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The Phiaton Fusion MS 430 headphones are great for the traveling music lover

Travel headphones need to be two things: loud enough to be a stand-in for your at-home headphones, and portable. The Phiaton Fusion MS 430 on-ear headphones are one of the company's more compact offerings, but it brings the same big-time sound and high-quality components of Phiaton's over-ear headphones, making it a solid choice for the traveling audiophile.

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 3.6 ft (1.2 m)
  • MSRP: US$179

Design

The first thing you'll notice about the MS 430s is that they're quite heavy for on-ear headphones. They feel solid and sturdy, and loose play has been eliminated on everything from the volume control to the size-adjustment slider.

The unit feels very well made overall, and that same care has been paid to its looks as well. With a bold red tangle-free cord, carbon fiber inlays on the headphones and sharp aluminum and red accents everywhere you look, the petite headset manages to catch your eye from just about every angle.

Functionality

There are a couple of things that make this headset a joy for on-the-go audio. For starters, the completely removable tangle-free cord is great for quickly cramming into a pocket or bag, and the earphones themselves fold inward to save space. The cord can be plugged into the base of either the left or right earphone, which is a seemingly small convenience feature that ended up being one of the things I liked most about it.

With loud, distortion-free sound, the headphones performed admirably through any song I threw at them. Being on-ear headphones -- as opposed to the much more bass-friendly over-ear models -- you won't get the same head-cracking thump that the larger versions offer, but that's the price you pay for portability.

If there's one area I'd say the MS 430s could use some improvement, it's with overall comfort. The earpads are plush and fine for hours upon hours of listening, but the headband itself is only lightly cushioned with a rubber sleeve. As I noted above, the headset is slightly heavy, and after a while, you definitely begin to notice the pressure up top.

Conclusion

There's no doubt that the Fusion MS 430 headphones perform above their sub-$200 price range, and for anyone looking for a portable audio solution, they're an easy recommendation. With a bit more attention paid to user comfort, this sleek headset might approach perfection, but as it stands, it's still a great purchase.

Rating: 3.5 out of a possible 4 stars

Giveaway

Jumping on a plane or enduring a long car ride can be hell, but the Phiaton Fusion MS 430 headphones will make it a bit less painful. If you want a chance to win a pair, be sure to follow the giveaway rules:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before January 20, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive the Phiaton Fusion MS 430 headphones valued at US$179.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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