I FINALLY got my hands on a pair of Nokia BH-905i headphones!
One year ago, I reviewed the original BH-905s. I really liked them, and had very few caveats for those looking for a versatile pair of wireless headphones.
Well Nokia has refreshed the line, so lets take a quick look at what’s changed!
At their core, these are a very familiar pair of headphones. Thankfully, not much of what I liked from the original 905s has changed. The most immediate difference is the redesigned headband. The strange tapers on the sides are gone, in favor of a more traditional headband, and you’ll no longer look quite as much like a Cyberman. Fit and finish are still fantastic. High quality materials, solid feel to joints, and extremely comfortable ear pads.
The case has also undergone a redesign. Accessories are no longer held by elastic straps inside, but now have their own pouch to reside within. The Swiss Army knife collection of adapters is still included, and they’ve added a new y-adapter to connect to computer headphone & microphone ports, and a special cable just for iPhones (because iPhones are NON-standard like that).
On the software side, Nokia has expanded support for different audio players. Most notably, new profiles for enhanced bass and stereo widening. The widening effect gave music a great stereo feel. Unfortunately, the 905i’s bass response is still on the lean side, so playing club tracks with my Android phone and engaging a mega-bass profile made music feel a little muddy.
I have no way of verifying, but I think Nokia has managed to make the noise reduction even more aggressive than the last generation of 905s. EIGHT microphones are on board to sample sound around you. Turning on NR on Ventura blvd managed to make all the cars in traffic sound like hybrids. Frequent fliers and commuters will certainly appreciate the amount of audio isolation these headphones provide.
Pairing has been seamless with an Android smartphone, a PS3, and a Windows 7 laptop.
The last change worth mentioning?
The BH-905i headphones’ street price is $100 cheaper than the original 905’s.
This puts 905i within $30 of the miserable Bose On-Ear headphones and is $100 cheaper then the Bose QuietComfort 15s. The QC15s might have slightly better bass, but are wired-only headphones, so they wont have bluetooth; and to my ear I think I like the noise reduction in the Nokia’s better.
That was really the biggest obstacle for me with the original 905s. I had a hard time fully justifying $300 for a pair of headphones, even a really good pair of bluetooth headphones, but at $200 the 905i becomes an incredible buy, especially for travelers and commuters looking to remove separate audio solutions from their day to day gear.