Motorola has been touting its CrystalTalk noise-cancellation technology for a while now, first in its own handsets and most recently in its latest line of Bluetooth headsets. Its current star headset is the Motorola Pure H15, which we've reviewed already, but if you wish to save a little for a less sexy model, Motorola is offering the Motorola H780. It still has that CrystalTalk technology, but is much more business-like in appearance, and has more talk time as well. While we were not completely blown away by the audio quality, we still gave the H780 marks for its noise suppression and comfortable fit. The Motorola H780 is available now for $99.
The Motorola H780 has a pretty utilitarian design. It is rectangular and blocky, measuring 1.9 inches long by 0.7 inch wide by 0.5 inch thick, and comes in either carbon fiber or brushed steel. On the front is a round Call button followed by one of two microphones in a vertical stripe of perforated metal. This external microphone is to cancel out background noise. At the end of the microphone is a tiny Noise Cancellation button, which you can use to toggle that noise-canceling microphone on or off. On the right spine is the volume rocker and power switch.
We had no problems with most of the controls--they were sufficiently raised above the surface and easy to press. Our only problem was the tiny Noise Cancellation button, but we don't think you should be toggling that off anyway. We also liked having a dedicated power switch, so that it's easier to conserve the headset's battery life when not in use. The charger jack is on the top of the headset while the LED indicator is at the bottom.
Flip the headset over and you'll find a small in-ear earpiece clad in a rubber ear cushion, as well as a thin and flexible plastic ear hook. The H780 comes with a variety of different-size ear cushions, in case the one out of the box doesn't fit your ear. We found that it fit quite comfortably; it sits just outside the ear canal, and the thin ear hook made it possible for us to wear it while wearing glasses. It should be noted that the ear hook is not optional; it's needed for stability and security.
Features of the H780 include the typical answering, receiving, rejecting, and ending calls, last number redial, call mute, and the ability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. It has multipoint technology, meaning it can connect to two devices simultaneously. It also has a battery status indicator.
Like with other Motorola headsets, the Motorola H780 has automatic pairing when it's first turned on. We managed to pair it with both the Apple iPhone 3G and the LG Lotus. We made several calls to both landline and cell phone numbers. Each time, our callers could tell we were using a headset, and said we sounded rather harsh, with a tinny or robotic-sounding voice. We then tried using our headset outdoors and in the car. In those situations, callers said they couldn't hear a lot of background noise, and we were impressed by how well the noise cancellation worked. When we toggled the noise cancellation off, it was clear how much difference it made. So, while the H780 doesn't have the clearest audio quality, it does cancel out a lot of environmental noise.
The Motorola H780 has a rated battery life of 7 hours talk time and 8 days standby time.