Pros:Better build quality than the S9 HD.
Cons:Soundquality stinks compared to the S9 HD. One size fits few design.
The Bottom Line: If you want wireless music from your smartphone or iPod Touch and don't want to spend long on a pair of A2DP headphones, buy the S9 model instead!!!
There are very few choices when it comes to stereo bluetooth headphones. Among those choices, there are even fewer that offer a good balance of sound quality, price and comfort. THE MOTOROLA S10 HD is a stereo Bluetooth headset designed as an upgrade to the S9HD model. The frame is lightweight (a few ounces) and it features a battery that fits flat into a bulge near the nape of the neck. It is made of flexible rubber/plastic and feels of high quality. There is an LED built in to indicate charging and activity when using it.
Recommend this product?
S9 HD comes with a drawstring pouch to store it, and an AC adapter to charge it. Motorola includes 3 pairs of different sized earbuds to give you a more custom fit. charging time takes a little over an hour and that power will give you roughly 8 hours of constant use.
Connecting the S10HD is very easy when you are using a common smartphone. I paired the S10HD to both my iPhone4S and my friend’s iPhone3G in less than 1 minute. All you need to do is turn them on and the system automatically seeks a nearby Bluetooth device in pairing mode. You simply set your phone or iPod Touch’s Bluetooth to “discovery” mode and the S10HD’s indicator light will change from blue to purple – signifying a proper pairing. It’s that simple and should take you less than 10 seconds.
If you buy this for an older iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll need to ensure you have at least iOS4.0 running on it. The 4.0 software allows for A2DP Bluetooth streaming. The 3G I paired did not have this, so I had to update it using iTunes. If you don’t have A2DP software on your device, the headset will only allow you to take/make handsfree calls.
There were two concerns I had whilst pairing. #1 Most Bluetooth devices have you hold down the power button until it goes into pairing mode to ensure it isn’t improperly paired with another nearby device that happens to be in pairing mode. This one didn’t. #2 the instruction manual gives you a code (0000) to use if your device demands a pairing code. Strangely, both iPhones paired with it immediately and did not ask for the code at all.
WEARING THE S10HD
The S10HD, like the S9HD is a one size fits all affair. They are designed with a behind the neck loop design so as to avoid interfering with the more eccentric hairstyles (braids, dreadlocks, etc). Unless you are a relatively petite person or have a small head, the S10 may not be comfortable for you. Considering the body of these headphones is made of rubber, it’s a shame they aren’t more adjustable. I’m surprised they can’t stretch or be bent into a slightly different shape. Even Sony’s behind the ear designs are more forgiving.
The plastic/rubber body feels very high in quality and should last for a very long time. The coating is hydrophobic and oleophobic which makes it easy to clean (sterilize) with a regular alcohol soaked napkin. The speakers are deeper in the buds this time around, to keep them free of ear wax and oils. These headphones are water resistant and can be worn even in rain. A nice rubber cover protects the usb port from damage and exposure to the elements.
While the buttons on the left (volume up/down and call) are easy to figure out, the buttons on the right (track forward/backward) take getting used to. They are recessed and plastic coated buttons. Finding them and knowing where to put pressure can be an annoyance.
I am absolutely shocked by this, but, the Motorola S10’s sound quality is inferior to the S9’s. I am actually convinced that instead of giving S10’s as gifts for Christmas, I’ll just buy the S9 and hope no one bothers to check and find out if a newer version is on the market.
I wrote a review promoting the S9 model, but, I’m afraid I have to give a thumbs down here. Despite the better build quality, the performance of the S10HD is a letdown.
Stereo Bluetooth headphones are never as good a choice as a good pair of corded headphones because the Bluetooth radio signal doesn’t have a high enough bandwidth to faithfully reproduce CD-quality sound. I never expect this type of headphone to be as good as the corded models, but, I’ve used more expensive models that almost are.
BASS PERFORMANCE from the S10 was easily not as boomy as it was on the S9 model. Considering the drivers are point-blank with your eardrums, you’d expect a small amount of sound to have a greater effect. Perhaps this is because the wattage is lower than it used to be, but, I simply wasn’t impressed with Bass levels on rap music. TREBLE PERFORMANCE didn’t suffer as badly as Bass did, but, the treble still wasn’t as crisp as on the S9. What these headphones really lacked was 3D audio enhancements ala SRS WOW. What justifies Motorola calling these an “HD” headset??? Usually “HD” means that a stereo can offer 5.1 sound. New “HD” headsets have separate subwoofers and tweeters. These sound like typical stereo drivers. I can almost say that the lame white headphones that come standard with every iPod offer better sound.
Another problem with this type of headphone is that they won’t play media which your phone does not broadcast in A2DP. Some radio apps for example do not work with them. Your iPod will play nicely though. This, of course, is not an issue when using corded headphones.
Since the lawmen are giving out hefty fines for using your cellphone whilst driving, these headphones aren’t bad when used as a microphone to simply talk. On smartphones, you can simply pick up an incoming call by pushing the center button on the left ear loop. You absolutely must answer this way on iPhone because, otherwise, the phone will answer without sending the signal to the headset. I found voice calls to be about average in quality, but, since these are stereo headphones, you hear a fuller voice in both ears rather than just one. Noise cancelling technology made the two way conversations effortless.
The S10HD is a product that I’m afraid I can’t thoroughly recommend. I want to give some of these as gifts, but, I’m strongly considering the S9 model instead – even if I have to buy them from Ebay. At less than $50, they are a great gift for anyone who loves using their smartphone to listen to music. The S10 model – not so much.
The actual voice of the higher frequencies was nowhere near as full as I expected it to be, but, if you are the type of person who listens to music or talk radio and doesn’t really care what the equalizer settings are, you won’t be disappointed.