If you’re unfamiliar with Phiaton, I suggest you get acquainted–and quickly. The company is steadily becoming one of my favorite companies for personal audio solutions. They offer a variety of headphones, earphones and music docks.
Over the next week I will be taking a few Phiaton products through their grueling dress rehearsals to see just how these new personal audio solutions stand out against the crowded backdrop of similar units. First up are the Bluetooth-friendly PS 210 BTNC earbuds.
Phiaton is offering an interesting setup here in the PS 210 BTNC earbuds. Not many would gamble on a Bluetooth-ready earbud solution. But Phiaton is not any company. The PS 210 is for both music listening and hands-free phone calls. The unit comes with a set of half in-ear earbuds and an attached control unit. The control unit houses a mic and in-line controls for answering calls, muting sound and a host of music controls (play, pause, track skipping). You’ll also find a power button and a switch to toggle noise canceling on/off. The PS 210 BTNC also includes USB charger, 3-sets of silicon ear bud tip sizes, a set of more malleable Comply Foam tips and a 3.5mm audio cable. The latter is to connect the PS 210 BTNC unit directly to your phone audio playback device of choice. It makes music listening virtually seamless when the Bluetooth battery run out of juice.
The performance and general use is a mixed bag of frustration and canorous elation. The sound exceeds the quality of many competing earbud offerings in a similar price bracket. Earbuds are not the best for low tones and bass. Yet the Phiaton 210 BTNC provide efficient thump that enhances your music without compromising it. I went through various songs from the likes of Damian Marley, R.E.M., Snoop Dog, The Roots, Cesaria Evora, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and several others. The PS 210 BTNC perform better than I could have hoped for a pair earbuds. General use is not quite as favorable.
I like the PS 210 BTNC quite a lot. But what’s one to do with all this cord? Remember these are earbuds with cords to the control unit. There is a nice neck strap but what do I do with the ear pieces when not in use? With nowhere to rest them sensibly, I could leave them dangling. But that’s an accident waiting to happen. I could tuck them under my shirt. Still, not comfortable or efficient! Instead, I take them off. At which point, putting them again–for impromptu phone calls–defeats the easy access of which Bluetooth lends itself. The cord management is nonexistent and quite a bit of a hassle. It would be nice if you could easily detach the earbud cord from the control unit. Alas, this is not the case.
Really, this is my only complaint against the PS 210 BTNC. It’s a great pair of wireless earbuds for clear crisp phone calls. It also enhances your playlists with much punchier bass than what we’ve seen in competing earbuds. The buttons on the control unit are responsive and very easy to access–especially with the clip grip. I also appreciate the included audio cable. Most Bluetooth calling devices are dead in the water if they are not properly charged. The PS 210 BTNC’s included 3.5mm cable makes sure you get all your calls and all those songs out of your head.
Bottom Line: The PS 210 BTNC are a great first step. Some revisions should be made in the areas of design and efficiency. But don’t touch the performance!! The earbuds sounds GREAT!
- Calls sound great
- Music sounds even better
- Wireless Bluetooth and 3.mm cable options
- Too many cords
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.