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Nokia Purity On-Ear Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £200.00
  • Modular cabling
  • Foldable

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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.

Nokia Purity On-Ear 2

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.

Nokia Purity On-Ear 3

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.

An always pleasing touch is that the cable is modular, with a 3.5mm headphone socket present on the left earcup.

The cable itself has a flat profile, which is supposed to help reduce tangling. In our tests on other headphones that sport a similar cable design we’ve found this claim generally does hold up, though not always. All the Nokia Purity On-Ear we saw were tangle free but many attendants were on hand to keep them looking tip top.

Nokia Purity On-Ear

Just in line with your mouth there’s a microphone incorporated into the cable while further down is a little remote that include volume, call and playback controls. Of course this worked on the demo phones though, understandably, it didsn’t also play ball with our iPhone 4S – the phones still played music, though.

Nokia Purity On-Ear 1

Noise isolation from the earcups alone is okay, with background hum and chatter reduced to a slightly less obtrusive level. You’ll certainly not block out a crying baby with them, though. Nonetheless, cranking up the ol’ tunes, these proved to be more than acceptable for a quick listening session in the packed Nokia World auditorium.

Nokia Purity On-Ear 4

So how do they sound? Well, unsurprisingly they’re very bassy, just like Monster’s Beats range. However, they managed to keep this power under control enough so as not to ruin things, and there was a pleasant sprinkling of top end clarity and mid-range warmth. We were actually quite taken with the performance.

Of course, that’s precisely what you’d expect considering these headphones are set to cost €200. And that’s also why we have to raise the proverbial eyebrow. They seem neither to have the brand cred’ nor the sound quality required for people to buy them separate from a Nokia phone yet they’re too expensive for people to be tempted to buy them as an ‘upgrade’ when purchasing a phone. We’ll wait and see just how well they perform in a more ideal environment before passing judgement but we’d be surprised if these sell like hotcakes.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

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