered bases and cut the wires and install a 3.5mm female plug for my ear molds.  Don't mind not having speakers but would like a more robust speaker-less base.
December 12, 2011 10:52 AM
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David Kaleta

I'd just like to add my 2 cents worth, the smh10 is excellent, the only area of issue are the speakers! Was thinking if you could add a speaker port that bypasses the helmet speakers when plugged in, that would be awesome. lets us use moulded earpieces to reduce noise.

December 14, 2011 05:16 AM
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Corey Reeves

I just happened to come across this as I was looking to send an email to SENA reference this subject.  The set up of the SENA is awesome.  I would definitely like to have the option of ear plugs or speakers (my ear buds have a better sound to them).  Overall the SMH10 is phenomenal.  I am holding out on buying a second set for 2 up riding to see if you develop this (passenger will get the SMH10 i have now so I can use ear buds).

December 31, 2011 05:05 PM
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Tom Balaban

I, too, would like the option of helmet speakers or earbuds in the same base. Also, if nothing else, please change the female plug on the SMH-A0303. Mine snapped off somewhere along the line. It still works but now flops around. JB Weld is my next test solution. Poor design, great functionality.

January 17, 2012 08:52 AM
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Bradiac

My second base plate is the A0303, I also wish it had the option for speakers too. On my 20 minute commute earbuds do not make sense, however, on my long trips I couldn't run without them. The idea behind wearing earbuds is to decrease the volume to your ear while being able to hear clearer. I should not have to choose which helmet to wear solely on the baseplate mounted to it.

I also would like to have a much better jack to plug in to. The one on this A0303 is way too weak to hold up to the rough & tumble life hanging off the side of a motorcycle helmet. I fear the collar on my Stitch is going to snap it off. 

 

January 29, 2012 02:45 AM
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Albert T. Sindel

Please put me down for one as well.

January 30, 2012 10:54 AM
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Kirk Hand

I am also very interested in this!!! 

February 05, 2012 06:24 PM
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Randy H

Please.  Would be lovely to simply add the mini-jack to the standard hard wired speakers.  Like in other devices, when something plugged into the mini-jack, disables the speakers.

February 15, 2012 12:37 AM
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Randy H

Oh, and add ability for speakers on removable / changeable microphone base plate so its main feature / difference is the microphone option and not which ear device.

February 15, 2012 12:39 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

I use Etymotic earbuds on my bike. Add my vote for a combined speakers/earbud socket where plugging in the earbuds cuts out the speakers.

That makes more sense to me than having the MP3 3.5mm input socket.

And what happens if I want both wired mic and earbuds? At present you don't seem to have a solution.  A comination speakers/earbud base with wired mic would cater for that too.

Even better, have the boom mic plug in, and be unpluggable. (Look at the first Bikercom models.)  Then a wired mic could be plugged in instead.

One base does all functions!  -Just sell various mics as options, including throat mic.

 

February 17, 2012 04:58 AM
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Albert T. Sindel

I just spoke with 4 of my riding buddies that use the SMH-10.

We all think that these are the bee's knees and would buy these new base plates when they become available.

Please hurry!

February 17, 2012 06:40 AM
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Cpsmith835

I would buy this also.  The speakers are ok for around town and using the intercom with my girlfriend, but on long road trips at high speed, I need earbuds.  As it is, I have to buy a separate base and yank out  my speakers, which is a pain and hard on them.  Or have separate helmets, this is a pain.

February 19, 2012 09:15 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

I checked out the contacts of the earplug base vs the speakers base.
Two differences:
on the speakers base, the speakers -ves are not commoned, on the earplug base they are;
the earplug outputs have 75ohm resistors in series with them.

So I figured the speakers base could get the -ves commoned.

I did that, and wired the speaker outputs via a switching 3.5mm socket stuck to my helmet liner, which cuts out the speakers when earphones are plugged in.
However I don't have resistors in series with the earphone outputs.
The setup seems to work OK.

A question for the Sena people: Is this arrangement OK, or am I likely to damage the amplifier outputs?
If necessary, I can ensure that no audio is being emitted when I plug in the earphones, because that action is most likely shorting the amp outputs together and/or to ground for a second or so.

 

February 27, 2012 02:00 AM
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Tim Jones

If this became available I would be buying 4 sets, 2 for my 2 helmets and 2 for my wifes. Depending on what ride we are undertaking means different helmets.. Riding solo we use full face or 2 up we tend to use our system flipup's... I much prefer to use my moulded earphones compared to the stereo speakers but to have the choice if i am only commuting into work would be great.. Loving the Sena product though :-)

Oh, hi from Western Australia..

February 29, 2012 03:54 AM
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Frost

If this feature becomes available, I will buy a set for sure!

I used to have another brand of BT intercom and I find that it's pretty impossible to ride long distance using only the speakers. 

If i can plug in my Shures to this unit, it'll be awesome!!!

 

Please keep us updated.  Or let us know if this is even in consideration.  Thanks.

March 02, 2012 08:44 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

Thank you for your feedback. We will do the possibility study for the attachable speakers. 

We will keep you updated later.

March 06, 2012 03:00 AM
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Phil McC

Please I would be in for plate that simply adds the mini-jack to the standard hard wired speakers.  Like in other devices, when something  is plugged into the mini-jack,  it disables the  internal speakers.  I looked at alot of models before settling on your device (was at the Revzilla store which has quite the selection) - I felt yours were the best overall - with the jog wheel and ability to update software, the only thing missing was the jack for those longer rides (plus 40 minutes) - the fit on the newer  Bell Star helmets is perfect!

April 06, 2012 03:59 PM
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Gennadiy Tsygan

Why not just install helmet speakers like these http://www.bikeintercom.com/products/x1.htm and plug them in instead of the earbuds?

April 08, 2012 06:36 AM
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Christian Aasland

I tried installing helmet speakers and driving them from the A303 / A304 baseplate, with the ability to switch back and forth. The volume is NOT sufficient, even with an additional amplifier.

April 13, 2012 11:09 AM
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Ken Gillett

I would also like to add weight to this request. Ideally, there needs to be a new mount plate that looks like the A0302, but with the mini jack input replaced by an output that shuts off the built-in headphones when a jack plug (to the ear buds) is inserted.

This will not suit those who want to use the external input, but really, how often does that get used. Far better to instead use it for earbud output so there's no other external protrusion that could be damaged as on the current A0304. Also no re-design required for the outer casing. Just internal changes.

This would be really useful for me since as others have stated, there are times when earbuds are suitable and other times when you want to just use built-in headphones. We need a new mount plate that allows this flexibility.

May 10, 2012 07:02 AM
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Bradiac
Ken That would be the killer soloution. I would buy 2 of them in a heart beat !
May 20, 2012 10:37 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

For those handy with a soldering iron...
waggies.net/Ken/Sena/

The content may get 'improved', but I'll keep the link alive.

May 21, 2012 06:19 AM
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Tim Jones

That's an awesome writeup Ken :) Tackling this soon as I get the bits together, THANK YOU..

May 21, 2012 06:41 AM
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Christian Aasland

Ken, that looks great, but wouldn't the earbuds and helmet speakers have different impedance requirements? I'm concerned that sending the highly amplified speaker signals to the earbuds may damage the earbuds.

May 21, 2012 09:27 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

Christian, the optimum amplifier output impedance for speakers, headphones etc, is 0 ohms.  This gives the maximum damping, ie reduces the cone's spurious vibrations or tendancy to resonate.

I find the the volume setting for speakers and earphones is similar, so when the earphones are plugged in, they aren't driven excessively hard.

No, I don't believe earbuds will be damaged unless you turn up the volume very high, in which case it is your hearing that will suffer most..

It is probable, though I haven't tested for it, that the battery life when using earphones is greater than when using the helmet speakers, since the drive current will be less, even for the same volume setting.  The impedance of my earphones and most others is nominally 32 ohms.

With sound-blocking earphones like my Etymotics, you can have the sound down lower than with speakers anyway, because external noise is reduced.

A neater solution to my external socket, would be modifying the MP3-input socket in the clamp.  But that doesn't switch, and space is tight. So I didn't think that would be too easy without a lot of clamp hacking.  My solution is completely reversible without damage to the clamp or PCB.
An advantage to my helmet-mounted socket is that it is waterproof.  As soon as you plug something into the MP3-input socket, it ceases to be waterproof. -Not that I think a bit of rainwater entering the clamp would kill anything.  The headset part is still sealed.

May 21, 2012 03:26 PM
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Tom Balaban

THANKS, Ken!!!!

My soldering is not as neat as a Navy Electronics Mate would do it but it works just as I'd hoped it would. One hour and a $2.50 switching plug from Radio Shack and it's done.

 

Hey Sena, Please make something like this for us. I know you'll do a cleaner job of it than I did. I'll still buy one if you make it.

June 07, 2012 04:49 PM
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Ken Gillett

I had a mount modified here in the UK by the manufacturer of the earphones - Ultimate Ear, as this is a service they offer for £35. They put a socket on the output from the mount and a plug on the headphone wire, same as the earphones so you just connect whichever you want to use. They did a good job, but are restricted by the length of the original wire between the mount and the LH headphone/speaker which means it is very difficult to position everything satisfactorily. I think I will try Ken's solution on another mount as I think that will be superior.

What we really though is for Sena to provide such an option as I outlined above.

June 08, 2012 01:04 AM
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Ian Sullivan

Just like to add my voice to this thread, but as the possibility study was started in March I wonder how far things have got?

Any update Sena?   My money is waiting for you!

For now I am going to dust down my soldering iron and have a go at Ken's killer mod . . .

June 20, 2012 04:30 AM
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Albert T. Sindel

I now just use the earphone baseplate and added a set of helmet speakers with a 3.5 phono male plug to be able to use either setup.

June 20, 2012 10:24 AM
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Mike
I'm with you guys. I have 2 sets of SMH-10's with the additional clamp for earbuds. I just finished a 1500 mile trip in which I started our using my custom molded earphones. I loved it but made conversations without intercoms impossible. Therefore after commuting to our destination I swapped back in speaker setup. It was too much work to swap back for the ride home. This compilation ability with one baseplate would be PERFECT!!!! Sena: how's the study coming? It appears to be a popular request and I'm sure it would be welcome by many more - even if they don't know it yet.
June 27, 2012 12:15 PM
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Bradiac

Albert, the helmet speaker set up seems like the way to go - at the moment. Where did you get your helmet speakers? Were they the same physical size as the Sena units?

Who would have thunk that we would be discussing how to farkle...     a farkle?         ;-)

 

July 01, 2012 04:26 AM
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Albert T. Sindel
I use a set of speakers from Edsets.com.. To me these have given the best sound that I have found for helmet speakers..
July 01, 2012 07:04 PM
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Tom Balaban

After setting up my old helmet with Ken's super solution, decided to go the other route with my new Bell Revolution EVO (Hi-Vis). First, and very important, the Sena SMH-A0303 works just fine on the Bell. Mount the SMH-A0303 just aft of the inner shade control and the mic just makes it to the side of my mouth with a half inch to spare.

Next remove your basic helmet speakers from your SMH-A0301 using Ken's technique. Take the extension cable that comes with the SMH-A0303 and cut off the female end. Now comes the hard part. The extension cable wires are acrylic-coated and will not accept solder as is. I used the "scrape the wires with a flat knife" method but there is very good alternative info @ http://www.alexwhittemore.com/soldering-the-thinnest-wires-ever-con...

Now I have the best of both worlds. The speaker connector hangs from the back of my helmet when traveling to bike races while I enjoy the relative peace and quiet of my earbuds. During the race I plug in the speakers so I can use my radios, telephone AND communicate with racers when necessary.

I'm still waiting for Sena to decide there is enough demand for an integrated unit. Until then this is going to work just fine.

July 09, 2012 05:24 PM
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Stuartv

+1 on the request for a baseplate with a switching jack to use in-helmet speakers or earmolds!

July 12, 2012 08:52 AM
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Natelc

I would buy this base plate as soon as it came out.

July 18, 2012 09:17 AM
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Patrick Vandenbulcke

Yes, I second that.

Real Headphones/earplugs  are such much better then the Sena speakers or any other speakers of the competition.

I love the Sena, however I was not impressed with the sound quality. I had to make the sound loud (it can be loud enough that is not the problem) but you only hear high frequencies. All the low frequencies are gone (resulting in pain in my ears after a while)

So, I cut the speakers, added a jack to my helmet and soldered the jack to the speaker wires. this together with a switch allows me to switch between the speakers and the earbuds. it does the job, but it would be better to have a jack output on the baseplate. I don't see why this should be a problem. 
Everybody wants it.

I also found other baseplates on the Internet, that do offer this functionality for Sena! Are these authorized 3rd party baseplates?

 

August 02, 2012 06:05 AM
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Christian Aasland

I have now modded my Sena baseplate to include the switching headphone jack. I definitely appreciate the flexibility to continue to the Sena when in town and not going fast enough to require earplugs. If earplugs are needed, I'll still revert to my Westone CR1's, which have a fidelity leaps and bounds beyond the Sena's speakers. For giggles, I did install the speakers with quick-disconnects and tried using a pair of speakers from a decent pair of headphones. The sounds quality was much better than Sena's but not as loud (and the Sena's aren't loud enough to start with).

August 02, 2012 09:26 AM
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Dennis York

Sena, add one more customer that wants this combo backing plate (ability to both use in-helmet speakers and earbuds). My Schuberth C3 had the perfect spot to easily install speakers. I use earbuds, but as others have already stated, on local across-town rides or commutes it's easier to just listen via speakers than to put in earbuds and plug them in.

 

Thanks for considering this and keeping it at the top of your development process.

 

August 07, 2012 07:04 AM
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John Quick

Sena , you should definitely consider this, i want one and i want it yesterday.:-)

August 20, 2012 08:10 AM
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Victor Henderson

This is an obvious feature that people of earnestly requested for some time. In this particular thread since November 21, 2011 19:46.  Actions speak loudly and Sena has pretty much stated their position  on it.  

August 20, 2012 08:30 AM
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Dave Yeager

Victor,

I think you meant to say "lack of actions"!?  I had asked for this back in early 2010, and so note to Sena marketing... put me on the list of anxious customers.  Not certain what their competitors are doing in this area, but there are a few threads on mods for the Cardo Scala G4.  I'd venture to say whoever brings this feature to market first will get my 'vote'.

August 26, 2012 12:45 PM
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David Kaleta
Again, another company not bothered in customer feedback! As Victor and Dave clearly stated, along with myself and countless others, this is a requirement that would make an good poduct an excellent purchase but unfortunately seems to fall on deaf ears. I for one have no loyalty to any brand and as soon as this product in any shape or form becomes available, I'll buy it regardless of supplier. WAKE UP SENA!!!!!!!!
August 26, 2012 01:10 PM
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Stuartv

I can't speak for the rest of these folks, but, I would not mind at all losing the Aux In jack and having that jack be my earbud jack instead.

 

I NEVER use the Aux In jack. Bluetooth all the way.

 

If I were going to run a physical line from an external source to my SMH10, I would most likely use one of the many 3rd party products that does audio mixing (e.g. Mix-It or Boostaroo - http://www.aerostich.com/electronics/audio/mixers-and-amps) and run a line from the SMH10 earbud out jack to the Mix-It and also plug my earbuds into the Mix-It - instead of having my earbuds plugged straight into the SMH10 helmet clamp.

September 08, 2012 03:43 PM
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Victor Henderson

I see that one of the problems has been resolved. The ear bud output jack on the auxiliary now dangles from 3/8 inch flexible wire. This will correct the issue of snapping the rigid plug off the back of the base plate. I have had two of them snap. I was able to repair one with epoxy however when my pillion snapped the other one the wire was torn and I could not fix it. I found this out because I broke down this week and ordered my pillion a replacement base plate and saw the corrected design. Thanks Sena! Now... if you would just a a combination base plate going. 

September 13, 2012 08:09 PM
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Irhs

Ditto here.  Combination baseplate would be the way to go.  This would also simplify their lineup of SKUs, I think, because it would accommodate nearly everyone.  If this was available, it is the baseplate I would get for all of my family's helmets.

September 17, 2012 01:15 PM
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Gennadiy Tsygan

I don't use helmet speakers, so I rewired my standard plate for headphones using the "aux" input jack.

September 17, 2012 02:11 PM
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Tom Balaban

Gennadiy,

 

Any detail/photos you can provide on this solution are appreciated.

 

Thanks.

September 17, 2012 02:29 PM
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Ken Gillett

Ideally, if we can figure out how to modify the normal headphone baseplate to use the Aux In socket as a switchable output (so with nothing plugged in the headphones are still connected) then the problem is solved. But that doesn't absolve Sena from pulling their finger out and actually making what we need.

September 18, 2012 03:22 AM
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natrab
Would really like to see this feature offered.
September 18, 2012 03:41 PM
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Gennadiy Tsygan

Tom,

It is too late for the photos, but the process is fairly straightforward for anyone familiar with electronics. The case is held together by 2 visible screws and other 2 under the rubber plate. The cap over the base of the mike boom should be moved forward. Once the PC board is removed, cut the traces going from the aux connector (but not the ground one) and solder 47-56 Ohm resistors between "+" speaker terminals and the contacts on the aux connector. Small surface mounted "chip" resistors would work the best, but I managed to do it with regular "through the hole" ones. One difference from the factory headphone baseplate is that the click during the power up is louder, so I might revisit this project to fix it. But otherwise it works fine.

September 19, 2012 12:43 PM
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Ken Gillett

A couple of questions:-

- Why does it need the resistors? Earbuds directly to the speaker outputs (instead of speakers) works fine.

- As you describe above, when the earbuds are plugged in, the speakers are also still connected and presumably working. Does this cause any issues, e.g. battery life? Is this why you use the resistors to avoid dropping the overall impedance seen by the Sena?

September 20, 2012 01:35 AM
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Gordon Navecky

I would buy one. Sena no update since March, are you here.

September 20, 2012 11:20 AM
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Dave Yeager

I'll offer an answer to Ken... resistors are used to reduce power to earbuds, as they do not require as much as the speakers.  Sena's earbud accessory (A0303) uses 75 ohm resistors.

September 20, 2012 08:54 PM
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Ken Gillett

I understand that earbuds need less power, but in actual fact, connecting them directly works fine. You just have more volume to play with:-) However, it does create a large discrepancy between volume levels when you switch between earbuds and speakers so I can see it being a good idea.

However, AFAICT in the explanation of the mod, when the earbuds are connected, so are the speakers. This may not be a problem, desirable even, but does it cause any other issues, like reduced battery life, max. available volume etc? Or have I misunderstood the explanation?

September 21, 2012 01:20 AM
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Gennadiy Tsygan

Dave is right, earbuds are resistored because they don't need as much power as speakers. I would connect them without resistors for those quiet tracks, but Sena's own beeps and messages would become too loud.

I did disconnect the speakers because in over a year of the ownership I decided that I don't want to use them. However, I'm pretty sure that running both speakers and resistored earbuds is possible without any side effects.

September 21, 2012 09:04 AM
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Ken Gillett

Sounds like I need to do this mod myself and test it. If it works as I want I'll be a very happy bunny :-)

September 21, 2012 10:13 AM
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Gennadiy Tsygan

I fixed the problem with the load click on power up. As I thought it was a grounding issue. Speakers and the Aux jack use different common wires. I took some picture and will post them soon.

September 23, 2012 06:20 PM
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Gennadiy Tsygan
September 23, 2012 06:57 PM
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Npiazza
I would like to add my vote in favor of an earphone option for the Sena SMH5. The mike works fine, and the speakers are adequate at low speed, however, at higher speeds, they are inaudible. An earphone option would allow me to use my Sena SNH5 for better quality sound, noise suppression, and would be more convenient with a shorty helmet. I would even be willing to buy a new component with a pass through jack just so I could use my favorite earphones. Basically, it would enable me to use my earphones as both my audio source and noise suppression earplugs. You're 95% there, why not go all the way? How hard can it be to engineer an alternative?
September 27, 2012 06:51 AM
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Ploz58

Hey Mr Sena,

you have a lot of people wanting you new base plate can you tell us what is happening?

October 01, 2012 10:54 PM
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Stuart Donaldson

How's the feasibility study coming along ? From the number of people that have posted here there's certainly a demand for it.

October 25, 2012 02:25 PM
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Dave Yeager

Not to be too cynical, but... the study was launched on 11/23/2011.  I'd guess they've studied this one by now. 

Sena, can't you toss us a bone here.  At least flag it as "Planned".  Even if it takes another year to get the product out.

October 25, 2012 02:38 PM
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Bryan Spiegle

I would love an option to use my earbuds for the SMH5... heck, just a jack and wire setup would be great, instead of having to purchase and chop one up myself!

November 15, 2012 12:30 PM
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Matthew Bacis

Add me to the list of wanting an earbud option for the SMH5.  Dual-mode baseplate (speakers and earbud outputs) would be ideal.

November 25, 2012 11:59 PM
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Matthew Bacis

Just realized that the SMH5 doesn't utilize the baseplate for anything other than holding it in place... an adapter would be needed (and greatly appreciated).  I agree that the SMH10 should have a baseplate with both otions though.

November 26, 2012 12:07 AM
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Januson Dy

i would like to have this also.

i got a Sena SMH-10 Helmet Clamp Kit - Earbuds with Boom and Wired Microphone and bought a SMH5 speaker upgrade then changed the connector to a stereo jack. but when i use the speakers the volume is a bit low for me. not like when im using the SMH10 mount with the speakers already connected to it.

December 26, 2012 05:43 PM
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Acman5548

The SMH10 I got for Christmas seems to be a great product but I ecco the others. It would be noce to have an ear bud option. In addition, My son-in-law doesn't like the boom mic. ("Doesn't look cool") The ability to plug in a throat mic would be nice to elemenate the boom but I don't know if a throat mic would work on a motor cycle application????

January 03, 2013 08:29 PM
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Dan Heming

I'm definitely all for this one also!  I would be more than willing to give up the MP3 input to have a stereo output jack there instead.  I've also broken one of the original base plates with the headphone jack.  

Like most others here, I prefer the simplicity of my speakers while in town or on short rides, but on long trips or all day on the bike, my noise reducing headphones is what I would prefer to wear.  

January 09, 2013 08:18 AM
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Victor Henderson

@ Dan Heming. I have now broken 3 of the mounts. I fixed one of them with epoxy (still using it), one of them I wrote off.  The 3rd I have a RMA on because it was the new style with the flexible cord however the cord tore after a couple dozen of uses (by my pillion). The ear bud mounts have serious reliability/design issues in my mind. I still love my Sena but the relationship has been strained at times. Oh... and no I don't believe Sena is going to make any changes soon with a combination type of mount. They have steadfastly ignored all the requests to date on this subject and I fully expect them to continue to ignore us.  

January 09, 2013 08:25 AM
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Dan Heming

@Victor Henderson, thanks.  Yeah I've read on ADV where people have used Sugru for either fixing or reinforcing their broken earbud mounts.  The original design was definitely a bad one and although the 2nd one looks like a better design, I still had my doubts about how long it would hold up with everyday use.  It really appears that headphone jack built into the clamp like the MP3 port is truly the only way to keep those from breaking.    My broken earbud clamp still works, just the plug dangles, so I removed it to fix it, but just haven't taken the time to make the repair.  My 2nd mount is the old style also, but unused.  I figured like some, I would reinforce it with Sugru from the start to hopefully keep it from breaking.  I just need to get some of that stuff and try it out.  In the mean time, I just keep using my normal speaker base plates.  

It is a shame that Sena does appear to be ignoring this request.  I've put in 2 requests that were answered (several others that aren't though also).  This one sure has a lot of activity and it seems pretty trivial that if they built these bases as being requested, people would buy them.  

January 09, 2013 08:40 AM
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Victor Henderson

@Dan Hemming, yep. I would as well. I think actually the new mount in the end result actually is even more fragile (I can't use that word w/o thinking of Christmas story <grin>) . When my latest new mount arrives as you suggested I intend to reinforce it. I used that epoxy in a tube stuff that you squeeze off and mix (plastic metal or somesuch?).  The normal speakers are just not loud enough for my ears. I invested in some custom molded ear buds and I love them. Cheers and stay safe!  Oh f you haven't yet, check out google + and the World Motorcycle Community. I think we are up to almost 700 folks now. 

January 09, 2013 08:48 AM
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Dave Yeager

Victor,

I suspect you're correct - this suggestion has long since been put in the dead-idea box at Sena.

I did scan through the long list of other suggestions, and we have the dubious honor of being the MOST ACTIVE, with this being the 75th post, and yet no acknowledgement from the host.  Too bad... seems like a good idea, and relatively easy to implement.

January 09, 2013 08:52 AM
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Victor Henderson

@Dave Yeager, it is difficult to understand because with their new streaming product that input jack is of even more limited value. I would think it would be a simple thing to re-purpose that jack for a ear bud output. This would solve two issues a) eliminate the problem with the dongle input and b)give you speakers and/or ear bud capability. It would also eliminate one mount from manufacture, reduce RMA etc etc etc. I am mystified why Sena does not implement this.

January 09, 2013 08:58 AM
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Ian Sullivan

I solved the issue!

I bought a taller wind screen for my Aprillia Atlantic and bought a Schuberth C3 helmet, now I don't even need to be at full volume, even when I am flat out on the motorway . . .

Well, I had a cracked screen and needed a new helmet, otherwise it would have been a £490 audio improvement.

Come on Sena, I am even posting funnies to get our post count up to the 100 mark so you will be shamed into action!

January 09, 2013 09:35 AM
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Regulator26fs

I was just about to order the Sena Helmet Clamp Kit For Earbuds With Boom
Microphone when I came across this thread. With all these requests I would think you would have made it by now. I'm concerned that the S-Plugs I own will disconnect while riding as others have noted with the SENA  SMH-A0303 unit. Any one using these plugs with their Sena?

January 21, 2013 07:09 AM
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Maury Feuerman

Sena!  I attended a meeting of my BMW Riders Club last weekend and we discussed supporting a single Bluetooth helmet product so that we can talk to each other.  The idea of supporting your new SMH10R came up.  One of the central issues was the use ear buds which are very popular in our club.  Not only are the other posters in this forum absolutely correct, if entire clubs are discussing supporting any product there is definitely a market.  How about a simple pigtail for the plug on the speakers for your SMH10R or could we purchase some speaker plugs (similar to the micro USB) that you are using for your speakers and make them ourselves!  Thanks!!!

February 17, 2013 06:01 PM
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Ken Wagnitz

Hi Maury.  It is very probable that you can buy the connector plug from eBay or China somewhere if you know what to search for.
Not having seen one in the flesh, I don't know what it looks like.  But I was able to buy a 10pin mini-USB plug for use with my previous brand of Bluetooth headset (abandoned in favour of Sena).  Mind you, that was tricky to wire, being so fine.

It defies logic that Sena would maintain a forum like this, then steadfastly ignore comments from potential purchasers except for a few platitudes.  Good luck on getting any answer from them.

I have the SMH10 units which I've modified (instructions given in a previous post).  I wasn't aware of the SMH10R.  I like that it comes with both microphones.  What I find scary is having to mount the battery inside the helmet.  Plenty of stories about Li-Ion batteries catching fire, without the added trauma of a helmet-to-ground impact involved.  (And it reduces your helmet cushioning.)

That said, I'm very conscious of the solid metal SMH10 baseplate clamp and screws inside my helmet ready to crack my skull.
I wish Sena would improve that arrangement.  The SMH10R shows how it could be done, especially when not using a boom microphone.  (I'm using a wired mic hacked into my normal baseplate.)

I like the SMH10 jog dial/button.  Dunno how + and - buttons would go, especially with winter gloves on.  (I'm a tourer, not an off-roader.)

February 17, 2013 07:15 PM
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Ken Gillett

I have previously used 2 other systems that used + and - buttons for volume and it's one of the main reasons for dumping those in favour of the Sena. The Jog dial is just so superior to use, particularly with gloves on.

All we need is a combination baseplate so you can switch between speakers and ear buds :-(

February 18, 2013 05:00 AM
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Natelc

I use the SMH-A0304 base plate. I installed EdSets speakers and either plug them in ormy in-ear monitors depending which I want to use at the time.

February 19, 2013 07:57 AM
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Stuartv

The EdSets look like a real PITA in this application. You have to have a short cable to jumper from the Sena output to the EdSets input. That's not such a big deal when you're actually using the EdSets (assuming you can find a short enough jumper cable). But, that cable is one extra part to lose when you have to take it out because you want to use your earbuds.

If I were going to go that route, I think I'd spend less money and get the Tork speakers. They plug right into the same jack as the earbuds. So, when you're not using them, you just have to tuck the plug away somewhere in your helmet lining, but there's nothing to lose. They may not sound AS good as the EdSets - or they may sound better. I don't know. Doesn't matter so much to me. They must sound better than the stock Sena speakers. And if I'm really concerned with audio fidelity, I'm going to use my ear buds anyway.

February 20, 2013 10:49 AM
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Stuartv

So disappointing that it has now been 15 months since Sena responded to this thread and said they'd do a feasability study and get back to us and still no response.

February 20, 2013 10:50 AM
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Stuartv

BTW, I have been emailing with Gene (the mod shown here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=828750). We have determined that the original mod does have a couple of problems:

- the L and R channels are reversed when the mod is done as shown.

- the mod needs a Ground wire to connect to the R- terminal (as well as L-, as shown).

These two enhancements to the mod correct the stereo sides (duh!) and significantly improve the stereo separation between the channels. If Gene doesn't update the thread soon, I will add new pics and info there explaining these changes to the original modification.

February 20, 2013 10:56 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

Stuartv, you should put a link to my mod page on the Adventure Riders forum.  That would give them another option, which is working fine for me.

http://www.waggies.net/Ken/Sena/

I agree with your disappointment in Sena WRT responding to posts in this forum, which they take the trouble to maintain.
Do they not realise that it is a marketing FAIL to show the world how unresponsive they are to customers?

The other thing they need to address, is what happens when the batteries in our SMH10 units fail, as they must inevitably do.
We need to be able to buy a replacement battery.  No word from Sena on that AFAIK.

February 20, 2013 01:07 PM
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Ajsachs

Most cb microphones do all the switching, the mikes just pick up the (noise) speach. If you could replace the actual mike with a bluetooth receiver pre paired to the smh10, you could run almost any cb, gmrs mobil up to 50 watts without have a zillion cables and problems. Just push the push to talk and speak.

March 02, 2013 09:30 AM
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Steve Zinski

I own the SMH10 with built-in speakers and mic. And, like many others, I'd like to have the "MP3" jack drive my earbuds instead of the speakers when I plug them in (i.e., speakers on when no earbuds plugged in, speakers off and earbuds on when plugged in).

April 25, 2013 07:17 AM
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Boatnut

HELLO????   HELLO????    Hey Sena , anybody home?  How can you excel at so many areas and completely drop the ball elsewhere?   Ok, understood that you may think it is more

profitable to have customers buy both type of bases. Real world it is costing you customers....   I own four SMH10's. Numerous bases's. First ear bud base lasted less than 20 uses. In process

of getting RMA. I bought another one anyhow so I have use and will have spare....   If your not going to offer a dual use base, TELL US!!!   At least fix the piss poor design of the ear bud plug in.

May 02, 2013 10:05 PM
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Victor Henderson
I commented about this subject on the Sena FB page and they are stating now one is in the works. https://www.facebook.com/senabluetooth
May 03, 2013 01:54 PM
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Dave Yeager

I'm delighted to hear that they are actually considering this idea!!  Recently, in prep for a week long trip, I took the time to hack a clamp, per guidance from others online, so that the 3.5mm audio INPUT was now an audio output.  Cut the spkr wires and added a 3.5mm male jack.  (Actually a friend did this for me!)  I'm 4 days into the trip right now, and have come to value this setup immensely!  Being able to move between earbuds for isolation and quality audio, and speakers that bring adequate audio but far less hassle when having to remove the helmet often during the day, is far more advantageous than i had imagined.  For me anyway, using good isolation earbuds means using triple flange tips.  This also means that removing those tips can initially be uncomfortable due to the flanges spreading outward like a barb on a hook, and what is initially discomfort can turn into downright pain as the day/week wears on.  Using earplugs with speakers solves the issue, so I now only insert earbuds when i want good quality audio.

Why this has taken the good folks at Sena so long to get around to is beyond me.  But I do plan to be an early customer once it is available.

May 03, 2013 08:48 PM
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Ken Wagnitz

I've just completed a 1month 8300km trip with Sena equipped pillion and buddy rider.  All of us had modified clamps as per my link given in an earlier post (http://waggies.net/Ken/Sena/)

I use Etymotic earbuds with the silicone flanged tips for hours on end without discomomfort.  Maybe you need smaller tips Dave?

The SMH10 and SR10 (latest) firmwares have lots of wriinkles and a few outright bugs.  But after more than a year using the SMH10s I wouldn't be without them.

 My pillion and I have Nolan helmets, and I'd love to use their integrated Bluetooth setups, but as far as I know, they don't offer the multi-way conversation that Sena now do.  That was very good this trip (relatively recent addition to their firmware).

I find helmet speakers next to useless for music or phone conversation at speed.  But yes it is useful to be able to just chuck on the helmet and use the speakers for just a quick ride around town or to the shops etc with a pillion or other rider.

Hopefully Sen'a combined clamp is as good as or better than the mods some of us have done.  If not, I'll just stick with my modified clamps.

Pretty poor that Sena can put stuff on Facebook but not on their own forum.  It indicates an attitude I'm uncomfortable with.  They should realise that their best sales staff are loyal customers, ie us.

May 03, 2013 09:32 PM
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Regulator26fs

Ken would you mind telling me which model Etymotic earbuds you use? I'm using the Splug from Plugup. They are dual driver but they are not as good as I thought they would be. At least when they are hooked to the Sena. When connected directly to Iphone they do work better.

Thanks

May 04, 2013 03:48 AM
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Ken Wagnitz

I use Etymotic er6 earbuds which aren't available any more.  I've bought, and my riding buddy used on our trip, the current equivalent.  (He was happy with them.)
mc5 if you want plain, mc2 for Android/Blackberry etc phones Includes microphone), mc3 for iPhones.
http://www.etymotic.com/  You can buy online from them in the US, or search eBay and maybe save a few dollars. (I've done both.)
I find the tips get soft after a while and need to be replaced.  These are available from Etymotic or eBay.
If the (removable) wax filters clog up, replacements can be bought online.

I'm not advocating Etymotic, its just that they've been the best earbuds I've used, so I haven't gone looking at others in the same class.
Cheap earbuds are usually lacking in either bass, treble, or both, and don't reject external noise.  Lots don't fit under a helmet, or fall out too easily.  This includes earbuds suppplied with expensive phones.

As you'd expect, the Sena headset outputs don't go down super low in frequency, but the treble is OK.
Caveat: I'm an old guy, so my treble range is diminished anyway.

May 04, 2013 08:57 PM
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Ken Gillett

Looking at the Etymotics, but don't they stick out a bit far? I like the idea of them but am concerned that they may protrude too far and get knocked by the helmet. How well do they fit under a helmet?

May 06, 2013 12:42 AM
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Regulator26fs

Thanks  for the tips Ken

May 06, 2013 03:07 AM
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Christian Aasland

Etymotics are a staple in our group. We started with the er6's but most have gone to the mc5's. The er6's do sit very deep in the ear canals. The mc5's stick out further, but this is not a problem for those who use them. They have found the mc5's to have better sound, to be much more comfortable, and cheaper, than the er6.

 

As for er6 comfort: I've found that the rounder your ear canal, the easier it is for the round er6 to plug it. Mine are nearly square so only tend to use them on single-day rides - longer rides I need the custom Westone CR-1's.

May 06, 2013 05:33 AM
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Ken Gillett

All the earbud/headphones seem to come with about 4ft of wire which is massively too long when all you need is from the ear to the side of the helmet. OK, you need a little slack to remove the helmet etc, but anything more than about 1ft is just a nuisance trying to keep it out of the way.

With such small wires it's hard enough to shorten the lead and put on a different plug, but I have found that these plugs tend to be too large to fit into the SMH10's fixed socket (now converted to output). It's still 3.5mm, but the body of the plug interferes with the body of the SMH10 clamp and the plug will not fully insert. Far from it in fact and there's no way it can make a connection.

I have modified a plug with hacksaw and grinder and then some heat shrink tubing so it now fits, but I was hoping to find a smaller wireable plug (i.e. that I can solder on to the shortened wires) that will fit unmodified into the SMH10 clamp socket. Does anyone know anything suitable?

May 08, 2013 08:44 AM
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Gordon Navecky

I just wrap the excess around the mount. No cutting or soldering. That way I can still use them with my iPhone\iPod. I am using Etymotics ER6i.

May 08, 2013 09:26 AM