While smartphones seem to be growing bigger with each new device that hits the market, Bluetooth headsets have gone the other direction entirely. The $129.99 Motorola Elite Sliver squeezes all but the most advanced features to be found into a tiny and inconspicuous package. Read on to see if the Sliver packs enough hands-free capabilities to meet your needs.
Weighing just 9 grams (0.32 of an ounce), the Motorola Elite Sliver is undeniably compact and light. It uses a wrap-around-the-ear design that, while I'm not a big fan of, isn't as cumbersome as other headsets I've reviewed recently such as the Jabra Supreme and Jabra Sport. That said, slipping the Elite Sliver into place around my ear wasn't easy, a situation that I chalk up to interference from my eyeglasses. Removing my spectacles helped, but I still had issues with the headset's earbud-style earpiece.
Encased in a gel cover, the earbud is designed to rest just outside of the ear and not sit directly in the ear canal. As a result, the headset doesn't provide a tight audio seal. Motorola is kind enough though to bundle the Elite Sliver with multiple ear gels of various sizes. That's great because I found the standard size, which also is the smallest, to be loose enough that the headset popped off of its ear loop. Swapping in the biggest gel fixed this by helping the earbud to find a better grip.
To switch on the Elite Sliver, simply rotate the lower section of its earpiece 90 degrees right or left along the arm's axis. Controls are kept to minimum with just a large call button on the bottom edge of the ear loop and what Motorola calls a Smart Key on the earpiece arm. It's made to both activate voice commands and serve as a volume button. Pressing the key quickly during calls or audio playback will toggle volume up and then down, but there's no way to choose which. Annoyingly, users have to cycle through the three levels (low, medium, and high) until they land on the right setting. What's more, I found the key small and hard to tap.
While the Elite Sliver doesn't have a port for plugging directly into AC outlets, it comes with its own case for charging the device. Even better, the case has its own battery for juicing up in the field. Motorola says that when fully charged, the case has enough power to replenish the headset's battery three times. Tiny lights on both the case and Elite Sliver indicate charging status and basic battery level in color codes of green, yellow, and red. Don't lose the case/charger, though, or you'll be in a bind.
On the whole, the case is very small and its smooth edges help it slide into pockets and bags easily when snapped shut. Both the headset and case are clad in sober black with a pleasing soft-touch finish too, a stylish look.
Offering many high-end abilities, the Motorola Elite Sliver can do a lot despite its small stature. Dual microphones coupled with noise-canceling software promise clear calls under trying conditions. As a Bluetooth 3.0 device, the Sliver has a maximum range of 300 feet, it supports pairing without having to punch in tedious number codes, and it can link to two devices at once.
Voice command functions such as saying "answer" or "ignore" to accept or reject calls hands-free are on board, as well. When used with Motorola's My Motospeak Android app, the Sliver also can dictate and send text messages to contacts or simply call people directly from your address book. The software will announce the names of callers if their details are stored on your phone. To launch My Motospeak, just press the Call button and a voice will prompt you to speak your commands.