Nokia has a protracted and illustrious historical past in relation to client tech, however that is often in relation to telephones. After being one of many main handset makers within the 2000s, the model has had a resurgence just lately due to HMD World. That very same firm is chargeable for Nokia’s present vary of audio merchandise, which embody wi-fi earbuds, over-ear headphones and a Bluetooth speaker.
As you would possibly anticipate, its “Important” line focuses on delivering a fantastic core expertise with out the excessive price ticket. However at below £50, have the E1200 wi-fi headphones reduce too many corners in pursuit of a low worth? I spent a couple of weeks with them to seek out out.
Design & construct
Low cost plastic construct
Nonetheless pretty comfy
Simple to make use of bodily buttons
Nokia has opted for a really conventional design for the E1200 headphones, consisting of two padded ear cups related by an adjustable headband. It actually appears to be like the half, particularly on the shiny black end I examined – it is also accessible in blue when you’d choose.
Nonetheless, inside seconds it turns into very obvious that this isn’t a premium product. The total exterior is coated in a cheap-feeling plastic, whereas at simply 197g they’re a lot flimsier than the pictures counsel. It’s good to have the choice to fold away the earcups, however the steel hinge enabling it doesn’t really feel significantly sturdy.
It’s essential to pay attention to these weaknesses, however none felt like dealbreakers to me. Nokia has clearly prioritised performance over aesthetics at this worth level, which I completely perceive.
They’re not essentially the most comfy headphones I’ve ever used, however I had no drawback preserving them on for an prolonged time frame. I wore the E1200s a few occasions for our weekly podcast Quick Cost with none points, due to loads of delicate padding on the earcups. Related help is offered on the headscarf, stopping any of the onerous plastic from digging in.
Like every other pair of headphones, the dimensions of the headscarf will be adjusted to go well with you. There are ten totally different positions accessible, however with no quantity indicators, it’s guesswork every time you set them on. I’ve fairly a big head so saved it on the most place, however you may not be so fortunate.
Nokia hasn’t been delicate in relation to branding right here, emblazoning its emblem on the skin of every earcup. This space appears to be like primed for contact controls, however the E200s use bodily buttons as a substitute. It’s an very simple system, consisting of quantity rocker, bass increase toggle and energy button.
Nonetheless, the latter does supply some further performance: a single press will play/pause music, whereas a double press bizarrely calls your most up-to-date contact. This was fairly a shock when it first occurred, so that you’ll must be cautious to keep away from by chance triggering it. With none companion app, these controls can’t be customised.
All these buttons are situated on the left earcup, above a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio – there is a 1.2m jack-to-jack cable within the field that can assist you with that. Disappointingly, charging is through Micro USB, regardless of most tech merchandise embracing USB-C a number of years in the past.
There’s no protecting case as such, however Nokia has included a gorgeous drawstring carrying bag, which ought to take up a lot of the influence of any bumps or drops. When the headphones are folded down, there’s loads of room right here for different equipment you would possibly need to deliver with you.
Sound high quality & options
Glorious sound for the value
Notably suited to fashionable pop
Bass increase possibility, however no ANC
At this ultra-affordable worth level, sound high quality is all the time going to be a priority. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that the Nokia E1200s have been a nice shock. Its 40mm drivers helped ship the form of punchy audio that you just’d anticipate from costlier cans, even when there’s a noticeable drop-off in comparison with premium headphones.
To discover this in additional element, I examined a number of songs from Amazon Music’s ‘Better of Extremely HD’ playlist. Amazon says ‘Extremely HD’ is round 10x the standard you’d anticipate from common music streaming, near what you’d anticipate from a CD. Any audio weaknesses are subsequently because of the headphones or its Bluetooth reference to the telephone, not the music itself.
First up was Lizzo and Cardi B’s “Rumors”. Whereas the lyrics are very express, sonically it’s very spectacular. A mixture of punchy, atmospheric audio and thumping bass makes for a fantastic expertise, even when some element is misplaced.
Mass-produced songs are a key energy, as Ed Sheeran’s “Dangerous Habits” additionally reveals. Urgent the bass increase bumps up the depth to good impact, with vocals crystal clear. It’s an identical story on “Don’t Go But” by Camila Cabello, which actually transports you to a Latin American occasion.
This fulfilling expertise isn’t restricted to pop music, although. Excessive tempo nation songs equivalent to “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes are a enjoyable pay attention, even when the guitar backing observe is barely misplaced on this specific tune.
Nonetheless, slower tunes that target vocals or solely a few devices present a number of the E1200’s weaknesses. That’s evident in “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish, which lacks a few of its common emotional influence.
I needed to look elsewhere to check how the headphones dealt with older songs. Queen’s “Don’t Cease Me Now” was remastered in 2011 and it reveals – I used to be capable of hear every particular person instrument, even when Freddie Mercury’s vocals missed a few of its common readability.
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain Excessive Sufficient” can be an fulfilling pay attention. Nonetheless, it lacks punch in common mode, when you lose some element with the bass boosted.
The E1200s aren’t particularly suited to classical music, with Beethoven’s “Für Elise” sounding barely washed out. Given this observe completely entails the piano, I wasn’t too shocked, however different classical tracks aren’t significantly spectacular both.
As you possibly can see, the music expertise is a bit up and down. Don’t anticipate each observe to sound nice, however those who do are very fulfilling. The E1200s are persistently good for podcasts and receiving calls, however with only one microphone, your individual voice loses some readability.
Except for boosting the bass, there aren’t any different methods to customize the audio expertise. You miss out on each a companion app and lively noise cancellation (ANC) right here – you will discover each these options on costlier cans. It’s significantly disappointing to overlook out on ANC, however not a shock at this worth. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, there are many different choices.
Nonetheless, the E1200s do help digital assistants, specifically Siri and the Google Assistant. I examined the latter, which picked up my voice positive and delivered clear responses. Simply be sure you have the “Hey, Google” characteristic turned on throughout the Assistant settings for hands-free entry.
Battery life & charging
As much as 40 hours of music playback
Comparatively sluggish charging through Micro USB
Nokia has taken the weird step of confirming the battery capability of its headphones – the E1200s have a 500mAh cell. This would possibly sound alarming when you’re acquainted with smartphones, but it surely’s loads for a pair of headphones.
Certainly, Nokia says you possibly can rise up to 40 hours of music playback on a single cost. That’s up there with the perfect you’ll discover on any pair of headphones, though watching movies and making calls does deplete the battery a lot faster.
With out utilizing the E1200s solely for music I couldn’t take a look at the 40-hour declare particularly, however battery life held up very effectively throughout testing.
One minor criticism is that you just’ll should depend on your telephone (or different related gadget) to understand how a lot battery is left. It will be good if battery degree was introduced while you turned them on, as is the case with the PuroPro headphones. Nonetheless, the E1200s will mechanically flip off after a couple of minutes of not being related, serving to to avoid wasting additional battery.
When the headphones do finally want a cost, sadly it’s through Micro USB. Utilizing the cable included within the field, it’s going to take you round three hours to go from empty to full. There’s no quick charging right here, or particular claims when you can’t keep plugged in for that lengthy.
Worth & worth for cash
The E1200 headphones aren’t broadly accessible, however they’re extraordinarily reasonably priced. Within the UK, they’re accessible for simply £49.99 through Amazon – that is down from an unique worth of £59.99. The Amazon UK hyperlink is the perfect place to purchase them within the US, which works out at round $67 (plus $12 delivery prices).
Amazon can be at the moment providing an extra 20% off, through a coupon field on-site. The official Nokia web site highlights quite a lot of different sellers, however none are primarily based within the UK or US.
In fact, the E1200s aren’t making an attempt to compete with the perfect headphones you should purchase. Lots of the choices accessible at this worth level are wi-fi earbuds, which undertake a really totally different kind issue.
There’s a model of those headphones with ANC help, however they seem like China-exclusive for now. The listed worth of ￥349 interprets to round £40/US$54, however the RRP is more likely to be larger in the event that they ever seem within the West. If ANC is essential to you, our greatest noise cancelling headphones chart has loads of options.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt the common model reviewed right here nonetheless gives nice worth for cash.
If you happen to’re on a decent funds however nonetheless need a fantastic pair of wi-fi headphones, Nokia’s E1200s might be for you.
They ship nice sound high quality for the value, significantly excelling at pop music and voice-based content material. Even the much less spectacular tracks are an enormous improve on most built-in audio system, particularly these you’ll discover on a telephone.
Battery life is one other key energy, with as much as 40 hours of music playback translating to a number of weeks of utilization for most individuals. A budget plastic construct would possibly however some individuals off, however I didn’t discover it affected consolation an excessive amount of.
When you settle for the inevitable compromises dotted all through the E1200 expertise, you’ll be pleasantly shocked by every thing on supply right here. That makes it a fantastic place to begin on this planet of wi-fi headphones.
Nokia E1200 headphones: Specs
Frequency vary: 20-20,000Hz
Wi-fi: Bluetooth 5.0
Options: Bodily quantity controls, Bass increase mode
Microphone: 1x Electrical Condenser Microphone (ECM)
Voice management: Google Assistant, Siri
Battery life: 500mAh battery, as much as 40 hours music playback (marketed)
Charging: Micro USB, round Three hours for full cost
Weight: 197g (with out carrying bag)