Motorola H680 Bluetooth headset

Motorola have set their sights on the female market with a "frost" floral edition of their H680 Bluetooth headset. But does this touch our feminine side?

To pitch the H680 to the female market, Motorola have redesigned the surface of the Bluetooth headset to include a swirly pattern and changed the colour to silver, away from the normal black.

But with so much of product design being about the box, they have also moved any reference to "H680" and "Bluetooth headset" off the front of the box replacing it with the tagline "Communication Set for Her", and a graphic of a chic girly, swinging her handbag. This might attract some girls, and may patronise in equal measure.

In the box you get the headset itself, as well as a charging pod, a great charger and a protective case, presumably to prevent handbag debris from gumming up your headset. The charging pod is a great bit of design as it houses the headset, securing it with magnets, and providing a cover. The Micro-USB charger then plugs into the bottom.

We said "great" for good reason as on our test edition it was a universal charger, so if you are off to USA, just slip off the UK lugs and you have the US pins. There is also a Euro plug adaptor in the box, so if you travel then this will save you having to take an adaptor, whilst giving you a 5V charger. The downside is the lack of USB cable, so if you do travel and want to charge via your laptop, you’ll have to find a separate cable.

From the battery you will get about 7 hours of talk time and 8 days of standby time.

The kit provides you with a choice of rubber covers to get the best fit, and an optional ear loop for extra support, and weighing in at only 12g, is not too much of a burden on your poor ear. The headset itself is a compact 41 x 18 x 12mm, amongst the smallest practical headsets out there.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and in calls the H680 is great quality, with plenty of volume so you can hear your caller. In our tests all respondents confirmed that the voice quality was also very good. However, there is no noise reduction on this model so in noisy environments, such as on the motorway or on a windy Oxford High Street, things drop off a little.

Usage is fairly simple, and the H680 features a real power switch, so you know when it is on and when it is off, which is much better than the vague one-button-does-everything headsets. That said, your only other controls are two decent-sized volume buttons and a single button for function controls.

A good read of the manual and some experimentation reveals the range of functions available through that single button, with corresponding beeps. It does have the potential to get confusing, but if you use it all the time you will find it is fairly standard fare. Press and hold to activate voice-dialling on your phone (if supported) and so on.

There is also a coloured LED that will confirm the status of the headset, be it charging, low battery, Bluetooth connection and so on. Again, a quick flick through the manual will reveal all.

Verdict

With so many headsets on the market, it is often difficult to find anything different, other than design. In this case, the design will appeal to anyone, male or female, who wants to get away from the tired old black or grey headset. Equally, if the design is too feminine for you, it also comes in the standard black and silver.

The charging pod is a cool feature and the quality is excellent throughout. With nothing to criticise, and a price that is realistic, there is little to fault this headset.


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