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Treo A2DP Stereo Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones Review

Best Bluetooth Stereo HeadphonesThere is no doubt that Bluetooth Stereo Headphones for your Treo are becoming increasingly popular even though for now only the Windows Mobile Treo 750 fully supports the A2DP and AVRCP profiles required for use with these headsets.  Having said this, many Treo 680, 700p and 650 owners have recently also been able to enjoy the freedom of wireless audio thanks to an application called Softick Audio Gateway – the first Bluetooth audio streaming solution for PalmOS devices.

Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones

The latest set of stereo Bluetooth headphones that I’ve had the opportunity to test are the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones pictured here and I have to admit that in a very short period I’ve come to like them at lot.  So much so in fact that they have now become my preferred headsets (combined with the ActiveLife WorkoutCase) for running in the morning because the lack of cables makes it that much easier to move freely.

Clearly the Motorola S9 headphones have been designed with this “active” lifestyle in mind as there are no cables of any kind to fumble with, there are no small pieces that could go missing, the entire headset is extremely light and solid, the combination of hard plastic, rubber and black/red color further enhances the “sport” look while still being discreet enough to use in any situation.

Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones

The back of the headset (above) features a simple and large On/Off button, indicator light and also the charging connector – all of which are covered in red rubber.

 Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones

The left ear loop provides touch sensitive volume controls and also the Call Answer/End button while the left side offers track Forward/Back controls as well as the Play/Pause button.  The speakers are large, loud and comfortable and three sets of different shaped and sized ear cups make it easy to find your perfect fit.

Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones

Aside from the three sets of ear cups, the Motorola S9 kit is pretty basic and includes a wall charger but suprisingly and annoyingly for a headset priced above $100 no USB charging cable is included (my only complaint really).

Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones

As I mentioned earlier, I found the S9 headphones to be extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time – at only 36 grams the weight is easily balanced between your right and left ears – barely noticing that you’re wearing them.  The cantilevered design also ensures that the back of the unit normally “floats” over your neck without actually touching it.

Separately, I found Bluetooth audio quality and volume to be extremely good and I was also particularly impressed by the range which allowed to easily move over 5 meters away from my Treo without any sound distortion.  Inbound and outbound call quality is also good (a rated 6 hours of talk time) but for extended calls I feel that dedicated Bluetooth Wireless Headsets are still a better choice.

Overall what I like the most about these new S9 headphones is how simple to use, comfortable to wear and extremely solid they are – a combination that makes them ideal for sports but equally great if you just want to listen to music or watch movies while on the go.  Although I won’t be replacing any of my favourite Bluetooth headsets to make calls I am nonetheless now happily keeping the Motorola S9 for my morning runs.  My rating: Very Highly Recommended.

Treonauts always enjoy something new

Posted by Andrew on May 17, 2007 at 09:33 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Bluetooth , Treo Bluetooth A2DP Headphones

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by Jason | Aug 10, 2007 5:59:43 PM

i too experienced the problem with sweat causing the headset to malfunction. i have had the s9 for about 2 weeks, used them maybe 10 times and last night when i was running the buttons quit working. the volume seems to be stuck at the lowest level, as they still work, but you can barely hear it in only a silent environment. moto has a new pair on the way--although i had to provide cc number for them to ship first. they wanted me to ship back first and said it was a 3 week affair to get a replacement. unfortunately i will only be able to use the new pair for the subway commute now

by Keith | Aug 15, 2007 1:14:36 AM

The s9 has some problems, i've gone through 3 already,if any kind of moisture gets into the ear piece they will short out. It always seems to be the left side that goes first. The rubber on the earpiece looks like it would keep out moisture but after tearing a pair apart i found that there is only hard plastic with no seal next to the rubber ear cup. It's too bad because the design is cool and sound quality is good but dont get them wet, at all.

by robert | Aug 24, 2007 10:52:35 AM

I have an S9, i work in a warehouse and sweat for at least 5 hours per day. And after one week i noticed it would start beeping and changing the tracks on my phone without me touching the buttons. Thanks to this forum i see other have had this problem.

by Travis Kerzic | Aug 24, 2007 3:54:19 PM

I am on my second pair too. Moisture resistant?? Bull...they didn't even put up a fight! All but the phone, and volume down quit functioning. I use them at the gym, running on a treadmill. This happened to my last pair right at about 2 weeks. I do not know what Motorola expect one to do. Not sweat? How hard is it to seal the electrical parts away?? Esp around the ears?
Its a bummer too....cause I like these things (when they work).

by Ron | Sep 8, 2007 9:07:57 PM

I just got the Softic Audio Gateway for my 755P and it streams music easily and without a problem.

I have not got a bluetooth headset yet but am happy with it working with my stereo system.

by Ralph | Sep 8, 2007 9:09:07 PM

Just bought a S9. Really love it, so far no problems. Two things to say. First be carefull there are a lot of counterfit S9's out there, Amazon/Ebay is 90% counterfit. Major difference between china ripoffs and Motos OEM is quality and internal design. External examination of ripoffs shows poor quality to carefull examiner, but you have to know what to look for. Check out Moto's web site for more info. Could be some of these problems are from counterfits. That is why Moto will not replace them until they see yours. Second; anybody know how and if the batterys can be replaced by the consumer, and if so how?

by cef21173 | Sep 12, 2007 3:21:37 PM

Yep Me Too!!!

My S9's volume buttons went berzerk!! One thing though, my lasted about a month and a half before they started acting up. Sad too, like many others, I like the design and they do sound pretty nice. I can't wait to see what motorola will do to improve the headsets flaw. I'm inclined to buy another pair if they "REALLY" make them sweat/water resistant....Ciao!

by imtribble | Sep 15, 2007 6:00:44 PM

I've just killed my second pair of S9 in one month. This is definitely NOT for an active user. I have to same button problems. Once you start working out (i.e. running in my case), the buttons just stop and the unit starts doing flaky stuff. I purchased my headsets directly from a AT&T store. It is definitely the design.

Now I'm taking this pair over for a refund.

by REX | Sep 18, 2007 4:56:22 PM

This is happening to mine also. When I wear my running hat, the sweat gets diverted and the phones last 20 miles (3 hrs +). When I don't wear the hat the sweat penetrates the phones after 20 minutes, depending how long it's been since they last sweated out (i.e. how long they've had to dry out).

I called Moto on Friday and now they won't send a new pair until I send in my existing phones. They said any item that has MSRP over $120 can't be guaranteed by Credit Card to send replacement right away. The floor manager I spoke to said this is a recent policy as they claim to have been taken advantage of in the past...

by Travis Kerzic | Sep 19, 2007 3:33:41 PM

If you have to send them in like me (on third pair), call them as soon as it shows DELIVERED. Give them the tracking #. I had to kick them in the a** 1 weeks after my first set was with them. If you call them as soon as they receive them, your total turnaround time ~ 1 - 1.5 week. Otherwise they will take their sweet time.

I'm going to try enhancing the waterproofing on this pair...let you know how it goes...

by Mike | Sep 21, 2007 4:02:00 PM

What number did you call? My S9 buttons are totally dead. They make me so mad. I almost got hit by a car the other day jacking around with these things. They said they were for active lifestyles but not even 2 miles into my run and they start beeping and screwing up. I love them but I hate them also.

by foobar | Sep 25, 2007 2:45:07 PM

Yes, the S9 is "sweat resistant": http://www.motorola.com/motoinfo/product/details.jsp?globalObjectId=177

If people keep sending the dead ones back to Moto, they'll eventually get the message.

If not, it's class action lawsuit time...

by nick | Sep 26, 2007 12:52:42 AM

i am on my 3nd set right now my first s9 lasted 2 days i thought it was just a fluke, but after 2 weeks my 2nd set went out, the sweat definitely shorts out the buttons, Motorola claims that they are sweat proof ya right, hopefully the 3rd set will do better, they are extremely comfortable while running or mountain biking i can wear them for about 2 hours before they start to get irritating, i am spoiled now and cant imagine going back to my old headset, i purchased mine at Verizon and i intend to keep exchanging them for as long as i can, supposedly they have a 1 year warranty, if Motorola doesnt have a fix by then i am sure with slight modification i can get them to last longer, dose anyone else have any other success or failures with them,

by paul | Oct 2, 2007 7:31:20 PM

I've had similar issues with malfunctions on the s9 after/during using it while working out. I'm currently awaiting my 7th headset and I've only owned them for 6 months. I think the maximum functioning time that I've experienced is 2 weeks tops and probably due to not working out heavily during that period. This last pair only lasted 1 workout. Every time I send it back they tell me that no one else is having this problem and no one else is complaining about them. It's good to see that others are telling them the same thing and hopefully they'll resolve the problem. They refuse to refund me my money since I did not purchase it directly from Motorola. They have started sending me replacements immediately and paying for return shipping on my defective product, but it's still a pain in the ass. The design is so cool and it's fantastic when it works, but this is a very frustrating process. I plan on making them replace them every single time they break until the warantee expires. Even if they have to replace them 20 times.

by Kyle | Oct 5, 2007 11:48:43 AM

Hi all,

I am on my third pair of S9's and when I called again to Motorola the rep told me that they arenot aware of this problem. So I filled out a cutomer support form with the problem documented. Please so the same hopefully Motorola will make a revision to the headphones and fix the problem if enough people report it. Even better they will send us the revised S9's as graditude.

Here is the support site address. http://www.store.motorola.com/mot/en/US/adirect/motorola;jsessionid=3B4DAC49792F1E1EF22C3040227E6D47.mot2?cmd=MotoSupport


by pat | Oct 19, 2007 2:14:46 PM

I ordered two sets of the S9's and neither one will charge?!?! I've tried several chargers and still nothing. When i am pluggiing in the mini usb into the headphones, the led light blinks green once very quickly and thats all I get. Anyone else have this problem? Do you think they are just DOA?

by VMD | Nov 15, 2007 1:08:35 AM

My 2nd set just shorted out after a week (2nd heavy workout). I thought the first was just a fluke, but after the 2nd, I figured I'd try a Google search and found this site. Now I know this is a definite flaw in the design since lots of others are obviously experiencing the same. Of course Moto won't admit there's a problem...that would mean they would need to take them off the shelves and loose lots more money than replacing the ones from people who are very active (probably the minority compared to the whole market of users). Well, at least they're honoring the warranty.

by Arnaud | Nov 19, 2007 8:39:35 AM

Hi all,
i'm Arnaud from france. I got the same problem with my S9. The 'volume up' button stopped working 2 weeks after i've bought it.
It worked again after 2-3 days time off and complete battery-discharging.
But it's been broken again yesterday.
Sweat proof, Motorola's said ? my A**...

by Dan | Nov 19, 2007 9:48:57 AM

Where the heck can you get replacement ear cups? The Hellomoto service people have no clue. Grrrrr

by John | Nov 24, 2007 2:15:46 AM

I purchased my S9's through Verizon and tomorrow I will be returning my third pair since I purchased them one week ago.

At first I thought it was just me since I'm also on my 8th phone in 11 months. :-( Obviously there are some serious design flaws with this product. I hope they fix this issue quickly!

by Syd | Nov 28, 2007 1:49:34 PM

My S9 was doing great for about 1 month. The 'volume up' is not working. i don't know if it was sweat... although it did happen during a lenghty workout. What the hell.... Such a nice design but crappy stability ... everyone is complaining.

by SEF | Dec 4, 2007 10:31:08 AM

Thanks everyone! was just having the "sweat" problem with my headphones and i used a hair dryer to fix it. Must have had some moisture trapped in there. I love these headphones but they definitely have trouble with moisture.

by Rahul | Dec 10, 2007 6:08:07 AM

well bought s9 to worl with my nokia 5700.. everything is excellent but i can only hear call in left ear and the mic is not catching my voice very clear?? hearing call only in left ear is it normal?? ot is it supposed to hear on both ears??

by mark | Dec 10, 2007 11:45:04 PM

If you read the instructions,it states phone will work in only one ear,so yes that is normal.

by joe | Dec 15, 2007 9:13:40 AM

My first pair came from eBay for $55. That pair wouldn't charge correctly and had the indicator light issue someone else described. Motorola replaced those and the second pair died during my second run. No sound out of the left side, even after drying them over the lamp overnight. My third pair arrived yesterday and during the first run the volume started malfunctioning.

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