Sena 30K Review

Apr 14, 2018 View Comments by

 

Sena 30K review

 

Sena, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of personal rider communication devices, just released a new flagship version, the 30K, to replace its popular model 20S-01. And as soon as the new units arrived, I started testing them. My first impression: It’s stunningly beautiful, designed like something that fits on Megatron’s head, with sharp, angular and bold lines, combined with dark colors.

For years I’ve been using the Sena 20S and know it intimately. Much to my surprise, the 30K has full backward compatibility with the hardware of the 20S. Without spending any time on ripping out my old hardware or installation of the new (mount, speakers and microphone), I simply unplugged the 20S unit and then connected the 30K unit. It worked immediately using the older mount. Kudos to Sena for keeping the same mount specification.

The user interface, buttons, voice menus, and workflow are easy to use and almost identical to the 20S, with the exception of the 30K’s new Mesh Intercom Communication System, a dedicated mobile application that’s more refined than the older Sena application.

Establishing intercom communication between two riders was always easy with Sena devices, either by using a pairing button combination or by holding and shaking two devices together. But once the group grew to three or more it became frustrating and time consuming to pair the group using a cumbersome daisy-chaining process where each two devices needed to be paired separately and in the correct sequence. Furthermore, if a rider left the group in the middle of the ride, or was temporarily disconnected due to a communication issue, then group communication broke down.

Enter Mesh Networking, Sena’s solution to those problems, and the big differentiator between the 30K and other personal communication devices on the market today. The general concept behind it is that each device is a peer that can send and receive data. Together, all peers form a dynamic decentralized mesh. Joining or leaving the mesh is easy. The mesh can self-heal, or recover, after peers have left the group, because it knows how to route messages through other existing peers. It can also accept peers that are joining on the fly.

Mesh works in two modes, private or public. In private mode, up to 16 riders can communicate within a 1.2-mile range and up to five miles end to end! Public mode allows anyone within a mile of each other to communicate. Interesting capabilities which open up new possibilities. We’ll be covering Mesh Networking in detail in upcoming issues of RoadRUNNER, so stay tuned.

One troublesome point is the bulkier 30K’s hump over the rotating wheel, which holds the Mesh Antenna. With gloves, it’s now harder to control the wheel as clear access is blocked from the top and only available from the bottom rear. That’s something I may get used to over time, so maybe I’m just nitpicking. With its advanced technologies and capabilities, Sena’s new 30K is more than meets the eye.

Sena 30K
Price: $ 329
www.sena.com

 

Review: Yuval Naveh

Tags: Categories: Product Reviews