Looking like a regular pair of over-the-ear headphones, the Nokia BH-905 can wirelessly stream your music from a Bluetooth compatible phone or portable music player and can also handle phone calls.
Featuring a built-in microphone, volume controls and a multifunction key that allows you to answer and end calls, the Nokia BH-905 Bluetooth headphones possess surprisingly good audio quality and excellent noise-cancellation capabilities. However, the exorbitant cost is hard to swallow.
The Nokia BH-905 headphones boast an attractive black and silver design. The brushed metal style finish on the outside of the plastic ear-cups certainly adds a nice touch of style, as does the chrome edging. The black plastic headband gives the unit a professional look, without compromising on style. Build quality feels reasonably impressive - the plastic headband creaks when pressed, but the frame feels solid and the hinges rotate effortlessly.
The Nokia BH-905 headphones are quite large, but the headset is comfortable to wear for long periods. Both the ear-cups and the headband are finished with a soft leather-style pad filled with foam - this means the BH-905 never digs into your head or ears. A downside to the soft finish is that your ears become rather hot, even after just a few minutes of use.
Although wireless audio is the Nokia BH-905's key feature, you can use the headphones with a wired connection - the sales package comes with a 2.5mm Nokia jack connector, a 3.5mm Nokia jack, a standard 3.5mm jack, a larger 6.3mm jack and an airplane adaptor.
Audio when using both wireless and wired connections is impressive and among the best we've heard from Bluetooth headphones, which are usually renowned for poor sound quality. The sounds is crisp and smooth overall, and the headphones handle bass particularly well - it's punchy but not overpowering.
The mid-range lacks quite a bit detail and there is slight background hissing, a common fault with Bluetooth audio. The Nokia BH-905 headset definitely won't impress audiophiles (no Bluetooth headphones will), but the average consumer is certainly well catered for.
Noise cancelling is excellent for an over-the-ear design. Nokia claims the BH-905 uses 10 microphones to block external noise - eight microphones for capturing background noise and the other two to capture your voice during phone calls.
The BH-905 has a noise-cancelling switch under the left ear cup and once activated the difference is notable. Crowded public buses and trains and noisy office colleagues (such as our sub-editor) were masked by the BH-905, but busy city traffic can still be heard.
The Nokia BH-905 can pair with any mobile phone with Bluetooth, but requires AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) for music control. As the iPhone 3GS lacks this profile (one of many disappointing Bluetooth limitations), we were unable to use the play/pause and skip track buttons on the BH-905.
For phone calls, the Nokia BH-905 will work with any Bluetooth mobile and call quality is surprisingly good. Incoming audio is excellent and we had no issues with it, while outgoing audio is best described as adequate - heavy background noise (such as busy city traffic or large crowds) could still be heard by our callers, and our voice was described as sounding rather unnatural.
On the plus side, volume is adequate and conversations were clearly audible.
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