Philips ActionFit Sports Earhook Earphones Headphones SHQ3200/28 Review

The Philips SHQ3200/28 ActionFit Sports Earhook Headphones reviewed here, have replaced the SHQ3000 headset that we were so fond of back in 2012 during our fervent workout days.

But nothing lost in this revision.   These earhook phones seem to perform just as well as their SH3000/28 predecessor, although they may be constructed of more durable materials, incorporate more state-of-the-art acoustics and sound design techniques, and the earhook might be slightly more flexible and easier to adjust.  But otherwise, these are very similar in look and feel to the earlier model.

Indeed, Philips continued their Sports ActionFit tradition when they developed these Philips SHQ3200/28 Action Fit Sports Earhook Headphones. These in-canal earphones not only sound much better than offerings from other series, but like the SHQ3000, these also feature flexible earhooks that comfortably grip around your ears, to stubbornly hold the earbuds at the optimal position in the ear, through even the most strenuous sports-related activities and exercises.   These sports action buds feature greater high fidelity sound due to these closed-back earbuds.  But they left the hallmark durability and ruggedness in this sweat proof, virtually waterproof, and washable model.

Unlike some of the other earhook-featuring earbuds we’ve tested, these Philips SHQ3200s take a more stabilizing approach to routing the audio cable as do the other offerings in the ActionFit series.  They use the earhook itself as a cord router.  So, the audio cable exits at the far end of the earhook, not at the bottom of the ear speaker, where even small cable tugs can jerk the ear piece out of your ear.  The earhook here is a hollow, flexible tube, through which the cable is routed from the ear speaker, around the outer ear, and then leaving the assembly at the bottom.  This makes accidently pulling the earbud off of your ear far more difficult, should you get one of your pumping arms tangled in the dangling cables during your workout. This design allows the Kevlar-coated cord to leave the earbud from behind the ear, not from the front.  So you have the added restraining that your ear lobe can provide, to better secure the earbuds to your ears.

It also means that inadvertent cable snags will not miss-align the ear drivers so much that you’ll have to frequently readjust them to maintain optimum sound.  Once you put these earhook headphones on, they indeed stay in place until you remove them, because in this design, the outer ear absorbs much of the pulling before it reach the bud.

Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages of the Philips SHQ3200/28 Sports Earbuds

Travel case included.  There’s also a black carrying pouch to put your sports earbuds in when not in use.

Sufficiently long cords.  You get just over four feet of long-lasting audio cable.

Improved Kevlar cable and connector.  3.5mm gold-plated TRRS (tip, ring, ring, sleeve) connector and super flexible audio cable that resists the wearing rigors of working out.

Sweat proof and washable.  However, do not submerse these earbuds in very deep water for sustained periods. While they do resist sweat and rain, they likely would not hold up while completely submerged in water for very long.

Full, bassy sound.  Frequency response: 15 – 22,000 Hz.  Sensitivity: 102 DB.  Maximum power input: 20 milliwatts.  Impedance: 16 ohms.

Excellent strain relief   supplied at all cable exit points.

Comfortable fit.  Stability, high fidelity sound, and great fit accurately describe the SHQ3000s.  Very lightweight, at just eight grams.

Very low microphonics.  Sound and vibrations are not readily transmitted to the earbuds along the audio cable.

Reflective stopper.  There’s a highly visible decal where the cords from the left and right speakers merge into one (at the Y), which allows vehicle drivers and pedestrians to better see you if they come upon you jogging or riding your bike at night while jamming out to your favorite tunes.

Included instructions sheet.  How to change the ear tips is clearly illustrated in the included instructions.

Anti microbial ear pads.  Three sizes of anti-microbial ear tips included.

Stay in ear during exercise.  Snugly fit and stability are hallmarks of this earphone set. for equipment that’s to be used during rigorous physical exercise.

Endure most workout environments well.  Work well in both indoor and outdoor exercising.

Moderate noise isolation for safety.  These phones block surrounding environmental noises very little, for maximum safety while riding or jogging along busy streets and in communities.

Stereo channels marked on each earbud.  Each headphone is clearly marked on the black part closest to the speaker near the earhook, with a red letter on a black background, that indicates either left (L) or right (R) channel.

Virtually flat frequency response.  Not overdone on the bass, and plenty of clear-sounding treble

Attractive colors.  The SHQ3200/28 we bought has a bright orange cable with black-backed driver units, orange strain relievers and jack body, orange anti-microbial ear tips, and black stripes on the tops of the earhooks.

Compatible with most Apple players and iPhones.  An effective, high-performing accessory for iPod and iPod Touch media players.

In-bed listening.  Comfortable to listen to in bed, no matter what your head position is on your pillow.

Virtually waterproof.  While these might not withstand sustained deep water dunking, you can run the earpieces under a sink water stream to wash them.

Reasonable price.  We found the SHQ32000/28 for around $25.  For that cost, we’re very impressed with the decent construction and sound.

Disadvantages, Cons, Drawbacks, Limitations, and Problems with the Philips SHQ3200/28 Sports Earbuds

Earbuds must go into the correct ear.  The left and right earbuds are not interchangeable.  If you insert them backwards (right bud into left ear, and left bud into right ear), they neither fit as well, sound as good, nor are they as comfortable.

Insertion difficulties. A bit harder to put on than earbuds that do not include earhooks.  The hooks often become tangled up with the ear pieces of eyeglasses.

Not very sensitive.  Volume output is a bit lower than the average of other earphones we’ve tested.

Some audio spill.    So avoid playing these too loudly on trains, planes, and busses, as other passengers will be forced to listen to your music as well.

No mic, volume, or pause play buttons.  No microphone or remote control in this model.  However, as these are designed for sports applications, we expect that a remote at least, would get little use.  Since such remotes tend to feature very small buttons, it’d be hard to work them while exercising.

Our Rating

We rate the SHQ3200/28 earhook sports phones at 95 out of 100.  They’re durable, sound pretty good for a pair of workout earbuds, and are affordable at roughly $30 retail.  Other companies should follow Philips’ example, and utilize the high-quality construction attributes in these earbuds into their own products.  Even non-sports earbuds could benefit from the hearty construction techniques found herein. So we recommend these to sports enthusiasts and audiophiles alike.

Where to Buy the Philips SHQ3200/28 Action Fit Earhook Sports Headphones

We got ours at Amazon.  But you can find them at CVS, eBay, and other larger online stores and outlets, Look for them in the red, white, and blue box, and the clear plastic inner packaging. A window on the front allows viewing of the headphones and some of the included accessories inside.

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Revision History

  • 2017-02-10: Originally published this piece.