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PSB Speakers' new $399.99 M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones may be the company's very first pair of headphones, but the engineers' smart design choices and superior sound put the M4U 2s at the head of the pack. They're fairly compact for a full-size, over-ear design and one of the few sets that can still play music after the batteries die.
Though the M4U 2s are on the pricey side for noise-canceling headphones, they're certainly among the best-sounding on the market and worth the money for audio-conscious music lovers who want to block out outside noise.
Design and features
The shiny black plastic-and-metal headband feels fairly durable, though I'm a little concerned about the long-term prospects of the metal hinges that allow the headphones to fold up for compact storage in the included case.
The full-size Polk UltraFocus 8000 noise-canceling headphones are more ruggedly built, but they aren't as comfortable and don't have a hinged headband. The M4U 2s' gyro-suspended earcup mounting system allows the earpads to swivel vertically and laterally for an optimal fit.
The switch on the right earcup turns the noise cancellation on and off, and its third position activates the internal amplifiers without noise cancellation so the headphones can play louder while conserving the battery.
PSB's cancellation system uses four noise-canceling microphones, two on each earcup, to provide more accurate processing.
PSB includes two 55-inch cables for Apple and BlackBerry devices with 3.5mm plugs and controls on the wire for navigating music tracks and accessing the inline microphone. Other accessories include a semihard zippered travel case, an airline adapter, a 3.5mm-to-6.3mm plug adapter, and an extra set of user-replaceable ear cushions.