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Motorola S9-HD Headset (Black) review: Motorola S9-HD Headset (Black)

Motorola S9-HD Headset (Black)

Nicole Lee
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.
3 min read

When Motorola came out with the Motorola Rokr S9 headset two years ago, stereo Bluetooth headsets were still fairly new, and the S9 gained popularity because of its sports-centric design. Now that more phones have stereo Bluetooth capability (including the iPhone 3G, thanks to its latest firmware update), Motorola is wise to keep hammering away at making new headsets, like the Motorola Rokr S9 HD. It has a similar design to the S9, but is equipped with higher fidelity sound for your music-listening needs. We quite like the sound quality and the fit was OK, but it doesn't handle sports activity as well as we would like. The Motorola Rokr S9 HD retails for $99.99 but you can find it for as low as $60. The Rokr S9 HD comes with a Motorola D650 iPod adapter.


Motorola S9-HD Headset (Black)

The Good

The Motorola Rokr S9 HD has a comfortable and secure design and great audio quality. The buttons are easy to use as well.

The Bad

The Motorola Rokr S9 HD can feel unwieldy when exercising or working out, and the Bluetooth connection cuts out occasionally if the paired device isn't positioned correctly. Also, the power button feels stiff, and the charger jack cover isn't secured properly.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Rokr S9 HD is a simple and lightweight stereo Bluetooth headset, but take caution when using it for an active lifestyle.

The Motorola Rokr S9 HD has a design almost identical to the S9. The neckband connecting the two earpieces floats slightly behind the head, and you wear the headset so that the ear loops hook over the top of your ears. It's not at all clunky or bulky, but we did find that it does pinch the sides of our head slightly. The S9 HD can also be a bit of a hassle if you have longer hair. Otherwise, it's quite comfortable to wear and it's easy to slip the headset on and off because of the slightly flexible ear loops. The earpieces sit just inside the ear opening, and there are three different size earbud coverings for a more custom fit.

The battery of the S9 HD is housed in a long and flat base at the back of the neckband. Underneath the base are the power button and charger jack with an indicator light in between. The music player controls are located above the right earpiece and the call button and volume controls are above the left. These side earpiece buttons are raised above the surface and are easy to find and press, but the power button on the neckband is a bit stiff. Also, the charger jack is covered up by a rubber flap that isn't very secure, thus reducing the headset's moisture resistance.

We tested the Motorola Rokr S9 HD headset with the Apple iPhone 3G and the Casio Exilim C721. The Rokr S9 HD comes with SRS-WOW HD sound that really amps up the overall fidelity of the music. You can choose between two SRS-WOW HD settings: one has fuller sound with more clarity, and another has balanced audio with enhanced bass. Music quality was quite spectacular as a result; the bass sounded round and full, and we were impressed with the surround sound qualities of the high-definition audio.

Call quality was a little less than stellar, but still surprisingly good. We could hear our callers loud and clear without any problems and vice versa. However, callers did detect quite a bit of echo in the background and they said our voices sounded rather harsh and machine-like at times.

We also tested the Rokr S9 HD out while jogging outdoors. The headset bounced up and down a lot, which felt a little uncomfortable and unwieldy. We also found that the Bluetooth connection would cut out every once in a while, especially if we were really jogging at a rapid pace. This happened a lot more when the paired handset was in the pocket, which might've caused a slight antenna interference; we would advise you wear an armband for better connectivity.

Other features of the Rokr S9 HD include support for call waiting and last number redial, plus the ability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. The Rokr S9 HD also has multipoint technology, which means it can connect up to two phones at once.

The Motorola Rokr S9 HD comes with a Motorola D650 iPod adapter, which will add stereo Bluetooth functionality to any iPod via the dock connector. It also comes with a drawstring pouch for the headset. The Rokr S9 HD has a battery life of up to 6 hours talk time and/or playback time.

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