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Shiny Stereo Stars: Motorola S805 Review

Ban the wires from your bod with these

Ban the wires from your bod with these

I’ll try to keep this short for reasons which will become apparent.  Bluetooth headphones are all the rage at the moment with big hitters like Jabra, Plantronics and Motorola selling several models in different formats. Recent sets have even included a dog tag design.  There have also been some high end designs from the likes of Sony and Motorola. I’ve got my mitts on the Motorola S805 DJ headset, let’s see what its like.

Control buttons are large and easy to press

Control buttons are large and easy to press

First impressions of the Motorola S805

The S805s are closed back style headphones with nice ‘n soft ear pads and a cushioned adjustable head band. The black finish looks smart rather than showy and the fit on my head is snug rather than heavy or tight.

On the left earpiece is a call button and track skip rocker, the right earpiece has a play/pause button, volume rocker and mic. There’s a charging port under the left ear alongside a wired headphone port for use with the supplied 3.5mm adaptor so you can listen to non bluetooth sources. There’s also a semi-hard travel case in the box.

So that means stereo bluetooth audio (A2DP) with playback control (AVRCP), bluetooth hands free with seamless music integration and non-bluetooth wired audio.

Pairing the Motorola S805

Wired headphone port sits next to charging port

Wired headphone port sits next to charging port

Pairing to my HTC S620 was straightforward with the phone detecting both hands free and stereo audio profiles. As with many bluetooth headsets various things started lighting up blue at this point. Thankfully Motorola understood that S805 owners are buying into a sound rather than sci-fi experience, so the cyborg-looking lights can be easily disabled.

Using the Motorola S805

Hands free conversations come through well, with minimal background noise as with most modern bluetooth headsets and voice dialling is also supported.

Music playback just works beautifully.  On my HTC s620 I called up a playlist in Windows Media Player, put the phone in my bag and controlled the rest from the S805s.   Sweet.  Tunes come banging out of these cans so hard you think you’re in a Detroit club. Basslines are solid, treble comes through clearly and I had no dropouts unlike the otherwise excellent Logitech Freepulse.  The S805s even paired to the Freepulse’s headphone output bluetooth transmitter so I was able to watch TV without using the S805’s wired connection.

The soft earpads are comfortable for extended use

The soft earpads are comfortable for extended use

That’s not to say they’re the last word in headphones.  In a wired listening test against my reference Beyer DT250s the Beyers deliver a significantly better performance in terms of frequency reproduction and sound stage.  In a fairer wired test against the more consumer oriented Beyer DT231 Galactic, the S805s come out with a more open and balanced sound stage with clearer highs whilst the Galactics deliver more in the middle and lower frequencies.  Both are easy to listen to without fatigue for decent amounts of time.

For those conscious to protect their hearing, the closed back design provides useful passive background isolation allowing for comfortable low volume listening…and conveniently protects your ears from the cold which is an added bonus for East Coast winters.

The bad news?  They’re DJ-style big cans which is a question of personal taste and they’re bag rather than pocket friendly.

Is the Motorola S805 a stereo star?

The good news?  Overall the S805s are awesome and worth the money as a high-end accessory for any music-loving owner of a stereo bluetooth cellphone.  Fortunately at the time of writing the S805s were available at several retailers for less than the (deep breath) $249 MSRP. In fact I saw them on sale in short supply for a lot less than that at Amazon and Buy.com.  Nuff said, get that plastic armed and ready.

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

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Sep 13, 2008 - Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , , ,

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