There are no obvious flaws with Philips' HD1500s: the luxury headset is the most sophisticated pair of cans we've seen.

At £350, the wireless HD1500s needs to be some kit to be worthy of the outlay. And they are. The semi closed-back headphones can receive FM signals from the base station up to 100m away, and Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks are decoded and converted to a virtual surround sound experience via the onboard Dolby Headphone processing.

There are three Dolby Headphone modes to chose from, offering alternative acoustical effects tailored to movie or music listening. Dolby Pro-Logic II is also incorporated to convert stereo material into a surround-like signal.

The HD1500's connections are comprehensive, with optical and coaxial digital in/outs as well as two stereo analogue audio in/outs around the back of the base station. The front panel even has two 6.3mm sockets with level control for wired headphone connections, and there's also a natty remote to control the base station.

Comfortable

The plush foam ear-pads provide a decent level of comfort, and the self-adjusting headband means that it's easy to achieve a good fit, which is just as well as they're quite heavy.

Sound quality is top-notch, and the HD1500s have a remarkably clean and interference-free sound - there's no hint of any burbles or whistling as we wondered around the house.

The Dolby Headphone processing achieves a respectable sense of surround sound, and atmospheric effects seem to bounce around your head like a ping ball. Bass levels are impressive, and the cannon fire during Master and Commander is spectacular.

At the price, you expect the HD1500s to be one of the most effective surround sound headsets on the market, and you won't be disappointed. No other headset comes close in terms of a surround sound sense of realism, and they stand head and shoulders above for their performance as well as their price.