Philips SHO7205WT/28 O’Neill Construct Headphones Review

Philips SHO7205WT Headphones Review

The Construct headphones are designed for those who work hard, and play harder. Philips claims that they’re one of the most durable on the market; able to withstand up to 1.5 tonnes of static force. You probably won’t get that much force from your daily activities, but these are still a handy pair of rough-and-tumble cans to have around.

Audio Performance

Featuring large and dynamic 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets, the headphones deliver a crisp and detailed stereo sound quality for all your music and audio listening needs. A frequency response between 17Hz to 23,000 Hz means that the Construct is able to handle both low and high frequencies well. They shine especially with bass, which is good news for techno, electronic dance or other beat-heavy music lovers. The overall audio is clean and has minimal distortion, with warm tonalities suited to modern music rather than classical or genres that need lots of detailing.

Their performance is also affected by the device they are plugged into. When tested with an iPod, the audio seemed flat and lacking in depth – but when paired with an amp on low gain, the headphones came alive and sounded much more vibrant, with a wider soundstage and more accurate imaging. The overall volume does not go very high with the Construct. As such, the headphones might require an amp or equalizer to perform to their maximum potential, although they still sound good enough on their own for the casual listener.

With a low impedance rating of 32Ohms, the Construct performs best with portable, low amp machines such as CDplayers, MP3s, smartphones and tablets. They have a sensitivity of 107dB and a maximum power output of 50mW.

Design and Build

Philips SHO7205WT Headphones Review

Sporting sleek, shiny cans and a padded headband, the Construct looks modern and edgy. Coupled with their relatively light weight at 8.3 ounces, they make a nice pair of headphones to show off while on the commute or while listening to music outdoors. The Construct comes in two colors – black and red, and white and blue. The official specs list them as an on-ear style, but they really look like an over-the-ear design, thanks to their large and circular ear pads that completely envelop the ears.

While some users prefer an open-back design which allows them to hear ambient noises for open, natural sound, the Construct headphones are very much an ‘in your head’ listening experience, almost as if users are in a closed room or studio. Not only are they good at blocking off most ambient noises, they are also great at sound isolation. Users will never have to worry about bothering others around them with their music, even with the volume dial turned up high, as there is very little audio leakage.

Build-wise, these headphones are as sturdy as they get, and are able to take a beating. As mentioned earlier, they can take up to 1.5 tons of static force. Surrounding the ear cans are metal rings, which protect the drivers against impact. Engineered with a ‘safe-release’ feature, the rings are meant to detach if the headphones fall onto the ground or suffer a hard impact, in order to minimize damage to the internal parts.

The Construct does not skimp on comfort, with swivelling ear pads that are covered in a soft and plush pleather material which won’t hurt the ears, even after long hours of wear. However, the material does not do well in hot weather, since they accumulate heat. For those living in tropical climates, you might want to relegate these headphones to indoor use only in an air-conditioned environment.

The TR90 headband is stretchy and flexible, allowing users to adjust it to fit different head shapes and sizes. It is also padded with a cushy, tough fabric for extra comfort. Since the build is so sturdy, users can even wear them in bed without fear of squashing the headphones or accidentally breaking them when lying on the side. Just one minor flaw: the clamp can be a little tight, especially for people with larger heads.

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Additional Features

Philips SHO7205WT Headphones Review

One great feature of the Construct is the addition of a built-in microphone, which eliminates the need for a separate set when making or answering calls on smartphones or PCs. Sound from the mic is crisp with minimal static, so callers on the other end should be able to hear you with crystal clear clarity. Other than making calls, they are also suitable for in-game communication.

The headphones work with a plug and play concept, so no complicated setups are required. They are compatible with most smartphone brands, including Blackberry, HTCs, Samsung and iPhones. Meanwhile, handy controls located on the cord makes it easy to adjust volume or skip tracks at the simple push of a button.

The Construct’s cord is longer than most, at 1.2m , and has a braided texture for durability. The cable trails out from one side of the headphones instead of being Y-shape, doing away with the problem of tangled cables. It is also detachable up to three inches away, in case you need to quickly detach it to prevent breakage from snagging. The cable ends with a standard 3.5mm gold-plated jack for maximum connectivity.

Pros

Philips SHO7205WT Headphones Review

  • Sturdy build
  • Large and dynamic 40mm drivers for crisp and quality stereo sound
  • Shines with bass/low-frequencies
  • Closed-back design for superior noise isolation and ambient noise reduction
  • Modern design
  • Flexible headband and swivelling cushions for customized fit
  • Single-sided cord
  • In-line controls
  • Built-in mic

Cons

  • Lacks depth with some tracks
  • Tight clamp, not suitable for people with larger heads
  • Pleather material does not hold up well in hot weather, not as long lasting

Verdict

For their mid-range price and functionality, the Construct has more pros than cons and delivers with great quality. Their sturdy build and solid construction makes them a real winner. While they probably won’t be satisfying hard-core audiophiles due to the flat response, they work great as headphones for casual music listeners or for everyday use.

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