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Open Air Headphones for the Active Listener
Jul 28, 2007 (Updated Jul 28, 2007)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Quality sound at a bargain price. Open acoustic system allows ambient noise to pass through.
Cons:For what the product does at its price, no cons.
The Bottom Line: For the price, there is not another set of "off the rack" headphones that are open air with this quality of sound.
I recently bought a SanDisk Sansa e270R music player, and wanted to use it while exercising. This would be: jogging, biking, using exercise equipment, etc. I checked online and at a few local stores for headphones that would allow me to listen to music while still picking up ambient noise in my surroundings. Basically, I didn't want to get hit by any cars or other assorted moving objects in the world and I wanted to be aware of phones, doorbells and the like if working out at home.
Recommend this product?
I had a few main drivers for my decision:
- Cost: I wanted headphones that cost under $20 if possible. Since I was looking for headphones that let in outside sound, it was by default going to degrade the listening experience to a certain degree and I wasn't going to pay a lot for that type of product.
- Form Factor: I wanted ear clips as opposed to only bud earphones so I could be confident they would remain in place during activities.
- Brand: I tend to go with brands I know when picking up an electronics product I plan to use for a while.
Selection Process and User Experience
My options broke down to Philips and Sony products based on what I found online. I tend to like Philips brand products better than Sony, although my favorite pair of headphones were by Sony. I picked up the SHS3200 for about $14 for a local retail outlet, and immediately took them out of the packaging for a listen in the parking lot. I could hear the music crisply and clearly from the mp3 player and the car stereo. It did the trick, and the sound quality was actually better than I was expecting at that price and design. The bass response is pretty solid, and the highs and mids are well defined. Sony headphones tend to be a bit murky in the mids with too much bass, which is why I prefer Philips.
Since then, I have used the headphones regularly without any issues or incidents. They have been with me on my treadmill and elliptical and stayed in place. I've used them while mountain biking and they stay in place and let in surrounding noise. Just what I was looking for. The cable is a decent length and does not get in the way because I have a music player case/band with cable control (which I'd recommend if you do plan to exercise with any music headphones not just these). They can get a little uncomfortable in the ear with extended wear so you may want to seek out padding (I just go with the plastic earbuds), but the clip itself is flexible and fits well.
Max. Power Handling - 15 mW
Driver Unit Size - 15 mm
Frequency Response - 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Impedance - 16 ohm
Sensitivity - 100 dB
Plug Type - 3.5 mm
Plug Material - Chrome / Nickel
Cable Length - 3.94 ft.
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