I had never heard of AblePlanet before, that is until I met them at CES 2008. As I was walking past their booth they asked me if I was covering headphones. I responded that I was and I would be interested in seeing what they had to offer. After showing me their booth, they asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their headphones. I of course answered yes, and they supplied me with a pair of noise canceling headphones.
- Superior Noise Canceling Technology
- Featuring Award-Winning Patented LINX AUDIO™-a Hear the Difference™ technology
- In-Line Volume Control for Easy Adjustment to Safe Listening Levels
- Lightweight and Comfortable fit
- Removable Cord with 1/8” and 1/4” Stereo Adapters
Headphones are a great way to enjoy everything from your favorite movies to a book on tape. In the last 10 years we have gone from big headphones to small ear buds and back to big headphones with special features like noise canceling. AblePlanet makes all kinds of headphones each serving a different purpose.
The noise canceling on these headphones, like most others, does not cancel out all noise. Instead, it works on sounds that are in the higher range.
The headphone cord is removable and it has a built in volume control.
These headphones use a technology called LINX AUDIO. “LINX AUDIO creates high frequency harmonics that enhance sound quality and speech clarity of difficult to hear words or notes, and increase the perception of loudness without increasing volume. LINX AUDIO provides full rich sound and enhanced speech clarity even at lower volumes, which may lead people to “Turn it Down” to preserve hearing. An analogy of a richer sound might be the difference you hear when you play a “C” note on a piano, as opposed to a “C” Chord. The “C” Chord demonstrates the impact of adding harmonics to the audio signal.”
These headphones are the kind that go over the ears, which means they are rather large and heavy. The are made of all black material except for the covers on the outside of the headphones, these are silver. The cushions around the headphones and the headband are made of soft black material and they are very comfortable.
The cord that comes out of the headphones is removable. It also includes a volume control module in the cable. Having a removable cord means you can replace it with a longer one, or one that has a microphone so you can use it as a headset. You can even use the headphones without the cord if you just want to cancel out some background noise.
The left headphone has a battery compartment and a power switch. This turns on the noise canceling and the batteries are used to power it.
There is also a very nice case that you can store the headphones in. The case has a spot for the headphones, the cable, and the adapters.
Unless you’re an audiophile and you have a really good ear, testing headphones can be difficult. I sometimes have a hard time telling the difference between a nice pair of headphones and a really nice pair.
Using the headphones is very easy. You simply plug them into a music device, turn them on, and enjoy your music. When I first tried out the headphones I did not put any batteries in them. I plugged them into my MP3 player and played some music. The headphones sounded good, but the sound was muffled and very soft.
I tried listening to music again after I put in the batteries and turned the headphones on. They sounded much better than before. Not only was a lot of the background noise cut out, but the music no longer sounded muffled and dull. My guess is that the power not only turns on the noise canceling, but it also gives an extra bit of power to the speakers which allows them to output better sound. The fact that this only happens when the noise canceling is turned on is a bit unfortunate, because there were times when I wanted to listen to music without the noise canceling, but it didn’t sound its best. I would recommend that they find a way to have the enhanced sound without the noise canceling turned on. This could be accomplished several ways, but the easiest would be to have the sound enhancement automatically turn on when there is sound being sent to the headphones, and the noise canceling can turn on with the switch. Another way to do it is to have a separate switch for each, but that would add more complication to the headphones. Also, when I turned on the noise canceling without any music or noise playing, I could hear a bit of white noise (static). It is very subtle and I could not hear it unless I was in a very quiet room. I am not sure if this is on purpose as a way to enhance the noise canceling, or if it is a side effect of something else. Obviously, with music playing I did not hear it.
The headphones are very comfortable. The cushion on the headband is very soft and comfortable. The cushion around the ear pieces is also very soft and it is comfortable when it was on my head. The one problem that I had with the comfort is that after a long time the edges of my ears would ache. This may be because my ears are bigger than the opening. To resolve this, I moved the ear pieces toward the back of my head. This helped relieve some of the discomfort, but not all of it.
Warranty and Support
AblePlanet offers a limited lifetime warranty on these headphones. This is the kind of warranty I would expect from a company that has confidence in its products. They cover all defect in their workmanship, but they do not cover damage that is caused by neglect or misuse.
I am very happy with these headphones. The sound that I got from them was what I expected, and the noise canceling did a great job eliminating some of the background noise that would otherwise get in the way of the music. I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a nice pair of headphones, but at the same time I also recommend that you try all headphones before you buy them. At $350 a pair these are not a cheap purchase and you really want to make sure they are going to be the best for what you need. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|