capsule review

Motorola MotoRokr S9-HD for iPod Wireless Stereo Headphones

At a Glance
  • Motorola MotoRokr S9-HD

    TechHive Rating

If you're comfortable with a sturdy headband hovering above the back of your neck, then Motorola's $130 (as of March 22, 2009) MotoRokr S9-HD headphones might tickle your fancy. I found them clunky to wear at the outset, due to the headband's relative stiffness. But once I got used to the bracelike contraption, I appreciated not having to readjust its fit each time; slippage was minimal.

Overall, my tunes sounded impressive over this headset. The S9-HD delivered a rich stereo experience, including great-sounding bass. Particularly with world music/electronica tracks, I liked the clear audibility of accompanying percussion instruments.

Call quality on the headset was up and down. Most of the time, voices came across loud and clear to me; but on a few occasions, words became stuttered. The people I called told me that I sounded fine, albeit muffled at times. During conversations in environments that included background noise (such as children clanking around), call recipients complained that the racket was too distracting; the noise level didn't diminish much while I spoke, either.

Each earpiece houses three controls: a multifunction call button and a volume up/down on one side, and a play/pause and track skip (forward and back) control on the other. Though these ridged buttons are small, I had no trouble finding them, and they provided good feedback when pressed.

After a couple of hours of wearing the S9-HD, my ears felt as though they were being dragged down by lead earrings. I also found that the S9-HD restricted my head movements somewhat, so it worked better for me when I sat at my computer than when I was walking around or running. I'd recommend this headset for quick phone calls (as opposed to long conference calls) and for occasional music playing--preferably in a sedentary situation. If you're looking for a multipurpose, around-the-clock headset, you should probably look elsewhere--perhaps to the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 or to the LG Electronics HBS-250, both of which I reviewed for the same stereo headphones roundup.

This story, "Motorola MotoRokr S9-HD for iPod Wireless Stereo Headphones" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Consider Motorola’s S9-HD bundle if you need a Bluetooth adapter for your iPod--your tunes will sound great, too.

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