We've seen some tiny Bluetooth headsets come our way here at CNET, but few are smaller than the appropriately named Motorola H9 Miniblue. This diminutive headset first debuted at CES 2006 under the name H5 Miniblue, but Motorola decided to relaunch it this year with a new model number. The H9 Miniblue's tiny size is no deterrent to its audio quality, though its flanged eartips may fit a little too deeply in the ear for some people. The H9 Miniblue will be available for $179.99, a pretty steep price, but you do get a stylish headset and a portable charging base in the bargain.
The Motorola H9 Miniblue Bluetooth headset is quite possibly the smallest Bluetooth headset we've seen. Measuring only 1.2x0.8x0.5 inches (or 1.2x0.8x1.4 inches, if you include the length of the eartip), it is barely larger than a quarter and weighs less than an ounce. Clad in a stylish black-and-silver color scheme, its entire front face houses the multifunction button, which glows blue when activated. On its left and right spine are the volume controls, which can be re-oriented depending on your preference. You do this by pressing both the Call button and the volume button you wish to assign as the "volume up" control until the indicator flashes twice. The multifunction button is large and gives a satisfactory click when pressed, and though the volume buttons are much smaller, they are sufficiently raised above the surface so that they, too, are easy to find and press.
The H9 does not have an ear loop, so its earpiece requires a flanged eartip to keep the headset securely fitted in the ear. The eartip fits quite deeply into the ear, which leads to a somewhat awkward feeling in the ear canal, but it does stay in securely as long as you have the right eartip size. The H9 comes with different size eartips, so be sure to experiment with them all to get the best seal.
One of the best things about the H9 Miniblue headset is its portable charging base. The heavy base measures 3.0x1.25x0.9 inches and has two indicator lights on the bottom: the headset battery indicator and the charger battery indicator. You can charge both the headset and the base simultaneously with an AC adapter, and when you're on the move, you can use the charger base to constantly extend the H9's battery life.
We tested the Motorola H9 Miniblue headset with the T-Mobile Sidekick 3. The pairing process was smooth, and we were up and running within seconds. Audio quality was decent--loud and clear, even when the volume was set to a rather low setting. Callers said they could hear us just fine as well, though they did report quite a bit of ambient sound. Call features include the standard answering, ending, rejecting and making calls, as well as call muting, last number-redialing, putting a call on hold, transferring a call from the phone to the headset and vice versa, and support for voice dialing, call waiting, and conference calling. The Motorola H9 Miniblue has a rated talk time of 1.5 hours, though you could potentially talk for as long as 7.5 hours using the portable charging base.