I spend a whole lot of time with my iPhone headset in my ears. The earbuds
that came with my all-in-one device are comfortable and produce a so-so sound,
but they are EXTREMELY fragile; Ive been through about five sets since I was
turned onto the whole iPod culture about four years ago. As stylish and nice as
they are, they cant produce a great sound and the wires split and fall apart
after only a few months. So when I was given the opportunity to test out some
new headphones, it only took a look at my destroyed white cords to agree. Able
Planets headphones produce an amazing sound, but their design will prevent me
from using them in the same everyday manner as I do my iPhone default set.
As I said, these headphones sound fantastic, and after testing them in a few
different situations I can say with all certainty that these are the nicest
headphones Ive ever had a chance to use. The most impressive test I put them
through was with a podcast I listen to on a weekly basis. Its a fairly
professional operation, though it is a smallish one. But the hosts often talk
about what is going on in and around their home during the show. With these
headphones, I could actually hear their cat meowing softly at a few parts during
the hour-plus program. Id been listening to this particular show for about a
year and a half with my iPhone headset, and this was the first time Id ever
heard the cat.
I also tested them with some lossless FLAC audio files through my laptop, my
DSi, my PSP and my PS3 though well save the PS3 test for last. The audio files
(the opening and closing themes for Dragonball Kai and Dragonforces Ultra
Beatdown) were beyond amazing. Every last small nuance of the songs was
instantly recognizable easily picked out. The DSi and PSP games also sounded
great, though the PSP seemed to take to the headphones better, perhaps due to
the better sound output from the games.
The PS3 sounded amazing as well, though I saved it for last to highlight the
main reason I wont be using the headset to replace my iPhone earbuds Able
Planets amazing sound quality doesnt come without a price. The headphones are
bulky, ugly, uncomfortable and have a permanent mic, like the ones used for
online gaming. So using them as a day-to-day earbud replacement isnt an option.
Youd look pretty funny strolling around a restaurant or bookstore with a mic in
front of your face, and according to Peter Griffin, only the Little River Band
is appropriate to listen to with giant headphones which these are. On the
bright side, the mic and headphones work as well with gaming, online or off, as
they do with everything else I tested, but their size and the ever-present mic
make them strictly indoor sound delivery devices.
Ill continue using Able Planets headset for gaming and possibly other stuff
around the house, but their size and the mic instantly disqualify them from
replacing my lame, flimsy white Apple earbuds. That fact aside, the Linx Audio
headset provides the best sound Ive ever heard produced outside the Bose test
room at Hi-Fi Buys, and thats saying a lot.