First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Philips Active Crystals SWS2000
Sparkling ear buds
- Design, decent sound quality, comfortable fit
- Expensive, bass response could be improved
A decent pair of earphones, but they are a tad expensive.
Price$ 145.00 (AUD)
The result of a partnership between Philips and Swarovski, the Active Crystals SWS2000 earphones feature cut silver-shade crystals embedded into the design. Although they are targeted at fashionistas, they perform well in terms of sound quality.
Like most fashion-orientated products, the earphones look excellent. They feature silver cabling, chrome highlights and, of course, crystal ear buds. The ear buds' design makes them heavier than a regular pair, but they are comfortable regardless. Most would consider the crystals little more than a gimmick, but if you want to look good while listening to your tunes, there aren't too many better options on the market. Apart from the crystals, the rest of the body is made of chrome-plated stainless steel; a gold-plated plug completes the design.
Perhaps the most surprising feature is the fact that the marketing towards fashion buyers hasn't impacted on the quality. For starters, the ear buds are very comfortable, especially for long periods of use. Philips includes three different sized rubber ear buds for optimal fit and comfort, so you shouldn't have an issue comfort-wise.
Sound quality isn't going to appeal to audiophiles, but for those looking to upgrade their standard headphones the SWS2000 will do a relatively decent job. We were impressed by the clarity and crispness of sound at low to medium volume levels, though we were disappointed that distortion is evident at higher volume levels. Bass response is also lacking; it fails to provide the punch we were expecting. Instrumental separation is surprisingly solid, with complex riffs distinctly audible.
The downside is price, although this is to be expected considering the crystal design. These earphones aren't cheap, and keep in mind that you can purchase cheaper alternatives with sound quality on par or better.
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