Philips unveiled its full range of Citiscape urban-flavoured headphones at CES 2012 in Las Vegas. There are four models that come in up to five colours. And, most importantly, they cost a whole lot less than their Monster Beats equivalents.
Sitting at the top of Philips’s new range of Citiscape headphones is the over-ears Uptown pair. They offer 40mm dynamic drivers, a 1.2mm cable that’s flat in order to reduce tangling and a built-in handsfree housing designed to work with almost all smartphones. Given their ~£100 price (they retail for $149.99 stateside), they appear to undercut a number of significant rivals from House of Marley and Monster.
Philips Citiscape Uptown – classy
The cups are made from aluminium, and extra attention has been put into sealing out external noise and stopping your music from bleeding out into the world. Philips calls it MusicSeal. Passive noise isolation is nothing new – common to all closed-back headphones – but we’ll be paying close attention to whether they’re any better than the norm at review.
Philips Citiscape Downtown – brassy
One step down the range is where the Downtown headphones live. They offer an on-ear design, but otherwise bring similar specs to the Uptown pair – 1.2m flat cable, 40mm drivers and a handsfree kit. MusicSeal is back too, but here it uses careful cutting-out of the inner part of the earpads, to improve the seal with your ear. The surface of the pads is a leather-like material.
Philips Citiscape Shibuya – broke
If £50 is a little too pricey, the Citiscape Shibuya and St Germain are here to lighten your wallet further. Set to sell for around £30, the Shibuya are again on-ear headphones and the St Germain feature an in-ear noise isolating design. While these two should block out noise to an extent, they don’t come with the MusicSeal of approval. However, the Metro range is the most colourful of the lot, available in five different shades. We’ll take the pink.
We’ll find out whether Philips has come up with a more affordable alternative to the Monster Beats range later in the year – they’ll be available from March.