Noise isolation and accessories
With a good seal, the Nokia Purity in-ear headphones provide decent noise isolation, although due to the way they tend to wriggle their way out of your ear canals, they need fairly regular re-seating. Five pairs of rubber tips are included, which helps to mitigate for the picky fit of these earphones a bit (many pairs only include three). The tips match the colour of the earbuds too.
A fabric carry case is included. Nokia calls it a "Hard Shell" carrying case, but it's not really - being only very slightly reinforced. A big deal? Hardly.
The Nokia WH-920 Purity In-ear headphones have what we'd class as an enjoyable but not particularly high-end sound. They have an immediately obvious focus on low-end swell and low-mid warmth that's easy on the ear. Given this signature, it's good to hear that the bass isn't lumpy. And while it can be nudged into boominess given the right track, the low-end emphasis isn't destructive, as it is in some style-focused bassy sets.
It's a sound that's easily to live with, but ultimately not one that can compete with the best at £70, or even £50. Although the top-end isn't muffled, it does lack refinement and detail, sounding a little veiled or rolled-off. Smooth and balanced to an extent, but compromised overall.
The soundstage isn't impressive either, with a fairly narrow stereo image compared with most sets at this price. Bassheads may enjoy the low-end focus, but then bass performance isn't entirely remarkable either. It's reasonably well-controlled, but doesn't seem to go all that deep or offer slamming impact.
The result is that the Nokia Purity in-ears end up seeming like good low-end earphones rather than good mid-range ones. When the excellent Phonak PFE 012 (admittedly, sans microphone) are available for £10 more and the Jays one series offers comparable sound quality for a less cash, they're not all that compelling.
Of course, it's tricky to get around that few headsets offer optimisation for Windows Phones. Earphone manufacturers may tell you the market isn't there, but we bet there are many of you out there wanting to control your Nokia Lumia 800s using an in-line remote. We like the idea of the Nokia Purity in-ears, but they're simply a little bit too expensive to be classed a great buy.
The Nokia WH-920 Purity In Ear headphones come from the same Monster stable as the Beats by Dr. Dre range, but they have a slightly more mature sound. They also use a remote control housing that it - unusually - fully compatible with the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone mobiles. They're novel, but ultimately the level of fidelity on offer doesn't quite match-up with the price.