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Surrounded by Sound

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Category: Hardware Published on Monday, 11 April 2011

Wake Up Great Sound with AblePlanet Headsets and Aperion Wireless Speakers 

Now that smartphones have stolen the thunder from iPods and MP3 players, it's becoming harder to find anything truly innovative when it comes to reproducing the sound of your favorite tunes.

Thankfully, we have the creative folks that develop headsets and speaker systems enticing us with new products.

Able Planet's new NC300B SoftTouch headset ($149) is, by far, the most comfortable over-the-ear headset I've used. Add to that the company's patented Linx Audio technology, superior noise-cancelling capability and in-line volume control, and you have a set of headphones that equal, or surpass, models costing twice the price.

Unfortunately, as with all headsets of this type, you lose some of the crisp treble sounds if the noise-cancelling feature is turned off. Instead, you get a booming bass, which is, alas, muffled when the feature is turned on.

The headset also comes with a hard-shell case to protect it when it isn't in use, which is rare in my case.

Those of you seeking something innovative in speakers need look no further than Asperion Audio's Zona Wireless Surround Speaker System ($499). I have these speakers running wirelessly on my computer system, but I could have easily hooked them up to my surround sound amplifier or my TV.

The concept is simple. You connect a wireless transmitter to your sound source, place the speakers anywhere you want, plug them in and you have full, glorious stereo sound.

Obviously these can't replace the quality of sound reproduced by booming 7.1 speaker systems, but the built-in amplifiers, 4.5-inch fiberglass woofers and one-inch soft-dome silk tweeters deliver sound good enough to rival other bookshelf speaker systems I've tested.

Other features include:

  • A wireless range of 150 feet.
  • A small remote control that will turn the speakers on and control volume, treble and bass.
  • A USB 2.0 plug and play connection.
  • All the cables you need to hook the transmitter up to a surround sound amplifier.
  • Threaded inserts for wall or stand mounting.

For more information, check out the companies' websites at www.ableplanet.com and www.aperionaudio.com.

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