Friday, January 28, 2011

Nokia BH-905i first impressions

Today I received a Nokia BH-905i headphone review unit. Thanks to WOMWorld/Nokia for the loan. This is part of my #NokiaLondonLoop kit, which I will be tweeting about next week from the famous Sarm Studios in Notting Hill.

Back to the BH-905i (who names these things?) first. The headphone is a wireless Bluetooth supra-aural headphone that doubles as a headset, and also features Active Noise Cancellation for noise isolation. Now any sensible headphone enthusiasts will know that ANC pretty much introduce sound artefacts, and it is no different here. Over the next couple of days I will pit the BH-905i against Britain's ageing and noisy railway trains and see how well ANC really works, and whether it is worth enabling it at the expense of sound quality.

The built quality of the BH-905i is excellent. The supra-aural pads are comfortable, though they, unsurprisingly, provide very little passive isolation compared to closed back headphones with circumaural design. The headband is also padded. Inside each BH-905i contains a none user-removable 600mAh battery. Nokia quotes a battery life of 24 hours for music playback via Bluetooth without ANC, and 16 hours with ANC enabled. Fortunately you can use it as a wired headphone.

The right earpad houses the majority of the controls, including a volume rocker, play/pause button, previous and next track and a multifunctional key that controls the call answer/end, voice calling/redial and power on/off features. The left earpad contains a solitary switch to turn on ANC. Aesthetically, they don't look that great but who cares - all that matters is the sound quality.

Sound wise, it is warm sounding, with limited sound staging. Mids are forward. Lows are tight and clean, but lack any sort of impact. Clarity is excellent. With an impedance of 32 ohms, the BH-905i is easily powered by most modern DAP and mobile phones.

Look out for a full proper review in the next week or two.

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