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I have a Bell Qualifier DLX helmet with the Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth headset, sucks for music (no bass at all) but ok for phone calls and intercom. I don't like taking phone calls while riding and have no one to intercom with since the wife gave up motorcycling so it's been a complete waste of money for me.
 

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Title.
Price range $100 - $200.
Many for Bluetooth sync to helmet.
Thanks for any input.
In my personal, subjective, opinion you've got two good choices.

If you want it mainly for bluetooth sync to helmet (think GPS and music, and phone capability off the bike), I'd say get a Sol Republic Relay Bluetooth Headphones. They fit well under a helmet and you can put some Comply isolating foam tips on it for perfect audio quality while riding, be it music or gps directions. I use something like this 90% of the time even when I have a 200$ Sena installed on the helmet. The quality will beat the best Sena speakers on the market, hands down.

Now if you also want rider-to-rider intercom, the best bang for buck comes from the Sena 10S. This is what I have and recommend for intercom (even though I mostly use bluetooth headphones). The main benefit is that the mounting plate is sold separately so you can move it between your helmets (or remove it when not using it or leaving your helmet on the bike), as well as the fact that it has a headphone jack so you can plug in headphones (I'd recommend the Shure SE-215, also with Comply tips).

In case it isn't clear, all helmet speakers suck badly. The main issue is the elevated noise floor (it's the reason why motorcyclists wear earplugs). There is no way for helmet speakers to reproduce subtle sounds without horrible dynamic range compression. And any speakers that can overcome that will damage your hearing within years. Isolating eartips are the best way to hear the music the best while protecting your hearing. With isolating eartips you'll still hear the environment better than the average car driver with their windows up, and you can tailor the isolation with different eartips.

And yes, while foam ear plugs help, the noise floor issue is still there. It simply isn't feasible to get good audio in a motorcycle helmet with speakers. Something similar happens with convertibles.

Anyway, I could talk about this for a while but I think that's enough. If you have any more questions just ask.
 

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@moto_HYUTS right now the best bang for your buck is the Sena 20S im gunna say. I think it's $199 right now at Cycle Gear and maybe Revzilla too. This is for the older non-EVO model, but trust me, it's basically the same exact thing as the EVO, the only difference is the shark fin antenna which helps the signal just a tad bit more. It's actually cheaper than the 10S AND you get more from it too!
 

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@ElPasoNinja try wearing foam ear plugs!! It improves the sound quality of the speakers a ton! It filters out a lot of the higher frequencies from wind noise and makes the sound a bit bassier.
This. I have the SENA SMH10 and it's perfect with earplugs properly placed in my ear canal. The key is getting the ear plugs well into the ear canal using the 2 hand method where you pull your ear back.
 

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@ElPasoNinja try wearing foam ear plugs!! It improves the sound quality of the speakers a ton! It filters out a lot of the higher frequencies from wind noise and makes the sound a bit bassier.
This. I have the SENA SMH10 and it's perfect with earplugs properly placed in my ear canal. The key is getting the ear plugs well into the ear canal using the 2 hand method where you pull your ear back.
Cool, will try some earplugs.
 

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While earplugs help, sure, I haven't found them to be any miracle. If you're hearing a song for the first time, or listening to a youtube interview, with earplugs I inevitably miss out on stuff at highway speeds. It reduces the pleasure factor by a lot. And I say this using an HJC Rpha Max which is considered a "quiet" helmet. In other words it depends most on your expectations. Now if your headphones cost in the 3 digit range or you're the type of person that finds themselves reading reviews at HeadFi.org, then earplugs won't cut it in my opinion.

One main reason for thinking the 10S or 20S is better than the SMH10 is that with the headphone jack, you can ride "as is" on the street, with earplugs on the highway, and connect some earphones to the Sena when taking longer rides. That way you're covered on all fronts.
 

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I have no problem hearing the music or anything else with plugs and SMH10 at highway speeds on my Ducati 1100 with straight pipes. Maybe it's how your inserting the ear plugs. Do you put them into the ear canal or just jam them in your ear?

I can't remember who posted a video of how to insert them properly while tugging on your ear with the opposite hand.
 

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I have no problem hearing the music or anything else with plugs and SMH10 at highway speeds on my Ducati 1100 with straight pipes. Maybe it's how your inserting the ear plugs. Do you put them into the ear canal or just jam them in your ear?

I can't remember who posted a video of how to insert them properly while tugging on your ear with the opposite hand.
I know what you mean. I'm also the typical guy trying to convince other people of the virtues of installing earplugs with their arm wrapped behind their head. Earplugs definitely have to be properly installed, and I can tell when I'm doing it right and when I'm doing it wrong (there's moments for both).

I still think it's a noise floor issue, but it really depends on the source more than anything else. If the noise floor is 115dB without earplugs and 90 dB with earplugs, it still means you're not going to hear too many sounds under 90 dB. With today's highly compressed music, it is much less of an issue then when you're listening to uncompressed (range, not size) FLAC files. With GPS instructions ear plugs are just fine, but if I'm either listening to a new song, or a complicated political discussion, I really try to avoid the earplugs+speakers combo and tend to err towards earphones. It just makes the ride that much more enjoyable, all while protecting my hearing.
 

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For riders traveling in groups who need to remain in communication with each other while traveling, SENA SRL Communication System will be a great choice. The Sena Smartphone App (for iPhone and Android) Links the SRL that allows you to configure device settings and Stay Connected and in Control.
 
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