I tend to prefer in-ear buds over on-ear or over-the-ear headphones. To me they just seem more… comfortable, at least when I am wearing them for an extended time. Still, there are times when I do like the on-ear or over-ear style, especially when the headphones sound good and are comfortable to wear. Most of the time, though, the headphones that have those qualities are rather pricey. Not so with Abel Planet’s new PS400B headphones. These over-the-ear cans have a detachable cable, come with a decent carry bag, are quite comfortable and, best of all, they sound good. Surprisingly, they have an MSRP of under $130. (And I suspect you will be able to find them discounted in the near future.)
That’s pretty impressive and warrants a closer look.
From Able Planet:
The Able Planet True Fidelity PS400B is an on-ear stereo headphone that provides thumping bass and crystal-clear acoustics. Its sonics are enhanced by embedded LINX Audio technology, which filters out undesirable sounds and reduces distortion. The result is an increased perception of loudness—without a raise in volume—and improved speech clarity and overall sound quality.
The PS400B, is equipped with a detachable 6.5′ (1.9 m) cable that terminates in an 1/8″ (3.5 mm) jack, which is compatible with smartphones, iPods, and many consumer devices. A plug adapter is provided for connection to home stereos and other devices that require a 1/4″ jack. An airline adapter and a soft carrying pouch are also included. The PS400B is backed up by a limited lifetime warranty. Also available is the PS400BG, which comes in a Glossy Paint Finish.
Premium stereo speakers with patented LINX Audio
Soft Touch Finish
MaxSoft ear cushions
Single detachable wire
Compatible with In Wire technology including LINX
Protective storage pouch included
The headphones come in two finishes- Rubber Paint Finish and Gloss Paint Finish. I was sent the former and am please by that fact since I not only prefer the look and feel of a matte finish but I also like the way it tends to hide fingerprints. It needs to be said that, in an era of headphones that are now status symbols… these aren’t. No, there is no flash here. There’s no bling. There’s no rapper putting their name on the headphones (and pumping up the price by $50 in the process). No, these are simple, understated headphones. They do have the company name and logo on the side but it is tastefully done. In short, these are about function not flash. That’s a good thing and, I suspect, helps keep the price down.
The included audio cable is detachable AND has a 3.5mm jack at both ends. (This is in contrast to many headphones that use a smaller connection at the headphone side.) That’s a good thing on two fronts. First, it means you can disconnect the cable and stow the headphones in the included bag with the cable nicely wrapped and tied by a zip-tie or in a small separate bag. That when, when you remove the headphones you won’t be presented with a tangled mess. Second, it means any 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable can be used as a replacement if you lose the included cable or it becomes frayed. I also suspect, although I have not been able to verify it, that one could also swap in a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable with more advanced controls and/or a microphone.
That would be handy since the included cable offers just volume control. And, as noted in the product description, the company’s “In Wire technology including LINX microphone” is available as a separate accessory.
The earpieces are nicely padded and quite comfortable over long periods of use. They also do a good job of shutting out ambient noise. In fact, when Judie was here and writing a review she used them to block out the din of our rambling last weekend. I’ve used them to block out the old, and remarkably noisy, dishwasher here at our lake retreat. And while they do not offer active noise cancellation, even putting them on with no music playing tends to cut out a good bit of noise.
Of course none of this matters if the headphones don’t sound good. Thankfully… they do. In fact they sound very good. and they CERTAINLY do not sound like headphones that retail for under $130. I suspect this has a lot to do with Able Planet’s LINX audio technology but, to be honest, all I really case about is THAT they sound good. The reason why however matters not.
In short, if you are looking for over-the-ear headphones that don’t scream “look at all the style and flash and… wow they are endorsed by a rapper!” and come at a reasonable price look no further. If, on the other hand, you want flash, care about who endorses them, see your headphones as a status symbol or need headphones that come with an in-line microphone look elsewhere. Me? I’ll be happily using the review sample for some time to come.
You can learn more about the headphones here.
What I Like: Comfortable; Sound good; Nicely-priced; Detachable cable can be replaced; Includes carry bag
What Needs Improvement: Not for someone who sees headphones as a status symbol; included cable only offers volume control; Headphones fold flat but do not break down as small as some of the company’s other offerings