Review: Motorola MOTOROKR S9HD Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
Cost: $99.95 in the store
The Motorola MOTOROKR S9HD Bluetooth Stereo Headphones are a improvement over the original Motorola S9 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. Those headphones were pretty impressive and the new S9HD version builds upon them with better audio quality and noise cancelation. While they do have some faults they are some of the best looking and sounding Bluetooth A2DP stereo headphones available. Read on to learn why…
Summary: Great sound, generally comfortable fit and easily setup.
So let’s start with the unboxing. The headphones came in the usual indestructible packaging. I finally got it open, almost losing a finger or two in the process. (I hate blister wrap)
Setup: It comes almost completely uncharged. So you have to charge it fully before using it. Once charged, like other Motorola headsets, it uses pairs with Bluetooth devices easily. It turns on and is automatically discoverable. You don’t have to go and do anything special to get into pairing mode. If you want to pair it to something else afterwards, just turn off the first device and restart the headset and it will be discoverable again for another device. It comes with two kinds of rubber earpieces. The larger ones comes already on the earphones.
First Impression: The earpieces are tight and go deep in your ear. This helps block out background noise and lets you keep the music lower. I connected it to both my Macbook and my Blackberry Curve. The bass sound was great and the general audio quality was crisp and clear. However, at some points there would be a slight quick fuzz when connected to my Macbook but not when using the Blackberry. This could be because the battery was dying but it wasn’t consistent, just a fuzz for a second and then gone.
Feel: At first it takes a few minutes for your ears to get used to how deep into your ear the earpieces go and the pressure the arms put on your ear as a whole. But after a brief trial period it starts to feel normal. Like a lot of headsets and 180 earmuffs the base reaches behind your neck. It feels nice and natural, without getting into your way much. There are buttons for volume and answering calls on the left earpiece and buttons to control the music on the right earpiece. The buttons are hard plastic and have to be pushed down with a little force. At first this seems like a good idea, but since the earpieces already dig deep into your ears, pushing the buttons on the earpiece only pushes the earbud further into your ear, which becomes a little uncomfortable. All in all, you can use the buttons but they are hard to push and are just place uncomfortable pressure on your ears.
Longer use: After a while (a few hours of straight use) the earpieces start to hurt your ear canal. I switched the rubber earpieces to the smaller harder ones and that seemed to make them a bit more comfortable. I also notices two other situations that make the earphones a bit uncomfortable. When wearing a scarf of something else near your neck, the main Bluetooth receiver portion that rests behind your neck starts to get pushed around. This makes it start to feel like a traffic jam on the back of your neck. More importantly, it moves the earpieces around that are pushed against your ears which are also uncomfortable. Also, the earphone arm that loops back from the ear canal to the back of the neck pushes down your ear so that its flat against the bone of the skull. This isn’t a problem normally because it gives you a snug fit. But, when you wear glasses with the arms of the glasses tucked behind the ear, the pressure of the earphones hurt the area of your ear and skull that are smushed with the arm of the glasses between them.
Logistics: When connecting it to a computer (I used my Macbook), just make sure that you are connecting it as a set of wireless headphones and not a wireless headset. When connected as a headset you will only get out mono sound (crappy sound). But when connected as headphones you get your sound as stereo (good).
Portability: The earphones aren’t collapsible in any way. When you are traveling I guess you should have these on your ears so that wouldn’t matter. But once you get somewhere you want to be able to put it in your pocket or something and store them away. They give you a pouch to put them in but you can’t put it in your pocket unless you have super-sized cargo pants.
- Easy setup
- Great sound
- Generally comfortable.
- Not comfortable when wearing scarf or glasses
- Also uncomfortable after extended use
- Hard to store
- Buttons are hard to press and may hurt when pressed.