The Motorola S11-FLEX HD is a stereo Bluetooth headset designed or working out without wires.
The S11-FLEX HD pairs over Bluetooth to iPhone or Android devices and withstands sweat and to stay on while running or working out.
In our time with the S11-FLEX HD headset we came away impressed by the comfort, sound quality and control over audio, though call quality left us wanting more.
Motorola addressed many of the fit and comfort issues of the earlier models in the S9 and S10 Bluetooth headsets, adding more flex points for a better fit.
Design and Comfort
Motorola added flexibility to the S11-FLEX HD to overcome comfort and wearability issues from earlier models, without going for a corded approach like the Plantronics BackBeat Go. This approach delivers a better fit that feels snug without being too tight.
The multiple flex points near the earbuds help deliver a more comfortable fit while working out or even just wearing around the house. The earbuds rotate side to side, moving slightly when you turn your head so that they stay in place.
The set comes with several earbud sizes for a better fit and there is also a small strap that can secure the headphones to the back of your head, though it wasn’t needed for our use.
The joint at the top of the earbud arm also flexes for a better fit and is one reason the headphones fit better over glasses than some others. This also makes it easy to remove one earbud without taking the headset off, to talk to someone or check out what’s happening around you if running outside.
The plastic body features a soft finish and is lightweight to wear, making the headset easy to forget about, though the earbuds can become un-comfortable after an hour or two of use. Motorola included several reflective strips to aid in visibility.
Users will appreciate the selection of buttons on the S11-FLEX HD headset. The power button is on the top of the right earbud, flanked by two-volume buttons behind the ear.
On the left of the S11-FLEX HD is a multifunction button. Tapping this red button pauses playback. A double tap skips to the next song and holding it will switch between five preset equalizer modes to enhance sound quality. By adding multiple functions to a single button users won’t need to worry if the button they’ve reached up to is the right one, which is a big plus.
The S11-FLEX HD is sweatproof and stood up to multiple wet workout sessions, but they aren’t designed to wear while swimming or showering.
When it comes to sound quality the S11-FLEX HD doesn’t disappoint, especially with the treble EQ preset. With this enabled, music and spoken word sounds very good, especially for a Bluetooth connection. The sound quality is better than most Bluetooth headsets we’ve used.
The S11-FLEX HD headset delivers OK bass, but the Extreme Bass EQ mode is overwhelming. The key to good sound is a good seal, which means finding the best fitting earbuds before starting off. With the Treble EQ on vocals sound very good and there is enough mid and low-end to deliver depth. To test sound quality we listened to Kid Rock’s latest album from Google Play and a variety of genres on Pandora.
The headset pairs to two devices at once and sounded good on both the Droid RAZR HD and the iPhone 5. The headset can mange music from one device and a call from another. Pairing is simple and straightforward.
Call quality is ok thanks to dual mics, though callers reported that it sounded like they were on speakerphone. The quality suffered when turning at odd angles, such as to look over a shoulder before crossing a street, but it is acceptable for short calls while working out.
The Motorola S11-FLEX HD headset lasts up to three hours on a 15 minute charge and up to 6 hours of music on a full charge. These claims are on par with our usage, even with the music turned all the way up.
The quick charge function is the best part about battery life, as it’s easy to charge the headset up for a workout or a walk while putting on gym shorts and shoes since five minutes on the charger delivers an hour of playback.
Motorola S11-FLEX HD Recommendation
The Motorola S11-FLEX HD is a comfortable, great sounding Bluetooth stereo headset that pulls double duty by taking phone calls while on the move. The $129 price tag puts it out of the range for some users, but the quick charging, comfort and overall quality make it worth the price of admission.
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