Nokia E3511 Review : Quality ANC earbuds!

Introduction

Rich Go is no longer a stranger when it comes to quality products and accessories. Once a skeptic, now a believer, the strategic partnership between Nokia company and this relatively unknown company has yielded products that resonate well with the Nokia we know. The devices are priced accordingly with good specification and a build quality that is sure to last. Unlike the higher end pro series offering active noise cancellation (ANC), the P3802A, the Nokia E3511 comes with a more wallet friendly price tag, and newer features to the affordable segment.

Nokia E3511

The Nokia E3511 is currently replacing the E3500 which is their highest offering in the Essential series of earbuds. It comes in three colors, white, black, and blue. The box comes with the earbuds and the case, a USB C charging cable, user manual and different sizes silicone ear tips. It comes with a minimalistic designed case which has a metal feel to it unlike the plastic ones of its predecessor. My review unit here is white, with a metallic colored case with matte finished texture and a white accent around it.

A single LED light on the front, just above the USB C charging port with a clever color indicator is all there is on the case. The LED indicator shows a solid green light when the battery capacity is above 30% which turns to a solid amber once it’s below this value. When the battery capacity is less than 10%, it shows a rapid flashing amber light. Similarly, when it’s connected to charging cable, it shows a slow flashing green light which becomes a solid green light when fully charged. The clamshell charging case once opened, reveals a new addition. A reset button, which negates the need for cumbersome maneuver to reset the earbuds if you ever need to. A dual charging pin for either headset with magnetic connection makes the charging process a breeze. The case themselves weighs about 40g with each individual buds weighing at 4g. The light weight ensures comfort for prolong use.

When it comes to the specifications, the Nokia E3511 comes with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 which ensures high quality connection, less drops and ease of pairing. While it’s a shame that it does not support the apt-X which made the E3500 standout from the crowd, it does come with ANC feature which is a rarity at this price point. Battery life is rated at 6.5hours without the ANC mode on and a little over 4 hours with ANC enabled. It comes with a single MEMS microphone on each earbud unlike THE E3500 which houses 2 mic per bud. The 350mAh charging case takes around 2 hours to charge and in theory should allow up to 4 charges.

The Experience

Having used the E3500, I was pleased with what it offers, especially the addition of apt-X support and Qualcomm cVc for improved call quality. And the E3511 while lacks both, does compensate by having additional features. In terms of comfort, the buds sit securely in the ear and the weight is negligible. The sound produced is rich and crisp and doesn’t break at loud volumes. But it does lack the extra level of depth when it comes to bass, though it is on par with the best HMD has to offer for now, the BH 805. The touch panels are easy to access though I experience a delay in the response about 1s after the input. The audio notification for the different modes that is ambient, and ANC is not as loud as I would want it to be. Having said that, the touch inputs are accurately registered.

The Competition

Being in the Essential category, the Nokia E3511 does not pretend to be something its not. It does not challenge its siblings in the Professional category, namely the P3600 and the P3802A. For once, the Pro series is definitely in a league of its own, with a higher price point and offers better hardware.

When compared to the E3500, the improvements made on the E3511 are obvious. Although the dimensions of the case are pretty much the same, the E3511 buds are much more compact and lighter than those on the E3500. The metal case with matte finish does gives a reassuring feel when held. The mesh on the E3511 is metal as opposed to the cloth type on the E3500 which means it’s generally more durable.

When compared to the P3802A, Rich Go’s first ANC buds, the differences become more noticeable. The P3802A is a niche product and its safe to say, it will be an overkill for the general consumers. The six microphones give you unparallel clarity while eliminating background noises. It also comes with a larger transducer at 12.5mm and a larger battery life. The Essential series on the other hand is targeted more for the general consumer use, providing a balanced hardware and price which is more than adequate for many. When factored the price in, the E3511 certainly is a more compiling device.

What’s surprising is the E3511 seems to compete directly with Nokia BH-805, HMD Global’s first ANC buds. Both supports ANC and comes with a single microphone. But the E3511 does better as the more compact design allows much more comfortable experience for prolong use. It comes with a longer battery life and supports newer Bluetooth technology. The larger transducer on the BH-805 unfortunately does not translate to better audio reproduction. In essence, both device offers very very similar ANC and audio quality. But the E3511 is roughly half the size and half the price!

Conclusion

In general, most earbuds provide some amount of noise cancellation passively by virtue of design. Thus, ANC is generally not going to be a deal breaker for many unless the buds are used in noisy work environment, on daily commute in public transport or simply listening in public places. While the experience is not as immersive as the headphones with ANC, it gets the job done adequately.

The E3511 is a good choice for those in the look out for ANC buds that doesn’t break your bank. It is safe to say that you get to enjoy what the BH-805 has to offer at half the size and price. But if audio quality is what matters to you, the E3500 is still recommended as it packs the extra punch thanks to the apt-X support.

Do catch my review here for more live images and comparison to the Nokia P3802A and Nokia BH 805.

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