I may add more as I get more hours on these, but I'll just say for now that I really like these headphones. They're a full size open air headphone, but are not your typical open headphone. They're actually a great compromise, having some of the best characteristics of both open and closed headphones.
Design and Comfort
These don't have the aesthetics of something like the B&W P7 that I have them sitting next to at the moment, but they are made of good materials and appear to be well built. Philips states on the box that these are indoor headphones and I'd agree with that, these are too big, open, and likely not durable enough to be worn outside and tossed around in a gym bag. They're probably not quite durable enough for a studio pair either, but I'll get to a more important reason in a minute why they're not ideal for that anyway. The headband is leather with aluminum around the cups, with the cup inserts actually being plastic.
These are a suspension style headphone, where you don't adjust the ear cups, but rather place the ear cups around your ears and the headphones adjust themselves on your head. This style is generally very comfortable, but doesn't always produce the best seal and I've never owned a pair of these that fit really well and gave me the kind of seal I need for a good bass response. That is not the case with these, they're very comfortable and seal very well against my ears. I've had a couple people with different size heads try them and they fit them very well also. The ear pad is a velour type material and the pads are a very generous size so they're quite comfortable. I dare say that this is the most comfortable pair of headphones that I've ever worn all things considered.
As I mentioned these are a very good blend of the characteristics of both open and sealed headphones. They have a very impressive bass response that you'd typically find in a good sealed headphone, but the soundstage that you'd expect in a good open headphone. I'd characterize their sound as warm overall, especially from the lows up thru the mids, but with a bit of energy in the treble that's not typical of warm headphones. The bass response overall is very good, though I've heard it get a little loose on a couple very tough recordings - overall it's definitely not a concern but if you try hard enough you can get these to act up on the low end.
Their FR curve is a straight line, though tilted towards the bass, so you get a very even sounding headphone. They're not what I'd call neutral given the tilt towards the bass, but they're still very even sounding headphones. I can handle a headphone having a sound that leans one way or the other, what I can't handle is an uneven sound with peaks and valleys in the FR curve. So these have a very strong bass response and a warm sounding midrange, and then there's the top end.
The highs are a bit strange on these, but overall they work for me. They have a tendency to sound synthetic on some tracks and have a little energy up there that on really bad recordings can get harsh if the volume is too loud. Normally I'm out at this point, so the fact that I enjoy these so much tells you that this isn't a significant issue, but in being critical is something I'm bringing up.
These headphones are FUN as hell to listen to, but are not the last word in neutrality. These therefore wouldn't be good for an application like a studio, but then they're clearly not aimed at that market so that's not a problem so much as an observation. If I want to sit down and listen critically to a piece of music these would not be my first choice, I'd grab my HD800 instead of that. But to sit back and just listen for the fun of it, these are perfect. Philips should market these as 'Fun Headphones for Audiophiles'.
I will say this, if I could only own ONE pair of headphones under $500 these would be my choice. That's not bad considering they can be had on Amazon for under $250.
These will be making the trip with me to LSAF along with a couple other surprises that I'm not spilling yet, so you guys there can hear them.