Philips SHB8850NC Review – Budget Price Equals Budget Performance

There are many headphones in the market that do offer active noise-cancelling (ANC) technologies that are located at a premium price point, but the Philips SHB8850NC is happily placed in a budget-friendly category. This is a pair of Bluetooth on-ear headphones that are less than a third of the price as compared to the top-of-the-market contender which is the Bose QuietComfort 35. However, its low price tag also equates to a mediocre sound performance.

Philips SHB8850NC Review - Budget Price Equals Budget Performance

The Philips SHB8850NC Has a Budget-Friendly Price Tag That Translates to a Mediocre Performance

The Philips SHB8850NC  is a pair of supra-aural headphones. This means that they will sit on your ears rather than completely enveloping them. The circular earpads are compact in size, and it does make itself smaller than the Bose QC35. In terms of size alone, it does compare itself closely to the AKG N60 ANC, which also offers excellent active noise cancelling features as that of Bose’s headphone.

Aside from being small and quite compact, the SHB8850NC is also quite light. It has a weight of only 230-grams, and you wouldn’t feel any fatigue even when listening to your favorite tracks for long periods of time. As for the earpads, they are well padded, which does bring a decent level of comfort. However, and as with just about any well-padded headphone on the market, it will feel a bit warm, especially on hot days. The result is rather sweaty ears. Well, at the very least, the headband does not exert too much pressure on your head.

It is advertised that this particular pair of headphones will be able to cancel out 97-percent of ambient noise which is thanks to its two microphones. However, in real world use, it feels like a far cry from its promised level of noise cancellation. Do keep in mind about the low price tag it has; if it was going to be a good match with its rivals in the ANC department, then the level of noise cancellation is still quite poor.

Powering the audio of the Philips SHB8850NC is a pair of 32-millimeter neodymium closed-back drivers. If there was one word to describe its sound performance, that word would have to be “uninspiring.” While there is nothing too terrible to say about its audio, it just performs too… normal.  The bass is pretty decent and warm, however it does bring itself towards the mids and trebles a bit. This results in the audio lacking in detail. The soundstage is also a bit on the narrow side. Hence, the headphone is happily placed in a budget-friendly market, but you will get a very mediocre performance out of it as well.


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