I’ve always been slightly torn when it comes to headphone choice. While I make no claims to being an audiophile, sound quality is my number one criterion when it comes to selecting headphones. I like neutral sound characteristics that faithfully reproduce what the musicians intended us to hear. I also like high-quality, traditional materials with understated looks. That tends to leave me choosing from the traditional hifi brands.

At the same time, though, I’m a gadget guy. I loved the touch-panel controls of the Parrot Zik. The only thing that put me off those is that, plane journeys aside, I’m not a fan of noise-cancelling cans. I like to be able to hear just a little of what’s going on around me – enough to hear when an announcement is being made on a train, or that I’m about to step in front of a bus – and the Zik headphones don’t sound good in passive mode.

So when Phiaton announced the BT 460, which has a similar touch-and-swipe interface, I thought I’d give them a try. These also have one further claim to fame on the gadget front: they automatically pause music when you take them off, and auto-resume when you put them back on …

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