While we love the idea of cord-free portable music, stereo Bluetooth headsets are often maligned with poor quality audio. Or at least, that's how it was in the past. Nowadays you can find stereo Bluetooth headsets with excellent sound quality, rivaling that of dedicated wired headsets. One such example is the Nokia BH-905, which is one of a few stereo Bluetooth headsets we know to come with multimicrophone active noise canceling. This results in absolutely fantastic audio quality, and the call quality isn't too shabby, either. That, combined with a comfortable fit, makes the Nokia BH-905 one of the best stereo Bluetooth headphones out there. The Nokia BH-905's price is rather hefty however, at $394 retail.
Measuring 7.09 inches long by 6.10 inches wide by 2.32 inches thick, the Nokia BH-905 is an over-the-ears style pair of headphones that is meant for serious audio listening; it's not quite slim or lightweight enough to be used in the gym or on the running trail. The BH-905 has a cushioned leather-clad headband connected to two cushioned earpads via two extendable plastic stems. The earpads can be rotated so that they lie flat, which makes the headphones a bit more compact and portable.
We found the overall fit to be quite comfortable. The plastic stems are curved outward slightly, which looks a little goofy when worn, but they do provide a snug and secure fit. The earpads, though they are a little small, feel soft and comfortable when pressed against our ears. The earpads don't work as well as full-size earcups when it comes to shutting out environmental sound, but they do a pretty good job. Because the earpads are pressed up to your ears all the time, there is also a chance of ear fatigue, especially if you wear the headphones for a long period of time.
Most of the BH-905's controls are housed on the right earpad. Above the Nokia branding is the multifunction call button, while the play/pause control is underneath it. The track shuttle controls are on either side. The control labels are etched into the metal surface, so you can find them by feel. They're quite easy to press as well.
The underside of the right earpad has the volume rocker, a Bluetooth status indicator, and an audio cable connector in case your device doesn't have stereo Bluetooth. There's an included 3.5mm Nokia AV audio cable as well as four different audio adapters for different audio connections (2.5mm Nokia AV, standard 3.5mm jack, airplane audio jack, and 6.3mm home stereo jack). On the underside of the left earpad are the active noise-canceling toggle, a charger jack, and an LED indicator that shows both the noise-canceling status and the charging status.
We paired the Nokia BH-905 with the Apple iPhone 3G and the Samsung Rogue. Pairing for both phones went quite smoothly. Note that the Apple iPhone 3G does not have full AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile), so we weren't able to use the Play/Pause and track shuttle controls with the iPhone. First we tested the audio playback with and without the active noise canceling. We were very impressed with the sound quality. Unlike a lot of other stereo Bluetooth headsets that are lacking in bass, we definitely heard rich full bass here with nice smooth sound overall. Our senior MP3 editor Donald Bell said that the audio quality is a little fuzzy, but that's common with most Bluetooth audio.