Motorola S9-HD Review
Enhanced Motorola S9–HD Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Now Delivers High-Definition SRS WOW 3–D Surround Sound, Background Noise Isolation & Improved “Moisture Protection” Buttons
As you may recall the original Motorola S9 released last year was a superb A2DP Bluetooth Stereo Headphone (see my review) that proved to be _extremely_ popular – particularly for sporting Treo and Centro owners who wanted a solid cable free solution to listen to music while at the gym, running, biking or hiking.
Although I personally loved the S9 and never had any problems whatsoever with it there were however many reports from people (over 100 comments to my review) that the side control buttons on the Motorola S9 were too “touch sensitive” and that under heavy moisture from water and sweat it could malfunction.
The particularly frustating thing was that even those who reported problems with the S9 actually said that they absolutely loved this Bluetooth Stereo Headset which delivers a superb design, excellent sound and are ultra-comfortable. In short, people wanted Motorola to keep the design exactly as is but to simply fix the moisture problems.
It appears that the company did just that with the recent release of its new Motorola S9–HD – a Bluetooth Stereo Headphone that shares 90% of the design features of the original but now adds 3-D surround sound and high-definition acoustics from SRS WOW HD technology, better background noise isolation and new side control buttons with improved moisture protection.
The most important and most visible physical design improvement on the Motorola S9–HD is the new side control buttons pictured above. Instead of using the previous “touch sensitive” buttons which could fail to control anything once moisture got near them, the S9–HD now offers larger and more intuitive recessed push buttons that are covered with a rubber skin which appears to be considerably more impermeable to moisture. [Please note that Motorola does not claim that this unit is completely moisture-proof.]
The Motorola S9–HD also becomes more “serious” and elegant going all black with a patterned rubber lining on the inside while at the same time retaining the convenience of a built-in mini USB charging connector. As before, the left side buttons control Volume Up/Down and Call Answer/End while the right has the dedicated AVRCP buttons for Play/Pause, FWD and RWD.
In terms of accessories kit above, the S9–HD includes three sets of ear cups (small, medium, large) so that you can find your perfect fit, a new soft carrying bag and a mini USB wall charger. Unfortunately, Motorola has also once again chosen not to include a mini USB cable that you could use to charge your headphones from a spare port at your PC.
Overall there is no doubt that the Motorola S9–HD remains as powerful and comfortable as its predecessor with a “behind-the-neck” design and weighing only 32 grams / 1 ounce which makes it ideal for most sporting activities where a lightweight “wireless” solution is most required. At the same time the audio quality for both music and calls is further enhanced by the terrific 3-D surround sound and high-definition SRS WOW HD technology which makes it a real pleasure to listen to your tunes on the go.
Finally, it is worthwhile pointing out that while I consider the Moto S9–HD to be the best Bluetooth Stereo Headphones for sporting activities, my current top choice for “normal” activities is the terrific Jabra BT3030 (see my review) which I have been particularly enjoying now that my Treo Pro has a standard 3.5mm audio connector.
Note for Palm OS Treo & Centro Owners: In order to use all of the Bluetooth music features of the Moto S9–HD and its Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution (A2DP) and Audio Video Remote Control (AVRCP), Palm OS Treo and Centro owners will first have to install the Softick Audio Gateway software (see my full review for additional information).
Treonauts always look for more enhancements…