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.
It was even better when we turned on the noise canceling; it was as if the world melted away and only the music surrounded us. Indeed, we would recommend using the BH-905 just for shutting out environmental noise. We tested the BH-905 while riding on a crowded San Francisco bus during rush hour, and it did a good job at muffling out noise. It didn't block out 100 percent of the environmental noise of course, but it got rid of most of it. We were also pleased that we didn't get as much eardrum pressure as we sometimes get with other noise-canceling headphones. However, do note that it takes about a second or two after you turn the noise canceling on before it engages.
Next we tested the BH-905 with phone calls. Call quality was surprisingly good as well. Incoming call quality was great as expected. We heard our callers loud and clear without any problems. On their end, they could hear our voice very clearly as well, even when we were walking on a busy city sidewalk with traffic rushing past us. They could still hear some background noise, like cars honking, for example, but our voice still came through with plenty of volume. They said our voice did sound a bit harsh, but it wasn't a deal breaker.
The Nokia BH-905 has all the typical headset profile features such as answering, ending, and rejecting calls, last-number redial, voice dial support where available, call mute, and the capability to switch calls between headset and phone. It comes with a sturdy carrying case, a cleaning cloth, and a charger.
On Bluetooth, the BH-905 has a rated talk time of up to 24 hours and rated music playback time of up to 25 hours. With Bluetooth and the active noise cancellation, talk time is up to 15 hours, and music playback is up to 16 hours.