As tech reviewers, we’re often asked “what’s the best pair of affordable earbuds that works with my phone?” After reviewing the Philips Underground SHE5105BK In-Ear headphones, we would put these at the top of the list. Philips’ Underground In-Ears are comfortable and affordable and feature a universal button with microphone, a tangle-free cord, and most importantly clear audio with big sound.
As of this review, information is sparse on the Undergrounds. For now, we know they come in a cool purple color, which is very much general-neutral (as proven by this reviewer). Headphone cables don’t get much better than these, they’re linguine shaped (flat) and coated in rubber. The cable is almost entirely tangle-proof. A little ways down from the left ear-bud is ControlTalk button and mic. The button controls music, phone calls, and/or voice commands on iPhone (and iOS devices), Android, and BlackBerrys. There is an adjustable plastic slide labeled “Share Music” that allows you to control the length of the “Y” in the cable. This allows you to share an earbud with a friend without breaking your ear buds… or smashing heads.
The back of the earbuds are magnetic so you can join them together for easy tangle-free storage. There are three soft ear caps included: small, medium, and large. The earbuds are shelled in a tough plastic. Including the cable and control talk button, the Undergrounds are pretty light. This helps keep them from falling out of your ears. They’re comfortable to wear and do a nice job of limiting ambient noise.
The Undergrounds sound fantastic, especially for affordable buds. They audio quality is very clear and extremely balanced. They are not skewed towards one genre of music, they sound just as good playing soft acoustic rock as they do playing heavy electronic music. The mid-range audio is full and clear. The highs are crisp and the lows are punchy and present. Some may prefer more bass, but the bass is nice and balanced as-is.
While they’re currently listed as unavailable, Amazon lists the Philips Underground SHE5105BK In-Ear Headphones for $49.99. The Undergrounds could easily be priced closer to $100. They’re pretty much entirely plastic, but don’t skimp on build quality, durability, functionality, and most importantly sound.
The Good: Balanced/Detailed Audio, Tangle-Free Flat Cord with ControlTalk, Light, Durable, Affordable, Comfortable
The Bad: No Carrying Case/Pouch, Not Yet Available, no volume controls