Here at MajorHifi, we’ve found that wireless noise-cancelling earphones in the under $100 price range tend to be pretty ineffective. So, I was skeptical when I saw Phiaton’s $80 noise-cancelling Bluetooth buds. Can we expect any reduction is noise from this affordable model? And does it sound any good? Let’s find out in this Phiaton Curve Review.
Phiaton Curve Review
IN the BOX
I didn’t run into any problems in this department. The seal is pretty secure, even if the sound isolation (without the noise-cancelling turned on) isn’t that effective. And the rubber ear wings, which are designed to sit in the contours of your ears, didn’t bother me at all. How well they’ll work for the heavy sweaters out there, I can’t tell you. But if you generally have problems keeping your buds in, perhaps consider an over-ear hook design instead. The flexible neckband also helps to stabilize the earphones when running. And because it’s so light, you’ll probably forget you’re wearing it after a while.
Unlike most other noise-cancelling earphones at this price point, the noise-cancellation on the Curve actually works. At least a bit; I still heard the background radio playing and colleagues typing behind me. But if all you’re looking to do is kill a little hum, these buds are sufficient.
One feature that sets these earphones apart from many others is the multipoint connection capability. This means that you can be connected to two Bluteooth devices simultaneously. Handy for those who use one device for music and the other for phone calls.
Another nice thing about these buds is how fast the charging time is. In fact, all you need is 5 minutes of charging for 1 hour of playback time. Battery life is about 8.5 hours, which is on the lower end of standard for wireless earphones at this price point.
The Curve has a IPX4 waterproof rating, which is just enough to make it resistant to sweat and minor splashes.
Here’s one more feature: the Curve starts to vibrate when there’s an incoming call or if you have stepped out of the communication range. So, if you tend to step out of range a lot, you’re in for a good time.
The call clarity might be one of the best factors about these buds; the caller on the other end came out loud and clear while avoiding picking up too much ambient sound.
Listening to pop and rock tracks with heavy bass, some muddiness comes out to play. But that’s not terribly surprising for a wireless earphone in the cheaper price range. And if you appreciate a warm sound profile, the fat and present bass will bring you that richness. The low end gives pop plenty of punch, and there’s enough sub-frequency presence to give some vibration to hip-hop.
There’s decent presence in the midrange. The upper mids are slightly favored, bringing vocals a bit forward in the mix. But you can still expect a full-bodied sound when listening to rock and pop-rock. I have to say, the layering of instruments is pretty clean for a headphone at this price point. And even though there’s a ton of bass in the low end, acoustic instruments, like guitars sound relatively tidy and transparent in the higher frequencies.
You’ll hear some nice smoothness and decent clarity when listening to strings in this range. Percussion has a little snap, though it’s not a sparkly sound. Brass can get a little piercing in the highest registers. But generally, this frequency range is pretty forgiving on the ears.
Although the soundstage isn’t particularly grand, there is some dimension there, especially in terms of depth. Anyway, you can’t expect a thoroughly holographic experience from a wireless earphone at this price point.
Though it may lack a “wow” factor, the Curve gets the job done just fine. Light and water resistant, it’s a simple and affordable headphone you can throw in your sports bag on your way to shot put. Call clarity is great too. And if you’re bothered by the persistent drone of the world, the noise-cancelling Curve should give you at least some relief.