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Sena 30k Motorcycle Bluetooth
Whether you’re a fan of previous Sena products, or this is your first purchase from this brand, the 30K model delivers improved and expanded features that make it worth considering. Compared to other models in this line, this one delivers a smoother experience, comes with plenty of useful features, and it is more reliable to use on the road.
The most impressive feature that this unit offers is the mesh intercom technology since it makes riding with friends in a group a more pleasant experience. The mesh technology comes with two modes: private and public. The private mode will let you chat with a group of up to 24 people using a private channel that allows you to choose who can join.
The public mode allows for virtually unlimited connections, and anyone can join it. The mesh technology has a range of up to 1.2 miles in open terrain. The experience of using the mesh intercom is great since even if riders in a group get separated and lose connection, once they rejoin and get back into range, the network will reconnect seamlessly.
The mesh intercom can enhance your riding experience since you’ll no longer need to rely on backhand signals to communicate with all the other riders in your group.
While the performance and features that this option offers are objectively great, it can be difficult for the casual rider to justify paying this much for a Bluetooth headset, especially once you consider that there are plenty of other options that are available for half the price.
However, just as is the case with most top-end models, the Sena 30K caters to the serious riders who spend a lot of time on their bikes and in large groups. For them, the extra features that this model offers are well worth the expense. Take a look at the list of features that this model comes packed with to see if it offers everything that you need.
Main features explained
Since this is a motorcycle Bluetooth headset that puts such a big focus on communication, the quality of the microphone matters a lot. Thankfully, Sena has taken feedback from its previous models into account and has included two microphones in the package, a standard boom microphone and a wired boom microphone.
Both options deliver excellent sound quality, but now riders have the choice to use the one that will work best with their helmet. Moreover, both mics also come with a larger tab, which makes it easier to tell which side is live so that you can keep it positioned toward your mouth.
The quality of the hardware is important, but when riding in harsh environments, no matter how good a microphone is, it will still pick up ambient sounds, such as wind and traffic. This is where the Advanced Noise Control becomes essential since Sena is known for investing a lot into the software of their headsets to remove background noise.
This means that with the Sena 30K, even when you are riding at high speeds, the microphone is capable of distinguishing between your voice and the background noise. The Advanced Noise Control will isolate your voice and remove the ambient noise so that when you talk on the microphone, the people you’re talking to will only hear your voice.
However, the one thing to keep in mind is that the microphone setup and location play a very important role. The package includes various adhesives and bits to help you position and attach the speakers and microphones to your helmet.
The instruction manual can help you identify the right position for the microphone, but you’ll still need to make some minor adjustments until you get the best results. Thus, when setting up the microphone, you should be ready to experiment with different configurations. It may take a bit of time, but it will all be worth it once you hear how good the mic will sound.
One of the best additions that the 30K offers compared to older models in this line is the mesh intercom technology. It is a great feature that will make group communication easier and more reliable. As long as there are other 30K users in the area, the technology allows them to create either a private or public network.
When creating a private network, there’s a limit of 24 users that can connect simultaneously. The private mode offers no restriction, and it allows for an unlimited amount of users to communicate at the same time. The 24 user limit in the private mode is more than enough since it prevents conversations from getting too noisy and confusing.
Starting a public mesh intercom is very easy. You’ll first need to make sure that the mesh antenna is raised so that you can get better coverage, and you can then push the mesh button that’s found on the top of the unit. Once you’ve pressed the button, the headset will connect to other units that are within a mile.
To create a private channel for a closed group of friends, you can use the same mesh button, the Sena phone app, or you can invite them using a voice command. Once you’ve joined a network, the headset will remember it, and if you get separated and lose connection, once you get back into range, you will reconnect automatically.
The sound quality on the mesh network is excellent, even when multiple persons are talking at the same time. This is achieved thanks to the dual processors inside the headset. One processor is used to control the Bluetooth operation, while the second one is dedicated entirely to the mesh network.
Having individual processors for each operation mode is a great decision since it allows the unit to run more smoothly and handle multiple connections at the same time without hiccups.
While the intercom technology is the most celebrated feature of this model, the headset also comes with Bluetooth 4.1 technology that allows you to connect it with other compatible devices. You can use it to connect the headset to your phone to play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more.
This option also supports Bluetooth intercom that will let you connect and talk with other riders in your close vicinity who have a compatible Bluetooth headset. However, unlike the mesh intercom that can handle dozens of connections at the same time, the Bluetooth intercom can only be used by four riders at the same time.
You can also use the Sena phone app to control the headset using your smartphone. The app offers plenty of benefits since it allows you to turn features on and off more easily than using the buttons on the communicator modules.
The app can also be used to adjust the volume levels for music, phone calls, and intercom independently. What’s more, thanks to the dual processors, with this model, you can connect with other riders and talk without losing connection to your smartphone.
This means that while talking, you can still stream music to the headset and set it at a lower volume so that it doesn’t get in the way of you understanding what people are saying. When receiving a phone call, the system will mute other inputs to make sure that you get the best sound quality possible.
What’s more, with this model, you can also listen to music on FM Radio without having to pair it with your phone and tune it using the radio app. You can instead pick your favorite radio station using the intercom system.
The phone app makes it easier to navigate through radio stations, but it is not necessary, which is an advantage for people who don’t want to connect their headset to their phone and only want to use the intercom system.
While you can control all the features of the headset using the large jog dial and the buttons that are placed on the rear of the unit, you can also control all the key features without getting your hands off the handlebar by using voice commands.
If you’ve ever used Siri or Google Assistant, you’ll find yourself right at home with the voice commands on the Sena 30K. The microphone is always listening, and once you say “hello, Sena”, the system will wake up, and the voice assistant will ask you to reply with a command.
There is a large number of commands that you can give, such as setting up the intercom, playing and pausing the music and radio, answering phone calls, and more. The user manual includes all of the commands you can use, but if you find yourself on the road, and you forget a command, there’s no need to worry.
You can still get a complete list of commands by asking the assistant “what can I say?”. It can take a while to get familiar with all the voice commands, but once you do, it makes using the headset on the road that much easier.
This model is packed with features that may have potential buyers wondering about battery life. The good news is that with a full charge, the Sena 30K can give you around 8 hours of talk time when connected using the mesh intercom. If you’re only using the Bluetooth intercom, you can get up to 13 hours of use time.
These numbers may be reduced or improved depending on what your use time is, but overall, the battery in this unit is good enough to keep you connected even on a long ride. Once the battery gets depleted, you can charge it back up in just 1 hour and a half.Buy from Amazon.com