Phiaton describe themselves as a company that combines inventive technology and elegant design. Their products typically belong in the high-end market segment, and the Phiaton BT-220 NC active noise cancelling earbuds are no exception. They come with a promise of a fantastic sound quality and highly effective noise cancellation, among many other things. But as we know, a lot can go wrong with active noise cancelling earbuds, and we’re curious to find out how the Phiaton BT-220 NC perform when put to the test.
Design and Build
The Phiaton BT-220 NC sport the half-in-ear earbud design, which uses one part of the earbuds to block the outer ear canal, preventing outside noise from ruining your listening experience. The biggest advantage to blocking noise this way is the shallower eartip insertion. The eartips of the BT-220 NC insert only as deep as is necessary to keep the earbuds in place. Compare that to earbuds from Etymotic Research, which insert right up to the eardrum, relying on double- or triple-frange eartips to block noise.
Another thing that separates the Phiaton BT-220 NC from many other Bluetooth earbuds on the market is the Bluetooth remote box that houses the active noise cancellation circuit. The remote looks like an oversized in-line remote control. The only difference is that it doesn’t have an audio cable coming out of it and ending with the 3.5 mm audio jack.
The remote contains a switch for the active noise cancellation feature, a main power/call button, and a volume rocker. Above the main button is a microphone, and on the back side is a bolted-on metal clip that allows you to clip the remote to your shirt.
The sound of the Phiaton BT-220 NC earbuds is characterized by an abundance of clarity. This is, in part, caused by the laidback bass, which lets other parts of the sound spectrum shine. If you want more, you can always bump it up on your smartphone. In their stock configuration, the Phiaton BT-220 NC come with the silicone eartips, and we’ve found them to deliver the best sound quality. The foam eartips cause the earbuds to lose a bit of treble, making the overall sound the earbuds seem a lot less refined.
But what’s probably the most important is how well the active noise cancelling system performs. Phiaton claims that it can block up to 95 percent of ambient background noise, and we’ve found this to be very close to reality, especially in certain conditions.
What’s in the Box?
Included with the Phiaton BT-220 NC earbuds is a USB charging cable, a 3.5 mm audio cable for wired listening, a soft carrying pouch, a single pair of Comply foam eartips, four pairs of silicone eartips, an optional neck strap, and a quick guide.