12 June 2017

REVIEW: Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones

Bye bye, world.

The above title is a lie. Although we are indeed about to review a pair of Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones, the actual name of this product is the Philips SHB8850NC. We know, right? Pure sex. Why 'SHB8850NC' couldn't have been replaced by something awesome like 'Sound Killer' or 'Noise Blocker' or 'Immersatron 6000', we don't know. Still, that's what the name is, so lets try to move on with our lives, okay?

So although the name of these cans left us feeling little wanting, the product itself did not. The Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones combine two very useful features for modern headphones; Bluetooth and active noise-cancellation. That means that as well as connecting to your phone or music player wirelessly, the quality of the sound will be better, as outside and ambient noise will be blocked.

Despite those two huge bonuses, the Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones aren't all that big, and they feel like pretty standard Bluetooth headphones. This means they will fit into your bag without bother, although it is worth mentioning that there is no carry case or pouch in included. They do seem quite robust though, and we were never concerned putting them 'naked' into a bag for the daily commute.

They are very flexible and comfortable on, however. As well as the headband flexing, it also extends above both cans, and the cans themselves pivot and swivel. The cushions for both ears are large and plushy, so even larger heads won't feel compressed after wearing them for prolonged periods. The box also includes a phono cable, as the Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones can also connect that way, should you wish, as well as a USB cable for charging. Another one to add to the pile.

So, once charged up, connected to a phone, and placed upon a willing skull, how did they do? Very well, to be fair. Switching on the Noise-cancelling mode is as simple and long-pressing a button on the left can, and once activated you feel as if you've been transported to the mystical realm of Everyoneshutup. It served to block out a massive chunk of background sounds, and we were very happy to discover that the sound of a train running and a bus engine were both completely erased. Ambient chatter was also lost, except for that which was right by us. We could imagine that these would also work wonders on a plane.

Because the ambient noise was all but eradicated, it meant we could hear our music clearer. That means no need to crank up the volume, and therefore zero distortion. It also reduces the risk of permanent ear damage. As a result, everything sounded nicely crisp and clear, although our socks weren't completely knocked off. They were great - not incredible - but great. However, considering that these are both Bluetooth and Noise-cancelling for less than £100, and we will happily accept just great. Add to that one-touch NFC connections and call handling, and these suddenly become very much worth it.

The small size and noise-killing ability make the Philips Wireless Noise-cancelling Headphones (or, y'know, the Philips SHB8850NC) perfect for travelling and commuting. You might have a larger, more immersive pair saved for home listening, but we feel these could definitely become your go-to 'phones after a while.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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