Two areas that really separate high end headsets from the pretenders are comfort and noise cancellation. If you think of some of the contenders in this market segment (Jawbone, Plantronics Voyager Pro, Motorola HX1) pretty much all of them are designed from the ground up to be comfortable, while noise cancellation is analogous to the engine on a shiny new sports car; you don’t see it at first glance, but that’s really the core of the product.
One of the latest Bluetooth Headsets to enter the ring is Motorola’s recently announced Oasis headset. The physical design of the Oasis is fairly close to the Voyager Pro, which is one of my all time favorite headsets. The full review is after the break.
Motorola deserves some awards for the design that went into the Oasis headset. Nothing about this headset feels flimsy or cheap. Even when the boom microphone is folded away it fits into a small groove at the base of the headset and is held in place by a magnet, while this may sound like a small thing it keeps the headset in a shape that prevents it from breaking when you have it in your headset. When extended, the boom microphone and the earpiece rotate 180 degrees (not 360, though the Oasis is still perfectly usable with both ears).
The controls on the Oasis are physically located in a number of different places. The most commonly used button, the Call/End Call button is located on the boom mic itself, pressing it is as simple as squeezing the boom. Volume controls and a mute button are along the back of the device (just above the microUSB connector), with the power switch located at the top.
The Oasis is a TrueComfort™ headset, meaning it is built with a specific focus on being comfortable for the user using a behind-the-ear design, allowing most of the weight of the headset to be supported in a manner that doesn’t put excessive pressure on your ear. Additionally, all surfaces that come in contact with your ear are thick; this spreads any pressure across a larger surface area, maximizing comfort.
Motorola has one of the best noise cancelling headsets on the market in the HX1, though sadly the Oasis doesn’t include the HX1’s “Stealth Mode” or bone conduction technology. The Oasis handles noise cancellation through dual microphones, which is not groundbreaking by any means, though it is effective. The Oasis is also designed to allow effective communication in winds up to 12mph, which is typically a problem area for headsets.
The Motorola Oasis is a valuable entry into the mid to high end Bluetooth Headset market. Though I wouldn’t classify it as having the best sound quality (that distinction would go to the Jawbone or Motorola’s HX1), the Oasis is an extremely well designed headset and is among the most comfortable that I’ve tested.
The Oasis is currently available through the WPCentral store for $77.95.