Moto Surround Review

Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Introduction


Okay, we’ve seriously have gotten our fill of these around-the-neck styled Bluetooth headphones. In the last several months alone, we’ve reviewed the SOL Republic Shadow, Phiaton BT 100 NC, and Samsung Level U – all of which offer their own unique spin to the segment. Well, it’s now Motorola’s turn to try and impress consumers with its offering. At first thought, the Moto Surround’s price point of $69.99 is quaint in comparison to the aforementioned models, but don’t think for a second that you’re getting a wonky cheap thing that skimps out on the goods!

Packaging contains:

  • Moto Surround
  • microUSB cable
  • Spare ear tips
  • Safe, smart, protected guide
  • Read me guide

Design


Aesthetically, there’s a sporty element to the design of the Moto Surround. It’s plainly made obvious by extremely subtle black colored matte finished surfaces that cover most of the body, which is pleasantly complemented by the hard-toned blue accent found around the headphone wires and the circular buttons on the ends of the unit. Despite the sporty style, the plastic construction makes it feel a bit cheap – more so when it feels rather hollow.

One peculiar thing to note is that the Moto Surround features HZO protection, which guards it from water and sweat thanks to its IP57 certification. Not only does it endure the sweatiest of workouts, but it can withstand immersion in up to 3 feet of water for up to 20 minutes – you just have to remember to cover the microUSB port. There’s a higher degree of protection at play here, which is wonderful seeing that comparable models don’t offer water-resistance, but it’s not really meant to be used under water.

Much like other around-the-neck styles we’ve checked out, the Moto Surround is great for easy listening when you’re trying to relax or on a flight – it just fits the occasion for that. While there’s the sporty attachment with it, we find it a little challenging to use for running, since the lightweight nature of the Moto Surround causes it to move around a lot. Rather, it’s best suited for workouts that don’t involve vigorous movement, so think like weight lifting and stretching.

The earbuds are your standard fare, flaunting that silicone rubbery finish to them. Out of the box, they feel pretty snug to the point of offering a fair amount of suppression when worn. Thankfully, Motorola also includes other sized tips if the preloaded ones aren’t fitted to your sized ears. For long term usage, we find them more than comfortable – so they never feel irritating over time. And finally, when they’re not being used, they can be attached magnetically to the circular buttons found on each end of the headphones.

Most of the controls are situated near or around the ends of the headphones. The right section is home to the volume controls, which act as track forward/reverse when long pressed, pause/play button, microUSB port, physical power button, and an LED status light. Meanwhile, the left compartment only accommodates a multi-function button that acts to accept/end calls, and even launch your phone’s personal digital assistant service when it’s long pressed.

 

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Moto Surround Review

Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Moto Surround Review
Introduction


Okay, we’ve seriously have gotten our fill of these around-the-neck styled Bluetooth headphones. In the last several months alone, we’ve reviewed the SOL Republic Shadow, Phiaton BT 100 NC, and Samsung Level U – all of which offer their own unique spin to the segment. Well, it’s now Motorola’s turn to try and impress consumers with its offering. At first thought, the Moto Surround’s price point of $69.99 is quaint in comparison to the aforementioned models, but don’t think for a second that you’re getting a wonky cheap thing that skimps out on the goods!

Packaging contains:

  • Moto Surround
  • microUSB cable
  • Spare ear tips
  • Safe, smart, protected guide
  • Read me guide

Design


Aesthetically, there’s a sporty element to the design of the Moto Surround. It’s plainly made obvious by extremely subtle black colored matte finished surfaces that cover most of the body, which is pleasantly complemented by the hard-toned blue accent found around the headphone wires and the circular buttons on the ends of the unit. Despite the sporty style, the plastic construction makes it feel a bit cheap – more so when it feels rather hollow.

One peculiar thing to note is that the Moto Surround features HZO protection, which guards it from water and sweat thanks to its IP57 certification. Not only does it endure the sweatiest of workouts, but it can withstand immersion in up to 3 feet of water for up to 20 minutes – you just have to remember to cover the microUSB port. There’s a higher degree of protection at play here, which is wonderful seeing that comparable models don’t offer water-resistance, but it’s not really meant to be used under water.

Much like other around-the-neck styles we’ve checked out, the Moto Surround is great for easy listening when you’re trying to relax or on a flight – it just fits the occasion for that. While there’s the sporty attachment with it, we find it a little challenging to use for running, since the lightweight nature of the Moto Surround causes it to move around a lot. Rather, it’s best suited for workouts that don’t involve vigorous movement, so think like weight lifting and stretching.

The earbuds are your standard fare, flaunting that silicone rubbery finish to them. Out of the box, they feel pretty snug to the point of offering a fair amount of suppression when worn. Thankfully, Motorola also includes other sized tips if the preloaded ones aren’t fitted to your sized ears. For long term usage, we find them more than comfortable – so they never feel irritating over time. And finally, when they’re not being used, they can be attached magnetically to the circular buttons found on each end of the headphones.

Most of the controls are situated near or around the ends of the headphones. The right section is home to the volume controls, which act as track forward/reverse when long pressed, pause/play button, microUSB port, physical power button, and an LED status light. Meanwhile, the left compartment only accommodates a multi-function button that acts to accept/end calls, and even launch your phone’s personal digital assistant service when it’s long pressed.



Motorola Connect app


A staple app that’s preloaded with its phones, the Motorola Connect app is downloadable via the Google Play Store for other phones as well. Alternatively, it’s also available for iOS users through the App Store. From the onset, the app is pretty generic and straightforward, seeing that it offer us relevant information regarding the Moto Surround – like its battery life and connection status. However, there’s an advanced feature that shows it last known location on a map. All told, it’s there for the convenience of getting updates pertaining to it, but don’t expect the heavy customizations and options offered by other apps.

Connectivity


Relying on a very up-to-date Bluetooth 4.1 connection, we’re most astounded by the Moto Surround’s extra-long connectivity range. The company claims that its range can go up to 150 feet, which is an incredible claim on its own, but in our real-world experience, we’re more impressed that there’s no degradation or loss of connectivity when using it indoors between 50 to 75 feet – and that’s through walls too!

Beyond its stellar reach, it also offers Multipoint technology to allow simultaneous pairing between devices.

Performance


Moto Surround Review
Honestly, we weren’t having high expectations considering the price point and whatnot. Good thing we’re proven wrong because the Moto Surround is accompanied with an excellent audio experience that’s tough to find in its class! Combining the suppression it offers and the powerful volume output, it delivers a commanding presence with its aptX technology. There’s a distinctive focus on the lows, evident by the thumping tones, but it’s effective enough without being too overpowering for the mids and highs. Better yet, the Moto Surround offers various equalizer settings that can be cycled through by simultaneously pressing the volume up and down buttons – so it has a broad audio range to appease almost everyone.

While it fairs well for music listening, it falls a little short for _phone_ calls. No doubt, volume is never a problem through the ear buds, so it’s usable in noisy environments, but there’s some static in the background that competes against the scratchy voices. On the other end of the line, the microphones seem rather sensitive because it picks up almost everything – making it tough on our callers to comprehend our voice.

Battery


Rated to offer 12 hours of uninterrupted music listening, our real-world mixed usage actually lives up to that claim. That’s pretty good on its own, but it’s made better knowing that other similar styled ones fail to even reach the 10 hour mark – so kudos to the Moto Surround for being so excellent!

Conclusion


Moto Surround Review
Far from being the most advanced or feature-rich around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones we’ve come across, the Moto Surround undoubtedly manages to cough up several surprises along our journey in checking them out. Quite frankly, we didn’t have much anticipation using them from the beginning, partly due to the hollowness of its construction, but once we began using them, we were undeniably impressed by what it delivered.

From its incredible audio quality, to its water-resistant design, the Moto Surround’s $69.99 sticker tag is almost unbelievable considering its excellent performance. You won’t be shelling out a fortune to pick this one up, which is a blessing on its own, but its budget pricing means that there’s going to be a higher standard for everyone else going forward!



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