I’ve been looking forward to the moment to put in a few words about the Philips SHL3300 DJ headphones. I got a pair of these for one of my birthdays and I was absolutely happy with my gift. Now I get the chance to say what I like and what I dislike about my headphones.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to music through these over-ear headphones and I recall being happy about the sound quality and comfort I experienced. In this article, I’ll tell you everything I know about the SHL 3300s.
I hope that by the end of this read, you’ll get the idea of what you’ll be getting if you opt for these over-ear DJ headphones.
What Are Over-Ear DJ Headphones?
I’m sure you’ve heard that there are over-ear and on-ear headphones. The difference is quite visible, but let’s see what sets them apart and which option is better for you.
The SHL3300 headphones contain ear cushions that go all the way over your ears, trapping the earshells inside. On the other hand, on-ear DJ cans are placed on top of your ears, leaving parts of it outside of the ear pad frame.
The headphones under review belong to the over-ear category and that’s what you’re looking for if you’re a DJ. Your job requires that you cut out the noise coming from outside the cans and focus on the track you’ve cued in your headphone channel.
At the same time, the SHL3300s are closed back. This means that they will put in some extra effort to isolate you from the outside noise.
Philips SHL3300 DJ Headphones: Overview
Let’s start by quickly going over these headphones, so you’ll get a clearer image of the 3300s. I will discuss all the content in more detail in my Likes and Dislikes sections below.
The SHL3300s are solid over-ear headphones in general, offering great features and a quality build for a reasonable price. They fall into the mid-range category, as they will cost you some $50 if you want them new. However, there are some open boxes on Amazon which might be worth trying.
The manufacturer has put some effort to smart-design the 3300s, making a wide lightweight headband with EVA foam for comfortable fit. The earpieces rotate 165 degrees to suit your DJ monitoring style. You can swivel one earcup and compare your master and cue track.
The audio delivery is great, especially the lower frequencies. These over-ear headphones have a highly defined bass, so if you’re mostly mixing electronic dance music, this might be what you need. I noticed that the highs are a bit washed out, though.
It’s no wonder that they provide such great sound experiences since the set features 40mm neodymium drivers. Surely, you’ve noticed how big of a deal brands make when they use this material in their headphones’ speakers. More about it below.
The cable is fine, not so study but it bends nicely and will do the job. It’s coiled on one end and then straight. The cord is pretty long and flexible, so it’ll suit your needs at home and at the performing venue. One thing that bothers me is that it’s not detachable.
They’re quite lightweight at 9.6 ounces. Over-ear cans are usually heavier than on-ear ones, so this is a pretty good weight for the type.
Philips SHL3300 Headphones: The Likes
The biggest trick is to separate the pros from the cons and then weigh your results to see what’s more important to you and why.
Features 40mm Neodymium Drivers
Your earpieces contain speakers inside them, which is where you’re getting the sound from. Neodymium is one of the best options to be used for isolation. The neodymium magnet is light yet firm enough to be used as the main component of the driver unit.
The sound that comes through your earpieces is reliable thanks to the neodymium drivers. This material is used by engineers for projects that are in need of stability and lightness. That’s why it’s great to see it in these over-ear headphones.
Neodymium magnets are also cool because they’re much more resistant to coercivity than other magnets. Preventing coercivity means that you don’t have to be afraid about demagnetization, which could lead to a muddy sound.
The neodymium speaker drivers have a diameter of 40 mm, which is a universal measurement for headphones. People say that bigger drivers deliver stronger bass, and that’s true. However, a bigger driver doesn’t necessarily mean better sound overall.
One of the most important features in a headphone set is the frequency response. If you’re not familiar with the term and you encounter it all the time in product descriptions, now’s the time to find out more about it.
Frequency response represents the span that your headphones cover regarding frequencies. Every DJ knows that sound operates at three frequencies – low, middle, and high. More popular terms for these are bass, mid, and treble, respectively.
Bass plays at low frequencies, which is why DJs cut out the lowest EQ knob on the mixer. Your vocals are usually in the mid, while the high frequencies comprise instruments such as the piano, or the flute. Whistles and claps also fall into this category.
Frequencies are very important in track mixing. When a DJ combines two songs, the idea is to get rid of the bass from one track, to make room for the other. In DJing, the better defined bass you have, the better you’ll monitor and mix the two tracks.
The SHL3300 headphones offer a frequency response from 18 Hz to 25,000 Hz. This is a wide response that covers all sound that the human ear can hear. Usually, you read 20 Hz – 20 kHz on headphones, and that’s considered very good. 1 kHz equals 1,000 Hz.
This is exactly the range that the human ear can detect. Young and healthy homo sapiens can hear the lowest frequency at 20 Hz, and the highest at 20,000 Hz. The SHL3300 headphones got you covered, and the low limit going below 20 shows that the bass is grooving strong.
Important For Long Hours Of DJing: Comfort
Make sure that you pay attention to this one. Do you know that a DJ works with their headphones for over six hours sometimes? If you’re working on a computer the whole day, you’d want a comfy chair, right? The same goes for cans.
Luckily, the manufacturer made a wide lightweight headband with EVA foam, which will not smoosh your head, making you regret the day you made the purchase. Instead, this headband will support your head and keep it comfortable for as long as needed.
The SHL3300 cans will fit you perfectly thanks to the EVA foam. This type of foam is used by most popular sports brands that create products whose main purpose is to be comfortable. EVA is used in the making of ski boots, which makes an EVA headband all the more appreciable.
Monitoring is one of the most important processes in track mixing. It’s the part of the beatmatching process where you’re focusing on the track you have cued in your headphone channel, and want to compare it with the track that’s playing, i.e. the master track.
This type of cans is called DJ monitoring style headphones due to the option to swivel the capsules. This type of technology is famous for high-end headphones, so having it for $50 or less is a sweet deal.
Usually, DJs would improvise in order to free up one ear and tilt the headband all the way to the back. Sure, this works as well, but just rotating your earpiece and then putting it right back saves time and energy.
Also, these are closed-back over-ear cans which means that you will have great isolation.
Easy Storage On-The-Go
Another thing I love about the SHL3300 headphones is the smart folding that offers storage on-the-go. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but headphones can be tricky to carry around if they’re not on your head or around your neck.
Although the SHL3300s have an extra comfy headband, you don’t wanna carry them all the time. Some days, you might have two or three gigs to attend, and you’ll want to pack your headphones.
The SHL3300 headphones can be folded flat, and will not take up much space in your backpack. The folding is safe and won’t hurt any of the components. Overall, it’s a very flexible and easy storage idea implemented by Philips.
What Could Be Better?
Regardless of how cool the Philips SHL3300, there’s always something in a product that could be better. I love the defined bass, good sound, and comfort that the SHL3300s offer, but could the manufacturer have made them even better?
These cans offer great value-for-money, which makes me wonder where the brand made cuts to be able to offer them for such a price. I’d say the answer is in the build quality, cable, and earpads.
The build is not bad, and it’s quite durable. However, most of it is made of plastic, and it’s not even the sturdy kind. The whole set looks kinda plasticky, so one cool thing would be to have more metal on these headphones.
The cable bends nicely and stretches for some 5 feet. That’s all cool but it doesn’t feel reliable and it’s not detachable from the housing. This is a problem because you could trip over the cable and pull it at some point, and that will endanger the whole set, not only the cable.
One last thing that bothered me was the size of the ear cushions. These are over-ear headphones which means that they should cover your earshells completely. Their whole point is to cut out the noise that comes from outside, something that on-ear headphones wouldn’t manage to do.
Well, the manufacturer left these small donut-looking ear cushions, where your ears are supposed to fit. I don’t know about you, but my ears are much bigger than what Philips imagines ear size to be. Although they offer pristine sound and defined bass, the earpads are not the best fit.
If you also think the ear cushions are too big for your earshells, here’s what you could do. If you have some extra pair of earpads laying around, just swap them. Also, you could just get some new pads.
The Philips SHL330s have such great sound with an emphasized bass, that even an additional investment to upgrade them is a great idea!
Now that we’ve gone through all the analyses, it’s time to put in a few tips regarding the purchasing process. It doesn’t much matter which model we’re talking about, the approach is pretty much the same in every situation.
Set Your Budget
Roughly said, setting your budget means figuring out how much money you’ll spend on your new DJ gear. It has to match your expectations and justify the money you spent on it.
If you want to spend at least $50 on a pair of new cans, they should have:
- High sound quality;
- Strong bass response;
- Good frequency response (20 Hz – 20 kHz)
- Sturdy build;
- Long cables;
- Adapter for ¼” mini-jack is a plus;
- Comfortable headband and ear cushions.
Do Your Research
Research is one of the most important steps when looking for a new piece of DJ equipment. This job depends directly on technology and you have to keep track of the changes on the market, as well as to be familiar with the existing lingo.
Learn what frequency response is, rather than just recognizing it in a product description. If you like that their lower limit is 20 Hz, look it up online and find out why that’s important. This goes for bass response, impedance, and all similar terms that you sometimes forget to look up.
Another tip I’d like to give you is to start dividing headphones by category. You should know which ones fall into which category regarding quality or price. If you’re looking for mid-range headphones, compare only two of the same sort.
Anyway, the SHL3300s could compete in a category above theirs, if we take into consideration all the cool features they have.
On the whole, the SHL330 cans are lit and deserve much more attention than what they’re getting. I consider them to be pretty underestimated, which I think is mostly due to their low price. I myself believe that you get what you pay for, but this is the exception that proves the rule.
You get much more than you’re paying for!
I say this because I haven’t encountered cans at this price with such great sound, deep bass, and everything that a solid DJ headphone set should have.
It packs neodymium speaker drivers and is equipped for 2200MW power. You don’t have to worry about burning them out at this input. You can connect them to your DJ mixer, controller, or even MP3 player.
Comfort is one of the main features these cans offer. The headband is coated in EVA foam for comfortable fit. The cushions are soft and press your ears softly, leaving you pain-free.
However, one of the most impressive things about these headphones is the smart shape that offers easy storage.
The earpieces swivel 165 for monitoring and added flexibility. You will be able to perfectly compare the sound coming from your earpiece with the ambient sound.
The frequency response is quite impressive, especially the bass.
|Cable not sturdy
|Good frequency response
|Small ear cushions
|Earpieces rotate 165 for better monitoring
|Lightweight headband with EVA foam
Are OverEar Headphones Bad For You?
Over-ear cans could damage your ears, just like on-ear headphones, if you listen to music too loudly. Sound of 120 dB (decibel) or louder is perceived as pain and could harm your hearing.
Is Noise Canceling Safe?
Yes, noise canceling is safe for your ears. Headphone makers have run a series of tests before launching their products on the market, and they all tested safe.