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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I read an older thread here: LINK HERE reviewing the SMH5-FM with an iphone. I had been tossing around the idea of buying my first entry level bluetooth helmet headset for a while. That thread along with a few other stray reviews around the internet swayed me to purchase my own Sena unit. Since there wasn't a review on here about the SMH5-FM with an android phone I thought I would put my thoughts down and add to it as I continue to use it.

Current Helmet: Shoei RF1000
Current Phone: Galaxy S6 Verizon
Bluetooth: Sena SMH5-FM
Motorcycle: 2013 Triumph Speed Triple R
Price paid: $124 off amazon before using gift cards.

Primary use for this unit is to listen to stream music from my phone and listen to the radio. Any GPS instructions will also be streamed from my phone using Navmii or Waze (yet to try this function). I have never had a passenger and don't really plan to for a while so 2up communication isn't important. If I ride with someone using another bluetooth device I will review that when the time comes.



Setup: Before installing anything I plugged in the headphones and powered the unit on. I sat on my couch and hung the speakers over my ears and held the Sena in my hand. This made it easier to set up since I did not yet know where the buttons were exactly. I powered up the radio and connected to my phone. Scanning through radio stations manually to save your 10 presets was a terrible terrible experience. It took forever.. My first preset is 92.5 and my 10th is 104.5 (all in ascending order because that made setup the "easiest").

Everything was working good so far so I decided to plug in to my computer to upgrade the firmware. Very easy but got stuck at 90% update... JUST LET IT GO! It will update. After the long firmware update I noticed a FM tab on the Sena program. Come to find out you can set all of your presets here. This would be my preferred and recommended method to setting your radio stations.

[I will insert a screen shot of the program later]

Install: I looked through plenty of Sena threads & watched more videos than I can count to learn how simple the install is. Since I use the chin skirt on my helmet I had to make sure that the unit was not in the way. I used the provided allen wrench that came with the Sena to attach the clip on the side as far forward as the skirt would allow.



First thing I did was slide the Sena onto the clip to make sure that it locked into place. It did and I could continue. (Remove the Sena so you don't damage it while flipping and turning the helmet around. Remove your cheek pads and hopefully you have little cutouts in the helmet for speakers. I did not have them on my Shoei.

I had to make a small slit in the side where the unit mounts to route the main plug through.


Before sticking the velcro pads into the helmet set the speakers where you think you want them and reinstall cheek pads. Toss the helmet on and check to see if the speakers hit your ears. The tops of my ears hit the speakers pretty uncomfortably so I knew I had to move them down more to be behind the cheek pads. Remove the cheek pads once again and stick the velcro pads on in the general area where you'd like the speakers to go (they're pretty big so you can adjust the speakers slightly later if it isn't perfect).

The FM unit uses the Right speaker cable as the antenna so I wanted to route that cable above my head instead of behind it. I had to cut a slit above each of the speakers to route the right one above. *This may not be necessary depending on your helmets design* I recommend cutting the smallest slit possible and forcing the speaker through. You can see the slit in this photo as well as my velcro pad install that was WAY off:


I tucked all excess wires behind the cheek pads and did another sanity check to make sure I hadn't messed anything up. All was still good so time for the Microphone! While the helmet is still on I stuck my finger into the front to find out where I'd want the mic. Pick a spot and take the helmet off with your finger still on the general area. I did not want the mic directly in front of my mouth for moisture reasons so I went a little to the left. Attach the velcro strip and stick the mic on. Hide all excess cable behind the cheek pad and plug it in.


Unit is installed:


Today is the first day I've ridden with it. Got to ride to work and decided to give it a go. Short commute but I got to speeds of 60-65mph. Turned the Sena on and got a nice prompt letting me know that my phone was connected (in my jacket pocket). I decided against using my phone's music and thought I'd try the radio out. It remembered which preset I was on last (#10) which was nice. FM reception on 9 of 10 of my stations were clear but it's about equivalent to the reception I get in my car. Using the dial for volume was awesome and could not be any simpler. The button on the back is used to step through presets which is nice but it seems the best thing to do is set it to your preset and let it go since you can't switch back and forth between 2 without going through the whole set.

Speaker volume was also great. The FM version of the SMH5 comes with bigger speakers and I had zero issues hearing the music and talk of the radio @60-65mph. I am yet to use the phone function while riding yet but if it is anything like the music I don't see any issues with me hearing the person on the other end.

I highly recommend the unit to anyone who doesn't have one. My one complaint so far is that the button combination is a lot to take in. Some times you need to use one button but other times you need to hold for 2 or 5 seconds. Some commands require you to push the jog dial in and turn it at the same time. This will be remedied though the more I use it and will become second nature to me.

If anyone has any other input/experience or questions feel free to post here. I will continue to post any new experiences or thoughts I have as I continue to use it.
 

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I just purchased the same unit and tomorrow will be my first ride with it. My buddy already has one, so I`m interested to see how it goes. Our wives also have them, but we`ll test that out on the next ride. I`m less excited about that.
I haven`t explored the options with my phone, but that`s soon to come.
Good write-up. The instructions from Sena really suck.

Enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just purchased the same unit and tomorrow will be my first ride with it. My buddy already has one, so I`m interested to see how it goes. Our wives also have them, but we`ll test that out on the next ride. I`m less excited about that.
I haven`t explored the options with my phone, but that`s soon to come.
Good write-up. The instructions from Sena really suck.

Enjoy the ride.
Thanks and good luck with it tomorrow. My wife does not ride with me so I don't have to worry about that!!

The instructions aren't super clear but I thought they were clear enough to get it installed and some basic stuff. The amount of button combos seems intimidating though (for me at least). If you haven't already I would recommend checking the firmware update before going out for the ride.
 
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