Also: wBW Motorcycle Intercom Reviews
The Sena Smart Helmet was introduced today at the 2015 AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida.
The Smart Helmet is "The world's first Intelligent Noise Control" helmet, according to Sena.
It includes a noise cancelling system powered by an internal rechargeable battery.
The helmet is wired for a snap-on Sena Bluetooth intercom module, which will be available as an option.
The "Intelligent Noise Control" (INC) module snaps in to the lower rear part of the helmet shell. It has a USB-rechargeable battery.
The helmet has a button on each side with an embedded LED. The button on the left turns on the ambient sound, which is enhanced via a microphone in the INC module, so the rider can have a conversation or hear outside sounds.
Press the button on the right to turn on the Intelligent Noise Control.
The ear pockets are heavily padded with silicone to help reduce noise and the active noise cancellation micrphones are in the ear pockets.
The noise cancellation is specifically targeted to reduce wind and buffeting noise.
The helmet shell is made for Sena in carbon fiber and will be available in carbon fiber weave, white, yellow, silver and black. More graphic patterns are planned.
The remote control is wireless and powered by what looks like a CR2032 battery, which is said to last 1 year.
The helmet uses Bluetooth 4.1. The price is TBD at this time and the Sena Smart Helmet is planned for a Spring 2016 delivery.
By the way, we've been wishing for a helmet like this for some time.
We thought Bose would do it; in fact, we tried the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (review) in a helmet to see how they would work, along with several other noise cancelling earphone reviews.
More information coming soon and we'll have one for a review as soon as possible.
The silicone ear pocket liners (above) go a long way to reducing noise even without the Intelligent Noise Control system turned on.
I wore the helmet at the show and the sound reduction from the noisy crowd was astounding, as was the quality of the music streaming.
Push the button on the right side of the helmet and the sound cancelling stops and the mic in the rear of the helmet becomes active, allowing the wearer to carry on a conversation with people nearby.
Publication Date: October 2015
From "B.A." (October 2015): "If Sena delivers on noise cancelling, then I am in."
From "P.N." (October 2015): "Looks promising. Would love to eventually see a flip-up as well."
From "B.R." (October 2015): "Oh please oh gods of helmet manufacturers make this at least some what round in shape! If this works and fits I am a buyer in XL."
Rick's Reply: I tried on the prototype, it's the typical neutral/slightly narrow shape, the size L felt tight on my round head and as typically happens for me, the XL will probably be too big. But, let's see what happens, maybe the production versions will have a rounder internal shape.
From "D.G." (October 2015): " 'By the way, we've been wishing for a helmet like this for some time.'
Yes, we have. I've exhausted all earbud options including the Bose QC20i, and have been using an SMH-5 with an Arai RX-Q and earplugs. Barely OK for podcasts, not good enough for music.
And yes, I've tried upgrading the speakers.
I've been thinking of getting a Corsair-X in the next 12 months or so, but this Sena helmet has me very, very interested.
That said, I will be surprised if I actually end up getting one, because as much as I would like to hear music clearly without earplugs in the way, my guess is that this helmet won't have enough ventilation or comfort (I wear glasses) to compete with Arai (or any other high-end helmet).
Looking forward to reading your in-depth review."