* Prices may differ from that shown
Whilst searching through my many sets of earphones I came across these Philips SHS3200 I've had them for a couple of years now, and I remember I did try to get along with them as best as I could, before I came across the in ear style earphones.
What they look like...
These particular earphones are designed to sit comfortably over the ear whilst still allowing the full effects of whatever it is you may be listening too. To look at these earphones, they look like little ears made from soft flexible plastic, they have the actual part you hear from which about 1cm round with a soft silver mesh like material in the middle. Attached to that is a bendy plastic piece which like I already said looks like an ear, this is the part that fits around your ear, it is extremely soft and flexible and wearing them is quite comfortable at first. The wire to connect the earphones to whichever device you're using is about a metre long which then separates into two equal parts which are each about a foot long to each ear piece. The jack end of the earphone wire is different to other sets of earphones that I have because it isn't straight, it's bent into an L shape, which I hadn't really noticed until I decided to review them. The colours of these earphones are black and silver.
I was looking for comfort...
I remember having a lot of trouble keeping normal earphones in my ears and I had looked for something that was comfortable but would stay in my ears at the same time. At this time I had not yet come across in ear earphones but I did find these Philips SHS3200 earphones and decided to give them a go. They cost around £10.00 at the time but I have seen them on Amazon, currently for £7.68. They did take a bit of getting used to and when first placed around my ear they did feel quite comfortable but unfortunately I could never get them to sit that well for very long on my ears. They did tend to fall off my ears quite often. I did attempt trying to squeeze and mould them around my ears but this didn't have any positive effect for me. The sound quality through the earphones was okay nothing too spectacular, but I guess that might have been because I just couldn't get them to sit right on my ears.
A problem for me...
So with the problem I was facing with these earphones I couldn't really get on with them, they seem to me to be designed for a particular ear shape which unfortunately isn't mine. I guess if they had fit on my ears without falling off I would have been happy to continue using them, like I already mentioned the sound quality from them was okay and I could have quite happily lived with wearing them more often. They by no means cut out all outside noise in my experience of using them and whatever I had been listening too could sort of be heard by others close to me.
So to sum up these Philips SHS3200 earphones, they look quite nice a little different to the usual earphones you can buy, the sound quality is just okay in my opinion but in the long run I don't find them comfortable at all, they are somewhat irritating to me. It's a shame you can't try earphones out before you buy them, but for obvious reasons this is not possible, it's just a case of hoping for the best. I don't think I would entertain this style earphones again, but there must be some people who are happy enough to wear them who also find they fit and are comfortable, but they are just not for me I'm afraid.
Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on other sites.
As most of you who read my reviews will know I am a bit of a sports nut and I like to stay active, I also like to listen to music to keep me going. Now Ive also had lots of either apple nano`s or creative zen (not the best MP3 players- see my reviews on those if you want to save yourself money). So not unsurprisingly, I go through headphones about one every 4 months....generally I find that normal headphones tend to slip out of the ear canal when im running, this was a source of constant annoyance to me and I had to find a solution.
So for the first time I looked at buying inner earphones that hook around your ears, but I didnt want to pay too much for them a I was only going to use them when I was on a run. I settled on these Philips Headphones, mostly because I had had philips headphones in the past and I knew them to be a good make. Relaible and good value for money.
These headphones obviously weigh more then your bog standard inner ear headphones , but the difference is negligible with a weight of around 300 grams. The earphones also have a 1.2 metre long cord which is very handy when your running as it allows me to put my ipod in my shorts or wherever and I can have confidence that the headphones will not pull.
The headphones also stay in because of the rubber hook which is contoured to fit behind and over your ear...it takes some getting used to at first and they start to feel a bit uncomfortable, but after I while you forget the hook is there. The hook itself is smooth and so it doesnt rub. Also the hook and the entire outer shell of the headphones is mostly rubber, which is handy to be waterproof if you find yourself running in the rain. But I did find that after a couple of hours with the hook on I had to take them out rub my ear a bit and let the ear settle before putting them back on....this is the only bad point.
But what is most surprising is that I honestly thought that I would be sacrificing practicallity for sound quality. A transition I was willing to accept to just keep the bleeding things in !! But really although the sound is not top notch as with other inner earphones, it is ruddy close to it. I was so agast at the quality. The headphones have a bass pipe which emphasises low tones for a clear, realistic sound, its got to be best in-class for its performance and sound quality, there is also a 15 mm speaker driver which optimises clarity. Basically the bass and the treble are very good for its size.
In fact these were so good that after a while I actually started to just wear these headphones as my usual headphones all the time, as I soon got use to the hook and forgot it was there, I prefered that especially on packed tube trains when people pushed and shoved past me, my headphones didnt pop out and end up either dangling between my legs or carried off in some unsuspecting strangers backpack with me giving chase.
I believe you can buy these headphones in both black and white, whatever your fancy, I had black ones. When I bought them they cost around £12 but now you can pick them up for around £6...very cheap.
The only other issue I had was that the plastic jack end of the earphones eventually became loose and I couldnt use them as the connection was severed and the sound was lost. But in honesty this has happened to me with lots of diffeent headphones no matter what the cost...its because I use headphones so much. It is not a representation of these earphones quality.
Having bought myself an ipod shuffle for running and cycling (see my other review), I realised very quickly that the head phones it came with- whilst nice- were not going to be any good for me. I don't know if it's down to the shape of my ears (which stick out), the way I run (badly), or that the headphones simply weren't designed for running, but the earpieces wouldn't stay in my ears. I was getting plenty of exercise, but only in my arms because I was constantly having to replace the earphones in my ears.
I decided that I would need to get myself some of the type of earphones that clipped on over the ear, as these would have to stay on, right? Shopping around I found the Philips Shs3200/00 Ear Hook Headphones on Amazon for just over £25. Shopping around a bit more I found them on ebay for £11.50. Seeing this was such a brilliant price difference for a good quality product I had to snap them up. NB. Philips also have a similiar pair of cheaper headphones Shs3200/10. If you decide to buy, make sure you're getting the right ones.
Appearance and comfort
When they first arrived in the post, I was really pleased with the headphones. They looked sleek and stylish without being too noticeable. I can't get away with the bigger sort of over-the-head headphones, so these ones are perfect for me. The flexible clips felt light and surprisingly comfortable, being perfectly shaped for my ears they grip tightly without causing discomfort.
The speakers are 1.5cm in diameter which is about normal I think, and they fitted very snugly inside my ears. When I'm out on my bike if the weather is cold I will sometimes get earache caused by the cold air rushing past and in my ears. Because the speakers fit my ears so well, I have found that I do not suffer from earache whilst on my bike anymore. Bonus! However, I could understand that if your ears are any bigger or smaller than mine you won't find them as comfortable as I did.
I went for a run and was pleasantly surprised by how well the headphones stayed on. I had no need at all to replace the speakers in my ears once I left the house. This was brilliant, as it meant that I could concentrate on running, rather than fiddling around with my mp3 player.
I have since tried them whilst wearing a pair of sunglasses however, and I'm afraid that these headphones are not anywhere near as comfortable to wear once you have two sets of things balancing on your ears. If you are a glasses wearer, you may not be able to use these.
The Frequency response is these earphones is: 20 - 20,000 Hz, if that means anything to you. To the rest of us, I was really pleased by the clarity and quality of the sound. Philips is a good company, and I would have been disappointed if they'd let me down. Fortunately that wasn't the case. The music sounded crisp and clear- I had to try really hard to stop from singing along.
The cable that for the headphones is nice and long (1.2m) which means that it gives you plenty of flexibility during running. In some ways though it's too much cable, and I found that I had to double the wire over to stop it getting in my way. I'm about 5ft 10, and I found the cable a bit long, so if you are shorter than me, it's likely that it might annoy you too.
I also find that the hooks of the ear clips have a tendency to get tangled quite easily, so I always have to take care to wrap the cable around my ipod. If I ever forget and simply throw them into the bottom of my gym bag I find that I will have to spend a few minutes untangling them which can be really annoying if you are raring to go, or if you have a friend standing by getting impatient because they have to wait for you.
I must say that these headphones have taken a battering. They've been up mountains and in mud. They've been stood on, sat on and chewed by my two-year-old niece. They've been rained on and sweated on and they still have the same great quality of sound that they did when I first got them.
I've had these headphones for about five months now, and whilst I am still very pleased with the quality of the sound, I am much less impressed by the performance of the ear clips. When they were brand new the clips were flexible yes, but they did hold their shape. Now, whilst they are still flexible, they do not grip anywhere near as well as they used to. It's not so bad that I'll need to replace them just yet, but it's still very annoying, particularly when I was so pleased with them to start with.
When I do get around to replacing these, it will come down to price. If I can get them again for a similar amount to what I originally paid I would be tempted to buy another pair the same.
I've looked at some of the other reviews for these headphones, (here and elsewhere), and I've seen these headphones receiving pretty mixed reviews when it comes down to comfort. All I can say is that I thought that they were comfortable, so I suppose it must come down to personal preference and the size and shape of your ears. If you do decide to buy them, hopefully they fit you as well as they did me.
I was recently looking out for some suitable headphones which I could use in the gym, since I love to run for long periods of time and music helps me concentrate better on my breathing and I imagine it does with others too since almost half my gym listen to music during their sections.
As you can imagine I needed some earphones which wouldn't fall out of my ear when I'm running and are as small and unnoticeable as possible as I don't want to look like an idiot with all this stuff on my head, so after a few minutes of research, I found that the obvious choice was going to be some ear hook style earphones which have no means of coming off by themselves, which was perfect!
As I've mentioned in my review of the Philips SHP2500's, I'm quite a loyal Philips fan because of my past positive experiences with their products, so my first and only choice was Philips simply because of high quality and cheap pricing and I found the perfect (so I thought) pair, the Philips SHS3200 in Argos only costing a very reasonable £7.
Look and Feel
My first impressions were very positive. On first glance the headphones look very solidly built with a flexible hook, which will prevent it from breaking easily and the speakers where pretty solid also. Sound quality was very good for earphones of that price and they could go quite loud which will be useful in a loud gym environment. So overall my first impression of these earphones was very positive.
Wearing the SHS3200's
Since they have the hood which goes round the back of your ear, wearing these earphone is slightly different compared to the normal one you simply stick in your ear. Even after a good few weeks wearing these on regular basis, I still can't get use to putting these on since you have to put the hook round the back of the ear and make sure the top of your ear is in front of the hood otherwise they are not secure, although it's not a complicated task, it is annoying to say the least, and not to mention you look like an idiot doing it.
These earphones are advertised suitable for everyone, which is unfortunately a bit of a lie. My ears I'd consider being quite average, however I seem to struggle getting comfortable when wearing these, since the speaker is slightly to large to fit in the ear comfortably and the hook (specifically the left ear) seems to be slightly loose and occasionally will come slightly loose and I have to correct it. I imagine these earphones aren't properly designed to be described as ergonomic for any ear. I wouldn't recommend these to anyone who considers their ears as smaller or larger than average because you will be struggling to wears these.
Also people who wear glasses will find these a massive pain, if not carefully removed your glasses will be coming off with them.
The headphones are advertised with a Frequency Response of 20 - 20,000 Hz which means they can go quite low and produce good bass variation as well as having a Sensitivity of 100dB, essentially this is quite good from a earphones perspective, however they don't provide anything as good sounding as the specifications suggests. They are better than any budget earphones and I suppose good base distinction isn't really a key requirement when you're at the gym, so that aspect can be excused.
The cable is 1.2 metres long which is a fair size and I have a bit of head room cable free which is good so I can actually move the head. But the issue I find agitating is the thick insulation, the cable tends to tangle a lot when placed into the pocket, and 8 out of 10 times I have had to spend a few seconds to minutes untangling the cable before using them.
Once again I've been disappointed by Philips and their budget earphones, and Philips was a brand I once thought of highly. Although these earphones aren't great, they aren't terrible to a major extent and considering the price, you're expected to make sacrifices. The audio quality is acceptable and if you give them time you eventually will get use to the uncomfortable earhook and they do perform their job of staying on your ear during exercise. The cable however I can't find an excuse for, giving that they are sports earphone I'd expect the cable to be light and manageable, unlike this cable.
After a few weeks of use, I hate to say it, but I recommend you look elsewhere for a pair of earphones to take to the gym, these have to many flaws and not enough good point to balance out.