Sena 20 vs Smh10 – 7 Important Differences

Sena 20 vs Smh10

Click here to read the most detailed comparison between Sena 20 vs Smh10.

The biggest difference is that the Sena 20 can listen to two audio channels while the Smh10 can only listen to one. On the Sena 20, you can talk and listen to music simultaneously while on the Smh 10, you can only choose one action. The Sena 20 also has FM radio while the Smh10 does not.

Below are more differences that are worth highlighting.

Editor’s note: Note that the latest Sena 30s took away this dual audio channel function from its bluetooth function. You can only enjoy this if you are using the mesh intercom network. As such, I didn’t upgrade to the latest Sena 30.

 

1. Group Intercom set up

group intercom

For the Sena 20, it has a group intercom setting that allows you to talk to up 8 other fellow Sena 20 holders with a single action.

In contrast, the Smh 10 needs you to do a connection in a linear fashion and you can do up to 3 connections. For example, if you need to connect to 3 person, you need to start with person 2 and then 3 and finally 4. It cannot be done with a single command like the Smh10.

Another cool addition that the Sena 20 has is that you can share music with the group once the intercom has been set up. The Smh10 has no such function.

 

2. Ease of set up

The Sena 20 can be set up using either an iPhone or Android phone. Once you have paired your device with the Sena 20, you can do all sorts of setting change and set up. This makes it very convenient.

In comparison, the Smh10 has to be set up using the device itself. There is no screen to let you see what is going on. Instead, you need to operations by heart to be able to know how to control the knobs and what buttons to push. If you set up an electronic safe or doorlock, it is probably the same experience.

 

3. Ambient Mode

Sena 20

Sena 20 has a great feature called the ambient mode. Basically, it allows you to listen to sounds outside the helmet so that you can easily have a conversation. Imagine passing through a tooth booth or border patrol etc and needing to talk to them. In the past, you will need to talk off your helmet to be able to ear the other party clearly. All these is now unnecessary with the ambient mode.

The Smh10 does not have this feature.

Having said that, the ambient mode is not perfect yet. I notice it tend to pick up lower bass sounds. If you are standing near something that produces sound that are lower in bass than a human voice, it will over power everything else. This makes it difficult to hear the other party.

 

4. Range

According to the specs, Sena 20 is supposed to have a longer range than the Smh10. This power comes from an additional antenna.

In terms of numbers, the Sena 20 can do 1.2 miles (1.9 km) in range while the Smh10 can only do 900 yards (822 meters).

 

5. Smart prioritization of function

Sena 20 has really smart internal logic that decides on what sound to amplify in volume and what to decrease. This is priority logic currently:

  • Ambient mode (most important)
  • Mobile phone
  • Voice command
  • Intercom
  • Stereo music by audio cable
  • Music sharing by Bluetooth
  • FM radio
  • Bluetooth stereo music (least important)

For example, you are having an intercom conversation and listening to music at the same time. When no one is speaking, the music will be louder but once there is a voice, the music volume will decline automatically.

This makes the device really smart and easy to use without always doing all the adjustments and such. In fact, there is only 2 buttons on the sena 20 but it seems to cater to all the needs.

6. Number of phone pairing

The Sena 10 allows you to pair up to 2 phones while the Smh10 only allows 1. This might sound like a minor thing but it opens up different usage scenario.

For example, one phone can be set up to play music while the other gives direction. How cool is that!

 

7. Sound quality

To my ears, the Sena 10 seems to offer better sound quality. Whether it is a phone call or music, the sound is always crystal clear on the Sena 10. If you like music as much as I do, the audio quality will increase your enjoyment of the music by quite a significant margin.

On the Smh10, the qualify of the audio is just shy of music quality. The volume also seems to be softer although I did not formally test it with any volume measurement device.

 

What Sena 20 and Smh10 have in common

Despite the differences, both have similar functions

  • Intercom with other brands: Both devices allow you to talk to devices from other brands, provided you have upgraded to the latest firmware
  • Up-gradable firmware: This is good as we are getting constant improvements
  • Bluetooth connection: Both can be easily paired with your phones to listen to the songs within

 

Conclusion

Since Sena 20 has more bells and whistles, should it be an automatic buy? Well not really.

For one, the Sena 20 cost about $100 more than smh 10.

Second, it depends on whether you really need these features. For me, the ability to have 2 audio sources and to listen to FM radio is a big deal for me. In addition, I love to play with new technology so Sena 20 is a better fit.

However, if you already owned it or are looking for something more basic and affordable,  having the Smh10 is the right choice.

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