Philips CitiScape Downtown
I’ve been curious about Philips’ new CitiScape Downtown headphones ($99) ever since reading Tyll Hertsens’ review, so I ran into Best Buy this afternoon and checked them out.
I only listened for a short while, but I immediately liked what I heard. Scrolling between hip-hop, R&B, and pop selections, I was hoping for Prince, but settled for Adele. I found that “Rolling in the Deep,” the lead track from the excellent 21 sounded particularly fine, with a really impressive sense of space around the British singer’s powerful voice and good detail and clarity to the acoustic guitar. The Philips sacrificed some bass weight and impact, but I think it’s easy to forgive such a sacrifice when the rest of the presentation is so well balanced.
I love the look and feel of the CitiScape Downtownit’s neither overtly masculine (“Hulk smash!”) or condescendingly pink-washed (“Tee hee”), but sleek and understated. The earpads and headband pad are soft, smooth, and feel good against the skin. While I did think the earpads were a little warm, I found that the CitiScape Downtown was extremely comfortable. I could easily imagine wearing a set for long periods of time without becoming annoyed or fearing the unbearable weight of hipsterness.
You know I'm not much of a headphone fan, but I'm always on the lookout for affordable, high-quality options for friends and family. The CitiScape Downtown seems like the perfect candidate: It's good-looking; comfortable; priced right; seals out noise, but not so much that my loved ones will be in danger of being run down in the street; and sounds great. It's available now at Best Buy and Amazon in white/gray, very cool black/brown, and fun purple, and I think it’ll also soon be available at Target. I love the fact that some truly good audio components can be found in such mainstream places. You don’t have to be rich to be my girl.