Sena Cavalry Helmet Review
Sena has long been one of the leading companies in the realm of wireless motorcycle helmet connectivity. Offering a plethora of Bluetooth devices from which to choose for both full-face and open-face helmets, with a variety of features including rider-to-rider communication, smartphone pairing for placing and receiving phone calls, listening to music and GPS directions, Sena makes wearing a helmet more enjoyable regardless of style or brand. With the introduction of the Cavalry half-helmet Sena is embarking on the most obvious next step in the company’s evolution – integrating its communication technology with its own proprietary helmets.
The Cavalry is the first salvo of this bold new product line, with a long-promised full-face helmet featuring noise-cancelling technology on its way later this year. If the full-face helmet delivers on its promises as well as the Cavalry has, Sena should have no problem establishing itself as a major motorcycle helmet manufacturer, because the technology powering the Cavalry helmet simply works, and works well.
As an all-in-one helmet, the first apparent nicety is its no-assembly-required nature. Once out of the box you simply pair the 10R module with your smartphone, and you’re good to go. With factory installation you also enjoy the benefit of no exposed wiring, affording the Cavalry a clean look.
The 10R is Sena’s smallest and lightest communicator. The shell of the DOT approved Cavalry is constructed of fiberglass, and the whole helmet weighs 2.3 pounds. The 10R enjoys the latest Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the ability to be conversing with four riding buddies at distances up to a half-mile away, and 10 hours of talk time. Unlike the standard 10R, though, is the lack of a boom microphone that would have you looking like a call center employee.
Located in the underside brow of the helmet is the microphone that does an incredible job of picking up the wearer’s voice and reducing wind noise, which there’s a lot of with an open-face helmet. Conversations at speeds up to 55 mph were clear without me having to raise my voice. A severe cross-wind during one conversation limited voice clarity to 40 mph, so the microphone’s effectiveness is somewhat dependent on weather conditions.
The Cavalry comes with two different ear inserts to help reduce wind noise and increase the sounds you want to hear from the speakers. It was a little chilly so I chose to install the larger of the two inserts. Regardless of temperature, however, the inserts definitely help reflect music for your listening pleasure, or to better hear phone conversations or GPS directions. The larger inserts are lined with the same fabric found in the helmet for comfort, slip around the chin straps, and have tabs that insert between the shell and EPS liner for easy installation and removal.
The Cavalry is available in Glossy Black and Matt Black in sizes XS – XXL for $349. A Sena 10R communicator retails for $239, plus the price of a half helmet. For the money, how well the technology works, the cleanliness of factory installation, and the fact that there’s no goofy boom mic or external speakers makes this helmet well worth its price tag. For more information or to purchase check out Sena.com.