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Thread: Motorola Whisper

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    Motorola Whisper

    It seems like we haven't had much new to talk about for some time. Anyone pick up the new Motorola Whisper headset and give it a try? I picked one up this afternoon. Very early tests seem good. It's comfortable to wear and, at least in moderate environments, it seems on par with the Legend. I'll be trying it in a range of situations to see if it's worth replacing the Legend as my daily headset. Always looking for the next best thing

    Paul

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    Yea the bluetooth waters have been quite quiet for a time now... I just picked up the Whisper so I'll give it a test run. It will be difficult to defeat my Legend though... its very comfortable, lasts 7 hours, has a charging case (because of the damn proprietary charger), does well is noisy areas (but not with wind), and has play/pause functionality for A2DP audio (a uniquely nice/rare feature), and a dedicated mute button.

    So pretty much the only area I think my Legend is lacking is the wind noise cancellation.... I'll provide an update after a few days of use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scion676 View Post
    Yea the bluetooth waters have been quite quiet for a time now... I just picked up the Whisper so I'll give it a test run. It will be difficult to defeat my Legend though... its very comfortable, lasts 7 hours, has a charging case (because of the damn proprietary charger), does well is noisy areas (but not with wind), and has play/pause functionality for A2DP audio (a uniquely nice/rare feature), and a dedicated mute button.

    So pretty much the only area I think my Legend is lacking is the wind noise cancellation.... I'll provide an update after a few days of use.

    I haven't spent much time looking at the features, but I have done many side by side tests of the noise cancellation and wind noise resistance. It's a very close call, but I think the Moto has the Legend beat in noise cancellation. In almost every environment (airport, car, noisy room, streets, and wind) the Moto beats the Legend. I will say that the cancellation algorithms are obviously different. For instance, a transient noise such as a passing car, is handled by the Legend by lowering the volume of the background noise, while the Moto cancels it at the expense of a reduction in volume of your voice. Also, in extremely noisy backgrounds, the Moto suppression results in a slightly digitized background sound (although the voice quality is about the same as the legend) while the Legend just muffles it. Still, I believe in almost every typical, moderately noisy environment, the Moto does a better job. Still working on the wind noise comparisons, but it seems better also.

    The downside is that the Legend is more comfortable and the motion sensor call transfer functions on the Legend are a nice capability.

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    Pluka keep us posted. I like the look of the device and shocked we have not seen more retractable boom solutions. But being in NYC the wind noise is very important.


    Sent with the HoFo App

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    Sorry the review is piecemeal, but that's what I have time for...

    Noise cancellation:

    The noise cancellation approach is definitely different between the Legend and the Whisper. The Whisper is more aggressive in cutting background noise and silences almost all noise (except transient spikes) when you're not speaking, but sometimes cuts the gain on your own voice to cut very noisy backgrounds and wind. In general, I find the Whisper to be an equal to the Legend and in some cases noticeably better. For example, I was in an airport and the caller could barely hear any background sound and only when I was speaking. The Legend allowed more background to seep into the conversation.

    Call Audio:
    Neither is great compared to the Bose Series 2, but I give the edge to the Legend. The Whisper is decent, but seems a bit more muted. I haven't tested streaming music, I rarely use the headset for that.

    Wind Noise:
    The Whisper will silence minor wind effectively and even in relatively strong gusts, your voice can be easily heard although the wind is not silenced. I consider it very usable, but I haven't done side by side comparisons with the Legend yet ... will try it tonight, there seems to be a good breeze for testing.

    Physical:
    The headset is light and balances well on the ear with or without the ear loop. The boom is sturdy (much more so than that of the Zivio for those of us who were fans of that headset). It extends and retracts smoothly and easily. It seems to have a slight magnetic catch when extended and does not slide backwards on its own.

    My only complaint is the power button. It's pretty stiff and reminds me of a dip switch from an old circuit board. It's loosened up some in the few days I've had the headset, but a higher quality switch would have been worth the extra 10 cents...

    The other observation is related to the volume keys. They have a nice separation for managing call volume (it's actually a large rocker switch), but you have to press both simultaneously to mute a call. I always needed two hands to get a call muted - one to press both buttons and the other to hold the headset in place. YMMV

    Conclusion:

    The Whisper is a pleasant surprise from Motorola. I've never considered their headsets top of the line for noise cancellation, but this one gives the Legend a true run for its money and definitely outperforms the Era, the Bose S2, and everything else I've tried. I miss the Legend's charging stand when in the office, but it is nice to carry one less cord when traveling. It will likely be my everyday headset - at least until the Legend 2 or whatever Plantronics releases as the successor.

    For those purchasing either the Legend or the Whisper new, the Legend is the better value at $89 compared to the $129 I paid for the Whisper. Which is the best? Pending the wind test, I give the slight edge to the Whisper.

    Now, I'm curious to see if Scion676 agrees. We are typically close in opinion.

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    So here are my (much briefer) thoughts.

    I hold my plantronics voyager legend in relatively high regard so I might sound a little biased.

    Noise cancellation: I thought that they were relatively on par for 80%-90% of the conditions I put them both through. I agree with pluka on the Whisper being a little more aggressive on the cancellation side, it did remove a little more background noise in my voicemail tests at the train station, but to me, I also sounded more robotic and less natural vs the Legend. In my previous experiences with the legend, the only time people complained that they couldn't hear me was when I was walking outside and there was a strong head wind/cross wind. Noise issues because of other people or ambient environment sounds has never raised an issue. That being said, I took greater issue with the Whispers design (and this is totally subjective). It just wasn't close to the comfort level of the Legend on my ear. I tried multiple combos of the earpiece with/without the earhook and I'd have discomfort or ear fatigue within an hour. I wear my headset all day as I'm on the phone for 3-4 hours average. I also wear it when in transit to listen to music on a regular basis... so comfort is a big deal for me. I also like that the Legend can play/pause music with it's dedicated mute button, something the Whisper cannot do. The only headset I've worn in the past year or so that rivals the Legend in comfort was the Bose Series 2. But the weak batt life on that headset was a dealbreaker. The power toggle on the Whisper was quite tough to use but I only used it a few times over 3 days of testing. The boom mic was a nice feature but I'm not sure why anyone (at least serious talkers) would use it in the retracted mode... perhaps thats more for aesthetics and safe travel in between uses. All and all, this one is going back for me as the comfort factor was too hard to get over. I guess if I really wanted to keep it, I could try to find a 3rd party solution for the ear piece, but since I already have a good headset for 80-90% of my use cases, the Whisper didn't have enough to win me over. It shall go back!

    On to the next one!

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    Scion676

    I agree the Legend is more comfortable, but at least for me, it never sits in my ear firmly. The Whisper fits my ear better with one of the included ear gels, but starts to get uncomfortable if I use the ear loop for a long period.

    I'm also on the phone for 3+hours daily, so I understand the priority on comfort.

    BTW, in my tests, it did handle wind noise better than the Legend, but without comfort it's a moot point.

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    I hear that pluka! I just noticed that moto also released the sequel to the Sliver (Sliver II).

    http://www.motorola.com/us/accessori...I-headset.html

    I'll give that one a try if I find it at Best Buy while returning the Whisper.

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    So I returned the Sliver II as well. It fit much more comfortably but I didn't have the same level of noise cancelation as my Legend. I did the simple litmus test of making calls all day, partially while outside on the noisy city streets and I had to repeat myself several times to various callers. I rarely if ever have to do that with the Legend.

    Ah well, back to the trusty legend for now...

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    With the physical layout of the Silver II, I wouldn't think it would have very good noise reduction.

    Final comment on the Whisper ... I had a chance to test it against the Legend in the city on a windy day. The whisper is much better at handling wind noise. Some minor wind noise came through, but at very reasonable levels and my voice was still heard clearly. It was what I would consider a mild to moderately windy day. It was the final positive that has me keeping the Whisper - prior to that test I didn't feel it was a significant enough improvement.

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    I have been using bluetooth headsets for a long time, and although I agree there are advantages the over the ear loop is great if you have a small ear i.e. my wife and 2 of her friends said it was fine all of my male friends said ouch within 30 min. The ear Gels are the same way, great selection for small ears and you may loose a $129 - $149. headset if you trust it to keep it in your ear. As to support the online chat disconnected me when they realized what the problem was, the 800 # support offered to replace it with a lesser unit but told me I would probably want to get a refund from where I purchased it.

    I would like to know any suggestions for a good audio quality earpiece and good noise canceling. Thanks

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    Tommyloui,

    I guess it depends on how larger your ears are. I would classify mine a medium large and the whisper's medium as actually pretty stable. A couple of options come to mind. First is have a custom ear gel made. I don't have a reference for you, but there are some suggestions in this forum. Second is try the Bose Series 2. It's a definite step down from either the Legend or the Whisper, but the Bose ear gels are well designed and offer a good fit. Third suggestion is an over the head headset like the Blueparrot models http://www.vxicorp.com/products/blue.../xpressway-ii/ I have never tried them, but some people here find them quite good.

    Paul

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    Hey pluka,

    Do you think there are any 3rd party eargels that might fit the Whisper? I'd be willing to give it another try if I could find something comfortable that keeps it in my ear....

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    I think it would work. The Whisper speaker is just a round bud. I have some old Jabra gels that I can try this evening. If they work, a custom gel should. I've never used one, so I don't have a recommendation for a supplier, but I do know the Etymotic has good, but expensive, custom gels.

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    Yea I used to have some Jabra eargels that fit great and that's what I was thinking. I'll order some more and pickup up the Whisper again after hearing back from you if they fit.

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