Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis

Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears and lots of experience. Even for audiophiles, it may prove challenging at times to obtain an accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as a simultaneous reference. While I am not going to even try to claim that I am the only trustworthy or best reviewer for sound, it is fact that most computer review sites have editors who are insufficiently trained in reviewing audio equipment. Give them practically anything and all you will read about goes along the line of "good bass, nice midrange, awesome treble, really clear sound, 10/10". While there are many knowledgeable audio reviewers at various respected online media outlets, they are by far the minority.

As I have mentioned in my past audio reviews, there are really no true objective measurements for speaker sound quality. As the reviewer, however, I will put it through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating possible. Yes, it is quite a paradox haha. Tests were conducted primarily wirelessly via Bluetooth with a Google Pixel 3a XL. After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above typically required period -- we put the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 to the tests. All tracks were uncompressed or high bitrate files.

Starting at the bottom, the lower frequencies of the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 offered a decently heavy amount of bass. It was solid with a good amount of kick and movement. Bass drum kicks and bass guitar riffs offered a good amount of punch and motion, setting a nice groove in different genres of music. On the other hand, I think it could have been cleaned up with some muddiness heard in this region. I would not describe them as boomy, but it was lacking definition at times.

Moving to the midrange, we had a notably recessed region, which matches the expected V-shaped sound in these headphones. Instruments in this region like pianos, guitars, and some brass instruments had a decent amount of resonance, but lacked some of the natural details you might be expecting. Once again, these are not meant to be monitor headphones, but it does not mean we should be missing details. Vocals in this region were slightly dry at times and lacked some warmness.

Finally, at the top, the Philips ST702 had its trebles emphasized with attenuation at the top of this region. Unfortunately, instruments like trumpets and violins lack their brightness I would have naturally expected. Instruments still came through, but tended to sound dry. This made the trebles feel uncomfortable and dark at times. Overall, these ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 may be marketed towards those who live an active and on-the-go lifestyle, but their V-shaped sound signature was made for the general public in mind. While it may not be great for those wanting a flat, monitor-like experience, the emphasis comes in in the low-end and trebles, making for a fun-sound. Unfortunately, the attenuation at the higher-end are not in line with the typical V-shaped sound, making for a darker when everything is put together. I think some genres of music with electronic influences would be alright, but others like jazz or classical may miss the sparkle I would have liked.

When it comes to soundstaging and imaging, the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 were a bit narrower than I would have liked, lacking the full immersive experience. These are limited by their physical size of their drivers and the overall enclosure, but I think this situation could have been improved upon. The overall image produced was still natural, but lacked the depth to make it feel engaging or enveloping.

As for layering and frequency separation, the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 performed admirably, reproducing the voices. Unfortunately, with more voices and layers, we started to lose some definition in some sounds, causing for some clarity issues here. Frequencies were still audibly separable with good transitions between the different regions. As for cleanness and clarity, I think there was a slight muffle that impacted all of the different aspects of evaluation, which can be cleaned up. Finally, sound isolation was pretty good here, as we did not have any noise leakage and the overall shape provided a good seal in my ears.

In terms of daily usability, the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 had superb battery life. Its 6.5-hour tested battery life meant I could go almost a full working day without needing to put the headphones in the case, while the additional twelve hours offered two more charges before needing to fully recharge the whole system. The wireless range was excellent, giving me some distance from the audio source without any notable drops or stutters. Latency was a bit noticeable in videos and more so in games, which can be concerning for some users but should be alright for the general public. As for call quality, the Philips ActionFit Wireless Headphone ST702 worked as expected, as communication was clear both ways without any issues and the mic was able to pick up my voice easily.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion