Sena 20S: I wanted to like it.

Like the SMH10 but with one serious flaw for me: easy inadvertent volume changes.

2019 update: by 1 year it would discharge while off and unused for 3-7 days (this was never consistent – sometimes it would still have a full charge at 6 but not always.) Battery life was down to 3.5 hours by a couple months short of 2 years and the day the warranty expired it failed, refusing to turn on or accept a charge anymore.

I went to the mountains of North Carolina for Labor Day Weekend and the ride out included riding through three bands of downpours, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. On that I found the limits of the weatherproof ability of my SMH10. It wasn’t in spectacular fashion, rather it refused to accept a charge and smelled faintly of the magic smoke plus when I shook it a bit some drops of water came from somewhere inside. I’d already been contemplating replacing it because the battery life was growing short…

I went to the BMW Motorrad dealer in Asheville because they were listed as a dealer of both Cardo and Sena. I was more interested in a Cardo model but they only had Send in stock. Wanting one for the trip I decided to go for it.

The mount is slightly redesigned, which I like. The thing that looks like a thumb tack below the jog wheel is the release; the electronics unit now slides on from the top and has a positive lock. I like this because the plastic spring clip on my SMH10 had fatigued a bit and no longer solidly held all the time. There’s is now a second LED to indicate the charging status, located next to the micro USB socket.

The mount has two other additions: a button on the bottom called Ambient (I haven’t used that yet) and a jack on the front for your preferred earbuds.

The redesigned jog wheel requires a lighter touch. However, if you are one of the people for whom a jacket that fits elsewhere means it is a bit loose in the shoulders you may hit my problem: the jacket can easily rub against the jog wheel and change the volume unexpectedly. I find it happens almost every time I turn my head and cam happen even with slight movements at highway speeds. Tonight, on an in town ride of 7 miles it did so at least a dozen times. If it tries to increase the volume but it’s already at max the result is a rather piercing dual tone from the speakers.

Due to that I’m likely to save up for a Cardo and sell the 20S.