Over the ear headphones once were the audiophile choice, but then along came mobile audio devices and earbuds took over. So it’s fair to say that getting those consumers who are used to the tinny quality of earbud audio are taken aback once they’ve donned the ear cups. But while that bodes well for those listening, it has caused a lot of manufacturers to try and emulate the “flash” that earbuds bring to the party. The Phaz P2 Over-Ear (OTA) Headphone takes that into account while not giving up on its audiophile pedigree.
The P2 blasts away the expected when it comes to OTA headphones, but let’s deal with the physical aspects first. As required, two ear cups are held together by a band that is flexible and adjustable. Following along comes the black leather ear pads, not just perforated for a more comfortable wearing but also interchangeable (a five-color choice includes orange, grey, pink, green and purple @ $29.00 a pair.
Sound quality is affected by a number of factors, not the least being the 40mm sized drivers with neodymium magnets that impact the person’s ears. But rather than relying on passivity, a HD audio amplifier is integrated into the P2. This enables the audio signal being conveyed to be enhanced in a positive fashion (especially when dealing with low resolution audio like some MP3 files). There is also a significant boost in the bass through the use of a 15db boosting switch, if/when the user wants to use it.
The P2 uses a wired cable and so does not require battery power for transferring the audio signal between the audio source and the audio drivers. However Phaz has decided that there is a use for having a rechargeable battery integrated into the headphones — as a power pack for recharging the smartphone that the P2 is connected to. The brilliance of this approach is twofold: the first being to push earbuds out of the picture in favor of a much more sophisticated ways of listening (i.e., an OTA), with the second being a strong inducement for bring the admiringly bigger than earbuds P2 along as the listening mechanism (thought: “I can wear these OTA’s and not have to bother with bringing a power pack because it’ll take care of juicing up my phone when it needs it later on”). The 1200 mAH battery charge is not massive to be sure, however it will allow for replenishing a thirsty phone or topping it off.
The carbon fiber composition makes for a more lightweight design than expected, while also allowing for a measure of flair. And as an additional aid to making this OTA more palatable, the P2 are also able to fold for a more compact storage. Plus as previously noted, the coverings for the ear cups are interchangeable. That’s not to say that there won’t be those for whom the basic black says it all. But it’s this exaggeration for the lifestyle aspect of today that the P2 is geared for, with another example being the “sharing” listening port for someone to plug in their own OTA (or earbuds). Control over the audio source device is doable and in fact geared to iOS devices, since the P2 is certified for use with Apple’s stable. The 3 buttons on the audio cord also includes a microphone, tied in with both internal charge and external charge LED indicators.
The P2 Over-Ear Headphone retails for $199.99, but the price might seem misleading because there’s much more going on with these headphones than just providing a powerful and potent audio response. It’s the overall package that makes the P2 valuable to the user and a worthy addition to the “toolkit” of the 21st century mobile audiophile.