Review: Phiaton Fusion MS 430

Phiaton | On-Ear Headphones | $ 179.00

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Phiaton has always had a stunning aesthetic aspect when it came to headphone design.  Their carbon-fibered Fusion (MS 430) is no different.  The aesthetics take off while the linear, somewhat aggressive sound takes center stage.  With that said, these headphones not only look great, they sound it too.

Specifications

Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 99 dB

In the Box

Phiaton Fusion MS 430 Headphones
Cable (with remote and Mic)
Soft Pouch
¼” Adapter

InTheBox

Design

The Fusion is a dominantly black model with silver and red accents, like all things Phiaton really.  Black carbon fiber sits encased in the center of each housing and gives a really nice aesthetic to the housings overall.  Surrounding the circular cut carbon fiber is a nice matted, black metal housing.  Metallic, silver arms connect to the housings that hold the Phiaton name and logo on them.  A rubber headband connects it all together into a product that looks gorgeous.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The sound of the MS 430 retains quite a linear sound to them overall.  The bass is very well controlled, at times a little much.  The midrange has a slight aggression to it along with a very energetic presentation overall while the treble is alive and strong with aggression similar to that of the midrange.  That said, the Fusion are well detailed although they are a bit hot at times.

The low end of the Fusion is lighter than what most would want in a pair of headphones.  The mid bass is quite tight with good speed and rhythm.  This keeps the bass fast and active while the low-end impacts are ample in quantity albeit light by nature.  Sub-bass texturing lacks in fluidity while it holds a light solid feeling to it.  Overall though, the lower bass, as well as sub bass, lack presence.

This bass response leads to a headphone that’s got a slightly aggressive midrange response that is also very energetic overall.  The lower midrange detailing is quite strong and very well played out while the detail retrieval is just as aggressive.  This allows electric guitars stand out from the crowd.  The upper midrange has very strong clarity to it while the upper vocals provide a strong amount of energy to the midrange as whole; they do lack in lushness though.

In the treble, we find that they have a similar presentation as the midrange.  It’s aggressive and a bit edgy at times, a little tough to swallow if you’re not into strong treble.  However, they do have great extension throughout, in both the upper treble as well as the lower.  Detailing is rendered beautifully in the lower treble while the upper treble has a bit of an aggression to it.  This, however, can also lead to smearing at times.

Audio: ★★★★

Build

Like the current line of Phiaton headphones, the Fusion come with a soft carrying pouch.  Since the headphones fold flat and in, the pouch is quite compact and thin.  This makes the pouch, and headphones, extremely portable, which is intended of course.  The pouch has enough space to hold the headphones and the included mic’d cable.

Case

Besides the carbon fiber, the housings of the Phiaton Fusion use an all-metal construction.  The brushed metal bevel and matted housings not only look good, but they feel strong and firm to the touch.  The arms swivel and fold very nicely and snap into place nicely.  The housings together with the arms create a build that seems very good.

Housing

The headband has a rubber exterior which is pretty thick and in two layers.  The center houses the central skeleton which should be metal in structure.  The combination of these two creates a headband that is strong but malleable.  In other words, it’s a very well-build headband.

Headband

The cable of the Fusion is constructed using rubber.  It has ample thickness to give it a nice strong firm appearance which I have good confidence in.  It, however, is also thin enough to have good flexibility and rarely tangles.  A nicely-sized strain relief connects the cable to a jack on either end as the headphones’ cable is removable.

Terminating the cable is a headphone jack that is built well too.  As stated, it has a nicely-sized rubber strain relief that is flexible.  The body feels firm to the touch and is strong while the 90-degree shape will ensure the cable isn’t as stressed.  The jack itself incorporates gold plating to avoid corrosion.

HeadphoneJack

Build: ★★★★

Comfort

I have to say that one of the things that surprised me with the Fusion was that the rubber headband was actually quite comfortable on the head.  The headphones aren’t the heaviest which helps aid in terms of comfort over long periods of time.  The pads are made to be an on-ear model, but site right between a true on-ear and a small over-ear which is a little awkward on the ears at first.  Otherwise, the pads are nice and soft thanks to the memory foam.

Pads

Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

Phiaton has priced the Fusion right around 180 dollars, this is right where things like the SOL Republic Tracks Ultra and V-Moda M-80 are.  The sound quality in contrast to these two on-ears is a little bright for most people’s taste which could be problematic as I felt that both of these competitors were a slight step ahead of the Phiaton.  Regardless, the Fusion still do sound good in contrast and offer a nice stellar design that is more professional than the latter two headphones.  For smartphone users, a remote and mic is also included.

RemoteMic

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

Phiaton shows time an time again that they know aesthetics, and they have come up with a formula that will set their headphones apart.  Choosing the right materials they created a headphone that stood out with its looks and great build.  The audio quality it offers is respectable and has a good overall package.

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

Overall Score

★★★★½

Phiaton Fusion MS 430

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