Review: Sena SMH5 Dual Bluetooth Headset Review

motorcycle helmets with bluetooth built in

Arguably one of the best headsets I have ever used and comes with all the main features that are packed into its bigger brother. The SMH5 from Sena is a perfect motorcycle headset with bluetooth and a huge range of features as well as a reasonable price tag. In this Sena SMH5 01 review we will discuss of the cool features that it has and why it’s still a favorite with many bikers.

The reason I like Sena products is their ability to easily connect with other products from the range as well as the simple jog dial design and single button that is consistent across each model. The Sena bluetooth SMH5D has a good amount of features for someone who does a lot of riding but may not need a whole range of options in their motorcycle helmet while still having enough to cover all the required bases.

Being about half the size of the SMH10 was a really noticeable feature. The weight difference on the helmet made a big difference in comfortability compared to other motorbike headphones I have used and reviewed.  And being able to connect 1 to 1 with other devices and riders is really all most of us need. Sena does offer dual headset packages in which you can save a bit of cash if buying more than one.


Sena Bluetooth SMH5 Features

  • Talk time: 7 hrs
  • 400 meters working distance
  • Two-way intercom
  • Easy dial interface
  • Run multiple applications – mobile phone, intercom, GPS and music
  • Advanced noise control
  • Built in FM radio
  • Charging time 2.5 hours
Sena 5

The battery life of the Sena 5 is a little big shorter when compared with the SMH10, but that’s to be expected with the lighter design with smaller batteries. Against other model headsets, the battery life is still quite good. Another slight difference to the SMH5 is there was no wall mount adapter to do things like upgrade firmware. Everything is completed via a USB connection that makes things quite easy. The SMH5 is held on the side of the motorbike helmet via a clip and is super easy to remove for charging and cleaning.

The dual USB and charging ports allow for it to get powered back up while you ride, which is a great feature for when you are riding long distances.

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The Sena SMH5 comes with a “Boom” microphone which I have found to always provide much better sound quality than a wired mic.

With the SMH5 you can connect with other riders up to 400 meters away. When we tested this it was fairly accurate. The signal started to drop fairly quickly when we reached the 375-meter range however we could still hold a reasonable conversation. Realistically, I know that when riding with friends we are never that far apart for long and the short range clarity was really impressive.

Radio System

The RDS AF feature that allows the receiver to locate and re-tune to various frequencies used by the active station to keep a high-quality signal in the Sena SMH5

By default this feature is automatically switched off so you need manually enable the feature by pressing and holding onto the jog dial for at least a good 2 seconds. This allows you to enter the RDS AF setting mode, then all you need to do is tap the call/phone button to enable the feature.

This feature was first introduced with this model and ever since then; it has been one of the riders favorite feature.

If you do struggle to enable this feature, please refer to the FM radio operation guide where it will break down every step for you in detail.


Installing the SMH5 Bluetooth headset

It was super easy to install the Sena SMH5 motorcycle headphones. You’ll receive a set of very light weight speakers which are slightly lower on quality than the SMH10, but it wasn’t that much of a difference. One great feature with the SMH5 Sena, is the ability to completely remove the boom microphone if I just wanted to listen to music. The speakers and microphone are all held in place with Velcro and clips which are all included.

After the two devices are paired and locked on the helmets, you need press the Jog Dial button once to begin intercom communications.

If you pair SMH5 with a mobile phone, communications between devices are interrupted if a call comes in. We always recommend if you receive a call you pull in right away and then continue the call. Unfortunately, there is still too many accidents when people are talking to each other.

The mobile phone can be controlled from the SMH5; for example, if you receive the call, it can be answered by voice activation. You can also tap the call button to start the VOX voice command function of the mobile phone to make a call.

You can reject a call by pressing, and holding onto the Jog Dial for 2-3 seconds.

You can transfer a call from the intercom to your mobile phone by pressing and holding the phone button once the call has been connected.

Our Verdict

The Sena SMH5 Bluetooth motorcycle helmet headphones is a very well made device. Packed with enough features to satisfy most riders along with a reasonably priced package, there are few other headsets on the market right now that can complete. This review highlights the quality of products that Sena produces. For someone who’s new to riding and looking for a solid entry-level headset that does pretty much everything, I wouldn’t go past this device. Being so lightweight, it’s my first pick for most rides now.

  • Pro
  • Very light weight coming in at just over 2 pounds
  • The lithium ion battery allows a talk time of several hours
  • Waterproof housing keeps the device protected in extreme conditions
  • A non-intrusive design measuring just 8.3 x 5.6 x 3 inches
  • Hands free functionality
  • Easily connects to phone, GPS and other nearby devices
  • Great choice for a rider on a budget
  • Removal microphone
  • Ability to charge the device while still in use
  • Good communication signals over distance
  • A2DP stereo quality sound
  • Contra
  • Speaker quality is a bit down compared to other Sena devices
  • Bluetooth can connect to a single channel at a time