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Sena SMH10R Review

Sena SMH10R, ultra thin, light weight motorcycle Bluetooth device. I have had the fortune of being able to test quite a few Motorcycle Bluetooth devices over the last several months. my favorite Bluetooth devices are made by Sena.  Most recently Sena sent me their newest Bluetooth device the Sena SMH10R.

The Sena SMH10R is set up different than the last two Bluetooth devices that Sena has released. I have had access to the Sena SMH5 and the SMH10 for the last few months and they quickly became my favorite Bluetooth devices due to their ease of use and glove friendly design.  What differentiates the SMH10R from the other two devices is the fantastic jog wheel available on the SMH5 and SMH10 is not on the SMH10R.  The jog wheel was very glove friendly and made changing settings on the fly a very easy task.  So, when I first got the SMH10R I had some reservations about it due to it’s lack of a jog wheel.

I do find the ability to interact with the SMH5 and the SMH10 with gloves on to be easier than the SMH10R. The jog wheel is simply hard to beat with it’s glove friendly design.  However, I have found the SMH10R to be more glove friendly than other button based Bluetooth devices I have used. The SMH10R only has 3 buttons and they are separated by rubber ridges that make it easier to find the buttons with gloves on.  Sena makes good use of three buttons to adjust a smart phone or communicate while rolling down the road.

**Check the latest prices on the Sena SMH10R**

In order to make the SMH10R so thin, Sena separated the battery and the control module. The control module is now just 1/2 inch thick.  It looks very good on the side of the helmet if you are bothered by the look of traditional Bluetooth devices. The control module is connected by wires to the battery which can be attached to the back of the helmet.  This set up does add a few more wires that need to be hidden and tucked inside the helmet liner but overall is not a big deal. One benefit of having the battery and the control module separated is the SMH10R battery is now replaceable should it ever fail to hold a charge.

A complete Sena SMH10R kit includes:
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  • The Sena SMH10R Bluetooth Low Profile module with flat cable connection harness.
  • Two microphones, boom and thin wire, with modular dual-pin connectors.
  • Large version dual speaker stereo headset with four-pin modular connector.
  • An external battery module with two-pin modular connector.
  • A 12V DC NA-style charger with mini-USB connector; USB charge/data cable, Type A to mini-USB connectors.
  • Various shaped pads for mounting the modules, speakers and microphone.


Audio quality for the SMH10R is fantastic. The volume is loud enough to hear with ear plugs in while wearing a full face helmet. I do get some distortion from the speakers when set to their loudest levels but the loudest setting is not something I have needed. Pairing the device with my iPhone was painless and gives me access to music, GPS directions and streaming radio. I have used the device for the occasional phone call but talking on the phone is not something I do regularly while riding a motorcycle.

My personal nitpicks about the controls aside, the SMH10R from Sena is a great product.  There are pros and cons when deciding between the SMH10 and the SMH10R.  If ease of control is most important I recommend the SMH10.  If looks, light weight and a more modular design is more important, you can’t go wrong with the SMH10R.  Kudos to Sena for making two great products that each feature a different strength.  Sena let’s you decide which Bluetooth device works best for you.

Sena SMH10R Specs

  • Talk time: 8 hours
  • Stand-by time: 7 days
  • Working distance (Intercom):
    Up to 900 meters (980 yards) in open terrain
  • Operating temperature: -10˚C ~ 55˚C (14°F ~ 131°F)
  • Dimensions (headset): 70.7 mm x 36.6 mm x 13.7 mm (2.8 in x 1.4 in x 0.5 in)
  • Weight (headset): 22 g (0.78 oz)
  • Profiles: Headset Profile, Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Built-in SBC Codec
    • Noise cancellation
    • Wind noise reduction
    • Wide volume control
    • Sample rate: 48kHz (DAC)
  • Charging time: 2.5 hours
  • Type: Lithium polymer battery
  • CE, FCC, IC



3 thoughts on “Sena SMH10R Review

  1. I use the Sena SMH5FM. Happy with it in almost every way. It came with the larger speakers, which sound good, even while wearing earplugs. Full-face wired mic works well. People can’t even tell I’m riding. The FM radio works good for morning commutes and traffic updates. Syncs well with My Samsung Galaxy S3 but you have to re-connect it using the phone controls after it automatically connects after turning the Sena on, otherwise my phone audio (Pandora/internal mp3) doesn’t play through the in-helmet speakers. I get funny looks when I walk in to the gas station with my helmet on, talking to someone on the phone.


  2. Hey Jules, the only thing I can compare them against is what I have actually tested and as stated in the review the Sena products are my favorite from what I have tested. They also happen to be priced a little better than the Cardo products. There may be a better product available for the money but I have not tested it.

  3. Kevin,

    Nice report. Still haven’t made my purchase on the Sena headsets yet butits just a matter of finances which is one thing you didn’t report on. Many people base their purchase on things on more than just quality, unfortunately. Some people have to look at pricing as well. When you do your reviews, do you ever do product comparison? What would be a comparable headset to the 10r? How do they compare in price or reception/transmission quality, ease of use?

    Your friend,
    Jules “Daddyo” Frapart

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