The BH-503 Review

The BH-503 Review

For starters you must be wondering why is there an E90 lying next to the headphones, specially when this is a headphone review. Even if it had to be a phone, why not an Nseries music oriented device that goes well with the scheme of things. The answer is simple. Out of the box, the Nseries devices have far better music capabilities while the Eseries pretty much bites the dust. A little while ago, I found out for myself that Eseriestoo isn’t bad on the inside, if you are willing to make a few adjustments and get yourself a 3.5mm adapter. However, if you couldn’t be bothered doing that, the BH-503 will be just right to address the issue, it complements a device wonderfully.

The BH-503, it is a A2DP, AVRCP device that allows you to listen to music wirelessly in great stereo quality while being able to control playback too. It paired with any A2DP device such as the E90, N95, E51 or even something like a Nokia 6300 makes for a great experience. This is especially true for devices which otherwise are not touted be any good in this department. In essence, it turns any A2DP capable phone into a great music phone, a big testament to its ability. Read on for the complete review.

QUALITY

Nokia BH-503 Headset

This is the most fundamental aspect for a headphone and needs to be addressed first. My impression of Bluetooth headsets was they are okay to use for calls but when it comes to streaming music, they are not quite there yet. The BH-503 has blown that impression out of the water, completely. As soon as I paired the device to my E90, tweaked the equiliser for more Bass (I figured Bluetooth Headsets would need an extra stimulant) and started playback, I was quite amazed at the crisp and deep sound that was being pumped into my ears. I am no audiophile so I won’t be able to tell you particular frequencies where it was good or bad, but for a normal person like you and me who likes good Bass, a nice depth in the song and decent treble, the BH-503 will not disappoint at all. In fact it ‘ll surprise you pleasantly.

The volume on this is good too. Usually I would play at about 70-80% most of the times and did not feel the need for more. The headphone also responds really well to equaliser modifications, much better than a good wired headphones do. To sum it up, I can safely conclude, this is a big positive for the headphones and certainly won’t be a factor that keeps you from buying them.

COMFORT

Nokia BH-503 Headset

The headphone has an over the ear neckband design. It needs to rest with a bit of your ear between the neckband to be completely secure. At first I used to feel a pinch and would feel the need to take them off after a while, but with time I have gotten used to the design. Once securely in place it won’t fall off, no matter how hard you rock your head.

Since it has a neckband design, it becomes a little inconvenient listening to music while lying down and if you happen to have small ears it might become a little difficult keeping it secure. The headphone has no moving parts and the size of the neckband cannot be adjusted, however because of the design this isn’t much of a problem.

CONNECTIVITY

Nokia BH-503 Headset

The BH-503 features Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, Headset Profile (HSP), Handsfree Profile (HFP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP). This basically means we can make calls via the headset including initiating and terminating them, stream stereo music across, control the playback. All of this with the dedicated buttons which include a multi-function call key that helps with pairing too, a play/pause key, forward and back keys and volume control keys.

When connected to a phone, there is no cracking or stuttering of any sort even when the phone is a little far away. Infact I’ve used the headset with ease even while I was separated by a wall. If I happened to go too far and return, the connection was made again automatically. (For the first time when I connected them to the E90, there was some stuttering but a reboot of the phone fixed it). The one thing you will need to be careful of while using them is that there is no other Bluetooth device that attempts to connect to your phone because this will impact performance.

The headphone works with other manufacturer’s devices too along with computers. Sadly, I somehow couldn’t get it to connect to my Vista laptop. On my old XP machine it worked like a treat, so this seems to be a case of blaming Vista and not Nokia.

APPEARANCE & BATTERY LIFE

Nokia BH-503 Headset

The BH-503 is a good looking headphone, one which I won’t think twice about wearing outside. At 150x75x155mm it is not too big unlike the BH-604, which is huge! It comes in two pleasing colour combinations so you have choice in that department too.

As far as battery life goes, the claimed standby and playback time is up to 210 and 11 hours respectively. I was able to get about 8 hours easily at which point I deemed it satisfactory enough. The main problem with Bluetooth headsets is not their battery life but how quickly your phone dies when it takes on the additional burden. Fortunately the E90 in my case was quite upto the task but my N95 did rant and pant by the afternoon in case I played too much music. While the headphone is connected, taking and ending a call is a matter of pressing a button and the calls do seem to put an additional burden on the battery life.

CONCLUSION & UNBOXING

Nokia BH-503 Headset

The conslusion I’ve come to is that if you out a Nseries owner and are looking for a headphone, this a good buy. However if you own a A2DP compatible Eseries then this an even better buy as those phones support 16GB cards and because they also have good battery life, this makes for a great combination. Something that was reduced to a business phone with music not a priority, is now a killer music phone – all courtesy on the BH-503.

The retail package consists of:

  • Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-503
  • Nokia Compact Travel Charger AC-5
  • Carrying pouch
  • User guide

You can find the complete Unboxing Gallery, here on OVI.

Unboxing The BH-503

49 thoughts on “The BH-503 Review”

  1. Thanks for the review, Vaibhav.

    I’ll also be buying the BH 503 soon but would like the black and red version which I unfortunately can’t find anywhere…

    I guess I may settle for the silver ones.

  2. I have BH-503, working with my E90!

    Everything works fine but (there is allways a but), when I am using bluethoot connection with the PC simultaneously, I can hear some interference…

    In all other situations, BH-503 is very good.

  3. Jorge, thats exactly what I meant when I said that “one thing you will need to be careful of while using them is that there is no other Bluetooth device that attempts to connect to your phone because this will impact performance” 😉

  4. These headphones are the sh*t man! Although I like the BH-903 feature of the little screen on the remote… But overall, well worth it! I’m glad I bought them!

  5. Anybody got luck when trying Bh-503 with Nokia E51? I can’t see Nokia E51 on BH-503’s compability list
    But I’m pretty sure both have the same & compatible Bluetooth Profile (A2DP, AVRCP) to each other.

    Some info would be greatly appreciated! gonna to buy it soon. ^^,

  6. Thanks, ur confirmation will help me a lot! 😀
    Shame on Nokia for not putting complete complete compability list! 🙁
    P.S I do like your kaleidoscope-like avatar, LOL and Nice blog! tnx

  7. Hey Vaibhav!

    Which place you from?

    Have been looking for these for some time now and was wondering if you could lemme know the price n the place to buy these from…

    Thanks!

    TC

  8. Hi, well this was a pre sales reveiw, the BH-703 at that point hadn’t gone on sale. I’m not really sure availiability as of now, a Nokia Priority Dealer is your best bet.

  9. Just bought 2 x BH-503 Headset (Black & Red) for a total of £17.95 including delivery, so after reading your review looking forward to using one with my N95 8GB.

  10. hi

    i basicly got the 503 to use it on my computer

    it works really nice and it also shows control over audio functions ( shuts the sound when u receive a call on msn or gtalk really nice

    but,,,

    it has 2 profiles hands free and sterio headset
    the 1st one is ok and connects automaticly the seconed one goes like once evry 20 times!!

  11. hi vaibhav,
    hey m using da 503 with my nokia 5310 xpress,
    man the sounds relli of the mark….its more then meets the eye..
    newaz…i tried connecting it to my laptop…buh unfortunately i have failed…
    m using a DELL inspiron6400 machine…wid xp..

    a lil’ help bro…
    tc

  12. how can connect the bh-503 to my computer conectsbut don’t let me hear music and selecte like audio device.

  13. How is it with 2 devices? Let’s sat I wanna be listening music from my Laptop via Bluetooth while the device must be waiting for a call from my N82 at the same time.

  14. Just got BH-503 delivered and like it so far.

    A few words re NOKIA Customer Support though. I had a problem pairing this headset with my HP DV6629 laptop in stereo mode. So I gave NOKIA a call and asked for help. They gave me a lecture re a number of Bluetooth profiles and that BH-503 is not compliant with all of them (surprise, surprise – it’s not mentioned neither on a product box nor on the seller’s web-sites). Somehow I felt this Customer Service Rep wasn’t able or willing to help me. And he sounded like he’s residing in India. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them. It’s just you expect to get certain level of service and expertise while buying such a well known brand product. Well, he gave up on me.

    Hoping the first guy was wrong, I phoned HP. Of course, they started with their regular “When did you buy your laptop, Sir?” Which means “Sorry buddy, you’re out of luck, your warranty expired”. But just a few minutes later HP CSR (his name’s Ryan, btw) was able to establish remote control of my laptop and reinstalled BH-503. Well, you probably had the same feeling before, “Wow, I did exactly like that, how come it’s working now???”

    Well, I’ve got to tell you – the sound is great, this device is comfortable and it also looks nice. And I’m quite happy. Long live HP !!!

  15. Plz help me ,i have purchased Nokia sh 503 headphones and i wanna use dese headphone on my pc… will u plz tell me procedure hw i can attach d haedphone wid my pc. my email ID is johnabrham2006@gmail.com
    plz tell me its a humble request.. i will wait for u r reply

  16. I have the black and red version with a nokia 5800 (the red version ) it sounds amaizing i am verry happy with them… but i don’t like the part that i can’t listen to the radio 🙁 on the bh-503. And i do encounter problems with connecting the bh-503 to my laptop ( a toshiba A300- 1QE)

  17. Great reviews guys, I purchased some after reading this.. I purchased them from http://www.allthingswireless.co.uk as a friend recommended them. Turned up on time and these babies do not disappoint in the sound department. However I to have had problems pairing with my HP laptop, but then again I had the same problem with a pair of motorola S9 HDs.

  18. I hear a continous beep sound in my 503 when listening to music or making a call what do you think is the problem

  19. Please Help me.

    I can connect my BH-503 to my HP laptop but can’t play music
    can someone help me out play music on my laptop through my BH-503

    Thank you.

  20. I can not get my BH-503 to connect to my PC. The blue tooth adapter finds it and I can pair it but it still flashes green and it’s no where in the list.. How do I get it to communicate properly??

  21. Hi,

    Does this headset work with MAC & Samsung Galaxy S???Am planning to buy one.. and ur suggestion readlly would help!!!

  22. Hi,
    I recently bought a BH-503, but my Nokia X6 and HP laptop (Win 7) doesn’t detect it. Surprisingly, it works fine with my wife’s Samsung Corby Pro though. Are there any known issues? Any driver upgrades etc I need?

    Appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Ashish

  23. hi friends i am using nokia 5530 xpress music and i want to how to connect nokia bluetooth BH503. i am trying to connect but can’t find any solution . please friends if u know means help me

  24. Is Nokia Bh-503 Stereo Bluetooth Headset compatible with Samsung Galaxy S2? can anyone provide me the info… thnks in advance…

  25. Yeah they work with Mac and Galaxy S2. They r awesum,works fine with ma all bluetooth devices.

    Regards
    Piyush

  26. Hey plz plz plz tell me whats the price of these cool headfones in indian market.i’m fed up of surfing creepy websites who r trying to sell me fake hdfones….plz help me……..

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