Accessory Review: Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset

By Tom Able-Green on 18 Jan 2008 11:07 am EST
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Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset for BlackBerry Pearl 8100
The "Must Have" Bluetooth Headset

You know when you see a piece of gadgetry that just makes you say ”I have to get me one of them” – Well that’s what happened when I saw the Motorola H9 MiniBlue. After receiving the H9 in its big packaging, I have been in awe of the size of this Bluetooth Headset. 

Motorola H9 Packaging
The H9 in the Box
 
Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset Packaging
Another Look at the H9 in the Box

I don’t normally start with the aesthetics of a headset, after all we all want to hear how the item works rather how it looks. However, on this occasion, one of the biggest selling points of this headset – is its SIZE. I didn’t believe the blurb when I first heard about the specifications, but true to what “it says on the tin”. Motorola has created the smallest headset on the market. They have kept the external features to a minimum with just the power button and volume switches on either side. Flipping the headset on its back reveals the ‘In Ear” design nodule which will sit directly in the ear canal. It really is a stunning design.

Motorola H9 Closeup
Size IS Everything! 
 
Size Comparison
The Stylish and Stunning Design of the Motorola H9

Design & Function

As I have mentioned before - this headset is really really small. To double check, I even placed my 10 pence coin on the top and it completely hides the headset. The front side has the standard Motorola stamp but this is cleverly also used as the main function button. The “In Ear” design is the masterpiece behind this headset, however I will say from the start that this nodule is quite protruding and whilst it isn’t uncomfortable in my ear, I know that for others it wouldn’t work (my wife didn’t like it at all and also stated that not everyone’s ear canals are as big as mine). Standard packaging from Motorola also give various ear buds that can be swapped depending on comfort and fit, but still this didn’t make much difference. 

Super Small! Smaller than a 10 pence coin!
Super Small! Smaller than a 10 pence coin!
 
Where'd the H9 go?
Where'd the H9 go?

One of the potential downsides of this headset (and its something I wondered) is that because its so small, surely the battery life would be hindered. The specification sheets states the official battery life is 1hr 30, however, Motorola have added another secret to this headset package by adding a portable battery pack, which actually charges the headset when on the move. This means that when charging the headset, then you will need to place the headset in the portable battery pack (there is no charging unit on the headset itself). Motorola claims are that this will increase talk time to 7.5 hrs. I have to say I never got to leave the headset to completely discharge itself fully, so I am unable to confirm this but like my Blackberry, I still tend to charge daily, as so the same applied for the headset.

Side view of the portable battery pack
Side view of the portable battery pack
 
The portable battery pack from above...
The portable battery pack from above...
 
...and another side view!
...and another side view!

Pairing the MiniBlue to my Blackberry was a simple process and worked flawlessly. Even with the Headset placed in the battery pack, it still connected on every call. I was able to be confident that I would not cut off a call or even miss a call. Obviously this headset is so light and small that I could have it in my ear all day, but it’s not something that as a rule I would do, but for the times I did have the headset in for any length of time, I didn’t get any discomfort.

The standard “10m” Bluetooth rule is standard with this headset and indoors perhaps you could go a little more. I didn’t really test this outside, but I don’t think I would ever be in a situation where I would need to be 10m away from my Blackberry (it is surgically attached)

I have to say that despite the size of this headset, I am impressed with the build quality overall. Everything works very well, and the headset fits perfectly into the battery pack and with the amount of times that I took the headset in and out, I really did abuse it.

Can you hear me?

In quieter environments, the H9 MiniBlue performs flawlessly, and incoming sound is fantastic - as is my voice when being projected, but I think for a headset of this calibre it is to be expected. However, I did notice that in noisier environments, whilst you can hear the incoming voice very clearly (remember the In Ear technology), I did get some complaints about the noise being picked up from my microphone. Remember though, this headset being so small, the microphone is that much further away from the mouth, but I did expect the headset to perform a little better. 

That's one small headset!
That's one small headset!

Driving with the headset, I found the background noise bearable and I didn’t really notice any major problems with sound or speech and from my perspective and this is where I would use the headset the most.

Getting to grips with the MiniBlue…

As time went by, I found the headset easier to work with. Initially, I would assume that any user would have to get used to controlling such a small headset, but you just have to remember where the buttons are; the operation is very easy. Motorola have done well to make this headset very user friendly.

Its important to add here that the battery pack has some added features that allow you to keep a closer eye on the status of the MiniBlue. When plugging the headset into the battery pack, it will allow the user to see where the current power source is coming from (the headset or the battery pack). Motorola have incorporated two Blue LEDs to help mark out the source, and having this certainly makes it very easy to read.

Helpful LED lights mark the power source
Helpful LED lights mark the power source

Despite me having no problems with the headset sitting directly in my ear canal, I know that this is going to be a problem for some. I was able to wear the headset whilst driving, sitting and even walking, and due to its lightweight shell, I never felt I would lose the MiniBlue.

Conclusion

There are no major flaws with this headset, and coming from Motorola, and being a product that is “endorsed” by none other than David Beckham, I really feel that you are getting plenty of gadgetry for your money.

The H9 is Endorsed by 'Becks'. Really!
The H9 is Endorsed by 'Becks'. Really!

The size is unbeatable and even the packaging is great. It does seem however that some minor improvements could be made so that the MiniBlue could suit everyone rather than a selection of users. The “In Ear” Technology is good, as it delivers sound straight to ear canal, but some will find that this would be too much of an intrusion and also possibly painful. Even with the buds supplied, other people who had a play with the headset felt that they could not use the headset for this reason.

Big battery, small headset
Big battery, small headset

The only other issue that I would like to point out is the battery life. Now, as admitted earlier this wasn’t an issue for me, but why make the smallest headset on the market and then add (in comparison) a battery pack to make it one of the biggest? You are unlikely to go anywhere without the battery pack, in case you run out of power, and having to carry this, makes the objective of having a small headset almost redundant.

I guess Motorola knew size doesn’t matter, its how you use it…and at the MRSP $89.95 in the Crackberry.com Store - its still a bargain!

Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset Review Summary:
Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset
Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset Ratings

Pros:

  • Extremely small
  • Stylish
  • Innovative yet user friendly
  • Reliable

Cons:

  • Battery life
  • In-ear nodule could be painful to some users
  • Size of extra battery pack
Buy Now:
Purchase the Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset in the CrackBerry.com Store

Reader comments

Accessory Review: Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset

11 Comments

So explaing this to me... does it come with a wall charger or a car charger? Or just this "battery pack?" Do you charge the battery pack from the wall or car then place the bud on it?

Thanks,
Jack

It doesn't come with a vehicle adapter charger (sold separately), only with wall charger.

When you charge this headset, it needs to be in the cradle. When plugged in, it charges the headset first and then once that is done, the portable cradle. You'd know that both the headset and the cradle's done charging when no blue lights are on.

I owned a moto h9 for about 3 to 4 months, and I have to honestly say that it is one of the worst headsets I have ever seen. Not only does this model feel terrible in your ear, but it has terrible performance. It picks up all kinds of backround noise so if you want to use it outside or in your car or anywhere that there is noise what-so-ever you will be verrrrrryyyy dissatisfied. trust me dont waste your money you will thank me, and for those who already made the mistake hopefully u can get store credit, otherwise i feel your pain. ps. i use the plantronics 665 -its an amazing product.

Surprised of the review, since performance-wise, it is very aweful. In fact, I don't recommend this to my customers, of course unless they specifically request it. But I give this a 2 thumbs way down for the BlackBerry. Might be good for the other mobile phones out there, but not for the BB.

I bought the H9 about a week ago and think that it is one of the best bluetooth devices I have ever owned...The battery pack is great, because you can just throw it in your glove compartment and it's essentially like having a charger with you wherever you go...

Motorola should be embarrased!

I thought this would be totally awesome as it is the smallest out there and of course carries the Motorola name. I cannot say enough bad things to discourage anyone to buy this POS! Unless you are in a soundproof box while using this device IT STINKS! It picks up so much ambient noise that the person your talking to cannot understand you. In fact, you'll be repeating everything you say and will have a miserable experience. "Can you hear me now....Can you hear me now....CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!!!"

If this product is not discontinued, IT SHOULD BE!!! The fact that it is using older bluetooth technology is even worse. Again, Motorola should be embarrassed!

I've had this BT Headset for about 3 months, and when I use it, I've had people say it sounds terrible, and had people say it sounds great. I don't use it like I used to use my old BT, but when I absolutely need one I rarely have troubles. Seems like it comes down to how people use it, it even says in the instructions that you HAVE to have a perfect seal between the headset and your ear. I've noticed that if I don't take the time to get it stuck in my ear correctly I don't get good results. If my store wouldn't have given it to me to demo I'm not sure if I would have bought it. Probably would have went with the Jawbone.

Does the H9 allow your ringtones to play through the earpiece or is it monophonic like the H700 that only send voice data and beeps.