Wirelsss on-ear headphones with Bluetooth 4.0 and active noise-canceling technology.
This past September I reviewed the Phiaton Bridge MS 500 over-ear headphones and was extremely impressed with the sound quality, just not the price tag. A couple of weeks ago Phiaton graciously sent me the wireless model from its Moderna Series—the Chord MS 530. These on-ear headphones differ from most of the other wireless on-ear earphones I’ve tested, many of which are from Phiaton, including the PS 210 BTNC and PS 20 BT. Probably the closest competitor I’ve reviewed in this column is the MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32s.
I was glad to see that the Chord MS 530s were not merely a wireless version of the Bridge MS 500s. I actually like the look of the Chords better than that of the Bridge headphones. They aren’t quite as stylized as the MS 500s, but still sport the red, black and silver color scheme.
The MS 530’s ear cups are on-ear just like the MS 500s but have a more typical oblong shape than the inverse teardrop shape of the Bridge model. The shape, along with somewhat better padding, make the Chord model more comfortable to wear than the Bridge.
The headband of the 530s is also better engineered than that of the 500s. The rubberized coating makes it resistant to sweat and the elements, and it also offers better padding than the leather headband of the MS 500s. It also didn’t “pinch” my head quite as strongly as the Bridge headphones, which make them much more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
The headphones fold up for easy carrying. But, again, I was a bit put off by the cloth carrying bag Phiaton provides to protect your $350 headphones. For the money, a hard shell case seems warranted.
The Chord MS 530s weigh slightly more than the Bridge MS 500s, at 10.24 ounces. This makes sense because of the additional electronics required to make them wireless.
The Chord MS 530s have a collection of buttons and switches not found on the Bridge model. On the bottom of the right ear cup is the power button. On the back of the right ear cup is a call button to answer, end or call the last-dialed number as well as the multi-function button. There is also a compartment for the micro-USB charging port. On the back of the left ear cup is an on-off switch for the noise cancellation and a compartment that houses a 3.5mm audio jack for wired listening.