Stylish and understated with their dark-red enclosures and silicone ear-tips, these Philips SHE8000 ’buds are obviously gunning for the Sennheiser/SoundMagic market. In looks, in fact, they’re one of the nicest looking pairs we've seen. But, of course, as the Nixon The Wires prove, a pretty face only gets you so far…
Like the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS55s, the SHE8000s are hung from the ‘superior bass’ peg. In our experience this can mean one of two things: genuinely superior bass, or woolly bombast. And in this case it’s unfortunately more of the latter.
The low frequency performance isn’t taken to extreme levels, thankfully, but we’d like a little more dexterity when it comes to bass drums and rhythm.
On its own, that might not be too much of a problem – but matters aren’t helped by the somewhat recessed midrange and an over-controlled quality to high frequencies.Imagine an hour-glass, in fact, and that’s what the SHE8000s’ sound looks like.
Mellow sound appealsThere is a flip-side to all that restraint, though, when it comes to ease of listening. There’s a mellowness to the Philips’ sound that’s quite appealing, especially when listening over long periods, and for all the slightly tubby bass there’s still decent (if not world-beating) separation between instruments.
More after the break
Likewise, stereo imaging is reasonably precise. We find ourselves caught between two stools with these Philips earbuds.
On the one hand, they offer an easy-going, decently detailed sound – but we just can’t get past that slightly fat-bottomed bass and notched-out midrange.
If you like a mellow, rounded tone to your headphones, though, these are worth a whirl.