Several brand names in the motorcycle world are easily recognizable. Still, few stand out in their specific fields as Sena does in the Bluetooth intercom world.
Better known for its revolutionary motorcycle headsets like the SMH10, the South Korean brand also likes to dip its toe in different areas.
Not only do they provide intercom systems to brands such as NEXX, they also moved the needle of innovation by merging audio and video in their 10C units.
This means it wasn’t a surprise when they rolled out a helmet of their own, even if they aren’t trying to become a premium manufacturer. Still, they rolled out a solid range of helmets that shine by including the brand’s integrated Bluetooth 4.1 systems as a part of the assembly.
They developed a lineup worth getting to know using details from double D-ring fasteners to new noise-canceling tech.
- The Lowdown on the Sena Momentum
- The Sena Momentum Lineup, from Lite to INC Pro and EVO
- Safety on the Sena Momentum Lineup
- Tech and Noise Management
- Comfort and Build Quality
- Recommendations and Where to Buy
The Lowdown on the Sena Momentum
It is not uncommon to see brands trying something new without going full in, and Sena’s approach to their Momentum helmets lineup is no different.
With ECE in only some helmets, it is clear that the EU market is not the brand’s focus. With only DOT available in all helmets, Sena decided to forgo top safety regulations like ECE or FIM.
If the price tag between $399 and $699 may seem high for a helmet without top certifications, it becomes a bargain when considering everything their smart helmets offer from build quality to state-of-the-art tech.
They reduced wind noise by blending the intercom system with the shell. This move provides seamless airflow while increasing safety in case of a crash.
They accomplished the same on the INC PRO, which features an integrated camera – producing a safer and slicker end result than a GoPro strapped on to a helmet.
If you are looking for a superior fit and finish, a drop-down sun visor, or a wide range of colors and graphics, this may not be the helmet for you. Yet, if you are looking for a streamlined and inconspicuous option for a smart helmet, you can’t go wrong with the Momentum.
Using only a two-shell construction, sizes are limited. Still, the medium oval to long oval design will suit most North American riders. This makes the Momentum’s perfect for everyone looking for a Bluetooth helmet packed with features.
The Sena Momentum Lineup, from Lite to INC Pro and EVO
With six helmets to their name, picking the right Momentum helmet may become confusing – let’s break them down.
- Sena Momentum Lite
- Cheapest, with older tech
- Sena Momentum
- The original Momentum helmet
- Sena Momentum INC
- INC = Intelligent Noise Control (noise cancelling)
- Sena Momentum Pro
- QHD Camera on top
- Sena Momentum INC Pro
- INC and a camera
- Sena Momentum EVO
- Better fit and finish version of the original Momentum, with Mesh connectivity
Sena Momentum and Sena Momentum Lite
The Sena Momentum and Sena Momentum Lite are pictured below, and as you can see they’re identical helmets. Both are 3 pounds and 11 ounces of a flawless pairing of fiberglass shell and Sena technology.
The Sena Momentum packs a 20S unit pre-integrated, allowing you to connect to up to 8 riders with a range of up to 1 mile in perfect conditions. The Lite helmet sports the older 10S unit, which only allows intercom between 4 participants. The other major difference between these two helmets is that while both are Pinlock-ready, only the Momentum ships with a Pinlock 120 Max Vision anti-fog insert in the box.
Compared to the standalone Sena units, the units built in to these helmets are able to accommodate larger batteries (so better battery life) and more weather-resistant components. Big wins.
Both helmets have small vents on the chin and top of the head, and an exhaust port at the rear (found across the lineup). It’s easy to see that quietness is the goal over ventilation. Without changeable pad sizes and a tight opening port that will feel snug, we see more moves to make this helmet extra quiet.
Both helmets come in DOT and ECE certified versions.
Sena Momentum INC
Intelligent Noise Control, or INC, is the move when it comes to noise control, allowing you to keep noise to levels below 100 decibels at 65mph.
A few years ago, the Korean brand released Ambient Audio that allows you to better listen to outside noises with the helmet on. INC is the opposite – reducing or canceling outside and wind noise. In our tests, this means even better perception of the noises you do care about, like vehicles approaching from behind.
While remaining similar to the previous models, the INC is only DOT approved.
Sena Momentum Pro
Building upon the previous model, the Momentum Pro took a different path from the INC. Instead of going the quiet route, they went the video recording one.
Without 4K as an option, this integral HD camera supports 1080p in 30 and 60fps or 1440p in 30fps while using the exact audio definition found in the 20S.
The weight increases slightly to around 4 pounds, and in terms of certification, you can count on DOT alone.
Sena Momentum INC Pro
If the name didn’t give it up, this unit blends the INC and Momentum Pro into one, making the INC Pro an excellent unit for those looking for a quiet helmet that can seamlessly record your rides.
This helmet is only DOT-approved.
Sena Momentum EVO
Sena says the EVO has a different shell and fit, modified to improve ventilation and comfort. In addition, Sena integrated their top-of-the-line Mesh system into this helmet, similar to the one found on their 30K standalone sets.
With voice commands, regular Bluetooth buttons on the left, and Mesh interface on the right, you can seamlessly control music, intercom, and GPS. This smart helmet also comes with a Pinlock visor included.
This full face helmet is DOT and ECE certified.
Safety on the Sena Momentum Lineup
Double D-rings and multi-density EPS are known winners in helmet safety, and both were chosen for the Momentum lineup.
In the same way, a generous view-port will allow for a comfortable field of view with no peripheral issues.
Without high visibility colors available on the Momentum lineup, the offer for reflection is slim but existent. On the neck roll, you will find reflective material that is bound to improve your visibility. A much-welcomed add-on to a helmet you can only buy in glossy white or matte black.
The composite fiberglass shell isn’t a bold choice but definitely a step up from the plastic option chosen by many. This makes this helmet a solid option for the price tag one would expect to see on it if all the electronics were extra.
Although FIM certification is not an option and ECE doesn’t cover the range, DOT is standard.
In terms of safety, this helmet is pure and honest. Strip down the integrated tech, and you will find a helmet ready to go pound-by-pound with any offer at the same price range, and that is worth noting.
They could’ve chosen to cheap out and make an inferior helmet fueled by electronics alone, but they didn’t. The choice to use composite materials for the shell provides a much safer and solid unit than cheaper plastic. A definite win for the brand and the consumer.
Claustrophobic for some, the snug liner will have a racing feel for many. This liner snugness will allow the helmet to sit closer to the face removing gaps and improving safety as it does so.
Tech and Noise Management
Known for their bulletproof materials and easy-to-use interfaces on their standalone Bluetooth intercom units, Sena’s helmets are no different.
If you have never used one of their systems, the first thing that you will realize is how intuitive they are. Button interfaces are minimal, with just 3 buttons tucked on the left side of the Momentum helmets. Voice commands rule the show.
Similar to their other products, voice commands and audio multitasking are available when riding your motorcycle over any terrain. The chin and breath guard allow this feature to perform even when riding with an open visor.
Pairing other riders, phones, FM radio, or a GPS is as easy as it is on their standalone devices like the Sena 20s. This allows for a seamless transition for those familiar with their systems.
Speakers and INC
Although not known for having the best integrated speakers on the market, Sena has always been solid when it comes to sound quality. So when integrating their tried-and-tested speakers into a super quiet helmet that can come with noise-cancelling INC, you are bound for an incredible sound quality experience.
Not choosing to go with JBL like Cardo, Sena optimized the sound profile through aerodynamic helmet design and smart speaker positioning. Some may say Sena just opted for the cheaper option, but they still didn’t fail at their goal – since the sound quality on Momentum helmets is premium.
Extended Battery Life
If all this wasn’t enough, they decided to give us a set it and forget it system of sorts. If you know their standalone devices, you are familiar with the need to charge the unit every couple of rides or every day if you are on a trip. Their helmets, however, are a different ball game.
Equipped with a lithium polymer battery, the brand claims their helmet takes around 2.5 hours to charge, using a plug on the right side of the helmet. This allows approximately 20 hours of talk time and 2 hours of video recording (for the PRO). These numbers will be enough for many to forget they even have to charge the helmet in the first place.
Momentum Pro: Video Recording at its finest?
Speaking of video, the Momentum Pro has a 135-degree field of view, supported by an f/2.0 lens.
Although on paper that sounds great, many point out that it is not an excellent option for moto vlogging, if that is your thing.
Uploading rides in the best quality will be challenging without much image contrast, stabilization, or 4K capabilities. Still, in what they call Quad HD at 1440p 30fps or 1080p in 30 or 60fps, this is not a bad camera. This makes it an excellent choice for many, either as a dash-cam or a no-hassle way to register adventures.
Likewise, audio recording may also be an issue if uploading high quality is what you need. It is easy to find reports on how the audio is too compressed when exported to the memory card that can support up to 64 GB, making it hard to use in editing. It is possible they may improve on that in future firmware updates, but there are no guarantees.
Momentum EVO: Auto-updating, Mesh-enabled
When it comes to the EVO, they took things a step forward and equipped the unit with a charging cable that features a Sena WiFi adapter. What this means is your helmet can upgrade its own firmware while you charge it – no more having to fiddle with your computer to load on an update.
Cardo came out with Mesh technology before Sena, but having this feature available on the EVO at the touch of a button is a game-changer, especially if you ride in groups. This moved the EVO to another level of smart helmets – which rarely come equipped with Mesh.
One important note is regarding warranties. Although Sena’s tech is solid, no tech is bulletproof, and problems exist from time to time. On these helmets, any tech issue means you have to send the entire helmet back, something that when using the standalone units is not an issue – you can still use your helmet.
If you have multiple helmets, this will not affect you. However, if you aim for this to be your only helmet, it is definitely something to keep in mind.
Comfort and Build Quality
When debating comfort and built quality, one needs to put things into perspective before anything else. For the Momentum lineup, that means removing the value of the electronics that equip them, in order to compare these helmets with similarly-priced offerings that ship without any electronics.
This back-of-the-napkin math isn’t bulletproof, as it does not account for the value of the practicality of having a one in all solution. But it does allow us to figure out where this helmet sits in the marketplace.
Breaking Down the Costs
Considering that a Sena 10S standalone unit costs around $215, and a Sena 20S a little over that, we can assume the Momentum helmets without electronics would sit around the $200 price point.
Knowing what the markets offer in that price range, the Sena Momentum is a true champion of build quality. With an attention to detail and fit and finish that many expensive helmets lack, Sena produced a showstopper in the helmet department alone.
It is not impossible to find places where Sena could’ve done more, however. An example is the shallow venting channels that don’t allow the only two vents situated on the chin and top of the helmet to flow much air through the helmet and to the rear exhaust port. However, more air means more noise, so it is an understandable trade-off considering their goal.
We could say the same about the face shield, which lacks detents (locking notches) between the fully open and fully closed positions. Even though there is a way to keep it slightly open, this doesn’t allow much airflow. It’s debatable if Sena did this to stop riders from riding with the visor cracked, which would introduce more noise into the helmet.
A drop down sun visor is also not available, but again, not a big complaint on a $200 helmet.
Although limited to matte black and glossy white, the paintwork is very well accomplished, making it look like a much more expensive unit. This is even more noticeable when applied on top of a composite shell, and not a cheap plastic option.
It is no surprise for a knowledgeable crowd that fiberglass isn’t the most exclusive composite used in helmets. However, pretty much everyone agrees it’s a much better option than plastic. When merging their composite fiberglass shell with a multi-density EPS liner, Sena earned ECE certification on some of its helmets.
To help you keep your helmet fresh, Sena offers a removable liner and a chin curtain that are fully washable and easy to remove and install.
Although the liners could be plushier, they are on par with the price range and will still allow for a very comfortable ride. This is true even when considering some of the negative reviews regarding fit and finish on some of the stitching and layovers.
Being built out of only two shells, no Sena full-face helmet will accommodate all head sizes. Still, kudos are due to the brand. By choosing to embrace their choice and not offering their helmets in all possible sizes, they kept great comfort and safety in sizes M, L, and XL.
Recommendations and Where to Buy
If you are looking for an all-in-one option when it comes to connectivity, you can’t go wrong with the Momentum full face helmets.
You can choose any helmet and add an intercom system, but the Sena Momentum helmets outperform given their slick integrations with Bluetooth units, ease of use, extended battery life and exceptionally affordable price point. With all you are getting from Sena’s lineup, they are an excellent choice for most. We think the EVO is the standout, for its improved fit-and-finish and new Mesh technology.
If you’d like to get your hands on a Momentum, we’ve found the best price for you below on each helmet in the lineup.
Our recommendation is the Sena Momentum EVO – which was replaced in 2022 by the Stryker. You can find it below.
Strangely, the Momentum and Momentum Lite are now welling at the same price point as the newer EVO, so we recommend going with the EVO if you were considering either of those. The EVO is better in every way!
Here are the best prices on the INC and Pro variants:
|Sena Momentum INC||Noise-cancelling speakers|
|Sena Momentum Pro||HD camera on top|
|Sena Momentum INC Pro||Noise-cancelling speakers with HD camera on top|
Are Sena helmets good?
The simple answer is yes! The helmet itself is a well-rounded option for anyone looking for a comfortable yet straightforward helmet. With good safety ratings and packed with the latest Bluetooth 4.1 tech, this helmet is a no-brainer.
Excellent battery life, good range, good build quality, and solid technology make these more than a good purchase. They are a solid and stress-free investment for anyone looking for a quality, easy to use solution.
How do you charge a Momentum helmet?
On the right side of the helmet you will find the charging ports on all Momentum helmets. The EVO, with a port in the same location, is also equipped with a WiFi system built in to the cable that allows for firmware updates to occur while charging the helmet.
How do you use the Sena Smartphone app for Bluetooth helmets?
The smartphone app’s layout is simple and intuitive, coming with a quick guide to the app and helmet in the app itself. The app is available on both iOS and Android.
In the app, you can adjust audio profiles, device pairings, speed dial numbers, FM radio stations and your group intercom participants. For the Pro helmets, you will also find camera settings and controls, allowing you to preview live videos and organize your recordings. The app connects to the helmet via Bluetooth.
Sena continues to update the app and the helmet firmware in response to rider feedback, allowing you to continue to get the most out of your helmet without having to buy a new unit.