Phiaton, a brand new company that branched from Cresyn Audio introduced itself to our Industry last year, is a stylish, quality manufacturer that focuses on insane-looking products and superior sound quality. Here with us today is the Phiaton Primal Series 200 Earphones which house dual balanced armature drivers with an Integrated 2-Way Crossover and a price tag of $249.99.
Needless to say, once the package arrived, I was expectantly ripping the plastic off of these “Mini Jet Engines” which stun even from the first glance.
- Variation: Anodize Aluminum with Black Accents only
- Transducer: Dual Micro Balanced Armatures
- Impedance: 39ohm (@1kHz)
- Frequency Range: 8Hz-30kHz
- Sensitivity (1mW): 95dB SPL/mW
- Weight: .176 oz / 5 g without cord
- Cord Style: Y-cord
- Mini Jack Style: Gold plated Straight (First Gen iPhone compatible)
When I opened the box, I was quite surprised. I peered into the hard plastic container, finding the square, ultra stiff magnetic case and was on the edge waiting for a thousand items to burst out. but when I opened the case, I wasn’t able to find any accessories within the box itself. Unfortunately, all I was faced with were two extra pairs of silicone sleeves, a cable winder and a 3.5mm airline adapter/single headphone jack. If you are someone looking for a lot of choice, especially when regarding fit, you may want to look somewhere else.
Grumbling aside, upon insertion, the PS200 introduced me to a world of isolation. The extremely well made sleeves are comfortable and offer ultra isolation. I was so astonished that I picked up my SE530, Earsonics SM2, and UE700 for on-the-spot comparison testing. In the end, even the SE530, which I personally found to have the best fit, only made par with the Phiaton for isolation.
Comfort wise, the PS200 are one of the most comfortable “straight down cable style” earphones that I have tried, even when including the q-Jays and UE700. They stay fit even when actively playing sports such as badminton. The cables are soft and light enough to stay put against my body. If you are an energetic person who’s into sports but wants to enjoy your music at the same time, I would definitely recommend these.
During testing, I strayed from the usual all-inclusive test: “When You Believe”, “Whenever You Call” and “When You Were Young”. The reason? These perform extremely well…and I mean extremely well with rock, metal, and as I would put it “teenage” pop music…
When visiting my ears, I was astounded by the crisp violin from Celtic Woman’s, “Mo Ghile Mear”, that the PS200 brought to dinner. They give the instrument such a lively feel; as though Máiréad Nesbitt was dancing barefoot and playing right in front of me. The PS200 presented the high notes with such crispness, clarity, and detail – the high frequency details are among the best I have heard in an earphone.
The mids are very warm. If you are a vocal fan, these earphones are definitely for you, giving body and richness to vocals. These are not exaggerated boosted earphones that some manufacturers utilize in order to offer an “enhanced” vocal presentation. The PS200 has what I would call a naturally balanced, detailed and smooth midrange that many will enjoy.
I found that the PS200 offers deep, warm, and enveloping low frequencies that are decently powerful. But, they aren’t nearly as powerful as I would like on some tracks that I am very familiar with. For example, in “Dúlaman” by Celtic Woman, the drumming that starts the piece off isn’t full enough, and not powerful enough to really draw you into the song. Earsonics’ SM2 and Westone’s UM2 are able to bring power and quantity of lows into focus enough for real enjoyment.
The PS200 are much wider than I expected them to be. When listening to “Mo Ghile Mear” by Celtic Woman, it was as though the whole crew was standing in front of me, each singing from unique positions. However, the soundstage was much too short front to back, and a tad too short in height. I found this out when watching “Harry Potter, the Order of the Phoenix”. In some dining hall scenes that require strong and high front to back soundstages for a real movie immersion, the PS200 let me down a bit. However, overall soundstage is very good for listening to music – just lacking for movies.
The PS200 leave me speechless: the housing is made of anodized aluminum, with strong black plastic turbines in durable “Jet Engine” black. Strain Reliefs are flexible, but not too flexible so that the cable might bend and break. I would describe as similar to “Westone Strain Reliefs” with a different look. When comparing the earpieces themselves to similarly price competitors, these are a long mile ahead, and I would even rate them above the Westone Um2 which is known to have one of the best build qualities in the range.
Cables are thick, well made, but very flexible at the same time. They aren’t quite as flexible as braided cables, but they have one of the most flexible cables which I have used. Despite being thick, microphonics aren’t a problem with the PS200 cable. Microphonics are minimal and not disrupting when listening to music. The split at the cable for the earpiece is in sturdy aluminum with the words Phiaton on it. The Plug is a Gold plated straight, also with a very nice flexible strain relief on it.
In the End, Phiaton’s Primal Series 200 In-Ear monitors (or earphones) astonish me. They really bring out the “feel” and emotion of Celtic Woman. They simple rock with… rock, metal, and pop music I had. I would recommend these to anyone that is able to get them, as I truly think that nothing in this price range offers the same sound quality coupled with such an excellent build as the Phiaton. The only down side is the sad quantity of accessories that are included. Fortunately, the well designed sleeves and the extremely high quality leather case makes up for a lack in first-class accessories for these jet engines. However, some may find the bass to be too subtle for them.
In the end, despite their great build and overall sound, I just can’t let these engines take off with a kiss – the lack of a few accessories and some rumble down low keep this grabbed on the runway.
|Title:||Phiaton PS 200||Developer:||Phiaton|