Sena 20S Evo Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System Review

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The Sena 20S Evo is a Bluetooth headset motorcycle communication system that comes complete with built-in FM radio, voice commands, and allows you to communicate with other members in your group or stay in close contact with family and friends back home. It offers a wide range of features, and an optional remote control, not to mention audio multitasking. Basically, this is one of the best motorcycle Bluetooth headsets currently on the market.

Our Verdict: Like competing models, this headset offers the total hands-free experience, allowing you to reject, dial, or answer calls, turn on the radio, access the intercom chat, and more. You can use the app to adjust settings, add more riders, or take away access, which makes it easier to tweak the settings instead of using the headset’s built-in jog wheel. The FM radio struggles with reception, especially if you’re riding through an urban area, which can be a big drawback for some potential buyers.

The intercom chat feature can be used with up to eight riders, however, you will notice a little static in the background during use. This model is a true multitasking machine. Make calls, listen to music, or access GPS, at the same time you’re using the group intercom feature. Versatile, easy to use, and beginner-friendly, this headset is a great buy for the serious rider in need of a model they can really rely on.

Overview and Features

This headset is loaded with all the right features, which is what makes it a great option for the avid rider in search of a headset that can do it all. This model has received a total makeover from its predecessor, the 20S, including the sharkfin antenna that replaced the old flip-up aerial antenna, which didn’t do much to boost reception and clarity. It also comes equipped with voice controls, so you can use your voice to answer a call, reject a call, launch FM radio, or activate the group intercom feature.

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Our Rating: (4.5/5)

  • New antenna design
  • Intercom communication works with up to eight riders
  • Voice commands
  • App
  • Excellent range
  • Built-in FM radio

Antenna

As I mentioned, instead of the aerial flip-up antenna that you’ll find on older models produced by Sena, this model comes equipped with a sharkfin antenna that’s sleek and durable.

Intercom Communication

This model allows you to use the intercom feature to speak with up to seven other riders in your group, so you can stay in close contact at all times to give directions, chat, or decide where your next pit stop will be. This feature is invaluable and can be a real time-saver as well as a must-have safety feature. Friends that have ridden ahead of you can report back if they come across any hazards in the road, slick surfaces, accidents, or inclement weather. You can also stay in touch regarding directions, traffic jams, and more.

App

You can change and manage the headset’s features via the Sena app. As an example, you can reconfigure the intercom system, switch from standard to high-definition sound and more.

Connection

Most riders have reported that you’ll encounter a little static from time to time, in the background, when using the group intercom feature. However, for most riders, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re using the one on one chat feature, using the high-definition setting, the sound is crystal clear, with no static present.

Range

Aside from a little static when you’re talking in the group chat, you’ll find that the quality will begin to take a dip once you’ve stretched the headset’s range limit. This model features a range of 1.2 miles, when you’re traveling over flat terrain, which is better than average.

However, in urban environments where buildings and other obstacles are present, you’ll notice that the connection can be touch and go.

GPS

If you’re traveling to a new, far off and exciting place, then GPS access is a must. It can help save you a lot of time and frustration, which comes with getting lost and burning daylight. You can use the GPS for your ears only, or you can share it with the other members in your group, via the group intercom chat feature. This will keep everyone on the same page in terms of exits, turns, and the general destination.

Durability

This headset is dustproof and rainproof, so it can handle riding in mild to heavy rainfall, and it can withstand high-wind conditions. The headset features a protective rubber flap to safeguard it against water damage and to prevent debris from making its way inside the charging port.

User Menu

This model comes equipped with a small jog dial that you can use to cycle through the different features to adjust the settings. However, due to its small size, you may have a hard time using it. Instead, you’re better off just sticking with the app.

Phone Calls

Answers or rejecting calls is pretty effortless, once you become familiar with the controls. You can answer a call using a voice command, instead of having to pull off to the side of the road and manually answer via your phone.

Voice Control

You can control many of the headset’s features using simple voice commands. You can also activate Siri for online searches or to play music, or make a call.

Fit

The compact headset will work well with a variety of helmet styles. Some models of helmets come equipped with a wider trim, which can have a negative impact on the fit, but that’s a common problem you’ll run into with any type of headset.

This model comes with a total of three mic options, so you can choose the best one, based on the style of helmet you normally wear. How well the headset fits will depend on the type of helmet you wear. If the helmet you have is designed to work with a headset system, then it will have a recessed space located near to the cheek pads, which is designed to accommodate the speakers.

FM Radio

The built-in radio works pretty well, however, it can experience interference at times, which is why many riders usually prefer to listen to stream their music instead of relying on the radio’s signal strength. However, even if you don’t want to use the radio feature to listen to music, you can still tune in to get the latest traffic and weather reports.

Battery

This model has an average battery life of thirteen hours per charge, which is low compared to other models in this price range. It has a charging time of five hours.

Use

For some, this headset has more features than necessary, however, once you learn how to access and adjust the settings correctly, you’ll find that the headset functions seamlessly, allowing you to carry out a variety of tasks at once.

This device can be frustrating and confusing to use initially, since it mainly relies on voice commands and features only a single visual indicator on the device that lets you know what you’re doing. However, once you’ve configured your headset and become familiar with how it works, you’ll find that it’s very easy to use. Considering the steep price, you’ll want to invest in a helmet lock to prevent theft, if you’re parked at a rest stop or decide to grab a bite to eat. To learn more, click here to read my article on how to lock your helmet to your motorcycle.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros

  • Intercom function works with up to eight riders
  • Excellent range
  • GPS navigation
  • App
  • Voice commands
  • Fast charging time
  • Dustproof and waterproof

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • FM radio has poor reception
  • Price

Sena Versus Sena 20S-01D Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System

So, how does this Sena headset measure up to the 20S-01D? The competing headset by Sena offers better noise control capabilities, whether you’re on a phone call or using the group intercom feature. Both models offer audio multitasking technology, so you can use GPS or listen to the radio at the same time you’re using the intercom feature.

However, the 20S-01D comes with a new user interface that makes it much easier to pair your headset with your smartphone, due to its motion sensor technology. All you have to do to pair the headset with your phone is shake the headset. Offering better sound quality and noise-canceling capabilities, the 01D is a better option for the music lover.

Conclusion and Rating

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The 20S Evo comes with plenty of bells and whistles, yet it struggles with a clear reception when you use the FM radio and does experience some static on the intercom chat. The price is also a little steep for the rider on a tight budget. However, it does offer a reliable performance and is considered one of the top headsets on the market, thanks to its versatility and durable build. I gave this model a rating of four and a half stars out of five.