This product will be harder to review than most of the audio products I have reviewed because of the price. It only costs £5 therefore no matter how bad they are I can’t be too critical. I have a pair of £60 Sennheiser H495 as reference cans. But I also have some £5 in the ear Sony phones to make a direct comparison too. It won’t be at all fair to constantly compare these headphones to ones costing 10 times the cost! I bought these phones for use in public transport when I won’t feel safe wearing my Sennheisers. They cost around £15 in Dixons but I picked my pair up for just a fiver in Pound Stretcher. The are a large closed back design with not much support so they can become uncomfortable at times, they also stand out a little in the crowd. The lead is also short at 1m but its not really designed for proper HI-FI use, it designed to be used with portable CD players. That’s enough said about the actual physical design, I am now going to talk about the most important thing from any audio device no matter what the cost and that’s sound quality. From first impressions it impresses with its power and dynamics, the bass also surprisingly fast if not deep. The treble is comfortable though perhaps a little unrefined and not very detailed. The tonal balance is on the bright side though not overly bright but this may become a problem if used with bright electronics such as those typical from Kenwood or Pioneer. This means that they sound exciting but also unnatural even when used with my £700 HIFI separates you always get the impression that the sound is not real and its being played on a stereo which you shouldn’t do on any HIFI worth its salt. I am now going to compare them to similar priced Sony in the ear phones. With the Sony’s you get muffled bass, extremely sharp treble and extremely bright and unclear vocals. I also remember I pair of £6.50 Ross phones I had a few years ago and they sounded extre
mely dull compared to the Philips. If you are a little confused I will try to explain the above in very plain English, if you want to pay less than £10 for your headphones then your unlikely to get better than these however if you have a decent HI-FI these headphones have too many faults in its tonal balance and vocals. You would be better off buying some slightly more expensive ones such as the £20 AKG 44’s. I only use these in occasions where my headphones might get stolen, at home I couldn’t live with them. To give a simple conclusion they are better than any other headphones costing £5-£10 but they are not worth Dixons selling price of £15. They will make a good buy if you want to replace those cheap in the ear headphones you get with your Walkman but that’s about it. I’ve got to be honest with you though the fact that your reading a review about headphones this cheap means that you won’t be bothered about audiophile quality, is that’s the case these make a good buy. Well done for Philips for making half-decent sound headphones for just £5!