Design and features
Bluetooth headsets: you've seen one, you've seen them all, right? This is true when speaking about the Motorola H780, its design features some attractive flourishes like a dimpled textured trim along the edges of its stainless steel chassis, but overall it's yet another tiny silver bug to rest against your ear.
Its size is about average for a Bluetooth headset, measuring 47mm long and 11mm deep. Unlike other Bluetooth headsets that try to position themselves as, the H780 is more discreet; it's low-key silver and the ear loop is clear plastic. Supporting this discretion, Motorola has positioned the H780's only LED notification light under the lip where the microphone is. This means the headset doesn't flash obnoxious coloured lights at passers-by, turning your cheek into an airport landing strip in the process.
The H780 isn't designed to do anything more than transmit mono audio from your Bluetooth-capable device to its speakers and back again via the mic, but it does feature a few tricks to make sure this task is performed to the best of its ability. Motorola uses a proprietary technology it calls CrystalTalk, which is a combination of a noise-cancelling secondary microphone and digital signal processing. Whether or not you understand the workings of this process is by the by, but we can attest that the audio we heard during testing was exceptional, perhaps the loudest audio we've experienced from a Bluetooth headset. The people we spoke to described what they heard as "echo-y", as though we were talking in a toilet stall, but this is pretty standard for Bluetooth devices.
It also employs multi-point connectivity where you can connect two different devices, like two phones simultaneously, for example. We tested this by connecting a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and iPhone 3G to the headset and it worked fine, receiving audio from each device as calls came in. Pairing the H780 to two phones couldn't have been simpler, after having the phones discover the headset we only had to select "connect" to initiate the connection.
We found the default size ear bud a tad uncomfortable when wearing it for a short amount of time, in fact it felt like something stiff and solid was pushing against our ear. Luckily, Motorola includes two-sized alternative rubber ear buds. Motorola rates the battery life at seven hours of talk-time and bundled a travel charger with the unit.
The H780 impressed us with its solid performance and we also like its simple, discreet design. However, the Bluetooth headset market is very competitive and Motorola's RRP is a tad higher than we think it should be. At AU$109.95, it positions the Motorola headset between, say, theat AU$80 and the excellent at AU$120, though the latter earns its higher price point by having built-in voice activation — a feature neither the Samsung nor Motorola can match.
Perhaps we underestimate the expense Motorola's CrystalTalk adds to this headset, but what it boils down to is that CrystalTalk simply makes sure the headset works as advertised, and this is a feat similarly achieved by the, which costs a third of Motorola's asking price. Price squabbles aside, the H780 definitely delivers what it's expected to do and is a device we feel confident recommending.