The Phiaton PS210BTNC headphones are a bluetooth or corded useful and easy to setup headphone option for your iDevice.
I'll start with a description of the headphones and then provide a description of operation including pairing with your device.
These headphones are a simi-in-ear type. That means that the tips enter the far outside area of your ear canal.
They come with 6 choices for tips including a phome type that goes deeper in to your ear than the rest of the options.
No matter what tips you have on the phones they will never be like a full canal type phone.
These headphones are different because the tip is offset on one edge of the ear piece.
This offset means you do have to put the correct ear piece in the correct ear.
The ear piece rests in the front bottom corner of your ear with the tip inserted slightly in to your ear canal.
When you are wearing them they sit solidly with your ear supporting the piece. You are not really relying on the fit of the tip to hold the earphone in place.
Instead the shape of your ear cups the ear piece.
If you have really small ears or your ear shape is unusual then you might have trouble keeping the earphones in.
From the ear pieces runs a cable that joins the main cord about 12 inches along.
From there it is twinned for about another 10 inches to a small rectangle shaped box with a clip on the back.
The clip is large and almost as large as the electronics box it supports.
In the top edge of the clip where you squeeze to open the clip is a hole centered in the edge.
This is for threading a loop from a detachable neck strap.
The front of the box has two buttons.
The top one is a joystick type that presses or tilts for operating the headphone features.
On the bottom end of the box is the second button. It is flush with the front of the box and slightly concave in the middle.
The bottom of the box is angled so that if you stood the box on end it would tilt back.
This bottom is a pull out flange cover that protects a USB charge port, cord input and processor reset hole.
Holding the box with the end without the cord toward you take your finger nail or something to access the small slot on the top edge to open the cover.
The slot is more towards the left side as you hold the unit with the buttons up and cord away from you.
The end facing you slants back on the bottom so look along the top facing you just left of center.
When you open the cover you find the ports with the USB on the right and the cable input on the left.
Centered above the USB port is a small hole for the reset.
This is a small hole and a stylus or paper clip will not work, they are way to big.
The only remaining features of the box are two slide type switches on the right side if you are holding the unit with buttons facing you and cord up.
The bottom of the two switches is a two position slide with down off and up on.
The top switch is a two position with momentary slide.
The bottom position is hold/lock. The middle is nutral or nothing and the momentary up slide is on/off.
So how do you use these headphones?
First off you can use the provided cable to connect directly to the headphones.
It has a sub-mini tip that attaches to the control box. The other end is a mini or 1/8th stereo type jack.
You can plug this cable in and start listening to audio no matter what state the battery is in.
In cable mode all features other than noise canceling is unavailable.
In fact if you are powered on and you plug in the cable the unit powers off.
The noise canceling feature of course requires battery power so if the battery is dead it won't work.
Also you should be aware that if you have NC on and the battery is dead you will not hear any audio even in cable mode.
You have to turn NC off to get audio.
So to connect your headphones to your device here is the simple overview.
Put on your headphones.
Slide the top switch on the control unit up and hold it until you hear a female voice say "power on" in your headphones.
Now get to settings on your device and find bluetooth.
Activate it then let it search for devices.
Now press and hold the bottom button on the control unit until the female voice says "pairing mode active" in your headphones.
Watch for the PS210BTNC device to appear on your device.
Hit the pair button and if it worked your headphone female voice will say "device connected".
That is it. You are good to go.
If you turn off your device your head phones will power down after about 5 minutes saying "powering off" just before they shut down.
The joystick control will let you do some nice things like turn your headphone volume up and down.
This is independent from your device and it does not change the device volume.
If you can't get things loud enough on the headphone control then use your device volume to increase levels then use the headphones to turn down their volume.
The joystick can by tilting left and right skip tracks.
Pressing it in will stop and start playing.
This works great with the BARD Mobile app.
The bottom button is your answer and end call if just pressed momentarily.
Pressing and holding both buttons for several seconds turns on and off an LED indicater.
To power off you use the top switch by slideing up and holding.
It takes about two seconds to turn on and about 3 to turn off.
Overall I am impressed with this headphone model. It sounds quite good. You can't compare it to a professional headphone such as Sensaphonics or Etymotics high-end models but for what they do I am pleased.
The microphone is of course in the control box so where you clip it on makes a big difference in how good your voice sounds during phone calls.
Also this is bluetooth so the usual delay applies. It is V3.0 bluetooth enabled so it is a bit faster than older units and has slightly better audio quality.
However if you are going to play audio games such as Blindfold Racer you better switch to the cable connection or you'll hit a cow.
Battery life is good and you could get as much as 13 to 14 hours.
Again if the battery dies just hook up the cable and keep listening.
Finally a note about the noise canceling.
It is actually reasonably good. This is the first time I have heard NC that doesn't seem to trash the audio quality of your music.
There are some audio reviews out on the web that tend to support my opinion. Professional measurement was done by one group and they indicate a slight increase in levels at about 5 to 6khz and a drop above that. Also a slight bump on the low end but not completely accurate to source audio input.
In general reviewers like the noise canceling on these headphones and I agree.
I bought my unit from:
This is the only place I've bought headphones from for more than 10 years.
They know headphones and if you want to ask questions or talk about how headphones look, feel and sound they are quite helpful.
They usually include details on their web site about each model and even tell you what type of cord the earphones have and whether it is a left side, right side or why.