Inexpensive IEMs that offer great value for money.
- Deep bass, smooth mid-range, sweet highs, comfortable to wear
- Bass may be a little too booming for some, a little lacking in mid and treble detail, soundstage could be wider
Despite having a few minor issues, the overall quality of the audio is excellent considering the price tag. They are a great option for users looking to upgrade on a budget.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 3 stores)
During the last year or so Philips has consistently managed to produce high quality IEMs that are reasonably priced. The SHE9550 headphones are its latest effort and they are no different. With a price tag just a little over $50, they are extremely affordable. While the audio is a little unrefined at times and can be quite bass heavy, the overall clarity is excellent. They are an excellent option for users looking for a cheap upgrade from their stock earbuds.
Right out of the box it is obvious that these IEMs have a fairly heavy emphasis on bass. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but purists who prefer a more neutral balance will probably be disappointed. We found it generally quite pleasing during our tests and it created a rich, dark sound in a lot of our heavy tunes. The bass was extremely booming and a little uncontrolled, but not to the point of being too bloated. There was enough detail and it extended very deeply.
Treble notes sounded good, although they could have used a little more sparkle. On the plus side they weren't harsh or too bright, which is a flaw we often encounter on lower-end headphones. Piano-based tunes sounded rich and there was plenty of pluck to acoustic guitar strings.
The mid-range was extremely smooth. Separation wasn't quite as good as on some other headphones but it was adequate. Everything tended to blend together nicely to create an enjoyable easy listening experience. If you're looking for a full-on, fun, lively presentation then the SHE9550s may not be for you but considering the price tag we're more than satisfied.
The soundstage is somewhat on the flat side and is probably the weakest element of these IEMs. Everything sounds quite two dimensional and lacks the immersive quality you'll find on some other units. It is still a step up from any kind of default earbuds but there are units that perform better in this regard on the market right now.
Noise cancelling is one of the big reasons to buy a set of IEMs. They offer all the portability of earbuds while blocking out a considerable amount of ambient sound. The SHE9550s did a reasonably good job in this regard. They aren't particularly large, so they don't shut out as much as some bigger units like the E500, but they do an adequate job and are fine for blocking out annoying ambient noise in your office.
On the flip side, the smaller build means they are extremely comfortable. We experienced no fatigue or pain at all, even during long listening sessions — making them ideal for arduous trips or all-day wear. The cord is a little short, measuring just 1.2 metres, but apart from that we have no complaints about the design.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 2 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 3 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 4 HTC One (M8s) review: Better value for money than HTC's flagship
- 5 ZTE Blade S6 review: A dual-SIM, 4G smartphone for less than $300
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- 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
- Sennheiser's new DJ range of headphones
- B&W P5 headphones to become the ultimate luxury accessory
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.