Stick It In Your Ear – Or Not

Jul. 27 2009, Updated 8:41 a.m. ET

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For consumers who don’t like sticking something in their ears, the Phiaton PS 320 headphones at $199 are a good choice. After a while, even the best ear buds can get irrating, hence the reason we like to switch it up. Similar to the Bose, the Phiaton have smaller, oval ear pads. (27 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide) which are designed to be worn on the ears rather than cupping it. We find it much more comfortable over long periods of time.They also are more fashion-forward, with handsome accents. For travel, the earphones fold flat and in for compact storage, and there's a thick leatherette pouch with two compartments included in the package.

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We can even toss them in our purse, always a plus.

But to the critical question – how is the audio quality? The 320’s deliver crisp, clear sound (according to the company, that’s due to the “closed air dynamic with advanced coaxial dual driver system.”) For mid-range and high-ends, they’re superb, but if you love bass, the 320’s are are not a good choice. For instance, the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta a Feeling”, sounds the way it was meant to be heard but on “I Got it From My Mama “you’ll miss the bass-driven lead.

Bottom –line : they’re a great deal at $199 and a great option to earbuds, but if your rocking out to hip-hop, buy the Phiaton 300 NC model which feature  a bass boost option. (and noise-cancelling feature, which puts you back an additional $100.)

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