Back in August of 2012, I reviewed a set of Bluetooth earbuds from Phiaton called the PS 210 BTNC. At the time I found them quite pleasant to use, that huge clip-on "remote" be damned. Fast-forward two years and Phiaton is back with the 210's successor, the BT 220 NC ($160). Here's the questionable part: the design is basically the same. While most Bluetooth earbud manufacturers have moved to a much smaller, more practical design, Phiaton is sticking to its guns with the wired remote.
This holiday season, I have little doubt that over-the-ear headphones will be a big seller. Among those sold, it's hard to deny that the bulk will likely be Beats by Dre, because that's what all the cool kids are wearing. If you're more concerned with what sounds good and is practical over what's "popular," however, Phiaton is a brand to keep an eye on. I've been using the company's two newest offerings, the Bluetooth Chord MS 530 and the compact Fusion MS 430 for the last several weeks, and definitely recommend both for those looking for such a product.
I don't do a lot of earbud reviews. In the past, the buds I've reviewed have always been Bluetooth. Thus, reviewing a set of wired 'buds was a little different for me. When it comes to headsets like the Moderna MS 200s from Phiaton ($120), it's all about the sound quality and comfort - things that matter for Bluetooth 'buds, like practicality, battery life, and ease of use are all thrown out the window.
It's no secret that most of us hate cables. We want wireless sync and charging. Wi-Fi. Bluetooth. NFC. The list goes on and on. Why then, would we settle for earbuds that remain physically tethered to our device? We wouldn't. Unfortunately, Bluetooth earbuds aren't nearly as commonplace as their wired counterparts, and they oftentimes costs thrice as much (or more). Still, if you just can't stand the thought of using a wired set of 'buds, it's really your best (and only) option.