Review: Phiaton Bridge (MS500)

Phiaton | On-Ear Headphones | $ 299.00[IMG]

Phiaton has always been a company the combined both form and function into an aesthetically pleasing package that is able to perform strongly from a technical standpoint as well. The Bridge headphones were announced alongside the handsome Moderna earbuds, but were released much later. They are no exception to the Phiaton design queues. 

Specifications

Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 22 kHz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 99 dB

In the Box

Phiaton Bridge
Audio-Only Cable
Remote+Mic Cable
Carrying Pouch
¼” Adapter

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Design

The design of the MS 500 Bridge is one that follows closely with the Moderna that was announced beside it. The Bridge retains the same black and red color scheme, but adds in additional silver accents to create a second sense of complexity. The headphones look extremely handsome and more grown up overall due to the matted design. Without copying the round design, or any part of the design of Monster or Beats, Phiaton has created a style that looks gorgeous and just works.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The Phiaton Bridge offers listeners an overall accurate sound to it with a hint of warmth behind the mids and lower bass. That said, the Phiaton Bridge represents something that seems to be enjoyable by audiophile and consumer alike with a very forgiving signature that really doesn’t do anything wrong, nor does it offend.

The low end has an overall emphasis with these headphones. The lower-bass takes the main stage with the Bridge offering a thick, well-bodied bass that adds a beautiful presence for the Bridge. This does allow most of the mid-bass punch to still be heard, but can cover it up at times. The sub-bass has a nice bit of body and thickness to it, mostly due to the lower-bass. The result is a sub-bass that is very solid with subtle texturing.

The midrange that Phiaton built into the Bridge has a beautiful warmth behind it that also adds an extra bit of lushness to just about any vocal to make them very emotive and strong. The vocals may be a little too warm for some listeners, but do hold ample energy up top. Detailing would be the second complaint, it’s not that it’s bad, but definitely could be better while upper midrange clarity remains strong to give the midrange a bit of life.

In the upper part of the spectrum, we find that the Bridge present it in a non-offending fashion. The treble isn’t strong, but holds good presence throughout. The lower treble offers a very convincing snap to it that extends amply while the upper treble is softer with great separation and extension. Both the lower and upper treble do a great job detailing.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

I have to say that the Bridge is one of the best built headphones I’ve had the honor of reviewing. They aren’t made to be military grade, but suffice perfect for what they will be used for. A nice pouch is included with texturing to match the leather on the actual headphones. The pouch is the size of a medium-sized purse, so it is mostly portable, it’ll keep the headphones safe when not in use, although I’d rather have a hardcase.

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The entire build of the MS 500 Bridge is constructed out of machined aluminum. The housings have a very solid, strong feel to them which helps this out a bit. The hinge that connects the slider to the housings has a bit of looseness to it, but doesn’t deter from the actual build. The arms that connect the housings to the headband are just as strong using similar machined aluminum. The hinges are the same exact way too. Really, the aluminum used is strong with good thickness to them to create a firm housing.

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The headband is padded quite a bit and stitched in an elegant fashion. Every little detail was left in to create great complexity up close. That said, they don’t just look good, they feel very firm with great strength as well. I really don’t have too many complaints about the headband.

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Phiaton includes two cables with their headphones, the only difference is that one has a remote and mic while the other doesn’t. The cable has a braided, fabric coating on the outside. It scarcely, if ever, tangles due to the nice thickness the cable has. The thickness is a perfect medium allowing the cable to be flexible, but also stiff enough to retain it’s position and shape.

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Terminating the cable is the headphone jack, which is made out of the same machined aluminum as the housings. Beautiful, subtle textures create a beautiful banding design on the headphone jack. The aluminum is strong, and the jack rests at 90 degrees. There is a nice thick strain relief on the end. The plating on the headphone jack isn’t gold plated unfortunately, something I’d rather have.

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Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

Phiaton states that these are over-ear headphones; these are quite a tight fit for being over-ear. The size, in my opinion is somewhere between true over-ear and on-ear. This may be a deal breaker for some, but they still fit quite comfortable once you find the right position and way to put them on. The padding on them is extremely supple and very soft. The aluminum keeps the housing soft while the headband is padded more than amply.

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Comfort: ★★★★

Value

These headphones come priced right under 300 dollars. I’m going to take a quick step back and talk about another 300 dollar headphone, the V-Moda M-100. I have to say, the sound Phiaton uses with their Bridge was the sound I expected the M-100 to have. Both headphones have their differences, but are entirely on the same level. Phiaton offers a well-packaged deal with the Bridge offering great audio quality that’s sure to impress with great build to couple with it. Comfort really seals the deal while the design is just extra. Like most headphones nowadays, a remote and mic is included, but you can also rock without one.

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Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

I really feel that Phiaton hit the mark with the Bridge. They were delayed for a little while, but the wait was worth it. The design is very professional, but also very fun at the same time. The comfort is actually quite nice while the build is where it should be. Audio quality, at the end of the day, is the reason you’ll be coming to these cans though.

I’d like to thank Lindsay for the product sample.

Overall Score

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Phiaton MS 500 Bridge

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Lindsay for the product sample.
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