Review date: 5 Nov 2017
Time used: 2 year and 3 month, 61,000 km / 37,900 miles
Petra and I have always been keen of small clever gadgets. One thing we have been using on a daily basis since we started our around the world tour in 2013 are Bluetooth intercom systems. Our previous intercom system didn’t have an integrated camera so we had to have a separate action camera mounted on the helmet. However, in 2015 we changed our intercom system to the Sena 10C, which is a Bluetooth intercom system with an integrated camera. When I first read about the 10C I found myself thinking “what a great idea, why hasn’t anyone thought about this earlier?”
We have now been using the Sena 10C’s for over 2 years and we’re happy to say that this is one of the best gadget we carry with us. The intercom has been in constant use since the day we got them and always worked beautifully. The hardware is small and compact and there are some really clever built-in functions.
The installation is very simple and only takes about 10-15 minutes. The main unit is easily attached to the helmet with a clamp unit or a mounting plate with strong adhesive. It also comes with two options of microphones, a wired velcro mic or a boom mic, suitable for different type of helmets.
I’m impressed by Sena’s brilliant and reliable electronics and the excellent ability to have a clear conversation in 120 km/h as well as a number of other useful functions. Sena specify that the 10C has a range of 1,6km, which I believe must be under perfect conditions on an open flat without any obstacles or so. Our experience is that it has more than enough range for our needs, but not necessary a massive 1,6 km.
Once you’ve paired up with your satnav and mobile phone you’ll be able to make phone calls, receive navigation prompts, or listening to music while riding. One feature we both liked and used quite a lot is to share and listen to the same music over the intercom.
The video quality is good, although perhaps not quite as high quality as some of the better standalone action cameras on the market. However, considering that the unit is so small and has many other useful functions I suppose Sena has introduced a game-changer for the motorcycle Bluetooth intercom industry.
One cool feature that we really like is the “Video tagging” mode. Once you start the video tagging the camera begins to continuously record a video that overwrites itself every minute. If something interesting happens worth saving you just press and hold the camera button for one second. The camera will then create and save a video of the previous, current and the following minute, i.e. a three-minute video.
The battery is good for a full days riding when we are using it for only talk time and listening on music/audio books on the intercoms, but only enough for a few hours when the camera is in use. However, Sena has taken this problem into account and once the battery drops down to 20% the camera automatically shuts off (if it’s on) and leaves roughly 2 hours of intercom time. This is not really a problem for us as we have a 12V socket on our bikes and the 10C’s can be charged while riding, still being in use, with the cable that comes with the kit.
Overall the Sena 10C is a very impressive and compact all-in-one communication, video and audio system. The sound quality is excellent and the battery life is good and not an issue if you have a 12V socket on your bike. Having so many functions combined into one small unit is super, and to be honest so much better looking than having two separate gadgets attached to your helmet.