Get an Earful

Earphones for when you just want peace and quiet.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the June 2007 issue of . Subscribe »

Hard-traveling entrepreneurs know all about the distractions of noisy environments. Sound-isolating earphones are the solution for listening to your laptop or MP3 player without having to crank the volume to a dangerous level.

The stylish, in-ear, $250 Shure SE310 headphones come with a deluxe fit kit to accommodate just about any ear. The Hi-Definition MicroSpeaker with Tuned BassPort packs a lot of audio range into these tiny earphones. We tried a preproduction version that delivered deep bass tones, excellent sound isolation and a comfortable, secure fit.

The in-ear, super-lightweight Etymotic Research ER6 headphones fit like earplugs. The flanged design creates a tight seal that helps block out noise, while the sound quality is clear and full with good bass response. They come with a change of filters and foam eartip option.

The $300 Able Planet Clear Harmony Active Noise Canceling Headphones are for users who prefer an over-the-ear headphone style. They provide battery-powered active noise cancellation and can be used by those with hearing aids. The bass is particularly strong, and the in-line volume control is a nice extra.

All three models did a good job of dulling down the surrounding ambient noise and providing a wide and clear range of sound. So go ahead and upgrade from your cheap earbuds to a much better audio experience.

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