• Follow us


Phiaton Bolt BT 700 Wireless Earbuds Review: a Vestigial Speaker Drags Down a Solid Design

Rating: 6/10 ? 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage 3 - Strongly Flawed Design 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons 5 - Acceptably Imperfect 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana Price: $140 Phiaton's Bolt BT700 offers a solid package with a tiny extraneous speaker.Phiaton

The market for “truly” wireless earbuds (with two separate buds and a charging case) is widening. Phiaton, a supplier of mid-range audio gear, is hoping to stand out with a competitive $140 price and unique features with its “Bolt” BT 700 design.

Here's What We LikeExcellent wireless performance Buttons are better than most Good audio and call quality And What We Don'tThe speaker audio quality is awful Charging case is massive and annoying in your pocket Audio transparency is iffy at best

That unique selling point is a Bluetooth speaker integrated into the case, so you can blast music at full volume when you’re ready to share it. And that feature is, well, pretty much a total bust. Elsewhere the design of the BT 700 is solid, and having to lug around a tiny ancillary speaker with your case is a sacrifice for good earbud audio quality, decent battery life, and excellent wireless performance. Phiaton whiffs hard on the Bolt’s most marketable feature, but considering how comfortable and reliable these buds are, they might still be worth it for some users.

No Strings on Me

At first glance the BT 700 looks more or less identical to the rest of the truly wireless crowd: two buds, a charging case, automatic pairing when you pull the buds out the case, shave and a haircut, two pence. And as amazing as that concept was just a short time ago, now it’s somewhat old hat.

The BT700 buds are comfy and snug in your ear.The BT 700 buds are comfy and snug in your ear. Michael Crider

But Phiaton has nailed the essentials of a wireless earbud design here, an impressive feat on its first model. The buds stay connected through thick and thin, or to be more precise, through three walls and about fifty feet of my house. They’re also ready to go in just about any condition you’d actually wear them: through hours of walking in windy weather and riding my bike at a maximum of about 20 miles per hour, the earbuds stayed connected with my phone (and with each other) the entire time. They get full marks for wireless stability, which is something that isn’t always a given with this category.

The buds themselves were surprisingly comfortable, at least to my fairly average-sized male ears. I used the pre-installed silicone tips (there are three other options for bigger and smaller in the box) and the stability “wing” that’s permanently affixed to the plastic body of each bud, I couldn’t get them to shake out of my ears even with some had bobbing that would win me nods of approval from an 80s hair band. Very occasionally the stability wings would come out of my ear, but it was easy enough to get them back in and comfy again.

The silicone "awings" can grip the top of your lobe or squeeze into the bottom for more pressure.The silicone “wings” can grip the top of your lobe or squeeze into the bottom for more pressure. Michael Crider

The buds probably won’t stick around for twelve rounds of a boxing match or a dip in the pool, but they’re good to go for pretty much any other exercise you can throw at them. Speaking of exercise: Phiaton rates them at IPX4 “sweat resistant,” so they’ll be able to withstand a heavy workout or a spring shower, but that’s about it. I didn’t notice any obvious problems from my (pretty sweaty) workout sessions.

In terms of longevity, I found the buds lasting for a little more than four hours with my mix of music and podcasts at moderate volume. That’s not great compared to the offerings from Apple and Samsung, though it’s much better than the cheapo designs quickly filling up this category. The case will give you three charges for a maximum of 16 hours and change of music away from your charger (a micro USB charger, more’s the pity). I found that 20 minutes of charging in the case was enough to last me for the last hour of my workouts, which is par for the course.

Hooray for Real Buttons!

Controlling the buds while they’re in your ears uses a mix of conventional silicone-covered buttons and touch-sensitive plastic. Each bud has volume up and down on the top and a multi-use button on the side. These control a variety of functions, with the ones connected to the conventional buttons (track forward/back, manual power on or off for either bud) being much easier than the touch-sensitive buttons. You’ll need to tap and/or hold those touch buttons for play/pause, accepting or ending calls, or checking the battery via a voice message.

The touch-sensitive buttons take a bit of getting used to: it’s tricky finding the correct spot and the right cadence for the double-tap command. I know this stuff is all the rage and makes the design look smooth, but there’s nothing you can do with this that couldn’t have been accomplished with a third conventional button on the outside of the plastic case. Additionally, it means that you can only control play/pause on the right bud and “audio transparency” on the left.

The BT700 buds charge through POGO pins and automatically connect when removed from the case.The BT 700 buds charge through POGO pins and automatically connect when removed from the case. Michael Crider

What’s audio transparency? It’s when the integrated microphones on the buds (typically only used for calling) let in a bit of outside audio so you can be aware of your surroundings. I was excited to try this, as riding a bike with conventional headphones is dangerous if there’s anyone else around (and practically suicide in traffic). Unfortunately, this was a bit of a waste: even a light breeze will fill your ears with static, so the feature is all but useless when riding or jogging. And using it while out and about to be more aware of those around you isn’t much help either, since normal human speech gets the wah-wah effect of Charlie Brown’s teacher, and was almost completely inaudible to me even when my music was paused. Skip this feature and go for bone conduction headphones if you need to be aware of your surroundings.

The audio and call quality help make up for some awkward controls and transparency features. While no earbuds are going to deliver thumping bass, the BT 700 has solid performance through the mid and high ranges and enough volume to put you in your own little world. With a typical frequency range of 20 Hz-20,000 Hz, I was able to pick out subtle bits in my music that weren’t audible using cheaper wireless headphones. Call quality was rock-solid as well, with no problems hearing on my end and the other party unable to tell I was using wireless earbuds outside. The external noise cancellation seems especially good since I couldn’t hear the groundskeepers working with lawnmowers in my local park.

A Speaker No One Asked For

The Bolt’s charging case carries an integrated Bluetooth speaker, though I have no idea why. I suspect that someone on the design team was told to come up with a selling point that no competitor had thought of, and this was the best they could do: a tiny, one-inch driver that can either share your music with others or let you listen when your buds are charging.

The charging case includes a tiny, almost useless Bluetooth speaker.The charging case includes a tiny, almost useless Bluetooth speaker. Michael Crider

But the speaker is, in a very literal sense, a waste of space. It makes the charging case massive in comparison to the AirPods and Galaxy Buds, more than four inches long and an inch around—about the size of a prescription pill bottle. With thick plastic and sharp corners, it’s also uncomfortable in your pocket, meaning you’re less likely to carry it with you, especially during a workout. That sabotages the basic concept of a portable charging case.

And for what? A speaker that’s barely any louder than the single speaker in my Galaxy Note 8 phone. That might be forgivable if the speaker was high quality or there was one on both ends for stereo playback. But no dice on both points. At the highest volume—which you’ll want to use—you can hear huge amounts of distortion all through the audio range.

The speaker makes the charging case unnecessarily large.The speaker makes the charging case unnecessarily large. Michael Crider

In searching for a unique selling point, Phiaton has undermined the basic form and function of wireless earbuds. It’s a glaring problem on an otherwise excellent design: I can’t see anyone using this speaker over the one in their phone, even if the phone speaker isn’t particularly loud or clear.


The Bolt BT 700 frustrates me a lot. The earbuds themselves are great, even if the touch buttons are finicky and the audio transparency feature doesn’t work well. Good audio and fantastic wireless performance are real crowd-pleasers. But the huge carrying case and nearly useless Bluetooth speaker drag the experience down.

The Bolt BT 700 is also available in black, with a matching charging case.The Bolt BT 700 is also available in black, with a matching charging case. Phiaton

Pricing is competitive at $140—a good bit lower than Apple, tied with Samsung, and a reasonable bump over much worse budget models. But I can’t help but wonder if Phiaton could have gotten the price under the $100 mark, and made the charging case much smaller and more pocket-friendly by omitting the regrettable speaker altogether. I’d encourage them to do so on the next generation.

As is, it’s hard to see anyone picking this design over the Galaxy Buds at the same price. If you’re looking for a reliable wireless connection over all else, and you rarely use your earbuds for more than four hours at a time, the BT 700 might be for you. Ditto if you constantly use a bag or purse, and the chunky carrying case won’t bother you should you need a recharge.

Rating: 6/10 Price: $140 Here’s What We Like Excellent wireless performance Buttons are better than most Good audio and call quality And What We Don't The speaker audio quality is awful Charging case is massive and annoying in your pocket Audio transparency is iffy at best Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Latest ITProPortal news

Redefining the term engineer in the workplace. 2019-07-01 05:00:10Lots of people have 'engineer' in their job title, but what is engineering?

The predictive art of retention – using data 2019-07-01 04:30:34As the number of people voluntarily leaving their job roles continues to rise, it is now harder than ever to attract and retain talent. More companies

Vital points to consider while choosing the platform 2019-07-01 04:00:27Selecting the best platform for your website is an absolute requirement for your business, but choosing the right platform isn’t that easy.

Modernising mission critical communications 2019-07-01 04:00:18The modernisation of mission critical communications with intelligent push-to-talk broadband solutions.

Wi-Fi 6 vs. 5G: Key advantages for businesses 2019-06-28 07:00:222019 will be a landmark year for wireless connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT), with the launches of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G making headlines across t

Why UK government organisations are a key target 2019-06-28 06:30:44Why aren’t government organisations doing more to protect their systems, the services they manage and the citizens they serve?

Somerville bans facial recognition in public 2019-06-28 06:30:30After San Francisco comes Somerville, and after that - possibly Oakland

Russia's Google breached, users spied upon 2019-06-28 06:00:29Yandex says the attack was spotted at an early stage

Boards have woken up to the value of 2019-06-28 06:00:01Security is now a priority for boards but managing security is as complex as ever.

Seven reasons asset compliance blows-up 2019-06-28 05:30:32How TAM can help businesses stay compliant and avoid the most common pitfalls.

GDPR one year on: where do we stand? 2019-06-28 05:00:24As we pass the GDPR one-year anniversary, how has the data landscape changed?

Best practices for preventing and recovering from a 2019-06-28 04:00:29How to defend and recover from ransomware attacks.

TechRadar: Internet news

Women's Ashes live stream: how to watch England 2019-07-18 04:49:052019's epic England vs Australia cricket battle continues - can England strike back? Get a 2019 Women's Ashes live stream from anywhere on Earth.

Stage 12 Tour de France live stream: how 2019-07-18 04:43:05After a day on the flat, Le Tour riders head back to the mountains. Don't miss Stage 12 with this 2019 Tour de France live stream info.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max and iPhone XR 2019-07-18 04:37:22This is potentially our best look at Apple's new iPhones so far, as case test models appear in a hands on video.

The Open 2019 live stream: how to watch 2019-07-18 04:19:34The players are on the course for the 148th Open Championship. Watch the golf with a 2019 Open live stream from anywhere on Earth.

Best translation software of 2019 2019-07-18 03:32:35Expanding into new global markets? Time to take your websites and software with you.

Dell's Black Friday in July deals are back 2019-07-18 02:01:37More Mega Deals hit the internet for Dell's Black Friday in July event.

Best cheap smartphones in Australia for 2019 2019-07-18 01:33:28Looking for a new mobile but want value for money? These smartphones offer a lot of bang for your buck.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 leak offers more proof 2019-07-17 21:32:12Official renders have leaked for Samsung's upcoming pro-tablet showing dual cameras and divisive rear-mounted S Pen.

Firefox will soon alert users if their saved 2019-07-17 21:21:21Mozilla is working on updating Firefox's security to integrate Lockwise password management with its Monitor tool.

Instagram is now hiding like counts in Australia, 2019-07-17 20:25:44Instagram seems to be nudging users to appreciate posts based on merit, not on how popular they are.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7: what we want to 2019-07-17 17:56:21The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is already a great device, but what could Microsoft do with the Surface Pro 7?

macOS Catalina: macOS 10.15 release date, news and 2019-07-17 17:39:56Apple has announced macOS Catalina, the name for its macOS 10.15 release later this year. Here's everything we know.

TechCrunch » Enterprise

Investor Jocelyn Goldfein to join us on AI 2019-07-18 13:00:37Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a foundational technology for enterprise software development and startups have begun addressing a variety

InCountry raises $15M for its cloud-based private data 2019-07-18 12:36:08The rise of data breaches, along with an expanding raft of regulations (now numbering 80 different regional regimes, and growing) have thrust data pro

VComply raises $2.5 million seed round led by 2019-07-18 09:00:47Risk and compliance management platform VComply announced today that it has picked up a $2.5 million seed round led by Accel Partners for its internat

Intel announces deep, multi-year partnership with SAP 2019-07-18 08:29:38Intel announced a deep partnership with SAP today around using advanced Intel technology to optimize SAP software tools. Specifically, the company pla

Southeast Asian cloud communications platform Wavecell acquired by 2019-07-17 23:03:49Wavecell, a cloud-communications platform for companies in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has been acquired by 8×8 in a deal worth abou

AT&T signs $2 billion cloud deal with Microsoft 2019-07-17 12:24:13While AWS leads the cloud infrastructure market by a wide margin, Microsoft isn’t doing too badly, ensconced firmly in second place, the only ot

ClassPass introduces a corporate wellness program 2019-07-17 10:24:28ClassPass has set up yet another revenue stream, signing to a corporate wellness program partners like Facebook, Glossier, Google, Morgan Stanley, Und

Dust Identity secures $10M Series A to identify 2019-07-17 10:03:30The idea behind Dust Identity was originally born in an MIT lab where the founders developed the base technology for uniquely identifying objects usin

Stonly lets you create interactive step-by-step guides to 2019-07-17 07:01:28French startup Stonly wants to empower users so that they can solve their issues by themselves. Instead of relying on customer support agents, Stonly

AlphaSense, a search engine for analysis and business 2019-07-17 06:10:14Google and its flagship search portal opened the door to the possibilities of how to build a business empire on the back of organising and navigating

ContractPodAi scores $55M for its ‘AI-powered’ contract management 2019-07-17 04:00:36ContractPodAi, a London-based startup that has developed what it describes as AI-powered contract lifecycle management software, is disclosing $55 mil

Qualtrics’ Julie Larson-Green will talk experience management at 2019-07-16 12:00:57We’re less than two months out from our first TC Sessions: Enterprise event, which is happening in San Francisco on September 5, and did you kno

Digital Trends

Law firm files class-action lawsuit over Nintendo Switch New! 2019-07-20 19:37:05A class-action lawsuit has been filed over the Joy-Con drifting issue of the Nintendo Switch. The lawsuit alleges that the joysticks on the Joy-Cons a

Instagram will give users chance to fix accounts New! 2019-07-20 18:47:31Instagram will start issuing warnings for accounts that are in danger of being banned. People will also be able to appeal for the restoration of delet

The new trailer for Star Trek: Picard features New! 2019-07-20 17:30:57If you're not excited for the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard yet, you will be once you watch the new trailer for Star Trek: Picard. It

New Westworld trailer teases WWII scenes and the New! 2019-07-20 17:14:13We all have a role to play: That's the theme for this season of Westworld, for humans and hosts alike, as shown in this new trailer. It features some

The Star Trek: Picard TV series: Everything we New! 2019-07-20 16:38:41Star Trek: Picard will feature the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and will premiere near the end of 2019 on the CBS All Access streaming

HBO’s Watchmen trailer looks nothing like the comic. New! 2019-07-20 15:47:33Police wearing masks? Terrorists dressed like Rorschach? The first trailer for HBO's Watchmen barely resembles Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' iconic g

Black Mirror’s David Ajala joins cast of Star New! 2019-07-20 15:30:44British actor David Ajala, known for his roles in Jupiter Ascending and Fast & Furious 6 will be joining the cast of Star Trek Discovery for seaso

The best text messaging apps for Android and New! 2019-07-20 15:30:29These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents,

How to convert your videos from MKV to 2019-07-20 15:00:36MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient

The best indie games on Nintendo Switch 2019-07-20 14:00:30The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our p

How to take a screenshot on a Mac 2019-07-20 14:00:08Whether you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or applications such as Grab and Preview, this guide will teach you how to take a screenshot on a Mac. On

The most (and least) reliable appliance brands in 2019-07-20 13:29:55New report from service provider Puls identifies which home appliances are least likely to get repaired. Plus, find out when the refrigerator is most

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.