Motorola S11-HD sweat proof headphones: Quick charging and light weight

Motorola S11-HD sweat proof headphones: Quick charging and light weight

Summary: Many people enjoy using Bluetooth headphones for commuting and working out. The latest Motorola design functions well, but the fit isn't great if you wear glasses.


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  • Motorola S11-HD retail package

    I enjoy listening to music while I workout and have been using the JayBird BlueBud X Bluetooth earbuds. Motorola takes a different approach with a band style earphone and for the past couple of weeks I have been testing the Motorola S11-HD wireless stereo headphones loaned to me from the folks at AT&T.


    The Motorola S11-HD comes in attractive red and white retail package that has a clear plastic window to show off the actual headphones. Inside the package you will find the headphones, a microUSB A/C adapter, and eight earbud tips. A manual is also included to show you what each button is used for and how to connect your headphones.

    The headphones are all black with orange buttons, orange ring around the earbuds, and orange earbud tips. The volume buttons are black. The power button is found on the top of the right side and the call/music control button is found on the bottom of the left side. A microUSB port is located under a cover on the bottom of the right side with the notification light shown just forward of the microUSB port. The volume button is located on the right side, along the back of the raised side of the headphones. Microphone openings are found on the right side of the headphones.

    There is a snap-on rubber band the fits at the base of the raised earphone pieces. With this in place, the headphones are designed to fit more securely and I found they stayed in place much better than without the band. I understand the effectiveness of the band varies with usage, hair style, and head size.

    Usage and experiences

    I like that the headphones charge via a standard microUSB port, with the indicator light glowing red while charging and green when it is fully charged up. Motorola states that five minutes of charging will provide you with about one hour of usage. Specs state that you can get up to six hours of playback time with fully charged headphones.

    Each headphone arm rotates about 30 degrees to help fit securely into your ear. There is no other adjustment on this model, but the Flex version has a few more adjustable pieces. They stayed in my ears pretty well, but a couple times while I was jumping over logs (I am training for the Tough Mudder) they started to fall out of one ear and since they are a connected headphone the other ear loosened up a bit. They seem to be just fine for the gym or commute, but may not stay as secure while on the road.

    It was easy to pair up the headphones with various phones and tablets. I found the audio quality to be quite good with great volume levels.

    They fit well when I went running with my contacts, but I did find they were not very comfortable while wearing my glasses. The upper part of the headphones fits over year ear with a piece over half and each wide fitting behind your ear. I personally wouldn't buy and use these if I wore glasses all the time.

    People said calls sounded fine and it was easy to control calls with the button on the left side. The call/music button is pressed once or twice to control the music with a press and hold being used to change the equalizer settings.

    Pros and Cons

    To summarize my experiences and the specifications of the Moto X, here are my pros and cons.


    • Attractive design and colors
    • Light weight
    • Standard microUSB charging port
    • Quick charging
    • Sweat proof design
    • Reasonable price for workout headphones


    • Doesn't fit well with glasses
    • Rigid construction may pull out one side during motion

    Pricing and availability

    The Motorola S11-HD headphones are available from AT&T for $99.99. You can also pick them up at other various online and retail locations. There is also a bit more expensive S11-Flex HD pair ($129.99) that has another couple point of adjustability for a tighter fit for those who exercise hard.

    The competition

    There are several other behind-the-ear headphones designed for those who exercise, including models from iKross, Plantronics, and Nokia. Motorola has been making these for several years and the S11-HD is the latest iteration that fixes many of the issues we have heard about in the past.


    • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
    • Support for aptX audio technology
    • microUSB charging port
    • Dual microphones
    • Five equalizer presets
    • Sweat proof construction
    • Up to seven hours of talk time or six hours of playback time
    • Weight of just 1.4 ounces


    As a fan of orange, I was pleased to see the orange highlights on the black color headphones. I enjoyed using the headphones for the most part, but did not like the experience while wearing my glasses. The headphones charge up fast, are light weight, sound great, and are attractive.

    Contributor's rating: 8 out of 10

  • Inside the front cover of the retail package

Topics: Reviews, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Apt-X

    Apt-X is the most important spec in bluetooth headphones and transmitters for audio quality. Thankfully, the cell phone manufacturers, with the exception of LG, support the codec in their top range phones (boo, LG, which I have).
  • Proof read

    Thank you for the article. I have been looking at options in this area. I would suggest you proof read your article though. When I read comments or articles that contain numerous typos I tend to question the accuracy of their information.
  • Good option, but I like mine better

    Over the years I've tried several Bluetooth headphones, including the ones you mentioned. The LG Tone has now served me well and overcomes the glasses issue that all over-the-ear devices face.
  • Motorola S11-HD poor design

    I purchased the next higher model of the S11 ($120) and within a few weeks a split developed in the center of the band between the two ear pieces. The pulling them outward when putting the device on and off my head cause a fatigue split in the plastic. I was very disappointed in build quality that this would happen so early in the life cycle of the unit.
    • I had a similar design headset by Nokia and it did the same thing.

      I think the problem is that these tend to be designed for small heads. Mine were uncomfortably tight and soon split in half. I got them replaced and the second set did the same thing again. NOkia refused to take back the second set and I have never considered buying another NOkia product. I was glad to see them have to sell out to Microsoft. Now they can flounder behind together along with Apple's sinking ship in Google's dust losing more and more market share by the day.
  • S10 user here

    I've gone through three of the S10s; I think they're the best compromise for sweat proof BT headsets; if you actually wear them while sweating a lot. I drench mine daily at the gym and on the road(bike). Each has lasted about 6-8 months and usually succumbs to shorts from moisture penetration.

    On thing to watch out for is quick temperature changes, condensation inside the device going from hot to cold in a humid environment will likely kill it instantly.

    The splitting of the back band of the S11 design is noted in many reviews posted on online retailers feedback sections, and is a primary reason I've stayed with the S10..