Phiaton recently introduced the BT 460 ($199), a newly designed high performance Bluetooth headphone featuring a number of innovative technologies. The BT 460 weighs just under 1/2 pound and has a foldable structure (each ear piece angles inward to reduce the overall size) for easy storage in the provided carrying case. A high quality external audio/phone cable is also included as an alternate way to use these headphones without having to power them on. In addition, a USB charging cable is provided, but you will need to supply your own USB charger.
The BT 460's features 40mm drivers with powerful Neodymium magnets designed around an optimized vibration system. This design is said to add extra emphasis on high frequency clarity with an improved sound stage, while providing rich deep bass. The ear pads are soft and provide a comfortable fit. One of the best features of the BT 460 is the ability to detect when the headphones are removed from your head, at which time the music will pause. When you put them back on, the music restarts from where it left off. This is a great feature that is well engineered. Audio levels ramp up rather than turning on at the full volume setting - another nice feature.
Controlling volume is accomplished by swiping the touch panel on the right side of the headphones and the LED display lights up to follow your swipe motion. The volume position on the touch panel can be felt with a vertical grove in the center. Users can also play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and accept phone calls using an interactive surface control. The controls take some getting used to, but once mastered, it's fairly easy to control the headphones. The ShareMe™ technology allows multiple users of the headphones to share audio from the same source whether it be a movie or music. We didn't have more than one pair, so we couldn't test this feature. The BT 460’s multipoint connection can accommodate up to two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
Turning the headphones on or off is easy using your right thumb to hold down the power button for a few seconds. The power state is confirmed with a vibration, status light, and a unique audio signature. This makes it really easy to determine the state of the headphones, even while you are wearing them.
During the review period, we put these headphones through a lot of real-world tests. They have traveled with me on planes and other places where background ambient noise is not ideal. Even with substantial background noise, the BT 460 are able to cut through and sound good. In fact, the performance was great for this type of environment. The sound characteristics are more forward in the upper midrange and bass response and are anything but flat. Purists may not like this for critical listening, but others will likely appreciate the frequency response chosen for this design.
The BT 460 is a well thought out design and provides users with a reliable and practical wireless headphone solution. These headphones have been with us for months now and have been tested extensively where background noise can be particularly challenging. The good news is they have never let me down. They provide a comfortable fit with a long battery life, making it ideal for long trips. When it comes to wireless headphones, the Phiaton BT 460 have become my favorite for many of the reasons mentioned.
- Naina Rao