- Comfortable, secure fit
- The BOLT BT 700 are two products in one (great for travel)
- Solid battery life (~5 hours) + charge case
- Surprisingly clear audio quality with very good sound isolation
- Quick charge feature (15min = 1 hour of playback time)
- We like the volume buttons, but not the touch-capacity button for pause/play
- Bluetooth speaker has poor audio quality, but it will work for travel
The BOLT BT 700 are a clever pair of true wireless earbuds. They don’t get everything right, but all-in-all we really like them.
In the world of true wireless earbuds, interesting is in short supply. We’ve tested a lot of fully wireless earbuds, and for the most part, they all have the exact same features. The BOLT BT 700 from Phiaton, however, are something that we’ve (and I’m betting you’ve) never seen before.
These aren’t just true wireless earbuds, the BOLT BT 700 are also a small, compact Bluetooth speaker—which automatically ensures that they end up on plenty of “Best Travel Accessories” guides. But, is the concept pure gimmick or is it actually worth your consideration? That’s what we’re covering in this review.
Phiaton BOLT Review: Design & Fit
While the earbuds are a little bulky, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they’re extra comfortable, even for extended use. They do come with silicone ear tips and a permanent ear wing.
At first we were a little concerned that the ear wing wasn’t removable (we’re just used to having it that way), but it definitely grew on us, and we didn’t have any issues with regard to design.
We found the BOLT 700 to have a secure, snug, comfortable fit that would make them great for travel, the office, and workouts. Our biggest qualm with the entire setup is just the touch-capacitive button for pause/play. We’d rather have physical buttons like you see on the top of each earbud—which, for the record, work great.
As you can see in the image above, they have little volume control buttons on the top of the earbuds. These are a little mushy, but generally fairly easy to click. All you need to do is keep track of the whole remote system—it’s not immediately intuitive.
As for the wireless connection, it was good, not great. On Phiaton’s website, they claim the earbuds have a range of about 30 feet. We found it to be stable up to about 45 feet. And the inter-earbud connection is good as well, though, like with most earbuds, you will encounter disruptions here and there.
Phiaton BOLT 700 Review: Battery Life & Charging
We were impressed with the battery life of the BOLT 700. Using history as our guide, we were expecting about three hours of playback time on a single charge. The BOLT 700 actually are closer to five hours, which is at the higher end for true wireless earbuds, especially those that cost less than $150.
The charge case will get you an extra three charges for a total of 20 hours of juice—that is, if you’re purely playing music via the earbuds. The charge case, if used solely as a speaker, will get you something like eight hours of playback time, which is certainly respectable for the size of the unit.
The BOLT 700 even have a quick-charge feature that gets you about an hour of playback time off a 15-minute charge.
The charge case itself charges via a MicroUSB cable and has a battery indicator on the side.
This is another element that excited us about the BOLT 700. We were expected decent to poor audio quality, but they actually are clear, crisp, and overall very nice to listen to. The audio isn’t particularly deep or punchy—it’s more flat—but we don’t anticipate consumers having issues with regard to audio quality. To be frank, we’d still prefer the Jabra Elite 65T in terms of audio quality, but those are a good deal more expensive.
As for the audio quality of the speaker (aka the charge case), it’s not great. The speaker doesn’t get loud at all and the audio is very tinny and shallow. In other words, it’s exactly what we were expecting. That said, the speaker isn’t supposed to replace any of your current speakers. Rather, it’s designed to be a space saver so that you don’t also need to pack a Bluetooth speaker when you’re traveling—and, for this purpose, it works just fine.
Phiaton BOLT BT 700 Review: Conclusion
Are they our favorite true wireless earbuds? No. But do they serve a purpose and check a lot of boxes. Are they a gimmick. Kind of, but we definitely enjoyed using them. The speaker isn’t great with the charge case, but it came in handy plenty when we were traveling. All things considered, we like the BOLT BT 700, especially at the Kickstarter price of $89. If the retail price does indeed shoot up to $139, I’m not sure they’re a must-have product.