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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sena 20K speaker choice and EQ settings: I've been riding with the Sena 20K headset for a bit over a year, and I have been a bit dissatisfied with the overall volume and clarity. In my debaffled V&H Cruzier pipes, I couldn't hear the intercom very well at 70 MPH. I tried the Sena HD speakers, which helped but not as much as I'd like. As an engineer, I was VERY disappointed with Sena claiming "50% better clarity". How do you rate clarity in percentage? So I got out my measuring mics, and measured them myself.

Here is the overall volume difference between the old speakers and the HD speakers. It shows an overall level increase of about 6 dB in the bass, 3 dB in the middle and 6 dB in the highs. (3 dB is considered just noticeable and 10 dB is considered twice as loud).

Then I measured what effect the different settings had on the sound, by turning off HD mode (Green), then turning it on and trying the different EQ settings. What's interesting is the "BASS" setting doesn't increase the bass, but instead cuts the middle and high (gray line). It also shows that just turning on HD mode without any EQ adds a a lot of clarity in the high end (3-6 dB). Using the "TREBLE" setting boosts it even more (6-12 dB). So it appears most of the added clarity from the HD speakers actually comes from the EQ settings and not from the new speakers themselves. Of course, Sena wants you to buy the HD speakers and warns you of danger if you enable HD mode without HD speakers. However, I highly doubt any risk of damage by using HD mode without the HD speakers. Save yourself the $40 and use HD mode with the original speakers.

Lastly, I decided to try my hand at aftermarket speakers. I ordered a pair of Peerless HPD-50N25PR00-32 drivers. They are bigger than the original speakers (50mm vs 40mm). I had to make custom covers for them, so they really aren't plug and play. I measured them to see how they compare.

They have around the same total output as compared to the HD speakers. However, they have a noticeable dip around 200 Hz and a massive peak around 2000 Hz, and a smaller peak around 10000 Hz. These are important for voice. 200 Hz makes voice sound muddy, while 2000 Hz gives a voice tonality clarity and 10000 Hz gives a voice sibilant clarity. If you absolutely need the best clarity with this system, grab a pair of the Peerless HPD-50N25PR00-32 drivers and set your Sena to HD mode. Otherwise, just use the original speakers in HD mode and enjoy!
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