At a Glance
- Reliable audio quality at a very attractive price
- Comfy earpad style
- Neckband lacks an adjustment option
- Controls are hard to access by feel at first
These superaffordable stereo headphones offer a lot to like, including solid music and call quality, a comfortable fit, and easy-to-use controls–once you get the hang of things.
When it comes to the comfort of stereo Bluetooth headsets, I’d choose an earpad design (that is, an earmuff style) over earbuds any day, thank you. And if you have the same preference, look long and hard at the Motorola MotoRokr S305. This set of headphones handles calls and music with aplomb. The product delivers great-sounding conversations and tunes, a comfy fit against the ears, and a light feel on the noggin.
You can get all of that for a tempting price: $60 or less, depending on where you buy. Elsewhere on our latest headsets chart, the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 lists for a whopping $180, and the S305’s cousin, the MotoRokr S9-HD, can cost you $130 (both products are earbud-oriented).
The S305 sports a behind-the-ear design; to arrive at a pleasing fit, I rotated the earpads until the earhooks nestled against the tops of my small ears. The neckband hovered above the back of my head, without bopping against my neck. (Your fit may vary, particularly if you have a large head, as the neckband does not expand or contract.)
The pads themselves, composed of soft foam, felt rather cushiony, and the whole arrangement felt pleasing–even after I donned this pair for a couple of hours, they did not seem cumbersome. When I walked around, the S305 felt secure, and the pads refrained from flapping.
Phone calls through the S305 proved mostly good, sometimes even great. Call recipients generally had no trouble hearing me, but at times my voice sounded far away, slightly muffled, or robotic to them. Incoming voices came across clearly but also sounded a bit muffled here and there. The S305 did not do a great job of canceling out background noise in my immediate vicinity–it picked up other people’s chatter, for example.
Music sounded pretty good: The S305 delivered warm and bright tones with a solid bass kicking in. When I veered toward the edge of the headphones’ working Bluetooth range (roughly 33 feet away from my phone), my tunes were still going strong, with no breaking up–an impressive feat. (On the other hand, as I approached the range limit during phone calls, I could hear interference, and parties at the other end picked up a considerable amount of crackling.)
All of the S305’s controls are housed on the right headphone. Imagine the headphone’s large control button as a clock face, and picture the controls located at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock spots. Each of the four control areas has a ridged symbol–for example, the Play/Pause symbol–to help you find them by feel. These ridges are tiny, though, so you might take a while to get used to them.
The volume rocker, on the side of the headphone, was less accessible–the tip of my ear sometimes got in the way as I fumbled around for it. (I liked that the S305 sports a dedicated power button, though getting familiar with its placement also took a few tries.)
All that said, when I pushed the large button’s controls and the volume rocker, the tactile feedback was well defined, with a solid, punchy mechanism.
If you’re looking for stereo Bluetooth headphones to do double duty–that is, manage calls and play music–$60 or less is a terrific price. If you aren’t sold on the earbud style, the earpad-based S305 is a fine choice. And if looks matter to you, the black and silver hues make for a handsome set of headphones.
(To see other stereo models we looked at recently, including the earpad-oriented LG Electronics HBS-250, check out our stereo Bluetooth headsets chart. For more on selecting the right headset for you, see our Bluetooth products buying guide.)