The Able Planet Sound Clarity NC510B Headphone is an Active Noise Canceling Headphones armed with proprietary LINX AUDIO technology. This is no ordinary pair of headphones however; the latter’s claim to fame has to do with how the patent-pending technology helps to improve sound quality without having to tune up the volume.
According to Able Planet, LINX AUDIO adds high frequency harmonics that enhance sound quality and speech clarity of difficult to hear words or notes, thus increasing the perception of loudness. In addition, the technology also removes undesirable sounds and noise making it easier to hear high frequency words or notes where clarity is typically lost.
In practice, I did notice that I’m generally contented with a lower setting on the volume slider of my iPhone when comparing the NC510B with other headphones and earphones at my disposal. Moreover, I believe LINX AUDIO also plays a part in the final sound quality of the headphones (see below).
The NC510B incorporates active noise cancellation (ANC) also helps to reduce undesirable sounds and background noise. The ANC function of the NC510B is powered by two AAA batteries housed within the left ear-cup. Like other noise-cancelling headphones, sharp sounds or loud noises can still be heard, though the noise cancellation appear to work as advertised to reduce external sounds.
The NC510B operates as a normal pair of headphones when the ANC function is turned off, or if batteries run out.
Sound-wise, the NC510B reproduces low-end notes well without being overpowering or ‘muddying’ up the rest of the music. Soundstage and treble is adequate, though what I really liked is the clear vocals and mid-range. This culminates in music playback that is pleasant to listen to.
Unlike some headphones where music playback gets grating on the nerves after a while, there were more than one occasion where I stayed on the NC510B for a little longer than I intended… just to finish another song.
The headphone is lightweight, and despite the two AAA batteries in the left ear-cup, feels balanced in its heft. What I find surprising though, is the relatively low profile of the Able Planet Sound Clarity NC510B headphone. While not cheap at $199.99, the sound reproduction is on par, if not slightly better than other such headphones in its class. Factor in its active noise cancellation capabilities and LINX AUDIO – and the NC510B is a great buy.