Remember when hearing your coach talk to you was really new and desirable? Yes, it was 2004 and it was a phone I’d seen Paris Hilton use (although I couldn’t get my hands on the pink version) called the Motorola Razr.
If you’re too young to remember what you said when you called, listen to this (opens in new tab). For the rest of us (and any of the 130 million people who owned this phone after its launch), it might be a revelation to know that Motorola also sells headphones that take you back to that moment!
The Razr’s popular clamshell or ‘flip’ design phone is now 18 years old – but the company behind it (which unfortunately only represents a small part of the smartphone market these days, having been acquired by Chinese giant Lenovo – from previous owner Google – in 2014) revived it a few years ago with the Motorola Razr 2019 and Razr 2020.
And the best part is this: there’s a new Motorola Razr 2022 on the horizon – and what’s a shiny new smartphone these days without a set of headphones to play with?
Meet the Moto Buds 150. At a truly palatable $50 / £45 (about AU$80), it’s bizarre to note that these headphones are Moto’s mid-range offering, because the brand’s entry-level 085 only costs £30 / $45, while the flagship Moto Buds S-ANC will cost $150 / £130.
I’ll take a quick look at the specs, because while some stand out, they’re not the most interesting part: IPX5 waterproof (so they can withstand a sustained low-pressure jet of water) in-ear touch controls (although no volume) and a battery life of 18 hours (six hours from the buttons and 12 hours from the case). You also get three headphone options in total and a USB-C charging cable.
Opinion: The retro jingle shouldn’t work here – but it does
The point is that the Moto Buds 150 – which, by the way, are ergonomically shaped and feel very nice and light when used – categorically should no take me back to a time when it was innovative to see other people at the end of a Skype call on my laptop. But they do, thanks to the little welcome you hear when you put them on, and I love that.
Of course, there’s a big discrepancy here in terms of chronological accuracy, because the first true wireless headphones didn’t arrive until 2014, a decade after the release of my beloved Motorola Razr and the vocal greeting it emitted. I speak of the days before Alexa (which also first appeared in 2014), TikTok or smartphones – a simpler time.
And I like to be reminded of that, even if some of the specs (no ANC, no user detection, no app support) mean the Moto Buds 150 probably isn’t about to challenge the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4 or the price tag. taller -comparable JLab Go Air Pop.
Obviously this is not a product review for the sound, features and usability, but I must admit that after listening to that cheerful woman (the internet gives her conflicting names, but if you’re out there Motorola lady, thanks!) , I want to buy them purely to listen to her whenever I feel a pang of nostalgia.
Again, they’re actually quite affordable, and at this selling point alone, I might be tempted to add them to our best-budget wireless headphones guide, but that might not be particularly professional of me. We’ll have to see.
Incidentally, 2004 was the year that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, soon renamed just Facebook. And now I’m feeling old again…