capsule review

Motorola H780 Bluetooth Headset

At a Glance
  • Motorola H780

    PCWorld Rating

    Earhook die-hards will like the Motorola H780's sturdy fit and comfort level, but expect call quality to fluctuate.

The Motorola H780 Bluetooth headset costs $100 (as of December 1, 2008), $30 cheaper than its cousin, the Motopure H15. The H780 comes with a flexible clear plastic earhook and three ear cushions of different sizes. The smallest cushion felt comfortable and pretty snug.

I liked that the H780's earhook is small (relative to those of most of the other headsets I've tested), and it wrapped nicely around the curve of my ear.

I also liked the dedicated, sliding power switch at the side of the H780--it's always obvious whether this headset is on or off. The call button is too small for my taste, but the pressing mechanism is responsive. The volume buttons sport notches on the surface, making them easy to find and operate.

The noise-cancellation button sits farther down the headset; it's on by default, but you can switch it off if you don't need it (if you're in a superquiet environment such as an empty office). You have to be on a call to turn it off, though, and doing so doesn't save battery life, so there's no real reason to do so. This button is teensy, and I found it tricky to push with the pad of my finger (perhaps it's easier if you have strong, pointy nails).

In my hands-on tests, the H780's call quality was mixed. Sometimes it was very good. But even though call recipients' voices sounded loud enough to me, I sounded tinny or muffled to them some of the time, yet crisp and clear on other occasions. One person I spoke with was dismayed to encounter some reverb on her end, and she found it too distracting. Background noise, such as music, sounded faint when I started talking. I turned off the noise-cancellation feature when I was in a quiet environment, and for the other parties it was hard to tell whether the crispness in my voice improved.

This model is one of the more reasonably priced ones among our latest headset test batch, but you have better choices with more consistent call quality.

(For more on choosing the right headset for you, see our Bluetooth headset buying guide.)

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Earhook die-hards will like the Motorola H780's sturdy fit and comfort level, but expect call quality to fluctuate.

    Pros

    • Stylish black and silver design
    • Dedicated on/off sliding switch

    Cons

    • Inconsistent call quality
    • Minuscule noise cancellation button
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