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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: Moto Hint+ Bluetooth Headset

I've been pretty happy with my LG Tone headset for the past year or so, but there's one use case where they really don't cut it: cycling. The headset would bounce against my collarbone whenever I stand up (which is at every stop light or stop sign, or up every freeway overpass), and it's just too annoying to wear while cycling. They also emit a blue light which can be very annoying. In the gym, they also have a tendency to fall out of position whenever you need to lie down (say, at the bench press). This led me to look for an alternate solution.

I settled on an eBay refurbished Moto Hint+ for the following reasons:
  • It was cheap ($30)
  • I didn't need both ears.
When it arrived, I paired it with my phone and away I went. The device definitely stays in my ears even when cycling, and it has no problem providing music, audio books, or phone calls. The battery life is only 3 hours, but that's OK with the use case for the device --- I hardly ever wear a headset for more than an hour at a time.

My major criticism of the device is:
  • Not waterproof. (This is rapidly becoming my pet peeve of modern electronics)
  • No way to pause music. Tapping the headset activates Google voice assistant, which you can try to tell to pause the music, but that only works half the time.
  • No volume control (use the phone's --- it's actually not that big a deal, but can be a problem if your songs aren't equalized)
  • It's 10g heavier than the LG Tone. (Very surprising!) It is, however, more compact to carry.
Sound quality is decent, though not as good as my LG Tone. The reason is that the LG tone seals both ears, so when watching a movie or purely listening to music I prefer the LG Tone. But for regular phone calls or cycling, or any situation where keeping one ear open (e.g., when one of my children is active and needs me to be able to hear him) is necessary, these are the better solution.

Alternatives are the Samsung IconX ($150 new, $72.60 used) which provides stereo and disconnected music, and Bragi Dash ($208 new) which also provides stereo, disconnected music and waterproofing, but has very mixed reviews. Overall, I like this style of headset enough that I would try the IconX if my Moto Hint+ dies. In the mean time, the Moto Hint+ is more than good enough. Recommended.

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