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Phiaton PS 20 BT stereo headset review

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod Accessories, iPod Headphones and Earbuds, iPod touch, Reviews

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Provides: Bluetooth stereo headphones/microphone
Developer: Phiaton
System Requirements: Bluetooth enabled audio device
Review Device: iPhone 4, 13″ Macbook Pro
Price: $149.00
Availability: Out now

Those who truly know me know that I am quite the “hip” fellow, a “down with the street” gentleman who’s quite fond of “phat beats.” “Yo,” I’ll often say as I pass familiar faces on the street. “And a good ‘yo,’ to you as well, sir,” they will reply.

All right, you’ve seen through my facade. I’m not an MC (Master of Ceremonies) nor a DJ (Disc Jockey) at any of the local music establishments, and I’m far more likely to use headphones to listen to podcasts about terrible movies than the latest songs on the Hit Parade. All that may change now that I’ve tried the Phiaton BT-20 Bluetooth headphones, a set of tiny earbuds that deliver big, big sound.

The BT-20s are so great, in fact, that I have only two ridiculously small complaints about them, which I’ll get out of the way now. The first is the clasp, which houses the controls, power supply, and Bluetooth antenna has a clip on the back that is slightly awkward to use if you’re wearing a shirt without a pocket or something else to snap it on. That’s one. The other is that when the BT-20 is low on battery, strangely enough, the device was hard to turn off: the power button wouldn’t do anything, and the device would just keep blinking red/blue, indicating it was about to shut down.

And those are the only two problems I had with an otherwise amazing set of headphones. While they’re not officially listed as “noise dampening,” the silicone earbuds did a great job of shutting out the rest of the world, and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Battery life is rated at six hours, which I found accurate, and the device charges using a standard micro-USB cable (included). As a bonus, you can use the headphones while charging, something I’ve found not to be true with other Bluetooth headphones.

The sound quality is astonishing, especially on the bass end, which is so deep I kept looking around on bus rides to make sure that the sound wasn’t bothering other passengers (It wasn’t. They couldn’t hear a thing). The BT-20s provide the best sound quality I’ve ever heard in earbuds, easily matching any standard (wired) headphones.

The control is a physical toggle switch: up and down for volume, left and right to advance a track or go back, and push to play or pause. If you’ve synced it with a Bluetooth phone, you can press and hold to call the last number dialed, or activate voice commands or Siri. The clasp includes a microphone for hands free calls.

At $149, the BT-20s aren’t cheap, but the sound quality they offer along with the Bluetooth functionality make them well worth the cost. The audio is crisp and clear, with great bass definition, and the design makes them comfortable to wear for long periods. Audiophiles who need portability and Bluetooth functionality will find them perfect.

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