Contact Us   Site Map
Airline Mismanagement

Most people feel they can rely on a leading brand such as Motorola, and would choose to buy their products with confidence.

But be strongly warned before choosing this headset.  It is appealing to look at, and function, but - alas - the sound quality is poor.

Nothing else really matters if you're sacrificing the sound quality.  There are better quality headsets available, for similar or even lower price.  Leave this product alone.

 
 
Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
Noise Reducing Headphones
International Cell Phone Service
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
Unlock Your GSM Cell Phone
Portable MP3 Players
GPS series of articles
Should you choose an iPhone or Android series
Apple iPhone review series
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
Third Rail iPhone 4/4S External Battery
Apple iPad review series
iPad/Tablet Buying Guide
Google Nexus 7 review
Netflix Streaming Video
Sharing Internet Access series
Microsoft OneNote review
T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series
Blackberry review and user tips
Palm Tungsten T3
Motorola V3 Razr cell phone review
Motorola V600 cell phone review
Nokia 3650 cell phone review
SIM Saver GSM Phone Backup and Copy Device
Clipper Gear Micro Light
Amazon's new (Sep '11) Kindles and Fire review
Review of the Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle eBook reader review
Amazon Kindle 2 preview
Sony PRS-500 eBook reader review
Audible Digital Talking Books review
Home Security Video Monitoring
Quik Pod review
Joby Gorillapod review
Satellite Radio Service
Satellite Phone Service
All About Speech Recognition Software
2005 Best Travel Technology Awards
How to connect to the Internet when away from home/office
Bluetooth wireless networking
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset
Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Packet 8 VoIP phone service
Sugarsynch software review
iTwin remote access device
Barracuda Spam Firewall review
Cell Phone Emergency Power Recharger series
First Class Sleeper
Roboform Password Manager review
Securikey USB Computer Protection Key review
Steripen UV Water Purifiers
ScanGaugeII OBDII review
SafeDriver review
Expandable Bags for Traveling Convenience
USB Flash Drive
Vonage VoIP phone service
Laptop Screen Privacy Filter
AViiQ Laptop Stands
Aviator Laptop Computer Stand
No Luggage Worries
Pack-a-Cone roadside safety flashing cone
Emergency Self charging Radio
Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood
MyTag Luggage Tags
Beware of Checked Baggage Xray Machines
SearchAlert TSA approved lock
Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and splitter
Dry Pak protective pouch
Boom Noise Canceling Headset
Ety-Com Noise Canceling Headset
Nectar Blueclip BT headset holders
Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer
Lingo Pacifica 10 language talking translator
Nexcell NiMH rechargeable battery kit
Jet Lag Causes and Cures
SuddenStop License Frame
CoolIT USB Beverage cooler
Travel ID and Document Pouches
Protect Yourself Against Document Loss
Personal Radio Service
PicoPad Wallet Notes
Times Electronic Crossword Puzzles
Slim Cam 300 micro digital camera review
Stopping Spam
BottleWise Bottle Carrier review
The End of the Internet as We Know it?
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
 
Search
Looking for something else? Search over two million words of free information on our site.
Custom Search
 
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free weekly newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.

 

 View Sample
Privacy Policy

 
Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information
 
Reader's Replies

If you'd like to add your own commentary, send me a note.

 

 

Motorola H3 Bluetooth Headset review

Sleek looks and good functionality
 

The Motorola H3 Bluetooth headset copies some of the design elements of their very successful V3 RAZR phone, but will work with most Bluetooth enabled phones, as well as the RAZR.

This is an appealing headset, but suffers from one fatal flaw.

Part of our series on Bluetooth - more articles listed on the right.

 

 

Motorola is one of the leading names in cell phone electronics, but its H3 Bluetooth headset - while promising much - delivers little.

Surely the most important feature of a headset - wired or Bluetooth - is good quality sound.  This unit fails to provide good quality sound.  Cheaper units such as the Jabra BT125 provide better sound quality and similar other functionality and so would be a better choice for you.

What you Get

The Motorola H3 Razr Bluetooth Headset comes in a large clear plastic display case.

Inside the case is the headset itself, a charger, a quick start guide and a warranty booklet.  There was no manual at all.

The small sized warranty booklet is 88 pages in length.  26 of the pages are an English version of the legalese and disclaimers, which is then repeated in French and Spanish.

Feature Chart

Use this information to quickly understand the capabilities of the unit and to compare with other units.
 

Feature                         Comment

Cost

Recommended US retail $59.99, and Motorola have a 'buy one, get the second at half price' deal on their website (ie $90 for two, or $45 each when buying two at the same time).

Available at Amazon for about $30, and available elsewhere online too.


Ergonomics

Easy to put on and take off

Yes, could be easily/quickly done with one hand.

It was, of course, easy to take off.

Easy to use the control buttons

There are three buttons on the unit.  There are two small buttons for volume up and volume down, and a larger button opposite the earpiece.

The layout is such that it is easy to reach and press these buttons.

Comfortable to wear

This is not quite as comfortable as the Jabra BT125, and flops a bit on the ear when one turns one's head from side to side.

It seems to be securely on one's head, however, and has never fallen off.

Can you use with glasses

Yes.

Can use with either ear

Yes.  And the two volume buttons can be reconfigured so the one on top means 'louder' and the one on the bottom means 'quieter' no matter which side (and therefore, which way up) you wear the phone.

Securely mounted on ear

It seems to be secure inasmuch as it doesn't fall off, but it can move around a bit and feels a bit floppy.

On the other hand, this loose fit also makes it unobtrusive and comfortable to wear.

How to carry

There's no obvious way of carrying this, no protective carry pouch, and no lanyard loop.

I guess you just chuck it in your pocket?

Compatible with Nectar retractable and necklace style headset holders.

Weight

At 0.6 oz it is reasonably light but not as light as the Jabra BT125's 0.4 oz.


Ease of Use

Commands intuitive and easy to remember

Another unit that requires you to memorize things like short and long button pushes and to understand the meaning of different tones and light flash combinations.

When will the headset industry finally get the simple truth that we want simple easy to use units, not stupidly hard to use ones?  We're many years into Bluetooth headset technology now and the user/command interface remains one of the Achilles Heel's of all BT headsets.  Wake up, manufacturers and designers!

Volume adjustable

Yes, with two buttons, one to increase and the other to decrease volume.

How fast does it turn on

Quite quick.  It takes about six seconds to turn on and synch up with a Blackberry, but closer to ten seconds to synch with a Motorola Razr phone.

Manual

Helpful and in good English.

Support

Via Motorola's website and (800) number (7 days/83 hrs a week).

Pairing password printed on device

No (it is 0000 so in an emergency you have a good chance of guessing what it is!)


Features

Battery life

Up to 10 hours of talk or 200 hours of standby time claimed by Motorola, Amazon says 8 hours or 150 hours.

Either is better than average compared to other units on sale in October 2006.

Low battery indicator/signal

The unit beeps five times every minute to indicate the battery is almost discharged.

Only the person wearing the headset hears the beeping, not the person you're speaking to.

Battery type

Not disclosed

Replaceable battery?

No.

As with other headsets, the chances are by the time the battery has died, you'll probably have bought a new headset.

Battery charging method/time

The battery charging issue was the reason that encouraged me to buy this headset.

It uses exactly the same power supply as does a Razr or Blackberry phone, and so I can use the same charger for both phone and headset.

It also can be charged through a USB cable from a computer (with a mini-USB connector at the headset end) making it as convenient as possible to charge.

Charging time is about 2 hours.  A blue light goes on while charging, and off when charged.

Multi-voltage charger

Yes.

Charger weight/size

A small brick sized wall charger ending in a standard mini USB plug to go into the unit.

Weighs about 2.3 oz.

Other charging methods

You can use a car adapter, any USB cable with a mini USB connector to plug into the headset, or one of our emergency rechargers (with the extra Razr/Blackberry USB adapter).

How many pairings can be stored

Unknown.

Headset and hands-free profiles?

Both profiles are supported.

Audio profile for computers

Apparently not.

Bluetooth compatibility

Version 1.2

Power/range

The Motorola website claims it to be a Class 2 device with a 30' range.

But it is Class 3 devices that have this range (Class 2 are more powerful with longer range, and headsets neither need the extra range nor can provide the extra power), and that is probably what it truly is.

Effective range

Range is similar to other Bluetooth headsets and is perfectly satisfactory for normal use, where the phone and headset are reasonably close to each other.

Warranty

The warranty is either 90 days (if it is considered as a two way radio accessory) or one year (if considered as most other things).

Free return

Retailer policies will vary.

Noise cancelling/DSP

This was not tested because we viewed the unit as failing the basic simple sound quality test (see below).

Sound quality

Sound quality was surprisingly and dismayingly poor.

So as to give the unit every possible chance to succeed, I conducted four different sound tests - two with my Blackberry and two with a Motorola V3, and with each test being respectively with another person using a landline phone and/or another cellphone (on the same network).

The results were sadly consistent and conclusive.  The sound was just plain bad.  The other person each time commented about echo on the line, and another said I sounded quieter using the headset.  Both also felt the sound quality was poorer.

The sound quality of the person at the other end of the call was also noticeably worse for me, with more background noise and static.

This poor showing, in our opinion, disqualifies the unit from consideration.


Capabilities

Turning on and off

Turning on and off is bothersome - why can't they simply have an on/off button on the unit?  There's plenty of space to add one.

To turn it on you have to hold the main button down long enough until the unit flashes rapidly three or so times.  Don't hold it down any more or else it will switch into pairing mode.

To turn the unit off, you again have to hold the main button down long enough (not too long and not too short) until the unit flashes rapidly three or so times.

Auto connect

Yes.

Voice tag support

Supported.  Make a short press of the main command button, then say the name you've previously recorded.

Last number redial

Yes.

Make a long press on the main command button.

Transfer call to/from phone

To transfer a call to the headset, simply turn the headset on.

If the headset is already on, then a short press of the button on the headset, same as if you were answering a call, will transfer it.

Turning the unit off will transfer a call back to the phone.

Call waiting/Three way calling

A long press on the button will place your first call on hold and answer the incoming second call.

Further normal duration presses swap between the two calls.

To join both callers to make a three way call, press both volume buttons simultaneously.

Call reject

A long press of the button rejects a call.

Call answer/end

Yes.

Generally you will have your headset off rather than on.  So, to answer a call, simply turn it on.

If the unit is already on, a short press of the button will answer an incoming call.

To end a call, a short press of the button is again needed.

Mute

Pressing both volume buttons simultaneously switches mute on or off.

You can also place calls on hold by pressing the main button and waiting until hearing a beep - similar to switching between two calls.  Repeating this takes the call off hold.


Subjective

Attractive design

Yes - it mimics some elements of the V3 Razr design (hence its name).

It is available either in silver or black.

Flashing indicators on standby

Yes.

Size

Average/normal.


Summary

This is a fully featured unit at a good price that is easy to operate and has a good battery life, but which suffers from poor sound quality, and so for that reason, is not recommended.

 

Using the Motorola HS850 Headset

The Motorola H3 is another easy headset to use.  Switch it on, it automatically connects to any paired phone in range, and starts handling calls for you.

We particularly liked that it uses the same USB connector for charging as do many other phones and portable devices, saving you the need to surround yourself at home, work, and in the car with yet another charging device.

But, alas, in among all the nice things of this headset is one fatal flaw.  Poor sound quality.  With so many inexpensive Bluetooth headsets to choose from these days, many of which offer excellent sound quality, there's no reason and no sense in choosing a headset that only gives poor sound quality.

Connecting with phones

The unit paired effortlessly to both a Motorola Razr V3 and a Blackberry 8700, with the latter often being a somewhat difficult phone to pair with.

It is easy to pair the unit with phones, and easy for it to connect once paired.

Summary

Poor sound quality makes this unit a bad buy and is not recommended accordingly.

It is inexpensive, being street-priced at slightly more than $30 (eg at Amazon) but even if the units were being given away, they would not be a good choice due to their poor performance.

 

If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.

 

Originally published 17 Aug 2007, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 

Bluetooth Related Articles

About Bluetooth
Bluetooth Profiles and Acronyms
Bluetooth Headset Reviews Index
High End Headset Comparison
Aliph Jawbone headset review
Aliph Jawbone 2 headset review
BlueAnt Q1 headset review
Cardo S-640 headset review
Cardo S-800 headset review
Gennum nXZEN headset review
Honeywell Airlite 900 Portable Speakerphone review
Jabra BT125 headset review
Motorola H3 headset review
Motorola HS850 headset review
Plantronics Discovery 650E review
Technocel T360 headset review
Aizen FlyBy headset review
8Com BH-220 headset review
Easydrive Car Handsfree Unit
DriveBlue Car Handsfree Unit
Parrot CK3000 Car Handsfree Unit
Nectar Blueclip Bluetooth Headset Holders
iSkin Cerulean RX review
Nokia 3650 articles
Cellphone Unlocking articles and FAQ
Cellboost Emergency Power battery
Boom Headset Review
Ety-Com Headset Review


CallWave Free Trial - Click Here!


Your Feedback

How Would You Rate this Article

Poor
Average
Good

Was the Article Length and Coverage

Too short/simplistic
About right 
Too long/complex

Would You Like More Articles on this Subject

No
Maybe
Yes

Back to Top