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Motorola MOTOPURE H12 Review

The Motorola MOTOPURE H12 is without a doubt one of the best looking new Bluetooth headsets to have been released in quite a while for your Treo or Centro and I have to admit that I was impressed the moment I got this tiny headset out of its box. 

Motorola H12

Combining a somewhat retro design reminiscent of a 50’s portable transistor radio with an updated modern brushed stainless steel and glossy black plastic the tiny MOTOPURE H12 (only 12 grams/0.4oz) looks right at home paired with your smartphone in 2008.  It also happens to provide excellent technology including Motorola’s new CrystalTalk which filters out background noise using two microphones and delivering 5.5 hours talk time/8 days standby time.

 Moto H12 Moto H12 - Side

The material of the body itself is less impressive with a standard (albeit solid) black matt plastic used throughout.  A simple no-nonsense rectangular body reminds of the shape of a military landing boat from which the speaker protrudes.  I also like the Volume Up/Down button (above right) which is simple to use and easily accessible.

 Moto H12 - Back Moto H12 - Power Button

Given the excellent overall build, I’m not sure why Motorola chose to use a relatively cheap looking translucent ear hook (above right) instead of one in brushed silver for example but I can see that this makes the headset look “lighter” when worn on your ear.  Additionally, a terrific feature on the MOTOPURE H12 is the Power Switch found at the back of the unit (image above right) which allows you to increase battery life while not in use.

Moto H12 Accessory Kit

The Motorola MOTOPURE H12 headset also happens to come with a very complete accessory kit which includes a gorgeous desktop cradle (see below), charging cradle/carrying case (above left), mini-to-microUSB adapter, shirt clip, wall charger and two spare ear gels.  The only thing very frustatingly missing is a USB charging cable and I would also have liked to have a couple spare ear hooks.

 Motorola H12 - Base Motorola H12 - Base Connector

The Moto H12 desktop charging cradle (above) is probably the most elegant that I have come across to date – it’s absolutely stunning.  Additionally I love the way that the headset docks in the cradle with two small magnets gently holding it in place.

 Moto H12 - Charger Case Moto H12 - Charger Case Closed

Because there is no charging connector built directly into the headset you’ll need to use either the desktop cradle or alternatively the portable charging cradle (also uses a magnetic dock) pictured above which doubles as a protective carrying case.  It’s not a bad solution but I would have preferred to also have a USB cable (even with a proprietary connector) to more conveniently charge my MOTOPURE H12 while on the go.

Moto H12 & Jawbone

While both the inbound and outbound sound quality is undoubtedly excellent in quiet or mildly loud environments thanks to Motorola’s new CrystalTalk technology the fact is nonetheless that I consider the company’s claims of “noise cancellation” to be somewhat exaggerated particularly when compared to the superlative performance of the Jawbone (see my review) pictured above which remains my top Editor’s Choice.  In my opinion the MOTOPURE H12 could claim to offer “noise reduction” while the Jawbone is the only one to truly deliver “active noise cancellation”.

Motorola H12 - On Ear

Overall there is a great deal to like about the Motorola MOTOPURE H12 as it looks stunning, is ultralight and comfortable to wear, offers very good talk time, excellent call quality as well as a truly superior accessory kit.  Having said this, considering its current price I believe that the Jawbone offers much better value or you might consider the Jabra BT8040 as a strong alternative as well.

Treonauts are always purists

Posted by Andrew on January 3, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Treo Bluetooth Headset

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by swanj51 | Jan 3, 2008 3:36:23 PM

Is there a bluetooth headset that can be used for phone as well as music? If not is there an application to purchase?

by dmm | Jan 3, 2008 5:23:47 PM

Moto's always had a strong and innovative hardware design team. Unfortunately, their interfaces and QA department don't measure up to their strength in hardware design.

swanj51--There's this one by Lubix...


... and one by Plantronics that is a 2-parter--it can be worn either just for calls, like most headsets, or you can attach another section (on a cable that runs to the other ear) for listening to music, podcasts, etc. The one negative thing is that it fits a little deeper into the ears than I like--deeper than a Sony Ericsson headset, for instance. However, there are plenty of headsets/headphones out there like this, so it's bound to suit some people's tastes.

The Treonauts store doesn't show this one (yet). And like any Bluetooth stereo headset, to use it for music and such with a Palm OS Treo, you'll need a program like Softick Audio Gateway...

by Cheker | Jan 4, 2008 12:23:03 AM

I think it's ugly. It looks too retro, like a transistor radio or an old microphone from the 50's.


I think what you are looking for was actually reviewed by Andrew a few weeks back. It's the Jabra BT8040. It can be used for calls or music. Like dmm said (same for all A2DP-headsets), you only need Softick Audio Gateway app along with the headset in order for it to work with music.


by chlokemos | Apr 8, 2008 2:43:30 PM

Does anyone know how to buy an additional wall charger or if they make a car charger or if this is compatible with any of the existing oem chargers?


by Dave H. | Apr 22, 2008 10:40:03 AM

Looks great...has some problems recognizing it's own firmware commands...like "Name Dial" (response "not recognized")... on my 2nd headset...major issue: when driving it will not allow you to disconnect from a busy call signal. I had to pull over and turn it off and turn it back on to get it to stop and disconnect????
Nice if you like a cool magnetic charger stand to match your Apple computer...but it needs to work too! Slight hiss at high volumes (maybe noise canceling technology?) and don't use your car A/C unit when trying to use voice commands. Makes intermittent voice recognition a constant problem.

by Tony Levy | Aug 2, 2008 2:05:09 PM

I bought this head set because of the claim of noise rejection since I work in a really noisy invirolment, The incomming calls have been excellent but out going call have been worst than the samson wep200, it fits real comfortable and is light, Now I know why there are so much on E-Bay selling cheap.

by Martin Luther | Feb 3, 2009 10:05:04 AM

"Now I know why there are so much on E-Bay selling cheap"

eBay sales of Moto products has nothing to do with the quality of the headset but everything to do with people reaping a profit selling counterfeit items using the Moto name.

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