Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
Like all true wireless earphones, Philips provides a carrying case that doubles as a charger for the earbuds. The charging case has a simple matte black plastic finish with Philips' logo in front. Both its shape and design are quite business looking, but I am not complaining. It measures in at 4.4 cm in height, 7.2 cm in width, 3.6 cm in depth, and weighs 73g, which is considerably larger than the MORE ColorBuds True Wireless when placed side-by-side. The case is also much fatter than the 1MORE True Wireless ANC, but despite its size, it can still be conveniently carried in a bag or jacket pocket. That said, for a premium product, I definitely prefer the 1MORE True Wireless ANC's metal case compared to the T8505's plastic. In front, there are three blue indicator LEDs to indicate the current charge status, where three lit LEDs indicate 67% to 100% of charge, two LEDs indicate 33% to 67% of charge, and so forth. The blue LEDs only light up when it is the case is charging or when the case is charging the earbuds.
Each piece of the True Wireless ANC T8505 has a built-in 55mAh battery for up to 6 hour of battery life with active noise canceling turned off. Enabling ANC will reduce the battery life to 5 hours. They take approximately 1.5 hours to charge using the charging case and a 15 minute charge adds an extra hour of play time. The charging case supports up to three recharge cycles, or an additional 18 hours of music with ANC off, for the earbuds with its 560mAh internal battery. The charging case itself takes about 2 hours to charge via its USB Type-C port. I am very happy to see a USB Type-C port, given it is 2021. In addition, the charging case also supports 5W Qi wireless charging, but it will take 4 hours. That aside, from my experience, these estimates seem to be pretty close to reality with the test battery life at 4 hours 42 minutes at 50% volume and ANC turned on.
The Philips True Wireless ANC T8505 earbuds are revealed once you flip open the top of the charging case. One unique feature is the pairing occurs as soon as the case lid is opened rather than when the earbuds are removed from the case, making the process faster. At first glance, the earbuds are equally as business looking as the case, where the exposed portion is circular with concentric circles. Philips' logo can be found in the middle of the inner circle. The part where Philip's logo is located is also a capacitive touch multi-function button. Its understated business look works quite well in not calling too much attention to itself in day-to-day use. This is not to mention the True Wireless ANC T8505 are significantly smaller than the 1MORE True Wireless ANC. A small indicator LED is located near the edge of the middle circle on both earbuds, where the ANC microphone is also placed. The LED will blink or light up in blue or white in various patterns to indicate its charge or connection status.
The design of these earbuds is symmetrical, but capacitive tap controls pretty much only works properly with both earbuds active despite its mono mode support. The capacitive touch multi-function button can be used to control the voice assistant, calls, music, and toggle active noise cancelling. The T8505 can toggle between ANC on, ANC off, and passthrough, and always starts with ANC on rather than the last active mode. I found the tap controls to work very poorly. Since some features only require a single tap, I experienced serious problems with accidental activation even if I am just trying to adjust the earbuds. Frankly, it was very frustrating when they beep repeatedly as I adjust them and starts playing and pausing my music all at the same time.
The Philips True Wireless ANC T8505 earphones connect to your audio source device via Bluetooth 5.0. Protocols supported over Bluetooth 5.0 include AAC and SBC, but no aptX. SBC, or Subband Coding, is the default Bluetooth audio codec with reasonably good audio quality and low processing power requirements. AAC is Apple's proprietary format that communicates at about 250kbps from the source. aptX is a time domain ADPCM compression algorithm that promises CD like quality according to the people promoting it. Adding support for aptX will improve the sound quality of these earphones for Android users.
Each side of the Philips True Wireless ANC T8505 will automatically turn on once you open the case. As you can see in our photo above, since there are no wires, Philips uses a pair of pogo pins on each side to keep those electrons flowing when it is inside the charging case. You can use these earbuds in mono or stereo mode, and it will announce in your ears when the earphones are connected in plain English. The earphones will also beep to indicate the capacitive touch multi-function button is pressed.
Both earbuds also feature two microphones each -- one on the outside for detecting environmental noise and one on the inside for capturing your voice -- for a total of four. Adjacent to the drivers, next to the pogo pin contacts, are infrared sensors on both sides. They detect whether the earphones are in your ears or not, and will pause your music automatically when you take them out. This feature works very well from my experience. From my experience, I found the fit to be very good as well. When I am running or walking, they do not lose its seal easily. After a few weeks of use, they have never fallen out of my ears. I tried shaking them out and they simply will not go anywhere. However, they protrude a bit due to its size; thankfully not as much as the 1MORE True Wireless ANC despite similar features.
Taking off the sleeves reveal its 13mm neodymium acoustic drivers rated at 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 5mW maximum output power. Its 16 ohm impedance and 108dB at 1kHz sensitivity is standard fare. Philips claims they are designed to give you powerful bass and thrilling clarity, which I will discuss in my auditioning results in just a moment. Like many modern in-ear monitors, the drivers aim directly into your ear for a more direct and transparent sound reproduction characteristic. At the same time, it makes the earphones much easier to clean in the long run too. The oval-shaped acoustic tube via the sleeves assist the aim into the user's ear canals, and since these earphones are designed for a closed configuration, the Philips True Wireless ANC T8505 are made for both active and passive noise canceling. The T8505 are also IPX4 certified for water resistance in any direction.
With all this in mind, how will they perform? As always, we have the entire Page 3 dedicated to presenting our auditioning results.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis