Sena 50R Vs 50S: Which One Is The Best For You?

Sena 50R
Sena 50S
Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
-
$434.01
$434.99
Sena 50R
Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
$434.01
Sena 50S
Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System
-
$434.99

Sena Technologies was founded in 1998 by Tae Y. Kim. Ever since, the company has made waves in the world of Bluetooth communication technology.

In 2010, Sena made history by launching one of the first intercom headsets in history. This was during a time when intercom technology was virtually unheard of. The SMH10 was revolutionary.

The brand has dominated the Bluetooth intercom domain for motorcycle and outdoor sport communications devices in almost every aspect, ranging from intercoms with integrated cameras to smart helmets to bicycle helmets.

We guarantee you that anyone who’s ever been remotely interested in Bluetooth communication has heard of Sena. Just like yourself. 

And in this article, we’re going to talk about how Sena has blessed us with their new 50 series.

Released in early April, Sena’s latest series of intercom features the incredibly advanced Mesh 2.0 technology, a larger number of participants, and better voice commands. Among many other things.

Furthermore, the 50 series has been split between two models: the 50S and 50R. 

In this article, we’re going to explore what makes the Sena 50 series so great, in addition to the difference between the 50S and 50R. Keep reading.

Mesh 2.0 Intercom Tech 

2 people on motorcycles next o each other
Photo by Jusdevoyage on Unsplash

There’s a reason the Mesh 2.0 has been making so many headlines: this piece of Bluetooth tech is one of the most exciting parts of the Sena 50. 

Want to know why? Let’s start with the name “Mesh”.

The Bluetooth tech was named “Mesh” to describe the easy, almost seamless mixing of Bluetooth pairing, grouping, separating, and rejoining. 

Your ears will barely pick up on your intercom shifting through these functions that are often compartmentalized in your run-of-the-mill intercom system.
All of these functions mesh together.

Pretty neat stuff.

But how much of a difference does it make, you ask? Well, we’re glad you asked.

  • Much better audio clarity 
  • Optimal path planning for the devices, leading to fewer communication issues and stronger quality of communication 
  • Crystal clear sound quality, regardless of how much noise there is in the background

Impressive, right? But to truly appreciate how the Mesh 2.0 is, we’re going to get a little technical.

The reason Sena was able to achieve the above was by working upon the following:

  1. An improved one-to-one communication between the networked devices

In Mesh 2.0, the way the confirmation of data receipts being transferred within its networked devices was devised anew. This resulted in the rate of transfer of data packets being increased by a whopping 80%. 

As a result, the overall intercom performance and stability was dramatically increased.

  1. Increased Data Sharing Via Optimized Smart Routing 

Via optimized smart routing, the connected devices (within the network) share information with each other. Because of this, all the connected devices within the network are aware of each other.

Due to the increased sharing of data, the devices have a lot more information to work with. Mesh 2.0 uses this information to select the path with the least/that is free of obstructions while delivering messages. For constant feedback, the devices within this arrangement are constantly polled (to determine their presence).

The increased availability and faster relaying of information allow the Mesh 2.0 network to choose the best pathway to transmit information between its connected devices.

New Intercom Modes 

Mesh 2.0 comes with a multi-channel function, allowing you to communicate across 9 channels. When compounded, this allows you to communicate with a virtually limitless number of users.

Furthermore, a separate Group Mesh Intercom supports up to 24 connections that you can organize into groups on different channels. Up to six riders can join at the same time, instead of waiting for their turn.

In addition to these two intercom modes, these devices are also equipped with a standard Bluetooth Intercom mode.

Sena 50R Bluetooth Headset 

Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

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Fun fact: The 50R was used by over 100 people during the Int. GS Trophy 2020, in New Zealand.

Elegant. The first word that comes to mind when you notice the three-button interface. As you can tell from that description alone, it’s incredibly glove-friendly.

The 50R comes with the following features:

  • Mesh 2.0 technology
  • An intercom range of up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain
  • Voice command for eight languages
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Digital instant access
  • Headset Profile – To enable wireless connection between your phone and intercom
  • Hands-Free Profile – To enable a two-way wireless speaker-intercom Bluetooth connection
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile – Wherein multimedia audio can be streamed between devices over a Bluetooth connection
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile- This enables a single remote control (from either your intercom or phone) over all the functions of your intercom
  • HD speakers that are designed with a beveled taper
  • A fantastic charge-battery ratio (and the battery charges 30% faster than its competitors). A full charge (for 1 hour) grants you battery life for 14 hours of regular Bluetooth intercom / 9 hours of Mesh Bluetooth intercom
  • Quick Charge (for 20 minutes) grants you battery life for 6 hours of regular Bluetooth intercom / 3.5 hours of Mesh Bluetooth intercom
  • Support via the Sena Utility app
  • Wi-Fi firmware updates
  • A Built-in FM radio with access to radio stations all over the world, and you can pre-set up to 10 channels on your device

Sena 50S Bluetooth Headset 

Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

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The first thing you notice on the Sena 50S Bluetooth Headset is its multi-function dial, which is very different from the traditional button design you would find on most intercoms. The large jog dial was meant with menu navigation in mind, to make it easier to use.

In addition to this jog dial, the 50S features the following:

  • Mesh 2.0 technology
  • An intercom range of up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain
  • Voice command for eight languages
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Digital instant access
  • Headset Profile- To enable wireless connection between your phone and intercom
  • Hands-Free Profile- To enable a two-way wireless speaker-intercom Bluetooth connection
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile – Wherein multimedia audio can be streamed between devices over a Bluetooth connection
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile- This enables a single remote control (from either your intercom or phone) over all the functions of your intercom
  • Slanted HD speakers for more comfort when you ride. This also helps a lot with taking your helmet off and on
  • A fantastic charge – battery ratio (and the battery charges 30% faster than its competitors). A full charge (for 1 hour) grants you battery life for 14 hours of regular Bluetooth intercom / 9 hours of Mesh Bluetooth intercom
  • Quick Charge (for 20 minutes) grants you battery life for 6 hours of regular Bluetooth intercom / 3.5 hours of Mesh Bluetooth intercom
  • Support via Sena Utility app
  • Wi-Fi firmware updates
  • A Built-in FM radio with access to radio stations all over the world, and you can pre-set up to 10 channels on your device

How Does The 50R Stack Against The 50S?

There’s a reason the letters after the ‘50’ in the title of both products are different. 

Despite the fact that both of them are smaller than a deck of cards, there are a lot of differences between the 50R and 50S. Enough differences to warrant a separate section mentioning them.

Which you may be surprised to find out, given that the products seem almost identical after you go through the segments above.

Despite having a lot of similarities, the 50R and 50S differ in the following ways:

Button design

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way.

The 50S uses Sena’s Jog traditional dial button design- with only a slight deviation from the normal design.

The 50R, on the other hand, uses a 3-button approach with its headset design.

Mounting

The 50S can be mounted on a helmet using the included clamp kit. And if the clamp kit can’t be equipped, then the Glued Surface Mounting Adapter can be used to mount the headset on the outside of the helmet. 

The 50R on the other hand can be mounted on a helmet using the hook and loop fasteners (both of which are included in the unit), double-sided adhesives, or the clamp kit.

Microphones

Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

The 50S includes 3 types of microphones: the boom microphone, the wired boom microphone, and the wired microphone. 

The 50R includes 2 types of microphones: the wired boom microphone and the wired microphone.

Battery

If you’re like me and like to squeeze the last hour of your battery life on your phone or laptop, you’re going to be interested in the 50S.

Because the 50S has a literal hour of battery life over the 50R when fully charged. This has to do with it having a slightly larger battery than the 50R.

(When fully charged, the talk time for the 50S is 9 hours over Mesh Intercom and 14 hours over Bluetooth Intercom. The 50R has 8 hours over Mesh Intercom and 13 hours over Bluetooth Intercom.)

Clamp Kits

Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System

On the 50S, the clamp kit includes an AUX port for a non-Bluetooth MP3 player. It also includes a built-in 3.5 mm earbud port so that you can use your own earbuds for the audio rather than the included high-quality speakers.

The 50R includes neither an AUX port nor a built-in 3.5 mm earbud adapter. That being said, the 50R works well with the 50R Earbud Adapter Split Cable. If you have the cable, you can use earbuds that are compatible with it.

Ambient Audio Feature

The 50S can activate an internal microphone to activate the Ambient Audio feature by double tapping the Ambient Mode Button on the bottom of the clamp kit. 

Unfortunately, the 50R doesn’t have this feature.

Group Intercom

Borrowing from above, the 50S can use the Ambient Mode Button on the bottom of the clamp kit to activate the Group Intercom feature to create a multi-way intercom conversation. 

The 50R can activate the Group Intercom feature by tapping the Plus (+) Button and the Minus (-) Button once at the same time.

How They Attach To Your Helmet

Man wearing a black motorcycle helmet
Photo by Jusdevoyage on Unsplash

The main unit of the 50S can be detached from a helmet. You can do this by using either the clamp kit or the Glued Surface Mounting Adapter.

The main unit of the 50R can’t be detached if it’s attached with the double-sided adhesive. However, it can be detached from a helmet by using either the hook and loop fasteners or the clamp kit. But the speakers and the microphone for the 50R need to be disconnected from the wiring.

Which Product Is Best For Me?

First things first: If the budget is what makes it or breaks it for you, you’re going to have a hard time choosing between these two products. The 50R is slightly cheaper than the 50S, but that’s it. If you have enough dough to buy a product in this range, you have enough dough to overlook this price difference.

Fort a slightly longer battery life (~1 hour), an easier installation, a dial button design, and slightly more audio multitasking (vis-à-vis Ambient Mode), go with the Sena 50S.

If you like the look of a three-button design and a ~$20 price hike doesn’t justify the above for you, go with the Sena 50R.

But in the end, you can’t go wrong with either product.
The word Sena and the word quality mean the same in the world of intercom technology.

And its latest products amean highest quality.

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