These Philips SHS3200 Earhook Earbuds more resemble buds than headphones, and due to the ear hook feature, that effectively attaches the earphone to your ears, these are well-suited for those sports minded folks, who love listening to their tunes on a morning jog or while bench pressing at the gym. In our tests, with the hook in place, the will not fall off.
Indeed, the earhook sets these apart from the standard earbuds we reviewed so far. Each speaker has an earhook that fits around and behind the top of the ear. This helps better hold the earpiece in place. Plus, in this particular set of earphones, it works quite well ergonomically.
Often, with in-ear earbuds that lack this flexible hook, the wearer must continually re position them because they so frequently start slipping out after just a few minutes of listening. Not these however. They stay in place once you don them for as long as you care to listen; just like the over-the-ear, full-sized headphones do. The earhook is quite the helpful feature in a pair of sports headphones.
Not only do Philips SHS3200 earbuds remain stubbornly affixed to your ears until you actually wish them to come off, but they offer lots of bass, and are quite comfortable as well. It’s easy to forget you’re wearing them, and it takes many hours of continuous listening to become fatigued listening (if even then). I’ve never grown tired of wearing these earhook earphones.
Philips SHS3200 Earbuds Introduction
Now to how these SHS3200s sound: Not bat at all! We paid roughly $25 for these earbuds with the earhooks. So this one of the more costly headphone sets we’ve reviewed to date, which is likely why they sound notably better than the sub-$10 models. You do get your money’s worth though.
They have an evenly distributed bass response, which rivals many phones that completely cover the ear (ear cups). The mid range is highly dynamic and full, and the high-end, though slightly attenuated at the very top, is pretty crisp and clear without being piercing. Indeed these gym headphones qualify as a high fidelity audio device, and we have no quams saying that.
Due to the noticeably quieter high frequencies though, we do not recommend Philips SHS3200 earbuds to an audio purist; particularly if that person has hundreds of dollars to spend on a top-end headset. Clearly, these do not come close in sound to to phones that are way more expensive. But in their price range, the SHS3200 perform quite well. So we’re quite impressed.
Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Philips SHS3200 Earbuds
Long Wearing Comfort
Very comfortable fit, in ear.
Do Not Fall Out Much
These phones stay properly positioned in the ear, in spite of vigorous head movements.
Full but Flat Audio Response
The tone is well-distributed, as these phones do not appear to favor either bass, mid-range, or treble of the others.
Volume a Plenty
They’ll play quite loudly with the iPod at full volume; loud enough to cause pain. Yet they distort and clip little.
Little Sound Leakage
Yet I’ve observed very little sound spillage to the surrounding area.
Much Like Apple’s Earpods
With the exception of the earhooks, Philips SHS3200 earbuds are built in the same style as Apple iPod stock earbuds. The drivers do not enter the ear canal, which not only increases their comfort, but also reduces the microphonics that the canal phones often exhibit. The speakers rest in the ear, just outside the opening to the ear canal. So they become less soiled with use than do the canal buds.
Need No Ear Tips
These earphones require no ear pads. This frees the user from having to find a pair of pads that fit properly.
Sound Does Not Change Much as you Listen
Due to the no-canal positioning, and the earhooks too, how these phones sound remains more consistent throughout the listening session. You rarely experience a sudden loss of bass or treble because a bud has moved out of the ear a little. Their tone is constant, whether running, walking, dancing, or just sitting still in the easy-chair.
These buds feature ports (what Philips calls Bass Pipes). These are little holes (one at the back of each ear unit), that look like tuned port construction. This seems to enhance the bass response. Indeed, when we plug one of these holes with an index finger, the bass response in that ear falls dramatically. So though not fully an open air design, neither is this set fully closed air either.
The cable is very flexible and transmits little mechanical vibration into the ear pieces, for reduced microphonics in this headset.
Some Strain Relief Included
The plug has good strain relief for the cable; essential in sport headphones. But the Philips SHS3200 earbuds themselves have a rigid tube which we feel provides little strain relief advantage, and a greater risk of cable failure if you subject these joints to too much bending, pulling, jerking, or twisting.
Speakers Labeled Left and Right
Easy to identify the left and right phones by examining the earhooks.
Sound Better the Longer you Listen
While at first, the reduced high frequencies stuck out like a sore thumb, my ears, within an hour, adapted to the response profile of these phones so that eventually, I no longer noticed this deficiency.
Disadvantages, Problems, Limitations, and Cons of the Philips SHS3200 Earbuds
A Bit Long from Front to Back
These buds have a little more depth, front to back, as my iPod stock units. The earhook adds to this depth. So the drivers protrude from the ear more than the Apple phones. Yet you can wear these earphones comfortably in bed, with your head to the side, with one ear against your pillow. It may take some getting used to to develop a “taste” for the pressure in your ear as you lay on an earphone. But avid listeners should get used to it quickly.
Non Gold Connector Plug
The connector (3.5mm plug) is not gold plated. Occasionally, we must jiggle it in the iPod to restore a good audio connection. Such rotation is not necessary with any of my earphones that have the gold on their plugs.
Some Noted Resonance
Also, the left ear speaker rings a little when you tap it with your finger. It also rings in similar fashion during sudden sound bursts followed by sudden quiet, such as happens in drum solos. The enclosure therefore, seems to resonate at audible frequencies; detracts from true sound reproduction in the Philips SHS3200 earbuds.
Limited if Any Warranty
We found no warranty information within, although it is available at the Philips website.
So you could not use these on an iPhone for hands-free operation.
Reduced High Treble Sound Response
Missing or attenuated high frequencies are apparent when listening to familiar music. However, you may not notice this if you haven’t heard the music for a while on a more responsive set of earphones.
Earhook and Wire Tangling
The earhook sometimes gets tangled with the ear piece on eyeglasses. If you wear specs, be careful when removing these phones that you do not snag your glasses and pull them off of your face.
So no Bluetooth pairing.
Can Fall Out when Exercising Hard
Earphones with connecting audio cables will likely always fall out as the user exercises more strenuously. But getting rid of the cable would really alleviate this inherent problem, though we’ll probably never see it in phones that cost as little as these.
While most people understand that you wouldn’t submerse these earphones in water, what’s not so obvious is that they can be damaged by excessive perspiration. So while wearing, avoid the profuse sweating.
Philips SHS3200 Earbuds Specifications
- Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz.
- Sensitivity: 100 DB.
- Impedence: 16 ohms.
- Maximum power input: 15 milliwatts.
- Cable length: 1.2 metres.
- Colors: Black cable, black earhooks, and gray ear speaker units.
The SHS3200s fit nicely and usually stay where you put them in your ear. They sound good for the money, and the money you pay to buy them is not too much. Very affordable headphones indeed.
While no gold-plated connector surprised us, especially since many cheaper units have one, we’d nonetheless rate these ear buds at 86 out of 100. The absence of the gold does not seem to reduce the fidelity.
These Philips earhook earphones represent a good compromise between expense and dispose-ability. That is, they cost enough that you get a decent sound. But not so much that you worry over breaking them. They’re the good sound that’s dispensable in a low-budget set of quality headphones.
Where to Buy Philips SHS3200 Earbuds
We bought our SHS3200s at Walmart. But online stores sell them too, such as Amazon and eBay, Look for them in the clear plastic box with a red and white card glued to the back, and a transparent window on the front, through which you can view these sleek-looking headphones.
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- 2019-02-26: Added tags, subheadings, and keyword targeting.
- 2015-11-16: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-11-17: Fixed typos, and added to the References section.
- 2012-09-28: Original publication.