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Using Siri on iPhone 4s with SMH-10?

Tor Amundson
asked this on November 26, 2011 02:59 AM

Pressing the 'phone' button on the SMH-10 starts Siri properly, but the SMH-10 seems to broadcast enough background noise that Siri never stops listening (even when using the helmet indoors in the quiet).  This means it's impossible to use Siri unless the user presses the iPhone 4s's "home" key to signal Siri to stop listening.  (if you do that, then Siri works great)

Currently the only way around this is to turn off Siri and use the old-fashioned iPhone voice commands as they 'time out' even with high noise, but this is much less functional than Siri is.

Any chance of a firmware update that would remove some of that background / base-level noise so Siri would function well?  Or is there another solution you could suggest?  Thanks!

 

Comments

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Dan Kim
Sena Technologies
Check Answer

We have noticed inconsistent response from iPhone's Siri feature. We are investigating into this matter to see what can be done to SMH10 to improve compatibility with Siri. During the time, I recommend you to disable Siri and use previous voice command feature of the iphone. Due to excessive wind noise during the ride, at certain noise level and equipments being used(open vent or open face), even voice command may not be a practical application.

November 28, 2011 06:00 PM
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Jonathan Volk

I have two SMH-10 units, both with the latest firmware (3.2) and both have the problem that extends not just to Siri, but to every call I make. Specifically, not one person I have called using the SMH-10 can understand what I'm saying. They say I sound either muffled or distorted, and always cutting in and out.

Until there is a permanent solution, this renders my SMH-10's useless as cell phone two-way communications devices and leaves me no option other than to find an alternative.

While I'm happy to know that you "...are investigating into this matter to see what can be done to SMH10 to improve compatibility with Siri", I'd be much happier holding off on finding that alternative if I knew it's one of your top priorities for the next firmware release, which I would certainly note in some upcoming product reviews I'm working on for BMW Owner's News and Iron Butt Magazine, as well as a variety of consumer sites like Revzilla & Amazon.

I also think the editors of Web Bike World would want to know that as well.

 

December 02, 2011 07:49 AM
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Dan Kim
Sena Technologies

We are investigating into this, but there may or may not be a solution for it. If solution requires change in iPhone 4S itself or its bluetooth function , then it will be very difficult to for us to correct. Keep in mind that we have to keep certain settings unchanged which are necessary for motorcycle riding environment. I am sorry that we do not have immediate solution, but our plan is to tackle the problem as soon as possible.

Also, you will notice that SMH10 will not have any trouble with other phones including older generations of iPhone.Thus, we have to make sure the solution for iPhone 4S does not effect other phones that SMH10 currently works well with. Unfortunately, I do not have firm answer for you at the moment. If phone use was your main purpose for purchasing SMH10, then you may want to consider returning the product till we have the solution for IPhone 4S.

December 02, 2011 04:49 PM
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Brent Cord

You can still answer and end calls plus control your music with the SMH10 just not make calls. That is the primary function that I use this for anyway. I have not had any complaints about audio from anyone I have talked to on my 4S.  I do not want to make call while I am riding. That is kinda of the point of going riding for me anyway. Just a thought to all those out there "on the fence" about making the purchase.

December 14, 2011 07:26 AM
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Brad Beal
Thanks for the questions and answers. I was on the fence on buying. I have a 4S. I now have two headsets on the way. I'm excited about trying them out.
January 03, 2012 08:26 AM
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Bob Dobolina

@Jonathan Volk

Make sure the mic is pointing the right way. I've read other people with the same issue - there's a notch that goes towards your mouth. Or maybe try it pointing away from your mouth. People said I sounded better on my Sena than my Blackberry at first, then I screwed with the mic and I had to repeat myself all the time until I fixed the mic direction.

January 10, 2012 10:32 AM
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Jonathan Volk
@Bob - Thanks for the tips, but I wish it were that simple. Checking te mic position was the first thing I did, particularly since their default position is off by more than a little. The only thing that works is to disable Siri, and even then callers report that my voice is far more muffled than when I had my 3G. As Sena has already acknowledged this as a problem that may or may not be fixable, I'm left with no choice but to switch brands. I've heard & read tremendous reviews about the Uclear so that will be next on my list. I'll probably post these on eBay sometime this week. I don't need 2 sets of $200 headphones.
January 11, 2012 05:22 AM
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Dan Kim
Sena Technologies

@Jonathan

Are you using iPhone 4 or 4S? If so, I advise you to download and update latest SMH10 firmware(version 3.3) which improved compatibility with 4 and 4S.

January 11, 2012 05:17 PM
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Jonathan Volk
I didn't realize there was an update. I will try that out first thing tonight when I get home and update this thread accordingly. Thank you so much! Jonny
January 12, 2012 01:31 PM
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Chris BeHanna

FWIW, if you have and use a chin curtain with your helmet, and have the mic inside above the chin curtain, you'll find much less wind noise while riding.  This might not be enough to make Siri work, but it certainly helps with intercoms and phone calls.

January 30, 2012 12:28 AM
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David Hamilton

FWIW,,,  I had a similar problems with a modular helmet.  I have no issues since I switched to a full face RF 1100 Shoei helmet.  I routed the mike behind  the chin pads and it's placement is near my chin.  I have the chin curtin installed, I think it's a necessity on any helmet wired for sound..  People are surprised to learn that I'm talking from my motorcycle helmet,  that's how quiet it is.          

February 06, 2012 03:06 PM
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Randy Patchett

FWIW -- I had the same muffled voice issue with all my calls on several different BT phones.  I tried an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and a HTC Tytan, and was just about to hit up Sena techsupport when I tried flipping the mic head around.    Fixed the issue entirely.  Turns out that there is a live side and a dead side on the mic.  The grill pattern is different on the live side (3 vertical bars of holes) than on the on the dead side (holes in a cross pattern) for a visual cue, and there is a tactile cue as well, shaped like a "V" that I can easily feel even through my winter gauntlets.  The V needs to be pointed away from your mouth.   I position the boom so that the mic head is floating above my upper lip off to the left side, lightly touching the bottom of my left nostril.  My phone callers are often surprised when they find out I'm on a bike (ducati 1098, not the quietest bike around), though my mom once mentioned that I sounded like I was talking to her from the bed of a gravel truck once, but I put that down to the flaky nature of the VOIP carrier she uses.   I've been able to talk to my crew chief during even high speed test runs on my race 1098R at the track, and I really wish more tracks would let me use it during races without having to safety it (the gorilla tape they make us use interferes with the button operation) but that's not going to happen.    I have had zero issues with Siri -- being able to dictate performance notes when I'm tweaking the suspension settings for a particular track while I'm dragging a knee at 120mph is really handy.  Now if I could just figure out a hack to easily sync my voice data captured via the the Sena with my GoPro video captures of the turns, I'd be a really happy camper.  :)   

February 27, 2012 09:03 PM
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Lu Vencl

One thing I would like to point out.

Since the  microphone gain has been bumped up, the background noise becomes a greater issue.

Once the option to lower the microphone gain is rolled out in the next release, this might be something that some of you might want to try especially if you are a full face helmet.

Lowering the microphone gain, making sure the microphone element is close to your mouth would probably be enough to make her work.

Another idea I have is to have a procedure in a future update where you tap the button on the Sena again to stop the microphone audio when you have finished speaking..

Maybe like a double tap?  Or even a timeout?  Something to consider.. Anything to stop her from hearing the noise is likely going to solve the issue.

March 08, 2012 07:57 AM
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Snl1999

Bottom line does the 4s work with the smh10b or not. I havent had any luck. Music is fine but I need to answer a call.  I will turn off siri and try to see if it works. Maybe I can get a iphone 4 and see.

March 26, 2012 04:31 PM
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Chris BeHanna

With firmware 4.x, I can use Siri if the following are true:

  1. I have "passcode lock" turned off on the phone (Siri cannot unlock the phone for you).
  2. The mic is positioned just right to get my voice fairly clearly rather than wind noise.  If it's not "just so," then Siri will make some hilariously wrong mistakes.  I imagine that this situation will improve both with new SMH10 firmware and updates to iOS.
August 08, 2012 11:32 AM
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Snl1999
I could not get my 4s to make or receive a phone call with my smh10 since ive had it 9 months. The music feature was fine. Finally figured it out. The "Raise to Talk" feature in the Siri part of general setting must be on. Then it works fine.
September 06, 2012 06:20 PM
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Mckforms

It is now almost a year later with SIRI and I upgraded my iPhone 4 to a 5 to get SIRI and found out my SM10s do not work with it. Is there no fix other than turning SIRI off? Should I sell my Sena gear and move to Scala?

October 07, 2012 12:56 PM
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Snl1999
After many months of trying. While playing with my iPhone 4S. I turned the raise to talk feature off on my phone. Then my Sena,seem to work just fine. No problems now making or receiving phone calls. Also turn off the (VOX) feature through your computer settings this will allow you to make calls using the button on the Sena.
October 08, 2012 08:21 AM
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Todd SImon

I have an iphone 5- turned off Siri and can use it to make and receive phone calls- but playing music function does not work. It just plays the music on my phone- not through the Sena earpieces- anybody help?

October 26, 2012 10:07 AM
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mbz

@Todd,

If you have other device (like a GPS, an MP3 player, or your bike's onboard system) paired to the SMH10 that also uses the A2DP channel, this could be the reason why.

October 26, 2012 11:27 AM
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Todd SImon

No other devices paired- worked fine with the iphone 4

October 26, 2012 11:31 AM
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mbz

Todd,

Try turning the iPhone's Bluetooth Off and On again. Let it connect to the Sena and then play a tune on the Music app. If that doesn't do it, you should do the factory default reset (it's in the manual below link) on the SMH10, and delete the pairing on the iPhone Bluetooth menu. Then redo the pairing - hold down the phone button on SMH10 for 5 secs, pair with iPhone.

http://www.senabluetooth.com/downloads/manual/UsersGuide_Sena_SMH10...

October 26, 2012 01:45 PM
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Todd SImon

I'll give that a try- thanks!

October 26, 2012 01:53 PM
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Mckforms

OK, after much work I finally got my iPhone 5 working with SIRI.

Here is what I did:

  1. Since the Mac Sena Manager software does not seem to function properly I used VMWare Fusion with a Windows 7 image to run the Windows Sena Manager
  2. I updated my SMH10 to the latest revision 4.1.1
  3. I reset the SMH10 to factory defaults
  4. I removed my old bluetooth pairing from my iPhone Bluetooth settings
  5. I set the SMH10 into pairing mode
  6. I paired my iPhone 5 with the SMH10
  7. I made sure the mic was oriented correctly with the fin away from my mouth
With these changes everything worked perfectly.
November 03, 2012 07:55 AM
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Bob Henry

So...Mckforms, you've got Siri working perfectly?!!!  Astounded I am indeed, since my struggles with 4S are making me feel that I just spent a lot of dough for not nearly what I want. I have followed everyone's advice to no avail.

1. Updated to 4.1.1

2. Reset to factory defaults

3. Turned Siri "Raise to Speak" off (and on) as Snl1999

4. Disabled Vox

5. Re-paired to SMH10

6. Etc.

7. Etc.

Still no good. Has Sena updated a fix to the problem of Siri non-function on SMH10???

December 01, 2012 09:57 PM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

@ Bob,

Siri issue has been mostly solved from firmware v3.3.

Please adjust your microphone location until microphone level maintain 40~50% when Siri running.

If you still have microphone noise when you using phone call or intercom, please contact Sena Tech support team.

Thank you. 

December 02, 2012 06:32 PM
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Snl1999
Hang in there. When you get it all figured out it's amazing. I can even send a voice text or email with my smh10. It took me awhile. Sena and Apple need to work together to print setup instructions.
December 03, 2012 09:48 AM
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Snl1999
Hang in there. When you get it all figured out it's amazing. I can even send a voice text or email with my smh10. It took me awhile. Sena and Apple need to work together to print setup instructions.
December 03, 2012 09:49 AM
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Bob Henry
Here's a weird solution my experimenting produced. Rather than the boom mic, I use the flat one attached to the inside of my helmet about 1 inch from my lips. After I make a Siri command, "play Blues genre", "Call home", or whatever... I blow a short, light puff of air into the mic. And voila! Siri obeys my command. FOOL-PROOF! Explain that one, somebody. Also, while I've got attention: anybody know a way to boost volume beyond the range jog control allows? Thanks. B
December 05, 2012 07:36 PM
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Sean Donnelly

@Bob: That is an interesting solution.  I wonder how Siri interprets that puff of air?   I use the SMH10 with a couple of different helmets, one with the older style boom mic, and one with the flat one attached as you mention above.  I haven't had any real problems with Siri, beyond the usual problems with Siri.  That is to say, the same issues that I have with Siri when I am sitting at home or at the office. There have been some cases in high winds where "she" has a little more trouble understanding me, but in those same high winds, so does my wife have a hard time understanding me on her bike, and vice versa.

I think there is a lot to be said about helmet type and noise inside the helmet.  FF helmets tend to generally be quieter and work better.  Chin guards and windshields help.  Neither the SMH10 or Siri work seem to work as well on a naked bike, as they do when  the wind is being diverted up and over the bottom of the helmet.  Mic position is very key.  It has to be fairly close to your lips.  Directly in front.  If it is too high, to low, off to the side, etc.  voices become more muffled.   I found this out with mine, as I tried to position it so that I didn't feel like I was eating the mic. But I found it does pretty much need to be directly in front of your lips.

January 18, 2013 08:32 AM
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Steve Zinski

@Bob, that works for me too. I tried a quick puff but that didn't work. Blowing into the mic for 2 seconds does the trick for me! And I'm using the boom mic.

September 05, 2013 06:11 PM
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Dean Lewis

So that sounds like a good thing there but what if the mic does not pic up sound at all. I just did the firmwre update to 5.0 and still nothing. I use a 4S but for some reason it still doesn't work. It was after I installed the new IOS 7.1 that did maybe. not sure, gotta be something though. Any ideas?

March 28, 2014 01:56 PM