Phiaton MS 300 worth the money?
Jan 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


New Head-Fier
Nov 29, 2010
Hello, this is my first time posting, but I've been lurking for a while now.  This forum is what convinced me to get my SR60i and RE0 so thanks for that (esp. |joker| as his IEM comparo was what convinced me to get the RE0).
So I decided to drop $135 tonight to get the Phiaton MS 300 for a closed portable can (a lot of money for me - my most expensive phone is the RE0). I liked the MS 300 because it supposedly has a very grado-esque sound signature and I love my Grados (I like the superdetailed RE0's too, but the Grados really do sound fantastic for my primary music genre - classic rock). I just don't love the way I can't be in the same room as anyone else while listening to my SR60.
I am humbly asking anyone who has heard both the MS 300 and the SR60i if I will be impressed or depressed once I get the MS 300 and whether or not $135 was a good deal for the phones.  Any helpful information is greatly appreciated!

- foolishmatt (or just "Matt" if you want)
Jan 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM Post #2 of 4
Hi Matt
Did you pull the trigger on those Phiaton's? What is your feeling about them? I am looking at a set of closed cans for commuting and traveling and it sounds like we enjoy similar sounds (love my RE0s and had the Alessandro MS1s which aren't dissimilar to the SR60i). USD 135 is amazing - the price here in Europe is MASSIVELY inflated, at around EUR 200 (USD 271!). Maybe I should rethink knowing the price point your side of the pond! eeek.
Mar 19, 2011 at 11:04 PM Post #3 of 4
Hi, sorry it took so long to reply, I just noticed your reply tonight.
Yes, I did buy them.  They are still $145 on amazon last I checked. 
I'll give an impression on the sound, but I'm not a very experienced reviewer so be sure to gather other opinions.
When I first got them they were so bright (brighter than both my RE0's and SR60s) that many songs were painful to listen to.  After about 15 hours of burn in they did mellow out some, but they were still brighter than my SR60i's.  I feel that they have a marginally larger soundstage than the SR60's, but are not as detailed and do not separate instruments as well.  The bass has medium quantity, slightly more impact than the SR60's and good definition.  The mids are good - warm, slightly airy and are somewhat detailed, but I had some issues with them.  As aforementioned, the upper mids are in your face, but have settled over time.  Also, they seem veiled and not quite as clean as the grados.  Despite that, certain songs shine on these headphones (I don't know why, really) and they are forgiving to poor source material (with exception to songs that are in the upper midrange, that's when these hurt).  The treble is good, but nothing fantastic.  They are pretty well extended and somewhat detailed, but can still be harsh on certain songs.  One final thing I noticed: the Phiatons do blues, rock and pop very well.  However, they don't sound very good for acoustic and classical recordings, which are becoming larger parts of my library. 
Keeping in mind that I've only compared them to the SR60, RE0 and ibuds (lol), I'd give them an 7/10. (If you're wondering, I'd give the grados a 9/10)
Other pros: They look bangin', they are very portable, no one except you can hear your music, everything except the cable feels solidly built
Other cons: Although initially comfortable, they can become uncomfortable after an hour or so.  I don't find they isolate outside noises extremely well.  The cable is very thin, and I'm nervous that it might get caught on something and be ripped out of the headphones.  On some songs, the hiss is noticeable.
EDIT:  Just to clarify, I think there are better headphones for the money, but these are pretty good.
I hope this helped despite being 2 months late!
- Matt
Apr 2, 2011 at 8:45 AM Post #4 of 4
I would like to chime in as well. I am probably the source of the "sounds like a Grado" impression for the MS300, as to my knowledge I am the first person to have said this. 
I basically have the same thoughts on the MS300. My main issue with them is that they are hella bright. Reminds me of the SR125 or the SR225 in brightness.  They have a similar vibe to the Prestige series, but being closed cans they tend to be a bit more congested and some might see this as more "veiled." They definitely get harsh thanks to that brightness on certain tracks.
I agree they don't work too well with most acoustic stuff (mostly acoustic guitar) but surprisingly work well with jazz and are definitely good for rock and pop. 
They also are quite a bit bassier than a Grado Prestige, likely due to their closed back nature.  I stand by my comment that these are basically what a closed Grado would sound like.  One of the things I wanted to try on these cans was to open them and put some blue tak on the insides of the cups, in an attempt to tame the harshness, but I still haven't figured out how to open these without destroyign anything. Would be a shame to soil their good looks.
The cable does seem flimsy but it's stronger than I gave it credit for. I have snagged it three times and it still hasn't broken. Thank goodness. 

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