It may also fit in other types of motorcycle helmets, albeit with some fettling.
The SMH3 or Nexx SXCOM was designed to be simple to install and operate; it’s the intercom for people who don’t like intercoms.
The battery and “brains” are completely self-contained inside the two speaker modules, which are necessarily thicker than “normal”.
The boom microphone contains the only two buttons on the entire system and these do everything, from on/off to controlling music to answering the phone. It makes you wonder why other intercoms need so many buttons and switches…
No tools are needed to install the SXCOM in a Nexx SWITX SX10 helmet.
The square speakers fit in a recess in the helmet’s ear pockets and the boom mic goes through a stitched hole in the left side. The wires are completely hidden and the system is ready to go in no time at all.
The build quality is excellent and the system seems more robust than many other motorcycle helmet intercom systems.
While the sound levels and sound quality aren’t quite up to, say, Sena SMH10B standards, they’re certainly acceptable and the system works fine in the SWITX SX10 helmet up to about 100 KPH or so on an unfaired motorcycle.
Incoming phone callers have told us that the phone sound quality is outstanding at any speed.
The SXCOM speakers are thicker than standard intercom speakers and the boom mic is too long for the SWITX SX10 helmet, which means some adjustments are necessary for comfortable use.
It’s also too bad that there isn’t an optional shorter boom mic length, although Nexx and Sena probably wanted to keep the price low by keeping it simple.
Overall, this is an excellent motorcycle intercom system that is very easy to use and that alone should convince many previously skeptical buyers to climb on board.
This is a basic but full-featured intercom that has pretty much everything you need and nothing you don’t. It doesn’t include the FM radio and some of the other high-tech connectivity gizmos on those high-priced systems.
But this is good news for the intercom-phobic — of which there are quite a few, based on emails we’ve received.
Some motorcyclists want to keep it simple: talk to their passenger or a friend on another bike, connect with a cell phone and listen to music. Do you really need anything more? If not, the SXCOM is for you. Don’t let the small size and ease of use fool you though; the SXCOM has what it takes.
It doesn’t have The SMH3 advanced features like Universal Intercom to connect to other brands, nor does it have Advanced Noise Control and, to be honest, we really didn’t miss it or realize it was missing.
Bike-to-Bike range of up to 200 meters (220 yards)
Multipoint Bluetooth for dual mobile phone.
Voice prompts Bluetooth stereo headset by A2DP.
Bluetooth music playback AVRCP control (play, pause, next and previous track).
Two buttons (+ and -) on the microphone control everything.
Integrated audio booster.
Bluetooth handsfree profile (HFP) for Bluetooth mobile phones.
Up to 8 hours talk time, 7 days stand-by time.
Individual volume control for each audio source.
Installation friendly uni-body design.
Nexx SXCOM Kit Contents
The SXCOM kit is pretty simple. You get the intercom system with the two connected speakers with the attached boom mic; a couple of sticky hook-and-loop pads for the inside of the helmet; a USB cable for charging the battery; a couple of foam wind socks for the mic; and a simple set of instructions.
The intercom headset, including the wiring and the two speaker housings that hold the battery and the brains, weighs just 63 grams (2-1/4 oz.).
The two speakers are wired together with a 49 cm wire and the speakers measure 10 mm thick by 46 mm wide by 52 mm tall.
But in the SWITX SX10, the square speaker housings of the SXCOM fit into a matching square recess molded into the ear pockets of the helmet, located in the soft “flaps” along both sides of the SX10.
The flaps are perforated on the inside to match the speakers and the boom mic slips through a slot in the left flap.
The wire that connects the two speakers fits completely behind the helmet liner and the entire system can be installed in a minute or two with no tools, clips or mounts required.
Using the SXCOM
The SXCOM is one of the easiest-to-use intercom systems you’ll find. The genius of it is that there are just two buttons — a plus and minus — that control every feature. They’re located on the upper part of the mic.
Press and hold both buttons for one second to turn the system on and you’ll hear the familiar Sena three tones and “Hello!”.
The small LED blinks red to indicate the battery charge; 4 flashes mean a full charge (70-100%); 3 flashes indicate 30-70% and 2 flashes mean up to 30%.
Press both buttons again to turn the system off and you’ll again hear the familiar “Goodbye”.
Volume is adjusted with — naturally — the plus and minus buttons. When the system is on, holding the + button for 5 seconds puts the system into pairing mode.
Hold the button for 10 seconds — past the voice prompt for pairing mode — and you’ll get the configuration menu, where you can turn VOX on or off; voice prompting on or off; delete all pairings; and do a factory reset.
Pressing the + key in configuration mode rotates through the spoken menu choices while pressing the minus key will select the choice.
Intercom conversations are started by pressing the minus button, while music can be started and stopped with a 1 second press of the plus button. You can skip to the next track or go back one by holding the + or – buttons for 2 seconds.
If your SXCOM is paired with your cell phone, you can answer a call either by quickly tapping the + button or by speaking “Hello”. Hold the + button for 3 seconds to run a voice command to your phone.
It’s all described very nicely and simply in the four page printed SXCOM Quick Start Guide that comes in the kit or through the more detailed SXCOM User’s Guide (.pdf).
The Nexx SXCOM makes the SWITX SX10 helmet even more fun to use. The intercom installs quickly and easily and that’s one of the big benefits of the SXCOM system.
You don’t need any tools, helmet clips or mounts; just slide the speaker modules in the ear pockets, tuck the wiring under the liner, push the boom mic out through the slot on the left cheek pad and you’re ready to roll.
The SXCOM works very well, with good sound quality and volume even when wearing ear plugs.
Both of us rode with the SXCOM on different bikes and when you’re behind a big windscreen, like on a touring bike, the SXCOM is excellent with no problems to report. Callers were very surprised to learn we were talking from a moving motorcycle.
When riding a “naked” bike, callers noticed some background noise but said they were still surprised at the sound quality.
Pairing an SXCOM with a cell phone for music streaming works just fine. We did not try the system with a GPS, however, so it’s not known how the system works with incoming directions from the GPS during an intercom conversation or music streaming.
But, we’d have to assume it’s Sena-like quality and probably similar to the Sena SMH5 (review).
Nits to Pick
All isn’t quite rosy with the SXCOM however. The boom mic is too long for the SWITX SX10 helmet, which is strange. As you can see in the photo of the SXCOM mounted in the SWITX SX10 helmet, the boom mic is about 30 mm too long.
This means you have to bend the boom quite radically to get the mic to locate in front of your mouth.
It also means there’s too much mic length to fit behind the clear face shield of the SWITX SX10, so you have to lift the face shield one notch in order to have the mic freed up to be able to press the buttons.
We wish Sena made something like a plug-in boom mic option with different lengths or that Nexx had specified a shorter boom mic length.
It’s possible that the Sena SMH3 that the SXCOM is based on can also fit in full-face helmets and the boom is designed for that, but it’s surprising that Nexx didn’t spec a shorter boom mic or that Sena doesn’t offer that option.
By the way, the + and – buttons along the top of the mic are sort of easy to find when wearing summer gloves, but their size does present something of a challenge for thick fingers…although once you get used to their location, it’s not too bad.
Having to lift the face shield on the SWITX SX10 to access the buttons is kind of a bother though.
The other issue is the thickness of the speakers. While their 10 mm thickness is remarkably svelte considering that they house the battery and the intercom circuitry, the dimension is still a bit thick for the helmet, despite the recess molded into the ear pockets of the SWITX SX10 helmet.
The thickness means that the speakers make the helmet fit tighter and adds a bit of pressure to the sides. We also wonder about the consequences of having a hard speaker next to your ear during a crash.
The Nexx SXCOM (Sena SMH3) intercom system is remarkable for its size, light weight, ease of use and overall simplicity. And don’t forget performance; it does pretty much everything you’d expect from a modern motorcycle intercom system.
The Sena connection is a good indication of the quality expected from the system, both in terms of performance and build quality. A two-year warranty backs it up.
The price is right too, although Nexx distribution in the U.S.A. seems to be limited at this time for some reason.
This also may be the intercom system for hackers and experimenters to try. It looks like it might be fairly easy to fit it into just about any full-face helmet, with maybe a mod to slice the cheek pad open and stuff the boom mic through.
Between the super-cool Nexx SWITX SX10 helmet and the SXCOM intercom, Nexx is really on a roll in 2014!