We Reviewed Sena’s X1 Smart Cycling Helmet

With X1 Smart Cycling Helmet I can answer a call, listen to the radio or a podcast, and still hear the sounds of the city around me.

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Find it at: sena.com
Price: 199.00 USD

The X1 is equipped with a fully integrated Bluetooth bicycle communication system, allowing you to connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.1 and to communicate with up to three riding companions through the built-in intercom system. The X1 provides you with a safe method for listening to music, making phone calls, and receiving fitness data through the helmet’s high quality audio speakers. It recharges with a simple usb cable

Tell Your Friends
Answer a call, listen to the radio or a podcast, this helmet allows you to ride without fiddling with your phone. Use GPS navigation without taking your eyes of the road. No earbuds needed so hearing is not impaired as you navigate the city streets. Using this helmet on my daily commute to work I really enjoyed being able to listen to what I wanted and still feel safe.

Wish List
The user interface is just three buttons. So you’ll need to keep the sheet of instructions with you for a few days until you can remember all the functions and button combinations. The three buttons are so simple and at the same time sort of like learning to program a VCR. The intercom function works very well, but navigating the right buttons to press to link two helmets took several attempts.

Ideal User
This is a sleek helmet that does not feel any different than a regular helmet. It is best suited for the recreational rider looking to listen to music or podcasts on their ride in a safe way. The X1 is also perfect for a pair of cyclists touring together who would appreciate the ability to talk to each other with ease even if they are 100 feet or even up to half a mile apart.

Summary
At first it felt weird to be listening to podcasts and music on my ride in the city, I was self conscious that people around me could hear everything. But I soon realized that the sound does not travel far. I also appreciated the ability to hear traffic and the sounds around me. This is a very discreet and simple system that packs advanced noise control and speakers that sound clean and crisp.


Gwendal Castellan lives in Vancouver BC, Canada. His rides have been as long as 25,000 km but are now mostly short trips around the city or out to the nearest camping location for an overnight in nature.

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6 Comments

  • Ron

    How about the sound quality and volume?

  • Eric

    I like this helmet overall. It looks good and looks to be well designed, engineered, ergonomic, etc. One major concern I have with this (as with any bike helmet) is longevity. No bike helmet lasts forever and periodically needs to be replaced as with anything, the materials will degrade over time. And from a safety perspective, bike helmets should be replaced every couple of years(or even more frequently) depending on use. Also, as technology changes, so too will the long term usability of “wearable tech”. The one downside I see here is what I call “disposable tech”.

  • Theron

    What about fit? Is it comfortable, cool? What type of sizeing system? Just pads or something similar to the Giro or Bell system? Not enough info in this review.

  • Tom

    Interesting idea, but not a very good promo video. Instead of wasting so much time with the GPS directions (“Turn left” “Turn right” Turn left” “Turn right” – we get it!) they may have been able to sell me one of these if they demonstrated how the “100 feet or even a half-mile” intercom works, as this feature would be MUCH more useful to me than GPS or Bluetooth phone capability when I’m on a bike path with my wife for the hundredth time.

    Also, could I really leave a $200 helmet AND MY iPHONE on the bike like that if I were to go into a coffee shop? 😉

  • Colin

    I was wondering if it was waterproof, but can’t find any mention on the Sena web site.

    • Samuel Cawkell

      Hi Colin, the helmet is water resistant not waterproof. You can get it wet but Sena doesn’t recommend submerging it in water.

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