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Nexx X-COM3 Pro review | Sena intercom for X.WED3, X.WST3, Y.100R & Y.100

Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial



Nexx X-COM3 Pro review Sena intercom_01


Date reviewed: March 2024 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £339.98 |


The Nexx X-COM3 Pro intercom system on review here is, at its core, a Sena 50S redesigned to fit into the X.WED3, X.WST3, Y.100R and Y.100 helmets. I got one on loan for a period of just a week, but it was enough time to run tests in the Nexx X.WED3 (review here) on a variety of bikes, which proved it to be one of the best implementations of this tech that I’ve tried…


  • Easy to use buttons

  • Great music clarity

  • Very good range

  • Disappointing battery life

  • Clunky updating

  • Unreliable voice control (for me at least)


Nexx X-COM3 vs X-COM3 Pro

I’ve been testing the Nexx X-COM3 Pro, which is based on the Sena 50S, but there’s also a cheaper Bluetooth-only version. Interestingly, there’s not currently a Sena that matches this spec, so it’s a new product.

Here are the key differences between the X-COM3 and X-COM3 Pro:



X-COM3 Pro




Mesh intercom



Bluetooth intercom



Maximum comms group size



Maximum claimed range

1 mile

1.2 miles

Speakers and microphone


Harman Kardon

Voice control



Claimed battery life



FM Radio



Advanced Noise Control



Audio multitasking



Music Sharing



Access Siri / Google Assistant







The X-COM3 lacks the higher quality Harman Kardon speakers of the Pro, and the voice control. While it does have Bluetooth 5.1, it’s unlikely any difference will be noticed; faster connecting is one of the benefits of 5.1, but 5.0 is still rapid and the X-COM3 Pro connects quickly to my phone when booting up. The main difference is in the Mesh intercom, which I’ll cover in a moment…



Fitting the Nexx X-COM3 Pro

Due to the sculpted sides of the Nexx X.WED3 and X.WST3, positioning your own intercom can be a little more tricky, though there is space just below the back of the visor mechanism, over the Nexx logo. However, with cut-outs specifically designed for the X-COM3 in the helmets, it’s a lot tidier – and easier – to fit this specifically-branded device.

It’s also great that Nexx offers a more affordable version of the intercom without Mesh or the Harman Kardon speakers, though we’ve not had a chance to try that yet iso can’t comment on its performance.

Fitting is relatively simple, though the antenna and mic that clip into the brow of the helmet add a little complexity. Your dealer might fit it for you, but learning to strip the helmet is an important step to understand, in order to keep the lid clean.


Nexx X-COM3 Pro connections

The standard X-COM3’s most important difference is the lack of Mesh comms seen on the Pro version reviewed here. Bluetooth intercoms like the X-COM3 are fine for rider to pillion or rider to one other rider, but in groups they can be annoying, requiring a more complex pairing procedure and demanding that the riders don’t change their order on the road. For instance, rider 3 can’t overtake rider 2 in a group of four using Bluetooth or the whole group’s communication will break down.

With the Mesh that comes with the X-COM3 Pro, each intercom acts as its own relay, and it doesn’t matter what order the riders are in. Equally, if the group gets split up it doesn’t matter. Let’s say that riders 1, 2 and 3 end up well away from riders 4, 5 and 6 – they’ll still be able to talk among themselves as two separate groups, and when connection is re-established the whole group can chat again, even if the order ends up as riders 5, 3, 1, 4, 6, 2.

Sena – the company that makes the Nexx intercoms – arguably has one of the best Mesh systems as it’s open and unlimited by default, so just turn on your intercom and pairing is automatic with anyone else using a compatible device, be that a Sena, or a dedicated Shoei, Schuberth or other Mesh device made by the company.

In ‘Open Mesh’ the number of riders is virtually unlimited, but you will end up talking to anyone who comes within range that’s using the same system. However, the X.COM3 Pro also offers nine other channels – which can each support up to 24 riders – if you want to reduce the chances of anyone else joining by mistake.

Only six microphones can be active at any one time with Sena’s Mesh system, so while everyone can listen in on the conversation, only six can be speaking. If anyone else tries to join in at the same time, the group will hear a constant beeping to encourage mics to be disabled by pressing and holding the lower middle Mesh intercom button.

When I tried the X-COM3 Pro in a large group, all wearing X.WED3s and X.WST3s, we did find that there was a persistent beeping due to more than six connections. Not everyone was talking at the time, but wind noise appeared to be keeping a lot of the mics ‘live’.

It’s important to point out that some might have had their visors open, and none of them had the chin-skirts fitted, so this is something I’d like to spend a bit more time testing. There is the option to enable VoX (voice activation) on the X-COM3 Pro, and making a noise (like saying hello) turns it on, then it disconnects when you stop talking, but again, this is something I’d like to test further.


Note: while this is an early review, I felt it was important to get it out as many people will be buying the intercom with the helmet. I’ll keep this review updated over time, assuming I can get hold of another unit.



Nexx X-COM3 Pro control

This is where I think the collaboration between Nexx and Sena has shone. Despite the X-COM3 being a very compact unit taking up little space on the helmet, the controls are brilliantly easy to operate, all four buttons on the left of the lid being easy to find even with winter gloves on thanks to the raised, sculpted middle.

I did find it’s possible to knock the centre buttons when putting the helmet on, but this is a very minor point. I was able to activate the lower middle button by tipping my head to the side, but it wasn’t a normal movement. Maybe with bulky kit on and a rucksack it could be more likely, though still not common.

The X-COM3 Pro does have voice control, which can be useful, but like the Sena 50S on which the tech is based – and the SRL3 fitted to Shoeis – it’s not as reliable as I’d like. Perhaps it’s my accent, but Cardo still has the edge in voice control in my opinion, and on the Zontes ZT350T I’m testing at the moment, none of the voice controls worked over 50mph due to wind noise. These are the functions you can control by voice:

Check Battery

“Hey Sena, check battery”

Volume up

“Hey Sena, volume up”

Volume down

“Hey Sena, volume down”

Phone pairing

“Hey Sena, phone pairing”

Bluetooth Intercom pairing

“Hey Sena, pairing intercom”

Start or end Bluetooth intercom

“Hey Sena, intercom [one, two, three]

Turn on Mesh intercom

“Hey Sena, Mesh on”

Turn off Mesh intercom

“Hey Sena, Mesh off”

Mesh grouping

“Hey Sena, Mesh grouping”

Switch to group mesh

“Hey Sena, group Mesh”

Switch to open Mesh

“Hey Sena, open Mesh”

End Bluetooth and Mesh intercom

“Hey Sena, end intercom”

Play streamed music

“Hey Sena, play music”

Pause streamed music

“Hey Sena, Stop music”

Turn on radio

“Hey Sena, FM radio on”

Turn off radio

“Hey Sena, FM radio off”

Next track / radio station

“Hey Sena, next”

Previous track / radio station

“Hey Sena, previous”

Answer phone call


Ignore phone call



It’s a shame the speakers won’t be seen once installed, as the finish on these Harman Kardon units is great


Nexx X-COM3 Pro volume and clarity

With the microphone fitted in the brow of the helmet, you might be wondering how well that works. Well, of course I tested that, because in-depth, unbiased reviews are what make Bennetts BikeSocial different.

Nexx says that it’s a directional mic, and in testing with the visor closed it does provide crisp, clear audio with barely any background noise, which was easy for my wife to hear right up to 70mph when I called her while riding the Zontes ZT350T with its screen lowered. With the visor open, my voice became garbled from around 45mph.

With the visor removed and a pair of goggles fitted, the results were the same as with the visor open. This is fairly impressive given that the goggles sit between the mic and my mouth, though the helmet’s shell and interior no doubt help conduct a lot of the sound.

At 30mph there’s no noticeable noise picked up with the goggles on or the visor open, but my wife did note that my voice was a little more tinny than with the visor shut.

Still, an impressive result from the Nexx X-COM3 Pro, and one I hope to check with the cheaper, Bluetooth-only X-COM3 in future.

The Pro unit on test has Harman Kardon speakers (and microphone) fitted, which I expected to sound like the Sena SRL3 I tested in the Shoei Neotec 3, but it does sound a bit better; perhaps it’s simply the construction of the helmet. There is the same issue though of audio quality being at its best at all but the final, highest volume setting, where the tone shifts noticeably.

Now of course, riding at speed with earplugs in will never give a HiFi experience, but sitting at home with the helmet on, the quality from this unit and these speakers is very good, with clearly defined bass and treble. While I’m no audiophile, I was impressed with how well this plays music streamed from my phone.

Nexx says that its team, and Sena, have worked with Harman Kardon to tune the audio specifically for the helmet, and there is an option in the Sena Motorcycles App when connected to the X-COM3 Pro to switch between the X.WED3/X.WST3 and the Y.100/Y.100R helmets. I must admit I couldn’t hear a difference between them, but I do have to say that the overall sound is very good, and while not of reference headphone quality, it’s certainly impressive.



Nexx X-COM3 Pro range

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Nexx X-COM3 Pro reviewed here has a claimed maximum range of 2km, but the Bluetooth-only X-COM3 is only claimed to offer 0.8km, so is really just suited for rider-to-pillion use.

Given that the Nexx X.WED3 Pro helmet that I’m reviewing this intercom in is carbon-fibre, I expected the range to be limited, but performance was generally good.

Testing was done on a cloudy day (which can help increase range), but on Bluetooth I found that while riding away from my wife (who was using a Sena 50S), speech started breaking up at around 500m and was lost at 950m. However, when turning around and coming back, a clean connection was had from 1,150m (around three quarters of a mile). This is likely down to the antenna being in the brow of the lid at the front, and I did notice that while riding away from her, if I turned my head to the side the reception was much improved.

With mesh, the intercom was very clear up to just under 1,100m, which is very good.

I tested the Sena SRL3 on the same day and this had a slightly better range, but the cloud cover was more heavy by this point. Given the results I had from the Sena 50S that both these intercoms are based on, I’m confident that the Mesh performance of the Nexx X-COM3 Pro compares very well to others I’ve tested.

Any intercom range test results will vary, and devices never achieve their claimed maximum in real-world conditions because…

  • Weather makes a big difference

  • Traffic, buildings and geography all get in the way

  • Turning your head can lose a signal at distance

  • Carbon fibre helmets can have a detrimental effect


Nexx X-COM3 Pro Radio

The radio built into the X-COM3 Pro works okay, and did stay locked to a station over a 25 mile ride, though dropping in and out several times as the RDS function retuned. Volume isn’t really good enough for motorway work listening to Radio 4 (which is broadcast quite quiet), while Radio 1 was fine.

Ultimately, you car has plenty of space for a big aerial, so don’t expect performance like that. FM radios on intercoms are nice to have, but not a main selling point.



Nexx X-COM3 waterproofing

Unlike other Sena products I’ve tested, the Nexx X-COM3 and X-COM3 Pro are rated as IP65 waterproof, which means dust can’t get in them, and they’ll stand up to water jets.

In my testing, some Senas have suffered issues when riding in heavy rain, but the one part of the X-COM3 intercom that’s exposed to the elements is well sealed and stood up even to my hose testing, which simulated motorway riding in very wet weather during the short time I had the unit.

IP ratings can be self-certified by the manufacturer, but they do give a promise that the product will stand up to a certain level of dust and water. Given the fact that this unit will be used in a lot of X.WED3 adventure lids, it’s great to see such a promise of protection.


Nexx X-COM3 Pro battery life

In my testing, streaming music at full volume from an iPad to the X-COM3 Pro at full volume, the battery lasted eight hours and 20 minutes. While this will be fine for most rides, it’s well down from some of the best I’ve tested, like the Sena Spider ST1 that managed 27 hours.

Unfortunately you can’t charge the Nexx intercom (or any current Senas) while they’re turned on, so if you’re away touring you’ll need to charge it in the evening. Nexx says this takes around two and a half hours, but connected to a QC3.0 charger I found it took about one hour and forty minutes.

Charging is via a USB-C port in the control unit, though the silicone cover here is quite fiddly to open. Still, once sealed it’s less likely to be knocked open and leave the connector exposed to the elements.


Ease of updating the Nexx X-COM3

Unfortunately the Nexx X-COM3 cannot be updated over-the-air via the smartphone app, despite it being something Cardo has offered for a fair while. The Sena 50S (and the SRL3) come with a WiFi charging cable that, once set up, can allow automated updating, though I’ve found it a bit unreliable.

The X-COM3 doesn’t come with the adaptor, instead including just a standard USB-C lead, so the only way to update the firmware is by plugging the device into a computer and using the Sena Device Manager, which is at least available for both Mac and PC.


Four alternatives to the Nexx X-COM3 Pro

Unusually in the world of OEM intercoms, Nexx is also offering a more budget-conscious option, so that would be the first alternative to look at. But it is possible to fit your own comms if you want, so here are some others to consider…

  • Nexx X-COM3 (Bluetooth only) | RRP £169.99. We haven’t tested this intercom yet, so can’t comment on its range or audio performance, but it’s great to see a lower-priced option available for those who aren’t looking for the top spec of the Pro.

  • Sena Spider | RRP £209. The Spider is a Mesh-only device, which means it’ll pair with your phone via Bluetooth, but any communication with other riders or a pillion will require them to have a Sena Mesh unit. Read the full review of the Sena Spider ST1 here.

  • Cardo Packtalk Edge | RRP £356. The flagship from Cardo, this Mesh and Bluetooth unit has excellent audio quality and a very effective voice control system. Read the full review of the Cardo Packtalk Edge here.

  • Cardo Spirit HD | RRP £139. If all you really want is a reliable intercom for talking to your pillion, listening to music, hearing navigation instructions and maybe taking calls, the Bluetooth-only Spirit HD is a great device. It’s not got the rider-to-rider range of more premium systems but it’s still very capable. Read the full review of the Cardo Spirit HD here.

These are just four of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle intercoms we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.


Note that the two market leaders – Cardo and Sena – do not have a universal Mesh system. Pairing the two via Bluetooth has been made pretty simple (thanks it would appear to work by Cardo), and it is possible to create a Mesh link between Cardo and Sena now, though I’ve not been able to thoroughly test it yet. You can find out more in the video below.


Pairing Sena and Cardo

Cardo explains how to link its intercoms with Sena’s


Buying tip: Save on your Nexx intercom without a discount code or voucher

As you probably know, VAT isn’t chargeable on motorcycle helmets in the UK, but that also means that, in many cases, if you buy the OE intercom at the same time, you don’t pay the VAT on that either.

At the time of writing, several dealers are offering 16.66% off most intercoms when purchased with a helmet, and if applied to the Nexx devcices it’d take the RRP of the X-COM3 down to £141.77, and the X-COM3 PRO to £283.54. And you don’t need to use any discount codes or vouchers.


Nexx X-COM3 Pro intercom review: Verdict

A lot of helmet manufacturers are tying buyers into their own intercom systems now. Some will say this is due to homologation – and it is true that any accessories made by Nexx have to be fitted to the helmet for testing, so you can be sure that they don’t compromise safety beyond the requirements of ECE22.06 – but other brands (like Arai with the Tour-X5) have designed their helmets to have space to fit what you want.

The problem comes when the OEM options aren’t the best they can be, but besides being locked into Sena (which could be a good or a bad thing), the implementation of what is basically a Sena 50S into the Nexx X.WED3 and X.WST is very impressive.

Updating could be better, and the voice-control still needs work, but the buttons are easy to use and the audio quality very good. Admittedly the Bluetooth comms seem to be hampered in one direction by the carbon fibre shell of the X.WED3 Pro, but the Mesh comms are very good indeed, so overall the Nexx X-COM3 Pro is one of the best integrated intercoms I’ve tested.


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