Phonak Audeo PFE232 review

Simply don’t sound quite good enough to justify the high price Tested at £300

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Good fit and choice of audio filters, but the basic sound isn’t strong enough.


  • +

    Good to have option of integrated mic

  • +

    comfortable fit

  • +

    choice of audio filters


  • -

    They simply don’t sound quite good enough to justify the high price

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

£300 is a lot of money for a pair of in-ear headphones. Perhaps aware of that, Phonak has done its best to offer plenty of extra value.

They come with an Apple-compatible in-line mic and remote, a detachable standard audio cable (which sounds better), ‘silicone ear guides’ in to which you can slide your cables to help them loop over your ears, and a choice of Comply foam and silicone ear tips.

Three ‘tuning’ options

Most interesting is the choice of three changeable audio filters: one enhances perception of mid-frequencies, one does the same for bass and treble and there’s one just for extra bass. The tool to change them takes a little mastering, but the process is relatively simple.

The filters certainly have an effect, but regardless of your favourite there are conclusions to be drawn regarding the sound.

Outright detail is lacking for this money. The midrange can sound closed and treble frequencies lack clarity with cymbals and high-hats sounding soft. There’s impressive weight to bass and decent timing and speed, but we expect better sound quality for this money.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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