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Nokia Purity Pro by Monster review: Compact and light with sophisticated sound

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MSRP: $349.99

The Good The Nokia Purity Pro by Monster headphones are light, compact, have long battery life, and provide well-balanced audio.

The Bad While the Nokia Purity Pro is sophisticated, it lacks a companion app and is crafted from plastic not metal.

The Bottom Line For smartphone owners who crave both active noise canceling and Bluetooth wireless audio, the Nokia Purity Pro by Monster is worth its steep price.

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7.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

Headphones like the Nokia Purity Pro Stereo Headset by Monster don't come along every day. At $349.99, this advanced pair of headphones is expensive but nets a long list of advanced mobile audio technologies. The result of a partnership between mobile phone maker Nokia and sound equipment company Monster Cable, the Purity Pro's impressive skill set includes wireless Bluetooth and active noise canceling. The device even relies on NFC hardware for effortless pairing, unique for a stereo headset. More compelling, the Purity Pro also serves up these capabilities for $50 less than the $400 Parrot Zik, another outstanding Bluetooth option. If you have the funds to splurge, the Nokia Purity Pro makes an excellent cell phone or even laptop companion.

Design and features
Though not crafted from luxurious metal as is the Parrot Zik, the Nokia Purity Pro's glossy plastic surfaces create a premium and attractive appearance. Its wide, flat headband and rectangular earcups also help to give the Purity a sleek and futuristic style. That said, on the durability scale metallic materials typically trump even high-end polycarbonates in my book.

At just under 10 ounces (0.62 pound), the headset is relatively light compared to the Zik's heavier frame (0.72 pound). The headphones do creak alarmingly when twisted plus its reflective skin acts as a fingerprint magnet.

Thanks to its feather-light weight and premium earcups coated covered in faux-leather cushions, I found the headphones comfortable and easy to wear for hours. You'll find handy physical controls on the Purity Pro as well. The spine next to the left earcup features shuttle keys for play/pause and track forward and back. On the right sits a volume rocker to adjust headset loudness.

Nokia Purity Pro
The Nokia Purity Pro headphones are lightweight and compact. Sarah Tew/CNET

Sporting Nokia logos on the left and right insides of the headband, it's clear that the Purity Pro was built to link with smartphones first and foremost. It accomplishes this via a wireless Bluetooth connection. That means you can stream and enjoy music in stereo from your phone without the hassle of wires.

Much like the Denon Globe Cruiser, and the Parrot Zik, the Purity Pro also boasts active noise cancellation technology to analyze background din and damp it. The point of this is to create a more isolating and pleasing music listening experience. As it's equipped with an onboard microphone, you can use the Nokia Purity Pro to answer or place phone calls hands-free.

The Purity Pro headphones double as earmuffs that cancel noise. Sarah Tew/CNET

I have to say it's still a rare find when a pair of wireless Bluetooth stereo headphones also offers active noise cancellation. That puts the Nokia Purity Pro within an elite group of mobile accessories. But this device hasn't run out of tricks.

The Purity Pro folds up neatly like a Transformer into a very compact package. Even cooler, when you unfold it, two buttons in each hinge cause the headphones to automatically switch on their Bluetooth radio and connect to the last paired device in range. The opposite occurs when you fold up the product for storage.

If the Purity Pro doesn't recognize any devices nearby, it kicks itself into Bluetooth pairing mode and provides voice prompts to help with setup. Noise canceling operates automatically, too; the headphones activate this feature when capacitive sensors detect the presence of both your ears inside the earcups.

Monster says that all this automation helps the device's rechargeable battery achieve a long audio playback time of 24 hours. When the juice runs out, though, or for say, when you're traveling on airplanes, the Purity Pro comes with a standard 3.5mm headphone cable for a wired connection.

Power buttons in the headband shut the device on and off. Sarah Tew/CNET

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