The Motorola HT820 headphones can play stereo sound and also act as a headset for your mobile phone of for use with Skype on your PC. Cleverly, this set is smart enough to connect to both your phone and the stereo source, and when the phone rings it will mute the music and let you pick up the call with the large button on the left earpiece. When the call is finished it will bring up the level of the music to what it was before.
Using with Your Mobile Cellphone
Pairing with a bluetooth-enabled mobile phone is straightforward, and as a headset the HT820 works very well. The noise-cancelling microphone does a good job and there is enough audio level from it for the other side to hear clearly, despite the mike being a small hole in the right-hand earpiece – there is no boom microphone.
However, the HT820 will not necessarily play mp3s from your phone. This is a limitation of many phones, not the HT820 – regular Bluetooth does not have enough capacity to stream stereo audio so the phone needs to have A2DP Bluetooth capability. Not all have this at the time of writing, even if they can play mp3s through the wired headset. You need to check that in the specs – A2DP is the magic phrase, if wireless mp3 functionality is important to you.
Using the HT820 with your PC
Even if your PC has Bluetooth enabled, unless it has A2DP you will not be able to stream audio to the HT820 – once again a limitation of the PC and not the HT820. You will be able to pair the HT820 with your PC, but frustratingly you will probably not be able to use it, even as a regular mono headset for Skype.
This is where the Motorola D200 PC adapter comes in. Plug this into a USB port on your PC and now you have full functionality available. You can play your music using Windows Media Player, and even skip over tracks, pause, and skip back using the controls on the right earpiece. When used with the D200 adapter and Windows Media Player the music is paused during a phone call, which is a nice touch.
Using with a MP3 Player or your Home Audio System
You can use the Motorola DC800, a Bluetooth audio adapter, to use the HT820 with any audio source that offers a 3.5mm stereo minijack socket. This is standard on MP3 players. Once again the HT820 handles your phone calls intelligently, muting the music source while you deal with the phone call.
The Motorola HT820 does its job well, though you will probably need to get some extra Blutoooth interfaces to use it with your Ipod or PC. It is well worth the effort. The range is excellent – about 30m, covering al of the house, and the quality is very good, letting you wander round the house listening to your PC or on Skype to your friends without being tied to the PC. Motorola also supply a 3.5mm to 2.5mm stereo lead with the HT820 which plugs into the headphones so you can use them wired, or on an aircraft where Bluetooth is not permitted.