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Phiaton PS 20 NC Active Noise Canceling Earphones – excellent sound quality and…what, what did you say? [Review]


There are times in life that you need to have the ability to escape from your surroundings. This is especially true if/when you are doing 20-30 years of prison time in an Elbonian mud dungeon. Escaping is also valuable when you’re trapped for 14 hours on an international flight between Washington DC to Dubai surrounded by five screaming infants. Personally I’d probably select the 20 year stretch in the dungeon over 14 hours of screaming infants, but then again I can be a little cranky sometimes.

Phiaton PS 20 NC Noise Canceling Earphones are an option for these crucial times of escape. You could attempt to use them as a rope or shovel for escape from your confines (effectiveness not yet determined) OR they can be used to completely the block the sound of the screaming infants. Which means that we paedo-phobics – no really, they’re lovely asleep – can rejoice in continued silence despite all the tantrums. Check out my video review below for a comparison with similar earbud products.


– Sound performance is solid but a little short of spectacular. The soundstage does lack the overall crispness of some of the higher-end earbuds and in-ear-monitors. This is not to say that they are bad, especially at this price point, but they do not have the *elite* sound of high-end in ear monitors.

– I did use a 40 hour break-in period prior to reviewing these earbuds. I did notice a small amount of improvement between hour 1 and hour 40. The improvement was not so large that I would recommend a ‘required’ break-in.

– The active noise canceling in the PS 20 NC really does work. The manufacturer claims that 95% of the ambient noise in eliminated, and I completely agree. While on an Embraer RJ145 (a regional jet) the PS 20’s were able to completely block all of the ambient noise on the plane.

– They feature a very useful pass-through mode. With the push of a button the earbuds allow all ambient sound to pass through to your ears. This is perfect if you need to talk to someone while wearing your earbuds… it may not seem like it, but this is a surprisingly great feature of the product.


– The ‘Everplay’ feature lets you use the product even if the AAA battery runs out of power, and you forgot to pack a spare.

– The earbuds did feel a little hard in my ear, and after extended wear they felt somewhat uncomfortable. After about 2 hours, I needed to remove them to give my ears a bit of a rest, which is obviously unfortunate for a product of this type.

– The included cable is both thin and rubbery, which causes some concern for durability (and it does easily become entangled). I am therefore also not sure how effective it will be for escaping from Elbonian prisons. If you don’t hear from me during the next 360 months I will let you draw your own conclusion.


The Phiaton PS 20 NC earphones are a solid entrant into the world of noise canceling audio accessories. They are very effective at canceling background noise while delivering solid sound performance. If you are looking for absolute top level sound, then these may not be for you (and of course you will have to be prepared to spend 2-4 X as much), but if you are looking for good sound performance, great noise blocking, and a reasonable price the Phiaton PS 20 NC should definitely be on your evaluation list!


Drivers: High quality dynamic speakers
Frequency range: 15 Hz ~ 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 26 Ohm
THD: Less than 1% at 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 101dB at 1 kHz
Maximum input power: 30 mW
Weight: 1.15 oz. / 32.5 g (with battery)
Cord Length: 1.5 m

4 1/2 Stars


Available on $100 in both black and white versions

Many people believe that Kevin was the original inspiration for the character Tony Stark of Ironman fame, while others believe that he is the REAL Tony Stark. Only time will tell which group is correct. Kevin graduated in engineering and economics while living in Michigan and a master’s degree in business while in Mississippi. A veteran reviewer of over 10 years, he is also currently a Top 50 reviewer on, which just shows that he has far too much time on his hands.

Kevin Evans – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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