We were impressed when we looked at Phonak's Audeo PFE 122 headphones, saying we'd be happy to skip the filter switching option and just take the bassy option. Welcome to the PFE 022, which is exactly that.
Well not exactly, because they also add a mic and button into the mix, so are pitched at those with a mobile phone loaded with music, and looking to listen and take calls on the move. As such, they go up against an array of headphones from the likes of Sennheiser, Creative and Etymotics which offer similar features at similar prices.
The Audeo 022 are in-ear headphones, but offer over-the-ear cable routing as favoured by the likes of Shure. This helps to reduce the amount of cable swing you get when moving around (e.g. walking) which can transmit a great deal of noise through to your ears. There is also a cable slider in place so you can get a good secure fit, if that's your preference.
The design of the ear buds themselves sit comfortably in the ear. Although the bodies are rather large, the cable routing solution means they don't stick out, instead sitting neatly in the outer ear. A choice of three different sizes of silicone tip are supplied to get the perfect fit to help you get the best isolation of external noise so you can enjoy your music unfettered.
We found the Audeo 022 to be supremely comfortable when worn for long periods of time and the level of noise isolation we got was excellent. A good fit improves the delivery of the music, especially bass, which is where these headphones are aimed. Ideal as a replacement for your standard Apple headphones, you'll find the performance is far superior to the bundled headsets for your phone.
With boasts of bassy delivery on the packaging we weren't disappointed, finding the Audeo 022 to deliver that bass without obscuring the detail. Detail and clarity is good across the range, so whilst they'll appeal to pop and dance fans, we think you'll be pleased with the performance whatever your preferred genre.
The inclusion of a mic means that you get a little extra: taking calls from your phone. The single button allows playback/pause of your music, with the usual double press to skip tracks and a long press to activate voice control on Apple devices. Unfortunately there is no volume control.
We also tested the Audeo 022 with a number of other devices, where we found the mic performed well in calls. An edition of the headphones is available without the mic for those that only want to use it with an MP3 player, which will set you back £68, whereas as the version with the mic will cost you £85.
We were mightily impressed with the performance of the last set of Phonak Audeo headphones we reviewed, and the same performance is on display here. Great to wear for long periods of time and offering great performance, they are competitively priced too, so come highly recommended.