Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Greg0
Phiaton’s PS210BTNC: Wireless Noise-Cancelling At A Great Price
The best part of Bluetooth? It keeps getting better. There is an updated version, technically version 3.0, that improves range and audio fidelity. And if you haven’t read other previous reviews, the apt-X protocol that is supported by some devices via Bluetooth offers even greater audio quality. If you’re looking for Bluetooth headphones and want active noise cancellation, today’s set is the perfect holiday gift for any regular traveler.
The Phiaton PS210 BTNCs are surprisingly inexpensive for their feature set, and certainly one of the better audio bargains that we’ve seen lately. Offering plenty of battery life and impressive specs, they have a couple of drawbacks that we’ll discuss, but amount to reasonable trade-offs. As with every consumer electronic item, you have to balance price, features, size, and weight, and this pair opts to tilt towards the former set rather than the last two. The earphones themselves aren’t too bulky, but they attach to a pretty hefty dongle that serves as the Bluetooth transceiver, which needs to be clipped to your clothing or tucked into a pocket.
The headset itself is great- we actually previously reviewed the non-wireless model more than three years ago, and they haven’t changed much. We love the excellent Comply memory foam tips and the wide array of silicone sizes included, plus the passive sound isolation is decent. But if that’s not enough, you can turn on the active noise cancellation, which does a great job removing any regular, repetitive sounds especially during transportation. In other words, these earbuds help make flying more comfortable and more private, since you can enjoy a sound bubble.
And, as with many such headphones that we’ve seen, if the batteries do run out, you aren’t out of luck. You can simply bypass the wireless and active noise cancellation features and connect directly, just as if you want to use a device that doesn’t support Bluetooth. We found the PS210 BTNCs better-looking and feeling than many other in-ear models, including even the most recent Phiatons we tried, another solid set, the PS20NCs. Technically deemed “half in-ear”, they do stick out of your ears somewhat, but that gives them a bit more room for drivers that push out solid bass.
If you don’t mind the necessary wired dongle, the BTNCs are a great set, one of the better Bluetooth noise-cancelling pairs we’ve tried. Controls are convenient and work well with every device we tried. 14 hours of music playtime thanks to the rechargeable lithium polymer battery, detailed, accurate sound, and a reasonable price tag under $130 combine to make the Phiaton PS210 BTNCs a good bargain.