Motorola’s RLN6554 Bluetooth microphone.This could be the best bluetooth mic on the market. Well built when compared to the aftermarket Bluetooth mics that you may be accustom to but it isn’t perfect when paired with Motorola APX radios like the APX 8000. More on that later.
The Top of the Microphone has three buttons fulfilling simple functions. on the Left hand side you have the power button. In the Center you will find the volume up and volume down functions, and to the right you will find the familiar Orange emergency button. Simple.
On the right hand side you will find a Headset jack. A feature many officers will appreciate. This takes the standard 3.5mm plugs.
On the left you will find the PTT button that is in the same styling as the APX line of portable radios. Just Below the PTT button is a light button (sorry we forgot to get a picture of the LED on the bottom of the mic).
On the rear of the mic is a rotating clip that allows the mic to mount to clothing at different angles.
As for the performance of the Microphone, Audio is loud and sounds better than most Bluetooth mics. Running the volume at full blast produces a rather impressive level of audio. The PTT button has a crisp break so you can feel if you are keying up. The layout is intuitive and consistent with existing shoulder mics so users will have no problem figuring out how to operate it. Pairing is where Motorola has really made it easy. With the Portable radio on (Bluetooth turned on as well) simply turn on the microphone and bring the blue dot on the microphone to the blue dot on the radio and the pairing process will start automatically. No need to scroll through menu’s, search for devices etc. With Motorola’s Accessory Programming Software, users have the ability to customize how the microphone acts. For example users can turn off tones, change the functionality of the light button etc. but what about when used with a APX radio? When we used this mic with a APX 8000 radio we found that the Bluetooth mic had much more gain than the radio mic. This caused audio levels to change depending on what the user was using. We had to tweak with the audio profiles in our radios to get the mic to sound more like the radios mic. I would have expected Motorola to have had this closer right out of the box. A note to technicians setting up APX 8000’s, Pay close attention to the audio settings in CPS. Don’t count on Motorola on this one. Where was I? ahhh yes on with the review…
The Range of the Microphone is quite good. Some of our facilities are in dense concrete buildings. It turns out that a lot of work we do is right were the radio doesn’t have coverage. With the Bluetooth mic, we are able to leave our radio by a window or in a room closer to the exterior where there is coverage. I found it is also nice to leave my radio on my tool bag and just carry the mic with me if i’m up on a ladder. As you start to reach the limit of Bluetooth range, The microphone will beep letting you know you are going to far. The beep is also a good reminder that you might be leaving your radio behind.