Current testing methodology is v1.2
15 December 2022
11.7 x 11.6 x 3.9 cm
IPX5 (Water splash resistant)
I’m sure that we all had Nokia phones at one point. Known for their products’ durability, Nokia was one of the most popular brands for mobile technology back then but when smartphones became all the rage, it couldn’t keep up.
Nokia has been recently making a comeback in the consumer tech scene with their release of audio devices – one of which is the Nokia E3100 wireless earbuds. The brand started taking an interest in wireless earphones and headphones this year but it wasn’t well-received by consumers.
I’m here to give Nokia a try though – maybe their audio units aren’t that bad. So let’s get to the review of the E3100 earbuds.
A bassy pair of TWS earbuds for around $30
Back then, Nokia is a household name in consumer technology, known for its durable mobile phones. Now they’re making a comeback with their audio devices release. One of their recent releases is the Nokia E3100 which features an energetic V-shaped sound that mostly comes from the bass region. The mids and treble also have their own unique characteristics.
It’s priced at around $40 at some online stores and it’s a great addition to your collection if you’re a fan of the brand. If you’re after sound quality, you may want to reconsider cheaper TWS sets as the Nokia E3100 isn’t the best in terms of performance.
- Type: True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Earphones
- Drivers: 6mm Driver
- Frequency: 20 – 20,000Hz
- Sensitivity: 91db
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
- Active Noise Cancellation: IPX5 Water Splash Resistance (Only for the Earbuds and not for the Charging Case)
- Microphone: Single Microphone
- Control button: With Physical Buttons in Each Buds
- Earbuds Battery Capacity: 45mAh
- Charging Case Battery Capacity: 400mAh
- Earbuds Charging Time: Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Charging Case Charging Time: Around 2 hours
- Working Time: Around 10 hours
- Wireless Charging: No
What’s in the Box?
- Nokia E3100 TWS Earbuds
- Charging Case
- 3x Pairs of Ear Tips
- USB-C Charging Cable
- Instruction Manual
- Warranty Guide
Stuff I like
- Massive sub-bass presentation
- Energetic sounding
- Long battery life
Stuff I like less
- Recessed vocals
- Sound quality is generic
- Lack of inclusions
- Doesn’t have active noise canceling
- Earbuds take longer to charge
I’ve been having a bad sleeping schedule lately and to deal with it, I usually grab my phone and browse the internet. While scrolling, I came across a post advertising the Nokia E3100 and it caught my interest because I didn’t know that Nokia released stuff like this.
I ordered it instantly without taking the time to check the reviews. The Nokia E3100 is offered in different color variations, such as black, blue, orange with green, red with pink, sky blue with pink, and black with gray.
Weird color combinations, right?
The E3100 came in a simple box featuring an image of the unit on the front and a random person wearing it on the rear part of the packaging. Opening the box gave me a nostalgic feeling of unboxing my first Nokia phone.
The inclusions that came with the E3100 are different paperwork, a USB-C charging cable, and three pairs of ear tips. I was expecting more stuff as other sets with lower prices came with more freebies.
The Nokia E3100 looks simple and slim overall. Its lightweight profile is also notable. The charging case has a pill-like shape with a matte finish on its surface, which I think is prone to scratches, though I hope not as I’m not too careful with my stuff (I also tend to drop things).
The earbuds are made of plastic material and have this weird stem-less avocado-like shape. It comes with a physical button installed on its outer shroud. The stock ear tips a generic feel though what’s different is that it’s shaped like an umbrella.
For me, the build quality should’ve been better for its price of around $30.
Fit and Comfort
Regarding the Nokia E3100’s fit and comfort, I was surprised that its weird shape didn’t interfere with how it fits in my ears. I think the nozzle is the main reason it has a decent fit. The large ear tips also give an excellent seal as I didn’t need to push it down deeper.
However, there are times when the buds’ seal is too much and it feels like there’s a lot of pressure in my ears. This statement is completely subjective as the fit and comfort may vary depending on the user’s ear shape and size.
The controls of the Nokia E3100 aren’t that hard to be familiar with, though I’d appreciate it more if they were touch controls. I also don’t like the experience when I’m pushing the buttons as they’re a bit stiff, and pressing the buttons on the buds causes them to go deeper into my ear canal, which can be uncomfortable.
Anyway, these are the controls:
|Press Once (on any earbud)||Play / Pause or Answer Call|
|Double Press (on right earbud)||Next Track or End Call|
|Double Press (on left earbud)||Restart Track|
|Press for 2 seconds (on right earbud)||Increase Volume or Reject Call|
|Press for 2 seconds (on left earbud)||Decrease Volume or Reject Call|
|Triple Press (on any earbud)||Activate Voice Assistant|
Another thing to add is that holding the buttons for 6 seconds restarts the earbuds and 9 seconds for factory resetting them.
What I don’t like with the set of controls is that there’s no option for the previous track.
I tested the Nokia E3100’s microphone with phone calls and the experience was horrendous. In phone calls, the audio from the mic seems choppy, and repositioning them didn’t make any improvements. However, the mic doesn’t have the said issues in audio recordings.
One of the main reasons why people dig TWS units is the convenience of calls as they don’t have to use mics with long wires just to converse with someone clearly. It’s upsetting that the E3100’s problem lies within this.
I hope that this issue is just a hardware problem with my unit.
It’s common for wireless earbuds to have an energetic profile. Why? Because most listeners are more familiar with this tuning type and Nokia knows the target.
For non-audiophile listeners, the Nokia E3100’s tuning may favor them as the massive bass region powers most of the tracks. But for a discerning listener like me, I think the bass is a bit overbearing and it somewhat dominates the other regions, making them sound like they’re left behind.
Also, the sound definition isn’t that clear and it feels like I’m listening to the radio. I’m trying my best to be nice with my comments but the E3100’s sound quality isn’t just clicking with me.
What’s commendable about these earbuds is the soundstage. It has nice width and height that contributes a lot to the dynamics. The depth is okay-ish but for me, it’s somewhere in the below-average rating.
Observing the bass presentation of the Nokia E3100, there are traits worth noting but, of course, there are also bad ones.
The good thing is that the bass presentation is big. It could also go deep. Listening to my favorite hip-hop and EDM tracks makes my head bop and vibe with the music. What’s disappointing is the bass tends to roll off in some tracks. This is one of the things I usually observe when it comes to the lows. It’s not just about the attack but also how it is produced.
The mid-bass is also okay. It’s punchy and goes well with the sub-bass but, as what you’d expect with V-shaped IEMs, the mid-bass bleeds into the mids.
The mids of the Nokia E3100 are somehow good. The instruments aren’t that recessed as some significant details are still audible even though they sit behind the vocals.
Male vocals are more forward on the E3100 compared to female vocals. Male vocals have a decent body and they sound full, while the female ones are too nasal and sound like they’re singing through their nose.
Treble-sensitive listeners may find the Nokia E3100 favorable as it’s recessed and doesn’t suffer from harshness or peaks.
The upper region is laid-back, and instruments like cymbals don’t have splashiness on them and are a bit bland to my liking. Also, the E3100 struggles to mimic electric guitars, especially on fast-paced tracks. It loses the micro-details and the musical notes, and everything just sounds like chaos, making it hard to focus on just one instrument.
Considering everything, I think the Nokia E3100 doesn’t justify its $30 retail price. Yes, it’s still quite affordable compared to other brands but ultimately, its cons outweigh the pros.
The design is nice with lots of color options and the build quality is decent. The fit and wearing comfort are also excellent. However, the sound just didn’t cut it for me and the microphone was problematic, to say the least. Plus, the lack of inclusions was a letdown.
In this competitive audio market, you’re sure to find other TWS earbuds with way better performance and better overall quality for about the same price as the E3100. So I’d recommend that you go for these earbuds instead.
Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.
As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life
This post was last updated on 2023-11-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.