"Owned for ten months; poor build quality and support"0.5 starson by packarddddd
Pros: I'll be honest: For the price, these have pretty decent noise cancelling and altogether they sounded pretty good. They're also quite comfortable.
Cons: Poorly built, they literally fell apart after ten months of very light use. They were under a one-year warranty which the manufacturer flatly refused to uphold. Do not buy these thinking that the warranty is worth anything; they do not honor it.
Summary: When I first bought these headphones, I was reasonably happy with them. The sound quality was good for the price, and the noise cancelling, while certainly not revolutionary, was pretty darn good as well. These seemed like a pretty solid entry into the sub-$300 high-quality headphone market.
Now, before I get to this next part, let me quickly explain something. I've built my own PCs and partaken in do-it-yourself electronics for many years, and I'm well aware that expensive technical equipment is not meant to be manhandled. I treated these headphones the same way that I treat every other piece of pricey electronic equipment I own: Very, very gently. I used them very minimally and was always quite careful with them when I had them out of the case.
So imagine my surprise when one day, as I went to put these on, they more or less exploded in my hands. As I picked them up, a small metal disk about a quarter inch in length fell out of them and onto my desk. Apparently that tiny piece of metal was all that was holding these things together, because the second it fell out, the left earphone immediately became disconnected from the central head piece, rendering these a completely unusable mess.
Now, that's just plain wrong. When I pay $300 for something I expect it to be built to last, not just fall apart one day after ten months of extremely gentle use. Seriously, they were sitting in their case on my desk for 95% of that time period, and sitting gently on my head for the other 5%. I pity anyone who thinks they would be able to use these as travel headphones. I would bet money that they'd snap in half like a twig after three weeks.
The sad thing is, that's not even the worst part of this story. The worst part was what happened when I contacted Phiaton's customer support and sent these in to get repaired. They were still under warranty (the warranty lasts for one year from the date of purchase, and I'd only owned them for ten months) so I expected that they'd be repaired for free--since, you know, that's what RESPECTABLE companies do when a product that is still under warranty breaks for no apparent reason.
But that's not what Phiaton did. After receiving the headphones, they told me that I could not get a free repair under the one-year warranty because their technicians "could not verify that the damage was caused by a manufacturing defect," and that the repair was going to cost me a total of $50 after shipping.
Oh my. I don't even know where to begin, but let's start with some basic English, shall we? The word "defect" means: A flaw or imperfection in an object. Now, I assume that the headphones were not intentionally designed to fall apart, so in my book, the fact that they DID fall apart means that they were defective, i.e. they did not do what they were designed to do. Seems like a pretty basic idea to me, but apparently something about it is lost on Phiaton's "technicians."
The whole thing just seemed so ridiculous to me. As I said, I've been dealing with electronics for quite a while, so inevitably, I've had my share of customer support run-ins, RMAs, and repairs. But this is the first time I've ever had a manufacturer so flatly refuse to honor their own warranty. It's not even the fact that they wanted to charge me $50 (I'm not a cheapskate by any means). It's the fact that their warranty OBLIGATES them to repair this free of charge, and they basically just told me to pay 50 bucks or buzz off.
Needless to say I told them that they could either honor their warranty, uphold their obligation as a company, and repair their defective product free of charge, or lose a customer. I informed them that I have plenty of money to spend and I'll gladly spend it on a different brand if necessity dictates it. I have yet to hear back from them, so my conclusion is that their customer support branch is hopelessly misnamed, because they clearly don't care about supporting their customers--or their brand's reputation--at all.
I realize this review is quite lengthy, and I'm not sure if anyone's gotten this far, but to sum the whole thing up: Do not buy these headphones. They have good sound quality and good noise cancelling capabilities, but in terms of durability, they're built no better than $15 generic brand headphones. They WILL break, and don't expect any help from the manufacturer when that happens, because they don't even uphold the warranty that they claim to offer. How this company is still in business is a genuine mystery to me. I wouldn't trust their products--or their words--as far as I can throw them.