My new Sena 10R. I know, looks just like the old one.
Both systems are Sena's "Low profile units, which are designed to occupy a minimal amount of space and provide the lowest profile on the side of your helmet. As someone who has no protection from the wind in the form of a windscreen or fairing, I value minimizing wind noise as much as possible. That includes wearing one of the best helmets on the market and one of the best headsets. Although I prefer the interface of the jogdial, as on the 10S, I didn't want any extra wind noise being generated next to my ear.
But, I also can't use the smallest unit, the 3S-W because the intercom distance is simply too short. Sometimes my husband and I aren't riding right next to eachother, so having more range to work with is really useful.
For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to refer to these units as the old and new. Old for the SMH10R and New for the 10R.
So what's changed?
The new unit has an improved feel and interface along the surface. This has always been the downside of the old unit. The fact that you don't have Sena's proprietary jogdial means you have to make more precise movements. The only reason you'd purchase either of these units is because you want a lower profile and are ok with not having the best interface (which is the jogdial) This can be annoying, as you reach up to adjust volume, intercom your husband, or maybe pause your music. And the thicker your gloves, the harder it is to be precise. The small ridges alongside the main Sena button are difficult to feel sometimes, even when I'm wearing my lightweight racing gloves.
Now when I reach up to initiate a command, it's much more obvious as to what button I'm pressing. The surface is also much smoother and made of a different type of material, a little softer not as firm, thus the color difference which explains why the new unit is greyish in color not black like the old one. The main Sena button is easily differentiated from the plus and minus since it's now a smooth surface button. I know immediately on contact that which button I'm about to press. It also makes it much easier to turn the unit on and off.
Aside from the interface change, the new unit has improved speakers, the same ones as the 20S and 10S. I wouldn't say they sound twice as nice, but do seem to be a little less tinny in sound.
Another change that I am thrilled about is the upgraded Bluetooth 4.1 profile. Whereas the old unit had 3.0. The reason this is important is because now I can use one of their remotes!
Remember, these units are NOT the best options in the Sena lineup when it comes to user interface. I would recommend a 10S before I'd recommend a 10R because they're annoying to use. But since I'd rather have the lower profile, I accept these drawbacks.
With the option of a remote, now I can initiate commands from my handlebar, or my tank bag, or wherever else I place a remote. They've released two remotes. If you purchase the 10R, you can buy it with or without the handlebar remote. That one is strictly designed to attach to a handlebar. I recommend mounting this one to the clutch side so it doens't get in the way of operating your brake and throttle. It can get in the way of reaching for your turn signals on the clutch side, but surprisingly, with my small hands I didn't find it to be an issue. I already have to reach over quite a bit to reach my signals and horn so adding the remote didn't make that much worse.
But I do like the other remote a bit better, called the RC-3 a bit better. This one can be clipped to anything, not just your handlebar. With it's slim design, you can attach it to other things like your tankbag or jacket. Wherever you find it most convenient to reach for it so you don't have to reach up to your helmet.
Finally, the other major change is compatibility with the Sena App. I'm most excited about this option, because making changes such as firmware updates is so much easier. I can also manage various settings such as VOX controls, audio sensitivity and intercom pairings. Sena has another app called Ride Connected, not to be confused with this one which is strictly designed to manage your headset controls.
So there you have it, new buttons, a new look, a new remote system and a mobile app!