Now that Mobile Nations Fitness month is underway it was time to go through my music library and create a workout playlist to keep me focused and motivated during my routine. An important part for me is choosing a pair of headphones that are not only comfortable but offers excellent audio quality to prevent those annoying background disturbances from getting in the way. All I care about is getting the blood pumping, burning some calories, and concentrating on those marvelous drumbeats to keep the pace.
As wires sometimes tangle on me during a session this year I decided to try out the Motorola S11-Flex HD Stereo Bluetooth Headset. With hydrophobic mesh and seals they are virtually sweatproof and perfect for those heavy and intense workouts. without impairing functionality.
- Easy audio equalization
- Sweatproof and strong construction
- 5-point adjustability for custom fit
- Rapid charging battery
- Dual mics with intuitive controls
- Headband with 3M Scotchlite reflective inlay - be seen better at night
- Hydrophobic mesh and silicone seals
- Music playback time of up to seven hours and standby time up to six days
- Music playback range of 150 feet and weighs two ounces
Design and Comfort
In the ear wrap around headphones were never my favorite to wear. thanks to the excruciating pain. or how they awkwardly rested on the back of my neck. The Motorola S11 Flex offers a redesigned and flexible shape. It still is a little rigid but now the earpieces are able to bend and twist at the end to accommodate movement and stay firmly in place especially when you are working out.
On the underside of the left side is the orange Multifunction button (MFB) that is used for answering calls and controlling your music. The right ear houses the power and volume buttons. The headset itself is made from hard plastic with ends that swivel so be careful on the pressure you apply when putting them on so as not to snap in two.
They are relatively comfortable to wear and only after an extended period of time do you feel them. Removal is easy and there was no dull ache or pressure in my ears that comes from similar headsets. If you are looking for a better fit there are four ear cushions included in the package for your convenience. For neck pain they now include a removable inner-band to provide a more secure fit around.
Another feature is the extended bluetooth range for music playback which goes beyond the regular 30 feet. I walked up and back around my apartment without losing signal or cutting out. Only when I reached the farthest point did it start skipping.
While listening to my music library, the sound here is unparalleled for a Bluetooth headset and rivals that of my Bose and NoiseHush NX80 wired headsets. Motorola included a built-in equalizer with four different settings: Vocalizer (also can be used for phone calls), Brilliant Treble, Balanced, Extreme Bass, and Equalizer disabled.
My music library is comprised of songs ripped from various sources and are of different bitrates and being able to use the equalizer to adjust overpowering bass in one song or to boost the treble or vocals in another balances out the levels for an even and clear sound. Though I must admit audio quality is best with the equalizer disabled and I noticed that audio becomes slightly distorted on a low volume setting. So good in fact i found myself singing along, though not in public.
Charging and Call Quality
Another marvelous feature is rapid charging. They claim you receive one hour of use by charging for five minutes and fifteen minutes gives it over three hours. While I didn't watch the LED like a hawk, it did charge in under 40 minutes out of the box and in less than ten minutes after two hours of use. Voice command on startup will say there are over five hours of time available.
While music playback was top notch, outgoing call quality is disappointing. The Flex comes with dual-mic noise cancelation but whilst in the midst of traffic on 5th Avenue in NYC the other party heard all of the traffic sounds in the background. Unable to hear my voice, it could not filter out the distortion which is quite the opposite from my music listening experience. Only when I went indoors did they hear me clearly. However, no matter where I went, they came in loud and clear regardless of what went on in my environment.
- Easy to access controls
- Solid / sturdy
- Excellent bluetooth range
- Provides a good seal so sound does not bleed through if you blast your music
- Sweat proof / moisture-repellant
- Compatible to wear with glasses
- As it rests on the neck it can limit head mobility/movement
- Price is higher than comparable models
- Noise cancelation does not always block out extraneous background noise
The Bottom Line
For a mid-range headset it lives up to its hype by offering dynamic sound, deep bass and crystal clear highs while playing music. While call quality is not exactly up to par in terms of noise cancelation does an excellent job of reproducing quality sound without the use of wires for an enjoyable musical experience. The acoustical boost, believe it or not, raises your energy levels for a fulfilling workout.
Three Great Stereo Headphones Like This One
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Motorola SF600 Wireless Sports Headphones
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Plantronics BackBeat 903+ Stereo Bluetooth Headset
"If you want comfort and superb audio quality then this is your choice"
Sony Ericsson Hi-Fi Wireless Headset with FM Radio MW600
"Packs a bunch of great features into a slim, stylish design"