Able Planet Clear Harmony Noise Canceling Headphones Hands-On

Able Planet’s Clear Harmony Noise Canceling Headphones have received a ton of rave reviews the last few months and for good reason. They offer superior sound quality and protect your hearing so you can continue to rock out well into your golden years. No wonder they won the Innovations Design and Engineering award at this year’s CES.

I’ve had the headphones for a couple of weeks now and I can’t bear to be without them. I didn’t have a chance to try them on any flights, but being in NYC, riding the subways were a good substitute. I’m pretty sure they’ve saved my hearing from any further deterioration caused by those crappy white earbuds from Apple. A normal commute on the train warrants my iPod volume level to be at least three-fourths of the full volume. With the Clear Harmony ‘phones, I never have to go above half volume and can keep it at a quarter of its power most of the time.

The company’s Linx Audio technology does a bang-up job of creating high-frequency harmonics that enhance sound quality, maximize speech clarity, and filter out any undesired noise with 18 decibels of active noise cancellation. The difference between them being turned on and off is substantial. Your eardrums will thank you for purchasing these babies.

The first few times I pulled them on I thought I was going to puke (not really a desirable feature in $300 headphones). The frequency of the active noise canceling drove me up the wall and I couldn’t handle them when there were long periods of silence between music tracks. However, I adjusted to them quickly. They can be used without the canceling activated as well.

Another minor problem: I have a small head and without a hat on, they are a bit loose on top, even when they’re fully tightened. (They were lightweight and comfortable overall, however, and didn’t make my ears sweat like similar on-ear models I’ve tested.) The only other downside is the need for two AAA batteries that go into the left headphone, but it’s nothing a couple rechargeable batteries can’t handle.

Besides a kick-ass zippered case, they come with a removable cord with one-eighth- and one-fourth-inch stereo adapters that include an in-line volume control. These can be stored in their own zippered pouch in the main case. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but there’s a section in the case that easily provides a snug place for an iPod.

I couldn’t rep these headphones anymore than I already do. Hopefully the ringing in my left ear will cease since I’ve stopped using my other cheapo headphones.
Product Page