Many years ago I had the predecessor to these in-ear head phones. I loved them until the day they died and mourned their passing, thinking I would never see their like again. But happy day! This version was brought out with very little difference to the original, in fact I would say the quality had only improved.
Sadly, several years later, these are now on their last legs and I am again bereft. One of the things I love about these headphones is the open bud as opposed to the bullet type things that come on newer models. For some reason these make me feel as if I've dived underwater or my ears are about to pop in an ascending plane. Of course, the newest incarnation of these surround-sound headphones come with the annoying bullet-buds. I'll probably give them a go in the future but for now I'm resigned to buying an old (unused) pair of these mini miracles on eBay for a kings ransom.
The initial thing that attracted me to these headphones was the promise of a virtual surround-sound experience, or as the Philips put it "...innovative reflected-speaker design adds an extra dimension to music on the move".
The headphones come packaged in a plastic and cardboard blister pack that also includes a zip-up fabric case which is surprisingly robust and hard-wearing. When I bought them during a January sale they cost £14.99, however they usually retail at around £25 if you are lucky enough to find them in a store. Online prices vary from £29.99 to a ridiculous £39.99 before shipping!
Side note if buying online!
Beware of the fakes! These will look just right but are often listed as "packaging lost" and ultimately will deliver poor quality sound and break quickly. Of course not all sellers who lost the packaging are scammers but be sure to check eBay guides and such before buying second-hand or suspiciously cheap headphones online. They'll help you work out if you're getting the genuine product.
The cable, jack mount, volume control and main body of the ear buds are white and look and feel good quality. Any seams or joins are smooth and nicely finished. The back of the bud housing is silver coloured with Philips printed on it and a small aperture to allow air flow. The headphones are marked L and R so that it's easy to make sure you have them in the right ears.
The actual bud that goes into your ear is removable translucent plastic that is soft and moulds to the shape if your ear. Only one size is included in the packaging and whilst some people have said they find them a little large I feel they're just right. Maybe I have big ears or it might be that I don't like to push headphones in too far and therefore they sit a little further out on me.
The in-ear buds almost resemble short tubes. They pop over the ridge at the front of the headphone and narrow slightly before extending straight out for several millimetres. I find them very soft and comfortable but should you have a problem or need replacements there are a wealth of bud options available online made specifically for Philips products.
The cable is asymmetrical meaning that one side loops around the back of your neck to prevent tangling.
The in-line volume control is good quality plastic with a smooth slider that gradually adjusts the volume, no startling jumps here.
I'll be honest, I don't really understand exactly how a virtual surround-sound is achieved in headphones but it works so well I don't care!
The first time I used these I listened to some acoustic music and the effect was stunning. It felt as if I was sitting in the middle of the band with the drums and percussion just behind me, the guitars to either side and the singer front and centre. Actually acoustic music is where these headphones really shine, capturing each individual instrument and giving them a deep, rich sound without over-egging the bass.
Whilst the effect is not as intense with all music there is still a noticeable difference and a crisp clarity that approaches professional quality products such as Sennheiser but without the eye watering price tag.
Asymmetric tangle free cable, 1.2 meter length.
Copper Clad aluminium wire with neodymium magnet to enhance bass performance.
15mm Speaker driver delivers crisp, clean, non-distorted sound.
24k gold-plated 3.5 mm plug.
Maximum power input: 50 mW.
Sensitivity: 106 dB.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Good quality, long lasting, stunning audio quality, comfortable, in-line volume controls, long cable, attractive design.
Cons: None for me but some people have said they feel the in-ear buds are a little large.
If you can find them, buy them! I cannot recommend these headphones highly enough and will sorely miss them when they're gone.
These Headphones are great, the Virtual Surround Sound is amazing. I now use these headphones all the time. The only problem is the wire, it only lasts around 5 months for me, although I use my headphones 9 Hours a Day Minimum. I have got use to them now, I try other headphones and the sound isnt the same, so I keep going back to these, although I have to buy 2-3 sets a year, I think its worth it, especially because I use them soo much, I love music and the sound has to be perfect, and these are perfect sound quality, but not perfect build quality.
I had these earphones bought for me for xmas for my Ipod after my ipod earphones suffered a death in my pocket.
The sound quality of these headphones are quite good, and create a new dimension of sound with their "surround sound" feature, however these earphones do tend to lack in bass, and you do thend to find that you need to turn the volume up to hear the finers points of music.
In terms of fitting these earphones are simply horrible, the buds are huge, most of the sizes will not fit and the smallest size which can only just be inserted hurts my ears, who are these earbuds made for Big Ears from Noddy? Also, the headphones fall out at the slightest movement, are completely impossible to listen to whilst walking.
If you have quite small ears like myself i would suggest you look elsewhere for earphones.
The pricing for these earphones are normally around £10-£15, for what you get I'd say these earphones aren't a bud buy, but obvisouly the ear bud sizes will be a concern, if you do have large ears though, i would reccomend these.
I bought these to replace my ipod nano earphones wasn t expecting much for the price, ive purchased a few pairs of various makes (heavy handed kids) for similar price and were ok but nothing special,(ordered off ebay,) I was very suprised with sound quality, crisp, clear sound, lacks a little bass but easily adjusted on ipod or mp3 player, ear phones are white in colour, suits my ipod ,good length on wire with a good size volume control about a third of the way down the lead, the earphones came boxed with a small oval shaped pouch, black in colour with phillips written on it, to store earphones in , but the pouch is big enough to store my ipod in, with an elasticated strap to secure it inside ,also comes with a spare set of rubber plugs, to sum up good set of earphones at a fair price, worth a look. (ps fit well inside ears).