Philips TAPH805BK Hi-Res ANC Wireless Headphones Review

Philips is one of the largest corporations that deal in electronic products and have a major interest in lighting, audio and healthcare products. The company was originally founded back in 1891 and now provides a huge range of products and there is a big chance that you own their product in your house already.

PRODUCT INFO
Philips PH805 Over The Ear Wireless Headphones
ManufacturePhilips
Available atView at Amazon

The audio solutions of the company are greatly praised all over the world and the company seems to be providing very innovative solutions lately. Their headsets are available at a very attractive price and provide unique aesthetics and features.

The Philips TAPH805BK

Now, the Philips PH805BK is a headset that is recently released and is targeted towards common masses, as it is a closed-back active noise cancelling wireless headset featuring Hi-res audio, Philips tuned 40mm neodymium acoustic drivers, touch controls, digital voice assistant and rapid charging. The price of this headset makes it a very attractive product compared to the competition especially if we take a look at the features this headset boasts. But everything sounds good on paper, let’s get to the nitty-gritty and see if the PH805BK lives up to its hype or not, Shall we?

Unboxing

The unboxing experience of this headset is fantastic. The outer box of the headset feels very solid and upon opening it, we are greeted by a hard headset case and the accessories.

The front

The headphones are packed inside the case and I must say, the quality of the case is rock solid. It feels very hard and yet it boasts a rubberized texture, which feels quite premium.

The hardshell case is a nice touch

The box contents are as follow:

Unboxed
  • Philips PH805BK Headphones
  • User Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • USB Type-A To micro-USB cable
  • 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm cable
  • Airplane Headphone Adapter.

Design & Closer Look

Now, Philips PH805BK is a modern headset which provides very sophisticated looks and one can feel that at first sight. The headphones look simply amazing once you put them on and greatly enhance the personality of a wearer. The build quality of the headphones is quite impressive for the price but still, most of the material in the headset is plastic, which is why you will have to bear the squeaking and creaking sounds here and there.

A very familiar design

Speaking of the material, there is stainless steel inside the headband, which makes it pretty durable. The top side of the headband is plastic while there is thick memory foam padding in the headband as well. The parts connecting the headband to the earcups are made of plastic and they do a fine job at hiding the seams of the connections, when the headphones are in default shape, of course. The ear cups of the headphones have a grainy/leathery texture to them while the rims have a very fine glossy texture. The top layer of the headphones rocks dark-metallic colour while the ear cups are in black in colour, making a beautiful combination.

Simple and elegant

Now, coming to the comfort of the headphones, first of all, these are over-ear headphones and the ear pads have a varied thickness, which makes them very comfortable. The earpads have memory foam inside and are covered very nicely by the leather. One can wear these headphones for many hours without worrying about pain in the ears or the head, however, since these are closed-back headphones with a tight seal, the ears do get warm after using the headphones for longer periods of time.

Solid construction

As far as the portability is concerned, the headphones can swivel around by 180 degrees and both the sides can be folded inside. With the available case, you can commute or travel with these headphones very easily, without getting worried about the safety of these headphones, although make sure that you do not place the headphones directly into your bag, as the headphones aren’t that durable to withstand high pressure because of the plastic body.

Decent connectivity options

The stability of the headphones is also a great concern and these headphones are quite big to be fully stable, which is why we do not recommend these headphones for running or jogging. However, these headphones won’t fall if you are walking around here and there.

Connectivity

Philips PH805BK is a wireless headset that comes with Bluetooth 5 connectivity, which means that you will be able to play hi-res audio directly from the sources. Bluetooth 5 is only found in modern headsets and the previous versions were not able to provide this level of quality and efficiency.

Apart from wireless connectivity, Philips PH805BK provides a proprietary 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm cable, which can be inserted into the right ear cup. After that, you can use the headphones in wired mode with any of your audio sources. This cable is proprietary, which means that you will not be able to replace it if gets broken and you will have to buy the same cable from the manufacturer itself.

Additional Features

Now, if we talk about some unique features of this headset. The left ear cup only provides a micro-USB port for charging while the rest of the functions are carried through the right ear cup. There is a 2.5mm port on the right ear cup, along with two LED status indicators and a button that can be moved left or right as well apart from the regular press.

First of all, let’s talk about the LED status indicators and the button. Holding the button for three seconds turns on the headphones and you get a voice-feedback in the headphones as well. It can be turned off the same way by holding the button for three seconds.

Media controls

Now, in order to pair the headphones, you need to hold the button for five seconds, after which both the blue and red LEDs will start flashing. After selecting the headphones on the source, successful pairing can be recognized by the blue LED, being constantly on.

If you will be using the 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable, the blue LED will be constantly flashing. The button can be moved left or right to skip to the next or previous track. The button also serves the ANC functionality and you can switch between three modes by just pressing the button; ANC On, which is indicated by a green LED, ANC off with the LEDs off, Ambient Sound, which is indicated by the flashing green LED.

The headphone also supports hand gestures and below are some examples:

You can cover the right ear cup with your hand to pause or play the media. By holding the hand there, you can start Google Assistant. Swiping the ear cup up and down results in volume increase or decrease. There are also gestures for call management that you can check through the user guide of the headphones.

But all in all, the gestures are pretty overwhelming and confusing. You might have a hard time learning how to operate the gestures because the responsiveness is not perfect. Don’t get me wrong here it is nicely implemented but maybe I am just an old fashioned guy who prefers manual controls instead of the high-tech gestures.

Overall, the gesture system makes this headset a very high-end gadget technically more than just a headset, and it is quite compelling how far technology has come and how amazingly Philips threw in so many features in a $200 ANC headphone.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a headset is one of the major components that either make the headset a huge success or a blunt failure. The sound signature of Philips PH805BK has somewhat of a warm feeling to it, yet it is near to perfection considering the price tag.

When it comes to lows, these headphones are absolutely mind-blowing and they provide a great amount of detail in the lows while it packs a lot of punch as well. The lows simply feel fantastic and yet not a lot of it bleeds into the mids.

Minimal profile

When it comes to mids, there is a good amount of detail here, however, there are lots of headphones at this price which will provide better detail and do better instrument separation but they won’t be ANC or even wireless so you are not losing much in the PH805BK trust me.

The highs seem very crisp though. Despite having a recessed feeling, the amount of detail here is substantial and that is why the headphones do a fine job at producing crunchiness.

Soundstage & Imaging

The soundstage of these headphones is great but not the greatest, as expected from a closed-back ANC headset. However, categorically comparing these headphones to other products, these headphones are not at any disadvantage and it is just how the mechanism of these types of headphones is.

If you are interested in a headset having a wide soundstage, perhaps you should look at some open-back cans. As far as the imaging is concerned, these headphones do a fine job. The sound seems very precise and both the drivers had a similar amount of amplitude and phase response, which overall, leads to nice stereo imaging.

Conclusively, the soundstage of the headphones is similar to the other closed-back headphones that provide ANC, especially the Bose QuietComfort series and the imaging of the PH805BK is surprisingly better than the QuietComfort 35 II, a $350 ANC headset.

Noise Cancellation/Isolation

There were a lot of expectations from this headset when it comes to noise cancellation. These are one of the cheapest headphones that provide active noise cancellation and yet provide considerably good sound quality. First of all, the passive noise cancellation of the headphones is pretty good and one can barely hear the outside noise even at low volume with ANC off.

Nicely folded

On top of that, ANC tries to improve things further. It does create a good difference but the competition for this headset is too strong, which makes them a bit pale in comparison with headphones like Bose QC series and Sony WH-1000XM3. There are many hidden microphones in each of the ear cups for active noise cancellation, which record the noise in real-time and then the headphones generate the waves of similar amplitude but opposite in phase, effectively cancelling out the environmental noise. We also came across a slight problem with the ANC that the headphones must have a proper seal for the ANC to work or you would suffer from utter distortion.

Overall, the noise isolation capabilities of the headphones are quite impressive for the price, although there are better offerings if you don’t care about the budget.

Sound leakage

The sound leakage is an important aspect if you use the headphones in a fairly populated room and these headphones do a great job at keeping the sound leakage low. However, with 40 mm drivers, there is bound to be sound leakage and no matter what you do, it cannot be removed unless you turn down the volume. At medium volume levels, these headphones will not be disturbing anybody, that is for sure and we believe this is good enough for most people. Thankfully, the lows are greatly suppressed by the headphones and all that powerful beats do not draw unnecessary attention of the people.

Battery

The battery of the Philips PH805BK is advertised to be around 30 hours. This is unclear whether the advertisement is with the ANC on or ANC off. We tested the headphones for around five hours and coupled it with an iPhone 11, for reference. We played the music for a total of eight hours on the headset with ANC on. The battery was drained by around 20 percent, which means that with ANC on, you would easily be getting more than the advertised battery timing of 30 hours which is very impressive.

Microphone Quality

Although the headphone does not provide a boom-mic, there is a microphone inside the right ear cup. It is a noise-cancelling microphone, of course, however, the noise-cancelling capability is sub-par. The quality of the microphone itself is not that bad, and it feels perfectly fine for communications, although we would not use this microphone for any kind of recording, whatsoever.

Conclusion

Overall, Philips PH805BK is a beautiful headset with an eye-catching design. The comfort levels of the headset are great, thanks to the thick padding in the headband and the earpads. The build quality of the headphones is on par with the price tag, however, it doesn’t feel like it would break down any time soon. The design of the headphones makes them greatly portable, as the ear cups can be swivelled by up to 180 degrees and can be folded as well.

As far as the sound signature is concerned, the headphones are bass-heavy, with a slight recession in the highs and mids. This might result in a tedious sound, however, if you value the lows more than the mids or highs, you are going to love this headset. The loudness and clarity are amazing for the price and matches the popular headsets at this price point. The soundstage of the headphones is small but that is how most of the ANC closed-back headphones are. The imaging, on the other hand, feels great and matches high-end headsets. The sound leakage of the headphones is better than most of the headphones at this price, however, there is still, a noticeable amount of sound leakage in the headphones.

The headphones can be used both in wireless and wired mode, however, the 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable is a proprietary one and cannot be replaced. As for the battery timing, you would easily be able to use the headphones with ANC on for around twenty-hour and more than double of this with the ANC off. The quality of the microphone is not as good as some high-end headsets, however, if you need a microphone for communication, you won’t be disappointed. With the multi-function button, LED status indicators and hand gestures, this headset feels like it’s from the future and the UX of the headset is quite complex to understand but once you get used to it, you will be loving this gadget from the future.

Philips TAPH805BK Hi-Res ANC Wireless Headphones

The Best Budget Wireless ANC Headset

  • Powerful yet controlled bass
  • Impressive sound detail
  • Great comfort levels
  • Subpar active noise cancellation performance
  • ANC felt a bit buggy

Design: Over-Ear / Closed-Back | Drivers: 40 mm Dynamic drivers | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | Frequency Response: 7 Hz - 40 kHz | Connectivity: Wireless | Weight: 235 g | Battery: 30 Hours

VERDICT:With a great blend of price and performance while providing modern design and bass-heavy sound signature; Philips did an amazing job at manufacturing this spectacular beauty from the future.

Price at the time of the review: US $200 / UK £149.61

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Hassam Nasir


As a Senior Editor, I run, operate and implement a substantial amount of work at Appuals.com. I supervise a team of enthusiastic Geeks and also create content strategies. Whenever I am not at my work desk you'll find me tinkering around PC hardware and retro gadgets.
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