It was the mid-90s, and I just got a pair of high fidelity headphones that went into your ear. Priced at more than $300 at the time, they allowed me to hear music like never before. A singer’s mouth noise between words, the sound of a brush against a drumhead, the individual notes of a guitar solo. It was a clarity I hadn’t heard before. But as you’ll see with Able Planet noise canceling headphones reviews, this product is even better at a much lower price.
The latest twist
Fast forward more than 15 years, and I’ve just listened to music with a new set of headphones designed to help me out with the frequencies I’ve probably lost since 1994. Able Planet’s Clear Harmony In-Ear Earhook headphones (retail $149.99) feature the company’s award-winning Linx Audio. It’s designed to give you improved clarity and a perception of loudness by simply cleaning up the sound that reaches your ear. Instead of turning up the volume to hear better, you may actually turn it down because of the improved audio definition.
Why in-the-ear is better
I like the in-the-ear style of headphone for a variety of reasons. First, I’m earbud impaired. Seriously. I lack the little bump of flesh at the bottom of the ear canal that holds an earbud in place. It simply doesn’t work. Never did – never will. These Able Planet headphones are a comfortable in-the-ear style because they don’t get inserted deep within the ear. They’re also held in place by ear hooks. That’s especially helpful if you like to wear headphones while running or working out.
The second great thing about in-the-ear styles of headphones is that they block out ambient sound. You can run them at a lower level because they’re not competing with street sounds or jet noise.
Clarity joins quality
Able Planet has built a quality headphone. The over-the-ear articulated hook is hinged. The two-step hinged system goes over your ear and locks in place. They’re lightweight and comfortable. The ear hooks support the headphones without having to put them all the way into your ear. The ear tips, provided in three sizes, go a little bit into your ear and block outside noise. The result is sound isolation, nice frequency response, and outstanding comfort.
Let’s talk about sound. Listening to music, these earphones brought clarity and dimension to the dozens of pieces of music. From Bach to Cat Stevens, Green Day to Mumford & Sons to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sheryl Crow and Avenged Sevenfold, I heard great separation and a realistic recreation of vocal quality. When seated properly in the ear, these Able Planet headphones delivered good bass along with their improved high frequency definition.
The control on the cord controls volume, play, pause and tracks. It’s also used to answer any incoming phone calls, if you’re listening to music on your smartphone.
The Able Planet Clear Harmony In-Ear Earhook headphones, model SI1150, really livened up the music I listened to. They were comfortable, stayed in place, offered the advantage of sound isolation and impressed me. Worried that my ears are a little worn out from my disc jockey years and my age, I had my 17-year-old son try them out. Once I finally got him to take them off and give them back, they got a huge thumbs up.