Name: Philips CitiScape Collection Downtown headphones
Type: Over-ear headphones
Specs: Click here for full specs
Price as reviewed: £60
Representing the mid-range of Philips’ CitiScape headphone line, the Downtown cans are affordable and stylish. Can their sound quality match their looks? Read on to find out!
With the CitiScape headphone range, Philips are looking to improve up the performance of their cans right across the board, but with a particular focus on making their lower-priced offerings more attractive. If the CitiScape Downtown headphones are anything to go by, Philips have hit the nail bang on the head.
Available in brown, purple and grey tones, we got our hands on the lovely grey pair. Despite a fairly cheap £60 price tag, the Downtown headphones have a premium feel. Plastics are used minimally (mostly on the outer side of the cans), with a metal headband well padded with foam and cloth wrapping. The padding on the cans uses a sort of memory foam that comfortable hugs your ears, which is handy as the metal headband can pull a little tightly over the head. The ear cups swivel enough to let your ears breathe though, and close round your ears for a surprisingly good amount of passive noise isolation. With a closed-back design, they don’t leak too much sound too, meaning you can listen at loud volume levels without disturbing those around you.
Leading off of the underside of the left ear cup is a lengthy 48-inch long cable, ending in a right angle 3.5mm jack. We’d prefer a straight jack, but the cable is a flat cut, which means it doesn’t get tangled easily, which is an obvious plus. About four inches down the cable is an in-line microphone and one-button remote. The mic response is clear too, picking up voices easily over background noise.When it comes to audio quality, the Downtown headphones perform above and beyond their price range. Powered by 40-millimeter Mylar drivers and neodymium magnets with a 32-ohm desig, there’s a warm balance between treble, mid-range and bass, perhaps slightly favouring lower frequencies. With a neutral mix, they’ll competently handle all genres of music, though if you’re using them with a smart device you may want to invest in an EQ app to tune them to your taste.
If we’ve one concern, its that the headphones can’t be folded up, nor do they come with a travel pouch. Though the metal band isn’t a concern, the swivelling ear-cups feel a little less secure, which may be worth taking into consideration if you’re planning on bagging these up for a long journey.
Looking and sounding as good as headphones twice the price, the Downtown headphone really impress. Comfortable and offering a warm sound, they’re solid performers well worth their reasonably cheap price.
By Gerald Lynch | August 13th, 2012