Laying eyes on the new Philips CitiScape headphones for the first time, we were guessing their price to be around £100, such is the classiness of their styling. And while they don’t feel quite as luxurious as they look they’re mighty comfy on the noggin and grippy enough to stay attached during a brisk amble.
So to hit the very attractive £55 price Philips must have cut corners in the sound department, right? Well, no. The Downtowns might not be perfect, but they are a genuine joy to listen to on an everyday basis.
The key is a smooth and even delivery that ensures nothing sticks out uncomfortably.
That’s not to say the sound is half-baked, though. Bass is deep and even, vocals well-projected and treble nicely sparkly, but no part of the frequency range goes steps beyond its bounds and a degree of rounding-off the edges of notes means there’s never a hint of harshness even when playing from a streaming service such as Spotify.
That wee bit of rounding-off does obviously mean you lose a touch of punch, and detail levels certainly aren’t jaw-dropping, but these headphones are never less than a pleasure to listen to or to wear, and given the affordable price tag and lovely styling that means we still like them rather a lot.