WHAT HAVE I BOUGHT NOW?
OK, I like gadgets. Lots of them. And when we have a gadget that enhances our motorcycling experience… happy campers!
I have had a Sena 20S bluetooth communicator on my various helmets for the past 5 years or so, and it gets used practically daily. On my daily commute, it keeps me up to date by listening to the traffic reports on AM radio or entertains me on longer rides by piping music or country radio stations to a set of earbuds. I also take the (very) occasional phone call and it also hooks up to the SatNav for both directions and mobile speed camera site warnings. I find it useful!
The battery life of the Sena 20S had started to wane, so it was time to look for a replacement. I’ve had very good service from the three other Sena headsets that I have used over the last 10 or so years, so it is a brand that I know to be both reliable and effective.
I also enjoy creating film clips of some of the roads that I travel. You can see a couple of them on this website and if you are really bored and wish to waste some bandwidth, visit my YouTube channel.
With a selection of helmets I have had to use various means of attaching action cameras to my helmet. Whilst they all stayed in place, and did the job, they were all unwieldy, with the wind playing havoc with them at times.
I noticed that Sena had released its Sena 10C combined bluetooth headset and camera model. The first and second versions worked OK according to the reviews at the time, but as far as I was concerned, they lacked video quality, specifically, no capability of recording video at 4K quality.
The Sena 10C Evo model was released this year, and this shortfall had been addressed. So, after some deliberation (all of 27 seconds…), I placed an order with Elite Electronics, as we are still in COVID lockdown down here in sunny Melbourne.
It arrived the very next day and the excitement begun.
The unit came very well packaged and upon opening the box, you are greeted by the headset / camera unit.
Removing the top layer with the headset/camera unit reveals the rest of the included goodies.
There are three mounting clamps included with the system. There is a clamp unit that is mounted to your helmet by sliding it in between the padding and the helmet shell. Another similar clamp unit with a geared swivel mount that you can use to change the alignment of the camera and lastly, a stick on helmet mount for helmets which are constructed in a way that the clamp mounts will not fit – just like my Schuberth C4 Pro!
So, it is a glued mount for me. I have used this before and it does work well. However, because I want to the able to align the camera to the best angle possible (just like the geared swivel mount) I used 3M Dual-Lok mounting tape to mount the camera as far forward as I could on my modular helmet. This stuff is sort of Velcro on steroids, and provides a safe and durable alternative to the supplied mounting systems.
If you look at the picture above, you will see that the camera lens has a slider lever located under it. This is used to adjust the lens position to the horizon that you require. The Sena Camera app (Android and iOS) hooks up to the unit by Wi-Fi and enables a “through the lens” view to make this adjustment very easy. In this case, the use of the Dual-Lok mounting tape makes adjustment in the vertical plane a cinch as well.
CONTROLS / AUDIO MIX
One of the many reasons that I like the Sena headsets is that they have a big jog wheel, which I find easier to use whilst wearing gloves than tiny buttons. The unit itself is easy to operate. The controls are shown and listed below.
YOU DON’T LIKE SPEAKERS?
I choose not to use helmet speakers, mainly due to the fact that every time I get them aligned properly for adequate sound quality – I inevitably end up knocking them offline when I put my helmet on. So I use earbuds.
Sena make an accessory 3.5mm lead to cater for numpties like me so you can do that.
This simply plugged into the speaker / microphone port on the unit. The 3.5mm socket allows me to plug in my favourite earbuds in.
SO, DOES IT WORK?
In short, it works very well. It replays audio, SatNav prompts, phone calls and handles intercom duties very competently.
What about the camera? Here is a short clip that I made in 4K, which has been compressed for YouTube. Best viewed in 1080 HD!
You can draw your own conclusions from the clip. It captures both video and audio to a high standard, including voice overs, as you can tell from my travelogue! The only thing that I could wish to be better would be the mounting – I still have a bit too much helmet in shot. But that is not a fault with the unit, as it is my decision to wear a modular helmet that limits how far forward I can mount the unit.
In conclusion I am very happy with the Sena 10C Evo. It does everything that I want it to very well. It is easy to mount and use and fulfils both its communications and videography functions in a most competent manner.
I / we do not have any type of commercial relationship with either Sena or Elite Electronics. I chose the Sena because of past good experience with the brand, and shopped at Elite Electronics again because of personal experience with their excellent customer service and pricing.