When you're at the gym working out, you probably don't want to hear the huffing and puffing of the sweaty guy (or gal) next to you. That's part of the reason why you might bring along your iPod or iPhone along with you, bobbing your head to the latest Smashing Pumpkins release or pumping your fist to the adrenaline-fueled tunes of Journey. Whatever your musical interests, you want to keep your mind focused on the music and not the grunts of the other gym rats.
Passive sound isolation headphones can work wonders in this area, but if you really want to have a completely isolated aural experience, you'll want a set of with something a little more active. You know, something like the iLuv i910 Noise-Canceling Stereo Earphones that we're looking at today. Better still, this thing has a built-in mic for taking your cell phone calls on the fly too. Let's see how well the folks at iLuv did with these!
Features and Highlights
Among the features that you will experience on the iLUv i910 Earphones are:
- Highly effective noise-canceling circuitry
- Hgh-performance speakers
- Up to 30 hours of noise reduction with 1 AAA battery
- Switch between call and music with a one-touch button
- Self mute feature for conversations or public announcements
- In-line microphone for convenient hands-free phone conversations
- Driver unit: 9mm diameter, NdFeB magnet
- Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Sensitivity: 105dB +/- 3dB
- Noise reduction level: -15dB (max)
With only a maximum of 15dB noise reduction, you probably shouldn't expect the world of the iLuv i910 Noise-Canceling Stereo Earphones. It's a fair bit better than nothing, but you'll probably still hear the jackhammering at the construction site if you're waiting at the bus stop.
What's in the Box?
Inside the packaging for the iLuv i910 are two parts. There is a cardboard box and a plastic tray. These together contain the following items:
- Noise-canceling earphones
- Carrying pouch
- 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio/microphone cable
- 3 sets of silicon ear tips
- One set of 3-layer ear tips
- Instruction manual and warranty information
Notably missing from the package is the obligatory AAA battery that you'll need to use the Active Noise Reduction function. The carrying pouch comes in pretty handy though, taking on a shape and feel similar to some cases for sunglasses.
A Somewhat Modular Design
Naturally, a set of stereo earphones with active noise cancelation will be a little bulkier than your standard set of ear buds. The part of the headphones that performs the actual noise-canceling is similar in size to a larger USB flash drive. It sports a set of rudimentary controls and slot for a single AAA battery. For whatever reason, iLuv decided to throw a 2.5mm jack into the little controller. But From there, you use an included 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable to adapt it a normal size. This in turn can be inserted into your iPod, iPhone 3G (not original iPhone as you will need a recessed adapter), or any number of other audio sources. I suppose that the thinking behind this semi-modular design is so that the iLuv i910 can be used for both 2.5mm and 3.5mm devices; you just have to provide your own cable for the former.
Coming from a slightly different perspective, you could also say that the controller itself is somewhat "modular" in that it does not have a totally streamlined appearance, bulging out to accommodate the single AAA battery. There's also a clothing clip on the back, so you don't have to have this thing dangling in front you the whole time. And yes, those extra ear tips come in really handy for people with different-sized ears. I found the default configuration to be the most comfortable, but some people may prefer the 3-layer ear tips. The unique design of the earbuds does certainly make them look a bit bulbous, but to each his own.
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