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The Philips PH805 is a mid-range Hi-Res audio compatible wireless over-ear headphones that can fold and have somewhat competitive pricing. Better yet, the wireless headphones from the well-known Dutch company provide a great frequency range, ANC, Bluetooth 5.0, and 30 hours of battery life.
The build quality and sound quality of PH805 are impressive, the battery life is very decent too. If you take into account the price tag, you would expect a quite good noise cancellation performance. Even though that’s not the case here, you won’t be disappointed with these beautiful wireless headphones if you’re all about sound quality.
Philips PH805 ANC Wireless Headphones Review
1. Overview - not finished
Type: Over-ear Noise Cancelling Headphones | Bluetooth: 4.0 | Battery: 30 Hours | Charging: 4 Hours | Drivers: Dynamic | Drivers-Size: 45 mm | Weight: 385g
The delivery package of the PHILIPS TAPH805 headphones includes a solid carrying case, charger, 1.2 m cable, and documentation. Thanks to the 1.2 m cable presence, the option of using this wireless headphone in a wired version is not excluded. For this, the right earcup houses a 3.5 mm jack that allows Hi-Res audio reproduction.
At first glance, the Philips PH805 is strongly reminiscent of Sony’s WH-1000xM3. There is the same very well padded headband and massive headphones with a flat surface used for touch controls. However, some major differences are spotted, starting with its bulkier physiognomy, or its hinges, very straightforward, which ring with a loud snap each time they are folded or unfolded.
In general, the TAPH805 has a standard design. The case is made of plastic, but it doesn’t look cheap. Each ear cup has a brand inscription, and when they bend inward, it allows you to easily carry the headphone in your bag. The earpads are made of soft artificial leather, which is also on the connecting hoop – there, the skin covers a smaller part, but you will not touch the plastic with your head. The PHILIPS headset is rather lightweight, weighing about 235 grams. It does not seem heavy, and the volume of the device is relatively small.
On the right earcup is a touchpad that lets you control the volume by swiping your finger up and down the earcup’s surface or change the active noise reduction (ANC) mode with a simple tap. A long press turns off the headphones, a short press connects them to the device, if there is already a connection, calls the voice assistant. The touch control is extremely sensitive, and we often find ourselves deactivating the ANC by mistake by repositioning the headset on our ears or removing an earpiece to hear discussions in an open space. Putting your palm on this earpiece automatically activates access to the smartphone’s personal assistant: a function performed perfectly during our tests.
Track navigation is controlled through the small multifunction button on edge, allowing access to tracks’ passage. Pressing on the right-side switches one track forward, to the left – backward. A click pauses or plays the music, a long press turns the headphones on or off.
The navigation placement and the rest of the functions on the earcup are quite confusing. But we can recognize that Philips has implemented both. The touch (for volume adjustment) is surprisingly responsive and precise, especially for a product of its kind. The multifunction button gives a very gadget feel to the touch but is quite to the point. Ergonomics a little strange then, but effective.
As you probably noticed, all the controls are placed on the right side, significantly reducing handling errors. The left earcup only houses a micro USB port, which is surprising to find this connection on a device in 2020 when USB-C has become popular on low-cost devices.
According to the manufacturer, these wireless headphones will last for around 25-30 hours of listening on a single battery charge without ANC and 25 hours with active noise canceling enabled, which already places it at the top of the range. However, these measurements have probably been made at maximum volume, which no one will do in daily use. With mixed-use, varying the sound power according to the music listened to, the headphones will have held 46 hours before running out of breath. Fast recharging is done via the Micro-USB connector on the left earcup, and according to PHILIPS, five minutes of plugging in is enough for two hours of use, whereas a full charge takes around 2.5 hours.
Without a doubt, the Philips PH805 is one of the most enduring Bluetooth headsets of all categories. Add to that the fast charge (in micro-USB), which allows you to recover approximately 2 hours of autonomy in just a few minutes, and it is almost impossible to find yourself with your back to the wall.
The set of features of the PHILIPS TAPH805 may not be as plentiful as in more expensive models, but everything you need is there. The Bluetooth 5.0 standard is used to connect with devices, which is enough to transmit sound at a distance of 10 m from the source. From a technical point of view, the Philips PH805 supports Bluetooth 5 with A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP profiles, as well as SBC and AAC codecs. Therefore, the headphones are not wireless Hi-Res (though Hi-Res sound is available in wired).
Despite the various Bluetooth codecs supported, a minor disadvantage is represented by a latency problem on Android, but this is the case for all Bluetooth headsets and headphones, including the most premium. What I would say is even more disappointing is that when the vast majority of headsets launched in recent months adopt USB-C, the charging of the Philips headphones goes through micro-USB.
The passive isolation of the Philips PH805 is good and contributes greatly to the serenity feeling one would expect from headphones with active noise reduction. However, the ANC is below what the competition offers, which is also why TAPH805 is cheaper.
As for noise cancellation, there is an additional “ambient noise” mode. In it, the volume is slightly reduced when the sounds around you become better heard. There are four microphones on each TAPH805 cup – the first two are needed for conversations and control of the voice assistant, the other two for the active noise canceling (ANC) function.
The active noise cancellation itself isn’t as good as sound quality. There is no particularly big difference between ANC on and off – you will not be able to completely eliminate external sounds. Yes, external sounds become a little quieter, but the difference is not very noticeable. Nonetheless, the Ambient Noise mode works as it should. Since this is a mid-range noise-canceling headphone, its insulation is also average. In this regard, PH805 is not an innovation but provides a completely decent experience. The headphones do their job from in the lower register of the spectrum, and while it clearly doesn’t attenuate the 25 dB promised on the box, even in its most efficient frequency range, the PH805 is useful in most situations.
Bluetooth 5.0 support enables PHILIPS TAPH805 to stream music in the highest quality. And the model takes full advantage of this – there are a lot of low frequencies here, and they do not mix with slightly higher lows.
The PH805 does the right thing for a Bluetooth + ANC model in this price range. The sound signature is not neutral, far from it, whether with or without ANC. Not monstrously bassy, the headphones hit hard enough in the sub-bass range, so they are quite round or even a little heavy, overflowing a little on the low-midrange. All bass is accurate without overpowering the listener. The same goes for vocal reproduction. If the song is performed by several people, you can easily hear the difference between the voices, even if they are similar.
TAPH805 perfectly captures each artist or instrument’s smallest details, so fans of any genre will be satisfied here. The treble also sounds good, although there are some problems here. The highest sopranos soften a little, so the percussion’s accuracy suffers slightly compared to more expensive competitors. The transition from high frequencies to low ones is smooth, the entire range is well balanced. No set of sound levels draws too much attention to itself, yet everything is easy to distinguish. Any composition seems juicy and balanced.
The two main assets of the Philips PH805 are its audio signature, which satisfies over the entire spectrum, and its autonomy lasts for many hours before having to recharge a few minutes thanks to the fast recharge. This is clearly the most important. Therefore, it is a very good quality/price ratio in this price bracket, even if it does not threaten other noise-canceling wireless headphones. In terms of sound quality, Philips TAPH805 headphones are good. Still, their main disadvantages are the touch control sensitivity, the lack of a mobile application, and support for the AptX codec.