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The Stretch headphones don't sound half bad either. They produce as open a sound as can be expected from closed-back cans, creating a decent sense of space. Clarity is pretty commendable too; there's a much flatter response than you might anticipate from headphones with packaging touting them as "tested on animals" - by which Philips means extreme sportsmen and women, not critters.
The bass is fairly restrained, though certainly not lacking, with enough force to provide a kick to music requiring it once a little volume is provided. The mid-range is nicely presented with vocals ringing out clearly and distinctly. The high end is probably the weakest point - although there's a decent amount of detail in uncomplicated music, it tends to get muddied once you play anything more complex than a Frank Sinatra album.
Then again, if you are after quality audio production, there are plenty of better options - our pick of the litter being the Grado SR60 headphones. Where The Stetch headphones have the edge is in their rugged construction - you'd hardly want to sneeze near a pair of Grados, but Philips' 'phones can be treated much more roughly, giving them a definitely appeal to anyone wanting to do other things while listening to their music.
The ear-encasing fit of The Stretch headphones means they offer a reasonable amount of noise-isolation. Despite being closed back it's not exactly in-ear level noise exclusion, but it's enough that when you're listening to music you won't have it intruded upon. You can still have a conversation with the headphones on, but there's not enough leakage that anyone sitting nearby will be disturbed at normal listening volumes.
Philips' The Stretch headphones are great to look at, brilliantly comfortable to wear and cap it off by sounding pretty good too. While they're more expensive than a number of better sounding headphones, their rugged construction will shrug off a lot more punishment, so if you know your headphones will need to take a bit of a beating it's a trade-off worth making.
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