Finding a pair of good quality headphones — that fit on or over your ears comfortably, but that are also wireless, and that also have integrated active noise cancelling to block out the outside world — is difficult. Harder still is finding them at a reasonable price, which is why we're intrigued by Philips' new SHB8850NC on-ear headphones.
The SHB8850NC is only $199.95, which by my searching makes it one of the least expensive, if not the least expensive pair of Bluetooth plus active noise cancelling headphones that you can buy in Australia.
On paper, the headphones sound pretty impressive; 16 hours of battery life from the internal rechargeable cell when both Bluetooth and noise cancelling are enabled, jumping to 28 hours with just Bluetooth and 33 hours with just active noise cancelling enabled.
A four-microphone array on the headphones' exterior blocks up to 97 per cent of external noise, reducing it by -20dB. Those microphones can also be used for audio pickup, letting you use the SHB8850NC for voice calls.
At the same time, Philips also has a new wired-only pair of noise cancelling headphones in the SHL3850NC, which will be $129. This is about the price at which competitors' noise cancelling cans start to appear, but few have Philips' 40 hour battery life for noise-cancelled music playback.
You'll be able to buy the SHB8850NC at Harvey Norman and Officeworks where it should be in stock in the next couple of days. The wired SHL3850NC wired, folding on-ear headphones will be on sale through Officeworks.