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Philips SHC5100/05

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£39.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
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      13.05.2011 11:34
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      5 Comments

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      • Reliability

      Disadvantages

      Philips offer a decent quality set of wireless headphones at a decent price.

      I really hate those ear bud headphones. They hurt my ears, always fall out, and usually it is only a matter of a few short weeks before one ear falls silent. I think they die of embarrassment. I really wanted a decent set of headphones, the kind that harked back to my 70's childhood: headband type, padded foam about the ears, the works. If they were of the new wireless sort so that I could listen while doing my housework, that would be the icing on the cake. The problem I had realising my dream was two-fold. 1. I live in a village outside of a small market town, and no shops around here carry such wonders. Nope, however several do have those ear bud types for 99p. Wow! Such bargainacious quality! (Sarcasm intended!) The second problem was the pairs recommended to me via Amazon were more than I could afford.I did not want to throw good money after bad and buy a cheaper set only to have to buy another one later at £30-60 a pop that would break the bank rather quickly.

      Then along came an invitation to join Amazon Vine, and a pair of these babies was dangled before me. Ah...retail price not so expensive at about £30, so would they be decent enough? What the heck, they're free and I got to try them and review them. If they were what I wanted and needed, fandiddlytastic! If not, it wasn't my money thrown into the wind. So, I requested a pair, and a few days later, the parcel man came a knocking with my prize. Once I had the box in my hands however,I was a bit hesitant. I'm going to to admit that having to put gadgets together daunts me a bit, and yep, this comes with some assembly required. Nothing to too difficult however. Just some batteries (included!) to place under a cover in one side of the head set, an antenna to slide over a rather wimpy looking bit of plastic "thread" on the base unit, and then plug the base unit into the wall, switch it on. Next plug the headphones into the base unit to charge. For 10 whole hours =.=

      Once charged, I happily put these to the test. First I tried watching a DVD on my PC, to see if there was any distortion. I figured if watching an anime with a techno soundtrack didn't distort it, then I was pretty safe. Next, I listened to some J metal from a CD.Then I played a Japanese language lesson CD; I could hear the enunciations clearly. Finally, I played around on Youtube. I did notice some hissing in the background at first, but I fiddled with the sound settings on my PC and then adjusted the volume on the headphones and made the discovery that if the volume on the PC was turned all the way up, and then volume on the headphones adjusted to comfort level, the hiss disappeared. Problem solved. As I want to wear these to use at my PC while others are watching TV , I decided I also needed to check for sound leakage. So, placing the earphones on my daughter's head, we had a second mini test. There was indeed some faint sound leakage, so we adjusted the sound level on the headphones a bit more until it was gone. She could still hear, albeit it was fairly soft. I tried it at the setting, and she was right. I could still hear it, softly but clearly, not unlike watching a TV late at night with the sound down to avoid waking everyone up.

      Now, being wireless means I can move about, and I have to say the range on these things is great. I've worn these up on the second floor and not had the sound cut at all. I've worn these to the end of my driveway while fetching in the recycling bins from the kerb, and the signal came through loud and clear. I wore these to the end of my back garden and inside my brick utility room while doing laundry and visiting the freezer, and I was able to groove all the way there and back. The sound leakage problem has proved a non issue, as my daughter has watched streaming anime on my PC with the sound turned up, while I sat nearby watching TV, and both of us could hear just fine. The leakage was so slight, I never heard it over my TV. Another bonus is the way the headphones adjust fit.

      They are self adjusting, so that when my daughter takes them off and passes them to me, I can slide them right on and they magically fit just right.The padding is covered with a silky feeling nylon fabric type fabric that is not only soft, but doesn't rub irritatingly against even my sensitive skin. The power button placed discretely with the other controls on the headset means that battery power can be conserved when they are not in use, and I must admit that we have only had to charge them up twice in the past month and a half despite what I consider heavy usage. Between using these for listening portions of language lessons (times three people doing them separately), to my bopping along to music while doing housework and even sometimes while working on my novel, to a few hours of streaming video most nights during the week, these get a fair bit of activity.

      While I would not advise these as being perfect for the discerning audiophile, I can say that for the money, these are just the ticket. Once the sound levels are adjusted to compensate for the initial faint hiss, the experience itself is pleasurable.The sound is not tinny at all, and voices sound natural and ungarbled. Likewise, listening to the alternative J rock with wailing synths and screaming guitars through the headphones was a pleasure . Being able to walk around listening to my music while in another room making cups of tea and the like without disturbing others in the household is a real bonus too. For the money and what I want them for, they offer excellent value and as the base unit has a two channel selection so that more than one set may be used within the house, I fully intend to buy a second pair for my kids so that I can have these all to myself.

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