My video above gives you an overview of the 1st gen Sena RC3 and Handlebar Remotes.
The 10R is no different from the old SMH10R other than bluetooth profile upgrade (to 4.1) and some quality upgrade with the newer speakers. This simply allows for utilizing the Sena Phone App to let you change and customize controls without having to use the headset buttons to navigate the menus. Otherwise, I haven’t found any other differences really, from the old to the new.
See my old review of the SMH10R here.
The rest of my review is an overview of installation, especially in the Bell Race Star which is a track specific helmet and not designed to accommodate bluetooth intercoms.
So when I upgraded to the 10R, I put my old SMH10R onto my Shoei RF1200. And then I put the 10R on my Bell Race Star. The Bell was a little harder to install the headset into, so here are some photos to help you if you’re trying to do the same thing.
So first thing when installing any headset is you want to remove all the internal liners. It’ll just make your life easier if the center pad / helmet liner is gone along with the cheekpads. This is where I placed the speaker velcros and ultimately how the speaker sits inside my helmet. In the 3rd pic, you can see the speaker just underneath the cheekpad a little. I had to move it down because after an hour of riding, it started to press on my jawbone from being partyway underneath the cheekpad.
Next, I had to figure out how to run the wires from the battery which mounts onto the back of the helmet. The neckroll IS removable, it’s how I was able to run the battery cable underneath to inside the helmet.
I think this was the hardest part, trying to keep the install nice and clean. I truly wish I didn’t have to mount the battery externally but it was really the only way. The sticky mount for the battery is removable, so at some point I’ll probably switch out this headset to something that doesn’t require a rear mount.
I actually use the boom mic on this helmet because it’s such a windy, noisy helmet that I need a stronger mic to carry my voice. Generally speaking, my voice sucks computers or phone systems when I try to give commands. I find the boom mic helps a little bit for clarity and sound for me. It doesn’t take up much space and sits neatly inside.
Finally, I run the main wire from the Sena underneath the neckroll and am able to hide the cables neatly behind the helmet liner.
The sound quality is fine, but the volume levels are challenging since it’s such a noisy helmet. It vents excessively so I have to wear specific ear plugs so the music volume is loud enough but the wind noise isn’t too annoying. I’ve found that wearing lighter, softer earplugs that aren’t as dense helps balance the two.
Yes, you do need earplugs because you’re trying to reduce enough of the wind noise to hear your sound. It will definitely vary depending on your personal sensitivity levels and the noise that your helmet generates but there will always be excessive noise with a track / sporty helmet like this so try ordering a set of motorcycle specific earplugs from Earplugstore.com to see what density, size and style works for you. I also recommend trying their sample kits so you can try a variety of types and styles as well. This is how I found the right size and density for my ear canals.