This Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review should answer the question – are these cheap wireless earbuds worth buying? The good news is that they definitely are if you want to keep to a strict budget, and the sound quality impressed me overall, given the price.
With literally hundreds of headphones out there to choose from, it’s hard to tell which are the best true wireless earbuds for you. If you’re on a budget, it can be even harder, because you’re unlikely to find AirPods-quality audio and top-tier smart features from even the best cheap headphones if their price is too low – but you still want to know you’re getting the most for your money.
Delivering clean, balanced sound, the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds offer that value, even though they aren't perfect, getting a little distorted with more difficult treble. There's no question that you'll get better sound by spending a bit more on the likes of the House of Marley Champion, but when you consider that those cost 50% more than the BH-205 Lite Earbuds and actually offer a lower total battery life, these become very convincing.
Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review: price and availability
Available to buy now from Amazon, you can pick up a pair of the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds for $56.48 in the US, £40.90 in the UK and AU$75.40 in Australia. They are seriously affordable.
Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review: design and fit
Available in Polar Sea blue and Charcoal black, the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds keep things simple. Made from plastic, they have a dangling stem with touch controls located on the outside of the bud. They come housed in a matching pocket-sized charging case with a USB-C cable. Admittedly, the build quality leaves a lot to be desired but that's the sacrifice you have to make for affordability.
In the box, you get three sizes of silicone ear tips and actually they fit me pretty well. I did everything with them, I listened to music on the train, I did a couple of workouts and used them through the workday as well. They stayed firmly put in my ear and didn’t fall out once. That’s impressive considering the number of times I've almost lost a bud from other manufacturers, especially while exercising.
If you’re keen on decent battery life, these are brilliant. On a single charge, the buds last around 6 hours, with an additional 36 hours provided by the case. Giving you an extra 5 full charges, they are some of the best cheap true wireless earbuds for battery life.
Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review: performance and features
When it comes to sound quality, the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds are actually pretty well-tuned. Music across most genres sounds balanced, with deep bass and a crisp treble - although I would say they did sometimes distort the music slightly especially on the high end. Unfortunately, there aren't any equaliser settings to manually adjust the sound for yourself but you don't really expect there to be at this price point.
Truth be told, there aren’t that many features to speak of. You connect to them using Bluetooth, my phone didn't always automatically find them when I took them out of the case which sometimes meant fiddling around a bit with the touch controls to get them to work. They use the latest version of Bluetooth so when they are successfully hooked up, I could wander away from my phone without the connection dropping out. According to Nokia, their transmission distance is about 10m.
One major plus point of these buds is that they are fully IPX7 waterproof. Whether you get caught in the rain or you have a particularly sweaty workout, they should be able to cope.
Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review: verdict
If you’re after a bargain, the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds will be a good choice - they would even make a great gift.
Using the most up to date Bluetooth connectivity, they offer solid audio performance, and not to mention their long battery life which will easily last you a few days of casual use. The fact that they're waterproof is another major benefit that not all earbuds offer as well. What more could you need from a pair of basic buds.
Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds review: also consider
Which other headphones you should consider will depend largely on what you need them for, as well as what your budget is.
If you’re willing to stretch your wallet a little further then the best affordable true wireless headphones you can buy are the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus. They sound fantastic, recently winning Best Value Headphones at the T3 Awards 2021.
For something more similarly priced to the Nokia BH-205 Lite Earbuds, consider the Creative Outlier Air V2. They sound good and the earbuds will last a massive 12 hours on a single charge, with the case providing 34 hours of juice.
Not everyone is keen on having silicone ear tips pushed deep into their ears, if that rings true then you should consider the Urbanears Luma. They're one size fits all, they're cheap and they come in a variety of stylish colours. It is worth knowing that they won't stay put during exercise, though.
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