I have stated the following fact many, many times before; music is a huge part of my life. From singing along to Raffi when I was quite young, to playing in several high school bands as a loud and proud band geek, my love for music rivals my love for the BlackBerry smartphone. So rather than have these two loves fight for superiority, I made it my mission to have the two work together. BlackBerry? Check. Micro SD loaded with music? Check. The perfect way to listen to music on my BlackBerry? Pending. I've found my perfect wired headset to listen with, but wires aren't always a viable solution. On my desk, with my wireless keyboard and mouse, there's not a wire to be seen, and I would prefer to keep it that way.
If you dig through CrackBerry Bluetooth reviews, you'll find a review for the Motorola S9 from way back. They were beautifully designed and performed well. Improving upon near perfection, Motorola also offers amazing audio delight with their MotoRokr S9-HD (yes folks, high definition) Stereo Bluetooth headset. Now that the music is playing, and the creative juices are flowing, let's see what this headset can do.
The front of the packaging for the MOTOROKR S9-HD displays the headset in all of its glory. The reverse side gives you a brief overview of what you have just purchased. Oh, and for those who care, the reverse side also shows a picture of David Beckham sporting the headset. Then I realized that he was actually wearing the original S9 and not the S9 HD.
Because of Beckham, I was told that I was never, ever allowed to throw out the box. I could tell you that wouldn't be the case if I was on the box...moving on...
Inside the package you will find;
Upon first glance, I could see that Motorola kept most of the original S9's design. Rather than the black and red color scheme, a simple, sleek black look was used. On each of the arms, just above the ear pieces, you find the main headset controls. On the right side, you can use the buttons to skip to the next or previous track, reject a call, mute a call and play/pause/stop the music. I'll explain the technology later, but pressing and holding the skip forward button selects SRS WOW HD audio mode. The right side also houses the headset's microphone. The left controls are used to increase/decrease the volume, answer/make a call or redial the last number. The bar that "floats" behind the back of your head houses the charging port, power button and the LED indicator.
The design of the controls, in my opinion, offers an increased ease of use over the original S9, as the buttons seems to be raised. From what I have read about the original S9, the freedom it offered was also one of its drawbacks. The headset is designed to be used in any situation, including an active lifestyle. Sure it was found to be comfortable to wear while running, cycling, etc, but all that body sweat could potentially find its way into the inner workings of the headset, causing damage. The rubber coverings found on the S9-HD would help protect against such damage. As far as fit and comfort is concerned, I'll say that one size fits most. Motorola did an amazing job in the design and in order to maintain that, you'd think that the headset had to be rigid. You'll find flexibility in the length of the arms, which allows for a great fit on most noggins. Where you start to see the rigidity is around arch that fits over your ears; where the volume and the AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) controls are located. With the "large melon" resting upon my neck, the fit and feel was decent enough, it didn't cause discomfort. I was used to Stereo Bluetooth headsets with wired earbuds. Those with (pfft) "Normal" sized heads found it quite comfortable. The controls were well placed, but it did take some time, and a few wrong button selections, to remember the layout. If I hung up on you, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I found myself wearing the medium sized earbuds for optimal comfort. I almost always wear glasses and for those who also sport spectacles, you'll be happy to know that the headset won't interfere too much with them.
Play/Talk Time: Up to 6 hours
Range: Up to 33 Feet
Profiles: A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.0, HF 1.2
Weight: less than 1oz (incredible light for its size)
The call quality for the MOTOROKR S9 HD was excellent. It does offer some echo and noise cancellation. I could be heard perfectly well in a normal, interior setting, still fairly well in the outdoors, but a busy downtown setting offered some difficulty. The headset will pause the music as a call comes in and will resume afterwards. Now, I bet you're wondering about the SRS WOW HD audio mode I mentioned earlier. It's a mash up of various audio solutions and technologies working together to recreate audio the way it's supposed to be heard - naturally. Here are some of the highlights:
3D Audio - Restoring the bigger, fuller sound we experience in everyday life. Close your eyes and make note of not only what you are hearing but where the sound is coming from. In a nutshell, these are called "spatial cues".
Bass but not bass - Hunh? Look at the size of those earbuds, there's no way that you could get the true "boom boom" out of those things! SRS labs found a magical way around this. With their "psychoacoustic understanding and technical know-how", they were able to simulate that deep bass feel by boosting overtones. Your mind, in its mysterious ways, fills in the missing information. You essentially hear what isn't there.
Clarity - By enhancing high frequency content, clear audio enjoyment is restored. You experience a true, full bodied sound without missing the small details.
My music sounded absolutely amazing with the MOTOROKR S9-HD. The other stereo headsets couldn't even touch the audio pumping into my ears. It was real, it was true, it was enjoyable.
Equally beautiful in design and function, it was literally music to my ears. If you are out for a run, make sure you are extra alert as you may find yourself lost in the sound. The fit and feel will please most, as will the ease of use. The rubberized coverings should help protect against liquid damage, but it's not water tight. I was hoping to see a slightly longer battery life and hoped that the call quality would be as good as the playback quality. The call quality was good, but you do get spoiled by the musical mastery.