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Review: PlaneQuiet Active Noise Cancellation Headphone
By
Vipul Shah

You bought latest i-Pod to entertain you during long flights, coach and train journeys, but no matter how good the music player is, you are not able to enjoy the music due to constant noise of aircraft engine, or other noises. Reason is ear buds you use to listen to music or even good regular headphones are not good enough for noisy environment.

You need good active noise canceling headphone. Various companies make these headphones suitable for different wallet size. At top of the line is Bose QuietComfort 2. At US$299 it is very expensive but it does job well. It is over the ear design and apart from canceling external noise, it also seals ear from any noise seeping in.

At lower price level you have to choose between various price/performance. ProTravelGear.com sent me their PlaneQuiet active and passive Noise Canceling Headphone. As name suggests it is ideal for wearing when on aircraft. Unlike Bose QuietComfort 2 it doesn’t feature over the ear design but it is on the ear design. Which means it doesn’t stop one off sounds around you from seeping in. But it does reasonably good job of canceling out any continuous noise like that of aircraft or car engine or train or ceiling fan or window airconditioner at home. At US$54.99 it is very well suited for budget conscious traveler. Its current version NC-6 eliminates background noise up to 15 decibels to allow you to enjoy your favorite source of audio. This is double foldable headphone which is very compact to carry in its stylish sturdy pouch with draw strings. It works on single AAA battery for up to 14 hours. I used rechargeable Ni-MH battery and still got 9 hour of music/movies off it. Stick to good alkaline batteries, If you like longer listening capacity without changing batteries. When your battery gives up you don’t have to worry as headphone will work just like any other regular headphone without noise cancellation. It weighs around 135gram “one the head” and fits nicely with its elastic grip on head. Its noise cancellation on/off switch is on back side of right ear and may take some time finding it initially till you get used to it. Unlike Bose QuietComfort 2, PlaneQuiet didn’t work very well without any audio source in case you just want to wear it and relax and go to sleep during your flight. But when music is playing, switching on noise cancellation provided noticeable amplification to audio and that itself muffled out lot of noise and conversations around you may otherwise hear. This headset ships with dual plug airline adapter in case you fly one of older design aircraft seats which doesn’t accept 1/8 inch stereo pin. Its good soft ear pad design makes it one of very comfortable headphones for home use even when you don’t need noise cancellation. It is perfect for watching late night movies without disturbing others.

This product comes with generous life time warranty.

If you can afford higher price then have a look at US$199 Solitude from same company at http://www.protravelgear.com . It is over the ear design and is supposed to out perform Bose QuietComfort 2 at 67% cost. ProTravelGear also offers cheaper US$29.99 Latitude headphone, but stay away from them.

If you want to buy in budget but want over the ear design for better passive noise cancellation then go for Mark 5 model of PlaneQuiet still available at some online stores. But current NC-6 PlaneQuiet does better job of active noise cancellation.

Q: What is the difference between active and passive noise reduction?

A: Passive noise reduction is the noise reduced by covering the ears and Active noise reduction is the noise reduced from the active noise reduction electronic circuitry.

Vipul Shah
guide@vipulshah.com


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