Motorola finally released the S9 headphones I've been dying to try out. Unfortunately, my last pair of BT headphones didn't quite live up to their usefulness. The fact is they were simply just too big. I felt like Princess Leah wearing the things. On top of that, they were a little on the heavy side and, well, the needless blinking blue lights on either side made me worry about jets trying to land on my head.
Enter the S9!
These things are, so far, the most practical I've seen. First of all, thery're earbuds, of which I'm a fan. My Sony FONtopias are by far my favorite headphones. They pretty much rawk anything inexpensive I've tried, and the bass is unparalleled in an earbud. Secondly, they're much more nondescript than the last ones. I'm pretty much of the belief that headphones should be heard and not seen.
My music player and earphones aren't fashion statments. I almost never wear white headphones that stand out (unless I'm wearing a white shirt). Otherwise, my little black wires run underneath my shirt and into the pocket where my music device is hidden. Considering there's a battery, charging port, and power switch, these aren't a bad compromise.
I have to admit, when I first tried them, they sounded pretty bad. I remembered how my FONtopias are very sensitive to positioning, so when I noticed replacement earbuds, I popped off the directional ones and placed the straight ones on. The difference in bass was immediately noticeable, and the sound in general improved 100%. I guess it probably depends on your ears as to which will work best for you, but, although a little big for my ears, the replacement mushroom-looking buds sound much better in my ears. The difference was immediately noticeable and it wasn't subtle. I'm not sure why Motorola preinstalled the other buds, but perhaps my ears are different. I won't say the sound is as good as my FONtopias, but there are a lot of factors that can be influencing the quality. I'm going to try a different music player on my mobile that has an equalizer later.
The buttons to answer calls and pause/play are on either ear. The next track and volume buttons are touch sensitive, so you just have to press your finger against them (this will take a little getting used to as every time I grab them, I'm setting something off).
The mic is embedded somewhere in the right ear bud. [I'll try this out later and fill in how that works]. If it works anything like the HT820s, the mic won't be an issue. When a call comes in, the music of course pauses, and you can take the call right in the headphones. Once the call ends, the music automatically picks up from where it left off.
Another great feature of these, the device can pair with up to 8 different devices! So you can use them as headphones for your computer at work, your cell phones, your notebook at home, home stereo, mp3 player, etc.
Anyway, so far I'm a fan. I'm going to try these out at the gym tonight (if it isn't too cold). It'll be nice to finally put the music playing capabilities of my cell phone to good use.
Oh, yes, and there are no obnoxiously large blinking lights on this one—just a little unobtrusive one that is underneath the battery compartment in the back.
Also, major props to Motorola for carrying this feature over: standard mini-USB charging jack.
[Additional Info -- 2007-04-19 21:49]
I had noticed some clipping on higher frequencies that was disconcerting, however, this appears to be limited to the software on the mobile device. After pairing it to the Windows installation on my ThinkPad, I can say the sound is VERY good for wireless headphones, and I've noticed no clipping at either low or high frequencies. So far this is the only other device I've tried it with. Although I successfully paired it to my Macbook as a headset, Apple's Bluetooth implementation on the Mac is incomplete and does not support the A2DP profile (which is required for stereo over BT).