Philips releases an unassuming yet powerful and clear noise-canceling headset, the PH-805, to the market for sound enthusiasts.
I am not kidding when I say that the new noise-canceling headphones from Philips are surprisingly good. When I received them in the mail they looked like a very standard pair of headphones in a standard Philips box. Even when I opened the box they just seemed like any other pair of black headphones you could purchase at any Wal-Mart or Target store. Philips does not even give them a pretentious name or rap artist association. They are just simply called Philips Wireless Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones.
The Philips PH805 headphones come with a nice plain black case, a set on instructions, and a USB to Micro USB cable. This is one small gripe I have, since most good headsets these days come with USB-C. I don’t have to tell most of you that Micro USB cables come in only 2 flavors, not working and soon to be not working. That being said, I am prepared to have to purchase several more cables in the future to keep this headset running. I may add a magnetic Micro USB disconnect cable to maintain ease of use and my sanity.
The body itself is made up of plastic with a black matte finish. This does not feel extremely durable and I am babying the unit out of fear of being that guy with the one broken, dangling earcup. In fairness, after two weeks of use, it really has stood up very well to my use, so perhaps looks are deceiving.
I have fallen asleep with these on and woken up to them still being rock-solid, unlike some other headsets I have reviewed. To add to that I want to say that these are comfortable enough to fall asleep while you are wearing them. The tightness of the headband is strong without inducing a migraine, yet the earcups are soft enough so that when you lay on a pillow there is little to no discomfort.
These Philips wireless over-ear headphones feel ok in the hands. It is neither the strongest or weakest feeling headset I have looked at and the black rubbery finish feels good. There is not much heft to it, so I am guessing that the magnets are adequate but not massive.
My most serious concern is the combination of the Power/Up/Down/Next button. This button needs to be depressed for a few seconds to power the unit and then used as a skip or next button. It feels semi-flimsy and I am very concerned about it. I would have preferred three separate flush-mount push buttons to do this job, and considering the other great features this headset has, I question why this choice was made.
I initially thought that the rocker on the button was the volume up and down but was pleasantly surprised that the earcups have touch controls for that. Even many of my newer and more expensive headsets do not come with this feature, so I was impressed. Swiping, tapping, and pressing on the earcups gives you a great set of options for ease of use once you are used to the patterns. I was afraid that laying on my side would randomly activate these things, but this headset seems pretty smart in differentiating a finger and a pillow or anything else pressing on it.
The active noise-canceling works great! To test it I sat next to my nine-year-old while he was watching Annoying Orange. It is not called Annoying Orange by mistake, so being able to eliminate the noise coming from the TV with active canceling meant I could listen to Alan Watts’ zen lectures in the same room with my son’s noise pollution. This feature can be toggled on and off so that I can hear ambient noise like my fiance asking me if I have seen her car keys, which is also helpful.
The Philips PH805 also has an almost invisible built-in mic with echo canceling and made phone calls clear both on my end and the receiver’s end as well. This is great since you do not need a giant boom mic protruding out of your headset to get a decent sound.
The battery gives you a whopping 30 hours of listening time, but only 25 hours with the noise canceling on, which is still more than ample for me. The Philips PH-805 can also be charged with rapid and quick charge settings, getting you back to your tunes in an hour or so. Even a 5-minute charge will get you 2 hours of listening, which is fabulous.
One of the other surprise features is the inclusion of Google Assistant. When I paired the headset to my phone I noticed that it fired up in my Google things, and I was able to give it commands on the go, which is also excellent and gives me even more of a reason not to get off my couch to get information and have my alerts to remind me to get back to my adult life when I have been having a little bit too much fun.
My favorite thing about the Phillips PH-805 is the quality of the sound. The drivers supply crystal clear highs and a healthy amount of bass with what Philips calls Hi-Res Audio.
I would sum up my experience with the Philips PH805 headset by saying that, for the price point, it really is an excellent piece of tech. It would be great if it had a dedicated app with an equalizer and I am still worried about the power button and Micro USB connector, but other than those things, it really is very impressive—especially in the sound department.
Currently, this model is selling for a little over $162, which may be a bit steep if you are looking for just some average headphones to bob around with, but if you are looking for advanced features and quality sound, this is actually a very affordably priced unit. So get one for yourself or the audiophile that you love, especially if they need a vacation from the chaos in the house.
A sample was made available by Phillips for this review. I did not receive payment for my review or endorsement from the manufacturer, and my opinions are my own.