Philips SBC HC8585
- Confortable, excellent audio quality, very good base and treble.
- Slight line noise, limited volume.
Very good headphones, with an excellent sound driver. Analogue line noise was only slight.
Near the top of the range of Philips' wireless headphones, the SBC HC8585 are a fine set of analogue headphones, delivering decent audio and comfortable listening.
A padded, adjustable arch helps you forget that these headphones are somewhat heavier than most other models. The ear cups were among the most comfortable we tested. Large, well contoured and well padded, they're perfectly suited to long periods of wear. They also happen to produce excellent sound.
The 40mm drivers didn't produce awe-inspiring volume, but the base and treble were outstanding, particularly with the base/treble setting switched on. The phones provide three settings - normal, bass/treble and SRS WOW effects. The first two were perfectly fine in our testing, but SRS WOW made the music were listening to downright muddy when switched on and is not a recommended setting.
The analogue headphones worked relatively well, even at 12M through several walls (allegedly they work up to 100m), although a persistent low-level white noise was at times distracting. At the outer edge of our range the white noise was most noticeable, but it was present at all ranges and through all three selectable channels. It was however, very minor, and easily forgotten when listening to music. The headphones work in the 863-865MHz spectrum, so won't interfere with wireless networking.
The headphones support auto tuning, which is a major plus for wireless headphones, saving you the need to sit and twiddle constantly while using them (as we experienced with several other headphones tested). The auto-tuning worked perfectly, picking up new channels as we switched to them almost immediately.
The large base station also acts as a cradle and recharger for the headphones, although we had to be careful to ensure proper contact with the charger every time we put the headphones in it. It's a minor beef, but one that could be annoying in the long run. Philips claims the batteries will last around 15 hours before a recharge is needed.
The HC8585 are overall very decent wireless headphones, although it's still hard to recommend them over some of the digital options now available. As far as analogue headphones go, however, they're at the top of the heap, delivering good sound quality, comfortable wearing, good range and a relatively robust wireless signal.
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