In this week's show, Ray talked us through his insurance win, we have another look
As if in response to the big news shared by competition in the motorcycle comms game Cardo, Sena has announced some new kit, and some revisions to their top-of-the-line existing kit. Bringing it all together under the banner of "The Quantum Series"
Essentially the big news is that Sena's products now come with speakers and microphones designed by Harmon Kardon. You may have heard this name before. Harmon Kardon has been around since the 50's, primarily creating home and car audio and entertainment gear. They do sound pretty well and have been used in high-end laptops in a few other collaborations, So I guess its about time they made it to the motorcycle scene.
It's that old story of, if you want a candlestick, you go to the candlestick maker... right?
You wouldnt go to the bread maker for a candle.... nor would you expect the candlestick maker to make good bread... Sena is an electronics company, they make pretty good electronics and communicators, but when it comes to getting the best sound from the little devices, you want to bring in someone who knows the lay of the land and that's where Harmon Kardon comes in.
Let's break down the Quantum range.
The Sena 50R is the most waterproof of the clip-on devices, as it has no external connections. Able to make a connection through bluetooth to your phone of GPS, as well as connect to other riders for comms. We tested the 50R when it first came out and were pretty impressed. Downsides being once installed in the helmet, you cant take it off for charging, unlike the 50S.
The Sena 50S runs the same software/firmware as the 50R, however can be removed from the base plate. This has positives and negatives. One of the negatives being water can make its way between the unit itself and the backing plate and cause issues with operation.
This is a truly revolutionary device, using the same internals as the Sena 50R and 50S, but also incorporating a camera. We've not actually tested a 50C, but less on your helmet makes sense right?
Sena Impulse (Fullly integrated Helmet)
This is a DOT-rated convertible open-face helmet, with Sena comms integrated into it. the Benefits of this mean there is no external box on your helmet. the Downsides are that quite often the price is higher, and you cant mix and match your coms with your helmet, this is the only helmet the device works on. It does include some nice features like a drop-down internal tinted visor.
Sena Stryker (Fullly integrated Helmet)
And much like the Impulse, the Stryker is an integrated helmet in a different form factor, catering to those who don't need an open face or convertible helmet.
One strong benefit of going with one of the integrated helmets over a clip-on device is that we believe Harmon Kardon has been involved in the design and tuning of the speaker cavities, so they may sound better while riding. However, as stated above, if you have more than one helmet, then you're going to want an external device, or more than one.
So, the Sena Quantum range is essentially the same 50 series we know and have used before, with some new speakers and microphones by Harmon Kardon. It's actually quite exciting. We have tested the Sena 50R and 50S, but this was pre-HarmonKardon, so it would be interesting to see how much this collaboration would improve the setup. I personally, really liked the Sega 50R, and that was my pick of the range.
We will update this story when pricing and availability is announced, and we will release more content if we manage to get out hands on a test unit.