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CNET First Look
AKG K390 Noise-Canceling earphonesThe AKG K390 Noise-Canceling earphones offer a sleek-looking design and two types of noise-hushing capabilities, but the high price tag and inconvenient noise-canceling module may be a turnoff for some.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Jasmine France: With so many premium ear buds to choose from finding the right pair can be a bit of a chore. Searching for specific features can help narrow down the selection. I'm Jasmine France and I'm here with AKG K390 which is one of the handful of in ear headphones that includes active noise cancellation. Unfortunately in the case of the K390s the implementation of this feature causes several issues that make its high price tag hard to justify but we'll get to that in a moment. First a look at the positive. The design of the earphone seems particularly durable thanks to reinforced cable housing at the ear pieces and the plug and there's little argument that the overall look of the K390s is sleek and understated. Plus they offer dual noise hushing capabilities with active noise cancellation and the passive sound isolation offered by the in ear design. Also we like that the ear phones can be used with or without the noise cancellation activated with little change to the sound quality and it's nice that AKG has integrated a call answer button and mic along with a mute button for the music. However, my praise ends there. While I appreciate that the module has an integrated short clip on the back it's not far enough down for those who would prefer to clip it to a pocket. Also it's very bulky and heavy which means it has to be clipped onto something let's it drags the earpieces right out of your ears plus I didn't find the ear buds particularly comfortable during testing and although the sound quality is good on the whole, bass response suffers when the noise cancelation is turned on. These would be relatively minor gripes but considering the AKG390s $200 price tag I'm not willing to overlook them and neither should you. I'm Jasmine France for CNET. ^M00:01:31 [ Music ]