Offering reasonable sound quality, a comfortable design and easy to grasp controls, Nokia's latest Bluetooth headphones, the BH-503, certainly pack quite a punch. Their ability to also handle mobile calls makes them a tidy option.
- Excellent call quality, reasonable audio quality, comfortable, design
- Lack of clarity, overpowering mid-range
The BH-503 won't win any awards for audio quality, but they do a fine job regardless. Handsfree calling via Bluetooth is excellent and the ergonomic design means these are comfortable to wear for long periods.
Price$ 189.99 (AUD)
Although wireless headphones still lag far behind their wired counterparts in terms of sound quality, the increasing nature of A2DP Bluetooth on mobile phones and similar devices has seen Bluetooth headphones improve considerably.
Falling in line with these trends, the BH-503 offers reasonable, though not outstanding audio quality. Bass is surprisingly good, extending quite deeply even though it is slightly overpowered by the mid-range. The biggest issue is clarity – though this is a standard issue of most wireless headphones and not a problem of this unit in particular. Overall, the sound produced definitely won't satisfy audiophiles, but most will be pleasantly surprised.
Utilising a behind-the-head design, the BH-503 is comfortable to wear for long periods. Our only complaint is the material that covers the speakers – our ears became quite warm after just a few minutes of use. Build quality feels excellent though and the flexible, rubber neckband is a nice design touch.
To make use of the BH-503's wireless connectivity you'll require a device that is A2DP compatible. Most products with this protocol are mobile phones, though there are a few multimedia players with Bluetooth support. The advantage of the BH-503 is its ability to handle calls – simply press the call handling button to answer a call. We found both incoming and outgoing call quality exceptional and definitely on par with dedicated Bluetooth headsets. Particularly impressive was the loud in-call volume.
Pairing the BH-503 to a compatible phone or multimedia player is a simple process. Turning on the unit automatically puts it into pairing mode – simply search for the device, enter the passcode and then connect. Once connected, you can use the BH503's playback controls to skip through your music. In addition to volume controls, the BH-503 has buttons for play/pause, previous/next track and a call handling button. A microphone is built into the base of the right-hand ear cup.
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