Philips SBC HS520
- They look quite good, Bass isn’t too bad, Unique cord system
- They sound terrible, Expensive for the quality you are getting, Annoying echo effect
The HS520 look good, but that’s about as far as it gets. Even though they aren’t overly expensive, you can get a far superior product for little more than what these are worth.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
The Philips SBC HS520 portable headphones have been designed for the sports person in mind, but unfortunately, this convenience comes at the expense of quality.
The HS520 will attract plenty of onlookers from the sporting field, as they have been designed to suit someone who is constantly on the move - especially those who run frequently or spend a lot of their time at the gym. The unique feature of these headphones is the reflective neckband, which means the headphones stay visible in the dark for extra safety at night. While this is a good idea, unless you listen to your music in the dark frequently, this feature isn't going to be put to very good use.
The HS520 employs a stylish but simple design, which does look quite attractive. The ear cups themselves are finished in a grey and blue gloss plastic, while the rest of the headphones, including the around-the-head neckband are silver and grey. The best feature of the HS520 is without doubt the cord, which employs what Philips calls a "pull relief system". Basically this ensures cable reliability and longetivity by strengthening the connection - instead of connecting directly to the ear cup a piece of elastic is used which stretches when the cord is pulled, preventing general wear and tear. It's a good idea, especially since the headphones are targeted at people who are active.
Unfortunately that's about as good as it gets for the HS520. The sound quality is extremely poor and lacks any sort of crispness or clarity. We tested the HS520 using an iPod nano and despite exploring the equaliser settings on the MP3 player, we constantly experienced an echo like sound throughout playback, which becomes quite irritating after any prolonged period of use. The headphones also lack any real treble, although the bass wasn't too bad. Philips claims the use of "Bass Beats Vents" allows optimal airflow for better bass performance. We don't know whether that is an appropriate claim, but the bass response is tight without being too forceful, so we'll give them credit here.
How poor these headphones really are comes to fruition when you can purchase the Koss KSC-75 for little more than the retail price of the HS520, but get unsurpassed sound quality. In light of this, we honestly can't recommend these headphones to anyone. Steer clear of the HS520 and get better value for money elsewhere.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Parrot's Zik 2.0 headphones include an accelerometer and plenty of noise cancelling
- Kogan opens online shop in New Zealand
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCIT Environment and Deployment SpecialistQLD
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/Orcale/MySQL) 160531/SA/253Asia
- CCBig Data DeveloperWA
- FTWeb DeveloperSA
- CCSharePoint DeveloperVIC
- CCNV1 Consultant | Groundbreaking Defence decision support applicationACT
- FTNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTNV1, NV2 Network Engineers | Permanent role with diverse Defence projectsACT
- FTAgile CoachNSW
- FTInfrastructure Specialist VMwareNSW
- FTManager, Applications SpecialistNSW
- CCEnd to End Project Manager - PMO and GovernanceVIC
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Technical LeadACT
- CCInfrastructure Deployment ManagerVIC
- FTVMWare Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Full-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- FTPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCIteration Manager/Agile Project ManagerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTCloud ArchitectAsia
- FTRelease Planning LeadVIC
- FTTechnical Lead | Senior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCICT Fleet and Equipment Audit ResourcesSA
- CCSystems Analyst (HTML/JAVA/Wireless & Mobile) 160525/SA/443Asia