The Philips SHL5001 are a pair of headphones aimed at the budget segment. Priced at just Rs. 1,099, the headphones do offer a lot for the price. Read on to find out more.
The SHL5001 have a simple over-the-head design. They have a nice thick headband with soft padding underneath. The headband are adjustable with a smooth sliding design and even have markings that make it easy to remember at what length you set it the last time.
The speakers are covered in a soft padding and are very comfortable on the ears. The speaker backs are completely sealed, which may be good for preventing sound leakage but not so much for audio quality. The speakers rotate so you can make them flat with the headband, making them easier to pack in a bag. Unfortunately, that's how much you can contract them. Also, the headphones don't come with a carry case. Each of the speakers have a cable coming out of it, which then unites some way down and then terminates in a 3.5mm jack.
The headphones we tested came in an orange and brown color combination. They are also available in red and black (SHL5000), green and silver (SHL5002), and silver and black (SHL5003).
The audio quality of the headphones was a bit of a hit and miss affair. On one hand we were pleased that it does not sound as bad as one would expect a headphone to do in this price range. On the other hand they aren't particularly great either. Generally the sound from these headphones is very pleasing. Non-audiophile folks probably won't be able to pick up any problems with the sound at all. However, those who have heard better, will be.
The headphones lack clarity in sound. The sound has a dullness to it that will be immediate to anyone who is used to more expensive stuff. Nothing stands out in particular and the speakers sound as if they are firing through a thin barrier that is robbing them of their clarity.
The bass is a bit hollow. It is warm and decently punchy, but give it something deeper and it flounders. It does handle mid-bass well but increase the volume and you start hearing distortion in the bass. The mid-range is sufficiently intense but lacks clarity and definition. The high-end suffers from a similar problem, where you are unable to distinguish between different notes. Overly complicated compositions with multiple instruments also sound muddy and indistinct.
Like I mentioned before, all this would be apparent to only those who have heard better quality sound. But those who haven't would have very little to complain about, until they hear something better. Even if you have heard better quality sound, you shouldn't really expect a lot at this price point.
What the Philips SHL5001 delivers at Rs. 1,099 is something many other fail to. It may not be the best sounding headphones out there but for the price they are good value for money and can make an excellent second pair of headphones for, say, movies and gaming.