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Motorola H15 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Headset review: Motorola H15 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Headset

Motorola H15 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Headset

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
4 min read

A year ago, Motorola released the Motorola H12 Bluetooth headset, which promised superior audio quality, thanks to Motorola's patented CrystalTalk technology. While we appreciate the H12's design, we were less than impressed by the call quality. Now Motorola has released the Motorola Pure H15, which is also a CrystalTalk headset and offers an improvement over the H12. Also dubbed the Adonis, the H15 is quite the fashion statement, and we rather like the flip boom mic. Again, though, we don't think the sound quality is quite up to par with its promises. The Motorola Pure H15 Bluetooth headset is available for $129 retail.


Motorola H15 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Headset

The Good

The Motorola Pure H15 has a stunning design, a unique flip boom mic, and a comfortable fit. As for audio quality, it does cancel out background noise, though see below for what we didn't like.

The Bad

The voice quality on the Motorola Pure H15 sounds robotic and unnatural, and we were sometimes plagued with crackly static.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Pure H15 is an attractive and comfortable headset, but the audio quality could be improved.

Even though the H15 is a successor to the H12, it has a totally different design. It has a rounder, flatter shape, a bit like a roundish pebble. Measuring 1.54 inches long by 0.94 inch wide by 0.47 inch thick, the H15 is compact and lightweight. On the front is a large circular Call button with the Motorola logo underneath it. On the right spine is a silver volume rocker with a LED indicator light embedded in the middle. Though we don't mind this arrangement, we admit we didn't notice the light at first because LED indicator lights are usually placed on the front of Bluetooth headsets. As for the button and the rocker, they are not at all stiff. They are easy to press even when worn on the ear. The charger jack is on the top of the headset.

If you're wondering how to turn the H15 on, look at the back of the headset. There you'll see a U-shape boom mic folded close. Just flip the boom mic open, and the headset will automatically power on. Though we've been skeptical of extendable boom mics in the past, we do like it in this case because it makes it really easy to power the headset on and off. If you power it on for the first time, the headset goes automatically into pairing mode; if you power it on after you've paired it, it will automatically connect to the last paired cell phone.

Also on the back of the headset is a small earpiece clad in rubber, plus a very thin and flexible plastic ear hook. The ear hook can be fitted for either ear and is thin enough that it'll fit around eyeglasses. The earpiece sits gently inside the ear, and we found it fit quite comfortably. We don't think the ear hook is optional; the ear hook is required for security and stability.

Features of the H15 include the typical answering, receiving, and ending calls, last number redial, call mute, and the ability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. Another feature is that the H15 supports multidevice pairing and can be connected to two devices simultaneously. There's also a battery status indicator; just press both the volume buttons and the color of the indicator light will show you how much battery life is left (red is less than 50 percent charge, yellow is more than that, and green is full).

We tested the Motorola Pure H15 Bluetooth headset with the Apple iPhone 3G. As we mentioned, the H15 automatically goes into pairing mode when it's first powered on, so the pairing process went quite smoothly. We were suitably impressed that the Motorola Pure H15 delivered on its promise of canceling out background noise. We heard our callers just fine, and they, too, said they could hardly tell that we were walking along a busy sidewalk. The H15 also promises automatic volume adjustment depending on the environment, which we also found to be quite true. The volume decreased once we entered a quieter office building.

However, that doesn't mean the audio quality was good. Though we heard our callers loud and clear, they had difficulty hearing us. According to them, there was quite a bit of crackling at times, both when we were outside and when we were inside a moving automobile. The crackling seems to come and go, though, and they said our voice sounded machine-like and unnatural. We called ourselves and left a voice mail and we have to agree with their assessment. Call quality did improve when we were making calls inside a quiet environment. Also, even though there were a few auditory problems, callers could still hear what we were saying, so it wasn't too bad. Overall, call quality seemed patchy and dependent on the environment, which we found disappointing.

The Motorola Pure H15 comes with a desktop stand charger as well as a regular AC charger.


Motorola H15 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Wireless Headset

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 8