To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by N4HHE »

Headphone adapters are widely available for iPhone with 3.5mm plus another Lightning socket to charge or connect to computer or car for under $15.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Cav47 »

Hppants wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:26 pm I do not have a 3.5 mm port on my current phone (Iphone 7s). I did have one on my old Iphone 6. Sound quality was better than Sena, but not anywhere near the Ampli-rider wired system.

I need to study the SM-10. Thanks for the suggestion, Tim.

Another challenge in the mix is having a volume control to turn it all down when I need to.
You may be able to spin the jog dial to adjust volume. That’s what I do every time we stop and chat

I really want to hear the quality of your speakers to see the difference. I am not an audio aficionado but would appreciate better sound. My speakers are adequate for conversation rider to rider. Phone is okay too as long as I get below 70mph and duck behind the windscreen.

But listening to good music, the speakers don’t overpower my earplugs.

If I try the plug in jacks that JWilly gave me, the sound volume is better, but the comfort wanes after a 5-6 hours. Best for those long highway stretches when you know you aren’t gonna interact with anyone.

Following the topic closely. Might be able to optimize my current set up or make some small adjustments.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Powerman »

Interested in something like this. The Fiio BTR5 is $350 ? The BTR5 2021 MQA is $129 ? More reading is required. I listen to Bluetooth Headphones at work with Spotify on the phone. Cuts out the noise and the quality is good enough.

Also an old analog guy. I have nice Westone W 20 earphones, looking for cleaner Power.

How does downloaded spotify sound ?

Audio on the Garmin 665 XM sucks, how is the Garmin 595 MP3 sound ?
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by N4HHE »

Powerman wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:13 pm Audio on the Garmin 665 XM sucks, how is the Garmin 595 MP3 sound ?
iPhone to Zumo 595 to Packtalk Bold is poor.
iPhone to Packtalk Bold is good.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by gixxerjasen »

Powerman wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:13 pm The Fiio BTR5 is $350 ? The BTR5 2021 MQA is $129 ?
I think this is one of those things where the new model is out and the old model is in short supply or no longer available and the retailers list it super high knowing no one will pay that but it's still in their system in case they get one in stock for some reason. It used to be right at $100 when I could easily find them on Amazon.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Auburn »

I have been using these EarPeace Music Originals https://www.earpeace.com/products/music-earplugs for a couple of years now. They do make some specific to motorcycles, but I really wanted better sound quality. I don't have a big wind noise issue on the wing. They also come in regular size and a smaller size for those with smaller ear canals.

I have built in speakers from J&M in my helmet. The Earpeace plugs significantly improved the sound quality from the speakers, and still allowed me to keep the volumes lower and within reason. I can wear them all day no headaches. If you are doing multi day trips you should use some neosporin in your ears. The earpeace plugs replaced a set of custom ear plugs with built in speakers. The customs would hurt my ears after about 6-7 days of use. Not a good thing for long trips or rallies.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by BikerGeek »

Hppants wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:26 pm I need to study the SM-10.
If you wanna just try one, let me know - I have one that I took off the FJR when I changed GPS's's's's from a Zumo 550 to a Zumo XT earlier this year.

As Tim mentioned, it has two 3.5mm inputs and then can connect to two BT headsets. When I was using the 550 for music (XM via the GXM30 antenna at first, then just using the 550 as a MP3 player), Sooze and I both connected to the SM10 so we both got music and directions piped into our helmets. Now, since the XT does not have any wired audio outs like the 550 does, the SM10 is moot, I connect to the XT for music (which comes from my iPhone) and directions, and Sooze connects to her iPhone for her own music. Helmet-to-helmet comms works the same as when we were using the SM10 / Zumo 550 combo.

When I got the SM10, I thought it supported A2DP (Bluetooth stereo protocol). It doesn't - it's really obvious listening to, say, Bohemian Rhapsody, where music shifts between the right and left channels.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Festus »

I've seen it mentioned multiple times in these threads that the SENA's aren't communicating via Bluetooth, they are using some other radio.

Their site says the following "The +Mesh wireless adapter for Sena headsets allows for seamless communication with other Sena headsets built with Mesh Intercom, rather than connecting over Bluetooth, ", so are the older units actually using Bluetooth to communicate? Even the description on the 20S EVO says that the coms are Bluetooth.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Hppants »

Auburn wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:57 am I have been using these EarPeace Music Originals https://www.earpeace.com/products/music-earplugs ....
I have a set of those. They are equivalent to about -20 DB, much better than nothing, but still allow a lot of wind noise. I use them occasionally. I've also got another competitor filtered ear plug that works a little better for the noise cancellation, but the materials is uncomfortable.
Thanks for the tip re: neosporin. I haven't tried that and it may help seal the ear buds and keep my ear canals from getting sore.

So as it turns out, my Ampli-rider might not be done. I bought the wrong cable to replace the one damaged on the trip between the volume control and the amplifier. I bought a 3 conductor cable - got an email from Ampli-rider saying that I need a 4 conductor cable, and the 4th conductor is for the right channel on the amp - bingo. So this discussion might be for naught.

But maybe not - sooner or later, I'm going to have to move to the 21st century.

I like the idea of the B/T amp. The specs on the one Jasen has are pretty clean - the music through my Shure buds should be really good. The volume control would be cumbersome for that. And in addition to the B/T amp, I'd have to buy (at minimum):

- B/T MP3 player, or move 6 gb of music I've "paid" for (wink wink), or subscribe to Pandora/Spotify and put up with a loss of cell service.
- B/T radar detector, Valentine is about $600-$700.00.

If I got the SM10, then I could wire my MP3 player and radar detector to it. But I'm stuck with the in helmet speakers, which don't put out enough to hear the music well with ear plugs. Plus I don't know if the Sena amp pushes the music signal well enough. The 20s did not. And I'm still dealing with wires/cables for the most part.

At best, it's a PITA if you ask me.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by raYzerman »

Comms are a radio output, and mesh is a better radio technology. All your phones, GPS's, mp3 players are bluetooth connections to the Sena or Cardo. But comms are radio. How your bluetooth is managed is dependent on what bluetooth devices you have and how they manage priorities and switching between them... i.e., GPS directions will cut off comm with a Zumo 595, and reconnect comm after GPS directions time out, but an XT will lower the volume yet keep comm open.
Ideally what we'd like is a universal mesh standard so multiple brands can connect via mesh... currently they can't. My personal thoughts from what I read is Cardo has the better mesh.
Comm is OK via radio until you get more than a couple connected, at least with Sena.... then you'd wish for mesh in group comm situations. Of course, mesh is better comm regardless.

Of note on an XT, it broadcasts GPS directions and music to your partner's headset if you're paired. Don't yet know how to shut that off, but one can control the volume level in the XT. With music, it gets rather unusable IMHO, so use your phone for music instead. The XT's mp3 player also omits the first second of music when it switches songs, that is rather annoying, no known fix (yet).

Pants, can you not install an SD card in your phone or put a larger one in..... my phone (Samsung) will take up to 128GB cards.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Hppants »

raYzerman wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:13 pm ...Pants, can you not install an SD card in your phone or put a larger one in..... my phone (Samsung) will take up to 128GB cards.
Not at this time. My phone belongs to the State of Louisiana. On July 1, 2022, I retire and therefore must buy my own phone. Now THAT is a whole different can of research worms that I will get to at a later date.

There are RARE occasions when it would be nice to have Comms. But for the most part, I don't need it and really don't care for it. I'm not crazy about having in depth conversations while I'm riding. I'd much rather listen to my music.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Festus »

I'm beginning to think the coms are actually bluetooth. I've read a few articles since I posted that say it's absolutely just bluetooth communications that the voice is going over, no additional radios involved. It's actually sending the voice data over bluetooth, not using Bluetooth to interface with something else.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by gixxerjasen »

Hppants wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:11 pm or subscribe to Pandora/Spotify and put up with a loss of cell service.
No putting up with loss of cell service. You can pick a playlist and download it for offline listening. I did this with spotify on my trip and I also downline for offline use with my garmin watch for when I'm out walking and don't take my cell phone with me. That's a worry you don't need to have.

You can sign up for a free trial and see how it goes. I've liked it a tiny little bit more than I thought I would.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by raYzerman »

Festus wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:27 pm I'm beginning to think the coms are actually bluetooth. I've read a few articles since I posted that say it's absolutely just bluetooth communications that the voice is going over, no additional radios involved. It's actually sending the voice data over bluetooth, not using Bluetooth to interface with something else.
Bluetooth has a range of about 30-50 feet, and if you're lucky, a bit more. Comms have a range of around half a mile..... BT won't do that.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by N4HHE »

Auburn wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:57 am I have been using these EarPeace Music Originals https://www.earpeace.com/products/music-earplugs for a couple of years now. They do make some specific to motorcycles, but I really wanted better sound quality. I don't have a big wind noise issue on the wing. They also come in regular size and a smaller size for those with smaller ear canals.
Think the EarPeace I use is the "motorcycle" version with the -26dBA core. Then plain Packtalk Bold speakers generally at full volume. Gets the Packtalk above wind noise then the earplugs to knock it back down to safe level for my ears.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Hppants »

N4HHE - do you have a link to the specific EarPeace units you tried?
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by N4HHE »

raYzerman wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:14 pm
Festus wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:27 pm I'm beginning to think the coms are actually bluetooth. I've read a few articles since I posted that say it's absolutely just bluetooth communications that the voice is going over, no additional radios involved. It's actually sending the voice data over bluetooth, not using Bluetooth to interface with something else.
Bluetooth has a range of about 30-50 feet, and if you're lucky, a bit more. Comms have a range of around half a mile..... BT won't do that.
Ditto. So-called Bluetooth intercoms do not speak Bluetooth protocol in intercom mode else they would be compatible between brands. When you go through the horrible effort to "connect" a Sena to a Cardo Packtalk the resulting awful short range connection is because it is Bluetooth. The only mode they have compatible with each other is Bluetooth telephone. They connect as telephones not intercoms.

There is a chance they use the same radio hardware for Bluetooth and intercom but a very good chance a separate radio is used for intercom. Am 98% certain Cardo uses a 2nd or 3rd radio for DMC mesh because I had a Packtalk Bold that worked perfectly in every way but DMC mesh. That is not the kind of thing that happens if hardware is shared with other modes.
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by N4HHE »

Hppants wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:14 pm N4HHE - do you have a link to the specific EarPeace units you tried?
Is the red package "Moto" version. Was a reasonable $25 on Amazon a year ago, even $22, now outrageous $37.
https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B076VST3SH
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Auburn »

N4HHE wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:27 pm
Hppants wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:14 pm N4HHE - do you have a link to the specific EarPeace units you tried?
Is the red package "Moto" version. Was a reasonable $25 on Amazon a year ago, even $22, now outrageous $37.
https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B076VST3SH
EarPeace runs specials all the time directly from them on their website. Just look around a holiday and they will usually have 25% off promotion. the original moto ones direct are currently $29.95 https://www.earpeace.com/products/motorcycle-ear-plugs
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Re: To Bluetooth or not to Bluetooth - that is the question

Post by Powerman »

May go back to old school wire and get rid of the Bluetooth conversion. I have a nice player that supports Hi-Rez and DSD, and add a nice amp. I built a nice amp and put it under the seat. I put it on my buddies BMW for his one month cross country trip, he liked it and made me an offer I couldn't refuse and never got it back. Went to XM, and then to Garmin XM that the sound really sucked.

Bought some nice headphone drivers to try with the Sena S20, electronics suck and lost interest.
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