Most of us are fond of using our mobile phones as music players, since they carry enough mileage and storage space as well as the convenience, saving us the trouble of having too many devices. For those unwilling to conform to the at-best average headphones bundled with their mobile devices, the Philips SH8808 in-ear headphones look set to be a worthy substitute, especially as it not only has a noise-canceling feature, but it also makes switching between music and phone calls an easy affair. At least that's what it's claimed. We take this AV peripheral to the test.
Looks-wise, the Philips SH8808 in-ear headphones aren't exactly exciting to look at, seeing that they come in a pretty standard dull black body accentuated with silver and black cables. The SH8808 has a 3.5mm socket on one end and a plug on the other, making it possible to extend the length on devices other than mobile phones. It comes shipped with a small black cloth pouch, three pairs of silicon caps and a one-meter extension cable which adds conside to its short 30cm.
We were also kindly given an optional SHH1610 Philips headset connector that's compatible with the iPhone. Owners with other phones can look towards other compatible Philips models. All the above-mentioned peripherals come with wires that are made of a flexible non-tangle material that makes them easy to store without much hassle.
The in-ear headphones felt comfortable, and did a relatively decent job of keeping the noise out (i.e., we couldn't hear ourselves typing). However, it doesn't seem to do well with bass and higher notes - the former sounded rather weak and punchy; the latter, slightly pitchy. Otherwise, we experienced reasonable music playback here with nothing much to complain about.
The SHH1610 Philips headset connector comes with a clip that swivels, allowing the user to easily clip onto his or her shirt, and a dedicated button that switches on and off the music. The mic worked fine, and picked up our voices sufficiently well even in relatively noisy places. However, it would have been better if there was a volume control dial somewhere and we preferred longer wires so that we could put the device into our pocket or a bag.
The Philips SH8808 is a steal at $29.90 even if it's not the best in its range. iPhone users might be interested to take a look too, since it is compatible with the equally affordable but optional SHH1610 headset connector ($19.90). And if you aren't that fussy, the headphones, when connected to the bundled extender, can pull doubler duty on your portable music device or even a gaming console like the PSP.