Testing CrystalTalk

At CES Motorola shows a successful demo of its new CrystalTalk Plus.

Moto's beauty pageant booth Motorola

While visiting the Motorola booth at CES, I had very my own Miss America experience. The company invited me to test its CrystalTalk Plus feature, which is a top feature of its new Tundra VA76r rugged phone. Since I've had good experiences with CrystalTalk before, I accepted the opportunity to see how it could be improved upon. CrystalTalk Plus promises, and as I found also delivers, an even better audio experience by adding a second microphone on the phone's rear side. Along with the primary microphone, it cancels out background noise to enable you to hear your caller, even in a noisy environment.

The test began when I stepped into one of two cylindrical booths in the middle of Moto's area on the show floor. Though I thought that the Las Vegas Convention was noisy enough, the booth was downright deafening. Speakers in the booth pumped out music so loud that I couldn't hear what was going on outside. It's not that same things as the requisite soundproof booth in a beauty contest, but it felt like the same thing.

A Moto employee then called me on the Tundra. To my surprise, I could hear him plainly, even with the background din. I then switched to a phone with regular CrystalTalk. It wasn't quite as sharp, but I could hear everything pretty well.

The Moto VE66 has CrystalTalk Plus. Kent German/CBS Interactive

CrystalTalk Plus is also available on the Motorola VE66. I didn't try it with that handset as well, but I imagine that the experience wouldn't be much different. The company says it will the feature to more phones this year; we're eager to give one of them a full test run.

In a world where cell phones are cramming in every conceivable feature, it's comforting to know that Moto is concentrating on making the simple call quality experience better. After all, a phone is only is good as the calls it makes. I may not have won a crown at Moto's booth, but I learned a lot.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.


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