1 Week Later: Motorola Motorokr S9-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset (Updated)

It’s now officially one week later and I have spent quite a few hours with the new Motorola Motorokr S9-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset. During this time I used them no different than any other headset I own and use it on a regular basis. So starting with the fit of the headset after prolonged use I feel comfortable to say that they are fantastic. At no time did I feel any fatigue from wearing them for 2 hours or more as I usually do. The S9-HD grips to the side of your head to stay in position similar to a pair of Oakley sunglasses as they don’t need to rest on the ear. The rubberized inner portion of the headset did a good job of preventing the headset from slipping and bouncing around. It was pretty much stable during walks and brief runs down the street and even running up and down stairways. There was also no ear fatigue from the earbuds which are also comfortable and hold up well during long periods of use. They are not going to fit every ear but when they do it makes listen to music quite enjoyable.

Using the controls on either side of the headset is a breeze. I had absolutely no problems finding the correct button I was looking for or even remembering which buttons were where at any time. Once paired using AVRCP worked flawlessly. Whether I was using my iPhone or laptop I was able to skip through tracks forward and back with no issues. There is no fast-foward or rewind capability which I didn’t find to be necessary.

Bluetooth reliability is around 98%. As with any device, using a radio frequency to communicate to another is trick business as it can be easily interrupted. For the most part I had no issues with interference from other devices or objects. In the house I have no problems walking around as long as I stayed with in range and didn’t go around corners. Outside I have run into a few issues with the signal breaking up. So far it has been limited to a few specific places. Each time it has been during one of my many commutes between Manhattan and Brooklyn in which the route does not change. Seeing that NYC is what I would call a frequency saturated city I think it’s pretty safe to say the S9-HDs have held up quite well.

SRS Labs’ WOW HD which is at the heart of these good sounding headphones gives the headset a more dynamic range. Considering the fact that this is a bluetooth headset I as surprised to say that I find the sound to be just on par with some $100.00 wired headphones. While sound quality differs from person to person the S9-HD was definitely more balanced, had greater range and depth than my old Bang & Olufsen A8 earphones which were incapable of reproducing deep bass. The S9-HD can in no way compare to the Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating earphones but for a bluetooth headset the S9-HD does not disappoint. Good sound, good range with the added power and depth of SRS WOW HD make these a near perfect replacement for decent sounding pair of wired headphones. My only gripe but not a deal killer with the S9-HD headset is that it is not sound isolating. A feature that once experienced you’d be hard pressed to give up. The ear buds are pointed at a 90 degree angle from the frame but should have been turned more to face the ear canal. This would would have allowed for lower listening levels and afforded some sound isolation. But even without it, I am very pleased with the sound quality and volume because at no time did I have to max out the volume during my rides in the NYC subway.

There’s but so much one can say about answering calls. It either works or it doesn’t and the S9-HD works perfectly in the handsfree department. Calls came in clear and the echo cancellation seem to work very well. I had no complaints of not being heard during any of my calls. The S9-HD had no problems switch right back to the music after a call either so you will not miss a beat when listening you your favorite music or podcast.

I feel the Motorola Motorokr S9-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset is an excellent choice if you are looking to cut the cord. They sound good, feel good and look good. Motorola has definite winner here in my book. So check them out, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good these really are.

07.01.2009 Update:

I purchased the iPhone 3GS this morning and got it up and running in time to go to work. So of course, my first test was going to be with the S9-HDs. The sound is good still good but I can confirm that all the complaints of the controls on the headset not working are true except the play button while listening to audio. Apparently, Apple rushed the AVRCP out the gate and into the iPhone OS 3.0 software update before it was ready. While this is very disappointing it is not the end of the world and there is good news. Apple has already released iPhone OS 3.1 beta to developers which solves a number of issues including the AVRCP. I’d expect this update to be released before the end of July, so stay tuned as I am keeping track of this.


10 thoughts on “1 Week Later: Motorola Motorokr S9-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset (Updated)

  1. Bluetooth functionality Motorola S9-HD. Post iPhone 3.0 update, I have found that the connect with no dongle works, but the Skip forward/back buttons not working on 3.0. Are they working for you?

  2. No, I have the iPhone 2G so I still require the dongle. I’ll be getting the iPhone 3G S soon so I can drop the dongle.

  3. same here for my iphone 3G on OS 3.0. skip forward and backwards does not work. play/pause works. volume up and down works when playing music. have not really tried it using the phone. seems akward for phone use.

  4. That’s interesting and odd if you ask me. Sounds like a rather incomplete implementation of AVCRP profile on the iPhone. Hopefully Apple will have this fixed with an update.

    I suggest posting this on Apple’s forums to ensure a fix. The more that do so the more likely they will remedy this pronto.

  5. I find that once the iphone 3g OS 3.0 screen turns off (to save battery) that the music cuts out and in, mostly out. If I tap the home button and the screen lights back up then the music works great with the headset. Any solutions?

  6. I’ve haven’t experienced that so far but I’m using the 3GS. Never owned the 3G. Give this a try: Open Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings or Reset All Settings if that doesn’t work. If all fails reinstall OS 3.0.

  7. As everyone stated.. the song skip features do not work. I have a 3gs with the new 3.1 version software and same issue.. Its irritating since it requires you to have the iphone handy to skip songs, etc. rest of the features work great…

  8. The iPhone OS 3.1 update adding no AVRCP support; only the ability to use the iPhones built-in voice controls from a bluetooth headset. I’m a bit disappointed in this update because AVRCP was in previous 3.1 betas.

  9. I can’t say I’ve experienced that myself but I suggest you call Motorola customer service. They just might be able to you.

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