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Philips SHN2500 Noise Canceling Earphones
Until now we've reviewed many active noise canceling earphones, but they've been the large format circumaural or supra-aural type. I think this is the first time I'm reviewing a canalphone-type, earbuds and all, that offers active noise cancellation. And it’s from a familiar name – Philips. So here's my take on the Philips SHN2500.
Form Factor and Features
This unit is exactly like any other in-ear earphone, though with a lightweight black plastic case to house the active circuit. This is placed at the junction, or the breakaway point on the cord, which splits into two wires for each driver. This box has a largish slider switch on one side to turn it on; and just to add light on the detail, the exposed switch position is orange. The other side has the battery compartment, which seats a single AAA battery.
Two sizes of earbuds are provided, of the regular rubber material. The driver cases are small black cylinders, with a small aluminum ring on the opposite end, on the side which faces outwards while you wear them.
The wire is of medium length, though I feel the NC circuit box should have been higher up in the cord. They feel light enough to wear, and do not weigh you down. Overall they are as portable as any other earbuds, and will work well with pods and PMPs – after getting used to the NC circuit box lying in the course of the cord.
The rated response is 40-20000 Hz, sensitivity is at 102 dB, while the impedance is 72 ohm(hmm..). The magnet is made of neodymium, while the material of choice for the diaphragm is mylar.
I plugged the earphones into one of the new Philips GoGear players, and then to the PC directly, to run some small tests. My verdict of the sound? Well, the high mids, at the frequency range of 7-12K, were bumped and not good, at least in my realm of subjectivity. The reason I’m saying this is I’ve heard some strange opinions on straight up bad-sounding responses before.
Nonetheless, this intensive high-frequency response can most definitely be heard and even liked by some, though the volume should be kept low, or ear fatigue will occur for sure.
The bass is decent; it’s pretty tight too, though it’s not the USP of the product. I actually wanted a little more bass in the music. Vocals and other mid frequencies do get affected by the upward bias in the high mids, and while some of it sounds good, due to a feeling of ‘crispness’, I think its overemphasized. The overall level of this earphone is very loud. It has a decent to good dynamic range, but the depth and ‘3Dness’ is not too good.
The NC circuit first raises the volume by at least 6dB, so it helps to cut noise, and the circuit is not that noisy. There is a bit of noise that's easily audible in relative quiet, though not when music is on. The battery lasted for as long I reviewed it, which was a couple of days, so I suppose that shouldn't be a problem – and besides it works without the NC too.
Rs 1995 is the price, so that makes it one of the cheapest active noise cancellation earphones. It has some good points, besides, so this one goes squarely in the middle. I would recommend it to those who aren't too particular about frequency response, and just want a loud and working NC earphone.