Able Planet NC1100B review: Bose busters?

The Able Planet NC1100B noise-canceling headphones match up to their Bose competitors in many respects, but fall short in a few key areas.

Able Planet's NC1100B noise-canceling headphones retail for $299.99--the same as Bose's QC15s. Able Planet

Able Planet makes a number of noise-canceling headphones, and the NC1100Bs are the Colorado company's highest-end model with a retail price of $299.99.

Let's start with what's good about these guys. For starters, they're comfortable and appear to have a sturdy design and a nice soft-touch black finish. While the earcups aren't quite as soft as those on the Bose QuietComfort 15, the fact that they're a bit thicker and firmer doesn't hurt their comfort level and may be more appealing to some.

Aside from their black coloring, the NC1100Bs look similar to the QC15s (and QuietComfort 2s), with the same over-the-ear design and earcups that swivel and fold flat to fit in a simple black case. The resulting package is slightly bigger than a CD wallet, which makes it easier to tote, though it's still not terribly compact. As you'd expect from a set of headphones designed for frequent travelers, Able Planet throws in a two-prong in-flight adapter.

Like with Bose's active noise canceling, the earcups' cushions effectively sealed off our ears from the noisy environment. Flipping on the noise cancellation dampened the noise even further. While the NC1100Bs aren't as effective at canceling out noise as the QC15s, they did noticeably muffle the sound of a very loud air conditioning that this reviewer has in his office (it isn't quiet as loud as the inside of an airline cabin, but not too far off).

Read the full review of Able Planet's NC1100B headphones.

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