Hardware Review NO. 2 : Nokia BH-503

09Aug08

Wires are the real scourge of our times and I suppose that everybody look at them with disgust, but is there any good substitute for them?

The answer is Blutooth 2.0. If you’re curious if it really does the job, read this article.

Some time ago I ordered Nokia BH-503 headphones which I had on eye for almost a month. I bought it suprisingly cheap (yeah, I am lucky I bought the SU-8W paying the half of the price too😉 )

Sales package contents

  • Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-503
  • Nokia Compact Travel Charger AC-5
  • Carrying pouch
  • User guide

First Impression

The good things:

  • Headphones are done from solid materials
  • The buttons are working flawlessly
  • Easy pairing with my phone
  • Good sound quality (however it could have been better – comparing to high quality wire headphones)
  • The connection is automatically reestablished after you get too far (about 10-15 meters or behind a wall) and go back

The bad things:

  • Seemed a little heavy
  • After an hour of wearing you have to take a break because their weight is causing ear-ache

Following days

I’ve discovered several fine and bad things about those headphones. Firstly their not falling from your head while you’re cycling, running, standing on your hands or even doing backflip’s🙂

Another good thing is the battery- it lasts even 3-4 days if you’re listening for  3-4 hours, so Nokia doesn’t lie about the battery life telling that’s up to 11 hours. Moreover the headphones use the default Nokia charger, so you don’t have to carry any batteries- just your headphones, phone and really small charger (just in case). God, I wish Nokia could have done the external keyboard SU-8W in such way instead of making it on batteries! If we’re are talking about the SU-8W, the phone works with it almost perfect using the BH-503 headphones at the same time! Now that’s what I’ve been waiting for, I can now listen and code wirelessly!

Now the bad things: The phone works a bit slower while you’re using the headphones and if you’re using it too hard the music can become torn. Secondly the signal isn’t as good as it should while being outside, I mean it should be perfect but for some reasons, the signal do not travel well near the ground and if you’re far away you shouldn’t put your phone on your ground.

Btw. What we should be aware is that, that bluetooth is an electromagnetic wave and it interferes with every metal surface exclusively with aerials. -“Aerials… Ok I don’t have any aerials on my backyard…”  – Unfortunetly every metal bar behaves as an aerial and this changes the bluetooth signal in very strange way. For example in one place you have an excellent signal, but doing a step in any direction can destroy your music experience…

On the beginning I alse had problem connecting the headphones to my laptop with Vista, although I managed to do that, if you’re interested in how to do that, please write me a comment. I’ll explain it there. The headphones are now configured in such way that I don’t have to re-pair the devieces and the headphones automaticly choose the available one and connect with it.

Conclusion

As a conclusion I can say that the bh-503 are much better that the traditional headphones for many reasons. If you’re kind of a mobile guy like me you surely should have them.



81 Responses to “Hardware Review NO. 2 : Nokia BH-503”

  1. 1 saut mp

    I interest with your information that you can connecting the headphones to the laptop with Vista. If you don’t mind please explain it to me.

  2. 2 masteranza

    Well it was some time ago however I think I remember it good😉 I will explain it to you this evening (now I have 11:32 on my clock and I don’t have much time)

  3. 3 g_ordon

    what about waterproof ? I had once motorola s9 – it was great, but after some serious biking sweat went all over them and they broke.

    did You test bh 503 against heavy sweating (sweat contains more salt and other electrolites than water, so it conducts electricity better) or at least water?

  4. 4 masteranza

    Sorry for such a long reply saut mp! I forgot about it😦
    Here is your guide how to connect the headphones with Vista laptop:
    1. Be sure that your phone has bluetooth turned off
    2. Prepare your Vista bluetooth menu for new deviece discovery, but don’t turn it on. (you don’t want to waste time configuring your Vista bluetooth later)
    3. Turn on your headphones, but hold on the power button longer until you’ll get rapidly changing blue light.
    4. Start deviece discovery
    5. After Vista found Bh-503 headphones pair them with your own number: “0000”
    6. Now all you’ve got to do is to switch the deviece which is used for sound output. For example to hear music from wmp11 and vista in bh-503 you’ve got to go to wmp-> options->settings->devieces->loudspeakers and select bh-503 as default.
    7. Restart wmp and there you go!

    In similar way you can do it in every music player you have.
    Feel free to ask questions.

    g_ordon – if you’re from Poland you can talk with me in Polish. Although I didn’t check the phone water conductivity, but I have checked it water resistence while it was raining and they’ve done the job.

    • 5 mike

      10q so much i had problems installing my bh-503 but with your instructions it was perfect all the best to you good sir !

    • 6 saumya

      hi i have purchased nokia bh503 headset bt im unable to connect it wid my windows 7 .plz can u help me out wid it,thnx

    • what do you mean configuring vista bluetooth ?

      my windows vista is not calling for passwords , ,what should i do ? can not pair with my device

    • 8 Shiju Mokkath

      hi,

      if you dont mind could you explain below details which you already mentioned in your reply, as screen shot

      6. Now all you’ve got to do is to switch the deviece which is used for sound output. For example to hear music from wmp11 and vista in bh-503 you’ve got to go to wmp-> options->settings->devieces->loudspeakers and select bh-503 as default.

      • Okay, I was not going to answer questions, since I don’t have those headphones anymore, but I’ll do one exception (btw thanks for bumping up 3 year old thread).
        wmp = Windows Media Player you can try to do it still in it’s menu. If it’s not there or you’re using another music player you should search in it’s options. There’s also a chance that in the control panel something has changed – I haven’t looked at windows for more than a year now. So, if it don’t work then try to seek help on some nokia forums, as I said I don’t have those headphones any longer.

    • what of windows xp i have tried also and can one use it fro skype calls

  5. 11 g_ordon

    if we speak in polish, only polish-speaking people will understand. that’s not the point, is it ?😀

    one more question about waterproofness – how do they fit to ears? if I’d sweat a lot, could sweat reach any electronical parts? or diaphragm ? also consider sweat-fall from head – i guess that was the reason why my S9 failed

  6. 12 masteranza

    I would say that they fit my head very good, however they do not fit my friends head well. He has smaller ears than I and much nearer the head.

    Sweat: if you’ve got a long hair than you can have problems with that. As I said before I didn’t test them in extreame conditions, but the main buttons and all the electronics is about a 0.5 cm from head… Although those are ear-holes that sweat not the all ear, so I think it’s rather safe.

    Are you a sportman g_ordon?

    Going back to connecting the headphones to Vista laptop – once you’ve connected them to laptop, you have to turn off bluetooth in laptop or go away far enough to connect the headphones back to n95 8gb… Sometimes it needs even re-pairing.

  7. 13 g_ordon

    riding a bike a lot – I listen music from my NOkia e51, and it is a little bit dangerous to focus on music controls with phone, while riding a bike. that is why i want why i want device with audio controls…

    and i don’t like cords (who does?)

  8. 14 malman

    i managed to connect my bh503 to my vista laptop but I still have the problem about the audio quality. The audio sometimes ok and sometime like it stucked. Sorry for my poor english

    • Have you checked the profile used, if the profile is set to handsfree (micro enabled) it’s sure it will sound bad.. check for audio profile.

  9. Did you try switching between paired devices? I’m struggling to find a stereo headset with real multipoint capabilities (that is, 2 phones connected at the same time, not just phone and music player), but as I’m likely to fail on this one, I may need to adjust my requirements. So I could be satisfied with BH-503 if switching between paired devices is easy.

  10. 17 masteranza

    To be honest I tried switching between paired devices, but your headphones have to be paired with all of the devices you want to switch between and somehow, headphones should know that you want to be connected to exacly this one.
    I achieved it only by turning the other device (yes, only one other).

    laptop -> headphones
    phone -> headphones

    Works ok, but while connecting to a laptop, your phone bluetooth has to be set to off.

    Sorry for such a long lug

  11. So that’s probably not something I need, what I wanted is: I have the headset connected to a phone, Skype on my laptop starts ringing and I have some quick way to connect to it. If I need to disconnect from my phone first, then I need time to access my phone’s bluetooth settings to disable BT and then probably some more time for the headset to connect to my laptop. So if I want to answer a call quickly, these operations would probably take too much time. Am I right?

  12. 19 sumitescp

    Child, I think you will not be able to do what you want. At the moment no headset does that. well i am not too sure but sure enough to write this.
    These headset have 1 bluetooth chip like a standard mobile phone that has 1 antena. Now they will make them with 2 chips like the dual sim standby mobile phones that have 2 antenas. That is what I have been thinking please someone correct if I am wrong.

  13. 20 masteranza

    Well, you’ve got it right below

  14. 21 Gauss

    Very nice information! I like your guide to connect it to Vista. But I have one question.
    Is this headset capable to connect to 2 devices at the same time? What I mean: Is it possible to listen music on my laptop via bluetooth and wait calls from my N82 at the same time?

  15. 22 masteranza

    Unluckily it’s not possibly – at least as far as I know.

  16. 23 ion

    it is possible … ad2p with laptop(phone) for music… and headset with (other) phone for calls.

  17. 24 wmw

    is it possible to make skype calls with the bh 503 with out using the in built mics of my laptop

  18. yes, it’s possible

  19. 26 wmw

    thnx for the information i have placed an oder for one

  20. 27 Crb

    Is it possible to talk with these headphones on ventrilo,skype,teamspeak and others similar programs using built in mic or I have to use another mic to talk? I have already ordered one I couldn’t wait to try it.Sorry for my bad english :].I hope you will understand what I mean😀.

  21. look at posts 17-18

  22. 29 Boy Almarai

    did you try to use it in watching movie to your laptop and also thru TV tuners.

  23. Currently I can’t check it cause I turn to windows 7 and I can’t use the headphones with this system.

  24. 31 Boy Almarai

    But before that you are using XP did you try it. Even in watching movie.. does the audio stream in headset well.

  25. I were using Vista, but I’m pretty sure that it would depend only from the bluetooth software that’s installed. There should be also no problems listening the audio stream watching movies

  26. 33 Boy Almarai

    Ah ok… my Bluetooth device is WIDCOMM. Built in my laptop.DELL INSPIRON 1520 with XP. What do you think?

  27. Go to the bluetooth properties (left or right click on bluetooth icon in systray) and search if there is anything written about bluetooth audio or headphones – if there is, then there are big chance that you’ll be able to connect them to your computer.

  28. 35 Boy Almarai

    Problem is I don’t still the BH-503, on the vista OS did you try to watch movie and use the headset to listen the movie audio…. is BlueSoleil will work?

  29. 36 Somebody

    Hey!

    Is sound on these headset any better than on original headset that comes with N95 8GB?🙂
    Thanks!

  30. No, unluckily it’s a little bit worse (as always in Bluetooth headphones)

  31. 38 Moeen

    Hi

    I tried your procedure to connect the head set to my Dell xps M1330 with Vista but I was not successful. I can pair the computer and the head set. I also could change the default playback device to the head set, but I can nit hear any voice out of it.

    Can you please help me over the issue?

  32. If everything is connected you may check the ‘audio device’ in wmp11 you can find it in tools->devices->speakers->properties->sound playback

  33. 40 Jayman

    I just bought bh-503.. I installed toshiba bluetooth drive.. because xp cannot connect bh-503… Actaull it works with toshiba drive but I cannot use mic.. I want to use this headset with skype… I set mic blutooth wave but it doesn’t work..what’s wrong? anybody knows this? I check with wave recorder.. also it didn’t work..

  34. get sure that a proper devices exists in your recording options – I’m currently using Windows 7 and it’s were this is placed

  35. 42 BaZu

    From now on it works with Windows 7 too, because a new driver was released. Yuppie.

    • Hi i am trying to connect the bh-503 with my HP laptop win7, laptop is able to detect the bluetooth device and able to install but it is not showing the BH-503 headset in sounds.

  36. 44 Esa

    Hi, I’ve been trying to connect my BH-503 to a IBM T43p laptop with XP-pro without success. I also followed the instructions from masteranza very carefully but again without connection.

    Connection to any Nokia phone is OK. I can see the PC and headphones being paired since the BH-503 is listed at BT Devices list on PC. But, the light on headphones keeps flashing green instead of blue (blue = connection OK). The headset is not visible at WMP10 either.

    Any ideas what’s going wrong? Could it be that the IBM Integrated Bluetooth IV on my laptop is not compatible with Bluetooth 2.0 on headset? But this makes no sense since the connection kind of takes place.

  37. Hello, just today found this blog but I have to say that it looks awesome. I fully agree with your post. Have a great day, keep up the nice work and I will definitely follow it.

  38. 46 46u

    I am trying to get my BH 503 to work with my computer for Windows Media Player. I go to the bluetooth menu I add the BH 503 enter the passkey 0000 and it says connected. The blue light on the headset blinks very slowly like it does when connected to a device. When I get out of that window and looking in the bluetooth window it does not show the BH 503 is connected and the light on the head set is blinking green. While I am doing all this I have my phone bluetooth turned off. I am using windows XP professional. I have tried uninstalling the BH 503 and trying again many times but the same thing happens.
    Thanks

  39. 47 allegro

    how do i connect to windows 7, i search over google and didnt find any solutions

  40. 48 Cyber Tom

    Connecting the Headset (similar to every BT-Heradset) to Windows 7 is working like in Vista or XP because the BT-Stack has not changed since then.

    Set the Device in pairing mode. Klick or right klick the BT Icon in your System Tray and choose Discover Device (Add Device in some cases).

    After a while you get a list of all discoverable devices in range. Mark the device and go on to the next page. Type in the 0000 when asked for. Done so far.

    You may have to change some options after this.

    1. Make sure the right Audio Profile is set.
    Again klick or rightklick the BT-Icon in the Systray. Choose “View BT-Network Devices”.
    In the list, rightklick the Headset and choose “Settings”. Move to the Services Tab and mark the A2DP Protokoll.

    2. Make sure your Skype/Media Player/VoIP App is set to output on BT-Headset.
    Most easy way to get this working is to rightklick the little Speaker-Icon in the systray and go to “Output Devices”. Set the BT-Headset as default and restart the Application which you want to use with the BT-Headset.

    3. Do the same steps as mentioned above for the Input Device (easy by moving from the Output.. to the Input tab at the sound settings dialog.

    Some Apps like Skype i.e. let you choose a dedicated sound device for the application. I. e. like WMplayer is playing musik over the output jack which is connected to your HiFi Rack and you can do a Skype/TS/VoIP call at the same time over your Headset and vice versa.

    Have Fun
    Just look for an audio option in the settings/options/etc of the App.

    • In my case my laptop has not asked for any password like 0000. when my laptop detect the headset i just pressed the next button immediately it installed some drivers successfully.
      After this i have opened the bluetooth -> properties -> selected the headset and this time also some drivers are installed successfully.
      But still i am not able to see this in control panel -> sounds.

      could you please help me.

  41. 50 Max

    HI i just got a new Bh-503 headset and it connects to my phone just fine, but now i have connected it to my computer and it says connected but when i try playing a song i can’t hear the sound in the headset.. please help me

  42. 51 Kay

    I got Nokia BH503. Gets easily paired with my Dell E1405, with Windows XP Professional. I can listen music.

    But if I want to use its mic, while connected to my laptop, it is not working. I can record my voice. What do I do ?

    Any Help pls ?

    (My motorolla HS805 works well with my laptop. I can hear and I am able to use mic to record my voice etc.)

  43. 52 Kay

    A minor correction…..

    I got Nokia BH503. Gets easily paired with my Dell E1405, with Windows XP Professional. I can listen music.

    But if I want to use its mic, while connected to my laptop, it is not working. I CANNOT record my voice. What do I do ?

    Any Help pls ?

    (My motorolla Bluetooth HS805 works well with my laptop. I can hear and I am able to use mic to record my voice etc. I use it for chatting on yahoo messenger. But I am not able to use the mic with Nokia Bluetooth headset BH503)

    Thanks
    Kay

  44. 53 wynn

    i faced some issues here where i paired my bh-503 to my windows 7. but after i paired to other devices (handphones). i found difficulties to pair it again to my laptop. and in the end i totally failed to pair it to both my laptop and handphones.

    kindly assist me with this issues. thank you

  45. 54 Kaka

    I’m able to connect my Nokia BH503 to Vista HP laptop successfully but not able to hear anything, would you mind help me in this.

  46. 55 hassan

    dude i bought bh 503 recently trying to connect it with ma laptop aint working is hp dm3 pavilion even though works good with ma phone can u plz help me out
    thanks.

  47. 56 SAUMYA SINGH

    im havng difficulty in connecting my bh503 with my lappy..windows 7-compaq610,plz help me out….

  48. 57 Jason

    Hi all! Thanks for sharing all this!

    I read all the above… updated bluetooth driver (toshiba for VAIO), paired the NOKIA headset with the VAIO, both headset and mic are there…. but AGAIN…. eventhough I choose from the audio & mic settings the device… I still cannot record voice.😦

    The mic is not responding! ANy suggestions?🙂

    thank you all!

    Jason

  49. 58 uc

    please tell me how to connect bh-503 to laptop??????

  50. Hi, i recently bought Nokia BH-503 and having trouble connecting it with my laptop, i have Windows 7 OS and in built bluetooth component in my laptop #help

  51. Hi, i’m interested to connect this device with Vista, i tried anything but i can’t pair the bh-503 with my pc, any suggestions?🙂

  52. 61 Rohan

    Hello….. wish you Good Morning
    i am still using Windows XP on my home PC, recently i buy new Nokia BH 503 bluetooth Hand free. really it is good stuff, i have manage to pair the BH 503 with my PC. but not able to connect my Music and Video player ( not getting sound output on BH 503).
    i am using Windows media player and VLC player ( mostly i prefer VLC player ) for music and videos. please help me to connect BH 503 to VLC player.
    Thanks in Advance !
    Rohan

  53. 62 rahul nair

    my nokia bh503 does not start wat to do pls reply

  54. 63 Nick Dosin

    i also had the one which didn’t work mediately i purchased. it worked fine for few mins then it stopped starting up.. i did visit the vendor and it changed the piece.. i got another.

  55. 64 Sikander Nelson

    hi,
    thanks for all the information you have have provided regarding nokia headset, please let me know how to connect them with my laptop im using xp , my laptop has no built in bluetooth im using external bluetooth, i have tried lots of times but in vain.

  56. 65 Sikander Nelson

    Looking forward for your prompt reply . thanks.

  57. 66 warren2044

    recently aquired bh-503 worked perfect for a while.pushed the power button this morning now i have a continuos blinking blue light,any suggestions

  58. 67 warren2044

    forgot to say i tried reset and clear

  59. 68 ahsanhaseeb

    I have just one problem. It doesn’t fit my head. Help.:/

  60. 69 kumar saurav

    you tooo gud

  61. ya i had too things messed up while connecting’em to my laptop, but eventually got everything sorted, now they work fine with my windows 7, i just make sure that, the drivers are installed , and sound settings, i.e setting headsets as default, in control panel—-sound settings—-set as default.,.if u still dont get them connected come to my fb page, tech geeks[http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tech-geeks/246854932034632] , and we will sort it out……as i constantly visit there.

  62. 71 rashid

    please can someone tell me why my 3 month old nokia bh503 just stopped working? it just doesnt turn on i tried resting with the charger and holding the +volume key and multifunction key but no success.. it was working in the morning ((((( heeeelllp

  63. 72 skyblue

    Dear Friend,
    I recently purched a BH-503 headset, i have 2 laptop one is HP DV9500 with windows vista home premium, other is sony vaio, with window 7 ultimate,
    both laptop have no bluetooth device, so i use a bluetooth dongol,
    the problem is when ever i try to search this BH-503 device its show me after tht laptop asked me for its driver, which is not with me, so i install tosiba bluetooth stack software, its working on sony VAIO, but i cant active it on skype or yahoo messenger , howeaver i send the audio setting on both program as speaker = bluetooth mic = bluetooth which display on list but its not functional , my friend cant hear my voice from yahoo messenger cht ,, but i can hear his voice ..

    please help me to find the driver & the process, how to setup it for my both laptop.. with yahoo messneger specially for my sony VAIO

    am really depress..

  64. 73 LOLLZ

    I connected wid my laptop n the sound quality is worst

  65. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but
    I was wondering which blog platform are
    you using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  66. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was once entirely right.
    This submit truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  67. I was excited to find this website. I wanted to thank you for
    your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it
    and i also have you saved as a favorite to see new stuff in your blog.

  68. If you would like to improve your knowledge only kewep
    visiting this site and be updated with the most recent news updatee posted here.

  69. 78 Fred

    I bought by 503 bout a week ago and it stopped charging I don’t know what to do..please help

  70. 79 Ashish rajak

    Where can i repair this headset, left side speaker is not working ,plz if can help me to get repaired


  1. 1 WOM World / Nokia » Blog Archive - BH-503 Nokia Bluetooth headphones
  2. 2 how to fix a laptop

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