Nokia Essence - Bluetooth headset with NFC pairing

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As part of its Hong Kong press event today, Nokia announced the “Essence” Bluetooth stereo headset, to complement its latest release of Symbian Belle smartphones. While the headset will work with any Bluetooth device, the unique selling point is that easy pairing is possible via Near Field Communications (NFC), which Nokia’s 600, 700, 701, C7-00 and N9, are all equipped with. Read on for specifications and more.

The Essence headset comes in the form of two in-ear buds, connected via fixed cable to a small device with audio playback and call controls, which also houses the Bluetooth and NFC transceivers.

Key hardware features

  • Frequency response: 6-20000 Hz
  • Speaker driver: 10.3mm neodymium with integrated ANC microphone
  • “Bass Perfection Active Noise Cancellation” removes up to 99.8% of ambient noise to deliver powerful bass and balanced sound in any environment.
  • Four professionally selected and tuned EQ profiles.
  • Active Noise Cancellation technology ensures voice clarity on phone calls.
  • Dimensions: 58.9x31.6x15.7mm and 32g mass.
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery, with: 8 hours talk/music time, 240 hours standby time, and 45 minute charging time.
  • Operating range: Up to 10 meters with Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with any Bluetooth 2.1+EDR device. Supports Handsfree 1.5 profile and Headset 1.1 profile.

  • In box contents: Nokia Essence Bluetooth Stereo headset, ear bud covers in six sizes, neck strap, carrying case, Nokia charger, user guide.

The unique selling point of this headset is its NFC pairing. By tapping the headset to an NFC-equipped Nokia device, the Bluetooth pairing will be automatically triggered. Once the pairing is complete, communication between the Essence and mobile device is over the Bluetooth channel. While the Essence will inter-operate with any Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR equipped device, this ‘tap to pair’ part of the functionality is proprietary to Nokia.

The Essence will have an initial RRP of 129 Euros, and will be available in October 2011.

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 24th August 2011.