Motorola makes a lot of mobile phone accessories and a majority of them are considered to be of very good quality. The TX500 Bluetooth speakerphone is the latest addition to their Bluetooth speakerphone collection. It touts long battery life, one-mic noise reduction, and basic voice prompts at a reasonable price. Let’s see what $60 gets you from Motorola these days.
- Incredible battery life
- Physical On/Off switch
- Basic voice prompts
- Quick connection
- Pair up to 6 phones (two at the same time)
- Average sound quality
- Average noise reduction
- Volume too low
- Status lights are too complicated
CONTENTS, BUILD QUALITY, & DESIGN
The TX500 comes with a car charger and short manual. The visor clip is permanently mounted on the speakerphone unit.
The build quality of the TX500 is solid, though the thin visor clip makes me wonder about its durability. It has a mic mute button, volume up, volume down, answer/end and power switch. You can use different combinations of the buttons to perform specific functions, like turning off voice prompts.
Pairing a phone to the TX500 was very easy. It supports pairing a combined six phones, allowing the entire family to use it at any given time. You can even have two phones paired with it at the same time. The TX500 connected to my phone amazingly fast each time I turned it on.
The TX500 makes use of voice prompts, which a lot of manufacturer’s are including now. It’s a heck of a lot easier to understand than deciphering blinking lights and beep sequences. Unfortunately, the voice prompts are very basic and the TX500 still uses a lot of confusing blinking light combinations to communicate status.
Making and receiving calls on the TX500 was very simple. The mute button worked fine and the volume buttons had a good feel. Unfortunately, I had to max out the volume on it for the duration of my testing because it was very hard to hear. Unless you drive a vehicle with excellent cabin noise filtering, the TX500 will be nearly impossible to use. I eventually got so frustrated with it that I ended my calls prematurely and used my headset instead. Maybe those Motorola test engineers need to step out of their Cadillac’s and Lexus’ and test it out on some other cars.
In my testing, sound quality on both ends was just average. Both parties could make out what was being said but it wasn’t close to being great. Also, the noise reduction didn’t seem to help a heck of a lot when I drove with the radio on or had the windows down.
The strongest feature of the TX500 is its phenomenal battery life. It is rated at 45 hours for talk time and 6 months on standby, which exceeds other speakerphones I have tested, by a mile.
The Motorola TX500 Bluetooth speakerphone is a below-average Bluetooth speakerphone that happens to have amazing battery life. I’m not entirely sure who Motorola is targeting with the TX500. It’s around the same price as the BlueAnt S3, that just kills the TX500 in terms of performance and features. The biggest issue by far with the TX500 is the lack of volume. No matter the features, if I can’t hear my calls, it is pointless. I recommend looking at speakerphones from BlueAnt or Plantronics instead.
Available from Amazon.com.
* Review sample provided by Motorola