My year-long experience with the Nokia BH-905

I’ve been using the Nokia BH-905 for about a year now.
Technically speaking it’s a great product. The sound is clear and balanced, the noise cancellation feature is incredibly convenient while using public transportation, not to mention what I consider the most important characteristic : it’s a bluetooth headset (and I hate wires).

The Nokia BH-905 is quite pricey since I bought it for around 160€. At this price range, its closest competitors are :
– the Sennheiser PX 210 BT (130€), bluetooth but without noise cancellation.
– the Bose AE2 (150€), wired and without noise cancellation.
– the Monster Beats Solo HD (160€), wired and without noise cancellation but with hands-free calling.

I think those 3 competitors outperform my Nokia BH-905 in terms of sound quality; Sennheiser, Bose and Monster having a longer experience in high quality audio (not to forget that bluetooth is technically limited in terms of sound reproduction).

This being said, I chose features over better sound quality.
And if I had used the Nokia BH-905 for only a few weeks, I would have considered my choice completely justified.

But I’ve been using my headset for a year. And my Nokia BH-905 doesn’t age well.

After 3 months, the right ear pad imitation leather came off so I had to bring it to a Nokia Service Center. It took Nokia three weeks to repair the headset.

5 months later (so that makes 8 months in total), the piece of fabric covering the speaker came off too.

When I brought it to the Nokia Service Center, they refused to repair my headset because it was out of warranty. Because Nokia accessories, no matter how sophisticated, no matter how expensive, only have a 6 months warranty. I tried to argue. That this headset had already been repaired once, that they should expand the warranty, but they refused and never answered to my postal mail.

So no matter how good the headset is, I can’t recommend it to anyone. Because no piece of hardware should have a 6 months warranty. All the more when the product is poorly manufactured.
The least Nokia should have done is listen to its costumer, extend the warranty or offer to repair the faulty product for a fee. Which is all the more disappointing when one knows that Nokia is rated among the greenest electronic firm. And having to buy a new headset for such a minor problem is not very sustainable…

And by the way, if you think that my poor experience with the BH-905 is just bad luck, Nokia offers a 50€ on the headset until June 30th (if you live in France).
Might be a profitable gamble.

Edit : In a last attempt, I contacted Nokia customer service via Twitter (@NokiaCareFr). The message was short and straightforward. It was along those lines : I’m disappointed and I blogged about it, are you gonna do something ?
And they did. Although all I asked for was a solution to repair the headset, they decided to send me a refurbished (a.k.a almost brand new) BH-905. More than I could expect. Least that I could do is to append this blog post.

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8 thoughts on “My year-long experience with the Nokia BH-905

  1. I’ve been using my BH-905’s for about a year myself, and I’m having a similar problem – the padding on one side is beginning to come loose. It’s been doing this for about 8 months now.

    My solution has been to treat the headphones as gingerly as possible to prevent unnecessary damage, and to super-glue the fabric back onto the fake leather pads.

    I had emailed Nokia customer service to determine if it was possible to order new headphone pads (these come off easily from the headset and would be simple to replace). Nokia’s response was basically “No.”

    Overall, I still like the headphone and think they’re still worth the money I spent (over $250 US for me). I intend to do my best to make these last and only replace it when I finally run this headset into the ground.

    In fact, I think I’m due for some more super-glue repairs. More of the fabric is coming loose.

    -Mark Sly

    • Hi Mark,
      I recently edited my post. I contacted Nokia on their twitter account. And on twitter, Nokia really does care about their customers (and their online reputation too obviously).
      They’ve gone the extra mile for me (they sent me a new BH-905). If your product is still under warranty, I hope they will do something for you too.
      Nokia Care US twitter goes by @NokiaCareUS
      https://twitter.com/#!/nokiacareus

  2. Mine is lying idle for close to 3 months, since one of the plastic holding clamp above the right ear pad has come off. Its the place where the size/grip can be adjusted. I’ve it idle since i don’t want to make the damage worse. Both the sides still work though, have left it undisturbed with the hope it can be resurrected someday. Not having have any reliable service points nearby is another reason.

    Brought it around July last year, did find it a bit clumsy to wear initially. Overall I would rate this as a great product in its league.

    • Hi gamerB,
      Same answer as Mark Sly, try contacting Nokia on their twitter account.
      If this a product default and obviously not you mistreating the headset, Nokia might do something.
      I agree with your conclusion : The BH-905 is a very good product although it lacks the sturdiness that defines Nokia.

  3. I know this is quite an old post but would like to add to the above comments. Bought this product second-hand off of eBay (for around £76.00 if memory serves me right) about 3 years ago and used it for about 8 months before my daughter decided to yank it off my head and broke the piece of plastic ring just above the adjusting arm on the right side. Tried using super-glue but this had a tendency to come off so I left it on the book shelf for close to 2 years.

    Today was going through the content and saw the item, so decided to do a bit of DIY. I took apart both arms (there are 4 screws in total), figured out how the long cable fits into the adjustable arms and screwed it all back again. The broken bit was held together by a combination of glue and transparent tape.

    After almost 2 years, I turned it on, connected to my surface and, bam, got about 30 minutes of listening pleasure before the batteries conked out. At this point I had thrown out the original charger, so rummaged through the house for any spare Nokia charger with the slim pin end and charged to full in 2 hours (it would have been nice if it had a micro-USB charging interface).

    Now I have the item working again (admittedly a bit ugly looking) but I have to say this is the best Bluetooth headset I have ever had, and will keep using it until it literally falls apart. I am hoping I can get a cheap broken one and use for spares from eBay as it appears the parts are very difficult to obtain.

    One thing I can say though, the product is extremely delicate so handle with care.

  4. Hi guys,

    I’m having issues with my 905i. For a good while now the bluetooth indicator led (blue/green) I think stopped working. The only way I’d know whether bluetooth is working or not is by listening the beep. Today after I held the power button on, I got the startup sound but no elongated beep informing that bluetooth is available. I’d contacted Nokia before about the led not appearing, but they again said it is out of warranty and there will be a cost for repair. I agree with your above posts that this headset is expensive and short warranty period. Nokia just wash their hands and throw their responsibility towards customers for buggy products.

    Any ideas how to fix this issue of mine?

    Thanks

  5. Hi…I have a 905, worked for a long time, then one day, crashed during music playback.
    I can’t get it to turn on anymore. ANC works fine, and wired connection works, but bluetooth functionality is completely broken. I tried both reset methods, neither works.
    Any suggestions? And I too think it’s very pathetic of Nokia, once a giant in this space, to now just completely ignore people who have issues due to their programming or hardware bugs!

    • Hi, I think the 905 was a pretty good headset when it came out given the state of bluetooth headsets at that time. Still, it was an non-durable product with major hardware and programming flaws, as you said it yourself. I have given up on the 905 a while ago. I guess it’s time you do too 🙂

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