Review: Motorola S9-HD Headset

Since I abhor wires, when the opportunity to check out the next version of the venerable Motorola S9 headset line, I jumped at the chance.  Is it as good as the original?

Dropping red in favor of an all black color scheme, Motorola has branded the new S9HD with the ROKR logo, as well designing it to fit along side others of their new music phone line like the Krave on Verizon.  These headphones are handsome and as comfortable and light as the originals; they are also very durable.  Where my cheap Insignia headset is already toast after only a short period of usage, these are going strong and will probably last a long time.  They are resiliant and can withstand being tossed around in a backpack full of stuff.

The S9-HD comes with a carrying case, a USB Mini B charger and extra cushions of various sizes.  I am able to wear these comfortably all day at work.

As you can see in the above pictures, they are hardly noticeable, and they do not have any visible lights that you can see when your wearing them.  The only LED on these is near the power button and when it’s on, it is not visible; in other words, there’s very little borg effect when wearing these.

Hidden LED=no borg effect

Incredibly handy and common USB Mini B

Now that we know they have the looks, do they have the sound?  I did finsd that the S9-HDs suffered from the exact same problem every other Bluetooth headset I’ve ever reviewed: they are very prone to interference.  However, when the signal was clear, the sound was the best I have ever experienced.  Are they High Definition?  Maybe!  However, the experience is ruined with the drop outs.  Microwaves, my hand, my pocket would all cause these issues.  I got the best sound when the iPod was in my DLO Strap Wrap.  My LG enV was less prone to interference than the included iPod Adapter, but it also dropped out more often than I liked.

The battery life on this headset was good, outlasting the iPod in every situation;  I got about 6 hours.  I did find that the iPod adapter pulled the iPod batteries down much quicker than normal; I estimate that when using it I got half the normal iPod battery life.   The other negative about the adapter is you cannot charge the iPod at the same time, since it uses the dock connector.

The headset paired easily on both the iPod adapter and my phone, and the code for the pass key was the typical 4 zeros.  Once paired, good sound came from the headphones.

The S9-HD can make phone calls too, but it’s too bad the phone call quality sucked.  I guess that Bluetooth headsets can either sound good, or make good phone calls, never both; go elsewhere when you need a headset for calls.

The Motorola S9-HD is available at Amazon.com for $96.83

What liked: Lightweight.  Comfortable.  Stylish.  Design is good enough that I would buy a set.

What needs improvement: Inteference rejection; these were a bit worse than other headsets I have used.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.