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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
Purchase the Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset in the CrackBerry.com Store