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Home > Bluetooth Headset and Car Kit Reviews > Motorola H17 Bluetooth Headset

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Motorola H17

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What's hot: Very light. Super easy to use.

What's not: Outgoing voice is subpar for many phones.

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Review posted February 2009 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

The Motorola H17 is one of the smallest Bluetooth headsets we’ve seen in recent months. If you remember the wildly popular Motorola HS800 and HS810 Bluetooth headsets, the Motorola H17 is a smaller and sleeker version of them. In fact, the H17 has the same RapidConnect feature as the HS810: open the flip to receive calls or to pair. The ultra-light Motorola H17 has Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, voice prompted instructions and status reports, Motorola’s CrystalTalk technology, dual mic noise canceling and Wind Resistance technology. The headset can pair with multiple device and supports both Hands-Free and Headset profiles.

Design

The Motorola H17 Bluetooth headset is small and super lightweight at only 0.317 ounces (9 grams). It has a folding design: the boom flips open for pairing and answering calls; and closes shut for turning the headset off. Unlike many of today’s mono headsets, the Motorola H17 doesn’t have an earpiece that extends deep into the ear canal. It offers two wearing options: using an ear hook that can fit either ear or an ear cushion that wraps around the headset’s earpiece and helps the headset sit in your ear. The ear  hook is a bit on the small side and can pinch a little at the back of the ear, but it does help secure the headset better than the ear cushion.

Motorola H17

The flip design not only makes operating the Moto H17 Bluetooth headset easier but also makes the headset even smaller when it’s turned off with the boom folded. Since the body of the Motorola H17 is only 1.65 x 0.67 x 0.39 inches in size, the volume buttons and the LED lights are also diminutive. Thankfully the Talk button is large and easy to find even when the headset is on the ear.

 

 

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Pairing and Features

The Motorola H17 is one of the easiest Bluetooth headsets to pair thanks to the RapidConnect flip design and voice instructions. To put the headset in pairing mode, simply open the flip. The voice guidance will tell you when the headset is in pairing mode and that you should use your phone to pair to the headset using the default pass code “0000”. Once the headset is paired the voice guidance will tell you it’s done and it will then state the battery level. If you have already paired the headset with your phone, simply press the Talk button to end pairing. The phone and the headset should automatically connect. We tested the Motorola H17 with several phones and it paired with all easily and automatically connected with available phones after pairing. The Motorola H17 has Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and it supports multipoint pairing which allows the headset to pair with multiple devices and work with two devices simultaneously.

Motorola H17

The Motorola H17 supports both Hands-Free and Headset profiles, and call management features such as last number redialing, call waiting, rejecting calls and mute during a call. Voice dialing worked like a charm with the phones we tested. The voice prompts can help you check battery status, call management and other functions, and you can turn them on or off by pressing and holding the Talk button and either Volume button simultaneously.

Audio Quality and Range

Motorola put its CrystalTalk technology into the Motorola H17 Bluetooth headset as well as dual mic noise canceling and wind resistance technologies. They nailed the incoming voice on most phones but failed at the outgoing end. We tested it with several phones and here’s detailed info on three of them:

When working with the iPhone 3GS:
The Motorola H17 had clear voice and very loud volume on the incoming end when working with the iPhone 3GS. Unfortunately the outgoing voice wasn’t as good and had low volume. If your call recipients are in quiet places this headset will work fine but if they are in noisy places like restaurants or cafes they might have a hard time hearing you. The DSP worked pretty well when working with the iPhone 3GS, filtering out most background noise. The range was about 10-15 feet.

When working with the Google Nexus One:
The Motorola H17 had decent voice quality on both incoming and outgoing ends, but it wasn’t particularly clear. There was a low level digital distortion but we could still hold a smooth conversation using the headset. The volume was average on both ends. The DSP worked reasonably well and the range was about 10 feet.

When working with the LG Lotus Elite:
The Motorola H17 again had decent incoming voice with reasonably clear audio and very loud volume, but outgoing voice was digitized and sounded muffed. The DSP worked well for road noise but had trouble with wind noise even in a mild wind. The range was about 10-15 feet between the Lotus Elite and the Moto H17.

Battery

The Motorola H17 has a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with a 100V-240V AC charger. The claimed talk time is up to 5 hours and the claimed standby time is 7 days. These seem on target compared to our real life battery tests. The LED light indicates the battery level and charging status, and the voice prompts also report on the battery levels.

Conclusion

The Motorola H17 is a small and very light headset, and has an attractive look. It has the latest Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and a very effective folding flip design. The Moto has all the right technologies and the pedigree of a long line of Motorola mono headsets, but the outgoing voice quality disqualifies it as a good companion for many phones while the incoming voice quality is good. The headset has good DSP performance but had some trouble with wind noise on some phones.

Pro: Very light. Super easy to use.

Con: Outgoing voice is subpar for many phones.

Price: $99.99

Web site: www.motorola.com

 

Specs:

-Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
-Profile supported: Headset and Hands-Free Profiles
-Claimed talk time: Up to 5 hours
-Claimed Standby time: Up to 7 days
-Size: 1.65 (closed)/ 2.12 (open) x 0.67 x 0.39 inches
-Headset weight: 9 grams

 

 

 

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