The new sports-oriented headphone range has something to suit every kind of athlete in terms of style and functions, such as easy clean designs (including a UV clean via the charging case for the ST702), sweat and water resistance (SN503 & ST702 only), passive noise reduction throughout the range, fast charging and auto-detection for Bluetooth devices using Bluetooth 5.0.
On-ear headphones might not seem like an obvious choice for active users when compared to smaller, more convenient in-ear options but exercise fans appreciate great quality audio as much as the next listener. On top of that, the design affords decent noise isolation and extended playing times.
The SH402 has all this, with 40mm neodymium acoustic drivers providing a detailed sound and the 20 hours of playback can be boosted with a 10-minute fast charge for a further 2 hours. This on-ear headphone is also compact and easy to fold away but perhaps its most interesting feature for those who are working up a sweat is the ability to cool the skin around the ears by 3 to 5°C due to the special cooling gel inside the ear pad. The SH402 is also IPX4 splash- and sweat resistant.
The true wireless ST702 earphones are obviously a good choice for workouts due to the complete freedom from wires and cables but these will also suit active users due to their IPX5 waterproofing and an additional charging case that also doubles as a UV cleaning chamber. The case adds 12 hours of recharges to the ST702’s standard 6 hours for 18 in total, and a fast charge of 15 minutes gives an extra 1.5 hours if you’ve got any puff left.
The ST702’s can handle music and calls equally well with 6mm neodymium acoustic drivers and smart pairing with the Bluetooth on your phone allows calls that are controlled by tapping the earbud.
The final model, the wireless SN503, actually has a connecting cable between the two earpieces but is cable-free in all other regards. It connects easily to Bluetooth devices for music and calls via smart pairing and matches the ST702 with 6mm drivers, 6-hour playback plus extra hour with a 15-minute fast charger, and IPX5 waterproofing.
Where it differs from its true wireless cousin though is the inclusion of, what Philips is calling, the world’s smallest in-ear heart rate monitor. This can use popular running apps to give real-time audio feedback without the distracting need to look at a display. Philips claims that this heart rate monitor can match the precision of a chest belt monitor and will work at speeds of up to 16km/hour.
The SN503 also comes with 3 3 interchangeable ear-tip covers and soft rubberized wingtips for a secure and comfortable fit.