Customer Review

206 of 219 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great set of headphones, but with a weak headphone jack, October 18, 2009
In the past I have had absolutely no problems with these headphones at all. In it's original form they were rugged and took all kinds of abuse, and it took me 2 1/2 years to finally wear out the last pair I had with the original type of jack (the grey version which jutted in an L-shape), which I did modify by removing a small bit of the connector in order to use it with my iPhone without a problem. The audio quality has been consistent and good and I couldn't ask more from a headphone set which cost me only around $15 on average.

However in the last ten months, I have purchased three sets of this model, and managed to break them all in some way, because of a simple change.

In order to get a "Made for iPhone" mark, Philips changed out the hardy grey L-shaped jack connector for a black one designed to fit the first-gen iPhone socket which is best described as utilitarian at best. The rubber used to create the jack is certainly not on par at all with the original model and is incredibly malleable compared to the original model. The first two sets ended up having the portion where the jack and the cord connected broken, causing the audio to stutter. The third set, the actual jack broke in half without too much pressure applied after an accidental hard pull. This is unacceptable for me as I use it in many settings, including my iPhone, my iPod, and a laptop.

Until Philips addresses the problems with the current generation model with the current jack, I cannot recommend purchasing what is otherwise a fine set of headphones. I'm really hoping as the first-gen iPhones find their way to the dustbin of history and you can now connect any set of headphones to later iPhones that Philips brings back the original connector type. I really prefer the L connector to the current cheap straight connector which has only caused me to switch brands after four years of loyal use for these headphones.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 9, 2010 5:30:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 17, 2010 2:56:30 AM PDT
Cable HEADPHONE end is excellent, cable SOUND SOURCE end is shoddy
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Your review (Sun 18 Oct 2009) is apparently seconded by Brian Becker's (http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VQRJ22OGJNQU?ASIN=B000QS2XS8 Sun 03 Jan 2010): Philips "engineered" an excellent strain relief bungee at the HEADPHONE (undetachable) end of the cord, but a shoddy quality plug at the PLAYER (detachable) end (please be careful to correctly call "jack" the female connector usually found on devices, and "plug" the male one usually found on cables, so your - excellent - review becomes easier to understand for non-native English speakers as me, especially when no image can be shown).

Also, it seems what you and Brian are questioning is more the QUALITY, than the straight SHAPE. I personally prefer the straight "I" shape of my current "MP3 Player + cable" sets, over the angled "L" shape of my earlier ones (that I nevertheless appreciated as well). You don't retain your MP3 Player by an L cord, but by a specific short cord (like on many MP3 Players or headsets, worn as a pendant), or simply by placing the Player in your bag or pocket, or by any other mean. An L cord is harder to quickly unplug, and makes this unplugging more risky for the cord or even for the device. And on small devices like MP3 Players, there is little room around jacks, so you need slim straight plugs. Anyway there are good reasons to prefer an L or I plug, but this "L vs I" problem is IMO independent from the quality issue.

In conclusion I agree with your requesting Philips to return to the original QUALITY ("The rubber used to create the jack is certainly not on par at all with the original model and is incredibly malleable compared to the original model"), but NOT with returning to the "L" shape, which IMO was a big part in the causes that broke your 3rd cord ("the actual jack broke in half without too much pressure applied after an accidental hard pull"); Apple's switch to the "I" shape was appropriate IMO and should be maintained.

BTW I second Carolina's question of 17 Sep: what are you using now instead of the SHS5200?

Versailles, Tue 09 Feb 2010 14:30:00 +0100, edited Fri 17 Sep 2010 11:56:30 +0200

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 12:57:31 AM PDT
what did you switch too?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2010 10:56:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2012 4:40:15 AM PST
I kept using this model up until this month when again the brittle plug ended up causing me problems, so now I have switched to the Sony MDR-G45LP Street Style Neckband Headphones (Black), which does have an L-shape jack. Though the sound quality is something to get used to, I find them to be a good substitute for this product.

ETA - I have used them since this original post and still use the original pair as of mid-February 2012. They definitely match Philips on durability and quality, so I can easily attest that my recommendation of this headset still remains.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2010 12:54:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2010 12:55:03 PM PDT
I assume the one you switched to is Sony Mdr-G45Lp Street Style Neckband Headphones (Black) , currently $11.98. Thanks a lot for your feedback.
Versailles, Thu 30 Sep 2010 21:54:10 +0200

Posted on Oct 20, 2010 12:55:02 PM PDT
Thanks for your feedback. I love wraparound headphones because they don't slip off my head and provide better sound than the today-prevailent earbuds, and I miss living 3 years ago when there were a large number of them at cost on the market...and there were L-shaped jacks, and textile cords that didn't break. I had two models like that by other companies (one was Sony, the other was another company that supplied its merchandise to wallmart), and both of them never failed me. I used the sony one for two years and literally had to step on the cord and jerk the headphone to break it, and the other one is still fine 2 years later, but the foam is coming off the speaker (a common problem with headphones I've noticed.)

These kinds of headphones are very durable and the only kind of headphones I buy anymore! I hope philips can return to making the kinds of quality neckband headphones (as opposed to earbuds) which the other manufacturers have largely stopped making, as you described the old model to be, and I'd gladly become a loyal customer. Thanks for your review.

Posted on Apr 7, 2011 6:08:29 AM PDT
Richard says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2011 7:17:13 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 4, 2011 5:15:08 PM PDT
W. Johnson says:
Did anyone try to repair the broken plug to cable connection?  It is probably prohibitively expensive to get a repair shop to attach a new plug.  However, are there any do-it-yourselfers out there, who have attempted this repair?  The next time one of my headphones breaks or wears out, I will try to do a dissection.  However, there might be too high a risk of damaging expensive computer equipment, if the repair is not done correctly.

Posted on Jul 18, 2011 6:59:46 AM PDT
Not Mozart says:
I had the same problem after 2 months. Right hearphone doesn't work anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2011 10:20:50 PM PDT
ddoodleroo says:
I have repaired several headphone cables. You just need a fine tip soldering iron + solder, some electrical tape, a magnifying glass on a stand and one of those heat shrink wire cover things from the auto parts store. The wires inside are different colors, so it's not hard to avoid screwing up. If you're worried, test them on something cheap first.
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