Review posted April 2006 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
The Motorola H700 is Motorola's 5th generation Bluetooth wireless headset. It packs plenty of features into a smaller package. Though not as small as the Bluespoon AX2, the reduced size and weigh from its previous generation make the Motorola H700 extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The H700's highpoints include good voice quality, loud volume and ease of use. The H700 is Motorola's high-end wireless headset solution in their Bluetooth hands free product portfolio with built-in DSP technology. If you are looking for a more affordable headset that possesses many of the H700’s qualities without the DSP, you can check out the Motorola H500 which is a bit larger than the H700.
The Motorola H700's design is very similar to the HS850, except the H700 is smaller, measuring in at 1.75 inches long and just a little over 1 inch wide. The headset is shaped like a small oval with a flip-able boom that can be folded up against the back of the headset. The H700 has a shinny plastic housing with silver colored side panels that give the headset a very modern and sleek appearance. On the front of the headset, you will find a large Call button which handles call send, end, answer and pairing functions as well as powering on and off the headset. A ring of LED surrounds the Call button and the LEDs indicate charging and standby power status. You will find volume up and down buttons on the sides of the H700. The charging port lives on top of the headset and the boom is connected to the headset in the back via a strong hinge that also holds the soft ear hook. You will find the microphone hole on the tip of the boom and the earphone holes on the back of the headset which is raised slightly to channel the sound closer into your ear.
The ear hook is firm at the base which ensures a secure fit over you ear and is soft behind your ear which allows you to wear the headset throughout the day without feeling tired or having a sore ear. You can adjust the ear hook to fit either the left or right ear. If you've used the HS850, you will enjoy the H700 even more for its lightweight and comfy design. Like the HS850, the Motorola H700 has the flip to connect feature, which is now called RapidConnect, a technology that allows you to power on the headset by opening the boom and power it off by closing the boom. So when your phone rings, all you have to do is to open the boom on the H700 to answer it provided that your headset is connected to your phone. Close the boom to end the call. It makes using the headset very easy and gives you quick access on the go.
The Motorola H700 has Bluetooth v1.2 which is backward compatible with v1.1. The headset works with both Hands-free and Headset profiles and is easy to pair with devices running various operating systems and software. We tested the headset with the Motorola SLVR, Palm Treo 650, the Nokia 9500, the Cingular 8125 and the Cingular 2125, and the headset paired with all devices with ease. To pair the Motorola, turn off the headset first then hold the Call button until the LED ring turns purple, quickly open the boom so that the LED stays solid purple, the headset is now in pairing mode. Use your mobile phone to discover and pair with the headset using “0000” as the default pass code. Call handling between the phone and the headset transferred smoothly and the headset will play notification or a ring tone when a call comes in. When working with the Treo 650, the H700 has an uncomfortably long delay in notifying an incoming call. It starts to ring after the Treo 650 has already ringed 2-3 times. The connection between the phone and the headset is solid. When we paired the Treo 650 to both the Motorola H700 and the Parrot 322 car kit, we can pick up calls on either one and the Motorola H700 worked reliably in this set up.
The Motorola H700 has excellent outgoing voice quality in quiet to mid-noisy level environments. The voice clarity is very good and the volume is very loud which in some cases you might need to turn down the volume on your phone. That’s certainly a good problem to have given the fact that some of the headsets just don’t have enough volume output and aren’t very useful in noisy environment for receiving calls. Surprisingly, Motorola's own SLVR was the only phone which didn't offer terribly loud incoming voice volume among the many phones we tested. The DSP technology works reasonably well though not remarkable. When driving at 45 mph in a convertible car, the outgoing voice has good quality but you can also hear the digitized wind noisy clearly. The incoming voice also has very good quality and we would rate the volume from mid to high depending on the phone you are using and the environment you are in. You can turn the volume up by pressing the volume up button and you should hear a beep when the volume is at maximum.
The range of the Motorola H700 is middle of the road compared to other Bluetooth headsets. You can get about 12 feet between the headset and the Nokia 9500 (the longest range in our tests) and 7 feet between the Treo 650 (the shortest in our tests) before you start to notice crackling and eventually drop the connection to the phone at 25 feet or so. Granted,the Silicon Valley area is very polluted with Bluetooth and WiFi signals, and you should get better range in less polluted areas. That being said, 7-12 feet should cover the distance between your phone and the headset while they are used in a car or near your desk.
The Motorola H700 Bluetooth headset supports many popular phone features including voice dialing over the headset, rejecting calls, redialing the last number, call waiting and 3-way conference call as long as your mobile phone and wireless services support these features. The voice dialing works reliably in our tests. You can mute outgoing voice during a call by tapping on both volume buttons and tap them again to un-mute.
The H700 comes with a rechargeable battery and a travel charger. You can use either the charger or an USB-mini USB cable to charge the headset. The claimed talk time is 6 hours and that seems to be on target in our test. The claimed standby time is 130 hours which is about 1 day longer than we experienced. But it’s still a good standby time thanks to its RapidConnect design which allows the headset to go to sleep when the boom is closed. The H700 gives you both visual indications via the LED and audio notifications when your battery is running low. The headset should take about 2 hours to get fully charged.
Pro: A sleek design that will attract mobile phone users with taste for a modern headset in a small package. The size and weight ensure that you can wear it for long periods of time. Both incoming and outgoing voice qualities are good and volume is high. The HS850 users who wish to upgrade to a smaller size headset will not be disappointed. RapidConnect feature is a big plus as it makes it easy to operate the headset and save battery life during standby.
Con: Range isn’t very impressive. The DSP works in mild to mid-level noisy environment but not well in very noisy environments.
The Motorola H700 package includes the headset, an AC travel charger, a two-page Quick Start Guide and a printed User Manual.
-Profiles supported: Headset and Hands-free profiles.
-Claimed talk time: up to 6 hours talk time.
-Claimed standby time: up to 130 hours standby time.
-Range: 30 feet (in theory).
-Headset size: 1.75 x 1 x 0.6 inches.
-AC adapter: mini USB connector.