Sena 30K Bluetooth Headset Review

Every tourer worth his miles swears by his or her Bluetooth com unit. When you are out there on the highways burning rubber or just enjoying the scenery by yourself, a little entertainment always breaks up the monotony. If you’re with a pillion or travelling with a rider group, it becomes crucial to keep in touch at regular intervals. Hand signs are fine; we all know how important they are. But Bluetooth is better.

The Sena 30K Bluetooth headset can both entertain you, as well as keep you in touch with your buddies.

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What Would You Love?

Even though it is a Bluetooth headset in essence, the Sena 30K incorporates their trademarked Mesh Intercom Technology that can do so much more than just connect with other Bluetooth devices. It still has the 20S DNA in it, so you get the perks of the 20S and more. Fully battery operated and wireless, the 30K is a worthy successor that will make that ride easier for you and your buddies.

Sena has achieved this by having two separate processors for Bluetooth 4.1 and the Adaptive Mesh Networking device. Both are capable of working simultaneously and independently to achieve seamless communication. In addition to the processors, the unit also has separate antennae for either com system.

This presents an obvious advantage over just having Bluetooth. Earlier, if any member of a group connected with Bluetooth devices went out of range, the entire network would break up. While it was a good thing for the select few groups to ride in cohesion, it became a major annoyance to people who needed that freedom to twist the throttle a bit and explore ahead of the group.

With mesh networking, you don’t get that interruption. If a fellow rider goes out of range for any reason, the rest of the group stays in the network. The system reroutes communication from the nearest device to all the others in the group immediately.

Furthermore, it actively keeps searching for the disconnected unit. So when the lost soul of the rider left behind returns to your realm, contact is established at once.

Sena 30K also features a private mode, in which you can pair up with 16 riders at once using full duplex communication. It also has a broadcast mode which can enable any number of guest users to listen to anything it is putting out there by one-way communication. Be it music, or your own literary rendition of old Lady Macbeth.

Body

Stylish in appearance, you can fit the Sena 30K in most helmets that have a recess for a com unit. It has a unique, sophisticated look about it with its matt black color and the Jog dial. The Adaptive Mesh-Networking Antenna can be flipped up or down and locked in place easily. The phone button rests behind the jog dial, but might be too small for people wearing a larger set of gloves. The included mic and speaker unit can be fit below the main unit easily, and has an MP3 port, an Ambient-Mode button, a set of speakers and a static boom microphone. The entire system is very compact and proves itself trouble-free for normal use.

Special Features

Sena 30K is water resistant, so you do not need to worry about warranty or RMA if a few raindrops manage to wet it. For your music or radio needs, it has an inbuilt FM tuner as well as the MP3 port. The FM tuner can work with frequencies ranging from 64 MHz to 108 MHz and works anywhere in the world. You do get 10 preset stations stored in the onboard memory chip, as well as an automatic scan function if you do not know the frequency for a particular station.

The Advanced Noise Control™ technology filters out wind noise from your lid.

The Adaptive Mesh Networking system effortlessly handles your communication with other members of the group while the Bluetooth unit takes care of GPS Navigation, phone calls or streaming music from your smartphone. The Bluetooth unit can also communicate with other branded Bluetooth sets, so your buddies don’t absolutely have to buy a Sena for themselves. Although it would be beneficial for them to do so.

With the included Lithium Polymer Battery, you can talk endlessly for 13 hours, that is if you are able to. But failing that, a quick charge feature adds 4 more hours of talk time when plugged in an electrical outlet for just 15 minutes.

The RideConnected smartphone app available for Android as well as iOS extends the range beyond 1 mile (Bluetooth) or 1.2 miles (Mesh Intercom) to the entire world for about 16 dudes or dudettes if they have access to a mobile network.

Customer Reviews

The Sena 30K has received a lukewarm welcome from some riders. Their primary complaint was about the range being lower than the one claimed by the company. A few of them had hardware issues with the previous model, which made them skeptical about buying the new iteration.

Bottom Line

Sena has taken a great leap forward by introducing the Mesh Intercom system in their headset (although a little later than Cardo’s Packtalk). If you are concerned with the limited range, you can use their app and eliminate that issue. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. It is time we actually started using it to our advantage.

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