The Nokia BH-503s were announced at Nokia’s Go Play event back in August of 2007. Understandably, the BH-503’s spotlight was stolen by the announcements of the Nokia N81 and Nokia N95 8GB. Was it worth it waiting for so long after the BH-503’s announcement for it to finally appear in the shops? Read on for the review.
The BH-503 comes packaged in a sturdy, clean and simple box. Inside the box, you can expect to find:
The Nokia BH-503 Bluetooth headset.
A small Nokia travel charger.
A multilingual. Manuals.
A Carrying pouch.
The BH-503 is available in 2 colour schemes: Black and grey or Black and Red. Both look very pleasing aesthetically, but I personally prefer the Black and Red variant.
All controls of the Nokia BH-503 can be found on the right side of the headset, Forwards, backwards, play/pause and the multi-function call button. The left side of the headset features only a small Nokia logo in the centre. The markings for the controls of the BH-503 are slightly raised, making it easy to find the correct button.
Like the BH-501s that came before the BH-503, the headset’s neck band ‘floats’ above the back of your head/neck
Here are just a few comparison shots so you can get an idea of the size:
The BH-503’s charging port is located on the bottom of the right speaker. It charges via the standard Nokia 2.5mm charger which, as mentioned, comes in the sales package.
The included manual claims that the Nokia BH-503 will take a maximum of 1 hour 15 minutes to fully charge from empty but in my experience the headset was fully charged within 45 minutes. A full charge will give you 13 hours of talk time, 13 hours of music playback, 10 days standby time(While the headset is paired to a device. When there’s no phone/laptop paired to the headset, it will automatically switch off after about 15 minutes). If you don’t have 45 minutes to fully charge the BH-503, I’ve found that a measly 10 minute charge will give atleast a few hours(about 3-4 in my case) of music playback.
If you’re already familiar with Nokia’s Bluetooth headsets, pairing should be like second nature to you. Holding down the multi-function call key for about 5 seconds while the headset is off will place it in pairing mode, when in pairing mode the indicator led will quickly flash blue and you’ll be able to discover the BH-503, connect and pair with the 0000 passcode.
These headsets, like the BH-604, produce great, clear sound. They’re pretty loud at the maximum volume but not too loud. I found that they blocked out the majority of ambient sounds but louder noises like the engine of a bus can still be heard ever so slightly.
If you like your bass, you’ll love the BH-503.
As I’ve found with all of Nokia’s Bluetooth headsets that I've used, calls are crisp and clean. The microphone does a great job at picking up your voice, even in the loudest of conditions.
The speakers on the BH-503s go over and behind your ears. This means that they fit in place snugly and even in the most vigorous of activities, this headset isn’t going anywhere. Seriously, you can try shaking your head around as hard as you possibly can, yet the BH-503 will stay perfectly in place.
The foam padding on the BH-503 really is nice. It helps you to forget that there’s anything on your ears. However, I found that after extended periods of time(5 hours+), you may start to notice that your ears have become rather warm.
I really cannot see any major faults in the Nokia BH-503. If I were to be really picky, the one thing that annoys me the most in Nokia’s Bluetooth headsets like the BH-503 is those annoying beeps! I wish they would just get rid of them; one instance that could make your blood boil is when receiving a text during music playback. The music pauses for your message alert tone but as the music fades back in, you’ll hear numerous beeps as the volume increases. This only happens when you’re on maximum volume, though.
Other people’s opinions:
The BH-503 generally got good receptions from my friends/family. The most praised aspect of the design was the red highlights that go around each of the BH-503’s speakers. One person did mention that they felt the headset was still too big, even after seeing the BH-604. I feel that the size of the BH-503 is excellent, especially considering the sound quality.
If you’re looking for stylish stereo Bluetooth headsets that are relatively small in size but still produce great sound, look no further than the BH-503. They really are a joy to use and are the perfect compliment for your A2DP enabled device.
The Nokia BH-503 can be bought directly from Nokia for £64.