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Old 02-27-2013, 07:01 AM   #51
Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 58
Go with the Sena unit...

I have both the Uclear HBC100 and the Sena SMH10.

The UClear is a nice concept, but they simply dropped the ball when it comes to performance and options.

With the UClear HBC200 (the new offering), you buy the basic unit, which comes with the speakers. As far as I know they do not offer you the unit with the option of their headsets (they have two - one cheaper than the other). So, you have to spend over $100 more AFTER you buy their unit for their earbuds. The earbuds are normal type with the flimsy soft rubber tips. My problem with that is that they do not cancel very much sound because they NEVER seal in your ears enough to cancel much road noise. Trust me, I've been there, done that.

Another thing about the earbud options on the UClear - aside from them being an EXPENSIVE option with run of the milll ear tips - is the fact that their mics are placed in the wiring about an inch or so from the earbuds. Can anyone see where I'm going with this yet? - You will eventually tear the wire and damage the entire expensive setup merely by putting the helmet on and off all the time. How do I know this? With my Sena setup I have already worn out one set of Etymotic MC5 earbuds. The shells behind the earbuds cracked. - The good news is they have a two year guarantee and they were replaced for free. UClear is not going to guarantee their earbuds. They will say they were damaged from user abuse - You'll be out over $100, and that's for their CHEAP set!

The Sena, of which if you can find they now have two models to choose from. I'd go with whatever's cheaper. They're really the same with only minor differences in their functionality (conference chatting instead of only one-to-one). If you need that then you have a lot of buddies that own only the new model. The old or new models do communicate with one another, so no problem there when it comes to one-on-one chat.

The Sena units also come with speakers included. Difference being that you can get different mounts for the earbud setup and they also offer a boom mic or a corded mic.The later is more prefereable if you do not plan to move the setup to another helmet because you can velcro the mic to the front inside of the chin guard and route the wiring through the left cheekpad, or velcro the flat mic to the left side cheek pad at the farthest edge of the side by the corner of your mouth (ideal as the foam will isolate noise from the helmet better than placement on the chinguard (usually near a chin vent/noise), and also place the mic closer to your mouth). I have 5 helmets, so I use the boom mic option. Everytime you put the helmet on it requires you to adjust the position of the boom mic because your forehead and chin will hit it when you put on a full face helmet (really no big deal but it does happen every time).

By the way, the optional mounts for the Sena will only set you back about a WHOPPING $30 or so, depending where you look, not over $100 a pop like the UClear. I think I paid about that for two mounts (I bought a Sena dual pack also for just a tad more than the single cost - SHOP AROUND!!!)

The Sena units' software is also USB upgradeable. Go to their website and follow directions. Both of mine were upgraded in about 15 minutes.

I like that Sena gives you the adaptor and not the earpiece. This allows the user to get what they like and customize their sound environment.

I personally tested a bunch of different setups. The best I have found is a set of Etymotic true in-ear earbuds along with Comply ear foams. I can hear calls and music in excess of 100mph and the caller can still here me at that speed, although at that speed even a uni-directional mic will start to pick up some road noise, but I was told I can be understood.

Once I found the Etymotic earbuds (you can find on Ebay or Amazon) I was amazed. I listen to my music on my phone and the volume is not even near max at 90-100mph!

Trick is to use the right size ear foams from Comply. Their website is awesome. You can get replacement foams for just about any earbuds out there. You look up by brand and then by model. I sugggest you by the variety pack (small, medium, and large foams) and try them out to see which you like best. If you go too thick then they start to hurt your ears after a while, although they will be the quietest.

As far as user friendly? Well UClear company chatted with me (check out the beginnings of this post) here and via email and i suggested to them that they come up with the earbud options and also that they make the next gen with solenoid soft-touch controls. Gee, what did they do? (LOL)

The Sena is HANDS-DOWN easier to use when riding. That nice compact size of the UClear is actually detrimental to its functionality - meaning it's so small you have a hard time feeling the unit, let alone the three buttons. And when you DO feel them, wirth the new solenoid buttons, I an sure you are going to be hitting the wrong button sequences a LOT.

With the Sena you have a toggle and a button. It AIN'T NO EASIER! Turning on the Sena - press in the button and the toggle together (two fingers and you can find the button on the back of the unit even through winter gloves - The Uclea you'll have trouble with or without gloves at all!. Shutting down the Sena is as advertised on any YouTube demo - press both again and it instantly shuts off. When listening to music on the Sena use the toggle only to press in and twist left (rewind) or right (forward to next track). I can do this so fast on the Sena that it takes less than a second for the push/twist motion. Push in the toggle and wait for a beep and you have hit pause. Answering a phone call you can either say, Hello, Hello', or simply press in the button on the back and the phone picks up. IT"S IDIOT-TESTED! I know because I'M NO FRIGGIN' GENIUS!

What i do know is that the UClear is FRUSTRATING at best!

I have the Sena SMH10 dual pack with two boom earbud mounts, and Etymotic MC5's with Comply medium P-series ear foams and I could not be happier. I hear my music, phone calls, and GPS from my EVO with clarity at illegal speeds on the highways.

If you are dead set on buying the UClear then I suggest you go no faster that a 50cc scooter allows. They will be overwhelmed by road noise past 45mph when inside a helmet.

Sure, the UClear looks cooler and sleek, but it can't compare to the ease of use of the Sena. I am sure future Sena models will slim down a bit, but not much. If they did they would suffer the same fumble fingered fate as the UClear. The Sena doe NOT interefere when riding fast as far as helmet checks and wind noise/resistance. I was skeptical about that, but it is a non-issue.

I hope this rant provides somr help to the undecied out there.

wabbit45 screwed with this post 02-27-2013 at 07:16 AM
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