Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Headphones
- Easy to use
- Uncomfortable to wear for long periods, no transmitter included
For anyone wanting a basic set of wireless headphones these will do the job nicely.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
These days everything wants to be wireless. Nobody, it seems, is content any longer with the constraint of actually having to sit in one place to do something. Jumping on the bandwagon, Motorola have produced this rather nice pair of Bluetooth headphones, the HT820. They are designed to work with pretty much any Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, out of the box. In addition to this, the wide range of Bluetooth transmitters available means that you easily can hook them up to your computer or Hi-Fi. We tested the headphones using Motorola's PC850 Bluetooth PC Adapter. This simple device plugs in to an available USB port and allows the headphones to stream music directly from any computer.
The HT820's styling gives the impression that the designers have been watching far too much Star Trek. A totally superfluous pulsing blue "M" sits on each earpiece, making the user look slightly ridiculous and presumably wasting battery power. In addition, the headphones spurn the usual headband and opt for an oh-so-trendy neckband. The main difference this makes is that the weight of the earpieces is placed on your ears, rather than your head. For short periods of time this isn't a problem, the HT820s sits nicely in place and feels comfortable. For extended periods we found the neckband's rubber pads to be uncomfortable, leading to sore ears. The headphones are fairly small and light though, meaning that they wouldn't be awkward to carry about. Using the included rigid carry case would make things a bit bulkier.
Connecting the HT820 to your chosen device is a cinch, just a matter of holding the headphones near the transmitter and pressing a button. If you are using a secure device you may need to type in a four digit security code, but this will only add a few seconds. The headphones' sound is generally pretty good, if a little flat at times. Some loss in quality is noticeable when listening to sounds at the extremes of the headphones' frequency range, but this isn't uncommon amongst Bluetooth headsets. One nice feature is the inbuilt ability to control compatible devices. Skipping tracks, pausing or changing the volume can all be achieved from the headphones' small array of buttons. This feature isn't perfect however. Whilst we had no problems using Windows Media Player for instance, to use iTunes we had to have the iTunes window open at the time, annoying if you aren't in the room.
When using the headset in conjunction with a mobile phone it doubles as a hands free kit, with a built in microphone and the handy ability to cut off music when the phone rings. The HT820 needs charging from the mains using the included AC adaptor. Charging the headset only takes a few hours and in testing we managed a respectable 15 hours of playback.
The HT820 has a decent range; we managed to get about 15m through several walls before the unit cut out. One inclusion that would have been nice is a transmitter for connecting to a 3.5mm jack. While you can always buy one separately, other headphones include them as standard. Motorola strangely includes a 3.5mm cable, seemingly defeating the whole point of having wireless headphones. Overall though, the headphones represent good value for money, especially if you have multiple Bluetooth compatible products hanging around.
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