– Good build quality and in-ear fit
– Impressive vocal clarity and audio detail
– Suitable for podcasts
– Good call quality
– IPX4 waterproof
– USB-C charging port
– Low bass may not appeal to a large majority
– Physical button placement could have been smarter
– No volume control on the earbuds
– The buds occasionally reconnect to the phone even when in the case
Price: Rs 2,499
Whenever we talk about True Wireless (TWS) headphones under Rs. 2,500, the first thing that comes to mind is the Realme Buds Q2 name. In terms of overall features and value, it still can’t be beat at this budget. Given the number of features it packs, the Realme pair is more of an exception than a norm in this segment. And audio is an area where there can never be one shoe that fits all scenarios. Some people like extra bass, some don’t, and some might not even care about features like active noise-cancellation (ANC).
Philips recently launched a pair of TWS earbuds that don’t flaunt any fancy features, simply focusing on comfort and sound output. The company hasn’t even bothered with touch controls or a companion app. Will such simplicity work in this day and age where competing brands are bombarding users with a plethora of features even on this budget. Let’s learn more about the Philips TAT2206BK wireless headphones.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS earphones: design and comfort (7.5/10)
The Philips buds look great in the black matte finish and the build quality is pretty solid too. The same finish extends to the case, which isn’t too big and almost pocketable. It’s not nearly as slim as the Realme Buds Air series, but much more compact than that of the OnePlus Nord Buds. It has a USB-C charging port on the base and a charge indicator LED on the front.
The angled ear tips with silicone tips fit snugly in ears without discomfort while the short stems stay out. The pre-installed medium-sized silicone tips provide good passive noise isolation (in my case), and there are two other pairs of different-sized tips in the package to try out. The buds stay in place while jogging or working out and I didn’t have to adjust them frequently. However, there seems to be an issue with the magnets in the case that are supposed to hold the buds in place there.
No, the buds don’t pop out when you turn the case upside down, but the buds tend to sporadically reconnect to the phone even while inside. Sometimes they don’t separate right away when you put them in the suitcase. This may be a specific bug of our review sample, but it shouldn’t happen. First, it wastes battery unnecessarily, but the irritating part is that your calls are routed to the headphones without your knowledge and you don’t hear anything in the phone’s earpiece until you manually switch to it.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS Earphones: Features and Specs (6/10)
As I mentioned in the introduction, the Philips TAT2206BK doesn’t have anything special to report in this department, not even touch controls. The company has opted for physical buttons instead. While I don’t have any issues with that, the placement isn’t ideal; a common mistake from two years ago. With the buttons right at the back of the buds, you tend to push the earbuds deeper into the ear with each press. Luckily it has a soft print and you don’t have to apply a lot of pressure.
You don’t get a companion app here to reconfigure the inputs or change the sound profile. You can play/pause audio, skip to previous/next track, and invoke voice assistant with single click, double-click, and click-and-hold gestures. There is no way to adjust the volume of the buds. Each earbud is equipped with a 6mm driver and microphone. These earbuds are Bluetooth 5.0 compatible with support for AAC and SBC codecs.
The earbuds have an IPX4 rating for moisture resistance. So you can take them to a workout or jog as they will survive a bit of sweat or a light drizzle, but don’t wash them under the tap. Wireless range is good, with the buds maintaining a strong connection up to 10 meters with a clear line of sight, and half that with a concrete wall in between. Each earbud is equipped with a 55mAh battery, and the charging case has a 350mAh battery.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS Earbuds: Performance (7/10)
Here it looks a little different than the competition. The majority of earbuds in this segment are overwhelmingly bass-heavy, but that’s not the case with this pair. Philips hasn’t bothered to go down the popular route, instead focusing on mid-range. Instead of an abundance of bass, you get a medium sound profile here, which ensures good vocal clarity and sharper instrument sounds. The highs are crisp and well-tempered without sounding hissing.
However, the earbuds don’t produce enough bass to give the output an ideal warmth. It is probably due to the smaller drivers used here. They don’t sound flat and certainly don’t have a complete lack of bass, but the tone might not appeal to the masses. The output sounds fairly balanced indoors, but the bass feels inadequate in noisy outdoor environments. If you don’t prefer a bass-heavy sound, you’ll like the sound profile here and appreciate the extra detail in the audio. Bassheads should simply avoid this pair.
The buds get loud enough at 50-60% volume. The soundstage is reasonably wide for the segment. Watching videos with these Philips earphones is a good experience and the mid-weighted sound ensures better dialogue clarity. While the company didn’t mention the latency numbers, there was no noticeable lag between video and audio when streaming content from OTT platforms. This pair is also a good option for listening to podcasts.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS Earphones: call quality (7.5/10)
The Philips TAT2206BK has a single microphone on each of the buds and doesn’t advertise features like ENC, but call quality is quite good. And the ambient noise is also kept in check. Both interlocutors were clearly audible whether I was inside or outside. The voice sounds a little softer, but clear. Occasionally you need to adjust the direction of the earbuds so that the listener can hear you more clearly.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS Earbuds: Battery Life (7/10)
The battery backup of these Philips earphones is not spectacular, but it is above average. The company gives figures of 6 hours for the earbuds and 18 hours for the buds and case combined. In my testing, the earbuds lasted almost 5 hours on a full charge at 50-60% volume. And the case could charge them twice, making the entire battery backup last almost 15 hours.
It takes about two hours to fully charge the case with a standard USB-C charger. There’s a bit of fast charging here, but the numbers aren’t flattering by today’s standards. A 15 minute charge can give you nearly an hour of playtime on this product.
Philips TAT2206BK TWS earphones: price and verdict
As with most Philips audio products, there is a big difference between MSRP and actual retail price. The Philips TAT2206BK TWS earbuds were recently launched with an MSRP of Rs 6,999, but you can buy them from Flipkart and a few other retailers for just Rs 2,499 with a one-year warranty. The retail price is much more reasonable than the MSRP for what the product offers. While the product won’t appeal to bassheads, it’s a good option for those looking for better vocal clarity and detail, and for making calls too.
Mid-range playback and call quality aside, it can’t match the Realme Buds Q2, which sells at the exact price, and sometimes another 500 rupees lower on online sales. The Buds Q2 offers a more balanced sound with plenty of bass, along with configurable touch controls, multiple sound profiles, and a companion app. Did I mention functional ANC? Such a combination is rather rare in this segment.
Another option to consider on this budget are the OnePlus Nord Buds, which have a unique design, more than decent sound quality thanks to a custom equalizer, configurable controls, a companion app, and much better battery backup with faster charging Offer. As you can see, there are many good options under Rs 3,000 in India. Choose one that offers the features and sound output that suits you best.
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