Sena 10C Bluetooth Camera & Communication System
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Unibody design for Bluetooth headset and video camera
- 1080p Full HD video with 3.5MP still shot image capture
- Video mode: 1080p:30fps, 720p:30/60fps
- Versatile photo mode: shot, burst and time lapse shot functions
- Video Tagging
- Pitch angle adjustment
- Lens rotation up to 30 degrees
- Bluetooth intercom up to 1.6 kilometers (1.0 mile) in open terrain
- Four-way intercom
- Voice prompts
- Smart Audio Mix™ to mix your voice and music into your video
- Smartphone App for iPhone and Android
- Advanced Noise Control™
- Universal Intercom™
- Music sharing
- Built-in FM radio tuner with a station scan and save function
- Optional Handlebar Remote support (not included)
- Easy operation by versatile Jog Dial
- Water resistant for use in inclement weather
- Can be used while charging on road trips
- Support microSD 32GB memory card (not included)
- Firmware upgradeable
There are several How To Videos on Sena’s Youtube channel that you might find helpful
Download the Sena RideConnected App on your iPhone or Android to set up your group and stay connected with your friends. Save time with the Sena RideConnected App and enjoy your adventure even more!
Read on for more details.
Our Two Cents
Company Hype: The Sena 10C is the premiere communication system and Bluetooth camera combination on the market. By combining Sena’s Global Bluetooth leadership, innovative headset devices, and camera technology into one powerful setup, the Sena 10C is designed to revolutionize a variety of industries – from various outdoor sports, motorsports to first responders – with its commitment to a truly complete solution.
With Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the unibody design is water resistant, firmware upgradeable, and intuitive with voice prompts. The built-in camera technology includes 1080p:30fps video modes and single, burst and time lapse versatile photo modes. With the combination of a headset, users can record their voice to their video while also enjoying four-way intercom communication up to 1.6 kilometers with Universal Intercom™ technology. The intuitively designed system takes it to the next level with headsets that feature Advanced Noise Control™, music sharing, built-in FM radio tuner, easy operation with a versatile jog dial and and smartphone app for iPhone and Android. There simply is no other solution like the 10C.
The Sena 10C is the new magic box of motorcycling technology which somehow combines the mystical Bluetooth 4.1 intercom communication with the black magic of a 1080p camera. I haven’t seen something this cool come to the world of two wheels in quite some time.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a helmet camera, well just hold your steel horses because this hot little toy/sophisticated piece of technology nearly does it all.
- Want to talk to your passenger while riding? Piece of cake.
- Chat with up to 4 buddies? Not a problem.
- Record every second of the pilgrimage you’re taking to Sturgis, Deal’s Gap, or any other motorcycle haven in crisp high definition? You could do it with your eyes closed! (but seriously, don’t…)
Want to do all of that at the same time, with the same device? Enter the Sena 10C. It does it all, and it does it very, very well.
Feel, fit, and finish
The Sena 10C just looks cool sitting on your helmet. It’s much more sleek than your average helmet mounted camera – which somewhat resembles an ugly box attached to a stick coming off your head.
Rather, the size of the 10C is small and light. It looks like it belongs. Its stylish lines and curves attract and please the eye. Get used to hearing people ask you, “Hey what is that? Is that a camera? That thing looks cool…” I’ve been hearing it all the time, and it hasn’t gotten old yet.
Sena has used a familiar mounting system that has been customized just for a helmet mounted camera. The clever yet easy clamping system just slides onto your helmet under the cheek pads. Simply torque down a couple of allen bolts and the mounting plate is firm and secure on your helmet. And just for the 10C, an ingenious screw-on plate is included.
First, just screw it into the mount a little. Then slide the 10C onto the plate and position it where you need to be to get the best view from the camera (take note that your helmet will be tilted down slightly, so you’ll want the camera to point up a bit).
After you have it where you need it, just screw the mount down tighter and it will lock it into position. Or if you have sausage fingers, just slide the 10C off of its plate, then screw the plate down tighter onto your helmet, and then slide it back on. Easy peasy.
Using the 10C
The 10C is designed to be used with your left hand so that you can continue holding the throttle with your right hand while at speed. Using it consists of 2 buttons and a jog dial, which also functions as a button.
The first thing that I noticed when I started using the 10C is the the jog dial isn’t as easy to use as it could be with gloved fingers. I’m used to using the Sena SMH5, which has a large jog dial and is very easy to turn, and gives a sure “click” feeling when you press the jog dial button.
I feel the jog dial is a bit harder to find with my fingers, since it is smaller and doesn’t stick out as far as some of Sena’s other models. It also feels a bit tighter to turn, and its “clicks” as you turn it are dampered. That definitely doesn’t make it unusable. It’s just not as easy and obvious as the experience that I had with the SMH5. It takes me slightly more brain power to be able to use it, which takes away some concentration from riding. Just something to keep in mind.
For those that have the extra space on the handle bars, Sena also sells a separate bluetooth remote that can be paired with the 10C that sits on the left bar. No need to move your hand to your helmet that way.
The whole device is weather resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the rain. You can see and feel the solid rubbery surface and notice that there aren’t any exposed cracks where water can get in.
While the buttons are wrapped in their own waterproofing material, the buttons themselves feel solid and have a definite “click” to them when you push them – you’ll always know that you pushed that button.
The very first day that I used it, I got caught in a nice downpour while riding. My wife was scared that I was riding in the wet, so she called me from home to make sure I was okay. I was able to talk to her the whole time, and I experienced nothing less than perfect call quality and problem-free usage.
While the 10C is packed with tons of features, talking rider-to-rider or rider-to-passenger is going to be a big one for most people. It makes the claim of up to a mile of range in ideal conditions. Does it really deliver?
After testing the intercom in real world riding conditions, I can definitely say that the intercom works very well. While riding with a buddy that had the Sena SMH10, we opened up the distance between us so that we could test the range.
What we found is that in real world conditions, range isn’t really the limiting factor. It’s how consistently you can maintain “line-of-sight” at a given range.
The farther you get away from your buddy, the more challenging it can be to maintain a line of sight that gives the two intercoms a clear signal to talk to each other. That’s pretty normal, and consistent with every other radio device. It’s the same reason that you might have trouble getting cell phone reception in an area that has a lot of hills.
But the 10C, paired with the SMH10, worked very satisfactorily. At distances up to 800 feet away with line-of-sight coming and going because of traffic all around us, we were still able to maintain a conversation fairly well.
Also, when paired with your smartphone, you can absolutely use the 10C as a bluetooth headset. I know what you might be thinking though: “Won’t you have tons of wind noise?” In truth, not that much! I have talked to several people while riding, and each person told me that they would never guess that I was riding a motorcycle. Funny, because that’s exactly what a lot of other reviews that I read about other Sena headsets said, and yet I didn’t believe it until I tried it.
Making, taking, and receiving calls are all a breeze. When a call rings in, just tap the phone button to accept it. You can also refuse a call if you like.
Making a call is a piece of cake, too. Just tap the phone button and use Siri or Google voice, depending on what device you’re using.
I also found that the 10C worked very well for rider-to-passenger communication. I paired it with the Sena 3S-B that’s attached to my wife’s helmet, and gave my 11 year old cousin her first motorcycle ride. Just being able to talk to her and hear how she was handling the ride was so much easier than any other form of communication with a passenger that I’ve ever used in the past.
If this is your first experience using a bluetooth intercom, you are in for a real treat. It is a night and day difference in how much you enjoy the ride when you can actually talk to your riding buddies, rather than working out some prearranged rudimentary hand signals.
You’re not a caveman, you’re a human being – and now you get to have a conversation like one even while you’re riding a motorcycle.
Do you remember the old style VHS tapes that used to be what you’d use when you’d want to watch a movie (and you’d rent them from Blockbuster – haha!) Well once DVDs came out, they made these VHS/DVD combos.
None of those VHS/DVD players actually played anything very well. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed that when one device tries to do two things, it doesn’t do either thing very well.
Not so with the 10C. It’s a great intercom, and it’s a great camera, too! It records in three different modes: 1080p/30fps, 720p/60fps, or 720p/30fps at a very crisp 1080p high definition resolution at 30 frames per second.
You’ll need to make sure that you get a Class 10/UHS1 (or better) micro SD card. If you put an inferior card into the camera, it will still record—but you’ll suffer a big loss in video quality.
The camera encodes the video into the popular h.264 video format in an MP4 container, for you video buffs out there. For the average person, this just means that it will play on virtually any modern device.
It’s truly plug and play for many TVs that have SD card slots that will play videos, though you will need a Micro SD to SD card adapter. And the videos play beautifully after transferring them to my phone or tablet. And of course, they play on your desktop or laptop just fine.
I was just a bit disappointed that you can’t record at 1080p/60fps. In my mind, I thought that recording at 30 frames per second would prevent motion blur from higher speeds. But, I dried my tears when I saw the clarity of the image that it records. There is almost no motion blur when recording at 1080/30fps.
The camera adjusts phenomenally well to changing light conditions. I haven’t yet gotten to test the camera at night, but I have ridden on sunny days and on overcast days and it performs quite well. The colors look vibrant without being oversaturated. It does a great job capturing how the scenery looks without sacrificing any clarity in the image recorded.
As mentioned earlier, the 10C can tilt up or down on its mount. This is so you can get the best view on your camera. The lens on the camera itself can also turn up to 30 degrees to help you level the camera. However, one caveat: It’s tricky getting the camera positioned properly the first time.
Given that the camera doesn’t have a screen attached to it, there’s a lot of guesswork in getting just the right angle or frame on your footage. I went through about a week’s worth of trial and error in finding “just the right spot” for the camera position.
It’s easy to think that you have it where you need it and then roll with it. But, you may find out later that your video is messed up—tilted several degrees to the left, or looking too far down to where you can’t see much of the road.
I’m hoping that Sena will be able to fix this issue with a firmware upgrade that will enable you to do a camera preview within the Sena smartphone app. Even being able to see just a snapshot would be more useful than taking a guess here.
Another feature of the camera that Sena has included is called “Video Tagging.” The idea is that the you record only the parts of your video that you really want to save. The camera is continuously recording the past 60 seconds and looping over it. Then when you press the camera button while in Video Tagging mode, it records the next 120 seconds, for 3 minutes of footage saved.
Personally, I didn’t really test out this feature because I had a 32gb SD card, and I wanted to save all of my footage.
Another thing that I would like to see is the option to have continuous recording similar to a dash cam. Dash cams are extremely useful for those times when you may have an accident—they can establish that an accident was not your fault.
I know of very few motorcyclists who haven’t had close calls while on the road, and I’m sure nearly all of them would agree that they would love the option to have those events recorded for their own safety and to protect themselves from liabilities.
If you don’t use the camera, you can get away without charging the 10C for several days as long as you turn it off after each ride.
But if you’re planning to record your rides often, it’s best to get in the habit of charging the 10C every night at the end of the day.
There is a feature that will automatically stop recording and turn the camera off once the battery gets to about 20% capacity. I commonly got about two hours worth of recording before the camera would power off. While in general I feel this is a good idea, it would be nice if I could turn that option off. There might be times when I want to get every bit of footage that I can, and I don’t care if I’m about to run the battery dead.
Fortunately, you can use the 10C while it’s charging. If you have a port on your bike for a cigarette lighter adapter, all you need to do is plug in the adapter that it comes with—a nice touch that I was surprised was included.
My bike doesn’t have a power port, so I can definitely see myself getting a dedicated mobile charger for the 10C that I’ll end up storing in my jacket or backpack. That way when the battery does die, I’ll just plug it in.
One more thing…
The 10C is an awesome little device that does what it was designed to do, and it does it very well! I imagine it will appeal to a lot of people that have been considering getting other varieties of helmet-mounted cameras. You’re set up for moto-vlogging without any other accessories, and that’s just awesome!
However, there is one thing to keep in mind—while the 10C is a great helmet mounted camera, your helmet is where it lives. You really can’t put it anywhere else. There aren’t any types of mounts where you can put it anywhere else on your bike. For that, consider a dedicated sports camera.
Even if you could mount it somewhere else on your bike, you would immediately lose the intercom because it wouldn’t reach to plug in.
So if what you want is a helmet camera, the 10C packs a heck of a lot of bang for your buck. Plus, it’s incredibly light and nowhere near as bulky as many other sports cameras.
But if you want a camera that mounts directly on the bike, my advice would be to buy the 10C anyway (because let’s face it, it’s awesome!) and then get another sports camera to mount onto the bike.
The 10C will give you the best audio because it’s taken from inside your helmet, and it records your voice and any intercom conversations (or music, or phone conversations…!) that you might have, and then you’ll have the extra angle from the other camera on the bike.
Otherwise, just don’t buy the extra camera if you don’t have the coin. I mean it, the 10C does so much that the fact it doesn’t mount to the bike is really a non-issue for me, and it probably will be a non-issue for you, too. Andrew Bereczky, Guest Reviewer for MotorcycleGear.com, 06-29-15