Motorola first implemented its CrystalTalk technology with its handsets, like the Razr2 V8 and the Razr2 V9. This noise-reduction and adaptive-speaker technology has improved call quality for these handsets, and now Motorola wants that same technology in its Bluetooth headsets. Enter the Motorola Pure H12 Bluetooth headset, a tiny and stylish headset that looks a little like the Motorola H680 but with CrystalTalk built right in. While we love the headset's design, we weren't entirely sold on the performance despite its CrystalTalk promises. The Motorola Pure H12 Bluetooth headset is available for $99 after rebate, which we think is a very reasonable price.
Just like the H680, the H12 is one of a few Bluetooth headsets with sex appeal. It comes in a beautiful diamond-cut metal housing that's very compact, as well, measuring only 1.65 inches by 0.7 inch by 0.47 inch. At 0.4 ounce, the H12 definitely won't weigh your ears down, either. We love the large circular multifunction button on the front as well as the big volume rocker on the right spine. The multifunction button has a spun-metal finish that makes the button easy to find and press, while the volume rocker has tiny little bumps on it to make it easy to use, as well. On the top of the headset is a dedicated power toggle, which we really like a lot since it makes it easier to turn on and off the device, thus conserving battery power. Right underneath the multifunction button is a tiny indicator light.
On the back of the headset are the earpiece plus a very flexible and thin ear hook. The ear hook is designed to be very discreet and skinny, so that it can even fit those who wear glasses. The earpiece has the in-ear style design, and comes with three interchangeable cushion covers for different size ears in order to maximize comfort. We slipped it in our ears effortlessly and it felt nice and comfortable.
Also on the back of the H12 are charging contacts that can be connected to either the included desktop stand or the portable charging cradle. The charging contacts come together with a magnetic tug, so you're ensured a proper connection every time. That said, there is no direct way to connect the H12 to a power source--you always need to have either the portable cradle or the desktop stand in order to charge it.
Features of the H12 include the typical answering, receiving, and ending calls, call mute, voice-dial support, placing a call on hold, last number redial, and the ability to transfer calls from the phone to the headset and vice versa. There's also a battery life indicator when the headset is placed in the charger.
We tested the Motorola Pure H12 Bluetooth headset with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl. The H12 goes automatically into pairing mode when you first turn it on, so the pairing process went very smoothly. It comes with two microphones to block out background noise and adjust noise levels depending on the environment, so we were expecting excellent sound quality. Although we were impressed by the incoming call quality, outgoing call quality was not always as smooth. On our end, voices sounded loud, clear, and very natural, with little static or interference. But on the callers' end, we heard reports of a background hiss plus a slight echo, while others had no problem hearing us at all. We tested it again in a noisier restaurant environment, and though callers still reported the same background hiss, they managed to make out what we said. This shows us that call quality can be patchy, which is surprising especially when you consider its CrystalTalk technology.
The Motorola Pure H12 has a rated talk time of 5.5 hours and a rated standby time of 8 days.