Phonak’s background is in hearing aids, so you’d expect the firm and the Phonak Audeo PFE 112 headphones to have a superb pedigree in audiological terms and comfort. Visit Group test: what are the best headphones?
The PFE 112s, however, are fiddly to put on, and not especially pleasant to wear. They’re worn inverted – the wire runs over the top and behind your ear – and Phonak provides optional reinforcing plastic loops. But getting these loops over the ear while fitting the eartips into the orifice itself was rather frustrating. See also Pioneer SE-CL331-H review.
With perseverence we were able to get a snug seal in the ear, which resulted in decent sound quality. Our pop samples came out well.
Bass was respectable, if a little lacking in sheer power. However, these headphones come with two kinds of audio filter, and we replaced the defaults with the set designed to boost both bass and treble. With these, our disco had a meatier thump to it, but the treble effects became unpleasantly piercing at a higher volume.
Phonak’s headphones are fiddly to put on, but once they’re in you’ll hear decent sound quality
Our jazz sample with these filters was flat and thin-sounding; so there are definitely down sides to switching filters.
Finally, the build quality of the headphones is good, and they have a robust cable.