Philips O’Neill SHO9554/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones : Great earphones

I was initially very pleased with these headphones. They were a major improvement over my old ones especially with the much deeper bass tones and the tangle-free cord. If i’d had to pick on one thing i didn’t like it would have been the slightly garish colour scheme but i couldn’t honestly mark them down for that because i was testing them for free. The “feather” fittings for the ear canals were very comfortable and the inclusion of larger and smaller fittings is a great idea. . But i have been using these for a couple of months now and an age old issue has reared it’s ugly head. I am hardly a vigourous, sporty or rough user and (no word of a lie) not having treated them badly or carelessly i still find that the jack and specifically connecting collar have started to fail. Previously all my headphones with non-flexible rigid jack-collar have failed the same way. Audio connection to the socket becomes intermittent and at times fails completely so when i plug in the headphones and switch on my musical device the sound still plays from device’s external speakers. I can only put this down to the design of the “collar” because it has never happened with more flexible ones. So sadly i’m back to using my old earphones with a lesser sound quality but much greater resilience. A real shame because these o’neill ones started so well :(.

The tangle-free element is almost true, yes whilst wrapped up in your pocket they don’t knot together on their own, however when they do tangle they take a while to untangle. The sound quality is excellent for a pair of in-ear headphones, however because of the cord material, when they brush against something when in your ears, there is a very loud noise.

I’m really pleased with these headphones. I’ve only bought cheap pairs before but i think it is worth paying the extra for these as they don’t fall out of your earsthe packaging is very good – they’d make an excellent present. There’s a good quality outer cardboard box and an inner plastic sleeve. The extra 2 sets of ear piece covers to fit your ear size (or to use when you lose the originals) are orange and grey. You don’t see these pieces in use so it doesn’t really matter what colour they are. They are very soft and easy to wear. The ear pieces are a thin layer of rubber with a huge air gap underneath so they mould well to your ears. I found the smallest orange pair to be the perfect fit and the size variations do make a difference. I can fit all the sizes but one is much more comfortable than the rest so hopefully the choice of 3 should accomodate most people. The cord is a really tiny, tightly woven turquoise and purple design.

Quite clearly when a reputable electronics company (phillips) co-brands with a sports-fashion brand (o’neill) they want to send out a message that the product fits into the crossover. Whether you like the striking looks of these headphones will be totally subjective; the ones i have are purple and light blue (with optional grey or orange ear buds). So i’ll focus my thoughts on the more objective factors. Prosgood level of external noise isolation. In-line jack is tidy and practical with small mp3 players. Braided textile cable sheath looks like it will take a beating. Three sets of in-ear buds are provided of varying size. The as-fitted medium sized blue ones were fine for me. Sound quality is quite acceptable for in-ear headphones at this price mark. Consbass emphasised at the expense of detail in mid range. Cable transmits noise from friction – which is much worse than usual due to friction from the fabric braided sheath. This could be annoying if you are listening at low volumes as any movement of the cable against your clothing will be heard. I am generally pleased with these for light-weight travel in noisy surroundings but the amount of noise transmitted along the cables is so noticeable in quiet listening environments that i wouldn’t recommend them for home listening. That said, my other phones are sennheiser hd280pro closed dj/monitor headphonewhich aren’t exactly compact.

It’s quite difficult to get too excited about headphones, but with these philips have tried to do something a little different. For a start, the vivid colour pattern and bright earbuds, means you should always be able to land your hands on them in a hurry. I’m not a great fan of this type of rubberised, removable earbud (i think its an age thing), the last pair i had, the buds kept dropping off in my pocket, until i eventually lost them all. These buds however fit nice and tight to the headphone, indeed they were quite difficult to change to the other size, which should mean i won’t keep losing them. The phone buds come in three colours orange (small) bright blue (medium) and disappointing beige (large – are people with larger earholes deemed to be more dour. Because i don’t use headphones that often i tend to have two problems with them. Philips has solved one, but not the other. The rubberised earbuds tend to pick up a lot of particulate matter if left for any length of time in a pocket. Ok, i should probably have cleaner pockets, but my musical enjoyment is not enhanced by small bits of my two-year-old’s rice cake. The great thing about these phones though is the cord.

I admit that i’m not an earphone expert, i’ve never been bothered by perfect reproductions of live sound, i’m happy enough to use the bog standard apple earphones included with their products. However, i do like my earphones to be reliable and, if the sound is halfway decent i’m happy. These earphones meet my expectations and more. Firstly, they absolutely and totally block out any sound from the outside. This drives me crazy when out and about, i cannot abide hearing myself huff and puff my way to the station. However, i’ve been using these at work to block out the rest of my open plan office and ringing phones and they work perfectly. I haven’t heard a single phone ring even with the volume pretty lowthe tangle free cord is a novelty and seems to work very well. This was my favourite way of finishing off my earphones in the past, a few knots and tangles at the bottom of my bag and they started to come a bit loose. I’ve been trying to wreck these for months but to no availso, in short, they work well, the sound is good, the colour is funky and they don’t break. You can’t ask much more than that for the price.

In the past i haven’t really been that bothered about `sound-isolation technology’ but having now used these earphones i realise that it is actually a really good thing. The sho9554/10 model is fantastic at blocking out external noise and keeping my music in (at a much lower volume than before). However, a side effect of this is that it is like wearing ear plug so you can hear your own breathing, which isn’t great when doing exercise. Another reason these ear phones are not particularly suitable for exercise especially running is the sound-isolation and heavy duty cord means that you can hear a scratching sort of noise as movement causes the cord to bangs against your clothes. The cord does tangle less, but i wouldn’t say tangle free, as i still have to untangle them before every use. In terms of aesthetics , the colours are quite nice but not sure about the font used for left and right. It is hard to read and a bit over the top. The writing and colours remind me of a swatch watch from the 80’s. (maybe this is a conscious retro look). Overall then i agree with other reviews, very good sound quality, clear and loud – but the scratching is pretty annoying.

Though – to my eyes – this pair of earphones looked garish, when you actually plug it into your player and slot them into your ears it actually looks nice and highly original (i looked in the mirror to confirm this. The uncoiling wire is perhaps one of the biggest pluses over many earphones and they feel like very thin shoelaces. The default earbuds also fit perfectly, but the other smaller and larger coloured pairs should satisfy those who don’t. Sound quality is very good, however, not as good as my pair of klipsch x1s which can be found here for about £10 less – although at rrp they are meant to cost £10 more, so perhaps the comparison is not too fair. The difference is that these are not as loud or as detailed as the klipsch’s but are a good second place. Where it beats the klipsch, however, is that the earbuds are more comfortable, a snugger fit, and have a more durable build all over. Additionally, walking with the philips o’neill pair is much tolerable as there is less noise transferred from the feet, but there’s not a complete absence of sound so they aren’t actually that great if your sport involves running. If you’re just used to stock iphone buds – which are awful – this is way better than them. But in this price range it’s possible to find slightly better actual sound quality, but perhaps by not many competitors.

  • Very Good
  • Usefully robust
  • Stylish and Great Sound

Philips O’Neill SHO9554/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones

Product description, The Specked headphones have great quality and style. And to avoid cable tangle O´Neill makes the cable stronger.Features:+ Type: Dynamic+ Cable length: 1.2m+ Connector: 3.5mm+ 3 sizes of ear sleeves for a customized fit

Box Contains,

  • 1 x Headphones
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    The phillips/o’neill link up perhaps suggested something with style in mind. Even though my set of these was purple and a little unusual for that, tehy in fact look at first sight to be a pretty standard set of in ear headphones. There are some useful subtleties. The jack that plugs into your mp3 player is quite extended and this helps prevent angulation and damage of the cable at this spot. The cabling is bound which not only helps to protect it, but also makes it far less prone to tangle; i’ve found the ‘just get out and use’ element this gives to be a welcome relief from the usual untangling prelude to use. All this is handy for down at the gym which may well be the idea targeted here. I once had some buds which also had a thin ‘necklace’ so if they fell out of your ear then this caught them. If these fall out then it’s up to the one in the other ear to catch them, and you have to hope the large amount of dangling things don’t get caught in machinery with bad effects. I’d prefer the addition of the cord round the neck as backup. The buds fitted snugly and comfortably in my ears using the standard sized buds supplied.

    • Very Good
    • Usefully robust
    • Stylish and Great Sound

    Philips O’Neill SHO9554/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones

    Features and Spesification

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    • Powerful 9mm drivers deliver a deep, dynamic bass
    • Tough tangle-free cable and reinforced connectors
    • Supreme comfort
    • Sound isolating soft ear sleeves
    • 3 sizes of ear sleeves for a customized fit