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BH-905i arrived today - first impressions

WOMWorld sent me a Nokia BH-905i headset for testing and review after I bitched about my difficulties to get a unit in Singapore. THe unit arrived today in an unspectacular DHS courier envelope. Inside I found the padded leather (not genuine one) of the size of 1.5 DVD boxes (in case you remember what a DVD is).The headset is cleverly draped around the pouch that contains an assortment of cables, adapters and the charger. My unit came from the UK, so it has the bulky UK style charger which we also use in Singapore. With quite an unique mechanism for the ground pin it was pleasantly small packed. There is a 3.5mm extension cable, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm male/male extension cable - the 2.5mm end plugs into the BH-905i. the 4 adapters are: 3.5mm to 2.5mm 4 pin (= Stereo + Mic), Airline adapter, 3.5mm to 6.3mm 3 pin Headset only and 3.5mm to 3pin 3.5mm. What's missing is a splitter, so one could use a cable connection to a PC which has separate plugs for headsets and microphones. But there is Bluetooth. So I put the headset into pair mode and clicked on the Bluetooth icon on my Ubuntu 10.10 workstation. Pairing was fast and easy. I fired up Banshee to listen to some tunes. It sounded horrible. A quick check revealed, that in the sound preferences the BH-905i provides 2 profiles: "HSP/ HFP Telephony duplex" and "A2DP High Fidelity Playback". HSP/HFP was preselected. Once switched to A2DP the sound became crystal clear, much better than the (cable bound) entry level Philips and Sennheiser headsets I used before. A2DP doesn't provide the microphone profile, so I need to check how things work out when testing Skype, Google Voice or Sametime Voice. I'm curious if that's a limitation of the Ubuntu sound menu or the BH905i Bluetooth capabilities.
A first test of the noise cancelling showed interesting results. The ambient noise (cars from the street, TV from the other room etc.) disappeared 100%. I then had my sons sitting left and right of me playing some obscure FPS game with a lot of gun sounds, dramatic music and Anthony and Ernest screaming updates to each other. Anything not like a human voice was cancelled out and the screaming part reduced to normal conversation strength. So human voice won't get suppressed. I haven't tested it the behaviour changes once I use the microphone for recording (like VoiP for voice memos). So far very promising. The headset is light enough to be worn for a longer period of time. It doesn't cover the ears fully which makes it bearable at 30C room temperature (I don't have Aircon in my study). So far my first impressions. My test plans:
  • Pair with Blackberry 9700 Bold II
  • Cable connection to Grandstream GXV3140
  • Cable connection to 2nd generation iPod mini
  • Bluetooth to SWMBO iPhone 3 on i/OS 4.1
  • Bluetooth to SWMBO iMac
  • Test with VoiP
  • Test with Voice Recorder
  • Music playback
  • Use in office
  • Use in train
  • Use in taxi
  • Use at the beach promenade
  • If time permits: use in plane
Stay tuned

Posted by on 08 November 2010 | Comments (2) | categories: After hours Nokia Travel


  1. posted by Volker Weber on Monday 08 November 2010 AD:
    My smartphones maintain BOTH an A2DP and an HSP connection. The headset can even split those two connections between devices. So you could have a phone supporting HSP but not A2DP for you calls and a music player connected through A2DP. This setup is only possible if the phone does not support both profiles.

    In your case you seem to be limited to either A2DP or HSP. Chose wisely. Emoticon smile.gif
  2. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Tuesday 09 November 2010 AD:
    @vowe That was the Ubuntu Laptop. It seems it maintains both connections too but the sound system requires to pick which one to use. I can change that in mid-flight without loosing the connection.
    Bug filed against pulse-audio: { Link }