Let’s be honest—people buy $300 headphones for two reasons: they like the way they look or like the way they sound.
Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Mac
Phiaton knows that, which is why they put so much effort into making the Bridge MS 500 headphones look like the interior of a Italian sportscar. But for those looking for more substance, how about this: good fidelity and great sound isolation so you can hear more nuances in your music. Sound like a good recipe?
What It Does
They’re placed on your head; particularly around your ears. They’re headphones, albeit more luxurious than many.
The MS 500s also forgo plastic and mesh in lieu of leather and aluminum, and so you can hear your French jazz in that fancy cafe you frequent; a noise-isolating and memory foam-like padding that Phiaton says blocks out a healthy dose of ambient sound.
Also part of the party is an in-line mic so, you know, you can answer calls in your noise-isolating headphones. To experience the effect now, place your hands tightly over your ears then strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t mind you shouting.
Ground floor: sound quality. As with other on-ear speakers I’ve tested from Phiaton, the MD 500s sounded quite good. To my ears, they were well balanced, not too bassy, and to their credit, not muddy or stinky. Now, unless you’re an audio engineer working for Skywalker Sound, these fidelity judgements are usually quite subjective, but my ear isn’t bad — in 8th-grade my band teacher did use my well-pitched B notes to tune the rest of the class, so there’s that.
Sound isolation also worked well in my tests. In an office, on a bus, once you put them on, the MS 500s bring ambient noise down significantly, and once the music starts pumping through them ambient distractions because hardly noticeable; something office workers and frequent plane travelers might appreciate.
Aesthetically, I’ve always appreciated how much work and detail Phiaton puts into its products, and the MS 500s follow in that pedigree.
From the aluminum, to the leather, to the earcups that periscope up and down for fit, MS 500s are unlike any other headphones I’ve tested, and they definitely feel high quality. The red, black, and silver accents continue on into the tangle-free headphone cables as well, which feature feature more aluminum in the mic casing. Michael Jackson circa mid eighties would have loved this color palette.
Like other headphones, the MS 500s fold in half for easy transport, and the connection can also be plugged into either side of the frame. A nice and shiny pleather bag keeps everything together when it’s time to move.
My verdict? The Bridge MS 500s are a good-looking well-balanced pair of phones that’ll put the background noises on low. For me, though, at $300, they don’t beat out my current favorite pair, the V-Moda M-100s.
Product Name: : Phiaton Bridge MS 500 Headphones
The Good: Great sound isolation.
The Bad: You’ll either love or hate the look.
The Verdict If you like their styling, they’re worth a test drive.
Buy from: Amazon ($269.00)