Battery life is very good, I can turn mine on in the morning and leave it on all day without a problem.
They have an impressive range. I actually have no idea how far they will work, but I can still communicate with my riding buddy even when we are out of sight of each other (e.g. when one of us makes an overtake and disappears while waiting for the other to have an oppertunity to catch up).
'Always up' full duplex comms works very well. Although I also have it connected to my sat nav and phone, when I'm riding in a pair we will open the comms between the two of us and leave them open for the whole day. It's full duplex so you can talk and hear at the same time. At low speeds the clarity is excellent, so it's just like chatting to your mate face to face.
When I'm on my own I'll turn on my sat nav Bluetooth so I get the speed camera alerts delivered to my ears
The auto audio switching doesn't work very well. In theory you can set it to listen for audio sources and automatically change. In reality it doesn't work particularly well as there is always a delay while it opens up the channel and things like sat nav instructions will interrupt in the middle of a sentence from your mate! We find it much better to have the comms open all the time and not allow the sat nav to interrupt.
At high speeds the audio clarity isn't brilliant. Not sure if it because of the noise cancelling, or maybe high volume distortion due to the auto volume, but anything over 70mph and I struggle to understand either the sat nav or my riding buddy.
I have no no idea if the Scala is any better, or worse than any of the others so hopefully you'll get a few more honest reviews on other systems to help you!
I have an old Scala Rider and would just like to point out a problem with SatNavs.
With my TomTom the volume control increases the earpiece volume and I can hear instructions clearly even with earplugs in.
With my Garmin Zumo however the earpiece can only be controlled by the Scala volume button which is not good enough.
This is a widely known issue, just thought I would mention it. Things may be different with newer models.
I've used the SENA SMH 10 for several years. Although it has Bluetooth capability plus a direct capability for attaching an MP3 player, I've only user the latter 2 functions to see how they worked (just fine) as riding is my quiet time and don't like music or phone interruptions. The Comms function is superb - clear and loud and has a line of sight range of around 1 km. If there are roadside obstacles like cliffs on bends, it will trip out but auto reconnects. You can have connections between 4 riders.
I've used it continuously for 10 hours and not run out of charge. For me, the big multi-function dial is a godsend for adjusting volume when riding with thick winter gloves. You can buy it with several microphone options - boom type, adhesive pad on helmet etc depending on the type of helmet you have. I use the boom. Haven't experienced any reliability issues other than breaking something when almost new due to my own ham-fistedness. Ok since then!
I've used the Scala too and they are very similar in terms of range and general performance. I'm a voluntary Observer with The Institute of Advanced Motorists in NZ and we have settled on Sena as our standard comms. The 20S is the latest model with more features but it's more expensive. There are lots of evaluations of Sena and Scala comms on YouTube.
I have Uclear .
It uses 'military' technology so no microphone boom, the mics are on the earpieces. This actually works very well.
I use it with my phone for music, calls and navigation when required,and it is fine although can get hard to hear at higher speeds.
The communication is a bit average. 500m line of sight. Clarity is good but often need to slow down to reduce wind noise to be able to hear it properly.
Having battery issues with one unit after about 12 months
I have a scala g3, we had a few issues pairing to different riders, but now stay connected to the same 1.
Then if Im out with another rider I use the Internet communications link, seems to work better.
There is an app for phones, I think this makes it so much better, you can choose between phone, radio, music or coms, set the channels for the radio, also see how much battery you have.
I'm quite happy with it, but I have not used any others.
The new cardo units are a vast improvement I had G4 and they worked ok with some small issues as discussed above. I upgraded to G9 and they worked slightly better However my friends have the new pak talk units and they seem to be fantastic. I plan on upgrading myself due to this
Sena 20S. Love it. Speakers are a little tinny, but you can plug in earbuds if you prefer. Good battery life, and never had any pairing issues (used with 4 different phones). Works well with other Sena devices, but haven't tested with other brands. I use it mostly for music (Spotify from my phone, or the inbuilt FM radio), GPS navigation and hands-free telephone. When I'm on the phone, people on the other end of the call never believe that I'm riding on my bike through traffic.
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