Best SENA Intercoms (2019 Edition)

Gear Guide: SENA Bluetooth Intercom Systems (2019 Update)

Updated for the 2019 - 2020 model year

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Ever since the Bluetooth intercom started to really catch on about 10 years ago, riders have had no shortage of communications systems to choose from. In this article, I am going to outline the latest intercom systems from SENA and call out which ones I think are the best for someone looking to pick up a new intercom.

Most of the models here are either new for the 2019 model year, or have had recently refreshed firmware/hardware to keep them in the game.

What Do You Want Your Intercom to Do?

Not all intercoms are the same, even if they come from the same manufacturer. There’s a mile of distance between the top-shelf SENA 30K and the SF4, for example. If you are unsure of your needs, you may find yourself over or under buying… and that’s never a great feeling.

Eliminate buyers remorse by buying the right intercom! This means understanding your needs. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to stream music/take phone calls while riding?
  • Do I want to be able to connect with other riders to chat?
  • Do I want to have large group connectivity (or at least the option for it)?
  • How big is the area on your helmet that you will mount it?
  • Do you need a slim/inline intercom, or is a full-size going to be fine?

Be honest with yourself when asking the above questions. They will empower you to make the right choice in your intercom.

Once you have an idea of what your needs are, it’s time to check out the SENA model lineup. For the 2019 model year, SENA has five main product lines:

  • 30 Series – SENA’s high-end intercoms, led by the flagship 30K. These devices include things like Mesh Intercom technology, hands-free calling, audio streaming, and more.
  • 20 Series – SENA’s former “big dog” lineup, the 20 series intercoms have been on the market for about 3 years now.
  • 10 Series – The entry-level segment for group-connected intercoms, the 10 series has proven to be both popular and robust.
  • SF Series – The actual entry-level segment for SENA intercoms, the SF series eschews group connectivity functions (for the most part) and focuses on providing an affordable hands-free calling/music streaming solution.

Let’s dive into these in more detail.

30 Series

When we say “30 series”, what we’re really saying is “SENA 30K”. That’s because, as of today (June 27, 2019), the 30K is the only intercom in the 30 series available for purchase.

SENA 30K

SENA 30K

In-depth review here: SENA 30K review @ webBikeWorld.

The 30K is to Bluetooth headsets what Mercedes Benz’s are to cars: they are the high-end option that incorporates a ton of functionality and market-leading technology.

This is the intercom to buy if you want to go on large group rides while remaining connected to every rider present. It’s Mesh Intercom technology, which operates on the 2.4 GHZ frequency, allows riders to enter/leave the group chat without impacting other members of the group. It has a huge range (up to 1.2 miles) and can support up to 16 other riders being connected in your private group, or almost limitless riders in an open group.

Bottom line: if you want the top-of-the-line SENA intercom, here it is.

Main Features

  • 13 hours of talk-time (8 when using mesh intercom)
  • Group Intercom (16 people in private group, unlimited in open group)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $329
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 1.5 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 102 mm x 56 mm x 27 mm
  • Speaker driver: 40 mm x 6.5 mm
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20 Series

The SENA 20 series includes a few intercoms: the popular 20S EVO and the SRL/SRL2 (designed for the Shoei Neotec II / Shoei GT-Air II helmets). These intercoms first came to market in 2016, and while they are “last generation technology”, they are still more than capable… especially for the needs of the average rider.

Don’t need to connect with limitless people or have a 16-person private group chat? Is connecting to up to 8 other riders sufficient? Save a few bucks and look at the 20 Series instead!

20S EVO

SENA 20S EVO

Read an in-depth review: Motorcycle.com

The 20S EVO is the upscaled, top-of-the-line model for the 20 series and it incorporates numerous firmware and hardware fixes compared to earlier iterations of the 20S. The most obvious change is the antenna: compared to the old 20S, the new one is a “Shark Fin” style that doesn’t “flip out” like the old one. It’s sleeker and overall a more attractive package.

The 20S EVO is a traditional Bluetooth intercom, meaning that it does not use Mesh technology like the 30K. There are pros and cons to this approach:

  • Pro: longer battery life (13 hours) compared to the 30K’s 8 hours (when using Mesh)
  • Con: no mesh
  • Pro: About 10% – 15% less expensive than 30K
  • Con: Mesh is about to become industry standard as all major manufacturers incorporate it

The 20S EVO will connect up to 8 riders in a group chat, so unless you’re going riding with everyone you know, chances are that the 20S EVO will suit you just fine.

Bottom line: this is the intercom system that most riders will be happy with.

Main Features

  • 13 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (8 people)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $299
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 2.5 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 94.7 mm x 48..3 mm x 25.5 mm
  • Speaker driver: 40 mm x 6.5 mm
Get Yours

SENA 20S EVOWe have worked closely with Amazon and RevZilla over the years to provide an easy way for our readers to make purchases after reading our reviews. Please don’t forget we may get a commission if you buy from them.

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SRL / SRL 2

SENBA SRL2

Read the in-depth review: webBikeWorld

The SRL/SRL2 are bespoke for the Shoei Neotec II and GT-Air II helmets. If you don’t have one, then you can skip the SRL/SRL2 as they won’t fit your lid. On another note, the SRL has been reffectively replaced by the SRL II. Functionally, there’s no difference between the two- the only difference between the SRL vs. SRL II is that the SRL II’s boom mic is detachable whereas the SRL’s is fixed.

The SRL/SRL2 is effectively a 20S EVO, only built in a custom form factor that is designed to fit the helmets it is made for. I’m going to keep this section short, as you’ve already read about the major functions/specs/etc. above in the 20S Evo section.

This is what I ride with, personally. I ride wearing a Neotec II and have had the SRL for over a year now. It’s a wonderful intercom system that does a great job in most respects. My only complaint is that the speakers could be louder, but even then, they’re plenty loud as-is.

Bottom line: have a Neotec II / GT-Air II? Get this intercom.

Main Features

  • 10 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (8 people)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $299
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 2.5 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions don’t matter since it integrates into the helmet
  • Speaker driver: 31.9 mm x 4.4 mm
Get Yours

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10 Series

The entry-level intercom option from SENA for those looking for group connectivity but don’t need the higher-end features (or price) from the 20 or 30 series intercoms. For those of us that tend to ride on our own or in small groups, the 10 series is a fine choice.

Falling under the 10 series umbrella are three intercoms worth wearing: the 10S, 10R, and 10Upad. We’ll discuss all three below.

SENA 10S

SENA 10S

Read the in-depth review: webBikeWorld

When first released in 2016, the Sena 10S came in to the market in a firestorm of awesome. It blew people away. It was an evolution over existing intercom options and was really damn good.

An upgrade to the much-loved SENA SMH10 which was, up until the 10S was released, the SENA intercom to own. The 10S, of course, changed that notion and it did it really quickly.

At this point in this article, however, the story behind the 10S is going to sound old. It’s similar to both the 30K and 20S EVO in many of its functions (note: it lacks mesh) will sound redundant. Effectively, this intercom offers most of what you want and connects with up to 3 other riders. It’s also one of the most affordable premium intercom systems you can buy at just $239.

Bottom line: this is an affordable and proven intercom system that most riders will be happy with, but if you want to chat with more than 3 friends, you’ll need to go to the 20 or 30 series.

Main Features

  • 12 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (4 people)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $239
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 85 mm x 57 mm x 27 mm
  • Speaker driver: 40 mm x 6.5 mm
Get Yours

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SENA 10R

SENA 10R

Read the in-depth review: webBikeWorld

The 10R is an ultra low-profile intercom system based on the same technology that powers other 10-series SENA devices. Like other members of the 10-series family, the 10R makes full use of advanced technologies incouding road noise control, voice prompts, and integration with the SENA app.

If I were to grab a 10-series intercom, it’d likely be the 10R (unless I had a helmet that required an integrated intercom).

The 10R is somewhat handicapped compared to full-size comparisons, but only in a minor way. Namely, the range of the 10R is about 900 m (or, roughly 0.6 miles). This is about 25% less than the full-size 10S, which sees 1.2 miles of range. Outside of that, the 10R is otherwise a somewhat dated but still capable intercom that allows you hands free calling, audio streaming, and group communications up to 44 people.

Bottom line: if you want a 10-series intercom but want something tiny, here it is.

Main Features

  • 10 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (4 people)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $239
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 70.7 mm x 36.6 mm x 13.7 mm
  • Speaker driver: 40 mm x 6.5 mm
Get Yours

SENA 10R ModuleWe have worked closely with Amazon and RevZilla over the years to provide an easy way for our readers to make purchases after reading our reviews. Please don’t forget we may get a commission if you buy from them.

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SENA 10Upad

The 10Upad is an interesting way to integrate an intercom into your HJC IS-Max II and HJC IS-17 helmets. Unlike most integrations, which require you to embed the intercom into the panel somewhere in the helmet, the Upad takes a novel approach in that it actually replaces the cheek pads in the helmet. This achieves the desired integration, but it is somewhat clunky in actual execution.

The biggest drawback against this setup is that the cheekpads are no longer washable, and as everyone who has ever ridden in warm weather knows, the helmet can turn into a sweat factory real-quick.

Bottom line: if you’ve got an HJC IS Max 2 or HJC IS-17 helmet and you want an integrated intercom, here it is.

Main Features

  • 10 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (4 people)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $199
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 76 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 85 mm x 57 mm x 27 mm
  • Speaker driver: 40 mm x 6.5 mm
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SF Series

The SENA SF series of intercoms are feature-poor but still functionally useful and, as a result of being light on features, quite affordable as well. The SF series avoids getting complicated with things like mesh technology and instead sticks to the basics and does them very well.

If you want a Bluetooth intercom that can stream music and let you take calls, the SF-series is a good way to go. There are several models inclusive of the SF series: the SF1, SF2, SF4, and SFR. I am going to discuss the SF4, as the other models are too restrictive for me to enthusiastically recommend.

SENA SF4

SENA SF4

The SF4 is the “boring, basic, but effective” choice for riders that want to keep costs down while still enjoying hands-free calling, audio streaming, and basic group intercom technology. The SF4 can connect up to 3 other intercoms (hence, SF4) in a group ride and has a range of roughly 1.2 km / 0.8 miles in open terrain. For most riders, these specs are more than sufficient.

Due, in part, to its simplicity, the SF4 enjoys longer talk time than most intercoms at 13 hours. It also has a broader radio frequency range than most intercoms, going down as far as 64 MHz (most start at 76 MHz). Small benefit that most won’t even realize, but it’s worth mentioning.

Being candid, it’s hard to suggest someone opt for the SF4 vs. the 10S or 20s EVO. However, if you prefer a lower profile look and want something that is simple in both design and use, the SF4 is a good option.

Bottom line: inexpensive and down on features, the SF4 demonstrates how doing one thing really well still brings tons of value.

Main Features

  • 13 hours of talk-time
  • Group Intercom (16 people in private group, unlimited in open group)
  • Voice Command Functionality
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Advanced Noise Control
  • FM Radio
  • Audio Streaming

Specs

  • Price: $329
  • CE / FCC / IC certified
  • Radio frequency: 64 ~ 108 MHz
  • Charge time: 1.5 hours
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 73.3 mm x 38.7 mm x 16.6 mm
  • Speaker driver: 32 mm x 10 mm
Get Yours

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