We were impressed with the durability and sound quality of the first Philips and O’Neill headphone collaboration, The Stretch, so we were keen to see what this year’s model can do.
Called The Bend, these headphones are designed with same principles in mind: tough with high audio fidelity. They certainly get tough correct. For starters, the headphone band is made out incredibly flexible plastic, letting you stretch it out until it’s flat. The cans have a ratchet action to adjust them to your head size, but pull them too far down and they simply slide off the band.
Finally, the 1.2m material covered non-tangle headphone cable connects to the headphones via a secondary 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. If the cable gets caught in something, it pops out of the secondary connector without damaging the headphones. This is one pair of headphones you can carry around without fear of causing any damage.
The cans have large soft pads for your ears, but we found that the hard plastic band was a little uncomfortable on the head. By contrast, The Stretch headphones have a padded seal that fits more comfortably around your ears, and a soft padded strip of material for your head.
Sound quality is generally very good thanks to the 30mm drivers. Bass is deep and thumping, but the mid-range and treble are sharp. We have to say that The Bend isn’t as good as The Stretch. In particular, the low-end tends to get a bit muffled, volume isn’t as good and the subtle nuances and detail in tracks gets a little lost.
Thanks to the decent padding on the earphones and closed drivers, The Bends don’t leak noise and you can happily listen to them loudly on public transport without annoying your fellow commutors.
All-in-all, The Bend headphones are a tough a decent-sounding pair, but you can get better comfort and sound. We’d rather pay £30 for The Stretch, although if buy before the end of January at BestBuy, you can get them for just £50.
|Plug type||3.5mm stereo jack plug|