Cruising Solutions headsets, testing the Bluetooth update

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Norton Rider says:

    These new headsets are pretty cool but pricey.
    Our new-to-us boat came with a set of the older, Mariner 500 Headsets and my wife and I love them. They are not cool looking and suffer occasional static or interference, but they still are much better than shouting.
    I recommend the addition of a lanyard for the headsets used by a person tending lines and fenders. This will prevent them from going in the drink if they get knocked over.

  2. Ryan Nap says:

    Ben, how are the headsets at noise control? On my sportfish, we have been looking for a solution to tame the noise levels while running, as well as provide some “team communications”. These seem to fit the bill, at first glance.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Seemed quite good to me, Ryan; remember that the manufacturer is largely focused on the motorcycle market.

  4. My wife and I are sending these units back to Amazon today. We’ve tried them onboard our 53′ trawler for 2 weeks and they simply have too much noise interference for our taste. I corresponded several times with SENA tech support, and they could only suggest doing a factory reset and turning on noise interference capability. We did both to no avail. Maybe we received bum units.
    We have also tried the EarTec’s and don’t like the “dangling wire” that seems to get caught on just about everything.
    Are there any other good options?

  5. emsusa says:

    Take a look at Yapalong. We have tested them (limited) and think they have promise. Definitely need a 3rd party headset, the ones they ship with are toys.
    We would love to see an IP66 or 67 enclosure. I took one apart and it is a single board, so a more robust enclosure seems within reach.

  6. Howard says:

    I will make a qualified recommendation- They have a variety of headset styles. I would recommend the situational awareness headset that has only one ear with a speaker. You will need the following parts: Wireless multichannel base. It will support up to 5 headsets. The headset I would recommend is UHW-51S.
    You can charge the headsets from AC with the included AC adapter or directly from 12VDC. The wireless base needs to be connected to DC.
    I would NOT recommend trying to integrate the headset system into a radio. I have had nightmares at work with that option.
    I have no clue on cost, but I do know they work and work well. Up to a few hundred feet range, with a claimed open field range of 1250′

  7. Mike B. says:

    We started out with the Eartec. Reception and clarity were generally good. Even though we ran the wire under our shirts, it still managed to snag on something. The belt clip wasn’t great so we put the radio in a pocket. If the plug then came out partially, there was an ear splitting feedback that stopped all communication.
    We now have the Sena Expand. I like the USB charging and LED informing you of the charge status and the voice programming, and of course no more wires. Phone and music work very well. However, there is a significant amount of static/noise during intercom. We can hear each other but it is very distracting. Did the reset, software update, etc to no avail and Sena does not appear to have a solution.

  8. Ray Nordstrom says:

    Hello Ben,
    I bought a pair of these from Cruising Solutions after being pretty dissatisfied with a pair of Mariners. Cruising Solutions was pretty accommodating at getting us a bit of credit for the older units. Bought a couple of Senas and after a bit of fumbling around with the instructions (Sena’s) we got it to work. Found CS’s instructions after a while and they were MUCH easier to follow. I think they work well. I have two. I am ordering a third today. Good endorsement I suppose.

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