I was very excited to check out the Nokia Go Earbuds+ TWS-201. You know why? Because I still have the Nokia HS-47, a WIRED model that still works and looks nice.
The Finns have always been good in the audio department. But is Nokia still relevant when so many Chinese brands are killing it?
You also have to consider the fact that the price is not at all low, about $40. Let me remind you that the most affordable TWS headphones that I had were 4 times cheaper. Besides, Nokia has stylish models for the same price, like Nokia E3100.
What’s in the box
But the Nokia Go Earbuds+ TWS-201 are positioned as a more serious option. The set is quite ordinary: instructions, a warranty, Type-C to Type-A cable, as well as a set of silicone ear tips in three sizes.
I’ll start with the earphones themselves. Yes, visually they are, let’s say… very close relatives of the Apple AirPods Pro. I am not saying that this is bad. But I am obliged to note this.
The buds have the same shape of the main module, very similar acoustic cutouts, the shape of the leg is rectangular. At the bottom on the end are contacts. On the “leg” on one side there is a recess for touch controls.
The plastic is glossy. The place of soldering is visible, but it is done as evenly as possible.
The case is neat, matte black, with a flat cut along the contour. The Nokia logo is on the front, just below is the charging indicator, and at the very bottom is the Type-C port. At the back is some basic information.
The main thing that worried me about Nokia Go Earbuds+ in advance was its characteristics. And I will not say that I was disappointed, but… Bluetooth 5.0. The frequencies are standard, from 20 to 20,000 Hz, impedance is 32 Ohm, sound is stereo.
There is IPX4 standard, support for mono mode, good bass, a well as 6.5 hours on a single charge, and about 20 more hours from a case that charges via Type-C in less than an hour. The weight is 4.3 g, including a case which 45 g. The range is about 10 m.
Connecting the buds is quick and hassle-free – you take them out out of the case, open the Bluetooth menu, find the TWS-201 model, and connect it.
How to control the earphones is a completely different question. The touch-sensitive area is on one side of the leg. Adjusting the earphones in your ear without pausing the song is quite possible
On the other hand, it will be problematic to get out one or both buds without touching the area, and without activating the voice assistant; you have to hold both the top and the bottom of the leg at the same time. Also it will take a long time to learn combinations of possible gestures in order to use it.
You can turn the buds off and on physically by touching and holding the sensor for 3/5 seconds.
The sensitivity sometimes disapppints, and instead of switching the track, I often turned down the volume.
The fit is very good. Just like the AirPods Pro, it’s tight, and passive sound isolation is excellent.
The manufacturer promises enhanced bass due to a huge, for TWS-models, 13-mm driver. And the bass… is good. One of the best I’ve heard from an inexpensive headset. True, this is offset by sharp high frequencies. But the mids are quite good, the vocals are pleasant and clear, although it all depends on the mastering of the song.
The 3D environment doesn’t even try to be something more than stereo 2.0, but in Puscifier – Momma Sed (Tandemonium Mix) starting from 2:43 the vocals are perfectly visualized from left to right, converging towards the center.
This largely depends, of course, on the equalizer, but if the earbuds themselves do not have this support, then the equalizer will not work at all.
The microphone is weak. When someone is speaking a bit too loud, it can hurt your ears, so the volume should be lowered. It’s okay, but nothing special.
The noise reduction is hyper-aggressive – on a noisy street, speech intelligibility is worse by 40%. But the street noise is not heard AT ALL. And this is neither good nor bad, audibility in any case is minimal. But perhaps turning off the noise reduction have a positive effect on the battery life.
If we compare this model with other inexpensive TWS devices, then the Nokia Go Earbuds+ TWS-201 is quite competitive. Yes, it does not have any special features, such as wireless charging or ANC, the controls are a bit weird, and the design of the buds themselves is not original. But on the other hand, the battery life is good, the case is impressive, and the sound quality is very nice. For $40, this is a decent option.