My Nokia BH-905i Bluetooth Headphones Review

Headphones are things that can never be just right for me – I like the power of real headphones, the discreteness of ear-buds, the flexibility of Bluetooth and a good long wire, to be able to talk with them and it’s nice to have inline remotes. Noise cancelling is good too. However, pretty well every pair falls down somehow, and both buds and real headphones can be uncomfortable.

So WomWorld sent me a pair of BH-905i Bluetooth headphones to try out, and in principal they should do a good job of most things in the list above. They have noise cancelling features, they come with a wire, if I’m using them via Bluetooth connected to my phone, I can play/pause/skip tracks and make calls with them. So how did they do?

CaseHeadphones and accessories bag

Opening the outer case reveals a pair of headphones which are smaller than you might expect, and a small pouch containing a charger, various audio adapters and 3.5mm audio cables. The size of the input socket on the headphones is 2.5mm however so there is a 3.5mm-2.5mm male-male cable and a female-male 3.5-2.5mm adapter so you can use any headphones with a 3.5mm jack on them.  There is also an adapter with seperate left and right jacks in it suitable for the set up I’ve seen in aircraft.

The headphones themselves  are rounded rectangles with typical soft matting on the inside, hard plastic around the edge and a metallic outside. The band is nicely padded and comfortable to wear.  The speakers have some level of rotation so they can be adjusted to match the angle of your ear, which they sit on, rather than envelope like some others.  The left side has a charger port and the noise cancelling switch on the outside edge.  The right has the input socket and volume control on the outside, and power, play/pause, forward and back buttons on the outside.

Playback through a wire was good and I noticed an immediate upgrade in the richness of my music.  The difference was very noticeable and made for an enjoyable listen, bringing out more of the softer sounds in Elbow’s song Lippy Kids.  I then turned on the noise cancelling feature.  I work in a room of software developers and were either talking between ourselves about some form of technology, or busy coding away with headphones on.  Noise cancelling had an immediate effect and hushed out a lot of the background noise, but not all of it.  I could, for example, still hear my typing at my computer keyboard, I could just no longer here the conversation in a nearby cube and the person opposite typing as well.  When mowing the lawn, the difference was that I went from barely being able to hear my music to hearing it clearly (I didn’t expect it to shut out the sound of the mower). So it works well overall.  You will notice a slight hiss when the speakers themselves are quiet with noise cancelling turned on.  Overall though, a good experience, but not one to satisfy those who want a almost silent experience (as far as exterior noise is concerned).

Paring with my N900 was easy – just holding the power button first turned the headphones on, and then put them into paring mode.  My phone found them right away and we were paired in no-time.  Sound was at least as good over Bluetooth as it was across the wire, though it was occasionally disrupted when bending over if the phone was in a normal jeans pocket – not sure if this is something that would have happened whatever i was paired with, or if it’s unique to these.  The controls on the right speaker are easy to find and I was able to play and skip through tracks nicely.  The volume seemed sluggish to respond at times though, and perhaps part of that was figuring out which was was up and which was down.

I took a couple of calls whist the headphones were paired with my N900 and had different experiences.  The first time the caller reported me sounding off and not hearing some words at all.  The second time the caller didn’t mention any of that and we had a long conversation.  The only thing that did happen is a co-worker who saw me wearing the headphones and talking out in the car-park/parking lot said it looked odd to see that.  I should have done more calls with the headphones, but I have to admit, my first experience put me off a bit.

During the two weeks, I only charged them once, right when I got them, and have used them for decent periods almost every one of the intervening days so I like that the batter lasts a while.  However, what doesn’t last a while, or not a long while at least, is that comfortable feeling you get when first putting them on.  Now this is probably very subjective and has something to do with the shape of my head. After wearing them for 2 or 3 hours they became very uncomfortable and sometimes I stopped listening altogether, or went back to my old headphones (which go around the ear rather than over it) because I couldn’t keep them on any longer.

And this goes back to what I was saying at the start.  They sound good, I can control my music with them, they are noise cancelling, I can make calls with them, they come with a range of leads (all of decent length by the way) and so I can plug them in to a variety of different types of device.  But they are uncomfortable for long periods of listening and that is a big problem.

I liked them overall and was impressed by them in general and me having an issue with comfort after long listening could be just me. If you like the sound of these and want to give them a go, you can find them priced $199.99 at Amazon.com

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About bluechrism

I am a software developer with most professional experience in the Windows .Net realm and I'm currently a WPF developer with Starkey Labs. However, I have wanted for some time to start the mobile developer journey properly and being an N900 owner, this was to be in the realm of QT. Job hunting, moving to Minnesota and changing jobs put my plans on hold 6-12 months but things are starting to settle now, just as I'm getting sorted to start some things, Microsoft and Nokia merge. This blog is about my novice mobile development experiences and hopefully will end up complete with links to download some apps on various platforms, but obviously by the name, Sybian, Maemo/Meego and Windows Mobile. In other stuff, I am English, I support Everton FC, I have visited Glastonbury music festival 5 times and recommend it to anyone. I am married and my wife and i have a dog called Friday.
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One Response to My Nokia BH-905i Bluetooth Headphones Review

  1. Imtiaz383 says:

    I just used this headphones for about 2 weeks before returning them due to faulty NC on right earpad.
    Honestly these headphones are awsome but i don’t understand why Google does not recommend these headphones when searching “Noise cancelling headphones”, instead google advertises those QC3, QC2, QC15 or even the sony products but NEVER these Nokia BH-905 or BH-905i’s.

    1) The greatest thing about these headphones was the Wireless mode, it was soo worthwile using wireless since i’ve used wired headphones for the rest of my life. I was amazed by the sound quality offered by this headphones in bluetooth mode. The compatibility was superb. No need to carry cables anymore, i can just connect it to any device i ever wanted to hear music from that had bluetooth 2.1 support.

    2) Definitely the music controls, i don’t even have to bring my phone out. Dam! This is so cool. I just have to control it from my right earpad. Even the volume control, this is what amazed me the most.

    3) I even forget that i’m wearing a headphone and in wireless mode. Imagine if i was sitting in my tv room connected to the HDMI port of my television via my laptop….Now the stupidest thing one can ever do is to go back to the computer and control the music, video, whatever….but with this headphones you get to control your media right from your earpad….saving you time and you don’t have to walk all the way to the computer to change anything with the media….Really this headphones are that good.

    4) Definitely the design. The Nokia BH-905i is the first noise cancelling headphones i’ve ever owned, but not the BH-905. I’m pretty sure the Nokia BH-905 would suck due to its ugly design. I don’t even know why Nokia would invent such a design.

    5) You’re free to do almost anything with these headphones…whether you want to sit there and cancel all the noise without listening to music, just switch the ANC on.

    6) Battery life is excellent. I didn’t have to charge mine for 3 days of use before i sent it back. It only takes 2 hours for it to fully charge…

    The bad side about this headphone is….

    1) Noise cancelling is poor, it’s the first active noise cancelling headphones i’ve ever used…and it isn’t as i expected….Nokia claims too much, i mean 8 microphones??? 99% noise cancelling? As far as i can tell by my experiences, these headphones can only cancel about 50 to 70% noise when switched on using Noise cancelling. Surely i have doubts that the Nokia BH-905i is poor in Noise cancelling, because my pair of faulty ones had a problem with the right earpad not cancellign as much noise as my left earpad..but that’s not a big difference.
    I can hear my noisy Air conditioner while Noise cancelling is switched on. So what’s the 99% noise cancelling for? Even my Ear buds do better than these headphones. These headphones are only effective in silent areas like forests where you can hear that white noise of cars coming from the roads 3 km’s away and birds singing…it turns off all of these noises completely…but in the bus and other places? It doesn’t cancel out 99% of the noise but rather reduces the noise….You can still hear people talking. To my experience it only cancels out 50 to 70% noise. Barely 70%.

    2) I hate Earpads! I’m used to the Earcups and not the earpads. And Noise cancelling on Earpads? You must be an idiot to invent such a thing for noise cancelling. These headphones have a tendency to fall off when you wear them…because its earpads are not earcups…they are also not soo comfortable…i always have to worry if my headphones are going to fall off and break…if they do then that’s a loss of my 367 dollars. My ears start to ache after wearing them for a while too…..

    The downside of these headphones are…
    Not so good Active Noise cancelling.
    Earpads.

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