Headphones… We’ve check out a bunch. Some have impressed us. Some… Not so much. So when a new pair of headphones come on the market we want to check them out. And when they come from a company we know we are even more interest. That’s the case here with the new offerings from Able Planet.
Judie introduced Able Planet to Gear Diary readers in this post way back in 2008. Mike looked at pair of their gaming headphones in this post. And Judie checked out a pair of their headphones with active noise cancellation here. I met with the company at CES 2010 and was impressed by their approach. Now the company has expanded their offerings in a big way and I was excited to have a chance to look at one of their brand new earphones.
The SI350 Sport Earphone came earlier today. I unboxed them and then really needed to clear my head by going out for a run. I figured there was no better time to put the new buds through their paces so off I went. Here’s a quick look at the specs and a brief video that kinda says all that needs to be said about these $130 earphones.
From Able Planet:
The ideal performance for high-end audio is the accurate reproduction of the “Live” experience. Current audio technologies struggle to replicate this experience, because bass sounds mask high tones making your music sound muddled and speech difficult to hear. Award-Winning Linx Audio® creates a “Live” experience with full rich base sounds, clear high tones and intelligible speech that enables you to Hear the Difference ®
• Patented LINX AUDIO®, a Hear the Difference® technology
• Triple-element architecture
• Soft, flexible ear hook for active lifestyles
• Brushed black badge
• Chrome housing
• Lightweight design
• ComfortFitTM sound isolation tips block exterior sound and create a custom fit for maximum comfort
• Multi-function controller with microphone
- Play, pause and advance music – Answer and hang up calls
In the Box:
3 ComfortFit tip sizes (small, medium and large ) fit most ears
LINX Audio Advantages:
• Award Winning Sound Quality & Speech Clarity
• Linx Audio creates higher frequency harmonics
• Filters undesirable sound
• Increases perceived loudness without increasing volume
• Neodymium Magnet Speaker:15/7mm
• Magnetostrictive Linx Coil
• Impedance (1kHz):24? 15%
• Frequency response: 8 Hz ~ 20kHz
• Sensitivity at 1 kHz: 100 dB/mW • Plug: 3.5 mm
Okay, enough with the technical specifications and the company pr, let’s talk about these earphones. They are light. They fit well once you figure out which size tip is right for you. The ear loop is soft and flexible enough that it wraps around your ear and holds the headset in place quite well. And they sounds… We’ll get to that.
There is a lot of audio technology packed into these small buds. (You can read all about Linx audio technology.) I suspect that is why the circular area behind the ear tip is so large. These aren’t headphones you’ll want to wear laying in bed since there do have a bit of bulk to them. (Seriously, laying on these would be headache city!)
Over-all the SI350s look neat and sound… soon. I promise.
I love the fact that the SI350s have an inline microphone and mp3 controller. I had never used them before and was able to control my music during a run without having to think about it. Yes, if you have used Apple’s remote with an iPod over the last few years you will feel right at home. (Squeeze once to pause, twice quickly to skip etc.) The microphone seemed to do just fine.
I got the SI350s and, as noted at the beginning, found myself needing to get out for a run to clear my head. I used the earphones and… Well you can see for yourself in this video review.
Bottom line here is- I am really really impressed with these earphones. They are super comfortable, stay in the ear like nothing I have previously tried and they sound GREAT! Sure, today was a beautiful day for running but I think this particular run was so enjoyable because of these headphones. They stayed put, sounded great, let me skip a couple of tracks without missing a beat, and then let me record the video dispute the lawn mower in the background. For running (or any other activity) these are amazing. And at an MSRP of under $130 I think they are a great deal.
You can check these and all of the company’s offerings out here on their website.
MSRP: $ 129.99
What I Like: Sound great!; Stay in place with ease; VERY comfortable; In-line microphone and controller work great; Block just enough outside noise
What Needs Improvement: If these are so good for $129.99 they have me wondering what the $450 SI450As sound like…