We have recently tested various premium headphones with noise canceling, and the price does not lie with most models. But, active noise canceling can also be found on slightly more affordable headphones, such as the Philips PH805 (TAPH805). You can read how this model performs in this review.
Since the beginning of this year, TP Vision has not only been responsible for the Philips TV part; the audio part also falls under the Sino-European company. One of the newest products from Philips Audio is the PH805 (TAPH805). This is a noise-canceling headphone that has four microphones (two inside the earcups and two outside) that can filter outside sounds up to 95 percent (up to 27 dB). The ear pads are made of soft memory foam and have touch controls.
With the physical buttons you can play, pause and start the next or previous song. The Philips PH805 is also equipped with two drivers of forty millimeters, which offer support for music in high resolution. The wireless headphones weigh 235 grams, you can fold them and take them with you in a travel case.
You connect the Philips PH805 via bluetooth 5.0 (without aptX) and once connected the battery lasts 30 hours (without NC) or 25 hours (with NC ). With five minutes of charging it is possible to use the headphones for two hours. You can also use a cable and use the headphones without using the battery. The price of the PH805 is just under 180 euros.
Design and comfort
The Philips PH805 is a chic product and that is not only because of the headphones themselves. The first thing that strikes you is the case in which the headphones are delivered. This is largely made of plastic, has a premium “look and feel” and offers good protection. In addition, it is a spacious case, in which also the USB charging cable, the line cable for a wired connection and the aircraft adapter are hidden. The headphones are folded in, which makes the case thin enough to carry comfortably with you.
The PH805 itself is a sleek and modern looking headset, also largely made of plastic. You can't really tell that because the whole is nicely finished, comes in a matte black color and has natural and sleek shapes. It is also not a bulky headphone, but one that actually fits exactly around your head without sticking out too high or wide. The appearance of the PH805 even suggests that we are dealing with a more expensive model. If we still have to mention a minus point then it is the sensitivity to smudges and fingerprints. On the earcups in particular you will see spots appear quite quickly.
The fact that the headphones are made of plastic also contributes to comfort. The PH805 is a very light headphone and therefore it is very comfortable on your head. You hardly feel the headband and the cushions of the earcups are very soft and fit perfectly around the ears. They close you off from the outside world without being disturbing or too hot. In addition, it is convenient that the headphones can be fully folded. You turn the earcups inwards and then you can bend the hinge so that one of the earcups falls into the shape of the headband. You can 'fold' the headphones even further into a compact package that you put in a (large) jacket pocket.
A point that many headphones sometimes score less on is it ease of use. Too often opted for not really intuitive or non-working touch operation, which means that the user-friendliness is quickly disappointing. However, Philips has opted for a combination of touch and physical buttons, and luckily that works out well. Touch is only used on the right earcup, where you control the volume by swiping up and down. If you tap the earcup you can choose from three sound modes for noise canceling; off, on and Ambient Awareness with which the music fades into the background and you can talk to someone quickly. This works intuitively and smoothly, so we have nothing to complain about. You can go forward or backward in your playlist via a physical button on the right earcup. Push the button forwards for the next song and backwards for the previous song. If you hold the button forwards or backwards, then you flush through numbers. If you press the button, the music will pause or start. Within five minutes of setting up the PH805 you will understand how it works, and that it also works well.
What we miss a bit is an accompanying app with which we can still further personalize . An app with, for example, the possibility to adjust an equalizer, choose different sound modes, update firmware and perhaps give the headphones their own name.
The most important thing about headphones is of course the sound quality. Being able to enjoy your favorite music in a comfortable way, in the highest possible quality. The Philips PH805 also scores well in this area.
First of all, it must be said that the Philips PH805 does not support bluetooth aptX. Instead, the headphones use SBC, a somewhat older codec to pack audio and send it to a speaker or headphones. SBC is intended to make the bitrate of the music as low as possible, which is good for the connection but not necessarily the quality of the music. With the more recent aptX, more data can be sent per second, making it possible to play audio files of CD quality in higher (CD) quality. The experienced user will immediately hear the difference, but for daily use and perhaps the target group of this model, it will not be a major loss.
To start, we test the PH805 without noise reduction (NC) because you achieve the purest view. The PH805 offers good audio reproduction in this mode, with plenty of details, warm and forthcoming vocals and sparkling treble. However, the low tones predominate, and depending on the music style chosen, the reproduction may appear somewhat woolly. It will be a deliberate adjustment from Philips because it is not at the expense of the high or mid tones. We would therefore like to have had access to an equalizer in a corresponding app to adjust this to our own taste. The headphones offer a reasonably good balance, with a fine placement of the sound around the head. The view is not closed, but rather more open and dynamic. The emphasis is on a warm display, and that is something that you like or don't like. It makes the PH805 at least a pair of headphones that you can use to listen to music comfortably for a longer period of time. The headphones perform very well on both low and high volumes and have virtually no distortion problems.
The PH805 is a headphone with active noise canceling, so we have also subjected it to various tests. According to Philips itself, the headphones should be able to filter out 95 percent of the ambient noise thanks to the use of four microphones that analyze the ambient noise. Combined with a good passive closure of the ear by means of closing ear cushions, this should ensure that you no longer suffer from the environment, for example when you are on a train or airplane. After having used the PH805 in various busy and noisy situations, we can conclude that the headphones are a mid-range motor in terms of noise reduction. Most of the noise, especially the lower frequencies, is filtered out without any problems, making you feel like you're in a much quieter world. But it is not completely quiet and calm, since some mid and high frequencies still pass through the filters and are lightly audible, and in addition active noise suppression itself also introduces light noise that can be heard in the music especially during quiet or very quiet moments. These are two downsides that remain activated with the NC function activated, but on the other hand, the headphones are able to filter out the really disturbing bass, making listening to music during the flight or train journey a lot more comfortable. The quality of the music is – as with other headphones with ANC – slightly compromised. The range is slightly less and the whole feels a bit more closed, but here too you never give in so much that the comfort deteriorates or that you hear a big difference with the moments that noise canceling is switched off. All in all, the PH805 with ANC is a good pair of headphones, but still has to tolerate the real (and expensive) top models.
Battery life and Bluetooth connection
One point that we are certainly satisfied with is the battery life of the Philips PH805. The headphones last a long time on a single charge, even when you turn on the noise canceling. We had to charge the headphones without NC after about 29 hours. With NC we arrive at around 23 hours. The Bluetooth connection is also stable and we can listen to music without any problems at a comfortable distance from the smartphone.
The Philips PH805 is actually an all-round headset for an affordable price . The suggested retail price is 180 euros but you can already buy it for 150 euros. For this amount you get a headset that looks more expensive than it is, comes with a chic and protective case, is user-friendly in operation, lasts a long time on a battery charge and is very comfortable on the head. With regard to these points you get more than you would expect for this price. In terms of sound quality, the PH805 is priced at value and for 150 euros you get a good sounding headset with ANC performance that places it in the middle segment. Small downsides are the sensitivity for greasy fingers, the lack of an app and the lack of support for aptX. For those who do not have the budget for a high-end ANC high-end headset and who do not have the ultimate desire for noise canceling, the Philips PH805 is a good alternative that can hardly be faulted.