When purchasing headphones, it’s crucial not only to consider the audio quality but ease of use, comfort, and compatibility. In the case of the Philips BASS+, it doesn’t falter in any single category but truly shines as a mobile companion for smartphones and tablets. These are an excellent option for anyone looking for an upgrade to wireless headphones, but I don’t think they are a top option when it comes to gaming headphones.
The following review will cover my impressions while using the headset, its strengths and weaknesses, and lastly, score this headset with a few categories in mind.
In the Box
- Philips Bluetooth On-ear Headset TABH305
- USB charging cable (for charging only)
- Quick start guide
Hands-on with the Philips BASS+
I have grown to love these headphones after spending just a week with them. First off the charging time is incredibly fast. In under two hours, I had a full charge. I even have plenty of battery left even after using them for upwards of 16 hours. It states on the box that the overall playtime should be 18 hours, but from what I’ve experienced, it could potentially be even better than that.
The design is exceptionally lightweight and portable, making them ideal for use on the go. Trying these at the gym, they were comfortable and stayed on my head even with plenty of bouncing around. That comfort only became more apparent at work, where I would leave these on for 4-6 hour stints while wearing glasses, and barely noticed any discomfort.
The minimalist controls on the right ear shell are simple and have a satisfying clicking response to confirm a button press. There’s no confusion as to what you’re pressing with the power button, active noise canceling, and volume controls all being easy to distinguish between when wearing. The only odd choice was not including a dedicated sync button, but instead making it a function of the power button. This design decision led to a handful of frustrating pairing attempts that could become a headache if you plan on using these across multiple devices.
As I stated before, these headphones were designed for use with a mobile phone or tablet. That became very apparent when trying to sync with any other device. Pairing with my iPhone took less than 5 seconds. Pairing with my PC involved looking up a tutorial for a workaround to discover the device. Pairing with an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 was impossible, as both consoles do not support these headphones.
There is a microphone embedded in the headphones that enabled me to take phone calls by clicking the button on the side of the right earphone. I tried using it with Discord and in a PC Xbox Live Party, but the headphones never picked up my voice and sent sharp feedback into the ears of my party members. The actual phone call functionality only worked around half of the time, which may explain the issue.
This headset works superbly with a phone. Music, podcasts, videos, and mobile games sound crisp and clear, with absolutely no feedback or loss of audio. The games I tried on PC, Devil May Cry 5, and Apex Legends, both held that same level of quality. The most impressive aspect was how easily I could distinguish ambient noise; with gunfire and explosions shifting in and out as I approached or moved away. If it weren’t for how difficult these were to sync with a PC, they would be a great option for solo, cinematic titles.
Comfort & Features
Thin padding and a lightweight build go a long way, but the lack of compatibility with devices outside of phones or tablets severely limits the use of these headphones. Additionally, while they’re meant to be noise-canceling the active noise canceling function doesn’t make a difference aside from draining the battery. I would recommend keeping it off and just cranking up the volume.
While they don’t act as a true noise-canceling device and the mic functionality is spotty at best; the sound quality and comfort almost make it worth the price. If you want something that easily connects to your phone, has a long battery life, and blends gorgeous audio with long-lasting comfort, get these when they drop in price. With there being so many high-quality headphones and headsets available at this price point, it will likely fade into the crowd.
Zoom In: Specs
Here’s a full list of specs.
- Adjustable headband and ear shells
- Compact fold for ease of carrying
- Music time (ANC enabled with Bluetooth): 15 hours
- Talk time (ANC enabled with Bluetooth): 15 hours
- Standby time (ANC enabled with Bluetooth): 15 hours
- Normal time for a full charge: 2 hours
- Rechargeable lithium-polymer battery (530 mAh)
- Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth mono support (Headset Prole – HSP, Hands-Free Prole – HFP), Bluetooth stereo supported (Advanced Audio Distribution Prole – A2DP; Audio Video Remote Control Prole-AVRCP)
- Maximum input power: 30mW
- Speaker diameter: 32 mm
- Frequency response: 9-21,000 Hz
- Frequency range: 2.402-2.480GHz
- Transmitter power: ≤4dBm
- Micro-USB port for charging
- Supports SBC
- Operating range: Up to 10 meters (33 feet)
- Digital echo & noise reduction
- Low battery warning: available
- 18 hours playtime with BT on and ANC off
Product Name: Philips BASS+ Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Product Description: The Philips BASS+ is perfect for anyone looking to upgrade their current earbuds to a Bluetooth model. This mobile-friendly pair combines incredibly rich sound with a lightweight and comfortable design for use on-the-go, in the office or for at the gym.
I wouldn’t purchase these if I were planning on using them for gaming. The Philips BASS+ are incompatible with current consoles and will not easily connect to a PC. A microphone is embedded in the device, but it only works (some of the time) for answering calls and will not register voice chat while playing.
- Quick Charging Time & Long Battery Life
- Comfortable, Collapsible & Light-Weight Design
- Impressive Audio Quality
- Compatible Only With Phones & Tablets (PC With Lengthy Work-Around)
- Microphone & Phone Call Functionality Doesn’t Always Work
- Active Noise Canceling Doesn’t Make a Difference