Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headset Review

The Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headsetis one of Nokia’s latest bluetooth headsets and offers a variety of cool features which include automatic volume adjustment,  noise-cancellation, and multipoint – which means you can finally connect your headset to two phones simultaneously. However its also the first headset to sport a cracking new feature called ‘Always Ready’. More on that after the break. I had the pleasure of playing with this headset at Nokia World 2010 and just had to get myself one. Check out my thoughts, along with an extensive gallery for your viewing pleasure, after the jump.

BH-217 | Overview

The Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217 is a very slim and stylish headset. In terms of construction, it’s made primarily of lightweight plastic, which allows it to weigh in at a mere 7.6g. Available in Ice White and Stone Grey, both options come in a smooth matte finish, which gives it a really sleek look. As there are no moving parts apart from the single multifunctional key, I’ve had no issues with the build quality of the headset as it feels solid and well built. I’m sure it would survive if it was dropped a few times. The Nokia BH-217 is also one of the thinnest bluetooth headsets I’ve ever used, measuring in at only 6.2 mm thick which makes a huge difference, as you can easily forget that your wearing it.

The chrome multifunctional key allows you to answer or end a call, as well as letting you power the device on/off with a long press. A longer press to switch the headset on will activate pairing mode with the light on the top of the headset blinking blue. No code is required when pairing the headset with your phone and every time you switch on or remove the headset from its case, it will automatically connect to your handset.

The Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217 only has the one key on the outer part of the device and has a 2 mm proprietary Nokia charging port at the end of the headset where it also has a few connectors and the microphone. These connectors allow it to know whether its in the case or not in order to power on/off. Simply remove the headset from its carry case and it will automatically power up and connect to your device. Putting it back into the case sets it into standby mode. This a great feature as it conserves a huge amount of battery and makes it very energy efficient.

The Nokia BH-217 comes with a 45 mAh battery which takes no time at all to charge to the full. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I would rather Nokia use a MicroUSB port instead, as it allows you to use the same charger provided with your Nokia handset and will reduce the cost as no charger would need to be supplied with the headset. But it seams as though that this is not part of Nokia’s current strategies as they aim to continue using both the 2 mm and Micro USB ports for charging its devices.

The Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217 also sports Advanced Multipoint. This lets you connect the headset to two devices at the same time and is a cracking little feature which is very handy if you’re the type of person that carries a number of devices around. Once you’ve paired both your devices, simply place the headset back in its case or in the ear and it will pick up whichever handset rings first. This is on feature that should be present in all future headsets.

Other features include adaptive volume adjustment which removes the need to have a physical volume rocker on the headset itself, DSP (Digital Signal Processing) noise reduction for clarity during calls, and helpful voice prompts to guide you through its operation. The Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217 also offers a talk time of five hours and a standby time of a staggering three months!

BH-217 | In The Box

  • Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217
  • Carrying Clip
  • Car Cradle
  • Two Different Sizes of Changeable Ear-Buds
  • Two Different Sizes of Changeable Ear Hooks
  • Nokia Charger AC-3
  • User Guide

BH-217 | Usability

When fitted into the ear, the headset sits pretty snug without any discomfort. If you decide to go for a jog in the park however, I would recommend using the ear-hook provided. But during normal daily activities I don’t find the need to use the ear-hook. I would suggest trying all the different earpieces to ensure you use the correct one that fits, as the wrong sized earpiece may cause pain over a period of time.

The sound quality of the Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headset is simply amazing. The DSP noise reduction cuts out most outside noises and even in the busiest of places, the person on the other end of the phone can hear you completely clearly. This is one area the Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset was flawed. Although it had its cool features, the sound quality on the headset end was fuzzy to say the least. But with the BH-217 the sound quality is perfect, and the automatic volume adjustment may have its part to play in this.

In terms of user tested battery life, as the Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headset is only switched on during the duration of a call, the battery will last much longer than your average headset. So I tested the device by leaving it switched on and connected to my handset whilst listening to music. It lasted a lot longer than stated in the manual, as it was still working after a nights sleep. In terms of ‘normal’ usage, it will probably need charging every few weeks, and may even last for a full month depending on how often you use it.

BH-217 | Final Thoughts

The Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headset is by far the best bluetooth headset I have ever used. The sound quality is how it should be, the battery life is what I’d expect it to be and I believe Nokia has hit the nail on the head in terms of its size, thickness and weight. The Always Ready feature along with the active case is pure ingenuity. If you’re in the market for a new bluetooth headset I strongly urge you to check out the Nokia BH-217. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. You can pick up the Nokia BH-217 Bluetooth Headset in Ice White and in Stone Grey from for around £24.95 GBP, which is a reasonable price to pay for this cracking little headset.

Make sure you also check out our Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset Review. We’ll continue to review more headsets and devices, so make sure you follow us on twitter or fan us on Facebook to stay tuned.