Home > Accessories, MNB, Nokia, Reviews > “Review”: Nokia BH-505. The BEST Bluetooth Headset evaaarr! (updated with video)

“Review”: Nokia BH-505. The BEST Bluetooth Headset evaaarr! (updated with video)

WOMWorld sent over some Nokia original accessories last week but I didn’t get a chance to really share my findings with you guys due to exams.

Ha, I should really be revising. This wasn’t meant to be a review (haven’t used it long enough really- but best to get it done now than forget eh), but it sort of turned into one.

Video will be updated some other time. YouTube is currently giving me stupid “The upload failed due to an unknown error”

Somehow it’s appeared.

In the mean time, I’ve taken some photos of the BH-505 which is now probably my favourite of all Nokia’s headsets. Wired or Bluetooth.

Prob my favourite audio accessory ever really. I was surprised as I didn’t expect this at all to be this good.

Why do I love it so much?

1. Design

  • It is unbelievably comfortable to wear.
  • It is light so it doesn’t drag your ears or squash them.
  • It is extremely secure. Great for any sporty activities (I think that’s what this headset originally aims for) but even more so just for everyday use, so you can bop your head to your tunes without fear of it falling off.
  • It feels invisible – you forget you’ve got it on.
  • it is invisible (design is small, discreet, and hides away if you have enough hair :p).
  • Very strong, flexible material (it’s somewhat very springy – bend it and it jumps back to original shape),
  • has nice rubbery/velvety feel all over with metal music player control buttons. It feels great.
  • This trumps the BH-214 for me as it kills all wires.

2. Well Placed Controls

  • It’s great and all having music controls but annoying when it’s hard to use them.
  • BH-505 has the easiest placement of buttons.
  • Volume rocker on the right, skip/back rocker on left.
  • Call/End button on right
  • Play Pause Button on left.
  • It’s such a breeze to use – even if you’ve got a big woolly beanie.
  • Power button is at the curvy bendy bit. Very easy to press, good location as you won’t confuse this as the play button and turn headset off.
  • Power button can still be accessed when worn
  • You get three coloured light indicators to indicate connection. Green, red, blue.
  • Green is when it’s just turned on. It may seek a previously paired phone and connect automatically.
  • Intermittent blue when connected
  • Flashing blue is when in pair mode (long hold of power button.
  • Brief red when you’ve turned it off.
  • Oh – it’s very easy to pair (bluetooth)
  • THE CONTROLS WORK WITH PC TOO. ^_^ Very nice pausing movies with BH-505

3. Sound Quality

  • Excellent sound quality
  • VERY LOUD! It can get super, super loud if you want it to! Warning!
  • Bass is fantastic. I’ve embarrassingly used “Candy Shop” over the years to listen out for that distinctive rumble and it can give my Ultimate Ears Super.Fi Extended Bass a run for its money.
  • Excellent stereo separation.
  • Videos sound great too. Very immersive.
  • Connection over bluetooth is very strong. There are no disruptions in connections when phone is in pocket (does with BH-501) and I can be at some distance away from N900 with this.
  • Calls – pretty good. Need further extensive testing but it’s clear on both ends (though being sound isolating, it sounds weird hearing your own voice dampened – eerie sensation)

4. Sound Isolation

  • BH-505 uses passive sound isolation techniques, i.e. creating a vacuum with those silicone buds to prevent external noise affecting your music.
  • Against the BH-905 (which has active noise cancelling with 8 microphones) the BH-505 outclasses it in terms of sheer noise blocking.
  • That’s because the BH-905 sits over your ears so any gaps will let sound through (although it is still an excellent solution).
  • The strength with the BH-905 is that you can achieve sound isolation at lower volumes due to that active sound cancelling, but with BH-505 you will need to ramp the volume a little bit more.
  • That of course depends on how loud ambient noise is anyway. Outside traffic – 60-70% cuts it out completely. A little dangerous, haha.
  • In doors, you could set it to about 40%.
  • It’s not simply due to the silicone buds. Many other similar in ear buds do not produce the same sound isolations. E.G. my Shure E2C>Super.Fi (not advertised for noise cancelling) and I might even say the BH-505>Shure E2C
  • Material/Fit is of course important. You need to get the right combination to fit you. The default buds were perfect for me.

5. Battery Life

  • A really strong point in Nokia’s headsets recently.
  • Haven’t ever had it die yet but so far >24h 60% volume with lots of standby time.. Will rigorously test this out after exams.
  • Charging is really quick. Haven’t charged it that many times but it goes blue (full) in under an hour?

Charging Port

Charging port hidden. Bit fiddly to open but fortunately you won't be needing to charge too often.

6. Price

  • It’s about 50GBP depending where you look.
  • I feel gram for gram, for me, this is a superior product to the BH-905 (160-250GBP!)
  • I’m not an audiophile (maybe Devin/thenokiaguide) can point out where the differences are in audio quality but for the majority of users this is an excellent headset.

Negatives:

  • White. I don’t know how easily this may get stained.
  • The battery flap is a touch difficult to undo if you haven’t got long nails
  • It’s not mine. Ha :p


  1. dude
    November 16, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I guess t comes to your luck. Some say it brakes cause of sweat. Mine works fine 8hours a day for just about any activity (snowboarding, heavy working on site or just walking home). As long as 4 months so far…

  2. Jed
    November 16, 2010 at 7:14 am

    I think I’m scratching it…
    Too much chatter about it’s unreliability for my liking.
    It sounds great apart from the reliability factor.

    My new short-list on two of the threads I’ve got running
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=11404447#post11404447
    http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=870572#post870572

    If anyone can help me whittle-it-down more I’d be most grateful!

  3. dude
    November 16, 2010 at 8:06 am

    For the record… Nokia BH-505… Pros: the best sound quality via BT on the market (with iPhone or any most of the brands), incredible battery power, good price, light and comfortable with smoother earbuds and eventually the use of a hair clip, reliable connectivity on the move, ease of use, 2 years guarantee plus brand name/service support. Cons: a LOT of fuss about sweat resistance, bouncing issues when moving with BH-505 out of the box, some issues with pc connectivity reported, common user misunderstandings related to the product. Ok. It’s not perfect. But it made my life wireless and I can talk on the phone and listen to music on the go really enjoying the sound! I don’t give a s*@%& if it brakes. I bought it from a trusted retailer. Gonna exchange mine if it fails. Who’s gonna proof how sweaty I was when broken? If you want sound quality no matter what, go for it! And buy it from someplace you can trust the service support.

  4. Jed
    November 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

    dude :
    For the record… Nokia BH-505… Pros: the best sound quality via BT on the market (with iPhone or any most of the brands). If you want sound quality no matter what, go for it!

    Well I wouldn’t go that far; amongst the “sporty” form-factor headsets it’s prolly the best sounding.
    But there’s other wireless headphones/headsets (BT & kleer) which would sound better, as that’s their main focus.

    But I get a lot of your other points, thanks for taking the time to add what you think!

  5. Jed
    November 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Just to clarify further…
    If the S10-HD hadn’t recently been released, the 505 would prolly still be on my list.

    No idea if the S10 sounds better than the 505 (maybe not), but that’s not the most important thing for the intended use.

    I’ll be getting a much more expensive pair of stereo BT (or kleer) headsets/headphones later.
    I already have 2x v.nice monoaural headsets: icon and voyager pro+

    But I do appreciate your feedback, thanks again!

  6. dude
    November 16, 2010 at 8:58 am

    @Jed: You’re welcome 😉 I’m an audiophile an I can tell how good a headset sounds. I got lots of headphones, including one Grado PS1000 Dynamic Circumaural Open Air and RA1 Reference Headphone Amplifier. But I like good sound on the go too. The Sony DR-BT160AS and Motorola’s S10-HD or Sennheiser’s BT small sport form-factor doesn’t come even close to BH-505 when it comes to sound quality. Tried them all. Cheers!

  7. Jed
    November 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    that’s okay, as explained in 2nd post SQ not the concern for this pair.

    I’ll get some wireless later that’ll be better than the S10, 505, or others in this class.
    Criteria will be: open circumaural, BT (apt-x) or kleer etc.

    Thanks again 😉

  8. Andrea
    November 16, 2010 at 11:40 am

    DONOT recommend to buy these head phones for running, walking or active sports as stated by Nokia. Read the “BH-505 Problem” discussion on Nokia website.

  9. pacy4
    November 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I got bh-505 yesterday , and my first impressions are quite good. Sound quality is decent/great if you can stick them deep in your ears, but it’s impossible, due the construction/. Bluetooth connectivity is awesome – I’ve use my pair in the gym- phone was 15 meters from me – no problem at all. I’ve used the pair at least 4 hours, and the phone and the headphones batteries are still full. A bit uncomfortable to wear many hours, but maybe I’ll use to them. The price was good- worth every penny.

  10. Jed
    November 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I ended-up getting the MM 100….
    I couldn’t find a huge amount of negative commentary in-terms of ingression killing it prematurely.
    There is a bit about it being uncomfortable, guess I’ll find-out soon enough 🙂

    It’s substantially more $ than the BH-505, but I found a retailer who’s had some in-stock for ages, and wanted to move it.

    Best price in Oz was about $200, but they sold it to me for $154.
    Still pricier than the cheapest 505 I found ($69), but hugely less than MM100’s official RRP here.

    No idea how it compares all up…
    But I doubt SQ will be worse, other aspects my be ordinary though.
    If it’s compatible with the apt-x BT codec adapters, then all the better.
    Think they may only be for higher-end BT Senns though.

  11. $up3rC0p
    December 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    $up3rC0p :
    Can connect bh 505 to Ipod and to phone at one time?

  12. Jed
    December 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    $up3rC0p :

    $up3rC0p :
    Can connect bh 505 to Ipod and to phone at one time?

    I don’t think so…
    I seen no mention of multi-pairing in discussions or on official pages.

  13. Jed
    December 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    actually looks like there may be some “limited” multipoint support
    http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/blog/2010/06/review-nokia-bh-505-bluetooth-headphones/

  14. dude
    December 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    you can connect as many as 8 devices to listen to music, but u gotta do it one at the time. BH-505 have a built-in memory of 8 paired devices. After the 8th paired device, in order to pair another one, one must reset the BH-505. Otherwise, you can listen to music to a single supported device and talk on the phone to a second one if you chose to do so. Simultaneously. (“you can pair the headset with up to 8 devices but connect it to only one device supporting the HPF profile and another device supporting the A2DP profile at a time” – Nokia)

  15. Jed
    December 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    “you can connect as many as 8 devices to listen to music, but u gotta do it one at the time. BH-505 have a built-in memory of 8 paired devices. After the 8th paired device, in order to pair another one, one must reset the BH-505.”

    Yeah this in itself is not particularly unique for BT headsets/phones.

    “Otherwise, you can listen to music to a single supported device and talk on the phone to a second one if you chose to do so. Simultaneously.”

    In other words multipoint, or at least some form of it.

    (“you can pair the headset with up to 8 devices but connect it to only one device supporting the HPF profile and another device supporting the A2DP profile at a time” – Nokia)

    Where did you find this quote?

    So if paired simultaneously to 2 devices, only these 2 profiles can be used on each of those devices?
    i.e. AVRCP is no longer available while in this multipoint mode?

    • dude
      December 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      Yep! You got it right. Wanna try the Sony BT headset? Go ahead! The quote is from the BH-505 manual

  16. Jed
    December 2, 2010 at 3:20 am

    dude :
    Wanna try the Sony BT headset? Go ahead!

    Not sure what you mean sorry…
    Which Sony BT headset are you referring to?

    Cheers

Comment pages
  1. November 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm

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