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Outside the Box Solitude review: Outside the Box Solitude

  • 1

The Good Over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones; fold for compact storage; detachable cable with standard minijack connections; free one-year loss protection; soft leatherette carry pouch.

The Bad So-so sound quality; won't play loud with iPod.

The Bottom Line While these headphones deliver above-average sound isolation, their dull and boomy sound spoil the Solitude.

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5.9 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 5

Solitude seems like the perfect name for noise-canceling headphones. Indeed, manufacturer Outside the Box claims the Solitudes provide 18dB of noise hushing, enough to quell the roar of a commuter train or the whoosh of air conditioning on a jet plane. The headphones' luxuriously padded vinyl ear cushions and headband add a touch of class to the design. The Solitudes fold for compact storage and come with a soft leatherette carry pouch. They're sold direct for $199.

As with all other noise-canceling headphones we've tested, the Solitudes' NC circuitry runs off batteries. The Solitudes use two AAA cells, which have an estimated life of 35 hours. Unlike some noise-canceling headphones, such as Bose's QuietComfort 2s, the Solitudes continue playing your tunes--sans noise cancellation, of course--long after the AAAs have died and gone to battery heaven.

In addition to a dual airline plug and a 1/4-inch phono adapter, the Solitudes also ship with a detachable five-foot-long cable that's fitted with standard gold-plated minijacks at each end. That's a great feature; if you ever need a replacement cable, you can pick one up at any RadioShack or electronics store. The detachable cable is also nice for folks who sometimes use their headphones' noise-quelling function without actually listening to anything--they can stow the cable to get it out of the way. And when you're back listening to your tunes, the left earcup has a handy volume control.

Outside the Box includes a free one-year BoomerangIt loss-protection policy. If you leave your Solitudes on the 747, BoomerangIt will replace them. Furthermore, the manufacturer offers lifetime warranty protection for the headphones.

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