Sena Outrush (and R) – Top-Rated Modular Bluetooth Helmet

A longtime leader in the powersports communication market, Sena now works with helmet manufacturers to pre-integrate their top-notch communication systems in to Sena-labeled shells. The results have varied from lackluster to refined, with the new Sena Outrush and Outrush R falling right on the tip of the best yet – and at an incredibly good price.

Sena outrush R in black and white
Source: Sena

We’ll break down all the features and specs of the Outrush and Outrush R below. All the information you see comes from online reviews and our personal experience with each.

History of Sena 

Sena Technologies, Inc. is the world’s leader in mobile communication solutions in the motorcycle and outdoor sports industry. So much so that the company was recently awarded the prestigious Best Brand Award in the “Communication Systems” category (2).

The company began with their first headset for motorcyclists in 2010, releasing its SMH10 unit (3). From then on, it led the Powersports communication category by innovating intercoms with integrated cameras, developing smart helmets, implementing Mesh intercom technology, and more.

In 2020, it launched its first-ever modular smart helmet—the Outrush (4). It gained traction in the market, leading them to release an updated version, called Outrush R, in May 2021. This new Sena has some great updates, including enhanced communication features with Bluetooth 5.0 and improved ergonomics (5).

We’ll discuss both helmets in this review.

Tech, Communication, and Noise

While the two are quite similar, there are a few tech, communication, and noise variations between the original Outrush (6) and Outrush R (7). Most notably, the Sena Outrush R comes with ECE certification, significantly improved speaker quality, and 4-way intercom instead of just 2-way. The bluetooth unit is also controlled via 3 buttons instead of a jog dial. See below for a detailed comparison:

Tech FeaturesSena OutrushSena Outrush R
Built-In Speakers & MicYesYes
HD SpeakersNoYes
IntercomHD, Two-WayHD, Four-Way
Intercom Range800 M / 0.5 MI900 M / 0.6 MI
PairingRegular PairingSmart Intercom Pairing via Sena Utility App
Advanced Noise Control™YesYes
Bluetooth ModuleVersatile Jog DialEasy-Access Buttons
Bluetooth ConnectionBluetooth 3.0Bluetooth 5.0
FM RadioYesYes
Voice PromptsYesYes
Firmware UpgradeableYesYes
Talk Time per Charge15 hours12 hours
Charging Time3 hours2.5 hours

Communication

Ease of communication is what Sena is known for, and these models are no exception.

Both let you communicate with other users through Bluetooth connection, with a working distance of up to 900 meters (0.6 miles) away, with up to 15 hours of use per charge. They also come with a Digital Noise Reduction System for clearer outputs, so you can block off the noise and communicate with minimal interference—even when riding through loud traffic. 

Riders chatting on the Outrush helmets
Source: Sena

Bluetooth Connection

Outrush R units have better Bluetooth connection, work from a farther range, and allow more connections than the original version. Outrush R versions also have Smart Intercom Pairing abilities by scanning a QR code on the Sena Utility App.

Nevertheless, both helmets are easy to pair with your smartphone and keep you digitally connected. They also support the following (7):

  • Headset Profile (HSP) – Connects to your phone
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP) – Extends functionality of HSP
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) – Allows for stereo audio
  • Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) – Allows for play, pause, skip etc

With these features, you can take phone calls, listen to GPS navigation instructions, enjoy FM radio music, and stay in touch with your fellow riders with HD intercom mode.

Bluetooth Module

In the original version, the module is mounted on the left side interior with a pass-through for the multifunctional jog dial (6). The jog dial allows you to change the FM station, adjust the volume, and control the intercom seamlessly.

Sena Outrush with chinbar up, off-angle
Source: Sena

On the other hand, on the Outrush R, the jog dial is exposed on the left exterior of the unit, but this placement still provides convenience and ease of control (7). Simply reach out to the side of your helmet to adjust the settings on the jog dial at the press of a button. Thankfully the life from the lithium polymer battery on this unit is solid, because the helmet has to be off to charge. The combined power data cable port is USB Type-C, a common standard these days. 

Sena Outrush R control panel
Source: Sena

Comfort and Design Specs

Next, let’s discuss the comfort and design specs of each. The two versions are nearly identical based on technical specifications:

Comfort FeaturesSena OutrushSena Outrush R
Weight1,785 g (63 oz)1,735 g (61 oz)
SizesS / M / L / XLS / M / L / XL / XXL
ColorsMatte Black / Glossy WhiteSame
ShellSingle shell polycarbonate ABS
Multi-density EPS
Same
VisorClear face shield and inner sun visor
Rapid-release feature
Scratch-resistant
UV-resistant
Fog resistant
Same
ComfortRemovable and washable headliner
Breathable mesh for airflow
Same
StrapSteel Emergency Release Buckle (Ratchet Strap)
Reinforced Chin Strap
Reflective Safety Patch
Same, except no Reflective Safety Patch
Ventilation SystemTop vent
Chin vent
Exhaust port
Same
SafetyDOT certifiedDOT, ECE, Dual homologation P/J
(certified whether chin bar is up or down)

The only differences are that Outrush R is a bit lighter, does not have the reflective safety patch and comes in bigger sizes (up to XXL). Beyond these details, the two helmets have exactly the same comfort and fit that Sena are known for, making them ideal for long rides.

Fit, Design, and Shape

Whether you choose the black or glossy white colorway, both have a smooth and sleek finish that is aerodynamic and has a contoured look from all sides. Everything is well fitted, where the insert pieces for chin and top intakes and rear exhaust spoiler covers are discreetly styled. There are no loose or unfinished edges (8).

It has an intermediate-oval shape that offers a relaxed fit for most people (8). Here is a size chart from Amazon (9) to help you determine your ideal sizing:

There is minimal break-in needed for you to feel comfortable in this helmet. The Sena Outrush models have more wiggle space and minimum pressure points than the Momentum EVO, for example.

The eye port is 21.3 cm (8.38 inches) wide and 10.3 cm (4.05 inches) deep (8). It’s relatively narrower than other competitors, but provides a good front and peripheral view nonetheless. Visual awareness isn’t an issue despite the seemingly restrictive design.

Moreover, unlike most helmets with a multi-layer edge sealing around the eye port, these ones have a silicone edge that’s more minimal. However, this piece still seals well against the face shield. This offers excellent noise control, and moisture ingress is kept to a minimum during wet weather trips.

If you wear eyeglasses, these units accommodate eyewear well. Not only can you slide your glasses in and out depending on whether the front piece is open or not, but the side front areas squeeze inwards when the front piece is closed, and this diminishes the frontal side clearances.

Riding across a bridge wearing Sena Outrush helmets
Source: Sena

Airflow

For a helmet packed with features, Outrush models are not suffocating for the wearer. This is mainly due to the three vents on each unit: the rear ventilation port, the top vent, and the one in the chin area. 

Sena helmets also have a special mesh that gives ample airflow within the unit. The combination of all these details makes them well-ventilated for all-day wear.

Here’s a breakdown of the ventilation intakes:

Ventilation Intake and Exhaust
Front Chin IntakeTwo angled side intakes & small up/down slider inside
Top Intake5.3 cm or 2.0 inch top intake (forward is closed and back is open) for ventilation from all sides
Rear ExhaustSmall rear ports on the left and right, hidden under spoiler inserts

At a speed of 65 mph, wind noise isn’t louder than other comparable models. Head buffeting isn’t an issue either, even if you have a shorter windshield on your motorcycle (10).

Overall, the Outrush helmet with built in Bluetooth has great airflow and noise management. Its shape and contouring do a good job minimizing buffeting and reducing noise levels, making it particularly effective in cockpits that have less frontal protection.

Chin Bar

Ease of operation of the modular chin bar is essential. Sena kept this in mind when they designed their chin bar.

While tolerances between the main shell and chin guard aren’t as tight as other similar units, heavy-duty cushioning and seal linings address the loose feel when it is fitted correctly (8). 

The chin bars also open with a glove-friendly thumb switch, easily unlatching the two metal pin locks. There are double air inlet vents controlled with an up-and-down switch, and it allows you to attach a chin skirt for more protection from winter winds (11).

Source: Revzilla

One of the common pain points for riders is the chin guard release. This problem is nonexistent with these helmets, as the chin guard releases and engages securely, all with an instant release ratchet strap design and reinforced strap (12).

The chin guard can also be locked in its fully-raised, open position with a simple push of the small slider on the right. This unique feature is useful when the unit is dismounted or when you want to ride at very slow speeds without worrying that the chin guard will drop unexpectedly.

Face Shield

Whichever season you want to ride in, the shield is conveniently fog-free, UV-resistant, and E9 marked (7). You can exhale warm breaths without fogging up your vision, and enjoy the sunlight without harming your eyes. The top inward edging and bottom angle work great as well, protecting your eyes and reducing any noise and moisture.

The face shields are well-built, with four robust position detents that can withstand strong crosswinds. Even with swirls from a tractor-trailer when changing lanes, the shield remains firmly in the position it’s supposed to be (11).

These are the five settings on their face shields:

  • P1: Fully closed and secured in place
  • P2: Unlocked, with a 2-3mm opening
  • P3: 30% open
  • P4: 70% open
  • P5: Fully open
Source: Revzilla

Sun Visor

The visor has a dark tint that reduces glare without sacrificing visibility. The slide control angled on the left side of the drop down sun visor works seamlessly, with a “click” sound once the visor is lifted. If you want to secure it further, an extra push on the slider makes the visor drop down another 5 to 8 mm. This allows you to adjust the drop or coverage according to the position of your eyes.

If you want to remove the sun visor, simply lower it and pull one side outwards to release the tab. Once it’s separated from the unit, repeat the same procedure on the other side. Should you want to reinstall it, reverse this process to fit it right back into the unit.

On-the-Road Reviews

Now that we’ve broken down the features of both helmets, check out these reviews:

Outrush (Original) Real Review

Outrush R Real Review

Source: Xtreme Helmets

5 Year Warranty and Support

All Sena helmets come with a generous five-year warranty (13). 

Warranty service from Sena is only available via the sales channels where you purchased the helmet, except if you’re in the United States (14). Here are the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) procedures, depending on where you live:

United States

  • Contact the place you purchased from to get Return Merchandise Authorization from the store.
  • Contact the company directly through its Contact Support for Return Merchandise Authorization straight from the manufacturer.

Other Regions

  • Contact the place you purchased from to get Return Merchandise Authorization from the store.
  • If you experience any difficulty in contacting the store, visit Sena’s Contact Support page.

Sena Outrush – Final Thoughts

The Sena Outrush and Outrush R are brilliant entry-level helmets suitable for most riders under most conditions. While they don’t sport the best ventilation, the widest eyeport, the most advanced intercom or the most cutting-edge shell they solidly deliver everything that 90% of motorcycle riders need on 90% of their rides – solid device and intercom connectivity, quality construction and clean lines.

The best part? They’re priced less than a top notch Sena unit, without the helmet. A bargain if you ask us!

Smart Modulars: Sena Outrush VS BILT Techno 3.0 

The BILT Techno 3.0 is another integrated smart modular helmet we’ve reviewed before – how does it stack up against the Sena Outrush?

BILT Techno 3.0 Sena Outrush R 
Helmet Features:
– Injection-molded alloy composite modular shell
– Modular helmet with pull-up chin bar
– Double D-ring strap safety fastening system
– Clear Pinlock ready face shield with drop-down visor
– Fast release push button chin bar operation
– Multi-point surface mounted airflow ventilation system
– Removable moisture-wicking comfort padded lining
Helmet Features:
– Polycarbonate shell with multi-density EPS liner
– Modular helmet with pull-up chin bar
– Steel quick release buckle system
– Fast release ratchet strap and drop
-down internal visor
– Fast release push button chin bar operation
– Top and chin vents with a rear port
– Removable, washable, quick-dry liner
Bluetooth Specifications:
– Integrated Sena DWO-6 Bluetooth 4.1 system
– Up to 4-way voice support
– Intercom max distance of up to 900m (0.6 miles)
– Up to 8 hour talk time w/7-day stand-by time
– Voice operated phone and intercom communication
– Automatic audio boost in noisy environments
– Phone conference
– Music sharing
– Speed dial
– Last number redial
– Smartphone app supported
– Compatible with Sena Remote Control devices (sold separately)
Bluetooth Specifications:
– Sena’s latest Bluetooth 5.0 system
– Up to 4-way voice support
Intercom max distance of up to 900m (0.6 miles)
– Up to 12 hour talk time with every 3-hour charge
– Voice operated phone and intercom communication
– Sena Digital Noise Reduction System for clearer outputs
– Phone conference
– Music sharing
– Speed dial
– Last number redial
– Smartphone app supported
– Smart Pairing via Sena Utility App
– Built-in FM radio

If Pinlock visors or a D-ring strap are important for you, pick up the BILT Techno 3.0. But really, it’s hard to go wrong between the BILT Techno and Sena Outrush. They’re both strong contenders and ideal choices for smart helmets, regardless of your riding style.

FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions you may have:

What is the best modular helmet? 

In our opinion (as with other online reviews we’ve found as well), Sena Outrush helmets are one of the best and most reasonably-priced smart options on the market. Alternatively, the BILT Techno 3.0 makes a great choice as well. Both give you reliable, basic intercom and entertainment systems at affordable prices.

Should I buy a modular helmet? Is it better than a full-face helmet?

The decision ultimately comes down to your priorities as a motorcycle rider. 

In a nutshell, modular ones, like Sena modular Bluetooth helmets, are ideal for those who want the convenience of pulling up the chin bar for airflow increase. Full-face helmets, on the other hand, give optimum protection in high-speed rides and tend to be lighter and quieter than their modular counterparts (15).

What is the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet? 

Given that Sena is the global leader in Bluetooth communication solutions for motorcycle and outdoor sports, any helmets equipped with its technologies are great choices. Any of the Outrush helmets and even the BILT Techno 3.0 come with Sena’s great features.

If you want to know more about Bluetooth  motorcycle helmets, see our homepage.

Are full-face helmets quieter than modular ones?

Generally, yes, full-face units tend to be quieter than modular ones. However, wind noise levels are highly and inevitably subjective from one rider to another. Moreover, other factors such as loose fits, windscreen size, and fairing in relation to your height can all affect the noise level more than the difference between full-face and modular.

Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

The UK SHARP helmet safety ratings system says that modular helmets offer similar protection as full-faced ones. However, their system uses a one-hit crash testing procedure, despite the reality that motorcycle accidents can often involve multiple hits to the ground at different angles. Even models that rate high in the SHARP system may still be prone to failing a lock retention test (17).

Compared to full-face, modular helmets do provide less protection during a crash considering they are less rigid. This is also why they are not allowed in professional motorcycle racing, and are better suited for casual rides. They can protect you from serious injury during a crash, although they don’t provide as much protection as full-shell defense does.