Gear Review: Motorola ROKR Headphones

rokrIt’s been awhile since I’ve written a gear review – so I thought I’d take a moment to give a review of the Motorola ROKR S-9 Bluetooth stereo headsets.

I have now owned two different sets of the ROKR S-9 – and have had the same experience with both.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that experience has been great…  The problem with both:  they stopped the ability to charge.

I had purchased my first ROKR for the few times when I decide to put sneaker to pavement instead of a rubber tire.  I wanted to have something that paired with my iPhone without cords.  Those little ear buds supplied with the iPhone would simply fall out of my ears while running – so I first purchased corded, wrap-around headphones.

Not being the most coordinated runner, I’d often end up yanking those corded headphones out of my ear mid-stride (and would have to check to make sure I didn’t pull my ears off at the same time).  Fortunately, my ears stayed on – but the run had to be interrupted as I struggled to get the headphones back in my ear.

So, looking for a better solution, I started looking around for a bluetooth headset that would meet my needs.  Motorola, to me, has traditionally been associated with good mobile products.  If I’m not mistaken, they were the first makers of the Droid phones and are big wigs in the mobile products category.  As a result, I settled on their product.

With a product name like ROKR, I expected good things.  The headphones did deliver great sound.  I can’t fault Motorola for that.  I also liked the secure feeling of the headphones as they wrapped around the back of my head and held tight into the ears.  There was no falling out – and no yanking out (if my hands got that high – my ears deserve to be ripped off).

The charge could get me through a few half hour to 45-minute runs – and that was ok with me.  I expected to charge them after a few runs (OH – I also used them in the winter when on an indoor bike trainer).  So, I can rank the charge life fairly high.

Unfortunately, the first pair of headphones stopped charging after only a few months.  I had figured that, just maybe, my sweat short-circuited them.  It seemed a bit funny, but I really didn’t have any other explanation.

In the meantime, I had purchased a second pair of these headphones for my wife to use.  Since my first pair went dead – and she preferred to run without headphones anyway – she let me have hers.

The newer model didn’t have the solid frame around the back – just a wire connecting the two headphones.  I found that this newer model wasn’t as easy to put on.  I had to slip the ear “props” over the ears – and it wasn’t the easiest to do.  I also found the newer model would occasionally pop out of my ears when running (or riding in the basement on the trainer).

I could only hope that the newer design would last longer than the original pair.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.   As I write this, the newer model lays at home in an uncharged state.  I can’t even get the light on anymore to show that it’s trying to charge.

Needless to say, my next pair of bluetooth headphones will NOT be Motorola brand.  Anyone else have suggestions for a good, solid (long-lasting) brand?

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