Nokia might still be well known for smartphones today, but little is known about their audio product lineup, which isn’t licensed to HMD Global Oy to manufacture and market but rather, a Shenzhen based company called Richgo Technology that exclusively manufactures Nokia branded mobile accessories.
I’ve got my hands on the Nokia P3600 wireless earbuds for several months, while I can’t say it is the most exciting earbuds that I have seen, it has a few things that caught my eye, such as a really nice metallic storage case, Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX Adaptive support, dynamic and balanced armature drivers, these are premium features that pique my interest in auditioning it and fortunately, it delivers.
Retailing at RM599, the Nokia Pro P3600 comes in a premium aluminum box that’s not only refreshing to see, but also one that you would want to keep rather than throwing away, inside the box you get the aluminum charging case that stores the earbuds, a soft fabric pouch, a user manual, two pairs of extra eartips and a short USB A-to-C cable.
I fell in love with the aluminum charging case of the P3600 when seeing the first time as it reminds me of the iPod’s shiny aluminum back, unfortunately that love didn’t last long as the glossy surface attracts fingerprints and scratches in no time, my unit is already scratched despite my attempts of storing it carefully in the provided pouch.
The earbuds has a familiar ergonomic L-shaped design that we have seen in many wireless earbuds, I was hoping that it would have a matte casing but unfortunately it is also a glossy one, which makes it look a little cheap and similar to the charging case, it can get scratches if you aren’t careful with it.
Fortunately, the earbuds fits well in my ears and I find the noise isolation to be pretty good despite lacking any form of noise cancellation tech, it also doesn’t slip out like some other wireless earbuds when I work out with it, and you will be glad to know that this pair of earbuds are IPX4 rated against water splashes and sweat.
Like any wireless earbuds, the Nokia P3600 springs into pairing mode as soon as you open the case. Despite having the latest Bluetooth standards, it doesn’t support Swift Pair, so you will still need to do the conventional way of connecting the earbuds through your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
The earbuds’ capacitive touch controls worked fine, though you will need to put in effort in remembering the number of taps for certain features, such as holding the left or right side for 2 seconds to adjust music volume, triple tapping the right earbud to trigger your voice assistant, double and triple tapping the left earbud to toggle ambient mode and gaming mode respectively.
While the Nokia P3600 has no other flashy features, it delivers excellent sound performance just that mainstream brands don’t offer at the same price range. With a 8mm Knowles balanced armature and single dynamic driver, the sound separation between vocals and instruments is pretty obvious especially when listening to pop music, the sound signature is satisfyingly warm and I love that it produces decent mid-range and high frequencies, while it doesn’t produce a deep rumbling bass in certain tracks, it still manages to produce thumping mid-bass decently.
One of the best tracks to try out the sound separation performance is Billie Eilish’s No Time to Die, where most earbuds fail to play the chorus properly, the Nokia P3600 delivers that department beautifully, preserving the details of the instrumentals that you can even hear a soft drum beat and not distorting Billie’s beautiful voice, this audition is done with Apple Music on the Galaxy Z Fold3 and streaming the lossless audio quality to take advantage of the aptX Adaptive codec.
The Nokia P3600 offers up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge and the charging case will extend that up to 24 hours, I did a battery drain test with a 70% volume and the earbuds died after 5.5 hours of continuous music playback, which is accurate according to the claimed battery life but a rather standard figure for modern wireless earbuds.
To be honest, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the Nokia P3600 just like its phones, but the Nokia P3600 earbuds proved me wrong, though there’s no denying that this is an OEM-licensed product with no relevant Nokia sound technology onboard, it also lacks brand and marketing awareness compared to the rest, while its asking price of RM599 puts it close to some of the best wireless earbuds I have tested, it is definitely a tough sell but not difficult to recommend if you want a no-nonsense wireless earbuds that offers balanced, detailed sound and modern Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
The Nokia P3600 can be purchased for RM549 at Good Deals by KLGG.