The Phiaton MS 100 BA offer Balanced Armature (BA) design, with an aluminum body at a lower price point than most.
However, while this can offer some advantages, balanced armature earbuds rarely give a good bass response. Since Phiaton only uses one coil, rather than the multiple BA coils that other headphones use, this could be a disaster for the low-frequency response.
So, are these Phiaton earbuds a bit of a bargain, or a wimpy wipeout? Read on to find out
Phiaton 100 BA Earbuds TL:DR Review
- Nice balanced sound
- Sturdy design
- Light Weight
- Not ideal for active use
- So-so bass quality
Read on for a more indepth review.
- Build - 8/108/10
- Comfort - 6/106/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
Not for bass heads, but these are well built, nice sounding earbuds for a very good price.
Design & Build
These Phiaton’s give a great first impression. The box is really nice and when you open it and get the earbuds out they feel great.
Phiaton also used aluminum, instead of plastic, for its earbuds, and you can tell the difference immediately. They feel solid, like you could drop them and not worry about the bump affecting the buds at all. However, they’re also as light as a feather, so they don’t feel heavy in your ears and cause discomfort.
The cord features an “oval” design, so the cross-section of the cables is oval rather than round like most cables. This seems to help with tangling as they don’t knot themselves up easily and I did appreciate how solid and thick the cables feel.
I would have liked an adjustable split, but it’s not a huge issue and the little Phiaton-branded cuff on the split is a nice little design flourish.
The L-shaped plug is gold-plated, which, as well as giving a better electrical connection, wards off corrosion and offers the earphones greater longevity. The single-click remote works well for stopping, starting, and skipping tracks, but unfortunately has no volume controls. This remote also contains the microphone for calls, which is well placed.
They also come with a little travel pouch, which means you don’t have to wrap the cord around your device when they’re not in use or bunch them into your pocket. However, like 90% of people, I just stuffed them into my bag or pocket and they survived just fine.
Overall Phiaton seems to have gone all out in building these earphones, offering a higher level of quality than you’d expect at this price.
Most people should be able to find a good fit with these as the Phiaton MS 100 BA comes with three sets of earbuds ranging from small to large. They’re color-coded too, though that feels somewhat unnecessary given that you can tell the size just by looking at them, but marks for effort if not actual usefulness.
The light-weight means you barely feel these earphones when you’re using them. Having said that, extended use did cause me some discomfort, likely due to the shape of the earbuds not quite gelling with the shape of my ears. I do find my ears are sensitive to earbuds, some I can wear all day and others cause me to become uncomfortable after extended use.
Most other people that tried them liked the fit, but one person couldn’t get a snug fit, regardless of the tip they used, and they slipped out far too easily. So it looks like they may be a little bit more of a fussy fit than some other earbuds.
Additionally, I found these earphones weren’t great for active use. They were OK when I jogged, they never felt entirely secure and if I sprinted, they came out. Some people have also reported that they are not good with sweat either (says a lot about my running that I never had this issue!)
If you’re planning on wearing them while going for a run, you may find they drop out of your ears easily. My opinion is that they are probably best for commutes and office use.
While the Phiaton MS 100’s balanced armature design is never going to satisfy the bass heads out there, they do offer a deeper, more satisfying bass sound than most balanced armature phones I have tried. It’s particularly impressive that Phiaton only uses one coil to produce this sound, rather than the multiple BA coils that similar headphones use.
Having said that, the bass still isn’t amazing when compared to non-BA earphones in the same price range.
They do offer consistent sound quality in every other department though, with the 10Hz to 27KHz frequency response range offering balance and clarity at both high and low ends.
As long as you achieve a good fit with the earbuds, which you should be able to do as they come with a good range of tips, you shouldn’t find leakage becomes a problem. They’re also great at isolating sound, so most external noises won’t affect your listening experience. Unfortunately, this falters if none of the tips fit your ears perfectly, but that’s more of a personal issue than a design one.
I was slightly less impressed with the cable noise, which is another reason why I don’t recommend these for active use. If you bump the cable, you will notice a slight rubbing noise seep into the sound. It’s not a major issue, and one you won’t run into if you’re not moving about much while listening. But if you’re moving about a lot, the constant rubbing noise will distract from the audio.
Phiaton has created an impressive set of BA earphones at a lower price to most of their competitors. They feel sturdy thanks to the aluminum buds, plus the cable is nice and thick, which prevents tangling. They’re also lightweight, which adds to the comfort factor.
The sound is a touch more hit and miss. On a general level, you’ll enjoy the balanced sound, but the lack of thump to the bass may be an issue depending on your musical taste. Having said that, this is an issue that you’ll get with most BA earphones, and Phiaton handles it better than most here.
All told, these are good, reliable earphones that perform to their best when you’re just chilling to music or a film. The microphone is a nice touch, though not essential to the package, and the build quality ensures they last longer than many similarly-priced competitors.