Saturday, 5 March 2011

Nokia BH-905i headphones review

For the past couple of weeks, thanks to great folks at WOMWorldNokia I've had chance to use Nokia BH-905i headphones. That was utterly interesting experience and there's one thing I can say straight away - these are one of the best gadgets I've had in my hands recently! Read on to find out why.

First impression

Nokia BH-905i comes in excellent case that holds headphones and another little case inside with plenty of adapters, cables and a charger. All of that is very useful, well made and good looking too, so you don't have to worry about buying additional case to hold headphones if you plan to take it on holiday or something.


First thing I noticed about these headphones is that they offer plenty adjustability hence are able to fit virtually any head. Ear cushions are soft and - more importantly - flat which I regard a huge bonus, as there are many headphones out there which have cushions shaped like a wheel tube so they tend to squeeze ears and cause them pain in long run. This is definitely not a case with BH-905i, flat cushions softly align to ears and I was happily wearing them for many hours without any discomfort to my ears, whatsoever. Top stuff.


Another strong point of Nokia BH-905i headphones is plenty of features. The best feature of them all, easily, is ability to work in both wireless and wired modes. So I can listen to the music without incovenient wires while commuting to work in packed train, yet when sitting at the computer in the office over 7 hours straight, I plug in a standard 3.5mm cable and save battery for another wireless music session on my way back home. That's what I call convenience and versatility!

Speaking of wires, Nokia headphones come with massive collection of cable adapters for virtually every occasion so you definitely won't feel left out coming across, say, non-standard 3.5mm audio socket.

When it comes to wireless mode, good thing is that I can pair headphones with up to 8 devices. That's what user manual claims at least, as I have only hooked them up with two: a phone and a laptop and I had no major issues with that setup, maybe apart from the fact that Bluetooth connection didn't always initiate automatically after switching Bluetooth on in both headphones and a phone/laptop. Manually poking a connection did the trick which was a little inconvenient, however not the end of the world either. Most of the times if worked spot-on anyway.

Along with Bluetooth profiles come more standard features like AVRCP profile for music player remote controlling as well as voice calling management, ie. picking/hanging up calls, redialling last number, initiating voice dialling etc. However, support for these kind of features may vary between specific phone models and/or manufacturers.

Last but not least - noise cancelling feature. Nokia happily claims "up to 99% noise cancellation" which is an obvious exaggeration. In fact, it is difficult for me to judge that feature as I haven't had any experience with noise cancelling in any other headset to date. However, I can tell that Nokia's work OK. Most of the background noise is deleted and that makes listening to the music in a train or busy office a whole lot better.

Sound quality

This is obviously a very important aspect of any headphones (especially those carrying price tag of over £150 ;) and while my ears aren't perhaps the most sensitive around, and definitely not an audiophile type, I must say that BH-905i does really good job in terms of sound quality. Music plays loud, clear, with pretty wide spectrum, albeit I might like a little bit more bass. Nothing really to worry about and I can easily give Nokia's headphones top marks in that department.

In terms of calling sound quality, Nokia again delivers good stuff, especially in terms of picking up voice through 8 (yes, eight) microphones. Any time I've been calling someone and talking through these headphones, participants didn't complain about my voice quality at all and I didn't complain listening to them either. In fact, I have once given headphones to my friend and called him to see how it sounds from the other side and I've got absolutely stunned how loudly and clearly I could hear him. Brilliant!

Thing to note is that I've paired headphones with HTC Desire Z smartphone and as far as my experience with various Bluetooth headsets go, actual phone does matter in terms of overall quality and experience. Different manufacturers tend to implement Bluetooth features in slightly different ways hence experience is not always exactly the same.


Nokia BH-905i is battery operated device and it seems to drain its battery also when hooked up via standard 3.5mm cable. Thankfully, I've been very nicely surprised by battery life too. Headset managed to last for about 2-3 days of playing music continously for about 7-8 hours via Bluetooth and with noise cancellation switched on each day. Not bad at all! Charging with standard Nokia 2mm plug charger takes about 2 hours to complete.


As the matter of fact, I've been after Nokia BH-905 headphones ever since they have been released, yet they were always carrying a bit too heavy price tag for me. Also, there is always that eternal fear of spending a lot of money on a gadget that would not fulfill expectations, especially that there is no way of testing these headphones before buying (btw Nokia, closing down Flagship Stores was really bad move). In the end I have ended up with much cheaper and less feature-packed - yet still very good in terms of quality - Nokia BH-503 model which I happily use for nearly a year now.

However, having BH-905i on two weeks trial I can only say they are definitely worth the money. Excellent comfort, great sound quality, brilliant versatility, active noise cancelling, very good battery life... all of that make BH-905i a highly desirable gadget for music addicts on the go.

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