When Logitech announced its noise cancellation headphones (and that’s precisely what they’d like to call it too), we were bummed. When we got the pair for review, we got bummed again, this time a lot more pleasantly though.
The headphones may be a departure for Logitech from its conventional face in the technology market, but they're well conceived. This is not a surprise in the least, for the company is known for offering products that fare pretty well both in performance as well as affordability.
On the surface, the headphones are not only sturdy, but also good to look at. If you ignore the boxy earcup design, that is. One thing you will love about this pair is the high portability factor. If you are thinking Bose’s Quiet comfort, the Logitech headphones are not only smaller but also easier on the wallet.
The pair is quite light too. It may give you a slight discomfort when worn for long hours, and can get stuffy in hot and humid conditions. So it may get uncomfortable to wear everyday to work etc. You can, however, bring them out on your leisure travel.
One AA battery assists active noise cancellation and will run at least a week, but it all depends on the usage really. If you understand anything about pressure waves, then you will know something about compression and rarefaction phases. I'll avoid the technicalities and just talk about the performance of the noise cancellation of the headphones.
The headphones produce a sound wave with the same amplitude that of the pressure wave (we’ll call it general noise here), but with opposite polarity. This results in destructive interference, basically a formation of a new sound wave by mixing the two polarities. This results in phase cancellation, that is to say, reduction in the amplitude of the general noise.
But that’s just how noise cancellation works in theory. Logitech calls it 'reducing distractions with high-parametric noise canceling’. In practicality, we had to test the headphones with how good they are in a working environment. I tested the pair as you would – in trains, at office, while traveling on the road.
I have to say that the noise cancellation works pretty well. It did cancel all the annoying noise created by the general chatter, traffic, air conditioner etc to give a pleasant environment to enjoy the music.
As far as music is concerned, I like the performance. The leveling is well taken care of. When noise cancellation is activated (by the button on the left earcup) the sound is actively processed to make it sound louder. This is okay, although it sounds a bit artificial.
However, that’s just my opinion, and I don’t want to sound like an audiosnob. It’s just that there is a fair bit of overprocessing that is unmistakable when it’s on.
That apart, the highs are quite rich, and separated from the general sound, which is precisely how I like to listen to my music. The mids are booming, which are not pleasant when you are listening to heavily processed music like electronic etc. However, if you are into easy listening, you will like that the headphones retains the character of the song.
A carry bag further increases portability. For this the earcups can be folded to lie flat in the bag. A velcro loop takes care of the 6-foot long cable. The battery is held in place, and there's an airplane headphones adapter as well.
The Logitech Noise Cancellation Headphones are priced at Rs 9995, and is decent considering what most good ones are available for in the market. For instance, a recent pair I reviewed – Sennheiser PXC 450 – was priced at an obscene Rs. 29,900.
The Logitech headphones are good if you're looking for a decently priced noise cancellation kit. However, if performance is all you seek, do remember that sub-10k headphones are not your only option!
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