Although the trend for Bluetooth headsets seems to be an improvement in design, sound quality is still far more important. Thankfully the Motorola H550 is solid in this area, though it's not perfect. Utilising a new slider button for most operations and finished in a sleek, chrome design, the Motorola H550 adds some spice to an often uninspiring line of products.
- Design, ease of use and pairing
- Outgoing sound could be improved, can be uncomfortable for long use
A stylish and easy to use Bluetooth headset, the only drawback of the Motorola H550 is outgoing sound quality.
Price$ 119.50 (AUD)
Incoming sound quality is excellent. During testing our conversations were crisp, sharp and clear. However, the H550 tends to struggle a little with outgoing sound, as most of our callers complained about a lack of clarity. Voice could still be heard clearly on the receiving end, but not with the same quality as the H800, for example. This was especially evident in noisy environments, such as a busy city street. However, anyone who's simply after a basic Bluetooth headset for casual use shouldn't have an issue with the H550's sound quality.
Rather than utilising a traditional in-ear piece, the H550 rests just outside the ear and projects sound using a speaker, which makes it a little more susceptible to external noise. A real plus is the H550's volume levels. Adjusted via large buttons on the top of the unit, the volume is very loud at its highest setting. The volume buttons can also be used to reject a call. Conveniently, the volume buttons can be reassigned if you decide to wear the H550 on the other ear by flipping the ear clips around.
Using the H550 is very straightforward, as all functions besides the rejecting of a call are handled by the slider button. Pressing it while ringing answers the call, pressing it while during a phone call ends the call, and pressing it any other time allows for voice dialling (your mobile phone must support this feature). Further, pairing the H550 to a phone is hassle-free. Simply turning the unit on puts it in pairing mode and the convenient LED below the slider lets users know the status of the headset. Solid blue means the H550 is in pairing mode, flashing purple means pairing in process while flashing blue means it's paired.
The design of the H550 is a plus, largely thanks to a sleek, chrome finish. Although it attracts fingerprints and smudges, the unit looks very stylish and sits nicely in your ear. The H550 includes three different sized ear clips (small, medium and large) and it is important that you select the right one for your ear, as the wrong size can easily cause discomfort over time. The ear clips are constructed of soft rubber, which is fine for short phone sessions, but they can become a little uncomfortable if worn for long periods.
Battery life is average according to Motorola figures, with up to eight hours of talk time and eight days of standby time. The H550 is charged via a standard mini-USB port located on top of the headset.
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