Inexpensive is always nice, especially when there is value. Able Planet NC200 Noise Cancelling Headphones, if you find a great deal on them, is such a value.

I’ve been testing these full-size headphones sent to me for evaluation and find that they do a credible job for MUCH less than the more popular names in the business.  At $100, they’re not so great, but at as little as under $50, and up to about $70, they are an attractive buy and are available in a choice of black and white.

Sound reproduction will be good for all but the most discerning audiophiles and the active noise cancellation will have you hearing with much less background sound whatever is your choice – music or nothing, whether aboard a flight, on a subway or other public transportation, riding a mower or just out and about or inside.  Students take note!

These foldable headphones are just the right and portable entry-level product one should not mistake for higher priced and better performing products, even those in a higher category from the same maker.  For example, when I have done a quick listen to the company’s better products at trade shows, there is a marked difference between low end and high end, in both performance and price. Able Planet is a capable maker with products priced from a suggested $100 all the way up to $300.

One nice feature is that the headphones will operate with and without the noise cancellation circuitry switched on. This is not necessarily the case in all other NC headphones.  Battery life is rated at 30 hours, though I have not exhausted the single AAA alkaline cell powering the headphones as yet.  I also appreciate that the cord is five feet long.

Without music and with the NC circuit engaged, I was able to enjoy conversations on flights much more than without the NC200 phones.  In flight, I found music enjoyment heightened through the lessening of the droning background cabin/engine sounds.

One area in which these headphones are not at their best is the perception of quality of materials and assembly.  They feel a bit flimsy and do not reek of a quality feel.  This is the primary reason for my assessment that they are a good value up to about $70.

So, there you have it: A pair of decent noise cancelling headphones with good sound, and with what I would term above-average noise cancellation along with a bit of a cheap feel.  As a starter set with this technology, I’d say they are at the top of their game.  If you like these, and you are ready for something better, seek out the better ones from Able Planet as a great place to begin.

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