Wireless headphones are evolving. While there was once a time when the thought of wireless earbuds was preposterous, these days many big earbud and in-ear releases are either true wireless, where there’s no wires at all, or they have a short cable that wraps around your neck. Phiaton is keeping up with that trend, and has launched a few pairs of wireless in-ear headphones — including the Phiaton BT 110’s.
But how do these headphones stack up against the competition? We’ve reviewed plenty of wireless in-ear headphones — with mixed results. Now, we’re putting the Phiaton BT 110’s to the test.
The Phiaton BT 110 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to design. For starters, there’s a huge rectangular unit that lives on the edge of each in-ear — and we’re not sure how we feel about it. If you were looking for something subtle, keep looking. Sure, they’re not as unsubtle as the Audeze iSine 10’s, but the iSine 10’s were different because they were unique. The Phiaton BT 110’s kind of look like you’ve strapped a small iPod shuffle to your ear.
Of course, as far as this shape goes they don’t look all that bad. That’s to say, assuming Phiaton for some reason had to implement this irregular shape, they did alright with it. The unit is built from a metallic-looking plastic, and features the Phiaton logo, which is classic-looking and sleek, on the side of each plate.
Part-way down the left-hand cable you’ll find a small control remote, which features a simple three-button setup — volume up, volume down, and a center multi-use button. The headphones also offer IPX4 water resistance — meaning you should be fine if you go running with them in the rain, but don’t forget you’re wearing them when you go swimming.
In the box, you’ll find a nice slew of accessories, including a small carry pouch with a magnetic mouth, a total of four eartip sizes, three sport-wings, and a charging cable. In other words, pretty much everything you need is in the box — which is nice to know if you don’t want to have to buy any extras.
In general the Phiaton BT 110 in-ears feature a somewhat lackluster design, but as far as that design goes, the build quality seems decent and the color scheme looks fine.
The Phiaton BT 110’s may not look all that good, but are they decently comfortable? Well, they’re not terribly uncomfortable. The headphones are pretty standard when it comes to comfort level with sub-$100 in-ear headphones. You’ll probably find that they get a little uncomfortable after extended listening periods, but not overly so.
One issue we faced more than we would have wanted is that the headphones tend to fall out more often than some others. We would recommend trying out the different eartip sizes to find the right fit — and the different wings definitely help keep them in too, so you’ll want to experiment with those as well.
In general the Phiaton BT 110’s are moderately comfortable for a pair of in-ears, but they won’t break any records.
Design and comfort are one thing — but sound is the most important aspect to consider when it comes to a pair of headphones. Thankfully, they don’t sound half bad.
Let’s start with the bass. We’d be lying if we said these are bass-heavy headphones, but they’re not lacking in bass either. Mega-bass fans will probably prefer looking elsewhere, but fans of rock or pop music will be more than fine with what these have to offer.
The mid-range is decently well-tuned, and we found there was a slight bump in the upper-mids region — which isn’t a good or bad thing, but it does help vocals and guitars shine through a little more in some music, while making the headphones sound slightly radio-ish in other music. We didn’t have any issue with the low-mids.
The highs are also pretty well tuned. While many headphone manufacturers overlook the high-end, Phiaton has broken than trend. Sure, we would have liked a little more upper-high-end, which would help things like cymbals shine through more, but the headphones aren’t overly lacking in the high-end.
Of course, there are other things to consider when it comes to the sound of a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, these tend to distort a little too easily for our liking — something that you’ll notice especially in the high-end.
Apart from that, however, the headphones sound pretty good. There’s decent stereo separation, and they cut out a good amount of background noise — although if you truly want to cut out your surroundings you’ll want to look into a pair of noise cancelling headphones.
The performance level of the headphones is somewhat lackluster. The headphones feature a pretty basic Bluetooth 4.0 connection with a 10m (33ft) range — and we generally didn’t experience too many interruptions.
The real issue isn’t the connection though — it’s the battery life. 4.5 hours of playback time is what we would expect from a pair of true wireless earbuds — not a pair of connected earbuds like these. For comparison, the recently reviewed Brainwavz BLU-Delta in-ears feature an 8-hour playback time. That’s almost double what Phiaton has on offer.
The Phiaton BT 110 headphones aren’t terrible by any means, but they’re certainly a little disappointing. The design doesn’t look all that great and they’re not overly comfortable. Even the sound, which is by far the best thing about them, is a little tarnished. That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider them — just that at $119.99, which is their list price, you can do better. Even at Amazon’s current price, there are better headphones out there. Like, for example, the $50 SoundPEATS Q12, or the $40 Monster Clarity HD in-ear headphones, both of which scored 7.7 in our review.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||6mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||4.5 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.0||Cable length||N/A|