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Phiaton BonoBuds review: Decent earbuds at a great price

Updated 1 month ago
Phiaton BonoBuds Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

While the likes of Apple, Bose, and Samsung make all the wireless earbud-related news these days, they’re not the only companies out there with something to offer. There are plenty of smaller brands that offer perfectly good products — and sometimes those products offer even better value than buds like the AirPods Pro or Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds. That’s exactly what Phiaton is trying to do with the Phiaton BonoBuds.

The BonoBuds certainly don’t even approach that competition in terms of price — coming in at an affordable $59.99. And that’s with features that would normally be reserved for more expensive products — like noise cancellation.

Can the Phiaton BonoBuds ultimately compete? I’ve been testing them to find out.

Phiaton BonoBuds

Rating: 3 Stars
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Pros

  • Solid design
  • Good audio quality
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Fit isn’t great
  • ANC is barely there

Phiaton BonoBuds design

The first thing to notice about the Phiaton BonoBuds is their design, and they’re not bad-looking headphones. The earbuds themselves are relatively small and lightweight, with a design that’s aimed at keeping the buds in your ears.

Phiaton BonoBuds DesignImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Each bud has a touch surface for controls. These controls let you play/pause music, skip tracks, activate voice assistants, and adjust the volume. The touch controls are reasonably responsive — not as precise or sensitive as the AirPods Pro or Bose WF-1000XM4 buds, but they do get the job done.

The charging case is similarly compact — about the size of an egg — and it’s made from plastic with a USB-C port for charging on the back. It’s a little thicker than I like, and that makes it a little more intrusive in the pocket. But it’s not overly uncomfortable.

The earbuds come in a few different colors, including black, blue, and white. We’re reviewing the blue model.

Phiaton BonoBuds features and battery

The Phiaton BonoBuds aren’t exactly feature-packed, but for the price, they’re not too stripped-back either. Notably, you’ll get a hybrid active noise cancellation feature, which will help block out noise from your environment. We’ll get into how that actually performs in the next section.

Phiaton BonoBuds In CaseImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

There’s no app or anything here, unfortunately. That means that you can’t tweak the sound, check battery life, and other basic features that you’d usually get with something like the Bose or Apple buds.

Battery life is also a little weak. Phiaton promises 6 hours of playback on a single charge, with an additional 20 hours in the charging case. That’s good enough to get you through most days without needing to charge, and a pretty standard overall battery life.

Phiaton BonoBuds comfort

The earbuds are small and light, which means that they should be relatively comfortable. And they are — you won’t notice them in the ears too much, and even after longer listening periods, the earbuds remain relatively comfortable.

Phiaton BonoBuds ComfortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

But there’s another issue related to how the earbuds fit — the fact that they don’t fit very snugly. I found the earbuds to be pretty loose in the ears, and the result was that the buds came close to falling out, or did fall out, relatively frequently. In other words, these buds aren’t great for sports or workouts.

Phiaton BonoBuds sound

Perhaps the most important consideration to make is how the Phiaton BonoBuds sound, and while there’s no EQ to tweak how the buds sound, ultimately, they sound decent.

For starters, the bass response is surprisingly strong, given the buds’ relatively small size and low price. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s definitely enough to give some punch and drive to your music — perfect for listening to hip-hop or EDM. The mids and highs are similarly balanced — they don’t get drowned out by the bass, which is nice. The high-end response isn’t super detailed, but again, it’s good for a pair of buds in this price range.

Phiaton BonoBuds BudsImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Perhaps the weakest aspect of the sound quality is the ANC — so much so that I wasn’t sure it was even active. You can’t enable or disable ANC either, so you just have to kind of trust that it’s there. You can definitely get better noise cancellation on other earbuds.

Conclusions

The Phiaton BonoBuds are a solid option in their price range, but they’re not perfect. They may market noise cancellation, but take that with a grain of salt — it’s barely there, and not enough to be an actual feature. That said, they still sound pretty good for a pair of earbuds in this price range if you can make sure they fit properly in your ears.

The competition

The best competition to these buds in this price range comes from the Liberty Air Pro 2 earbuds, which will probably fit a little better than these earbuds, but don’t sound as good.

Should I buy the Phiaton BonoBuds?

Yes, if you want a solid pair of earbuds under $70.

No, if you can afford to spend a little more.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.