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Old 03-03-2008, 02:38 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default AblePlanet Clear Harmony Headphones

When we met AblePlanet at CES, their Clear Harmony noise canceling headphones really caught our attention. Their built-in noise canceling circuitry is intended to reduce the infiltration of ambient noise, but can they stack up sonically against some serious competition within their price bracket?

You can read Rory's full review here and discuss it here!
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #2
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Goes to show that listening to Top Gun's dog-fight scenes in a crowded trade show booth is not the ideal way to make a purchase decision.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Hey, no worries. Like I said, these headphones weren't *awful*. They just didn't seem to really justify their high price tag by their sound quality, noise-canceling functionality notwithstanding. Perhaps if they said "Bose" on the side, they might have been able to get away with it...
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:29 AM   #4
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LOL.... ( BOSE )
On the commercials, they use characters that look like they don't really know what quality is.
Just because you wear a suit, you get respect.....
Now, Bose does have a great sound, but the pricing does not qualify the product.

IMO
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taterworks View Post
Hey, no worries. Like I said, these headphones weren't *awful*. They just didn't seem to really justify their high price tag by their sound quality, noise-canceling functionality notwithstanding. Perhaps if they said "Bose" on the side, they might have been able to get away with it...
Funny you should say that, because they had a Bose set in the booth for comparison - both headsets were split from the same ipod, and the AblePlanet set sounded about 3x louder than the Bose QuietComfort - probably due to the high frequency harmonics.

They'd be good on a plane, methinks.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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I'll give them that -- they did seem really loud, though they seemed to 'max out' in volume after a point. Beyond that point, they just started to sound compressed.

I don't think I'm quite sold on the noise-canceling feature. Maybe it's because I listen in a semi-quiet environment, or maybe it's because I like being able to hear some external sounds if I need to (part of being aware of my surroundings), but I'd personally prefer to spend the $300 that I'd spend on the Clear Harmony headphones on a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 880, Sennheiser HD 595, or Ultrasone PROLine 650 -- all three of which are highly-respected models in the head-fi world for their sound quality.

Addendum (3/4/2008)
A word about the upper-frequency harmonics added by LINX AUDIO: Every instrument under the sun adds its share of upper frequency harmonics. In fact, the distinctive sounds of many instruments are due to the amount and duration of high-frequency harmonics they add. A goal of high-fidelity reproduction is to ensure that the signal that reaches your ears is exactly as it was recorded. While LINX AUDIO may produce a more 'lush' sound, and a certain amount of additional high-frequency harmonic content can actually be 'euphonic' ($20 word for 'it sounds better'), it isn't really consistent with the goal of high-fidelity reproduction to add more high-frequency harmonics to a signal. I'm not hating on DSP tricks like this in general -- I'm just saying that when it comes to the ideal of reproducing the signal exactly as it was recorded, the addition of euphonic content is still inconsistent with that goal.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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I'm quite happy with my Triton AX360 headphones.
Now it's not the new one that has the USB interface, I have the optical to junction box. you can connect headphones or to another AMP system like the surround system to the flatscreen.

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