Forums/Questions and Suggestions/Feature Requests and Suggestions

PlannedDoneNot planned

more volume would be nice.

Randy Patchett
suggested this on February 27, 2012 09:34 PM

With normalized mp3 tracks, the volume supplied by the Sena SMH10B (I have v 3.3 of the firmware) that I use on my streetable Ducati 1098 is adequate up to about 50 mph, which is fine for in town riding.  But once I get up to highway speeds on the freeway, unless I deliberately recapture the original audio at a higher gain, I can't hear the music over the wind noise.  I've done this for all of my music that I still have the original media for; but that is only about a quarter of my music library.   I don't have this problem with phone calls or intercom transmissions; I can hear those at *any* speed.  How can I increase the volume output of the Sena when I'm listening to an MP3 streamed from my iPhone to the Sena?  Would a firmware update fix that?   

 

Comments

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Sena
Sena Technologies

We don't understand why. The rich volume and noise suppression are all strengths of SMH10! Please check your system volume set up and so on such as phone volume. How about discussing with Sena support by phone?

February 28, 2012 01:05 AM
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Cgmakepeace
I cranked up my iPhone 4S and maxed out the volume on my SMH10 and even with the earbud kit, this is less than half as loud as when I jack the earbuds directly into the iPhone. With my semi-loud pipes, i can barely hear a thing. Unless I can get a Big volume boost, this thing is going to wind up in the nearest dumpster.
March 29, 2012 02:19 PM
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Cgmakepeace
MY MISTAKE! A little tweaking and I've got all the volume I need. Sorry for the negative comment earlier.
March 29, 2012 03:47 PM
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Christian Aasland

For those of us who ride with earplugs (and there are many of us) the music volume is insufficient. Everyone I know who has a Sena (dad, brother, wife, 3x friends, people on sport-touring.net and fjrforum.com) this is the case. And yes ... we know how to "tweak" the volumes, and even resorted to trying Android app's which drop the bass and double the output volume (this works OK for podcasts, but makes for choppy crackly and super-crappy music listening).

Without earplugs there is plenty of volume. However, the windnoise on our motorcycles precludes riding faster than 50-60 mph without earplugs lest we damage our hearing (we have mostly stock pipes).

With noise-blocking earphones, the Sena's work GREAT! But I would much prefer to use regular earplugs that don't cost $300.

The interesting thing is that call volume is sufficient, but music (AD2P) isn't, so I suspect the Sena is able to pump out the volume (I realize there are two different volume levels).

April 10, 2012 06:44 AM
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Chris Graeser
+1
April 14, 2012 06:45 AM
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Andy Senabluetooth Com

I too wear earplugs while riding and the music volume from the Sena speakers isn't quite loud enough over 50mph. I've also read that with the 4.0 firmware the volume may decrease which is a worry. Please could we have a little more in the next release of firmware if at all possible.

May 17, 2012 07:24 AM
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Chris Graeser

Did Sena and the OP ever talk? if it helps matters, I use an iPhone 4. OP doesn't say what kind of phone, but Christian Aasland has the problem with Android too. Again, PHONE and COM are fine, A2DP MUSIC is not loud enough to hear over wind noise and earplugs. The unit is clearly capable of the right volume, but just not doing it with music for some reason. And I have gone into ITunes and cranked the volume all the way up on the tracks and re-synced, which helps a little but not enough. Please help us out - my wife and friends are sick of me calling them just so I have something to listen to on long rides!

May 17, 2012 09:39 AM
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Chris Graeser

Edit: upgraded to v.4 and it seems about the same.

May 17, 2012 09:39 AM
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Christian Aasland

Just an update ... I have been trying to find a good solution so I can just wear earplugs. 

I picked up a new helmet a few weeks back which is significantly quieter than the one I originally used, to the point where I can use earplugs with NRR19 for short rides at less than 65-70 mph. With the Sena's pushed up against my ears I can adequately here the music. 

However, there are several issues with this approach:

  • On longer rides or on the interstate highways, earplugs with NRR19 aren't sufficient to fight the fatigue of wind noise.
  • Having the speakers pressed against my ears is very uncomfortable.

Thus, for long trips I am back to using noise-blocking custom-molded earbuds with the A304 baseplate. Unfortunately there is no baseplate which allows switching quickly between speakers or earbuds.

I would like to ask the Sena team to try the following:

1. Insert NRR33 earplugs. These are the standard ones used in the motorcycling community: http://www.howardleight.com/earplugs/super-leight

2. Press the Sena speakers against your ears and listen to music through them.

You will find that the Sena's have insufficient volume to overcome the earplugs.

May 17, 2012 12:09 PM
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Andy Senabluetooth Com
June 12, 2012 04:44 AM
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Chris Graeser

Agreed - not "DONE."

But, an odd thing happened this weekend. I turned it on and it worked! Nice loud volume with music/podcasts. I even had to turn it down a little. Then, after about 15 minutes it went back to the sub-audible level (at speed, with earplugs). You can still hear the phone and intercom fine. This is really ruining the Sena for me. PLEASE FIX IT - it obviously is capable of the volume.

June 18, 2012 03:16 PM
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Peter

Another +1, the volume is sufficient when riding without earplugs, but with earplugs in, it can't be set loud enough to hear properly.

June 25, 2012 01:14 PM
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Steven Stainer

+1

July 01, 2012 06:57 AM
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Robert Kuge

I just purchased this month, July 2012 and out of the box I am having same or similar issues as everyone else.  I have the iphone 4S and ride with "foamy" ear plugs.  Phone volume is fine at any speed, however music volume is very low one you get above 50-55 mph.  

It's a shame because the speakers are suppose to be very good. 

Please fix this is in your next firmware upgrade at the latest.

Rob

July 11, 2012 03:43 AM
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Patrick Vandenbulcke

Hello, I have an iPhone 4S with the Sena and I don't have the volume issue.

There might be a solution to your problem : Ensure the Equalizer function of your iPHONE 4S is set to OFF !!!!

Enabling the EQ on the iPhone drastically reduces the Volume level. I had the same problem and now the sound level is more then adequate, however only high frequencies.

 

The problem remaining however is that with the Sena speakers you don't get a lot (or even no) bass...... I soldered a jack input to the speakers and now I have perfect quality.

August 02, 2012 06:14 AM
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George Loeb

I have 2 volume problems:  1)  I can't hear much with earplugs.  2) I received my SM10 today, and the volume from the SM 10 is lower than from the iPhone directly!  It mentions in the manual that this is addressable via the manager software, and I have downloaded the most recent ver. 4.1 and there is no volume settings available for the SMH 10, and this version doesn't support the SM 10????

August 22, 2012 05:42 PM
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Robert Kuge
Patrick's suggestion worked like a charm for me. Turn the EQ off. Now I have volume to spare. It can get too loud and find myself turning the volume down often when going from highway to city. Thanks Patrick. Ride safe, Rob
August 22, 2012 06:29 PM
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Thoms Klein

Just purchased mine 2 days ago and I'm very displeased. All the literature raved about the volume. Mine is severely lacking.

Well like some of the other posters, I have an iPhone 4S. And yes, I have the phone volume to maximum,

I have played with everry setting on the equilizer, Yes, turning it off does increase the volume slightly but the quality stinks.

Very tinny and annoying. the only decent settingt is bass boost or hip hop and those really cut the volume.

I haven't used the phone function and I haven't had a passemger yet so I can't speak for those levels.

I bought this device primarily for the MP3 feature.

So please. Fix the volume issue soon or I and it sounds like many otherrs will simply return it and reconsider after the issue is resolved.

I'm not going to wait around and let the 30 day money back garrantee expire and be tuck with a $400.00 door stop.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this detail.

Tom 

September 24, 2012 12:55 AM
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Thoms Klein

Oh, sorry, I purchased the SMH 10 for my modular helmet and one SMH 10H for my half helmet, which i have not received. (back order)

September 24, 2012 12:57 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

1) The SM10 volume issue: We are aware of the issue and are supposed to release version 1.1 patch soon.

2) The SMH10 volume issue: We have been reported about the problem and still in investigation.

Could you get us some more feedback on the volume issue? Most of the problem from A0303 or 0304 clamp kit with earbud support? The people say it is iPhone 4S? Any others?

Just in case, the volume may highly depend on the speaker setting. You guys contacted Sena support for helmet installation guide?

The more concrete feedback, the better we support you guys. Thanks and we will try our best to solve this problem!

September 24, 2012 02:02 AM
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Robert Kuge
Sena, In response to your comment above, I don't believe this issue is an installation problem by the end user (At least not in my case). The reason is that phone volume is adequate at most speeds and conditions. It is the music volume that is the severely lacking when you get above 50-55 mph. That difference (between phone & music functions) tells me that it is not an install error...IMO, that points to a software issue and an update would hopefully fix it. I always wear 33nrr ear plugs and a full face helmet. Thanks for your support and hopefully a quick fix, Rob
September 24, 2012 06:19 AM
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Chris Graeser

+1 on Robert Kluge' comment. Phone works fine, it's the music/podcasts that don't. iPhone 4.

September 24, 2012 07:46 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

Robert and Chris, thanks for your quick feedbacks.

September 24, 2012 04:44 PM
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Randy Patchett
HI -- original poster here. I have contacted Sena Tech Support, and all the suggestions that Sena tech support gave me over the past six months were designed to quiet the noise level in my helmet, or decrease obstructions between the speakers and my ears. They wouldn't even discuss a firmware fix to raise the music volume with me. Why is that? A firmware fix to up the volume of the music stream is a trivial thing to do. I am a software engineer with ten years of experience with DSP chips used in comms applications; I know what I'm asking for. I can think of two reasons why they won't discuss a firmware fix. Sena may have acquired a proprietary chipset for music streaming to kluge to Sena's proprietary bluetooth chip, but didn't secure the rights to change the baked-in firmware on the music chipset, which means Sena would have to pay whoever they bought it from for an update to address the volume issue, and Sena is simply unwilling to spend the money to do so. Alternatively (and this happens very frequently in this business) the company they purchased the music chipset from folded, and there's nobody to get a firmware fix from, even if Sena were willing to pay for it. If there is some other reason why a firmware fix is off the table, I'd like to know what it is. I'm seriously disappointed that I can only enjoy my SMH10 at speeds below 50mph. As I've pointed out to Sena tech support numerous times, I have this problem on *every* bluetooth device that I pair with the SMH10 - iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC Tytan II - I even paired the SMH10 with my laptop and lugged it around in my backpack and got the same disappointing music volume. I have a Motorola S9 BT headset that is eight years old. I was using it before I bought the SMH10. It fit under my helmet and had more than adequate volume, but the mic was useless unless I was at a dead stop with the engine turned off, and the ear buds became annoyingly uncomfortable after a while. The SMH10 seemed like a perfect fix, but alas, not at the speeds I spend the most time at.
September 24, 2012 09:49 PM
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Ron Wilkerson

I solved this problem by putting a mini amplifier inline between the sena earbud baseplate and my earbuds.  I plug the earbuds and the baseplate into the amp and all is very very good.  The unit tucks into my inside jacket pocket.  This is a slight inconvience but the sound quality of my music from Garmin Sat radio and I-pod via blue tooth is unbelievablely crisp and as loud as I want it at ANY speed.

Here is what I used but ther are any numbe of amps that will do the job.  This one happens to last a full 10 hours so it works very well with the Sena's battery life before they both need a recharge.  

http://www.fiio.com.cn/product/index.aspx?ID=24&MenuID=020301

 

 

October 06, 2012 06:17 PM
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Robby Stowe

I have also noticed the same problem that has been listed above, my phone calls are nice and loud, my music is lousy at higher speeds. I have an Iphone 4 but i also tried pairing the headset with my Ipad 3 and i had the same problem. is there going to be a firmware fix? how about a firmware editor for people to dig around and try to help fix the problem?

i have loved my headset so far even with the volume issue, I just wish that a solution to such a common problem would be fixed by now...

November 14, 2012 08:19 PM
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Terry Wysocki

I'll have to add my vote to this volume issue. I just got the SMH10's and paired with my Galaxy S3 the mp3 volume is WAY too low to hear with the motor running even at idle on my Electra Glide (speakers are just about touching my ears). The gps and phone seems to be louder (from the same device) but I'd hate to have to remaster all my mp3's with more volume just for the Galaxy. All my volumes are at max and they're barely enough but the music is not listenable. I mostly bought the SMH10 for the intercom so I guess I'll keep it, but until there's a fix, I'm bagging on it at all the bike meets I go to. WAKE UP SENA and listen to your customers!

December 02, 2012 01:08 PM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

@ Terry,

SMH10 A2DP volume will be improved on newer firmware which will be releasing early December. please stay tuned and sorry for any inconveniences.

December 02, 2012 06:38 PM
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Peter

@ Sena,

good to hear this will finally be addressed. I hope that there's also improvement on the bottom end of the volume range as well. Since the unit won't play loud enough with the speakers to use with earplugs I added a 1/8" stereo jack as described in another thread letting me use either the speakers or earphones. Now I mostly ride with a pair of custom fit Westone CR1 earplugs and it's actually hard to get the volume quiet enough. A few more increments of adjustibility at the bottom (or perhaps across the whole range) would be very useful.

December 02, 2012 07:50 PM
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Bob Henry

What's the status of firmware upgrade to increase volume? Thanks,

Bob

December 16, 2012 05:04 PM
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Bob Henry
What up with the firmware update that will improve volume range?
January 02, 2013 07:39 PM
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Dustin Spaulding

Early December has come and gone... any update on the status of this firmware, Sena?

January 06, 2013 10:40 AM
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Guy Yehuda
Sena, where is the new firmware promised for early December above ? Guy
January 10, 2013 12:09 PM
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Craig

I am using a Samsung S3, the volume on both the music and the conference of the SMH-10 is very low. Its too low.

It really needs some kind of boost. Its not just on the music playing and phone calling which is basically not possible at this low volume.

The conference is a bit louder but still, way too low.

 

Please fix guys

January 27, 2013 06:11 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

@ Craig

Did you up to dated with newer firmware? Thank you.

January 27, 2013 05:00 PM
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Dustin Spaulding

Looks like beta 4.2 firmware was released on January 22nd. Sweet! Can't wait to try it out.

January 27, 2013 05:44 PM
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Paul W

I updated to 4.2rc1 tonight and it made virtually no difference in the A2DP volume.  As most have said here, the problem is when using the speaker base and foam earplugs.  I also have the earbud base and custom molded plugs, which works great... but it's one more wire I have to plug in.  The reason I use SENA is to have no wires.  Frankly, even my custom ear plugs get very uncomfortable after all day riding, thus the reason I want to go to the speaker base with foam earplugs.  I see this is just a beta release, hopefully this means you can still do something about the final release!  Also, as countless others have said, Phone and Intercom have plenty sufficient volume.  It's only A2DP.  Can you please fix this?  Can you please bench test it with similar equipment (ie, speaker base and foam earplugs), comparing between phone volume and A2DP volume?  The difference is plain as day.

February 22, 2013 06:17 PM
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Robert Kuge
I haven't had an opportunity to test if the newest 4.2 release fixes the issue, but if what Paul Ward says is accurate, this is very disappointing. I'd also agree with Paul that the difference is night and day (between A2DP & Phone/Intercom). With that said, is it so difficult to mirror the phone/intercom parameters and apply them to the A2DP? It's really disappointing that a known issue takes this long to address, let alone fix. I think you're (SENA) on the verge of loosing a significant customer base if this doesn't get fixed.
February 22, 2013 06:44 PM
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Paul W
I'm interested to hear your results Robert.

FYI, my testing was done using my girlfriend's Sena at 4.1 and mine at 4.2rc1, mere seconds apart using the same helmet and base (therefore eliminating the possibility of having speakers not positioned the same or the "human error" of perception by testing minutes apart).
February 22, 2013 07:03 PM
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Bob Henry
Under the heading of Feedback on Firmware Beta Upgrade: Am hearing no increased volume with new firmware. Plus, now I am hearing a beep whenever I turn my head left. It's as if transmitter is trying to reconnect to my phone which is always in my left pants pocket. Hope this helps in the tweaking process before final firmware roll-out. Thanks. -Bob
February 22, 2013 09:10 PM
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Dustin Spaulding

After installing the beta 4.2, I have to, unfortunately, agree with Paul and Bob - the A2DP volume is the same as before. The difference between A2DP and phone/intercom volume, as has been mentioned many times before, is night and day. It's a shame this seems to be such a difficult thing for Sena to correct. It has to be correctable, though.

February 23, 2013 08:44 PM
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Chris Graeser

Sena

This thread is a YEAR old. Come on! I concur with Robert - as sonn as Cardo or someone else offers the set of features we want, and they will, lots of people will be jumping ship. 

February 24, 2013 05:34 AM
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Randy Patchett

Hi -- original poster here.  The firmware fixes have not addressed my original issues with music volume, and have introduced new "features" that reduced it's limited functionality for me even further.  After upgrading to 4.1, when paired with my Garmin Zumo 550 and iPhone, it will arbitrarily drop the Zumo a few seconds after connecting, or actually fail to pair at all.  This happens often enough (and only with the Sena; never with my venerable Motorola S9) that I don't even try to get it to pair anymore.  If it pairs, great; if not, I don't have turn-by-turn in my helmet.   Second, when I turn my head to check traffic, I hear a beep and the music stops.  It doesn't restart until several seconds after I'm facing forward again.  It doesn't matter which way I turn my head.  This was an issue when I first got the Sena, but it actually got worse after upgrading to the 4.1 firmware -- a gust of turbulence from a passing lorry will do it, now.  And lastly, any sharp noise in range of the mic seems to flip the Sena into voice command mode.  Snapping the visor down from it's cracked-open-a-hair-to-clear-breath-condensation position, a nearby backfire, road debris kicked up by the bike in front of me hitting my helmet -- the music stops and I have to  manually go back to music mode, or wait for it to timeout and go back on its own.  This was the last straw for me.  The guys in my Ducati club are all wearing Cardo helmet systems and swear by them.  I'm about to join them.  Sorry Sena, but I'm no longer your customer.  

February 24, 2013 06:56 AM
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G Robertson50

Sena i have the same problems with volume on mp3s as seen in all previous posts ..please sort it.

February 26, 2013 03:52 PM
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Erik Hallgren

Me too...

March 04, 2013 11:46 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

@ Erik

About A2DP volume, are you using earbud instead of Sena speakers?

March 04, 2013 05:06 PM
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Paul W

I've been using earbuds all along to compensate for the lack of A2DP volume.  My interest in more volume is so I can ditch the earbuds and use the Sena speakers.  Earbuds are just one more wire to contend with, and my whole point in going with Sena is to ditch all the wires.  Not to mention the fact that regular foam earplugs are way more comfortable than earbuds (even my custom molded earplugs with speakers are uncomfortable on a long day).

 

So to answer your question, the inadequate volume is when using the Sena speakers mounted in my helmet.  I believe that's everyone's complaint.

March 04, 2013 07:18 PM
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Chris Graeser

Yes, as Paul W says, the problem is with A2DP playback with the Sena speakers. But, really, it's clearly not the speakers since they work OK with other profiles. It is in the Sena software. @Erik's commetn indicates to me that after all these comments and all this time Sena still doesn't even understand the problem. Feel free to come to my town and put my helmet on. Make a call, then play some music and hear the difference. Cant you objective measure these things?

March 04, 2013 07:59 PM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

@ Paul and Chris,

Would you please let us know conditions as following?

- What kind of source device are you using?

- Did you set maximum volume on your source device?

- Are you using Equalizer from your source device?

- What kind of source are you used to listen? (MP3, Pandora, XM Radio, Pod cast, etc)

- Are you using earplug when you riding?

Thank you.

March 04, 2013 09:25 PM
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Paul W

I think we've described the conditions to death, but in the interest of being cooperative, here goes again:

 

- I'm currently using an HTC Rezound (smartphone).  Previously I was using an HTC Incredible (also a smartphone) with the same results.

- Yes, maximum volume on the device.  For both mp3 and phone.

- No equalizer

- I'm using mp3 for A2DP and just the phone for phone (I guess that's obvious).

- I use custom molded earbuds while riding and the earbud base.  I do this because the speaker base is inadequate for A2DP, which is what this whole thread is about.  The earbuds are adequate, but the A2DP is still CONSIDERABLY quieter than phone.  I don't want to use earbuds, I want to use foam earplugs with the Sena speaker base.

 

When I did my testing as described in my Feb 22 post above, I was using the Sena speaker base.  Also, as I described, I had one unit at 4.2rc1 and another unit at 4.1.  I listened to the same song (even the same portion of the song) coming from the same source (my HTC Rezound) on both of the units, less than a minute apart and heard virtually no difference in the level of volume.  I had volume at max on both my HTC Rezound along with both Sena units.  This is as apples to apples as it gets.  Max volume on A2DP is WAAAAYYYY quieter than max volume on the phone.  I don't know how to explain it any clearer.

March 05, 2013 05:50 AM
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G Robertson50

Man i aint to bright and even i can understand whats being asked for ... more volume espacialy on MP3s !!There is nuthin wrong with the speakers , its software related . Geeees !!

March 05, 2013 06:34 AM
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Chris Graeser

Responses as follows:

 

- What kind of source device are you using? iPhone 5 (same result with my iPhone 4). As per my 5/17/12 and 9/24/12 posts.

- Did you set maximum volume on your source device? Yes. As per my 5/17/12 post. Well, actually, I don't need full volume for phone functions, but full volume is inadequate for mp3/podcast (A2DP) functions.

- Are you using Equalizer from your source device? No. 

- What kind of source are you used to listen? (MP3, Pandora, XM Radio, Pod cast, etc)  MP3 and podcast. As per my 5/17/12, 9/24/12 and  03/04/13 posts.

- Are you using earplug when you riding? Yes. As per my 5/17/12  post. And as per recommendations linked on webbikeworld:  http://www.webbikeworld.com/Earplugs/earplugs.htm (incidentally, I purchased the Sena almost entirely on the strength of webbikeworld's recommendation). 

Thank you for looking into this. I have an upcoming 10 day ride. I would like to suggest that the other participants get Senas, just for my own personal convenience, but as it stands I can't recommend that they do so.

March 05, 2013 07:46 AM
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Chris Graeser

Here is the comment I just submitted to webbikeworld

 

I purchased the SMH10 almost entirely on the strength of the review here. It has the combination of features that I wanted, and except for one thing I would be totally satisfied. The one thing is a BIG thing however, and renders the unit almost useless in large part. The issue is that while volume is superadequate when using the phone (iPhone) or intercom, it is inadequate when using the A2DP (music or podcast) and earplugs (which I always wear, thanks to WBW). Sena has been aware of this problem for over a year and despite several software updates and promises, has not yet fixed the issue. Here is the link:  http://support.senabluetooth.com/entries/21056096

March 05, 2013 07:53 AM
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Paul W

Chris, I agree with your approach.  As with any consumer product, you vote with your dollars and reviews.  I find it unfortunate though, because I absolutely love my Sena other than this volume issue.  If this were fixed, it would be the perfect solution for my needs.  I will not part with it, but I really, REALLY want this fixed.  Please Sena, help us love you!! :)

March 05, 2013 08:25 AM
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Erik Hallgren

My response:

Using iPhone 4 on max volume, no equalizer. Listen mostly on MP3 and podcasts. No earplugs. 

It works fine with everything EXCEPT A2DP. Clearly a software problem in SMH10... 

March 22, 2013 06:58 AM
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Sena
Sena Technologies

We have considerably improved volume issues for the basic clamp users.

However, it is not applied to the earbud users. 

We fully understand your concerns and are definitely trying our best to identify the problem and resolve it.

Currently, we are under verification process of hardware of earbud clamp kit as well. 

We will get back to you soon with positive result. 

Thank you for your patience.

April 01, 2013 11:23 PM
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Paul W
That seems backwards to me. In my experience, and everyone else's that has posted here, earbuds are fine. It's the basic clamp, the one you get with the kit with the speakers you mount in your helmet, that is NOT fine.
April 02, 2013 03:48 AM
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Chris Graeser

Agreed. Thank you for trying to address the issue, but please have the engineers read the complaints. The lack of volume is related to the helmet speakers. I would like to use earBUDS, since I think that would be a work around, but I can't find any that offer the same noise reduction as the earPLUGS that I (and the others on this forum) use. Also, I doubt very much that it is related to the clamp, since (once again) volume is good on intercom and phone, but it is too low only on A2DP, at least with iPhone. All that said, does the statement that you have considerably improved volume for basic clamp users (which I am) mean that this is addressed in the latest update.?

April 02, 2013 06:48 AM
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Schomer

Has anyone addressed the lack of bass audio issues when listening to music? Talking on the phone is fine. Listening to music via an iPhone is worthless. There is zero bass. Listening to music without bass is pretty bad. I bought the SMH5 for listening to music. I'm outside the return window though, so I'm stuck with something I can't use.

May 06, 2013 05:49 PM
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Matt

I'll add to the fire.

It's not just iPhone/iOS.   Same problem here with SMH10 with 4.2 firmware, with Zumo 665.    About 80% of the volume it should be, about 70% of the volume I used to get from my StarComm.    Hoping for a fix but not holding my breath.   Will likely go back to StarComm as audio volume and quality are superior.   Both driven from the same device (Zumo 665).

I also use hemlet/speakers and foam ear plugs.    It's just not there.

-MD

May 08, 2013 10:16 AM
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Chris Graeser

Man it's frustrating to have no substantive response from Sena. Well, F it, I decided to get custom molded earphones. Not quite the same NRR as foamies, and another $200 that I shouldn't have had to spend.

May 08, 2013 10:19 AM
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Matt

I have custom molded earplugs that I use for shooting, but they stick out just enough to be annoying in my helmet, and foamies just work better.    I've had custom molded earphones in the past, in fact the best ones I ever had were the cheaper mold em your self phones.  But even those wear on me in a 24 hour or multi day rally/road trip so I don't use them anymore.

 

These: http://www.earfuze.com/ were the best.   Best part was the earphone cords were fabric, and didn't tangle.   The molding stuff is just radians ear plug stuff.

I have considered this but from what I've read, the volume still isn't there.

May 08, 2013 10:31 AM
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Chris Graeser

Thanks Matt. I'll report back.

May 08, 2013 10:44 AM
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Matt

Well I just bumped into what's probably a show stopper for me and will push me back to my Starcom.   The volume from the Zumo 665 is like I reported probably about 80% of what it should be...  GPS directions on the other hand, holy crap.   Too loud, and changing the volume of it on the Zumo doesn't affect it.    So they may be a "Garmin" problem more than a Sena problem.   I still think they can boost the audio should they choose.    But with the 665 wired I don't have this issue. 

May 08, 2013 05:21 PM
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Ervin Small

 

I just got my sena for the can-am and it is so low that i think i want to take it back before the 30 days you would think that after 1 year this would be fixed very upset with the sena family 

May 13, 2013 07:51 AM
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Billy W
I was reading the review on webBikeWorld and about to order these when I found this thread. Unfortunately I will not be getting these now. I am very disappointed with the company's action on this complaint.
May 30, 2013 05:28 AM
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Jeff A
I was going to purchase a pair of these until I stumbled upon this issue that Sena seems to be completely ignoring.. The whole purpose of purchasing one of these would be to eliminate some of the wires and ditch the earbuds..I guess I will go read reviews for the new Carda system... Too bad, this looked like a great product, lacking support I will not be buying.....
May 30, 2013 06:14 AM
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Chris Graeser
Everything works fine for me now... but only because I spent $220 for a set of custom molded earphones and $35 for the earphone Sena base. Really, as the above poster notes, not much point in having the Sena beyond the once or twice a year ability to comm with a riding buddy who has the same unit. It's just one more thing to charge and I might toss it in the drawer and run the phones to the iPhone in my pocket directly. Color me frustrated.
May 30, 2013 06:20 AM
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Matt
I agree with Chris. Volume is more than enough with *good* earbuds, and the earbud base. It's with speakers that the problem is there. Unlike my previous unit a Starcomm, it was really important to get the speakers right in the middle of the ear. Almost all the new helmets have speaker cut-outs in the foam, so you don't get a lot of choice. That might actually be part of the problem too. But with the other base, and good in-ear earbuds like the Westone UM2's, the sound was pretty awesome for me on my last ride. Now dealing with ear-bud fatigue is a new issue/problem.
May 30, 2013 06:57 AM
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Gary
I just updated from ver. 4.1.1 to 4.2 and find the volume for Bluetooth music now goes higher than before and although have not tried on the bike, I expect it will be fine. Thanks.
May 30, 2013 11:28 AM
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Billy W
Have any others updated? Could this actually be fixed? I'm still not ready to purchase these unless more users have posted that they are satisfied with the results of this software update.
May 30, 2013 12:08 PM
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Paul W
Wow, I think Sena needs some PR help here. I tried 4.2rc1 when it first came out and was one of the early ones saying it didn't help. However, they quietly came out with 4.2 (not rc1) on 3/25 but didn't tell anyone! I just found out about it today when I saw Gary's post. I've installed it and it does seem to greatly increase the volume. Just at home with no ear plugs, it's loud enough to hurt my ears, which it wasn't even remotely that close before. I will have to put in some foamies and go for a ride to try it out. I think this is it. Sena did post on 4/1 that they improved the volume, but nowhere did they mention there was an OFFICIAL 4.2 version out that supersedes 4.2rc1. I think they could have avoided a lot of bad press simply by being more clear about it.
May 30, 2013 12:31 PM
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Matt
No 4.2 with speakers (using earplugs) is not loud enough _still_ It is with earphones though and that's what I've switched too. If you don't wear earplugs you will probably have ample volume.
May 30, 2013 12:45 PM
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Paul W
Well, it's not great. It's definitely an improvement, but I feel many won't find it enough. For me, I think it is. I can hear podcasts well enough to understand the speech. At max volume, music causes noticeable distortion, so I think we've just hit the physical limits of the speakers Sena uses in the clamps. I may try to replace the speakers with some Koss speakers. A friend did this and got significant improvement, even on the old firmware. Perhaps this could be a reason for Sena to start manufacturing the clamps with higher quality speakers. Sad to have such a great product throttled by crappy speakers.
May 30, 2013 01:20 PM
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Gary
With the high variability of the comments to my earlier post i felt compelled to dig a little deeper. While I stand by my comment it helped...it is still not a powerhouse and may not satisfy all. Especially with ear plugs. Keep in mind that 1) people hear at different levels. 2) people prefer different listening levels based on content type, I.e. spoken word, rock, classical. And something I just learned today is that these small speakers are sensitive to placement relative to you ear which should make sense based on how in-ear headphones (buds) respond to placement.I have a Bell Sena Mag 9 with integral pockets about 2x the size of the speakers with velcro closures. When I first installed them I just stuck them in the pockets. They can easily move 1-2 inches in any direction and were easily an inch away from my ears. I played around with different thicknesses of foam and found that the speakers sounded considerably better when they were spaced 3/4 inch closer to my ears and down lower in the pockets. Better mid range and even a little upper bass (if you can call it that). Originally they sounded like my I phone playing through the on-board speakers. This also helps the volume issue a little. I now cannot stand the highest volume level but I am somewhat sensitive to loud noises. However as someone else mentioned, there is some distortion now at the top end, either from the speakers or the amp circuit. Perhaps Sena should consider a hi-fi version for those who want better tunes. Suspect many just use it for GPS. phone, podcasts which are less critical. Sorry for long post just wanted to share my observations.
May 30, 2013 03:27 PM
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Gary
Paul W, are you suggesting splicing the speakers from Koss over the ear headphones into the system?
May 30, 2013 09:13 PM
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Paul W

Yes, a friend of mine (Christian, from the thread above) has done this for his wife's Sena.  I don't know the exact details yet, but he actually opened the base and unsoldered the old speaker wires and soldered in the new.  He said he used some more expensive speakers, but the Koss Titaniums are the same speakers and can be had for $16 on Amazon.

May 31, 2013 06:08 AM
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Kyle Hale

Hello all,

I just received my Sena SMH10 yesterday, installation went great, powered up the device and went for a ride.  I synced my SMH10 with my iPhone 5, EQ off, volume all the way up on my iPhone5, Sena, and Pandora app and I was incredibly underwhelmed how low the volume was. I'm running version 4.1.1 on my device, out of the box. 

Sena - What can be done to fix this? Does an update to 4.2.1 fix this issue?  I'm reading through the complaints here and it looks like this has been an issue since February 28, 2012, over a year ago.  I hate to have to return a product that I JUST bought, but if I can't increase the volume due to firmware, this is a deal breaker.I will give this product 5 stars and a great review if the volume issue is addressed.  I love the packaging, ease of installation and everything else that comes with this product.

Please reply to me here or directly to my email.  Thanks for your attention.

Kyle

May 31, 2013 06:55 AM
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Chris Graeser

Kyle

Don't hold your breath. Return it and save some headaches, or join the rest of us who think it's a great product except for the one issue - volume on A2DP - which kind of kills the whole product for us. It can do the volume, of course, because it's fine on phone profile and com. But, Sena doesn't give a rat's tail about fixing the issue. Or, maybe they do but since they barely respond who knows?

May 31, 2013 07:43 AM
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Kyle Hale

@Chris,

So even with the update to 4.2.1 the volume is not corrected from 4.1.1?  Like you said, I can hear phone call volume perfectly clear, it's great!  Music volume is just horrible and is definitely a deal breaker.  Software support and updates are a necessity in 2013...

May 31, 2013 07:48 AM
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Matt

It's relative folks.   If you're sitting on a gold wing behind a big ass barn door windshield it probably is loud enough.    If you use earbuds, it's definitely loud enough.

If the speakers are right up to your ears, with no gap and perfectly centered, it's probably loud enough.

I sure hope they fix it, but I'm not holding my breath.  

May 31, 2013 07:56 AM
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Kyle Hale

@Matt

I have a windshield, I'm on a 2013 BMW r1200GSW, and I have an Arai XD-3.  Wind noise shouldn't be that much of an issue.  I'm going to update when I get home from work today and will report findings.

May 31, 2013 07:59 AM
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Matt

@Kyle

Do you wear earplugs?   with 4.2  (and make sure you do the factory reset thing after you upgrade, then delete all pairings and start over).   But with that on my FJR with earplugs, it was usable, but not what I wanted.  About 80% of the volume I wanted.   Since what I had previously worked wonderfully, I wasn't willing to give up 20% of the volume for 90% of my riding so that I could have bike to bike intercom which is why I bought these.   I already had rider/passenger intercom.

But switching up to good earbuds did fix my problem.   If they do ever fix it, I'll happily roll back to speakers because it's just faster/more convenient.

-MD

May 31, 2013 08:07 AM
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Kyle Hale

@Matt,

The whole point of this product should be ease of use, e.g. not having to put earbuds in.  I have earbuds, but they hurt my ears on long distance trips and are just a nuissance to have in my ears while putting my helmet on.  It's gotta be good volume from the speakers they provided or possibly returning the product.

May 31, 2013 08:12 AM
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Matt

@Kyle

I agree with that.   I sent them back last year because firmware 3.x was complete shit.    http://www.dishers.com/2012/06/15/sena-bluetooth-vs-starcom-1

This year however, I needed the bike-to-bike and was willing to sacrifice for a 32 hour rally.   Finding good earbuds can be difficult, no doubt.   I kept the starcomm intact just in case but removed it recently because I'm currently "OK" with the earbud solution.   But they cost me as much as the Sena itself, actually as much as the dual pack.

That said the other options Cardo and the other one have "other' issues which currently make this the least of the evils.

I do hope they read this, and I do hope they fix this.   My gut says though that we'll see a Sena SMH 20 or something before that happens though.

-MD

May 31, 2013 08:19 AM
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Jeff A

@Kyle

 

Exactly... If I wanted to wear earbuds I could continue to use what I am currently using. The whole purpose of me considering purchasing this was to get rid of the earbuds and some of the wires for 90% of my riding, with the added benefit of having the intercom function for about 10% of my riding. This is something I am not even considering anymore until  they address this issue, I am currently looking at the competition to see if any of them fit my needs... It is very disappointing that this has been an issue for over a year and Sena has their head stuck in the sand pretending that it does not exist....

May 31, 2013 08:21 AM
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Kyle Hale

@Matt

Such a bummer.  I have great ear buds, Shure SE535's that I use at work everyday, I just don't like riding them cause they are awkward to put in with a helmet and hurt after extended periods.  I hope Sena listens as well, as this is a pretty big deal, and a deal breaker for some folks like myself. 

Sena, Are you listening?

May 31, 2013 08:22 AM
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Schomer

I heard from Sena fairly recently... I told them the audio for phone calls is fine - plenty of volume and bass - but playing music stinks. Absolutely no bass in the music, which makes everything sound like crap. They told me voice is mono and music is stereo - and that is why there is bass for phone calls, but not music. 

Give me an option to enable mono playback for music, if this is the case! I bought this for music and it's a terrible experience. I'm outside the return window though, so I'm stuck with something that doesn't work.

Also, Sena replaced the unit I originally purchased because it didn't hold a battery charge. The replacement they sent me was a terribly scratched up used unit. Thanks again, Sena.

May 31, 2013 02:52 PM
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e kull

I tried the Sena with music pumped in from my Ipod via the mp3 in jack and the volume was plenty. The weak point is not the speakers or speaker placement, it is either the pre amp for the bluetooth or the software. I repeat, the sena can put out the volume and the speakers can handle the volume. Dont believe me, try it, use the spring cord and connect directly to your phone or mp3 player and go for a ride.

June 03, 2013 01:04 PM
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Gary
I have managed to get another small improvement to my SMH 10 speaker system used with ear plugs. I downloaded the latest v. 4.2 firmware and added foam to position the speakers optimally to my ears. And most recently I purchased a pair of Down Beats ear plugs which are tuned specially for music (they say) and provide only 18 dB of attenuation vs 30-33 dB from most of the foam plugs. The Down Beats cut out the road/wind noise without cutting as much of the music. Works quite well. I know it seems like a lot to go through just to make the Sena product work acceptably but I did what I had to do as Sena did not seem to have an answer.
June 08, 2013 05:38 PM
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Herman Rip

i have a smh10 and with my htc sensation xe the volume is loud but with my other phone a htc one the volume is a lot less

June 19, 2013 03:23 PM
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Scott Siperko

My input as a new SMH10R user.

I have a Shoei GT Air wit the speaker installed in the pockets properly and securely. This is one of, if the, quietest helmets out there now. 

I use a Galaxy Note II with volume mods which can, depending on how far I push them, cause distortion issues. 

I wear foam ear plugs that are in the 29-33 db ranges.  

I can hear the music and phone calls (on max volume settings of the phone and SMH10R) OK but not what I would call good or great, 

I feel that if the volume level of the Sena was 50% greater it would easily solve the issues listed in this thread. I'd gladly give some battery life to get more volume. 

The sound isn't bad for me and moving the speakers closer to my ear is not a option due to comfort. 

Being to loud is not a concern of mine. I'm very noise conscience hence the reason I wear ear plugs when I ride. 

June 24, 2013 06:31 PM
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Kyle Hale

Reporting back.  I updated to v4.2, and re-positioned my speakers ON the foam ear/cheek pieces. I had the speakers behind the Styrofoam before.  The volume is at about 85-90% where I would like it to be. for A2DP (music) playing.  Phone/intercom volume is perfect.  I'm pretty happy at this point and won't be a nagging complainer here anymore.  I do think Sena needs to boost the volume just a tad more, but understand if that breeches the physical output capable of the speakers.  Using an Arai XD-3 helmet.

June 24, 2013 06:39 PM
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Scott Siperko

Don't misunderstand, I can hear it BUT just not as well as I would expect.

A earbud adapter will do wonders for this unit and as another user proved it can be done easily.

 

June 25, 2013 06:54 AM
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Jamie Z

I recently purchased a Sena SMH5-FM with the upgraded speakers and found the same problem as many have reported here. The volume was just a click or two too quiet. I wear a full face helmet and earplugs

If I removed my earplugs, the volume was very loud, so it wasn't so much that the speakers weren't loud enough, I quickly concluded that my earplugs were working too well.

Previously, I used earplugs with a 30 NRR. I purchased earplugs with a 23 NRR and my problem has essentially been solved. At highway speeds I have no trouble hearing the voices in my head. I mean, I listen to podcasts and I can hear the discussions just fine. The wind/bike noise has not increased to a point where I think it's too loud.

Of course, everyone's equipment is a little different. Your helmet, windscreen (or lack thereof), helmet type, and many other factors affect what you hear, but for me, simply using different earplugs fixed the problem.

Hope this helps. I recognize some of the names in this thread...

Jamie

July 29, 2013 02:49 AM
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richard brearley

Hi all 

 

Same issues sort of , bought these yesterday and wish i had read this forum but there ya go !

I bought dual unit for intercom with the missus. Seams the volume for the phone is perfect , but the intercom between us is a diffrent matter , i can hardly hear after 50mph 

 

Sena mentioned " then go into each communication mode and increase each profile volume to a comfortable level."  

the manual does not say anything about this or even cover volume control on diffrent profiles ? 

 

any ideas how i go into this profile and adjust ?

 

Regards 

Richard

 

August 09, 2013 03:43 PM
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Matt

Richard,

When you're in intercom mode and having the conversation with your wife, adjust the volume then.   It will remember that setting, vs. the phone, vs. music.

But if at 50MPH when you lose it, if you try to turn it up and it just 'beeps' then you're at maximum.

Good luck.

 

-MD

August 09, 2013 05:39 PM
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richard brearley

Hiya 

 

Thx for the comment Matt 

 

I guess im at maximum then and having the same problems with everyone else !

 

 

August 11, 2013 02:14 PM
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Chris Graeser

Hey folks - has anyone tried the newest software update? I've had my hopes dashed every other update (not that Sena cares). The software is really buggy on Mac, so I need to borrow a PC to do it and just haven't got around to it.

January 16, 2014 01:37 PM
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Paul W

For me it was "adequate".  I know others that don't consider it adequate, but for me it was enough to justify the tradeoff of comfort and volume and go back to foam earplugs with the speakers.  Custom molded earplugs were awesome for sound quality and volume, but they got uncomfortable when wearing a helmet all day long.  Plus it's one more wire to plug in, which is kind of opposite the point of bluetooth. :)

January 16, 2014 01:51 PM