Best known for their handsets, Nokia also produces a number of complimenting accessories. On the entry level of their bluetooth headset product line is the Nokia BH-111 Stereo Headset. This headset brings style, but does it bring the quality and functionality needed to set it apart? Here’s our verdict.
Built from a high-quality plastic the BH-111 has a smooth and tactile feeling. Measuring 48 x 37.6 x 12.8 mm and weighing 15.g (unit only) the ability to feel each of the four buttons is paramount. The included in-ear “gummi” headphones match the unit in quality, feeling, and color. Speaking of color -the BH-111 headsets come in five colors, matching their Lumia line of headsets.
In the box:
- Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-111
- Proprietary Wall Charger
- Wired Headphones
- Three sizes (S, M, and L) of in-ear earpieces
- User Guide
The plastic used to make the headset housing allows for a tactile grip. This also allows the raised buttons to be easily recognizable by touch. Whether clipped to a belt-loop or pocket, using the buttons offer little possible error. Attaching the clip however can be a problem due to it’s hard plastic and small area of opening. Drawstring shorts or thick belt loops might just be too much for this clip to stretch.
The functional use of the commands are acknowledged through a series of auditory and visual cues. Adjusting the volume through use of the spinning wheel is accompanied by appropriate level of beeps. The music and call controls are also accompanied by auditory recognition. The visual cues are located on the spin wheel, where a light designates charging status and when the batter is running low.
The battery lasts several days without a charge, but when in use will last approximately six hours. The BH-111 is meant for commutes, work-outs and other shorter travel times. Despite the short battery lifetime the recharge takes less than an hour to complete.
With A2DP Bluetooth technology – which sends dual-signal music audio allowing for stereo sounds - the stereo music produced comes through clearly. The controlling options exhibited a slight delay but were we always accurate – an important distinction as skipping or failed commands can disrupt a workout run. The sound quality comes through clearly, as if the headphones were directly connected to the device. Since stereo audio allows for the distinction of left and right sounds -which is very important in many musical sets – the distinctive and precise stereo function from the BH-111 will be a welcome improvement over some lower-end Bluetooth headsets. The stereo sound from the headset itself worked well with other headphones beyond just those which came with the set as well.
When listening to Podcasts, the volume occasionally needed adjustment depending on the source material due fluctuations in the volume, but this could not be attributed to the BH-111 Headset but rather the audio source.
The clarity and functionality carries over to the phone’s calls as well. The basic features are all present. Placing a call requires pressing and holding the ‘play’ button for two second. This activates the Windows Phone’s voice calling or can be used to respond to text messages. The built-in microphone in the headphones are very sensitive. This allows for a normal volume conversation, but does suffer from wind noise. A more expensive noise-canceling microphone would have served the headset better.
What we liked:
Quality Quality Quality - From the build of the headset to the stereo sound, everything about the Nokia BH-111 speaks to a quality above it’s pricetag.
Charge - The advertised six hours of continuous use might be overstated, but only slightly. When combined with the quick recharge time this makes the BH-111 perfect for commutes, workouts, and most travel experiences.
Auditory & Visual Feedback - To encourage the portability of the device the BH-111 was made compact with few inputs. The multi-functionality of features such as the charge indicator are instinctual in their simplicity.
What we didn’t like:
Proprietary Charger – The charger provided is a proprietary. When traveling this means needing to bring yet another device. The use of Micro USB like those used with current smartphones would have eliminated the need to bring another charger.
Kept on a short leash - The distinctive feature of this style of Bluetooth Headset is its use of wired headphones. The headphones that come with the BH-111 are only 35inches ( cm) long which creates an issue for placement. The earbuds are likely to be pulled out when the cord is taught.
If you’re in the market for a bluetooth headset with features and quality on a budget, then the Nokia BH-111 Bluetooth Stereo Headset is a great choice. The essential functions and uses are above the cost of entry.
Score: Buy It