Welcome to my review of the Motorola Endeavor HX1 Bluetooth headset. If headset reviews bore you, let me say right away that this review is going to introduce you to the best Bluetooth headset I have ever tested. Got your attention now?
The HX1 does not look particular special. The only noticeable feature is a longer than normal earpiece and a sleek chrome finish around the sides.
Buttons are on the side (power and volume) and on the front (call control and steath mode control). Operating the headset is a treat – all functions are assisted with friendly voice prompts telling you how to pair the phone and whether stealth mode is on or off.
The power button is worth some extra attention – it is a “real” power button. By this, I mean it is a sliding switch that will turn the headset on or off. No silly “hold down for 10 seconds” on the HX1.
The HX1 charges using MicroUSB, the same kind of cable used on many modern mobile phones. What this means to travelers is one less charger, and no investments in dedicated charging cords.
Technology inside the headset
The most interesting parts of the HX1 are hidden away inside the headset. Motorola advertises the HX1 as being equipped with true bone conduction technology.
The Motorola HX1 actually features two different noise isolation systems – its CrystalTalk circuit uses dual microphones and some nifty electronics to cancel out noise in most normal situations. This means it’ll work fine when you are walking down the street or riding a bus.
When things get a little more intense, you can activate the bone condition technology, referred to as “Stealth Mode”. Stealth Mode actually uses a tiny balloon on the earpiece, inserted in your ear to pick up your voice. No microphone, just bone conduction. This means very little of the outside noise gets picked up.
So, with all those nifty technologies, how well does the HX1 perform? As the opening sentence said – this is the best headset I have ever tested. For starters, it is extremely comfortable. The earpiece goes inside your ear a little more than I was used to. Because the earpiece forms a pretty decent seal, you’ll have a much easier time hearing the other side of your call, without having to turn the volume all the way up.
The basic noise cancellation is very impressive – when standing outside in a very windy station platform, the other side of my call could not hear the difference between me talking on the HX1, talking on a wired headset or talking directly on my phone. There was very little outside noise pickup and virtually no wind noise.
For my second test, I waited 25 minutes for a train to pass, and turned on the “stealth mode” feature. When turned on, the person on the other side of my call could still hear me, and did not know I could barely hear myself talking over the noise of a passing express train. Sadly, the stealth mode does make your voice sound muffled, but without it, there is no way you’d be able to have a conversation.
Performance, power and range
Battery life is listed as 7 hours talk time, and 10 days standby. I did not talk for 7 hours, but after 5 days and multiple calls, the headset still says its battery life is good. Since it uses the newest Bluetooth version, you’ll get a very decent range, without the old fashioned crackle and pop of first gen Bluetooth headsets.
The headset weighs just 0.4 ounces (about 11 grams). Attaching the headset is easy – you pop it in your ear, then you use the ear hook to keep it in place. No matter how hard you shake your head around, there is no way this thing will fall out. I kept the HX1 on for several hours, and eventually just forgot I was wearing it.
As I said earlier – this is currently the best headset I have ever tested. Every aspect of the Motorola Endeavor HX1 impressed me, from the design, to minor details like the physical power switch. I love that it charges over MicroUSB, and I’m pleased that it really does deliver the sound quality it promises.
Personally, I would have loved to see the headset come with a carrying case, especially since it retails for a pretty steep $129.99. At the moment, Sprint is selling the Motorola Endeavor HX1 for $110.49. Sprint is also the only place where you’ll be able to order an HX1, through their web site and in their own retail stores.
My final conclusion is simple – this is the headset you need if you demand the ability to use it anywhere, without sacrificing sound quality on either side of your call.