Who’s ready for some truly premium on-ear headphones that actually travel well? We’ve reviewed our fair share of headphones that would like to think they’re premium, but instead they’re plastic, clunky, and prone to accidents. The Phiaton Bridge MS-500 On-Ear headphones have an extraordinary build quality. They’re crafted out of machined aluminum and genuine leather, and provide a listening experience true to their fine appearance. Best yet, they’re collapsable and travel safe, with or without the included carrying case.
The Phiaton MS-500 On-Ear headphones have earcups that are shaped like a smoothed out triangle. The unique shape does a great job at complementing the shape of the ear. The soft plush leather earcups are wide on the top and narrower at the bottom; they’ll fit ears of all sizes. We love that they’re relatively low-profile, they don’t jut out too far from your head. While comfort may vary, I found the MS-500 to remain comfortable much longer than most on-ears. You can easily wear these for hours before it feels like too much pressure is being applied.
The MS-500s have a tri-folding design where each earcup folds in towards the headband. This compact format makes travel safer and easier. The hinges are tough and metal, as is the entire frame. The earcups are adjustable and slide up and down the frame. The only aspect that’s not metal or leather is the outside of the earcups, which are a dense matte plastic. It’s a really sharp look all-in-all, especially with the red accents and red cable. Our only gripe is that the ear cups can show greasy finger prints.
The MS-500s come with two removable headphone cables; one has an inline ControlTalk + microphone built in for iOS and Android compatibility. There’s a few really neat aspects about the cable: it’s removable, it can be connected to either side of the headphones, it’s made of oxygen free copper (for more purity and less distortion), it’s tangle-resistant, and it’s wrapped in fun red cloth. The only issue is cable noise (or microphonics) where the cord rubbing against clothing can be heard all the way up to your ears. It’s worse than average, but can be controlled; don’t let the top portion of the cable rub against anything.
These headphones sound fantastic, and there’s a lot of technology behind that. They use a dual-chamber structure for excellent bass response and new 40mm drivers that place extra emphasis on high frequency clarity and a better sound stage. There’s a lot more technical detail, but it all boils down to a very rich and balanced audio experience. The MS-500s remain very true to how the music should sound. Listen to Simon and Garfunkle, and you’ll hear each of their voices with crystal clear detail, listen closer and you’ll hear each of their guitars and every other instrument with insane clarity, all in perfect balance and harmony. Close your eyes and they’re playing just for you. The bass is perfectly balanced and gets nice and thumpy for the songs that demand it. They sound great across all genres, though true bass heads might want a little more low end.
Phiaton did an awesome job designing the MS-500′s; they’re hip and modern, but also very well built. The tri-folding design is great for easy traveling and the high quality travel pouch makes it even easier and safer. The two cables and ambidextrous cable inputs is a really nice touch. As for sound quality, it’s hard to ask for anything more than the MS-500′s offer. At $269, they’re pricy, but any other brand name could have easily slapped a $300 price tag on these Phiaton’s and they’d still be a worthy purchase. The Phiaton Bridge MS-500 on-ear headphones are currently available from Amazon.com.
The Good: Great design and build quality, Phenominal sound quality, Comfortable, Tri-folding, Really nice travel pouch, Two cables included, Tangle-free, Ambidextrous cable inputs, ControlTalk + microphone, Great noise isolation
The Bad: Earcups show grease, Cable noise (microphonics), Cable isn’t standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm