My Big, Huge, New Cans

Music is one of those things that I love in the world. I am not a fanatic fan, I am not an expert in the nuances of music and I cannot remember the lyrics. But I love music. I can spend hours listening to music - rock, metal, pop, western classical, ghazals and almost any other genre. There is something in this wonderful thing that can put me at ease. I can forget everything else when drowned in it. It is intoxicating. I guess you get a fair idea of what I mean.

I had been without a pair of headphones for sometime now. I never got around to buying a new pair after my earlier one. I had been hunting around on the net for headphones that I could afford to buy. Though, I dreamt of a Grado SR I knew it was out of my reach. Heck, it was not even sold in India. Philips had some good headphones and they were within a slightly-stretched budget.

So this sunday (2nd Jan, 2005), I gave myself a New Year's gift. A big, lovely Philips SBCHP800. Yes, there are a couple of newer models from Philips, but I settled for the 800. Cost me one thousand, three hundred and ninety-five rupees. It was worth every paise. I have been playing all kinds of music on my new cans for the last two days. The headphones sound fuller, if you catch the drift. The bass is very good; subtle but there when needed. Not a mindless thumping, but a sweet, deep rumble that gets to you in a good sort of way.

Vivaldi never sounded better. The violin concertos sounded awe-inspiring through these cans. You could hear every move and slide of the violin bow. My favourite autumn concerto 3 sounded out-of-the-world. The stereo performance of the headphones was amazing real. The lute concerto again sounded heavenly. The sounds were so "warm".

I didn't know Hotel California had so much to offer. The bass was astounding, and the guitars crystal clear. I looped the song forever and ever. It was immersion like no other. The opening guitar solo blew me off the chair. I had never before heard those background sounds that accompany the guitar there. Amy Lee (Evanescence), who was already wonderful was made even more so. Pink Floyd's effects were untarnished.

I couldn't test the headphones at their loudest; my co-workers might have hated that ;-). But, they had absolutely no distortion at the levels I dared to take them. I will do some really loud test over some weekend.

The large speaker drivers (40mm) seem to have a great influence on the sound quality. But this is also the disadvantage. The large drivers mean that the headphones themselves look big and bulky. The problem is slightly alleviated by the light-weight plastic used for the body and that makes the cans look a little flimsy. Storage would be a problem, especially when you are as careless as me.

The cans have very good and comfortable ear cups. They are trimmed with a leather-like material that makes them look good as well. The head band is pretty comfortable too. The single-sided cable is less messy, yet long enough to make a mess.

It takes a while to get used to the full-size headphones, any full-size headphone. For a while, I thought my ears were on fire. Yup, it does get a bit hot under the cups. That's a good thing sometimes, when the air-conditioner is bent on freezing you to death. I haven't looked at myself in the mirror wearing the phones. I am pretty sure I must make a funny sight.

The packaging itself looked pretty cool. Everything was dandy except for one glaring grammatical error - "The 3-m long cable is ideal for us with headphone." I bet they meant use. The sensitivity likewise was incorrectly quoted as 10dB.

The specs go like this (I don't understand most of them anyway):

Frequency Range : 10 - 28000 Hz
Sensitivity : 104 dB
Impedance : 32 Ohm
Maximum power o/p: 1,500 mW
Drivers : 40mm ferrite
Cable : 3m single-side Oxygen Free Cable
Gold-plated connector with additional 3.5-6.3 mm adapter
DJ style swivellable ear-cups.

Good enough for the money I spent. The later models - the 840 and the 890 have better frequency ranges, but I wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Ins: Great sound, good looks and affordable. Outs: Bigness, no volume control.

Here's the pic:

SBCHP800 Posted by Hello

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