The SHL5005 series of headphones is Philip’s entry-level over-the-ear cans that promise to deliver thumping bass for under thousand rupees. I tried them on for a couple of weeks, and here’s what I think of the Philips SHL5005.
Build & Design
As expected, the body is made entirely of plastic. However, this is good quality plastic, and at just over 120 grams, the headphones are light and flexible. These headphones do not have anything exceptional in the design part to write about, but Philips uses matte color (black in my case) for most of the body, which I appreciate. Cheap headphones often have that shiny cheap-looking glossy paint job, so this is a good move from the brand.
Other than that, there’s no braided cable either, and 3.5mm jack isn’t gold plated. Considering I’ve seen worse headphones in terms of build and design at prices double this one, I’m not complaining. For the price, the SHL5005 is well built.
Like I mentioned earlier, the headphones are light, lighter than I expected. The foam pads on the cans are neither too soft, nor too firm, which is how I like them. They’re covered in this patterned elastic cloth, which eradicates the worry of them wearing out over time.
I could use the headphones for long durations without any pain on the ears. That said, I’ve heard people complaining of pain after using the headphones for some time, and that I believe is because of the size of the cans. These cans are small, smaller than the JBL and Boat ones available around the same budget. Because I happen to have small ears, I was comfortable, but if you have larger ears (than mine at least), you will need to look for something else.
The length of the cable is 1.2m, which more than enough to keep the phone in your pant pocket connected. It would have been nicer if the cable was braided, as this one tangles easily when carrying. Talking about carrying, the cans do not fold inwards, making carrying them in a bag troublesome. It occupies 100% of its normal size and space, even while you’re carrying it. Also, the headphone jack is straight, which I wish was angled.
There’s a slide-out extension for both the cans, letting you extend the diameter of the headphones by up-to 4 inches (2″ on either side). As of now, it is firm, but I’m pretty positive that this is going to get loose in some months. There’s some light cushioning at the top-inner curve (for the head). Also, consider this as a bonus, there’s an in-line mono microphone that you can use for calls and while gaming.
On to the part which most of you are waiting for. Just a reminder, everything I write regarding these headphones is considering their price and target audience only, which is why I will not be diving into complicated sound specifications and numbers here. I’ll try to keep it simple and short.
Okay, so these headphones are advertised to deliver extra bass, like most of the entry-level headphones in the market also promise. Unlike the bass you’ll find on something like the Boat Rockerz, I’m happy to report that the 32mm drivers on the SHL5005 do have that nice lower frequency output that I expected.
I don’t like Boat’s bass tuning because they overpower the vocals and the treble, because of which songs and any audio that has all three frequencies sound muddy. On the SHL5005 though, the enhanced bass output harmonically accompanies the mids (vocals) and highs (treble) while outputting the lows (bass) at a few decibels higher. I like this sound profile the best, and this is exactly what I look for in earbuds and headphones, and these cans deliver that. This is also more-or-less the same kind of sound profile you’d get on something like the JBL T250s.
After burning in the drivers 2 hours daily for a week, the treble and bass response got even better. Also, since I use Viper4Android on my OnePlus 3T, I tweaked my phone’s equalizer to increase the lower frequencies by 2-3 dB, and to my surprise, the audio (especially the bass) still didn’t distort, even at max volume.
I tested these with multiple phones, ranging from a Redmi 8A all the way up to the LG V30+, and found that the headphones sounded good on all the phones. If your phone has some audio enhancement features, like Dolby or Dirac, you’ll enjoy the enhanced sound on these headphones. Hip-hop, RnB, DnB, EDM, dubstep, and basically all bass-focused genres sound good on the headphones. To keep it simple, I’d say the sound on this one is full (doesn’t sound hollow or muddy) with over-powered bass, slightly under-powered mids (vocals), and flat trebles
For the mic, it’s average at best. It just works, that’s all I’d say.
The Philips SHL5005 is a good entry-level pair of over-the-ear headphones that delivers the extra bass Philips promises while also keeping the rest of the sound frequencies in focus. It’s light and flexible, but I’d have loved braided cables and foldable cans more than the mic. If you are looking for over-the-ear headphones for under ₹800, this one will be a very good choice for bass-focused music, movies, and (thanks to the mic) calls and chats.
Though I purchased them for ₹399 online during a sale, these regularly sell for around ₹800. Considering that the SHL5000s go for around ₹500 regularly, I’d say if you get the SHL5005 for anything less than ₹700, it’s a great deal. For alternatives, you can look at Sony ZX110AP and JBL T250SI, both of which cost more than this one.