Product Type: Philips headphones
Newest Review: ... (2012) £9-00 from Comet, £12 to £15 elsewhere online (Amazon UK £13-00). General Design & Quality Similar to what I have had befor... more
A Trying Time With TV Headphones!
Member Name: Nar2
Date: 17/11/12, updated on 17/11/12 (89 review reads)
Advantages: Long cord, comes with large jack adaptor, silver finish, lightweight, inline volume, cheap prices.
Disadvantages: Ear pads not replaceable, can get sore after a short time's wear, flimsy, cord eventually tangles.
On a recent visit to Comet, the only "cheap" pair of what looked like a promising product is a pair of lightweight "flight" headphones called "Philips SHP 1800 TV headphones." The name itself is a curious attractant. The design itself harks back to the standard "luxury flight," headphones that used to be equipped with higher priced Sony branded Walkman CD and tape players and for a brief moment, the design took me back to many a good time armed with these kinds of lightweight headphones before the more modern push to bring large sized cups back to the market from the music studio and into the shops. As I recall though, in years gone by, my original Sony flight headphones had to be thrown out because the thin black foam pads had rotted away and no replacements were available, thus providing a bit of a waste of a product when no pads are available - and sadly with this product, Philips do not include similar replacement pads if the original ones wear off in use or put in storage.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Model: Philips SHP 1800-00 Indoor Corded TV Headphones.
* Comes with large jack adaptor/3.2 with 3.5 fitted as standard.
* In-line volume control and 6 metre cord length.
* Lightweight feel with non-replaceable pads.
* Claimed "bass beat vents" per ear pad.
* My price (2012) £9-00 from Comet, £12 to £15 elsewhere online (Amazon UK £13-00).
General Design & Quality
Similar to what I have had before my Sony, the Philips SHP 1800 are extremely lightweight and mirror the kind of small, metal banded and likewise round foam fitted headphones you'd find with many a personal tape or CD player given away as a free accessory for use from products in the 1980's to the 1990's. Even now, as future buyers will now find cheap in-ear earphones with budget priced players, at least there is a market that Philips have re-opened here with the alternative design if you don't like an entire material or rubber based cup clamped over your ear and snugly lying across your head.
Made of thin black plastic with a black thick plastic band to replace the old metal type, a ratchet style height adjustable band and then a likewise thin black wire and in-line volume control via a small ribbed disc wheel with round "dot" decals shown on the volume increase and decrease, these headphones don't seem to be made to a budget just by the details on the in-line volume control alone. Certainly, if the in-line volume control wasn't fitted and the oval, curvy ear pads didn't have the silver branded names on the exterior, I probably wouldn't have bought these headphones at the time of purchase.
General Performance & Sound Quality
Although lightweight to the touch and lacking a foldable mechanism by the now more accepted "DJ" style by definition, the Philips SHP 1800 give me a good fit on my head. In use, they don't slip off my head and they fit me quite well, helped by the height adjustment. Their small nature and lack of folding mechanism make them suitable for use at home only, even if I have taken them with me to practice privately before a gig.
If you think that you are bypassing other headphones by price alone in the hope that you'll get bass thumping sounds from the Philips SHP 1800, you may well be disappointed. When I was using these to rehearse on my electronic digital piano, I found the SHP 1800s perfectly acceptable for general private practice, even if I realised early on that the sound leaks if the volume is generally set from medium to high, producing a very bright high tone sound quality. Not tinny alone though because there is some treble and bass present in the mix, which is a welcomed surprise.
Unlike other headphones on the market though, the Philips SHP 1800 does possess a warm bass sound, but add too much volume and the ear pads will start to crack and distort the sound, proof enough that although there is some warmth added when it comes to hearing the sound - it may readily spill the sound out of each pad dependent on the power of your amplifier at the time of use. Though they aren't up to the job of being able to relay loud music, they provide a suitable standby for private listening at home with volume set at an average level, with the only impending downside remaining that the sound becomes tinnier the higher you go with the volume.
When it comes to using for listening to radio or as its name suggests, TV watching, the Philips SHP 1800 come into their own with a much better result, only helped along by the infinite control of the in-line volume roller wheel and its ribbed nature, though can be sore on the fingers if you push too hard! The long 6-metre cord is of ample length though, but it may infer you to sit closer to your television if the headphone jack is located on the rear of the TV as opposed to the front. Voices are crystal clear and the clarity that the sound quality gives off here seems to work better with spoken voices as opposed to power-packed music.
Generally the only aspect I don't like about the Philips SHP 1800 TV headphones is that they get quite sore after 30 minutes use. Comfort above the pads seems to be better, only because the plastic parts are better made but still feel flimsy at the end of the day. If these were really intended for use for watching television, I can only imagine that Philips would do more on the comfort side of things when it comes to designing a thicker foam pad to ensure longer "watching time" on TV. Generally although the pads don't get too hot or leave my ears sweaty as I would do from other styles with bigger ear cups, the Philips SHP 1800 begin to make my ears ache from the thin black foam pad, making them less of a product to depend on as a necessity and rather instead, headphones that can only be depended on for occasional use.
Other downsides consist of the 6-metre cord. Whilst it is long and ample enough for use for connecting to many devices including televisions, the cord can tangle a lot, making it a bit of a trial and patience process to unravel it all, before its length can be used. Philips should fit a holder on these headphones or on the cord itself where excess cable can be wound up when not in use. If Sennheiser can do it with their just as pricey middle of the range in-ear earphones, Philips should at least be able to offer a likewise clip on an oval holder at the very least!
On the one hand, the whole concept of Philips' justification of producing a lightweight alternative to over-the-ear large cup headphones for TV watching could so easily be a great idea.
However, the actual design of the earphones aren't very comfortable, you don't get replacement pads and for a company who pride themselves on being eco-friendly, I'd have thought Philips could have included a pair of replacement pads at the very least. Add in a tangle-induced long cord with no storage and a sound quality that is neither too bass rich or too tinny and you have a compromised pair of ear phones here, not enticing enough for buyers who prefer these alternatively designed lighter cup styles. Although handy for its long cord and in-line volume control, the Philips SHP 1800 headphones are compromising and if you sacrifice comfort for general longer term usability, these headphones should serve you well. Sadly though, when it comes to continuous use above half an hour, my ears just can't take the thinness of the pads! Thanks for reading. İNar2 2012.
Summary: Sounds like a good compromise for large cup headphones, lightweight, cheap but can be sore.
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