True Wireless Stereo (TWS) is all the rage now with each major manufacturer having one as part of the accessory portfolio. They differ in design, quality and technology used. The Sony made ones are usually the general benchmark on how a TWS earbuds should be, however, it comes with a steep price. But, good audio shouldn’t necessary be expensive. And this is where it gets confusing. When it comes to Nokia branded TWS earbuds, there are 2 major companies licensed to make them at the moment, though catering different parts of the world.
In April 2021, HMD Global announced 2 new earbuds with a radically different design language and color option. The Nokia BH 205 and the Nokia BH 805. The Nokia BH 205 performed really well in my previous review for a budget earbud. So, I am curious how the BH 805 would be. The Nokia BH 805 is the first HMD Global made TWS with active noise cancellation (ANC) feature.
The Nokia BH 805
It comes with a simple packaging with some important information printed. It includes a USB C cable along with ear tips of different size. The case itself reminds me of Nokia E3101’s case. The matte black case feels solid with a USB C charging port at its bottom, next to the reset button. The inclusion of reset button is great as it removes the need to do cumbersome maneuver if the earbuds misbehave. Kudos, to HMD Global for this! The 4 LED lights on the front below the NOKIA logo shows the amount of battery left in the case.
Each individual buds feels good in hand with just the right weight. Things gets a bit more confusing here. I am quite surprised that the touch panel isn’t located around the circular proximal end of the bud. It is actually located along the distal part of the shaft, which is baffling. This is in contrast to the Nokia BH 205 which shares similar design language. Each earbud also comes with a single microphone! The Active Noise Cancellation is stated to be effective of lowering sounds up to 25Db. It also comes with a 13mm driver for a studio quality audio experience. It includes an ambient mode to amplify the sounds around you. Each earbuds is rated to have 5 hours of usage time and the charging case allows 5 charges, so the earbuds would easily last a day of use.
***A few discrepancies have been noted with regards to the information on this device. The driver is listed as 6mm in the official site as opposed to 13mm as stated in the retail packaging. The same goes for the IPX protection, where its stated as IPX 7 in the official site but on the packaging its printed as IPX 5.
In order to experience the whole range of audio capability, I usually test it out with my AR Rahman and Hans Zimmer playlist.
Now ,this is what I noticed. The earbuds are confusing as there are no unified experience with each buds. The controls for each buds execute different parameters. For example, only the left earbuds allows control to pause and play the audio while only the right allows activation of voice assistant. I find it rather inconvenient to have the touch panel located along the shaft of the earbuds with a minor recess to give some amount of tactile feedback.
So , how good is the active noise cancellation? It works but it wont dampen much if you are expecting it to silence your surroundings. The ambient sound works the same, it amplifies but not as much as you would want it to be.
What about the audio quality? While there is no Qualcomm AptX support here, the audio quality is generally better than the ones from Nokia BH 605. It has depth and it doesn’t break at maximum volume. So, if you are coming from Nokia BH 605, be prepared for some awesome audio quality. Call quality is decent too.
In summary , the Nokia BH 805 has the following:
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 5 hours of playtime with ANC, total of 25 hours playback time
- 13mm driver
- IPX 5 moisture and dirt resistance
- Supports ANC up to 25dB and ambient mode
- 2 microphones in total ( 1 on each bud)
- Good built quality
So, should you buy it? Well, this is hard to say. Don’t get me wrong, the device is built well and performs well. But, having experienced what RichGo made earbuds can do, it is hard to justify its purchase over that. For once, RichGo also has an ANC earbud, the Nokia P3802A with a similar configuration but with a longer battery life. And if you are into audio quality, especially studio like quality, the benchmark to beat will be the Nokia P3600 which has Qualcomm AptX and SBC codec support. Both the RichGo made ones are significantly cheaper too.
Do watch my review as I explain further the differences compared to BH-605, P3600 and P3802A.
Hit me up in twitter @ https://twitter.com/theoriginal086 if you have any questions on these earbuds.