headphones

Able Planet PS500MM Headphones Review

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Isolation

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• Good maximum volume without

a ton of distortion.

• Poor isolation from outside sounds

• Very little of the sound from the

speakers escapes

 
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Maximum Usable Volume
    (10.00)


What we found:

The headphones had a decent maximum usable volume. We were able to pump

them up to 121.89 dB without getting a high level of distortion. This

is loud enough that it's harmful over long periods of time. If you love

damaging your hearing, these headphones are for you.

 

What is maximum usable volume?

Most headphones are capable of meeting your volume needs. Turn the

volume up enough and they'll blast your ear drums to sweet oblivion.

The real question is whether or not you can deafen youself with a

relatively low distortion level. When volume is increased, distortion

gets exacerbated.

How the test works:

This test is a series of distortion tests. We increment the distortion

level each time until the overall distortion levels exceed 3%. If you'd

like more of an explanation, read our 'How We Test' article, here.

 

Isolation     (2.34*)*


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What we found:

The PS500MMs didn't isolate from outside sounds particularly well. They

block out some high frequency noise, but don't do much for the low end.

This shortcoming probably won't be an issue, since you're unlikely to

be using these headphones on a noisy bus or train.

How the AblePlanet PS500MM compares:

 

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Apple

iPhone 3G S Headphones

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Beyerdynamic

DT 770

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Shure

SE115

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Audio-Technica

ATH-ESW9

What is isolation?

Isolation refers to the amount of noise a set of headphones are capable

of blocking out. There are currently two technologies on the market for

isolation: active cancellation and passive isolation. Active

cancellation uses super science power to actually negate incoming

sound. The headphones have a microphone and listen to incoming sound.

They then play back the same sound at an inverse amplitude. This

process is typically power-intensive and requires auxiliary battery

power. The second isolation strategy can be accomplished by simply

virtue of being solid. Passive isolation means something is physically

blocking your ear.

How the test works:

We test isolation by blasting the headphones and HATS with pink noise.

HATS records any sounds that make it to it's robot ears. We then

compare HATS' data to the original sound file to see exactly how much

sound was blocked out. To learn more about this test, read this

article
.

 

Leakage     (1*0.00**)*


What we found:

The PS500MMs did a good job controlling leakage. We found that a slight

whisper was all that was audible in a quiet room. Of course, this test

assumes you won't be yammering away on the microphone, asking for heals

or screaming obscenities at campers.

What is leakage?

Leakage refers to any sound that's audible outside of the

ear-headphones junction. Leakage is typically bad, because it's

annoying to everyone around you. In a private setting, no one will care

if your headphones leak. But if they are sitting next to you on the

couch or on the bus, they will care.

How the test works:

Our leakage test involves a microphone set up a few inches away from

HATS, which is outfitted with the headphones. The headphones play back

some pink noise, and the external microphone picks up anything that's

audible.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Tour & Design
  2. Sound Quality
  3. Isolation
  4. Comfort
  5. Usability
  6. Apple iPhone 3G S Headphones Comparison
  7. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Comparison
  8. Shure SE115 Comparison
  9. Audio Technica ATH ESW9 Comparison
  10. Conclusion
  11. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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