Phiaton may not be a household name just yet, but it’s well on its way towards changing that. The company offers a full range of headphones with different designs, uses, and so on. We recently took a look at the Phiaton BT 110, with mixed thoughts. The company, however, also offers a neckband — the water resistant Phiaton BT 100 NC.
We’re no stranger to neckbands. We recently took a look at the Klipsch X12 Neckband, which ended up scoring an impressive 8.3/10. The Phiaton offering is decidedly lower-cost — so it is a good alternative to those who can’t afford the Klipsch? We took a look at the Phiaton BT 100 NC to find out.
The design of the Phiaton BT 100 NC is pretty basic — but basic isn’t a bad thing. The headphones come in a few different colors — black, white, grey, and blue. While we generally think the black headphones look sleeker and more stylish than the rest, we’re reviewing the white pair, which still look quite nice.
It’s clear Phiaton drew completely different inspirations for the BT 100 NC compared to the BT 110. We really didn’t much like the large plate on the sides of each ear with the BT 110, but the BT 100 NC, in our opinion, looks quite good.
On the left side of the neckband, you’ll find a call control button, which also doubles as the power button. On the edge of the left, you’ll also find a volume rocker, along with a switch for the noise cancellation. Yep, that’s right — these earbuds feature noise cancellation. The right side of the neckband features the play/pause button.
Another interesting feature on these headphones is that they offer waterproofing with a rating of IPX4. In real-world terms, that basically means that the headphones can withstand splashes of water from any direction — which means that they’ll do fine if you decide to go running in the rain. Don’t go swimming with them, but if they get a little wet, they should be fine.
In the box, you’ll find a microUSB charging cable, two cable clips, and four pairs of ear tips. Another interesting addition is an audio-microUSB cable, which lets you keep using the headphones with a cable if they run out of battery. That’s a very nice addition.
The built quality of the Phiaton BT 100 NC is generally not the best, so you’ll want to be careful with how you use them. They’re largely built with plastic, and some more metal would have been very welcome. They also don’t come with a case — so you won’t want to throw them in the bottom of your bag.
In general, the Phiaton BT 100 NC neckband looks great and the buttons are well-placed — but we would have liked to see a slightly better build quality.
All earbud and in-ear style headphones suffer from some level of discomfort, but the Phiaton BT 100 NC neckband is better than average. You get a nice range of ear tips with the headphones, which we recommend experimenting with, as it will help make them both more comfortable and ensure that they stay well inside your ears.
In general, we appreciated how comfortable the Phiaton BT 100 NC headphones were despite their in-ear form-factor. You will want to take a break after long periods of listening — but less so than other in-ear pairs of headphones.
So the headphones look pretty nice and are decently comfortable — but how do they sound?
Let’s start with the bass. We would have definitely liked to see a little more bass from these headphones. There is a decent amount, so those not too concerned with boosted bass should be fine, but the bass on offer isn’t all that deep, nor is it that pronounced.
The mid-range isn’t all that well tuned either. There’s quite a boost of high-mid frequencies — which gives the headphones a bit of that AM radio sound. Coupled with a somewhat cut low-mid range, and that effect is amplified even more.
Then there’s the high end. The high end is well tuned — when it’s there at all. It sounds like there’s a pretty drastic low-pass filter applied to these headphones, which means that most of the highs are cut out altogether.
On top of the frequency issues, the headphones also distort a little sooner than we would have liked. The stereo separation on them is fine, but it won’t blow you away.
The Phiaton BT 100 NC , as the name suggests, also has noise cancellation. The noise cancellation on these headphones is decent, but don’t expect to get that eerily silent effect you can get on other noise cancelling headphones.
In general, the sound is the worst thing about these headphones. We really wanted to like it. The headphones come at a decent price, and look quite nice — but the sound woes are simply unavoidable.
The Phiaton BT 110 suffered from a pretty terrible battery life, but thankfully the BT 100 NC does a little better. With noise cancellation on, the headphones will last a good 7.5 hours — which isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. If you turn noise cancellation off, you’ll get much more time on a single charge, and the headphones will last a much nicer 12 hours. That’s still not much compared to the 18-hour battery life on the Klipsch X12 Neckband — but the Klipsch X12 Neckband also costs $399.
The Phiaton BT 110 also has a few tricks up its sleeve in the connectivity department. The headphones offer NFC connectivity, which makes for much quick connecting. It’s really a nice touch. The Bluetooth range on the headphones is a standard 10m, or 33 feet.
The Phiaton BT 100 NC isn’t a bad headset by any means. The headphones look great, are decently comfortable, and have some nice tricks up their sleeve — like noise cancellation, water resistance, and NFC. Those tricks, however, don’t erase the lackluster sound quality.
Still, there’s something to be said for them. Good neckbands are hard to come by, and while Klipsch really hit the nail on the head with the X12 Neckband, the fact is that the X12 Neckband costs $399. If you’re looking for a decent neckband and don’t want to spend too much, the Phiaton BT 100 NC may be the right choice for you — especially if it will mainly be used for things like working out and your morning jog.
|Frequency response||10Hz – 27kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||13.5mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||7.5 hours w/ noise cancellation, 12 hours w/o noise cancellation|
|Maximum input power
||40mW||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.0||Cable length||Unknown|
|Weight||Unknown||Colors||Black, white, blue, gray|