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Nokia BH-805 noise cancelling earbuds review

Updated Oct 25th, 2021 9:33AM EDT
Nokia noise cancelling earbuds
Chris Hachey for BGR

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Active noise-cancelling technology is a big selling point for headphones these days. Trying to get rid of the noise around you and achieve audio bliss is something that many users want. It still is something that many manufacturers are trying to find.

If you are someone who travels a lot and hates hearing what people around you are talking about, you need to get rid of the noise. If you have kids and need a brief moment of silence while they are watching a show, you can get rid of that noise (it’s not really noise though).

Over-the-ear headphones can handle this technology well. We’ve seen it in countless headphones and some of them are really great. But wireless earbuds are a different level of convenience. I tested out one of the newer options on the market, the Nokia BH-805 Noise Cancelling Earbuds, to see how the technology holds up. HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, created them to enter the active noise-cancelling realm.

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Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds design

The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds in their case. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

These earbuds come with three different tip size, which should help them fit a wider variety of ears. While they won’t fit every set of ears, they will stay in, as long as you identify which one is the correct one for you. I used the large ones for a while before realizing the medium was a better fit. The silicone tips go inside your ear hole to keep the earbud from falling out.

The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds have small stems, which is where touch controls are found. It does take a little while to memorize which controls are which. There are some that control the volume and some that allow you to open up either Siri or Google Assistant. You can also work with the ambient mode and active noise-cancelling mode. While the touch controls are reactive most of the time, you must take your time in pressing or holding them for them to actually respond.

They are IPX4 water-resistant and dust-resistant. I wore these when I went for a run and it was raining that day and between the sweat and rain, there was no problem with them working. They do slide around in your ears, even if you have the proper tips. So you should probably opt for a different pair of sports headphones if you’re looking for workout ones. They are offered in two different colors: Charcoal and Polar Sea.

Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds features and battery

Nokia earbuds in an ear. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

Connecting your earbuds is very simple. They are built with Bluetooth connectivity and will LED indicator light in the back of each earbud will flash orange and white alternatively when they are ready to pair. After the initial pairing, the earbud announces that it is on by saying “Hello” and then will announce it is connected by saying “Connected”. Just by opening the case, your earbuds will pair after the initial time.

As we mentioned, the controls are on the stem of the earbuds. You can toggle between the two modes without much problem. One thing that you may notice is, if you are adjusting the earbuds in your ear, you more or less have to touch the main part of the earbud, rather than the stem. If you touch the stem, you will set off one of the controls. You can play or pause music, lower or raise the volume, and fast forward or rewind. You can also answer and hang up a phone call. Choosing to use the voice assistant is another control.

Battery life

These true wireless headphones come with a charging case that is larger than an Apple AirPods case. But it is not too big that it is cumbersome to keep in your pocket or purse. It comes with a USB-C charging cord, but you have to have your own charging block. This lasts for up to five hours on a single charge without the charging case.

The case shows you how much battery level is left, as there are lights on the case that gauge the life. If you are using it in full ANC mode, it will last for shorter than that. So for incredibly long flights, the battery won’t last as long as you may want it. You’ll need to take a break and charge it up. It will go for 20 hours if the charging case is charged up.

Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds sound quality

Because the earbuds enter your ear and basically fill up your ear canal, you will get decent sound quality. It isn’t the clearest you’ll ever hear, but for regular use, it is totally acceptable. The bass is solid but if you are looking for heavy bass, these may not reach the levels you want. You won’t be blown away by the sound. But if you’re don’t consider your ear finely-tuned, these will be just fine.

The Nokia earbuds case. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

If you place your finger on one of the stems and hold it for a few seconds, you can toggle between ambient mode and noise-cancelling mode. This makes your ability to switch simple and it takes almost no time. You will actually hear the noise-cancelling mode kick into effect if you’re in a room that isn’t too noisy, as the sound is sucked out around you.

The noise-cancelling mode eliminates noise up to 25 dB. That is similar to hearing protectors and earplugs. While this won’t drown out all of the noise you’re hearing, it does do a decent job of giving you more bliss. You do notice a difference when you make the switch from ambient mode to the noise-cancelling mode or “ANC” mode as the earbuds tell you.


The Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds will help you get rid of some of the noise around you. While it isn’t as effective as putting on over-the-ear headphones, it can drown out some noise to give you some more peace and quiet. The sound quality isn’t bad and can deliver easy, day-to-day, listening that you won’t complain about. While they aren’t the most comfortable, as they are rather invasive in your ears, you do have to make sure they fit in your ears. They are in the middle of the price range of earbuds with noise-cancelling technology at $149.99.

The competition

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There are a few options at this same price point. You may be able to find something you like more, as, for a similar price point, you can choose the Beats Studio Buds. These will give you better battery life and are less obvious in your ears if that matters to you. You can also take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.

Should I buy the Nokia Noise Cancelling Earbuds?

Yes. While they aren’t the best for sound quality and the controls take some getting used to, you do notice a difference when switching to the noise-cancelling mode. If you’re just looking to not overhear someone’s conversation on the bus and don’t want to pay a ton to do so, these will suit you.

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Chris Hachey Commerce Editor

Chris Hachey is Senior Commerce Editor for BGR. With over a decade of editing and journalism experience, plus thousands of hours of product testing and research, he has helped millions of consumers find the best products and deals to fit their lifestyles.

When he's not searching for top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his wife and his dog.