Motorola S11-Flex HD review: A headset best for the gym, not making calls.

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MSRP: $129.99

The Good The Motorola S11-Flex HD is lightweight, wireless, sweat resistant, and comes with lots of ways to adjust its fit. The headset also charges quickly.

The Bad The S11-Flex HD is tricky to strap on and delivers mediocre call and audio quality.

The Bottom Line Motorola’s S11-Flex HD makes for a great workout companion but phone calls aren’t its strength.

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6.3 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

If you’re looking for a laudable gym buddy, the $129.99 Motorola S11-Flex HD has a lot going for it. The stereo Bluetooth headphones shrug off sweat and exposure to moisture, plus once adjusted stay firmly in place. It’s an adequate music player, too, and lets you take that important phone call if you need to. Just don’t make a habit of it, since the device’s call quality is subpar at best.

When you first see the S11-Flex HD, it’s clear the device has a pretty wild-looking design. Unlike most of the wireless stereo headphones on the market, which tend to be on-ear or earbud styles, the S11 uses an over-the-ear design. These kind of headsets are typically tough to position comfortably, especially for eyeglass wearers like myself. Motorola tries to solve this by crafting the S11-Flex HD to be highly adjustable.

With its unconventional design, it's hard to tell at first which end is up. Sarah Tew/CNET

For instance, you can pull the earbud stems up and down. They also swivel a bit too. The headband is flexible as well and Motorola also bundles fours sets of different sizedeartips to accommodate large and small ears. Additionally, you can attach a rubber strap for greater stability.

The earbuds swivel and tilt to offer a more comfortable fit. Sarah Tew/CNET

Even so, I found that it took a good 6 to 7 seconds to place the S11 properly on my ears and over my glasses. Once in position the headset does firmly stay put, especially when I used the stabilizing rubber strap. Without this strap the back of the headband is easy to dislodge, either by the back of collared shirts or jacket collars when I tilted my head upward.

I was glad the S11 came with those extra eartips as well, since the standard ones installed by default were too big for my taste. Attaching the smallest tips available helped me to create a tighter audio seal since I could jam the earbud deeper into my ear canal. Controls are minimal on the S11-Flex HD, with only a power button and volume rocker on the right side and a multifunction button on the left. At just a hair less than 2 ounces, the device is lightweight too, a boon for those taking it on long runs or runs. Also thoughtful is the S11’s sweat-proof construction, thanks to a moisture-repellent coating.

Extra eartips and a strap are included for more stability. Sarah Tew/CNET

Essentially the Motorola S11-Flex HD is designed to provide wireless stereo audio for listening to music during workouts at the gym, or while just walking around town. The device also can pair with Bluetooth-equipped phones to function as a traditional hands-free headset for making and receiving calls.

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