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Motorola Bluetooth Wireless Portable Speaker HF800

Review posted December, 2004 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

Small, sleek and extremely portable! That's the Motorola Bluetooth Wireless Portable Speaker HF800. Smaller than the Motorola MPx220 MS Smartphone, the HF800 is actually designed not only as a portable speaker and mic in the car, but also take with you to the office or clip it on your belt. Because the HF800 has its own built-in battery and can be charged with either the Motorola in-vehicle charger or the standard Motorola wall A/C charger, it's not tied to your car. A very good idea for those who wish to invest in one product and use it anywhere they go. Add very nice voice quality, easy pairing with Bluetooth enabled phones and a sleek industrial design to the mix, and you've got a Blutooth portable wireless speaker that's hard to resist.

The Motorola HF800 wireless speaker has a clean design with only a multi-function button on the front, a mute button on the left "ear" and a three way volume jog dial on the left side. There are two mic holes above the multi-function button which also doubles as LED and there is a headset jack located on the right "ear". The speaker is lightweight and made of gray and silver color plastic with a mirror-like glossy face plate. Underneath the plate, the casing houses a one-watt speaker that's quite loud. There is a charging port on the bottom of kit that can connect to the Motorola in-vehicle charger or the Motorola standard A/C wall charger. The shape of the HF800 is pleasing and feels ergonomic in the hand. The size of the speaker is actually pretty small and you can put it in your shirt pocket, or wear it with a strap around your neck, and of course you can put it anywhere in your car.

The Motorola HF800 portable speaker is Bluetooth 1.1 compliant and can be paired with most Bluetooth enabled cell phones. It supports both Hands-free and Headset profiles and the pairing and connection process is very easy. To pair your phone with the speaker, press the volume jog dial in and you will see the blue LED illuminate, then press it again quickly and the blue light should remain solid rather than flashing. Use your phone to discover and pair with the HF800 using the default pass code "0000". Even though there are only a few Motorola handsets listed as compatible with the HF800, most Bluetooth enabled cell phones should work with it. We tested it with the Motorola MPx220, Audiovox SMT5600, HP iPAQ 6315 and the Nokia 3650, and all paired and connected to the HF800 without a hitch. Once your phone and the speaker have established a connection, you won't have to re-pair them again after you power cycle the phone. Just as with the Motorola Bluetooth Headset HS820, the HF800 wireless speaker can store up to eight different devices in the "Paired Device List". If you pair it with more than 8 devices, the oldest paired device is removed from this list. Note that the HF800 will automatically connect to the last paired device when you turn it on.

The volume is quite loud thanks to its one-watt speaker which incorporates sophisticated duplex, echo and noise cancellation technology. The voice quality is excellent at overcoming road noise and windy conditions. Because of the small size, you can place the speaker anywhere in the car, such as on your visor using the included pouch with clip. Even when we put it inside of a storage shelf just above the cigarette lighter in a BMW 325i in our test, we could hear loud and clear. You can adjust the volume using the jog dial. In addition to the loud speaker, the HF800 has an extra headset jack. This proves to be very useful if your conversation didn't end when you arrived at your destination; you can simple carry the speaker with you and plug in a headset so that you don't bother other people and keep the conversation private.

The range might not be as important between a phone and a speaker compared to the range of a phone and a headset. That said a better range is always useful in case you have a very large car. The HF800 gave us about 6-8 feet range when testing with the Motorola MPx220. This isn't a stellar range for Bluetooth, but good enough if you have your phone in a bag on the passenger seat with the speaker on your visor.

The HF800 supports many phone features you'd expect from a car speaker including voice dialing, redialing, putting a call on hold and call conferencing. However your phone must support these features too. Check the User Manual of your cell phone for more details. In general the Hands-Free profile supports more features such as redialing the last number, putting a call on hold and conference calling (if that service is available). Both Hands Free and Headset profiles should allow voice dialing and call rejection. The voice dialing works very well, and make sure that you put the mic end of the speaker towards your mouth for better results. The multi-function button on the HF800 speaker can initiate and end calls as well as put caller on hold and conference another caller in. It could get confusing since one button does it all. So make sure you read the User Manual for instructions.

The HF800 Wireless Speaker has a built-in battery that has a claimed talk time of 3 hours and a standby time of 100 hours. It's convenient to charge the speaker since it can be charged with either the in-vehicle charger or the included wall outlet charger. If you have a Motorola phone that uses the standard Motorola charger, you can use that one to charge the speaker. Motorola is offering a special online offer as of press time: if you buy the HF800 you can get a free in-vehicle charger.


Pro: A portable wireless speaker that doesn't require any installation. Better yet, it's not even tied to your car. You can carry it anywhere you go and use it as speaker + mic or plug in a headset. It's got an attractive design in a small size and is light weight. Pairs easily and has reliable connections with paired devices. Supports Hands-Free and Headset profiles. Had great voice quality and high volume for use on the road. Good battery life and can be charge with both in-car and wall A/C charging options.

Con: Range isn't great for Bluetooth communications.

Package includes the HS800 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, an A/C charger, a carrying case that has a belt clip for clipping the speaker to your belt or the visor in your car, a User Manual and a Quick Start Guide.

Price: $119.99


Motorola HF800 and MPx220

The Motorola MPx220 and the HF800


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