Philips In-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones SHN2500

Philips In-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones SHN2500

Active noise reduction for in-ear monitors

Made by Philips, a major producer of electronics, so the R&D is well-intended, or at least well funded. They give plenty of slack, are somewhat comfortable and sound half-decent.

The “noise reduction” is actually noise replacement. The noise reduction unit and battery casing are an in-line box that can’t be removed.

No good…or at least not good enough to branded “noise canceling.” Maybe if the audio was superb and the comfort wasn’t comparable to an earwig boring into the side of my head, the SHM2500 would be passable.

Philips In-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones: Not Sure About the Noise Canceling Part…

No good…or at least not good enough to be branded “noise canceling.” Maybe if the audio was superb and the comfort wasn’t similar to that of an earwig digging into the side of my head, the SHM2500 would be passable.

Philips got my hopes up with the SHN2500 Active Noise Canceling In-Ear Headphones.  The name tricked me.  The room noise and the cars outside my window didn't magically melt away, as they do with circumaural noise cancellers by Bose or Ableplanet.  I know it’s not fair to compare full-size phones with these little in-ears, but truly, we're comparing their common technology here.

The SHN2500 advertises “70% less external noise.”  However, during the little amount of time I could bear to wear them, they didn't reduce external noise at all.  The noise-canceling unit just smoked out room noise with a combination of its own white noise and a low hum in the range of 123 Hz.  Consequently, all your favorite albums now sound fuzzy.  There’s nothing like listening to Abbey Road with some nice white noise to fill in those awful gaps.

The other thing the noise replacement feature does is raise the volume.  Make sure you have your device’s volume set down low before engaging the noise replacement.

If nothing else about the SHN2500 had turned me off, it feels as though someone just punched me in the ears.  To be fair, I’m often told I have oddly-shaped ear canals, and in-ears never really rest comfortably in them.  However, I don’t recall throbbing pain after using other in-ears.  I’d like to think I’m old enough to follow directions, so I have no explanation other than poor design for these painful things.

Technical Info:

Acoustic system: Open
Active noise attenuation: 50-1,500Hz, >10dB at 300Hz
Diaphragm: Mylar dome
Frequency response: 40 – 20 000 Hz
Impedance: 72 Ohm at 1kHz 72 Ohm
Magnet type: Neodymium
Maximum power input: 15 mW
Noise cancelling effect: ~10 dB at 300 Hz
Sensitivity: 102 dB
Speaker diameter: 9 mm
Type: Dynamic
Voice coil: Copper
Price: $25


  1. Law says:

    I can guess how you must have tested this to give it that kind of a review.  I have had this pair for 2 years now.  In My dell laptop, Creative labs mp3 player, and LiveScribe pen this sounds great and the noise is greatly amplified compared to other low end headsets.  On my IPOD turned on it sounds like complete garbage.  If you do intend on using your headphones for an ipod no don't get this product.   If your planning on using it on a Creative labs or other type of mp3 player it basically acts like an amplifier and a noise canceler for outside noise.  If you do end up using this on an IPOD you just shut the switch off it sounds just as clean as an apple headset without being amplified…. So basically the same as those.   

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