Review: Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones 23
The MOTOROKR S305 Stereo Bluetooth Headset sports sleek looks and a low price, but audio quality is lacking. Wrapped around my head you’ll find the Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, and you won’t see any wires connecting them to my Pre. Huzzah! They’ve got a relatively secure fit and a minimalist design that artfully hides the fact that there’s a battery and all sorts of transmitters and receivers inside to make it work. For bluetooth headphones they’re relatively inexpensive, but that becomes evident when you realize that the S305 disappoints in the most important area: audio quality.
I don’t know whether to blame it on the bluetooth connection or the Pre’s audio processing capabilities or some combination of those and digital cobwebs, but listening to music through the S305 was an experience of static-filled quiet, distorted louds, and muddy bass.
I’ll be honest, I’m a bit of an audio snob and have a very hard time picking out headphones that measure up to my ridiculous standards and yet don’t break the bank. And at just $50 in the PreCentral Store, the S305s won’t break the bank, but they also simply don’t measure up for me. That said, most of the time you’ll be using headphones its to listen to your music and drown out the outside world, so static and slightly distorted loud points won’t likely stand-out in your listening. If you aren't an audio snob, they might do just fine for you.
Thankfully, the human voice generally isn’t overly high- or low-pitched (unless you happen to be talking to Fran Drescher or James Earl Jones) and most people tend to talk louder than is necessary when using the phone, so you won’t have to worry too much about them being overwhelmed by static or simply turning out muddy. That said, the voice quality isn’t fantastic, it’s simply good enough. The same couldn’t be said for the caller on the other end of the line - often times my voice was reported as sounding distant or metallic. Seeing as I’m not a proper cyborg (yet), sounding metallic isn’t exactly in my laranyx.
And that’s where the price point and convenience of the S305 comes in – for not much more than comparable name-brand wired headphones you get the convenience of leaving your Pre stowed away while still hearing your tunes and having control over those tunes. The magic of A2DP is its counterpart AVRCP, which means there is also a link back to the phone to control the music with play/pause, forward, and back controls. The volume can be adjusted on both the Pre and the headset, which sports fairly large volume rockers.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to memorize which switches are where, as the minimalist design of these headphones results in tiny raised labels that I simply could not discern by mere touch. The phone, play/pause, forward, and back buttons are located ninety degrees apart on the cap over the right speaker, which ends up getting pushed against your head if you try to just push one of the buttons instead of grabbing the headphones with your thumb and middle finger and pushing the button with your index.
For my head at least the S305 is not the most comfortable set of headphones I’ve ever worn. After about an hour the hard plastic wrap-around band was pushing down on the back of my ears in a manner that was starting to become marginally painful. The hard plastic band has a plus, however, it holds the headphones quite securely to your head even in moderately jostling activities. Even during a two mile run I never had any fear of the headphones slipping off. As mentioned above, controlling any of the A2DP controls is not a single-finger affair, unless you like pushing the speaker against your ear. Nothing about the S305 is adjustable - they are exactly what you get.
As with any cans, the longer you wear them, the hotter your ears are going to get simply for lack of ventilation; though there doesn’t seem to be any excess heat generated from the constant wireless transmitting and battery drain.
Those tiny controls have an advantage: they don’t stand out (physically and visually). If it weren’t for the lack of wires, it’d be hard to dismiss the S305 headphones as nothing but a set of standard (though slightly chunky) headphones. The street-style around-the-back design is very much in vogue these days and the band on the S305 is suitably large enough to accommodate larger heads and hairstyles with minimum fuss.
In the Box
There’s not much apart from the headphones in the box here. With your purchase you get a tiny manual, a tiny safety packet (don’t listen to music too loudly, don’t swim with electronics, don’t put the cat in the toaster, etc), and a charger. That charger, however, is a miraculous little thing, as it is Micro USB. As in the same Micro USB that the Pre uses to charge, and I can confirm that the chargers for the S305 and Pre are interchangeable, so there’s one fewer thing to lug around.
The Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones have a moderately comfortable design and are designed with minimalist aesthetics. The sound quality isn’t as great as it could be, but as they say, you get what you pay for. For exercise or headphones for a day out on the city streets, the sound quality will be more than adequate and the convenience of wireless music simply can’t be beat.
The Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones are available in the PreCentral store for $49.95, a 17% savings off the list price of $59.95.