First two-up ride w/BT headsets

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  • First two-up ride w/BT headsets

    Yesterday was the first chance I have had to test how the Sena 20S headsets work using the intercom function while paired to the Gold Wing infotainment system.

    My SO and I each have a Sena 20S, mine installed in my Symax-III helmet and hers into an Arai 3/4. Both headsets were paired with the Gold Wing. Also, this is the first time we have used BT headsets for intercom.

    1. Echo/delay in intercom. The first thing I noticed was a distinct echo in the intercom communications. Perhaps, it is more of a delay. I can still hear her talking behind me and I can tell there is a delay before the sound gets to my headset. Perhaps this is just a characteristic of Bluetooth communications.

    2. Audio source mute. We did not experience the issue so many others have reported where the audio source mutes the first time you use the intercom, and never returns. Each time we started talking, the audio source muted, and a second or so after we ended the conversation, the music would come back to volume.

    3. If we left the intercom "ON" while listening to music, there was a lot of popping and cutting in and out of the audio source. I assume it was wind or ambient noise coming through the mics.

    4. Headsets would not connect reliably. There were a couple of times when we got on the bike, started it up and then turned on our headsets. One or both headsets would often not connect to the bike.

    5. Passenger Audio Control. Unless we are doing something wrong, the Passenger Audio Control (optional accessory) simply takes over control of the bike's audio source and volume. When my passenger would select Source, it would change for both of us. Same for volume. This is NOT how I expected this to work. I was under the assumption that it would only affect HER channel. Again, since there is no manual, or any description of what the Passenger Audio Control does, I really don't know how it is supposed to work. I guess it is just to keep her from having to crawl over me to change the source or volume while we are riding?

    I am sorry to say the Bluetooth communications is a step backwards from the previous Goldwing's hard-wired system (which was not great). I was under the impression that Bluetooth headsets were more advanced. This could be one of those situations where you say "be careful what you ask for." The issue seems to be more with the Sena 20S than with the Gold Wing itself. I would like to try the J&M BT-03 headsets to see if there is a noticeable difference.

    To effectively listen to audio while riding with a passenger, you have to continually turn OFF the intercom (pressing the button on the headset) after you are done talking. We sort of did the same thing with Mic-Mutes on the previous Wing. But, just having to take your hand off the handlebar

    We did not test using either of our cell phones to make/receive calls. I know our Android phones cannot be used to place a call from the Gold Wing while riding, so it may be better to pair the cell phones directly to the Sena headset(s). We don't listen to music files on our phones, so there really is no need to pair the phone to the bike, I suppose.

    We also did not test the audio from the so-called Navigation system.
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  • #2
    I have had numerous problems with my iphone8 connecting the Bluetooth to the Nav. The first connect of the day is usually the problem. My phone connects to other devices with no problem. I’ve found that if it doesn’t connect within 2-3 min, even with me prompting the Bluetooth, I turn the bike off and then back on. It usually connects within a minute on that try. No idea why? Possibly the Nav system has a problem sending out a signal to pair?? I reported it to Honda, got a call back and they documented it, but they said no one else has reported that problem yet

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      Originally posted by JHawk8 View Post
      I reported it to Honda, got a call back and they documented it, but they said no one else has reported that problem yet
      Apparently, nobody at Honda is monitoring the online forums.

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      Save $1000 a year in labor by doing your own maintenance!

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      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #4
        I still feel that the 1200 aspencade radio package was the best of them. Since then it has gotten cheaper and not near as good. Now I'm talking intercom as the 1200 muted when you went talking and you could control the mute levels.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cruiseman View Post
          1. Echo/delay in intercom. The first thing I noticed was a distinct echo in the intercom communications. Perhaps, it is more of a delay. I can still hear her talking behind me and I can tell there is a delay before the sound gets to my headset. Perhaps this is just a characteristic of Bluetooth communications.
          This is probably "normal" - my wife and I use BILT helmets with the built-in BT intercom, the helmets are paired to each other but nothing else. There is a perceptible delay in the headset. It normally doesn't bother us because she's in the sidecar and not sitting right behind me, and we have modular helmets so unless we both have the helmets open our voices are somewhat muffled. But our voices have to be picked up by the mic, then sent through a bluetooth transmitter, then a bluetooth receiver before being sent to the earpieces. I don't know what the specs are for bluetooth signals but I'm sure it's not instantaneous!

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)

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