Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?


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oldmopars
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Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by oldmopars » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:31 pm



I just got a new to me 96 GL1500 SE, it has the CB and intercom built-in. I did not get the headsets with the bike.
I want my wife to ride with me and be able to talk to her. The comm units are rather expensive and and about the same price as the Sena SMH10 that I already have 1 of.
Is the built in intercom system better or is a bluetooth system better?
I don't know anyone else with a CB on their bike, so I don't see me using that. I don't own any cassettes, I burned them all up in the 80's-90's(wore them out). I rarely listen to music, I prefer the quiet and the sounds of nature around me. When I do listen to music I will do it from my IPhone.
When I ride with others, my one buddy has a SMH10 also, others may or may not have a Bluetooth set-up.
So, should I just get another SMH10 (or other Sena unit) for my wife, or is there any real advantages for using the stock Honda intercom?



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bluthundr31
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by bluthundr31 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:52 pm

My .02 cents, , , , ,
Bluetooth her helmet. When she's ready for a new helmet its easy enough to transfer, same for yours. Bluetooth to GPS/ MP3's/ cellphone, and so many other devices makes the Bluetooth route more reasonable/logical IMHO. You can go with Sena, , , ,or the BT-S2 for about 1/10th the price (it has limits though) but works great for "intercom" with passenger and pairs with your Sena. The BT-S2 has good battery life, range, and durability, but will only pair with TWO other devices, and you have to "switch" from one device to the other by pressing the button.

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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by Charlie1Horse » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:07 pm

Personally, I like the blu-tooth because it is clear and I am not 'tied' to the bike with that cord. I can listen to one of six preset radio stations and comm with the passenger. I can also comm with another rider, bike to bike, up to about a mile distant. I can pair my cell phone, nav, or ipod. I use a Cardo Scala Rider for now but, am soon to replace it with a Sena because it they have an (optional) interface for the CB so I can use it as well. All the guys I ride with on Wednesday don't want to spend money on blu-tooth so when I ride with them I use my other helmet with wired headset for onboard CB. I guess it's just a matter of preference. Your SE should have the plug-ins for both riders and you can get headsets pretty reasonable. Mine is a J&M that I think I paid only about $60.00.
If you have a friend with wired headsets, get them to let you and wife try them one time to get the 'feel' of the sound.
Russell

Those who say it cannot be done should try not to interrupt those who are doing it.

oldmopars
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by oldmopars » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:44 pm

OK, looks like my best bet is to just stick with the Sena SMH-10. Seems like it may be my best option. I guess if I ever find someone that rides using the CB, I will address it again, but for now looks like Bluetooth it is.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by tamathumper » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:37 pm

I have a pair of SMH10's I've used extensively snowmobiling with my wife, and several other couples have now purchased them because they see us having such a good time with them.

I'm waiting for Sierra to get the base units in to be able to purchase an on-bike mount for the second SMH10 so I can get the bike's audio system (including CB) through the paired SMH10's.
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by GlimWas » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:10 pm

I have an aux cable on my SE and put a bluetooth receiver on the end of it. Navigating on the telephone (TT Go Mobile) and playing music from the same device.
Using the old, but highly reliable intercom onboard . Never have to replace or charge batteries of the intercoms and at a fraction of the cost........ Don't discard what's working just to
be 'modern' .....
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by MikeB » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:06 pm

I guess it all depends on what you have and have become accustomed to.

I've been using the wired intercom since I bought my first wing in 1999, I started with the J&M and then went to Air Rider headsets. In fact, the headsets and cords are the originals I bought from Air Rider in 2000. My cord is showing wear and I will probably have to make some replacement decisions in the future.

I had given a little thought to blue-tooth but have been reading about the problems with pairing and interfacing with the GL1500 and GL1800. I know of only one individual that has one locally and he likes his system but I see him fiddling with it every time we ride. My system fiddling consists of plugging the headset into the cord on the bike.

As long as I stay with my fourth and fifth generation Gold Wings, I don't think I will give blue-tooth much more thought, other than to read about them. I enjoy being wired.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Mh434
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by Mh434 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:25 pm

^^^I'm with you. I ride with both the Blue Knights and the GWRRA. Those who have wireless devices are forever trying to pair them, charge their batteries, etc., and the entire group always ends up waiting 10 minutes extra at each stop for the wireless types to get themselves sorted.

We old-school wired types just plug in, then sit there & wait for the high-tech ones to finally get ready... :roll:

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:15 pm

Not ever having had a passenger with a comm set at all.

My vote is for Bluetooth.

Why? you are getting ready to go ride, both have your helmets on, but are walking around making sure all is "ready to go" and she is back in the motel grabbing that "gotta have comb/purse" and you are outside doing that Walk About, you can talk to each other via the Bluetooth commset.
~John

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by CrystalPistol » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:52 pm

Mh434 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:25 pm
We old-school wired types just plug in, then sit there & wait for the high-tech ones to finally get ready... :roll:
Yeah, ain't it the way! :lol:
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by tamathumper » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:57 pm

I vote Bluetooth, but I'm a technology guy.

I bought my Sena SMH-10's years ago and the wife and I use them all winter snowmobiling. We can talk between sleds for an impressively long ways. Then we use them ATVing in the spring and fall, and I use them on the bike in the summer.

The intercom on the 'Wing is OK when I'm on the bike, but it doesn't work on every other mode of conveyance I've got.
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by FM-USA » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:19 am

Pick up a pair of these.
No batteries, no dropped connections, no outside crossover chatter.
Here your mates actual voice and TONE of each blurted out adjective(s).
The better models you can hear heavy breathing... if you're into that. :lol:


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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by Stew » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:26 am

Mh434 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:25 pm
^^^I'm with you. I ride with both the Blue Knights and the GWRRA. Those who have wireless devices are forever trying to pair them, charge their batteries, etc., and the entire group always ends up waiting 10 minutes extra at each stop for the wireless types to get themselves sorted.

We old-school wired types just plug in, then sit there & wait for the high-tech ones to finally get ready... :roll:
My dad was a Blue Knights member! One of the pictures I posted of me in the "What's everyone's two-wheeled History?" thread is of me wearing his jacket :)
Winging it every chance I get 8-)

19,119 miles when I got it from dad Oct 15, 2017 --- 24,532 miles and counting as of Oct 17, 2018!

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by Rwilkerson » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:27 am

Well my fitty cents worth, got rid of that cord, bought a quietride helmet (seals out road noise) and installed Sena S 20's cost to have the best but the wing is not cheap thing.
Some like to follow the masses but many lose the "m"

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by cajunsniper » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:05 pm

Wired is the way to go! On my 3rd Goldwing and the wired is less trouble. A dongle from Kennedy Electronics allows me to answer phone calls through my factory wired intercom and use all of the features.

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SlowTyper
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by SlowTyper » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:55 pm

Regardless of the application, for reliability reasons, my philosophy is to go wired unless a specific reason exists that compels the use of wireless.

Thus, when I got my GL1200 eons ago, I took the time to wire up everything -- GMRS 2-way radio, cellphone, GPS, fuzzbuster, mp3 player, etc. My wife hated the CB, so I even wired it to bypass the passenger intercom. (Note, admin sells a GPS/phone interface, if you don't have the technical ambition to create your own interface like I did.)

My system worked well until some terrorist used a cellphone to trigger a bomb. After that, the phone manufacturers stopped the phone ringer from working via the headphone jack. Thus, I could no longer hear when someone was calling me. Setting the phone to auto-answer helped, but it still was often an issue.

Consequently, I resorted to connecting my cellphone to the intercom via bluetooth just so I could hear my phone ring over the blaring stereo and the semi I was passing. I did power the BT transceiver from the bike's electrical system, so I don't have to mess with batteries. But one downside is that the BT transceiver does not automatically power on, and I therefore have to remember to poke its power button when I ride.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by jfredman » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:59 pm

I just switched to my first bluetooth headset this week. I went with the Sena and got the Freewire for it that lets me communicate with all my Wing's normal systems. So, I can still talk to the wife through her wired headset if she on with me or talk to her via CB if she's riding her wing. So far, the sound quality is much better than the wired headset and I love not being tethered to the bike when I need to get off for something and not having the intercom cord flying around when driving down the interstate in the Oklahoma wind.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by seabeechief » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:50 pm

I've been riding my '08 Wing since 2011. Greatest motorcycle move I ever made. The cord, hooked up to my Nolan helmet, does not bother me in the least. It has never interfered with my range of motion or become tangled up in anything. I listen to AM/FM radio, satellite radio, Zumo GPS and my CB radio. When/if I need to make a phone call, I pull over and stop and make the call. When I stop for fuel, water or just to stretch my legs or look at the scenery, I check for messages and take the appropriate action. Even with the advent of hands free communication, I don't need that distraction while I'm on the bike.

That's all I got to say about that.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by kenbunch » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:17 pm

Hi oldmopars,

Judging from the posts, I'm sure you can see there are as many preferences (if not outright "there's only one way") to helmet headsets as there are posts. But since I am a 'keep it simple' kind of guy, I went with J&M's BT-03 (Bluetooth) headsets for my helmet and my wife's. Since on our '08 GL1800 I do not use the radio, CB or intercom features, we did not have to purchase a 'dongle' (available from J&M if you prefer) to hook up to the bike to use those previously mentioned factory features.

For us, it is very simple. Before each ride (we place the BT-03's on their chargers following the previous ride) we turn on the headsets, link up and ride. Also, since we both have Android phones, we downloaded the Android Auto app and are able to make (voice activated) and receive (press a button on the headset) phone calls and listen to our OWN music from our phones or Pandora as we cruise the mountains.

Unfortunately, the J&M website is not very explanatory of "how they work", so I had to call and ask 'stupid' (to them) questions. Once I wrapped my mind around the details and knew what I needed, I shipped J&M our helmets, they installed the speakers, microphone, installed the headsets and shipped them back.

As I am sure it is obvious by now from the many posts that most seem to stick with what they are comfortable. I get it. So there is my position on helmet headsets. You are welcome to PM me for more specifics, if you'd like.

I hope this helps!

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:47 pm

My wife and I recently purchased new helmets - got the BILT Techno 2.0 modular with built-in Sena DWO-5 system. They work great, sound great, and have outstanding battery life. They are paired to each other for intercom use, and we each have our own phones paired to our own helmets as well. We found out that our GWRRA chapter uses the CB on rides to keep track of everybody so it looks like I'm going to have to find a way to connect the bike's CB to the helmet - Sena Freewire maybe?

Anyway, it's nice not having cables connecting us to the bike - I've seen too many comments regarding cable issues, bad connections, etc. - Bluetooth is the way to go for us!
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by oldmopars » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:55 pm

So, I don't know if it is possible, but from what I read, and the way I normally ride with friends and my wife, I think I know what I want, but don't know if it exists.
Does anyone make an adapter to allow me to connect the SMH10 to the Goldwing so I can put wired headsets in the helmets, but then link to other riders via the SMH10?
If so, when I am alone, I can connect to my phone and listen to music, when I am with my wife, we will use the wired Honda com system, then when I am with my buddies, we can use the SMH10 to talk wireless, but my helmet would be wired to the bike. The SMH10 would just sit in the bike all the time.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by kenbunch » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:05 pm

Oldmopars,
With everything that is available today coupled with what your Goldwing is equipped, there can be a lot of duplication possible. Having said that and reading your post, that is the direction you're heading.
Here's the boiled down solution.
If you want to talk with your wife on the back: Bluetooth headsets.
If you want to talk to your buddies: Bluetooth headsets.
If you want to listen to your music on your phone: Bluetooth headsets.
I'll stop there because there's more you can do with Bluetooth headsets, but it would just confuse the issue.
The point is, with what you're wanting to accomplish, Bluetooth headsets will get all that done. You do not need a wired helmet headset. You don't actually need the bike at all (except to ride!). Once you're setup with Bluetooth headsets you and your wife could put on your helmets, link up and walk around the house or neighborhood if you wanted and do EVERYTHING you expressed in your post. Yes, you could even talk your buddies if their within range and linked up!
Again, I hope this helps. Bluetooth headsets are the way to go for what you're wanting to accomplish.

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by MikeB » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:59 pm

kenbunch wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:05 pm
Oldmopars,
With everything that is available today coupled with what your Goldwing is equipped, there can be a lot of duplication possible. Having said that and reading your post, that is the direction you're heading.
Here's the boiled down solution.
If you want to talk with your wife on the back: Bluetooth headsets.
If you want to talk to your buddies: Bluetooth headsets.
If you want to listen to your music on your phone: Bluetooth headsets.
I'll stop there because there's more you can do with Bluetooth headsets, but it would just confuse the issue.
The point is, with what you're wanting to accomplish, Bluetooth headsets will get all that done. You do not need a wired helmet headset. You don't actually need the bike at all (except to ride!). Once you're setup with Bluetooth headsets you and your wife could put on your helmets, link up and walk around the house or neighborhood if you wanted and do EVERYTHING you expressed in your post. Yes, you could even talk your buddies if their within range and linked up!
Again, I hope this helps. Bluetooth headsets are the way to go for what you're wanting to accomplish.
Of course, all of this is predicated on the assumption that everyone you want to communicate with are using Bluetooth headsets.

What is the range of Bluetooth headsets by the way? Can they communicate up to a 1/4 mile?
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by C-dub » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:51 pm

MikeB wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:59 pm
What is the range of Bluetooth headsets by the way? Can they communicate up to a 1/4 mile?
Bluetooth systems for motorcycle helmets have a much greater range than ear buds and the like. Many of them have ranges up to 1 mile and a little over depending on the terrain.
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Re: Honda Intercom or Bluetooth, what is better?

Post by kenbunch » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:31 pm

According to the J&M Corp website, the range of their BT-04 & BT-03 is about 1/4 mile between headsets.



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