Motorola certainly present you with plenty of options when it comes to Bluetooth headsets. We have been impressed with their range in the past, but can the H780 add anything new to the mix?
The H780 looks pretty much like any other Bluetooth headset, compact, lightweight, with a single ear bud and the option of adding an ear hook for support. This ear hook is removable so there is no problem moving the headset from left to right ear depending on your preference. Different ear rubbers are included to help you get the best fit – essential to block outside noise so you can hear the caller.
The face of the headset has a little too much chrome-coloured detailing for our liking, but might appeal to some. Also residing on the face are two buttons. The first is the normal multifunction button that you use for calling, hanging up and so on. The second button, strangely disables the noise cancellation. As with other recent Motorola headset launches, like the H15 reviewed recently on Pocket-lint, the H780 benefits from Motorola’s CrystalTalk technology.
CrystalTalk uses the two mics in the headset to provide an enhanced noise and echo cancellation solution. In practise this works very well. Surprisingly well in fact. We tested this in various noisy environments. The first was with music turned up loud and the second was with normal background music. In both tests callers had no problem hearing our voice and conducting a normal conversation. For the very loud music, the caller reported that it sounded like it was some distance away, not a distraction, but noticeable. Regular background music at lower volumes was almost completely isolated, only becoming apparent during pauses on conversation.
So it’s a big thumbs-up for CrystalTalk, which does what it sets out to do very well. So why might you want to switch it off? Having tested the headset for some time, we failed to see why you would want to turn it off. Yes, it helps to prove that the technology works. Perhaps it is for those moments when you call someone to say “I’m at the Maiden concert – listen” at which point you can disable the cancellation and share the love. A likely scenario? Perhaps not.
The button is placed well out of the way towards the far end of the headset, so pressing it does tend to move the headset in your ear, unless you have it very firmly secured, so needs to be used with caution.
The top of the headset sees a Micro-USB socket for charging, which takes about 2 hours. You’ll get about 7 hours talk time from the headset, although this is difficult to gauge as you are unlikely to be talking for 7 hours. Standby gives you about 8 days, which seemed realistic in our tests.
Thankfully the H780 also features a proper power switch so there is no problem with ensuring the device is powered up. Nothing is more irritating than having to guess the right length of press to power on or off your device without setting off into voice dialling or some other feature, so hats off to Motorola. A multi-coloured light indicates status, and like the H15, a press of both ends of the volume button will flash you the battery status – red, amber, green – great for making sure you don’t get caught short.
Otherwise control is based around the multifunction button, allowing you to accept calls and use voice dialling, although the performance of this relies heavily on how your connected phone handles this feature. You can also redial and manage two calls through this button.
Overall the H780 continues in the trend of previous Motorola headsets, giving your great performance. The inclusion of a proper power switch does make things simple and overall we had no problems with the performance of this headset.
However the inclusion of the noise cancellation button seems a little odd. Does it really serve a purpose? We would suggest that generally it doesn’t and rather than go down this route, Motorola should have kept it simple, left it off and lowered the price.