Catching many people by surprise, Nokia yesterday announced a pair of new headsets to accompany its new phones, the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. Co-developed with Monster, the company behind the hugely successful Beats by Dr Dre brand, the new audio range currently consists of one on-ear pair and one in-ear pair. We got ears-on with both yesterday at Nokia World so here are our first thoughts.
The Nokia Purity On-Ear wear their ancestry on their sleeve with them sporting the same basic design as the Monster Beats Solo upon which they're based.
The headband is made from glossy plastic finished in the same four colours as the new phones will be sporting; blue, pink, black and white. The quality and finish of the plastic is high though as it's completely smooth it will show of scratches and fingerprint – especially the black version.
Metal is used for the chunky hinges where the headphones can fold in on themselves as well as on the adjustment arms. The result is a sturdy feeling set of 'phones. Plastic ball joints join the earcups to the band but again they feel like they'll stand the test of time.
This design is comfortable too with the earcups shifting to sit flush with your ear no matter how awkwardly angled your lugholes happen to be. The padding on the cups is deep and soft so even though they sit on your ears rather than round them, our ears didn't feel too squashed. This is also despite the cups sporting a rather peculiar rectangular shape.
The cushioning on the headband has a tacky rubber finish that allows it to grip your hair slightly, keeping the phones firmly planted on your head. That the earcups only sit on your ears does make them looser than over-ear models but a few sample shakes of the head didn't cause these to go flying from our heads.