Sena 10s vs 20s: Bluetooth Headset Showdown


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Last Updated: 30th September 2020

Choosing the right bluetooth headset can be confusing.

We thought we’d do a breakdown on the feature list of Sena’s 10s and 20s products, hopefully making your choice a little easier.

Premium Pick

Sena 20s

Premium Headset

Well worth considering if you want premium features and connectivity to up to 7 other riders. Check Amazon

Entry Level Pick

Sena 10s

Quality Entry Level Headset

The Sena 10S is a quality piece of kit and a perfect jumping off point for a first time bluetooth headset buyer Check Amazon

Sena 10s vs 20s Quick Comparison Table

 Sena 10sSena 20s
Range for rider connection1 mile1.2 mile
Number Of Riders connected37
Multi TaskingSingle inputMultiple inputs
Weight58 grams60 grams
Price££££££
Charging time3 hours2.5 hours
Check PricesAmazonAmazon

What’s In The Box

20s evo detail

Both the 20s and the 10s ship with the main unit (with integrated helmet clamp), both a wired boom mic (for open face helmets) and wired mic, two speakers and lots of adhesive pads to stick things in place.

Read: Sena 10s Review
Read: Sena 20s Review

Winner: The only difference is the main unit, so this one is a tie


Installation and Mounting

Both headsets mount in the same way, with the main unit clamping onto the outside of your helmet shell.

In the 20s box rubber spacers are included in case your helmet has an unusually shaped shell.

From there, the mic is connected and usually placed next to a cheek pad.

A boom mic is included with both units and can be connected to the outside of an open-face helmet using an adhesive pad.

Most UK riders will use the wired mic on the inside of their helmets.

Speakers for both the 20s and 10s fit inside the speaker cutouts in your helmet, and the cables can be run behind the padding.

With the 20s, foam spacers are included to help push the speakers out towards your ears. This might be necessary if the cut outs in your helmet are deeper than usual.

The 20s also includes a variety of foam speaker covers, so you can find a perfect fit.

The 10s only ships with a single set.

Winner: 20s edges this one out. They’re both simple to install, but the 20s has better customisation options.


Size and Weight

20s evo controls
Sena 20s
Sena controls view
Sena 10s

The 20s comes in at 60 grams compared to the 10s’ 58 grams.

Neither weigh enough to make any appreciable difference to your helmet’s overall feel.

The 20s is noticeably slimmer, however. If you’re going for a streamlined look its low profile and shark fin design are probably what you’re after.

Winner: We’ll give this to the 20s. It’s sleeker, has a lower visual impact when mounted and is slightly lighter.


Helmet Compatibility

Both headsets mount on the outer shell using an integrated clamp, meaning the main unit will fit just about any helmet ever made.

The 20s includes adhesive rubber spacers to fill out very slim helmet shells, but you could easily make something yourself from an inner tube if you buy a 10s.

The inclusion of two types of mic and a range of adhesive pads mean open-face helmets are also supported by both units.

If your helmet doesn’t include speaker cutouts, you won’t be able to fit either headset’s speakers.

Winner: A tie both units will fit almost any lid.


Controls and AppSena app

Both units use a jog dial with a central button for control.

The scheme is identical for both – the button acts as pause/play for audio, answer/hang up for calls and the jog dial acts as skip forward/backward for audio and is used to scroll through options in the menu.

It’s certainly intuitive.

In the last few generations of gear, Sena have gone for a chunkier design.

The jog dial and button on both sets has a nice, tactile feel with enough feedback to know when you’ve pressed a button – even with gloved hands.

Simple, easy to understand controls are a hallmark of Sena, and the reason why many of us are willing to pay a bit more for a brand name headset.

Neither unit lets the company down in this regard.

Within a day of using either set, you’ll be answering calls and skipping tracks without thinking about it.

The Sena app is the same for both headsets and is excellent.

One of the best reasons to buy a name brand headset is that the app will be intuitive and in native English.

The Sena app is both of these things and we have no complaints.

Winner: While we’re giving this to the 20s, it’s worth pointing out that the control/input scheme is identical for both. The 20s just has a few extra features and a little bit more of a premium feel.


Bluetooth Pairing

Both headsets connect to phones/GPS units/other headsets using the same process as domestic bluetooth devices.

Hold the button for a set number of seconds to enter pairing mode then select the device from the available options on your phone or GPS device.

Most people agree that all this is best handled through the Sena app.

The jog wheel is great for on the move adjustments, but the app is best for getting everything set up before riding.

One nice feature of the 20s is the ‘shake to pair’ function.

Simply shaking your helmet (assuming your 20s is installed) will cause it to pair with its last known device.

Most of the time, just picking up my helmet with the unit powered on is enough to make it pair to my phone – not essential, but super convenient.

Another significant advantage of the 20s is that it can handle multiple audio inputs at once.

This means you can listen to music and take a call, or receive navigation prompts at the same time.

With the 10s, you have to choose one or the other.

Once paired with your phone, answering incoming calls on both headsets means pressing the central button.

This works perfectly well for calls, and Sena’s noise cancelling tech means there’s no need to crank up the volume.

Winner: The 20s is the clear winner here. The shake to pair function and multiple audio inputs are only present in the more expensive headset.


Sound Quality

Audio for both devices is crystal clear.

Sena speaker sets feature noise cancelling, and though the 20s has slightly superior sound – the 10s is no slouch.

To some extent, the quality of incoming calls is going to depend on the caller’s mic and the signal strength.

But provided neither of these two factors are abysmal, both sets of speakers deliver crystal clear, mid range frequencies, meaning speech is crisp and natural sounding.

If you’re after a better music listening experience out of the box, buy a 20s.

Its superior speaker and customisable fit options mean you can dial in a set of speakers that sit snug against your ears like a decent set of 1970’s ‘can’ style headphones.

That’s not to say the 10s speakers are bad though.

And the option in both units to plug in any speakers or earbuds through the auxiliary port is a nice touch.

If you already own a high end, audiophile set of earbuds and want to enjoy them while riding, both the 10s and 20s have you covered.

Winner: 20s – but if you’re on a budget, the 10s is definitely good enough


Range

20s evo detail
20s
Sena 10s - contents of box
10s

The 20s has a range of 1.2 miles compared to the 10s’ 1 mile.

Both distances are measured without taking elevation into account, and hills, mountains and valleys will have a significant impact.

Both units perform really well within these ranges.

If another rider is in sight, they will almost certainly be audible no matter the elevation change.

Winner: The 20s by a whisker


Number Of Riders

The 10s allows users to connect to three other riders compared to the 20s’ 7 other riders.

Most people don’t ride in groups larger than four.

But for people who tour in big groups the 20s is probably the right choice.

Winner: 20s is the best option for larger groups.


Battery Time/Charging

With the 20s 2.5 hours of charging gives you 13 hours of talk time.

Whereas the 10s charges in about 3 hours, giving a talk time of 13 hours.

Winner: With slightly faster charging time the 20s takes this.


Waterproofing

Both units are listed as water resistant.

We’ve used both in fairly heavy rain without any issue and from what we understand anything short of total immersion in water should be OK.

Winner: Tie


Price

For most riders the cheaper option is recommended here.

The 10s regularly sells for a good chunk cheaper than the 20s, and unless you’re riding in large groups, Sena’s mid range offering is more than enough headset.

Both models are sold at a discount when bought as dual packs.

Make sure to check with friends before paying out for a more expensive single unit.

Buy Online

Sena 10s

Sena 20s


Conclusion

Most features of the 20s are slightly improved over the 10s, but none so much to make a massive difference. If you are on a budget the 10s is a fine piece of kit.

If you want to ride with a large group or are feeling flush then the 20s will serve you well. 

Whichever way you go, both are tried and true bluetooth headsets.