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Sena SF4 review

Theres nothing worse than getting all excited about a shiny new toy only to be disappointed by a total trainwreck of a product.

Lets go trough this “bullet point”and “pros & cons” style:

Cons first

  • The included speakers are just not good. Seriously, its 2019 and china is selling tiny little bluetooth earbuds that sound better than this headset for less than 1/4 the price. The speakers are very small which could be good in some scenarios but then they went and ruined that by using heavy gauge wire. I had more trouble trying to route the speaker wires than anything else…they are so thick that they would make my head hurt unless run perfectly in the ventilation channels in my helmet. Bulky wires aside, the main problem here is the sound quality. I don’t know why they couldn’t use the same speakers from the other new headsets.
  • It didn’t come with a freakin car charger. I can’t imagine it would have effected the price much (if at all) to include a dang car charger. Because it didn’t come with one I was forced to try the one from my old headset that supplies 12 volts not the standard 5 volts of a usb connector. I knew that this could be a possible problem so I contacted Sena first to confirm it was ok. I was informed that it would be fine and everything would work…….I was informed incorrectly. There were no sparks or explosions but the headset did not charge at all, it did power the unit though, so I was forced to ride all day with the dorky cable stuck to my helmet just to the keep the thing powered. I know that all I needed was a usb charger with a micro usb cable but why on earth couldn’t Sena just include one like all their other units?!
  • This is probably kind of knit-picky but the latch that holds the unit into the clamp is REALLY freaking stiff. It takes 2 hands to get the unit in the clamp…one to hold the latch up and the other to push the unit in, then you can let go of the latch.
  • Other than the new exterior, it’s nothing new. Really, there is no innovation here whatsoever. If you have a 10R and are looking at the SF4…don’t…..its exactly the same and actually lacks a pretty key feature that the 10R has.
  • No audio multitasking! It does feature “audio overlay” which was Senas marketing departments way of saying “it makes all your audio jumble together and useless”. Instead of managing the volumes of your various inputs like audio multitasking does to ensure you don’t miss anything important, the audio overlay just throws it all on your ears at the same volume. “Play it all and let god sort em out.” Audio overlay is a non-feature.
  • Why why why on earth does it take a week of use, frustration, and trial & error to figure this thing out?! I’ve had Sena headsets for a long time now and I thought I was pretty good at getting them to work but this damn thing made me want to pull someone else’s hair out. It took me over a week of daily use to get the GPS, headset, and phone to play nice……most of the problem, I think, was the audio overlay “feature”. I couldn’t get the volumes of everything where I needed them… minute my GPS is screaming at me and then I could barely hear my music then the GPS couldn’t be heard over the music and sometimes the music would pause to let the GPS speak and the music just wouldn’t come back even by manually pausing and playing with the buttons on the Sena…..heaven forbid I get a phone call in the middle of it all. Now I know it gets messy pairing a GPS and phone with a Sena but this was just plain unusable…..I gave up and turned off the GPS. For comparison, my new 30k just works….it just does all the things its supposed to and I don’t have to forfeit my GPS rights.
  • Sena SF Utility app…..just…no. It crashes constantly and doesn’t always make the changes when you select them. Also, why the heck does it require the headset be paired before I can access the user manual?! I was having trouble remembering how to pair for a group intercom and I wanted to sit and flip through the manual for a bit…well you cant unless the headset is on and paired to your phone.
  • Intercom voice quality is no good. I was in a group intercom of 3, including me, and the whole time the quality would fluctuate between barely acceptable and R2D2 speaking in tongues. The other members of the intercom could hear each other fine but said I sounded like a drowning robot and thats what they sounded like to me. I have the unit on the most recent firmware so I don’t know what was up.
  • Not compatible with the GP10. This problem isn’t exclusive to just this headset but it’s still annoying that Sena can’t get their products to work together. Maybe they will fix this with a firmware update someday….probably not though.
  • Price…..right now these are going for $197 on amazon. I just bought a dual pack of 30K’s for $440 so thats $220 each. Why in the world is this dumb thing only $20 less than the 30K?
  • It really feels like this was a product made by another company and Sena is just rebranding them. They have almost zero advertising going for these units, they are not selling well (cant imagine why) so there are no reviews on them, and there isn’t much support for them from the manufacturer…..they didn’t even know how to charge it. I could be wrong here but I think Sena is floundering right now. They stretched themselves too thin with all of these different models and custom models for helmet manufacturers and they cant focus on one thing long enough to actually improve. If the 30k doesn’t work out I’m switching to Cardo.


  • ….its kind of shiny I guess. OK none….theres just no pros here. This thing is a flop.

I wish I had more to say. I was looking forward to getting into specs and going in depth on this but the many MAJOR flaws that are right on the forefront of this thing make a detailed review pretty pointless.

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