Philips unveils new noise-cancelling headphones – including AirPods Pro-rivaling earbuds

true wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Philips)

IFA 2020 may be a little different this year, but that hasn't stopped many of the big brands from making exciting product announcements – and Philips is no different, having launched three new pairs of noise-cancelling headphones

Including one pair of over-ear headphones and two true wireless models, the new line-up comes with a hybrid active noise cancellation system, which adapts to your surroundings. 

While pricing is still to be announced for these new headphones, we're not expecting them to be super pricey. According to Benoit Burette, Director of product strategy and planning at TP Vision, the "new ANC products will allow music lovers to enjoy a clear step-up in all-round quality without requiring them to break their budget". 

True wireless noise cancellation

Philips' flagship true wireless earbuds, the T8505, boast 13mm neodymium drivers, which should make for a powerful sound, while "acoustically tuned enclosures" are designed to ensure "good passive noise isolation and superior sound quality".

A background awareness feature – which comes with all of the new headphones in the range – allows you to quickly tune into your surrounding when needed, much like the Transparency mode seen in the AirPods Pro.

Three choices of ear tip sizes means that you should be able to find a comfortable fit with these buds, while IPX4 water-resistance means they should be suitable for use while working out.

Touch-sensitive housings means you can control your music playback without digging your phone out of your pocket, and you can use the buds to summon your device's voice assistant, whether you use Siri or Google Assistant.

Battery life comes in at six hours (or 5 hours playtime with ANC continually on), with an additional 18 hours of playtime provided by the charging case – not bad for noise-cancelling earbuds

Bluetooth 5 support should ensure stable connectivity and long pairing distances, while the Philips Headphone app gives you access to "fine sound tuning" and pre-set ANC modes.

true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Philips)

Available in October, the Philips T8505 are joined by another pair of noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds. Offering "premium sound quality and comfort for a mid-market price", the T5505 look a little more like the Apple AirPods, with protruding ear stems. 

The drivers built into these buds are a little smaller than those found within the flagship pair, coming in at 8mm – but you still get Philip's advanced active noise-cancelling technology, touch controls, voice assistant support, and IPX4 water-resistance. 

The battery life is also slightly less impressive than the T8505; you get up to five hours of playback from the T5505 (or 4.5 hours if you're using ANC), with an additional 15 hours of juice provided by the wireless charging case.

We're still yet to find out the price of these earbuds, but "mid-market" could suggest anything between $100 / £100 and $200 / £200.


(Image credit: Philips)

Wide, wireless sound

If you don't like the feeling of in-ear headphones, Philips' new over-ear cans may be just what you're looking for. 

Boasting the same active noise cancellation technology as their true wireless siblings, the Philips H9505 come with 40mm neodymium acoustic drivers, that the company says will deliver "excellently detailed wide band wireless sound". 

Thanks to an included audio cable, there's also the option to listen to Hi-Res Audio, with support for 24bit / 96kHz music files.

When listening wirelessly, Bluetooth 5 technology  should ensure a stable connection, while Google Fast Pair compatibility should make it super easy to connect the headphones to your Android device.

Touch controls – including swipe, tap, and press actions – means you can control your music playback easily, as well as allowing you to summon your device's voice assistant. 

With a battery life of 20 hours – whether ANC is on or off – these cans aren't as long-lasting as class-leading models like the Sony WH-1000XM4, but they should last a week's worth of commuting. Plus, a quick charge feature means you can get an hour of playback from a 15-minute charging session.

Available in November, the  Philips H9505 should be ready just in time for the holiday shopping season – although with no word on pricing, we'll have to wait to see how many pennies we need to save up.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.