Able Planet Clear Harmony NC1100B (Black)
Manufacturer: Able Planet Inc. Part number: NC1100B
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as of 08/29/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $169.99
- Reviewed by: David Carnoy
- Edited by: Justin Yu
- Reviewed on: 07/05/2011
The good: The comfortable and sturdy Able Planet NC1100B noise-canceling headphones offer effective noise-canceling circuitry, fold for compact storage in an included carrying case, have a volume control integrated into the cord, and are usable without turning on noise cancellation.
The bad: They're just as expensive as the Bose QuietComfort 15s but sacrifice sound quality for oversaturated bass tonality.
The bottom line: The Able Planet NC1100B noise-canceling headphones match up to their Bose competitors in many respects, but the sound quality falls short and the noise canceling is lacking.
Disappointing Performance if compared to Bose QC15.
by mackdelarocha on December 8, 2011
Pros: Good looking. Seem to be built well. Comfortable (even when wearing glasses). Ability to use them even without batteries. Sound quality is OK. In-line volume control. I got them at a discounted price.
Cons: Sound quality is just OK. FAR too expensive retail pricing. Noise cancelling is VERY, VERY disappointing. Able Planet customer service is lacking in responsiveness and courtesy, and therefore "customer service".
Summary: I first heard about this product through a Groupon. By the time I did a little bit of research on Able Planet, the Groupon had sold out. I contacted Able ...
Summary: I first heard about this product through a Groupon. By the time I did a little bit of research on Able Planet, the Groupon had sold out. I contacted Able Planet's customer service to inquire about any future discounts. What I received was less than satisfying, to say the least. The email response was short, offered no apology, suggestion, or any semblance of a solution, and to top it all off, there wasn't even a signature line. (Maybe I'm too sensitive but this response was not acceptable for a potential customer that might spend upwards of $300 on product. To their defense, the rep explained that they were a small company and had been swamped by the Groupon offering, thus the short response.) After raising a complaint, I was offered the Clear Harmony at the rate of $100, plus shipping. (The Groupon was $79 total.)Several delays in shipping later, I received my headphones.
Pros: the Clear Harmony's are good looking, well built, lightweight and relatively compact. The case is of manageable size and seems as if it will protect the contents against normal use. Trying them on, they fit snuggly yet comfortably, and felt secure. They seal nicely around the ears and muffle outside sound simply by sealing well. I wear glasses and even after an hour or so of use, they remained quite comfy. The inline volume control is nice, though when very carefully adjusting, you find "jumps" in the volume. The ability to use them even with the power turned off is a HUGE plus, for occasions when you're fresh out of batteries.
Cons: The noise cancelling is poor. The main reason that I purchased these was for air travel and the ability to shut out engine (and people) noise, even when not listening to music. I am greatly disappointed in the performance of this feature. Strange as it may sound (no pun intended), the noise cancelling feature actually seems to have the opposite effect when turned on. There is a slight echo or hollow sound with the headphones on your ears and the power off but when the power is switched on, it merely "deadens" the echo thus making outside sounds almost sound clearer. It's hard to explain what's lacking and with no frame of reference, you likely wouldn't know what to expect. However, I have tried a friends' Bose QC15s on a plane and they are really quite amazing. When the Bose are on your ears with the power off, they have the same basic feel and sound as these but the second you turn the power on, it's almost like you have earplugs in. They are that impressive. The Clear Harmony's really shouldn't even be mentioned in the same discussion. These are two totally separate classes. The reason that I even mention the Bose here is that they retail at the same price point. I honestly don't know what Able Planet's reasoning is for this. I'll just say that if you are considering spending $300 on noise cancelling headphones, buy the Bose. The Clear Harmony don't even come close in performance. Another let down is in the sound quality. While not bad, some tracks sound muddy and weighed down with too much bass. You don't get that crisp, balanced sound. But as mentioned, I bought these with noise cancelling in mind and would personally qualify the sound quality as acceptable. It should be noted, however, that when the noise cancelling is turned off, the sound quality suffers greatly and you'll find that the volume needs to be increased significantly in order to hear.
In conclusion, the Able Planet Clear Harmony headphones are a decent value if you can get them at a significantly discounted price. My thought is that I paid $100 for them and they're worth that. However, if you are looking for the best of the best and are willing to pay roughly $300, go with the Bose, hands down.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
There is a defect in the electronics that is not fixed.
by Reviewer999 on November 1, 2013
Pros: They're pretty comfortable. The defect is only evident if the music device is plugged into ac power like a charger.
Cons: The biggest issue is that if you plug these into a music device (phone, iPod, iPad, mp3 player, computer speakers) that is plugged into AC power, there is an awful ground loop hum. Makes these useless at low volume. 4 in 2 years and all hum.
Summary: There was supposed to be a new version with a new chip set and a new manufacturer and I waited many months for them to arrive. I shipped back the ...
Summary: There was supposed to be a new version with a new chip set and a new manufacturer and I waited many months for them to arrive. I shipped back the third set I received over a year ago and received a refurb on Nov. 1, 2013 (how can they have refurbs or open boxes if they just got in the new design????) and guess what??? This pair has the ground loop hum just like the others. Either they sent me another OLD set or the new design doesn't fix the problem at all.
I've been begging for a pair that don't hum for 2 years. This is just unbelievable. Don't waste your time or money. Get something else.
Look impressive but lack prodcut quality control
by GregRein on August 17, 2012
Pros: When arriving they have the have all the appearances and trappings of other brands but that is where it ends. I'm going on my third pair in three weeks.
great design, fit well. not as heavy as others.
Customer service was great!
Cons: First pair was delivered broken with highly distorted, unusable.
Second pair improved sound,able to use without noise cancelling but Bass was overly pronounced. Ear piece broke off within 5 days.
Waiting on the third
Summary: Ableplanet has a good looking product and they need to work on their quality control in manufacturing. Yes i didn't pay the Bose price but I expected better sound ...
Summary: Ableplanet has a good looking product and they need to work on their quality control in manufacturing. Yes i didn't pay the Bose price but I expected better sound quality.
Ableplanet for the price, look, and feel they are worth it but none of us have spare cash hanging around to waste and headphones are meant to be activity worn daily.
At the usual discounted price these phones do the job.
by jordanmarx on April 19, 2012
Pros: At the usual discounted groupon price that you can usually find them for, the noise cancelling amplified headphones sound amazing at the price point I purchased them at (70 bucks). Better than paying 299 for the bose brand.
Cons: -sometimes fragile. Able Planet has a bag log of customer service issues.
Summary: Great for the price (i.e. not paying 299)
Summary: Great for the price (i.e. not paying 299)
Worst experience I've ever had with a purchase
by coco223 on January 21, 2012
Cons: -Product stopped working after 2 weeks of light use
-Horrible customer service
Summary: I purchased a pair of headphones from Ableplanet because of a great deal on Groupon. I had never before heard of this company but after some light research it seemed ...
Summary: I purchased a pair of headphones from Ableplanet because of a great deal on Groupon. I had never before heard of this company but after some light research it seemed to be reported as "award-winning" and reputable so I decided to take a chance. What a mistake that was!
I happily received my new headphones and got great use out of them for 2 WEEKS until they inexplicably started distorting all sound beyond recognition! They no longer worked with my computer, iPod, or any other device. Seeing that I had taken perfect care of my pricey headphones I was very disappointed with their IMMEDIATE breakage. After calling a few numbers from their website, I spoke to a young woman who, without any apology or explanation, instructed me to send back the malfunctioning product and they would send me a new pair. I sent them back the same day as instructed. Now here I sit, OVER A MONTH LATER, never having heard anything back from them! Deciding to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt, I sent them an angry email and called numerous times - and received no replies whatsoever. Today I finally received an email from FedEx saying that they have shipped a new pair to me, but considering that it has taken them over a month and their awful product breaks after two weeks, I don't even want the new headphones anymore. This is the WORST experience I've ever had with an online buy. No matter what deal they may offer, NEVER do business with Ableplanet! For Heaven's sake, buy from Bose instead!
- Manufacturer: Able Planet Inc.
- Part number: NC1100B
- Description: Maximum speech clarity Soft clips distortion Increased perceived loudness without increasing volume Superior Noise Canceling technology In-line volume control for easy adjustment to safe listening levels Lightweight and comfortable fit Ideal for creating your own personal space filled with full rich sound Removable cord with 1/8" and 1/4" stereo adapters For use in computer and language labs, stereos, personal computers, CD, DVD and MP3 players For use with or without a hearing aid
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Recommended Use The noise canceling feature keeps out ambient sounds on buses and airplanes. Plus, they are portable for easy transport. Active noise canceling technology makes these ear-cup headphones ideal for commuting and air travel.
- Product Type Headphones
- Color Black
- Recommended Use Digital player,
- Additional Features LINX Audio
- Headphones Form Factor Full size
- Connectivity Technology Wired
- Sound Output Mode Stereo
- Active Noise Canceling Yes
- Frequency Response 20 - 20000 Hz
- In-Cord Volume Control Yes
- Connector Type Headphones
- Cables Included Audio cable- integrated - 1
- Included Accessories Hard shell protective carrying case,
5 ft cord with in-line volume control,
Dual pin airline adapter,
1/4-inch stereo adapter,
2 AAA alkaline batteries
- Power Device Power adapter
- Battery 2 - AAA type
- Service & Support Lifetime warranty