Decision-making doesn’t have to be difficult.
Although for these two tech giants, it’s almost a standstill. And we’re here to tell you it’s not a tie. Cardo takes the trophy in this matchup, but only by a slight inch.
Confused? Disagree? Don’t understand why?
Here’s an in-depth look at Cardo and Sena, the best motorcycle intercom systems in the market.
Cardo vs. Sena: Is There a Difference?
Hands-free mode, noise-canceling features, voice commands, and state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology allow bikers and motorcyclists to communicate and multitask―even while zooming at TOP speed.
And it’s all thanks to these tech giants: Cardo and Sena.
Today, it’s the battle of the titans.
Cardo and Sena are two of the biggest names in the world of Bluetooth communication system, both offering a variety of high-tech products. From the latest Bluetooth headset to a smart helmet, these brands got you covered.
But don’t be fooled. Like vanilla-flavored ice cream and chocolate-chip flavored ice cream, they’re NOT the same.
When it comes to these Bluetooth communication systems, there’s a HUGE difference.
Depending on what you’re looking for, each brand has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In this post, we’ll be comparing Cardo and Sena on the following must-haves/ basic features of any good pair of Bluetooth headset:
- Audio Quality
- USB Ports
- Voice Command
- Bluetooth Range
- Water Resistance
- Battery Life
In order to answer the ultimate question of “which is the better motorcycle intercom system,” we’ll break each brand down along with their best products―Cardo vs. Sena edition.
So, let’s get started!
If there was one thing that Cardo is well-known for, it’s innovation.
The company earned its rightful title as one of the leading manufacturers in the Bluetooth communication system industry for its top-notch high-quality motorcycle intercoms.
Listen to music, switch tunes, talk with other riders―Cardo makes it ALL possible.
Equipped with JBL speakers, products made and designed by the brand feature excellent sound quality.
At the same time, braving the rough weather isn’t a daunting task with Cardo. Why? Because they’re 100% waterproof! Pretty neat, huh?
Before we get carried away, let’s take a look at the brand’s fantastic products: the PackTalk Bold and the Scala Rider Freecom 4.
#1 PackTalk Bold
For serious bikers, the Cardo PackTalk Bold is THE one.
The Bluetooth headset takes motorcycle intercom systems to the next level with its Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) technology.
Out of loop? No worries! Mesh technology is only the latest in-trend when it comes to the motorcycle Bluetooth communication system.
It’s basically an open communication network that lets users connect with fellow riders on the road to create a mesh network, where you can freely talk within range and over long distances.
No fuzz, no buzz, just pair them with another Cardo unit!
The PackTalk Bold’s DMC intercom allows:
- 15 riders max to talk at the same time
- Go on public mode to reach more users
- Easily connect and disconnect out of the network
Now that’s a great way to stay in touch whenever you ride. The PackTalk Bold is a total game-changer.
Aside from the DMC, the Bluetooth device is packed with various features that add to its value.
PackTalk Bold comes equipped with smart audio mixing that lets you switch from mesh communication to Bluetooth, helping extend battery life for up to 13 hours.
It holds itself well with its JBL speakers for the BEST audio quality at high speeds. You can adjust the volume via its voice control or voice commands feature.
Just simply say the magic word, “Hey Cardo.”
The only letdown is it’s not the best voice activation there is. BUT, hey it works―just like, “Hey Siri!”
With all these cool specs combined, you won’t have to lift a finger off your bike! Cardo PackTalk Bold keeps you safe while staying connected.
- Effective noise and wind canceling
- Excellent sound quality
- Audio mixing
- User-friendly interface
- JBL sound quality
- Long battery life (13 hours in mesh mode)
- Voice activation feature/ voice command is not accurate
- Bluetooth connection range is NOT as good as Sena 50S (Only 1.6 km)
#2 Scala Rider Freecom 4 Duo with HD Audio
A family that bikes together stays together. And the Cardo Scala Rider Freecom is the intercom system for the job.
The model is the brand’s latest device that’s a full-4 way Bluetooth intercom communication system with bike-to-bike conferencing.
The Scala Rider Freecom 4 can connect up to 3 devices from other major brands, comes with a boom microphone and USB cables, and utilizes bridge technology to switch from Bluetooth connection to DMC in a snap.
Because the Cardo Scala Rider Freecom is specifically designed for full-face and modular helmets, you can easily attach and detach the device. It’s also waterproof, so there’s no need to be scared of a little rain.
Overall, the Cardo Scala Rider Freecom 4 packs a mean punch!
- Bluetooth capability of 4.1
- JBL audio
- Voice control (Keyword: Hey Cardo)
- Good battery life (13 hours of talk time and 15 hours of Bluetooth)
- IP67 waterproof certification
- Bluetooth connectivity is only 1.2 km
- Charging time takes 4 hours
- Pairing with other devices takes time
Certainly not behind its rival, Sena, the Bluetooth device manufacturing company competes head to head against Cardo with its sleek and stylish designs.
Whether you’re a biking enthusiast, an indoor cyclist, or someone who competes in a race, Sena helps you stay connected and in control.
The brand is popular for its advanced mesh technology, good noise control, multiple audio functionalities, remote control, and limitless pairings that level up a biker’s experience.
While chugging along route 66 at 25 km/h, you can stream your favorite Spotify playlist, answer calls, and even operate smart phone applications. Isn’t that cool?
The Sena pack comes complete with speakers, a mesh intercom antenna, a boom mic, and a charging station.
For this review, we’ll be looking into Sena’s best-selling products: the 50s and the Outrush R.
#1 Sena 50S
The Sena 50S is a low-profile lightweight Bluetooth headset with a serious audio system.
It’s equipped with the classic Sena HD speakers as its main audio system and a mesh intercom 2.0 to enhance the listening experience of riders.
The great thing about mesh intercom technology or Sena’s dynamic mesh communication is that it supports limitless connections.
Now, trust us. That’s NOT the only impressive thing. Here’s what else you need to hear:
- Using 50S’s default Open Mode, you can tune into and engage with unlimited users within a mesh network of 5 miles (8 kilometers).
- Or, if you prefer having private conversations, you can utilize the device’s Group Mode option to limit the number of users to up to 24. With the mesh 2.0 feature, you can simultaneously converse with 6 of your fellow riders.
This smart feature comes pretty handy when traveling in a pack.
Sena 50S is also designed with audio multitasking for easy streaming music and taking phone calls.
You can answer your phone while listening to Red Velvet’s Queendom, the FM radio, or GPS instructions.
Another perk? You control its volume using Sena’s smart volume feature. The volume automatically lowers when you slow your motorcycle down.
Sena 50S is multitasking done right!
Because the headset comes with a helmet clamp that can easily be attached and stays secure all throughout the ride, you can brave the open terrain and rough weather with it.
But wait ’til you hear the BEST part about the 50S. It comes with lots of ports!
The Bluetooth headset includes:
- USB-C port
- 2.5 mm aux input
- 3.5 mm headphone socket
So you can easily save space in your travel kit and charge your device faster.
We could give you more than 5 reasons on why you’ll love Sena 50S!
- Good range (Bluetooth 5.0)
- Comes with a helmet and side-in clamp to keep device secured
- Multiple USB ports
- Supports limitless Bluetooth connection
- Fast charging (1 hour)
- Includes boom microphone
- Warranty is only limited to United States
- Battery life is shorter than Cardo PackTalk (9 hours of talk time using mesh technology; 14 hours in Bluetooth mode)
- Not water-resistant
#2 Sena Outrush R
When it comes to pushing boundaries in motorcycle intercom systems, Sena takes the lead.
Aside from wireless headsets, the company puts a twist on your classic helmet speakers.
Meet the Outrush R, Sena’s state-of-the-art and ultra-powerful smart helmet that allows riders to:
- Answer incoming calls
- Make calls
- Stream music
- Control the FM radio stations
- Switch to an intercom system
- Respond to voice commands
All while KEEPING YOU SAFE.
By utilizing the Seno Outrush R’s duo microphone widescreens, noise reduction is set to a maximum. A traffic jam doesn’t have to feel like one with the smart helmet’s high-definition speakers.
You can easily turn on the Outrush R using the power button and it will greet you “Hello.” Talk about convenience!
On top of all these, the smart helmet comes complete with a USB port for installations and updates, and as well as an advanced Bluetooth 5.0 to give it a good range for multi-pairings.
You can hit two birds in one stone with the Sena Outrush R. Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet.
- Advanced noise control
- Made of high-quality polycarbonate shell
- Modular technology
- UV resistant and fog-resistant
- DOT and ECE Certified (a.k.a. it’s completely danger and hazard-proof!)
- Warranty is only limited to United States
- Charging times takes 3 hours
Cardo vs. Sena: How Do They Compare?
NOW that you know all about Cardo, Sena, and their best products, let’s take a look at how they differ from one another.
1. Mesh Technology
Whether you’re biking around Flume Trail in Lake Tahoe or speeding across Interstate 95, DMC technology allows you to communicate over long distances.
Mesh technology creates a network where riders can easily join in and automatically reconnect as soon as you’re within range.
And luckily, both Cardo and Sena products feature a mesh intercom.
Cardo’s Dynamic Mesh Communication System and Sena’s Mesh Intercom Antenna are both high-quality and up to par with one another.
The only difference? Only Sena intercom units allow for limitless pairings. You can connect with unlimited users within an 8 km radius.
This totally beats Cardo’s mesh technology that can only support up to 15 riders max within 1.6 km.
If you have a knack for traveling in packs, then Sena is the better choice when it comes to mesh technology.
2. Audio Quality
In terms of audio quality, Cardo, vs. Sena, has a slight advantage because of its partnership with JBL, the undisputed king of high-end speakers.
The PackTalk Bold and the Scala Freecom Rider both feature crisp audios that are perfect for streaming your favorite songs in Spotify, tuning into the FM radio station, answering calls, and blocking out wind and noise.
Our testers guarantee that Cardo’s JBL speakers will level up your listening experience.
On the other hand, Sena uses its signature home-brand HD speakers.
While it’s not JBL quality, Sena will still give you decent audio―although the sounds won’t come out as crystal clear as Cardo’s.
When attaching the device on your helmet, you’ll find that both Sena and Cardo are easy to install. The entire process only takes 5 minutes or less.
All you have to do is to place them on your gear, secure the clamps, and it’s ready for use.
Helmet and side-in clamps are featured by both products, so the device stays secured all throughout the ride.
4. Smartphone Application
Linking your Sena 50S motorcycle Bluetooth headset with the Sena Utility App (available for both Android and Apple), you can start pairing the device with your smart phone to configure the settings:
- Turn on mesh
- Activate audio multitasking and voice commands
- Enable GPS navigation
- Set language
And the same goes for Cardo Connect, the brand’s own system. You can upgrade your device, and it basically acts as a remote control to your own paired unit.
An added plus is the biking tutorials available in the app itself.
The smartphone assistance makes pairing so much easier.
When it comes to design, Sena is known for its compact releases.
The interface is simple and straightforward. The power button is placed behind the jog dial so it is accessible and within reach. The antenna behind it can easily be propped up to activate the intercom system.
While toggling the Bluetooth button will allow you to join a network.
This is also the case with Cardo, only that the buttons aren’t as easily accessible as Sena’s. And its Bluetooth often loses its connection, so you’ll have to keep pairing it from time to time.
6. Battery Life
Cardo has an impressive battery life that lasts you 13 hours of talk time and 18 hours of standby mode.
It’s great for long-haul trips and can handle many activities, from group calls to phone usage.
The only letdown is Cardo’s long charging time. It takes around 3 to 4 hours for the headset to become fully charged, vs. Sena products that feature fast charging.
HOWEVER, what’s 3 hours compared to the hours you can utilize it? It’s a small price to pay in exchange for its excellent battery life.
Cardo outlasts Sena by a long shot.
All Cardo intercom devices have IP waterproof certification. Along with waterproofing qualities, Cardo headsets are also dust-proof.
Combining these two together makes Cardo safe to use even while with heavy rain or winds, a HUGE advantage over Sena.
Let’s face it: both Cardo and Sena are pricey.
The brands both produce high-end motorcycle intercom systems, so expect to pay more.
But don’t worry about the cost. Even though they are expensive, they’re worth EVERY penny you spend on.
HOT TIP: Look out for discounts and promos on their websites and on Amazon.
My Buddy Owns a Cardo…Can I Talk to Him Using a Sena?
One of the important points to consider when buying an intercom system is pairing compatibility.
While both the brands have excellent reputations and performances, the question now is, “how can you use them?”
Well, we’ve got GREAT news.
Yes, you can pair Cardo and Sena models together. It just takes a little adjusting.
The latest Cardo models, G-9 or higher, have a cool feature that lets you add an intercom buddy to an ongoing phone call. By utilizing this feature, you can merge the two brands together.
For Sena devices, you can activate the universal intercom mode to connect with Cardo.
Choosing the Perfect Motorcycle Intercom Systems
Finding the perfect pair is akin to looking for the needle in a haystack.
In other words: it’s EXTREMELY difficult.
So, how do you choose between 2 GOOD choices?
Well, based on our experience, it’s better to buy one that can easily connect with most of your biking buddies, so pairing is easier.
Trust us, this’ll make your life 10x easier. Why?
Because even though you can merge the brands together, getting disconnected is a common recurring problem that’s not yet been given a solution to.
Cardo vs. Sena: The Final Verdict
From the comparisons above, we can clearly tell that both Cardo and Sena are excellent brands producing state-of-the-art Bluetooth intercom systems.
- Both are easy to install and feature a user-friendly interface.
- Both are equipped with advanced mesh tech.
- Both come with value-adding features (apps, voice commands, multi-tasking, etc.)
However, while they have similarities, Cardo one-ups Sena.
The brand, in particular, ticks all the boxes with its waterproof & dust-proof qualities, excellent JBL sound quality, and long battery life.
Whereas, Sena lacked a major feature: it’s NOT waterproof, making it inconvenient when there are sudden heavy rains, storms, and winds.
So, our final verdict?
For a speaker upgrade, waterproof-build, and long battery life, you’d want to invest in Cardo.
For traveling in big groups and multitasking, Sena is a great choice
Digital technology has led to the advancement of Bluetooth communication system and benefits bikers, especially.
Thanks to these tech giants, you can enjoy your biking experience even more.
Here’s a way to kickstart your riding journey!