Since I upgraded myself to a Samsung Galaxy S2 and sold my hTC Desire, I have realized that you can have portable music with smartphones. The output of the Galaxy S2 is far more powerful than the Desire and also have clearer sound. This makes for a decent solution when you don’t want to pack all your cables, amp’s and whatnots when you are taking the bus to your job for instance.
Since the phones coming with the Galaxy S2 is of mediocre (and that’s being nice) sound quality – I hardly listened to them before I plugged in my AKG-430 or alternative my Creative plugs. Problem is that the bus sounds a lot, and the AKG 430, while giving a really nice sound – doesn’t really shut out all the engines, wheels, other passengers and noise that well. The Creative plugs are loud, shuts out a lot of the noise – not all – but they don’t sound all that nice in the end.
So after watching the shelf for a new pair of plugs, I was first locking into a new pair of pure hi-Fi plugs – but both the price and me not having read up sufficiently as well as wishing to cut down on on things to carry with me – I moved over to the headsets. After sighing and dismissing a tonne of iPhone headsets – I found a few headsets that actually considered that there are more manufactures than Apple out there – congratulations to you! On this part of the shelf, there weren’t that many. But one pair caught my eye and also sparked a small memory – I used to have a pair of Philips plugs before – I used them a lot and thinking that they weren’t all that – I found that they were really hard to replace, I thought what the heck – ~300 SKr later I walked out the store with a pair of PHILIPS SHE7005A, Android compatible headset.
They came in a plastic shelf-ready solution that got ripped to shreds since the perforated seal on the back of the pack started the tearing rage and only through sheer concentration did I manage to salvage the QR tag. QR tag you say? Oh, yes, you see the package says that the headset comes with a free app for Android and said QR tag takes you directly to the market to download it. Takes a few seconds and voila installed. The phones comes with three sets of ear-buds, small, medium (attached) and large. Nothing you wouldn’t expect in other words. It also has a microphone and controller on the left ear-cable. While this is understandable, I found that my headset use with computers and many other hi-Fi sets with volume controls usually sets the control input further down the cable led me to fumble for it pretty often. The cable is a flimsy rubber one that at least feels like it will not break immediately, but it will most likely end up in a crows nest the way it curls around. It is definitely not tangle free and PHILIPS seems to prefer these thin cords – unfortunately. The left ear-plug has three do dots that you can feel and this makes it easier in the dark to find the left plug and the controller I suppose. A feature that might not be 100% useful – it is at least nice to separate them this way.
So does the app and headphones work well? Yes well, they do. The one button controller makes a decent controller, if not so precise when it comes to adjusting the volume. The controller works by clicks and holding the button down. The default is this:
1 click – play/pause/answer incoming call
2 clicks – next/reject incoming call
3 clicks – previous
long-press – volume up
1 click long-press – volume down
The app also lets you select which media player you would like to have as preferred player. This means that if you plug the headset in and press for play – your preferred media-player starts playing. Nice. However, if you are trying out several media-players – you need to go into setting and switch preferred player or the controller won’t work. I would rather have preferred for a global player control scheme. The app also lets you decide whether it should start automatically when you plug your headset in or not, and you can also choose your heaset since the app will give you some changes for the sound and boost the performance.
So how is the sound? Well, it is what is to be expected from a headphones of this brand and this price segment I suppose. They are very balanced and works decent with all types of music. Using PowerAmp and adjusted EQ they have a richer bass with definition and works pretty OK in the mids and the highs as well. The sound is a bit low though and volume sin’t high – and that is something I notice with PowerAmp.
Switching to the built in media-player (Android 4.03) , the sound changes quickly and the ton is getting flatter, the bass a bit more of a can and volume boosts up. I have the EQ on auto and extra bass to see how they deliver. Using a flat EQ and no effects make for a rather dull and flat sound. Going back to PowerAmp and kicking on some rock shows a better area and the bass is kicking and thrumming along nicely. The highs can get a bit too shallow but in general, if you have the EQ – play around until you find a decent setting. Using the app’s boost is preferable but I have hardly noticed anything using even the extremes of Powerful, Bright, Warm or Clear. I have kept it at Balanced and well, just saying on – gives a boost in mostly richness and power.
The PHILIPS headset works nicely in daily use. It gives you mostly what you would expect: in quality, sound and features. It is very nice to see that more producers are giving you the option of actually have genuine Android support and not only focusing on iPhone. The headset will hopefully keep on delivering and the only real drawback that I fear is that these headphones will meet the same end that my previous PHILIPS plugs did – that of a gap in the cord…