I’m looking at another set of cans from Phiaton’s Moderna Series. The company selects the most stylish offerings they can conjure for admittance in the M-Series and the Phiaton Bridge MS 500 fit the bill with ample flair, and go on to surprise with their comfort. It’s true, these are some of the most comfortable on-ear headphones I have ever tested. Lets see if the performance and other trimmings are of equal measure.
The Phiaton Bridge MS 500 are a classy and stylish looking pair of headphones. The main theme here is chrome-on-black with choice red accents along the headband, the earpiece interiors, tints on the machined aluminum arms and the crimson-colored cords. The rest of the unit is shiny black for both the band and earpieces. The headband is made from perforated leather draped over a thin layer of padding. Yet the padding on the earpiece launches the comfort over the bar. They’re like marshmallows for your ears.
The Bridge MS 500 ship with the main set of headphones, tangle-free audio cable, tangle-free microphone cable for audio and/or phone calls, a 6.3mm stereo adapter and black carrying case to tote all around in. There’s also an inner pocket within the pouch. Moreover, the headphones collapse and fold increasing the amount of available room in the carrying case. It’s modest and familiar package, yet welcomed nonetheless.
Phiaton boosts comfort with convenience. The Bridge MS 500 offers ambidextrous inputs so you can plug either of the included cables into the left or right port found at the end of each aluminum bar. The cloth cables are also finely woven on the outside, which helps prevent annoying cable tangling. On the inside, Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) was used for a cleaner connection and minimal distortion.
The Bridge MS 500 are something special and a bit of a mutt in the audio world. We have 40mm drivers used with an impedance of 16ohms and 99 decibel sensitivity. Nothing special there! Yet collectively the entire package is the marriage of performance and comfort. Plus the MS 500 represent another union. Phiaton has taken the tight bass response of closed ear style headphones and somehow trained it to play nice with the clearer high frequency response open-ear style headphones. As you might expect, a more complete soundstage emerges where little is sacrificed. Bass is rich and penetrating without marring sharper high tone clarity. Recorded live bands rip, with acoustic instrument sounds resonating through deep drums. Pop music also benefits from more pronounced high-hats, snares and horns.
Phiaton isn’t a household name. But it should be. I’ve been continually surprised by their warez. The Bridge MS 500 is no different. Infact they’ve raised bar. Not only do you get an amazing and versatile on-ear set of headphones, but they pack the best of both closed and open-ear designs with a level of comfort that will be hard to top. They fold away for safe keeping and offer great reception over mobile calls. My only complaint is the single button design on the microphone cable. I prefer more options and volume rocker at least. Also the large tip restricts things a bit. I’ve had to remove an iPad and iPhone from their cases to fully insert the piece. Words for the wise..!