Sena has "dumbed down" the Sena R1 Evo helmet.

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Iowa
I have owned 4 Sena R1 Evo helmets for a couple of years and we love using the mesh intercom system when riding. I decided to add a 5th R1 Evo to my collection for times when a "guest" joins our riding group. This has happened in the past and that person always feels "left out" as the rest of us are freely communicating over the mesh intercom.

Well, I purchased a new R1 Evo. The price had gone up $30 which didn't surprise me with inflation. The first change I noticed was that they had replaced the micro USB connector for charging with a USB-C ... definitely an improvement. Then I began discovering what they had eliminated. First and formost, the newest version of the R1 Evo no longer supports voice commands. Everything has to be controlled through the buttons or app. Second, they eliminated the FM radio receiver. It still has the capability for phone pairing for phone calls and playing music.

At least the mesh intercom still works and is compatible with the older version of the R1-Evo's that I already have. It is the main reason I bought another helmet, so I will keep it as a helmet to use when a fifth rider joins us. That said it seems the speaker volume at max volume is not quite as loud on the new helmet as it is on the older ones. It is acceptable, but disappointing. Pay more and get less ... that must be the current thinking by Sena ... very disappointing. Sigh!
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Iowa
The 1.0 firmware was pretty awful, but the voice commands worked very well after they updated the firmware. We use the voice commands all the time. The only issue I still have is with some false positives on the "trigger" command which is "Hello Sena". Sometimes ambient noise triggers it and you get the "Say a command" prompt. But it is easy to just say "Stop" and you are back to normal. I can understand that the FM radio feature was probably not that popular of an option, but for those in my group using the helmets I bought, it is the only feature besides the mesh intercom that we actually used on occasion. I can live without FM radio, but it makes me angry that they remove features and increase the price. And I know it is my own fault for not doing better research, but it was not obvious when I bought the new helmet that cost $30 more that I was not getting the same features I got previously on the exact same model. Maybe if they had changed the model name to something like R1 Evo Minus or R Minus One Evo it would have been an indication that major changes had been made in the feature set. It is almost kind of comical because the sales person at my LBS where I bought it asked if I wanted to "try it on" or needed any info about it. I just said "No, I already own 4 of them" and he said "Oh wow, you know more about it than I do". Little did I know (and little did he know)!
 
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Mkj

Member
Hi I'm looking to purchase a sena r1 evo helmet & I would really like the fm radio for my commute to work there's an orange one on eBay but I don't know if it has fm radio or not? Help please Thanks
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Hi I'm looking to purchase a sena r1 evo helmet & I would really like the fm radio for my commute to work there's an orange one on eBay but I don't know if it has fm radio or not? Help please Thanks
If that R1 on eBay is used, chances are it's an older unit which does have the FM radio. You can always ask the eBay vendor.

As mentioned in another thread, if you can do without the voice command feature and expanded mesh intercom, try the older Sena X1. They are still available on Amazon and you can always return it if it doesn't work out.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Iowa
Another way to tell if the R1 Evo is the original release or the newer one without the FM and voice commands is to check whether its charging cable is a micro USB connector or a USB C. The original R1 Evo used a micro USB cable while the new release uses a USB C cable
 

Mkj

Member
If that R1 on eBay is used, chances are it's an older unit which does have the FM radio. You can always ask the eBay vendor.

As mentioned in another thread, if you can do without the voice command feature and expanded mesh intercom, try the older Sena X1. They are still available on Amazon and you can always return it if it doesn't work out.
 

Mkj

Member
Trying to find a Sena R1 visor in large looked on Amazon all small or medium the ones I found in large are massive shipping costs to the UK
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
This one is available directly from Bell for $10 US with free shipping:


I don't know if it applies to the UK or not though.