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Gadgets 210BTNC

Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Greg

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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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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