Phiaton MODERN MS 200

Stumbling across my Phiaton friends at CES, they were quick to point out the new MODERNA MS 200 earbuds, which recently hit the market. The hot rod red coloring and genuine carbon fiber speaker wells were the first attraction, as they lay on the display table. Even in a crowded pre-convention party, they sounded like a winner.

Now, having listened to the MS 200’s from the comfort of my home, I can confirm my suspicions were true. With a racing red headphone cable matching a classic black earphone chassis, more than quality sound are the causes for head turning attraction. These half in-ear buds are quite the performers, with bass enthusiasts getting what they desire.

Gone are the days where bulky headphones were the only great way to hear the beats of your music. Take a look past the fold for a breakdown on looks and performance, while possibly scoring your own pair to take home…

Visual stimulation

I cannot remember any of my headphone reviews ever starting with a heading about sex appeal. Then again, not many headphone makers bother with carbon fiber and smooth black, shiny coating. Nor do they package their headphones in small matching pouches with red stitched accents. The MS 200’s certainly look the part. A fashionably conservative person, I would almost be embarrassed by how loud they scream, and I don’t mean the volume. Personally, I associate them with Ferrari-esque appeal, combining sporty accents with age tested allure.

In the box, Phiaton generously offers four pair of standard and one pair of RightFit (ear canal) silicon tips, in addition to a pair of Comply Foam (memory foam) tips. All of these customizing pieces fit nicely into the carrying pouch along with the buds. The set rounds out the red and black matching physique.

MODERNA MS 200 buds

Performance

The MS 200’s utilize 14.3mm dynamic speakers to drive sound with a frequency range between 10Hz ~ 27,000Hz. The impedance is 32 Ohm and sensitivity is 100dB at 1kHz. Driving the low frequency and deep bass is a dual chambered system paired with five separate tuning points to increase airflow.

Now that the audiophiles have their specs, a quick jaunt through several genres is required. While testing the sound quality, I used all three tips to test performance, but in different situations, the wearer would use the appropriate tips based on the activity, or lack thereof.

Hip-hop/Rap: After rolling Wiz Khalifa and Lupe Fiasco around in my head, it is clear the true performance lies in the bass abilities. A rich full bodied bass defines this earbud and I would caution treble lovers from investing in this pair. The bass is not overly emphasized, that is, it is not so deep it detracts from the music, at least not hip-hop.

Rock: Considering a sampling of Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and Autograph, the guitar, especially acoustic guitar, seemed slightly flat. Lacking that crisp mid-tone sound I was expecting from a higher end headphone. The bass seems to cut into the range a bit as a slightly overpowering nuance.

Electronic: Being the dub-step dominator, I did not look past Skrillex. Again, really shining with the bass heavy genre, the buds plow through tracks at a throbbing pitch. While complimenting the bass, I pause. They are not quite deep enough to run the whole spectrum, missing the lowest notes my home theater can manage to drag out, but for headphones, these are still prime.

Pop/Top 40: As top 40 and pop music tend to combine a solid bass line hook with vocals and mixed instrumentation, the MS 200’s are great options. Again, bass heavy, but not over bearing in any way. Running through Katy Perry and Gaga, a fair shake was given to their poppy songs. The mids being blurred in the rock category are not a concern in modern pop music as the musicality of a crisp acoustic guitar is almost always forgone by the artists.

Classical: Almost unnecessarily tested, I chose to give classical a shot. The Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 which is heavily string laden with a bit of flute, sounded decent. The cello stood out, no surprise there. If you are going for classical, it is best to find a headphone with a higher frequency range to please your ears.

Ear tip assessment: The standard buds, seal better than RightFits, but the RightFits are arguably more comfortable. Standard buds provide a slightly fuller sound, mostly due to the complete seal. However, the RightFits embody the half in-ear design more than either the Standard or ComplyFoam options.

Different genres sounded better with different tips, allowing you to customize your experience based on the situation. All around, the ComplyFoam tips are the way to go. Providing what I now consider the definition of noise isolation, the ComplyFoam tips block all external noises and seal the ear canal ensuring the purest sound.

Phiaton RightFit

Conclusion

I appreciate the full range of ear tips, especially considering it is the widest selection I have personally received, in comparison to other reviews. While a thoughtful range of tips is included, Phiaton failed to make the in-line mic fully Apple certified, meaning you cannot change the songs back and forth.

Comfortability is middle of the road. I noticed a slight discomfort using the standard tip after prolonged listening. The double chambered design requires a larger housing and consequently extra heft. Certainly not the smallest earbud designed, I can definitely tell when I am wearing them, but not to the point of distraction.

Currently selling for $119 on Amazon, down from $150, I think these are a safe purchase, assuming you are in the mood for bass. The MS 200’s are decently balanced, but favor the lower frequencies. Especially with the ComplyFoam tips, a deep and rich bass is easily attained. If you are primarily an electric or hip/hop listener, these are definitely the headphones for you. Combining style and sound, the aggressively priced Amazon offer may be difficult to pass up.

Giveaway

What do you have to do to win?

We teamed up with Phiaton to giveaway these awesome buds! Sorry to our international readers, this one is for US and Canada residents only. One lucky winner who follows the next steps will be chosen to win a set in the color of their choice:

Thanks again to Phiaton for sending over the review unit and we look forward to selecting a winner by week’s end. You will be contacted via Twitter DM if you have won!

Winner announced!

The winner of our giveaway is @ChildishMorgaan. The winner will be contacted with further instructions. Thanks everyone for entering the contest, and thanks to Phiaton for making this giveaway possible. If you haven’t won, don’t get too depressed. We have plenty more giveaways lined up with some more amazing prizes.

[iDownloadBlog review disclaimer statement]

  • The eartips by far. I hate having good headphones with amazing sound that are just way too uncomfortable for me to enjoy the sound. This one has both!
    @stefanybaez

  • the most attractive feature of the MODERNA MS 200′s is the shape of the earbud which seems like a comfortable design, i would use them the most while running or exercising. @jose_soccer95

  • Twitter@anickuaren
    I have small ears. The earbuds look comfortable. I’d use these while listening to my Audible audiobooks.

  • @doppelsize seems like the ear tip would fit perfectly in my large earhole. Would be great to use this earphone on the bus everyday.

  • Sashank Thupukari

    I like the look of the headphones. Would like to use them on the bus every morning and afternoon. @sthupukari

  • Manuel Batista

    It seems like the most comfortable headphones ever! (@batistamr)

  • The design is the most attractive feature these headphones have. I would use them while doing homework or drawing.

    Twitter: elias_acab

  • Most attractive feature? Design, for sure. And I’d definitely get them out of house for my rehearsals.
    @rodolfmm

  • I love the design, fits perfectly in the ear, with my favorite black/red color way combo.

    @eduardo_tmpr

  • I simply adore the design <3

  • I love the style and the color the most. I’m currently using red SkullCandy 50/50s and these are definitely a few steps up from those.

    @DCook005

  • Cool.

  • The most attractive feature about these earbuds is its shape. It looks as if its shape is an exact fit of the ear and it would be nice to wear them.
    I would use them with my ipod the most.
    @DalmaSEAN

  • I think I look goofy wearing my current on ear headphones everywhere. But since these look comfortable AND deliver good bass, these could probably replace my current headphones.

    Twitter: @AveryMassenburg

  • Jorn Geuvens

    They look comfortable and i would use them to listen music.

    @AppleGeek_

  • They
    look awesome and I think they can fit perfect my ears when running.

    @albey20

  • the bass! drop the bass!! these sound incredible! – @badstylee

  • Best feature is the bass, I would use them most at work on those long nights to listen to music of watch movies. @fuccdiss

  • Guest

    I really like the design ! And I hope it is better than what I have 🙂

    @TheRealAkram_

  • I really like its Design! And I hope its performance better than what I have now 😉

    @TheRealAkram_

    • “Theres no LIKE Button at the top or the bottom of the post Because im using iPhone browser style”

      •-•

  • I like to listen to hip-hop and reggaeton all the time so the bass features will be perfect for me. Also the shape makes them perfect for doing chores around the house without worrying they’ll fall of. @gaby4440

  • The best feature of these ear buds IMO is definitely the awesome color scheme. I would use them in the library to block out the noise.
    @samlewis0602

  • kry0man

    Most attractive feature is the comfort I will get as well as the carbon fiber (I love carbon fiber).
    -kry0man

  • i like the feature that these earpods fit right into your ear. also the bass and the sound seems to be unbelieveble! Would use them the most in the bus or train, going to work and only in moments to calm down.

    – guenther386

  • I need these!!

    #fuegoaz

  • I think the most attractive feature of these buds are the right fit tips. I would definitely use these most at the gym or on runs.
    Twitter: notjustintrout

  • @editone81

    THe best Feature is the headphone is “idownloadblog” tested !!! 🙂

    Awesome looking and its silicon and not this cheap Chinese rubber shit … 🙂 I’m not pro with these kind of tech but I’m sure cheap headphone have a lower freq range !!!

  • Kurt Waggoner

    I know several people have been saying, but I think definitely the comfort aspect of it is great! Being a big traveler and often spending sometime up to 17 hours on a plan or bus. Comfort is a big thing with me! Several earbuds are often uncomfortable when used for and extended period of time. But the silicone or memory foam would be great! Also the sound quality sounds like it would be great as well! -Thewagg on twitter

  • The Moderna’s carbon fiber weave is super neat… I really dig it!

    Twitter handle: @auriculogenesis

  • The most attractive feature to me is how comfortable it looks. I’d use this almost daily due to the comfort while I’m listening to music doing work or watching videos.
    -naluboi9

  • I think the most attractive feature is it’s looks. The way the ear bud is shaped looks really cool, and then the black and red contrast!! Black and red always look good together (like in Beats too).
    I would use these at the gym cuz Apple’s original ones keep falling out.
    Twitter handle: @MomSaidURHaram

  • @omega400. My favorite feature of the MS200’s is the silicon ear tips they fell so good.

  • I think that the greatest feature of these headphones is the range of the frequencies that can create an amazing sound quality. I can’t imagine how great would dubstep sound with these headphones! I would use them daily as I listen to music daily when walking to home from the bus stop and when I listen to music home (a lot of hours apparently). So my twitter is: @isklikas

  • It looks stylish and it looks comfortable. I can’t wait to hear what they sound like. @awmathis

  • @swank2323 I could you a set of these for the gym and the different ear tips would be perfect to help find the best match for my workouts

  • Since I have a good-design fetish and love bassy- and rock-music I’d love to give this a try and it sounds as it performed pretty well! My twitter handle is @invalididentity

  • The most attractive feature about these earbuds has to be the shape and the design of the in-ear and i have tested on mu friends one and the sound are sick and comfortable fit in the ear and would be using it for my morning journeys to work everyday

  • The most attractive feature of these earbuds is the form of them, and I would mostly use them when exercising and listening to some heavy bass music.
    @appleforkids

  • I’m lov’in the carbon fiber look!
    @fauxpaux

  • I think the best feature of these is they look more comfortable than my Apple Earbuds. Love the idea of some extra bass if I’m in a loud environment as well. Twitter is mwbrown25

  • sexy come to papa

  • Twitter handle @dumbazzblonde

    I would use these at work, while exercising, while working in the yard. Well OK, I’d use them everywhere!
    The most attractive feature is how comfortable they look!

  • @ak7579

    To me the size and color combo along with the shape of the RightFit ear tips make them an all around win for me. These would be great for commuting and working out.