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Philips SBC HC 8410

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  • Not many good looking aliens
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      12.10.2003 20:17
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      • "Not many good looking aliens"

      So you're looking for a pair of wireless headphones and thinking about the Philips SBC HC 8410 ha? Well luckily for you, someone has been there, done that, and probably won?t be doing it again! What you get? A set of wireless headphones; a wireless transmitter which doubles as a docking station for the headphones, an audio connector cable (split left and right channels on one end, miniplug on the other), a two-channel to miniplug converter, and one of those small mini-plug to jack converters. The last two are just an attempt at making the device compatible with different types of audio equipment. They don?t really bare much explanation and are the sort of things you could easily find at Maplins anyway. The Headphones...are rather bulky due mostly to their domed shaped ear-pieces. The ear cushions are made of material (not leather). I found this made them feel rather hot after 15 minutes or so of use, and I found the material itself to be rather uncomfortable. Although I think it just makes the headphones heavier to wear, some people may like the ?bulky? styling. The transmitter/docking station...is rather large compared to some of the competition. It is dome shaped again, and made out of a metallic grey plastic. It houses the transmitter unit and the charger. When the headphones are placed on the docking station they charge automatically. In practice, it takes a little fiddling to match the left headphone with the little power prong. At the back of the docking station there is a three way switch, which enables you to set the device to transmit on three different wavelengths. You will need to use this switch if you are experiencing interference from another radio device or if your neighbour has bought another one of these babies and you?re hearing their music instead! At the back of the station you will also find left and right signal sockets, and a miniplug socket; these are the audio-in sockets and you can use either the left and righ
      t signal sockets OR the miniplug socket, but not both. The performance...was well, rather miserable really. I like my music clear and crisp, and on my set of headphones it certainly wasn?t, whether at close distance or far away. Three things degraded the listening experience. Firstly there was a constant hissing sound (what audiophiles would call ?noise?). This hissing would remain constant as I increased the volume on the headphones then rise sharply as I approach full volume. The hissing was not enough to drown out all sound, but was certainly very noticeable. The second thing I noticed was that low base and high treble sounds where not reproduced. If I had never heard a particular song before I might not notice, but I knew how that song should have sounded and the reproduction of it via the wireless headphones was far from accurate! Finally, I tried the device on several outputs (Stereo, PC and TV), setting each of the outputs to full volume, but I felt the Headphones were under-powered. I tried re-charging the Headphones but this did not have any effect on the sound quality. Verdict...I have a two Philips stereos and have always been happy with their quality of sound, build and features, so I find it hard to believe that the headphones I just reviewed are made by the same people! I do not want to deter people from trying them out (maybe my pair was defective!) so it might be worth popping down to Comet/Dixons and picking up a pair, and if you don?t like them you can always get your money back (buy them on credit card and refund will go back to card at Comet, but always ask sales assistant what returns policy is before you buy!). I am also unsure if the noise I am hearing is endemic to the wireless UHF technology, and I will only be able to comment on this once I have tried out a different pair of wireless headphones *updated*: Refund came in and I bought a new pair of wireless headphones ? see my PANASONIC RP-WF910 review co
      ming shortly!

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